Table Saw

July 24th, 2014 at 9:21am

Having done a couple of projects on the home-made table saw, and having proved something or other to myself, I’ve now got myself a proper table saw (an Axminster AW10BSB2). It’s pretty impressive. And it was pretty darned heavy at 160kg. It’s going to have to move in and out in the workshop so the next project is lifting castors for it.

The Axminster driver was kind enough to come up one step from the street and up the garden path to the front door. About ten years ago I bought a metalworking lathe from an outfit in Surrey, and not only were a couple of parts from a completely different machine (which they never replaced despite several calls), their driver just dumped the lathe on the street pavement.

Of course, the tablesaw arrived in the fortnight when the kids were both away, so quite a bit of ingenuity with dollies, levers, fulcrums and axle stands was required so that lone, not-going-to-see-sixty-again little old me could get it from the front door to the workshop at the back.

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[Shakes Head Wearily]

June 29th, 2014 at 8:26am

“Can you come to 18 Verylong Road?”

“Which end is that? Is that the District end or the OtherDistrict end?”

“It’s between them.”

“I’ve reached Endofroad roundabout and there’s no sign of number 18.”

“Actually, it’s 18 Blockofflats Building.”

“I see. Whereabout’s in Verylong Road is Blockofflats Building?”

“It’s on Shorter Road.”

[Sigh] “I see. And that road is …?”

“It’s between Verylong Road and the High Street.”

[Shakes head wearily]

entertainment, life

French Cleats Work Really Well

May 22nd, 2014 at 11:25am

Apparently when the French want to hang a cupboard on the wall, they take a length of 2″ x 1″ (sorry, 50mm x 25 mm) and slice it longways down the middle almost into two 1″ x 1″ lengths but sliced at a 45° angle instead of perpendicular. Then one piece is screwed to the wall and the other to the cupboard such that the bevels (chamfers? mitres? never quite know which is which) lock in to each other. Actually, you do it twice: at the top of the cupboard and at the bottom.

Well, you can do the same for tool storage. You screw a few cleat rails to the wall. Then, for each tool or set of tools you make a hanger on a short cleat. For half-a-dozen pliers for example, you make something like a little 6″ towel rail on a cleat and hang your pliers on that. Easier watched than explained, so have a look on YouTube (or Vimeo if, like me, you’re starting to get a bit pissed off with Google’s descent into evil). I like Steve Ramsey’s version.

The move of my workshop from shed to conservatory/cellar is now complete having done all the French cleat tool hangers. The cool thing is that not only is it a neat way to accessibly store tools, but with rails in both the up and the down workshops, I can bring tools up and down as needed.

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Ah, Sunday Morning

May 12th, 2014 at 7:07am

Sunday mornings are good for locksmiths. They’re not so good for some customers though. Apart from hangovers, they have to contend with lost keys, lost keys and broken doors (being drunk removes clear thinking but not strength), wrong keys forced into locks and then snapped off, etc.

Or they’ve called out a “locksmith” at three in the morning but have been sent a call centre botcher who has destroyed their lock and not even put in a replacement.

I know it’s not easy at three o’clock on a Saturday night/Sunday morning but if you can find a proper, local locksmith then they’ll be cheaper than a destroyed lock, and cheaper than a carpenter and door frame the next day.

life, locksmithing , ,

Nearly There – In The Cellar That Is

April 27th, 2014 at 8:30am

The move of the workshop from the shed in the back garden to the conservatory (clean work) and the cellar (dirty work) is just about complete. Having dismantled the Dexion and MDF bench, and transferring it to the cellar, the only thing left out there is the pegboard and I’m not quite sure where that’s going to go. The pegboard is useful because a lot of security products are packed to be hung and shelves and bins don’t work anywhere near as well.

All the new shelving in the cellar is up and there’s a nicer piece of vinyl flooring now.

I might just add a ‘French cleat’ tool hanging system. Peg board isn’t so good for tools.


