Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Back by popular demand...

... well one mild mutter in the comments box anyway...

Okay, before I bring you all up to speed, a couple of Public Announcements for the benefit of The Reader.

DureEdge bandsaw blades, the forum's choice, are not currently available over 5/8" wide. Apparently the big welding machine has gone kapput so 3/4" and 1" blades are off the menu for the moment. Great timing by yours truly; I've been sitting on an order for two 3/4" blades for months now, and when I finally get around to it...? Oh well, I'm trying out the 5/8" instead. About a week's delay on delivery apparently. Heigh ho.

Highbury Nexus, publishers of The Woodworker and Practical Woodworking, were put into receivership on Friday. Good news is it looks like the mags have already been off-loaded to another publisher. Presumably the Ally Pally Show is safe - simply because it's too close to the date to cancel - but if you've not bought tickets yet, perhaps exercising a little caution and buying on the door might be advisable.

That's all with the serious stuff, but for light relief, I'll tell you what happened to me in Truro this morning. Just for once, there were tools in the flea market (five stalls this morning). And what does my wondering eye behold? No less a thing that a North Brothers Yankee drill. The one with the 5 position ratchet! I can't recall if it was a 1445 or 1545 (it did say on the seller's label, but you'll soon realise why I forgot which it was). I have long wanted an example of this drill, the gizmocity factor of it being off the scale for a hand drill. I've come close; firstly missing one by a day; secondly finding one sans ratchet selector; so I live in hope that my dream will one day be realised. Was that day going to be today? To hell with New Year's resolutions in that case! It was buffed and shined into the middle of next week, but you can't have everything, and I was prepared to go big on it if I had to. I looked at the label and read the price. I rubbed my eyes and looked again. I looked at the drill again; far from mint condition, clean but no paint left or anything. I looked at the label again.


Seventy-two pounds sterling.

Seventy-two flippin' quid!!

Now I can haggle, but no-one could haggle something down that far. I put the drill down again and walked away in shock - which is why I can't remember exactly what the model number was. There didn't seem an awful lot of point in digging any further into his box 'o tools - finding a working travisher only to see a £150 price tag would have been too much for one day. Heigh ho, at least I'm getting nearer.

As for the planter, well it's done, more or less. You may remember my stupid idea of trying to get away without any clamp pads at the glue up? No? Refresh your memory of where we'd got to here then. Well the result on
just one area, thank goodness, can be clearly seen on the left. Bugger. No matter; a little work with my trusty card scraper later, and voilĂ 

There it isn't. A bit of a swipe with some 240 grit and you'd never know. Well it's not actually perfect, but then about a third of the materials used aren't perfect, so hopefully it won't cause me to grind my teeth every time I see it...

Cutting the blessed thing to fit was rather more problematic than I'd hoped. I measured the inside dimensions with my Amazing Telescopic Pinch Rod - the uninitiated sometimes mistake it for a broken radio aerial - but I must have been slightly too generous in my cutting. so I was trimmin' and fittin' for far too long. Cutting the corner notches round the legs was easy though; about the only time I use a Japanese saw these days, and what an excellent smooth cut on that ghastly ply. Don't get me started on cutting ply. By the time I've set up the saw horses, dug out the saw, the guide and the vacuum and generally gone mad to make one or two cuts, I start to think wistfully of tablesaws... The moment passes, 'cos I just don't cut enough ply to make the moment last long enough to be dangerous, but honestly, what a palaver.

I haven't actually bored any holes in the ply or applied any finish, but I have my reasons. Although I may have built it as a planter, I know my folks too well, and there's a chance they may want to use it for some other purpose. Heaven knows what, but I've been caught before, so holes can be bored when it's been decided if they're wanted, as can varnish be applied. I'll try and get a decent piccy of it all done tomorrow.

Now all I'm left with is a workbench I can't use until I tidy it up - again. Honestly, what a pickle. I really must get out of the habit of tossing stuff down any old where when I'm concentrating on something else. Gott in himmel, I've just noticed there's a L-N chisel nestling against a plastic-handled screwdriver! How shaming is that...

And finally, I succumbed to buying GWW - yes, okay, so almost certainly 'cos of the tip. I'm human, ain't I? And for the record, I did actually send it in with my proper name an' all. It's not my fault it sounds like an idea from someone from Ooop North with a flat 'at and a whippet... But enough of that. Why aye, bonny lad, I'm away down t'pit.


  1. She's baaack...

    Nice fit on the ply bottoms, even if it did strain all rationale thought and tempt towards the tailed appliance. [Well, I would have used my BS probably anyway.]

    Too bad on the NB drill. Perhaps you'll find on in 2007? [g]. Congrats on the published tip, too.

    fwiw, I rarely use larger than a 1/2" blade for both resawing and general purpose on my BS anymore. I saw thin veneers, accurate tenons, et al with it. Even cuts ply.

    Take care, Mike

  2. Glad you bought GW because of your hint instead of the cover! You've seen me in person, Alf. Do I REALLY look like that? ;)

  3. Well, Phil, did I run screaming from the Westpoint exhibition hall? I did not. Ergo: no, you can't really look like that... Next time, ask if you can demo the cover gift ;~) BTW, have your background gloats caught up with you? Two readers asking for cheaper tools to be featured I notice... ;~P

    Mike, well I used to use a 1/2" for everything too, on my old benchtop BS. I just went with what the DureEdge chap recommended, on the basis he knows his blades better than I.

  4. "Demo the cover gift"-what a great idea! (Incidently, Mike, it was a dust mask)
    Nick at GW asked me if I'd like to make a project using only budget tools. I replied that I have spent the last few years replacing my Power Devil beauties with better tools.
    So thats a no, then!
    By the way, any luck on the travisher front?

  5. Alf, thanks for the radio aerial tip - must find and old radio to rob :)

    Just out of interest, how much would you say the drill was worth?



  6. Tsk, Phil. I'm seriously considering relying on my trusty Power Devil angle grinder to get me out of this travisher quandry - flippin' messy though... I did notice Toolstation have a dirt cheap, allegedly malleable iron, shave that maybe I could bring myself to destr-, er, alter. If only I could find a tuit, I might have a go at making something myself...

    Tony, funnily enough the aerial tip was in GWW many years ago. As for the drill, to be fair I don't actually know its value, but I think it's a fair assumption that no buffed-up example is going to be worth that much. Perhaps a rare hand drill, mint in box, would be worth that, but I doubt it. I'd be interested to know otherwise though, if such is the case.


Owing to vast quantities of spam this blog is getting, I'm afraid only registered users can post. All comments are moderated before publication, so there may be some delay. My apologies.