Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Woodworm morals

So a four-day weekend been and gone, and glorious sunny weather the whole time. Unbelievable. And I had A Plan. Dig out the timber I'd mentally ear-marked for the saw till doors, hope the ready-planed stuff was still straight and square and if so start on the frames. If not, along with suitable panel material, plane it up to just oversize, allow to acclimatise for a while in the workshop and meanwhile break the back of a few dozen handle-making tuits for chisels and gouges.

Instead of which I've spent the whole time with an absolutely classic, sore-throated, coughing, sneezing, and generally making foul noises day and night, cold. The idea of sawdust didn't not fill me with delight. The idea of sneezing inside the Airshield is not a mental image anyone needs either, so I largely spent the time feeling sorry for myself instead. So as regards the doors, the spirit was willing but the flesh was knackered.

I did manage to get to my first car boot sale in a couple of months on Sunday though. Mainly to give the Old Man a change of scene, cabin fever starting the kick in as it has. He elected to choose that day as his first "one walking stick only" day (cane, 'Murricans), but claimed he hadn't really meant to implement it on the wild plains of Carn Brae. Well regardless of whether he did or didn't, he managed very well. Just rather nerve-wracking for the "carer". Viz; me. As I've found before, when you get out of the way of combing the rust heaps it's always a bit tricky when you begin again, so I was surprised to come away with anything at all. But I did. Click on the pic to take you to the post about it on Traditional Tools.

Managed also to crawl out innto the workshop long enough to have a much over-due sort through the contents of six plastic boxes that contain tools either surplus, waiting to be cleaned or spare parts. Over time the different catergories have become mixed up as I just tried to cram stuff in anywhere it might fit. Well I won't claim I reduced the amount of stuff significantly, but it's better. Except I may have done a foolish thing.

In one box was a wooden jack. Nothing special; the common beech, 2" blade variety, William Marples, but clean and with good grain orientation. When I got it I admit it did have a couple of worm holes, but they looked like flight holes. Well they weren't. Thank goodness these boxes have good tight-fitting lids, 'cos I open the box, go through the other tools and find at the bottom a Swiss Cheese that was formerly a wooden jack plane. Scattered amongst the swarf were the dead bodies of its destroyers. Bum. Well that jack was promptly lobbed out of the workshop (well after the horse had bolted) although I saved the iron, and the dead disposed of. But, friends, it didn't occur to me to wonder if the little blighters had infected any other tools in that box, and by the time that thought had hammered hard enough on my cold-befuddled brain to get in, well I'd completely forgotten what was in there with the jack.

Now I'm certain there weren't any more wooden planes, so that's a Good Thing, and I think most everything else was metal and not going to be troubled. But the nagging worry is planted firmly now and I'm just not 100% sure. So I'm telling myself things like "that plane was bought in a junk place that was in an old, damp chapel. The workshop is dry; Ma Woodworm likes to pick moist, juicy wood for her little darlings, so she wouldn't have thought much of any dry old handles that might have been in that box anyway". "They've got wings - ergo their natural instinct must be to fly off somewhere to have their evil little sprogs. They couldn't fly anywhere, ergo...". "Surely the adult brothers and sisters wouldn't, erm, you know, anyway, would they...? What are the moral standards of the woodworm?"

Go on, laugh. It's my own fault for doing stuff when my head is clouded by a cold - always potentially disastrous. Naturally I'll end up going through it all again, checking for tiny pin holes, and I still won't be sure. So if you do know the habits of woodworm and reckon I'm deluding myself, please, just don't tell me.


  1. I hope you get over the cold soon.... or at least pass it on to the woodworm.


  2. You must have passed your way through Essex at some stage over the weekend, as since saturday evening i've also be laid up with a cold, or 'man-flu' as my delightful SWMBO diagnosed. I put it down to either the quick change of weather, or the number of hours I spent at the router-table with no proper dust extraction.

    Ohwell, atleast I don't have woodworm troubles - sorry to hear about your run-in with the blighters!

  3. Al
    Hope you get better ASAP :)
    Our household has just recovered from a week of sickness and diarrhea - joy!
    Woodworm - sadly, I am no expert on their lifecycle. All I know is this - every new tool that enters the shop is checked for workholes. If any are found it gets wrapped in cling film and popped in the freezer for a couple if days. Get the buggers every time!
    Best wishes,


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