More Old Codger Grumpiness

April 26th, 2014 at 8:31am

Another crochety, old git post I’m afraid. Still, being officially grumpy is one of the very few perks of getting old.

I went to a job the other day and rang the bell. When the door was answered I was told that it was preferred that tradesmen didn’t use the front door. Eh? Rather than tugging my forelock and going to the side door, however, I scratched my head and got back in the van and drove off – genteelly of course.

In the past I have been asked if I wouldn’t mind taking off my boots. With nice floors, that’s entirely understandable. (Of course there have also been floors where my medical insurance wouldn’t have been adequate for taking my boots off.) But what is going on in the mind of someone who wants a certain perceived  – type? – class? – of person to use a different door than that used by some other? It really got to me. For the next couple of hours it was as though depite there being a 16-valve engine pulling my van rather than a dray horse, I’d accidentally entered an E. M. Forster novel.



April 23rd, 2014 at 10:06am

I wonder how this credit account business started. It’s a pernicious thing. You do a job for a company, and the bigger the company, the longer they take to pay you. I suppose that’s how they got big. And I guess that’s why rich folk are mean.

Anyway, as a one-man band and as a semi-retired tradesman who can’t be arsed to chase invoices, I don’t offer credit. Most people understand when I note that I will require payment on completion. Some people – company people usually – are perlexed; and some have the cheek to get cross:

‘And how will you be intending to pay?’

‘Well, won’t you invoice us?’

‘I will be very happy to give you a detailed and dated receipt, but I will need paying on completion of the job.’

‘So you can’t invoice us?’

‘I can invoice you, but will you be paying me on the day?’

‘No. Of course not. We’ll pay in 30 to 45 days depending on the month end.’

‘So you want me to lend you a couple of hundred quid for a month. I think you’re confusing a locksmith with a bank.’


life, politics ,

Emptying The Cellar

April 19th, 2014 at 9:53am

In addition to lots of time spent in hot water to try to ward off back problems, I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time wearing a dust mask. Although we’ve lived here for getting on twenty years, we’ve never quite gotten around to clearing or cleaning the pretty disgusting cellar that the previous occupants bequeathed to us. So, as part of the moving the shed endeavour, I need more cellar space.

The first thing was a horrible old non functioning fridge-freezer in the corner. The trouble was that either the floor has risen or the ceiling has fallen – London huh – built on shifting sands. The only way it was coming out was in pieces. Luckily my day job requires two portable but fearsome cutting machines. So I chopped the fridge in half. And before you draw in a gasp of horror, I managed to do it without cutting into any of the pipework and without releasing any Freon. It was so old that, a) it actually probably would have been Freon (it’s not any longer) but b) there was probably no refrigerant left anyway. Then I was able to drag it out of the cellar and off to the local recycling centre, where they didn’t bat an eyelid. There must be lots of people who cut fridges in half.

entertainment, life ,

Lathe Moved

April 18th, 2014 at 5:55pm

Number one son was home from university for the weekend so I got him to help me move the lathe. We used shoulder straps and temporary legs under the lathe. Nonetheless, it was a hell of an effort. I shall be spending the next few days in a hot bath with ibuprofen to try to ward off any back twinges.

Mind you, it’s never the things you expect that do your back in. Last time I was laid up with a bad back, it was caused by putting my socks on.

entertainment, life ,

Saw Table

April 17th, 2014 at 7:49am

As part of my burgeoning interest in proper woodworking, I’ve made a table saw. The recurring thing that videos of people’s woodworking shop demonstrated was that everyone who makes anyting serious has a table saw. Now, I can’t afford £1000, but struggling with hand-held circular saw and panel saw wasn’t working. And the jigsaw is a non-starter; I don’t see how anyone does anything accurate with a jigsaw. So I made a table saw.

On the positive side, what a difference! So many jobs become possible and way easier. I made it so that the fence I’d already constructed for the router table fitted. I made a crosscut sled as well.

On the negative side, even with the guard, it’s terrifying. I’ve just bought a can of red spray paint and have coloured the guard and the throat red.

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