Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Saddle up

Tsk. This week's gone somewhat pear-shaped so far, so progress has come to a grinding halt - as has Blogging. But let's bring everything up-to-date.

Saturday saw me taking the plunge and starting on the saddling. First I drew round my template to mark the size and shape. Then 2" in from that to deliniate the rim where the sticks will go - eventually. I hope. Then 2" in from that to indicate the "adze" area. I debated at length whether to do a JB and cut the seat to shape first, but in the end went with DL instead. At this stage anyway.

I didn't use an adze of course.; enter the gouge and mallet instead. I started in the centre, and then realised I might have fouled up the pommel with my first cuts. D'oh. Looking again I'm fairly sure I haven't, but I altered my approach to avoid it just to make sure. The gouge was acting like a champ, but I soon remembered why I don't carve; I'm lousy at removing the the stuff I don't want. Much better at adding the stuff I do.

After a lot of mallet work and considerable returning to a honing-soap-charged MDF wheel to fettle the edge of the gouge, it started to look like something. I confess I placed it on a handy low surface and tried it out for comfort. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

By way of practice, I went so far as to use the mutilated #51 and travisher on the supposed "adzed" bit, just to try them out. The travisher is brill; the #51 less so... All that took me an inordinately long time, I fear, and I knew my unaccustomed self was going to hear all about the mallet-wielding on Sunday if I did any more.

So instead I finished cleaning up the Millers Falls spiral ratchet screwdriver. Not a good pic, but Picasa isn't playing ball tonight to help me edit it... The plating had to go from the shaft, which was a bit of a shame, but on the other hand I have no objection to the brass showing. My other two older Yankees have similar scars of battle, aka "don't look now but your brass is showing". Naturally I couldn't resist polishing it (how could the daughter of a Naval gunnery offficer and granddaughter of a Royal Marine be otherwise?) but it'll tarnish just nicely in no time. The handle had to be sanded right back, but I had a brainwave and used some very old Rustins red "Colour Glaze" on it which, with a little wax to cut back some of the newness, has given rather an effective worn-but-clean look.

Sunday morning I woke up and thought "hey, I'm not aching like crazy! Cool". By the time I'd dealt with the parrots and eaten my breakfast I was conscious of a dull ache in my forearm. By the end of washing up my breakfast gubbins I was going "Ow" and deciding the workshop wasn't for me that day. I simply don't get the mallet time on the clock in the usual run of things to be used to it. But on the plus side I did a lot of tidying of the website that's been needing attention for months instead. Nothing spectacular, but irritating housekeeping that takes time but will reap rewards in the future. I still really need to do something about toolchest pages though...

Monday. What did I do on Monday? Oh yes, I know. But the pictures are still in the camera and Picasa isn't playing ball tonight... Tomorrow, maybe.

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