Friday, October 15, 2010

Still Spinning

Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking. The blogging's slipping again. And you're right, it is. Events conspired against me, m'lud.

Firstly, I was good and finally faced up the fact I had to de-rust the bandsaw and planer-thicknesser side of the Maxi in preparation for The Bench Build (See how it's already acquiring worryingly capital letters in my mind? Never a good sign...). Only light rust considering how long they've been left untended, but enough. I employed the random orbit sander and a piece of non-woven abrasive, and frankly had to actively resist going in the house to get my dinner so I could eat it off the bandsaw's table once I'd done. Mmmm, shiny.

Yes, you're quite right. When a person starts getting excitable about the state of her bandsaw table she should probably seek help...

Then, naturally, I bethought me to have a look at the blade. Hmm, getting on a bit. No problem, I have a spare hanging up over there, I'll change it. I prevaricated sufficiently long so I ended up changing it on a Friday. Not a problem. That leaves the weekend before me to make a start on actually breaking down that pile'o'wood. But I also chose to remove the old blade before I'd taken down the old one. And the old one turned out to be the POS one that came with the saw. No spare blade after all.

Now changing bandsaw blades isn't like finding the source of the Nile, but it's not something one wants to do often either. You certainly tend to resist the idea of putting an old one back on for a few days when you know you'll only be taking it off again to put a new one on. So the bandsaw remained hors de combat until Ian at TuffSaws had shown what customer service really is and winged a M42 3tpi skip tooth blade my way in quick time.

In the meantime I had a weekend free to do something useful. Can you say tool cleaning? Obviously I opted to tackle the Record #124 - erring very much on the side of caution. When there was a choice between removing the gunk or leaving the paint/plating, the gunk stayed. The tool gods also decreed the chuck wasn't to come undone for me despite best efforts, so that required a bit of careful negotiation as well to get the jaws working reasonably smoothly. It was probably the most stressful, and to the casual observer, least effective tool clean up I've ever done. But trust me, there's an awful lot of muck that used to be on that drill that isn't there any more. Heck, you can even tell it used to be blue now!

It must have been quite a sight when brand new and shiny. There I go with the magpie tendencies again...

Given that it was obviously well used, the plating on the gear wheel teeth has held up remarkably well.

The jaws are pretty worn though. The smallest bits need not apply.

Naturally enough, I then took it for a spin. By gum, it's got a beautifully light action. I compared it the #123 and that was like driving a tank compared to a nippy little sports car. Not surprising perhaps, given the solid gear wheel vs. the open one, but it was more than that. I have open gear-wheeled Millers Falls and Goodell Pratt and they just don't have the same feeling at all. It's a nice drill. A really nice drill. And luckily I think I know just the place for it to spend a well-deserved retirement.

Anyway, that was about as productive as things got (Although a few more tool refurbs might find their way into these pages once I've recharged the camera). Yup, real life intervened, and just when I'd got shot of that I've managed to do something daft to my shoulder and can't reach for, or lift anything much with my right hand. Superb. So the w'shop time is on hold again, and worse than that, as a result I've had to withdraw from the UKWorkshop Secret Santa. Dunno how long this'll take to clear up, and would hate to leave someone high and dry.

Never mind, I can spend the time revising and re-revising the bench plans. What? You're going so soon...? ;)