Monday, September 24, 2007

Sticks and String

Is it fair to say that when you reach the point of pivoting slowly on one foot gazing at the scene of devastation and destruction that was your workshop, littered copiuosly with tools waiting to be put away and dust ready to be swept, and being unable to decide what to do next - well would you say that was the moment to stop? On Sunday I decided it probably was, so despite the fact I'm still not finished, stop I did. What with one thing and another it'll probably be on hold now this week. Not so good that there are tools still lying about though - Houston, we have a problem. A leak in the workshop roof. :-( Just as well I got the drill press moved before the rains came again 'cos otherwise it wouldn't have been in the Splash Zone. As 'tis, it was just anti-fatigue matting that was getting wet until I put a bucket there. Heigh ho; builder will have to be asked nicely to come and fix it 'cos nobody chez Alf is volunteering to go and play on any roof just now.

So back to the alledged Wheelwright, but more probably Coachbuilder's tools. Being a stinker I'm still holding out on the planes and such, but instead some marking stuff and, for the hell of it, hammers and such.

Now what does your eagle-eye notice about this motley collection? Apart from the fact they're not all hammers. Seemed to me there was a definite bias towards shorter hammer handles. A predilection of this particular chap, or a feature found amongst all his breed? I know not, but marked it none the less. Also in there is a Moore and Wright triangular scraper - what I always assume to be a bearing scraper but have yet to be bothered to double-check. Big old cabinetmaker's screwdriver too, but ground for the smallest screw slot. Perhaps reach was required? Again, I know not, but it's interesting to speculate. And will some nice reader call me a doofus and point out what that darn wheel onna-stick bottom right is for? Wheels with points I know about, but this one I'm not even sure where to start.

The clamp doo-dah is a funny one. Not until after I'd taken the pic did it dawn on me what it was for (the name "Ilford" gave me the initial hint) although goodness knows how it came to be in with the tools. Needs a good clean up, but it may actually come in handy. Anyone for House Points with the correct answer?

The other hitting implement is a mallet. Classic "it's a wheel felloe" mallet head shape to delight the student of tool design and how surroundings effect it.

The marking and measuring is remarkable for there being not one rule in the lot, although they're the sort of things that do walk so perhaps not so remarkable. But lo! My first pair of recognisable Winding Sticks! 13" long, 12", 5/8" mahogany. No inlaid contrasting wood here though - paint I think. :-) Then 12" and 6" try squares and, unusually, 6" and 3" Engineer's squares too. Whether they're still square time and testing will tell. A rather crummy vernier caliper and a somewhat seized-up Stanley #18 sliding bevel; the latter fills in a gap in my "how many ways can you lock a sliding bevel" selection which is probably cause for celebration. Or embarrassment...

In the middle we have a string line; terribly Seaton Tool Chest and something I've meant to make for myself this many a year. There are firm joint internal and external calipers as well as the wing dividers, but they got overlooked. Salaman's Dictionary suggests that perhaps the top dividers count as "Lancashire Pattern" but I'm not sure. There are so many different designs of these types of tool I can't keep up. Last but not least a couple of mortise gauges, and even still in useable condition which makes a change. The only other gauge I've found is a homemade one which looks well-used; also evidence of more thriftiness in that the cutter is the stump of an old chisel.

And finally - a plea to those folks who entered the draw for the Lee Valley catalogue but didn't win. Could you drop me an email again please? I have news that may be to your advantage, but like a chump I deleted your entries.


  1. Your Ilford clamp thingy is for mounting a camera. A tripod without the tri.

    What did I win!


  2. From where I'm sitting the wee clamp widget looks like a miniature tripod for a camera to be clamped to a tabletop or some such. :)

    Cheers MikeR

  3. Ooo, within three minutes of each other - very impressive! House Point a piece ;)

  4. And Earls comment wasn't even there when I started typing mine, hows that for close:) Ta for the Lee Valley bible btw. Have started writing my Christmas wish list.
    Cheers MikeR


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