Monday, March 19, 2012

More Sacrilege

Well this week I'm left, Cinderella-like, here at Alf Towers - which usually means I get some solid, uninterrupted workshop time. That was the plan. Then on Saturday I managed to pull something-or-other in my back, and now it's not the plan quite so much. Sigh. I wouldn't have minded if it had been caused by lifting some heavy baulk of Southern Yellow Pine or summat - but I was moving a packet of sausages from one freezer drawer to another. Double sigh.

But let that be a warning, kids. Sausages really are bad for you...

However, the Saturday before last, I did manage a little light rust hunting, and succumbed to my mumblefourthmumble hand cranked grinder. I confess I fell for the solidity of the tool rest on it; I know nothing of Fabrex Tools Ltd except they also seem to have made a solid-looking wheel brace as well.

Not to mention the little built-in drill bit grinding rest. Cool. Of course I've never reground a drill bit in my life, and had hitherto had absolutely no plans to start, but that's not the point.

Only hitch-ette with the solidity of the tool rest, is it's brought about by a nifty slide-y dovetail-y groovy set up - that does not tilt.

So ideally I wanted another, tilt-y rest that could pop over the top, and yet get out of the way when a 90° grind - or a newly sharpened drill bit - was required. At which point I had a bit of a brainwave about what to use to make one, that'd not only provide a nice robust surface, but also an effective heat sink.

Can you tell what it is? Are you ready?

The easily shocked might be best to turn away now.

No, really, I mean it.

Well I warned you...

Yes, it's the toe of a #4 1/2.

It wasn't a good #4 1/2 of any pedigree at all. More to the point, I already have a task for the rest of the body, so otherwise this bit'd go to waste. It's a Good Thing, honestly.

Also, cast iron really is the loveliest stuff to tap. It's a wildly inaccurate description, but I can't help thinking of it as somehow "buttery". Lovely stuff. And really, it's probably just as well I get out this desire to tap threads in plane bodies on stuff like this, isn't it, boys and girls? Yes, I rather think it is.

Anyway, works a treat; little bit higher on the wheel than ideal, but a necessary evil to avoid the existing rest and still have a tilt range. Best of all, the half lap for the base went together "just so" right off the saw, which cheered me up no end. Of course I was extra happy to get to the woodworking bit, metalwork being a ghastly, dirty business which I like not at all. No wonder amateur woodworking seems to overflow with engineers; blessed relief to them to be clean for once, I should think... ;)


  1. Hmmm...

    How about a nose for this one???


  2. Cool, now I'm looking for an old plane.

    Cheers Pedder

  3. That is simply hilarious.

    Better than Schwartz taking a hammer to a vintage plane.

  4. That's very Innovative! I'm impressed. You seem to have a lot of such things laying around, so why not? Seems to me, that's a big Tip to Remember! Thanks, Alf.
    -Barb Siddiqui


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