Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bead and Wheels

I like beads; indeed I've written on the matter and how much I like them before. Many are the sizes and variety of bead-making tools Chez Alf. Unfortunately absolutely none of them were any good for the kind of bead I needed in order to make some Do It Yourself Spectacle Chain fittings. I needed a bead with a hole. Like a Polo, but less minty.

Now any self-respecting workshop (Or, in my case, any shameful workshop) has a stash of Things That Will Come In Handy. I have one or two - or maybe four - plastic tubs of the assorted small "You Never Knows" of this variety, but Tobacco Tins of Things is the classic Old School method. I know this because I have several of those too. Tool chests are rich pickings for these, and as a couple of contents of tool chests have darkened these doors, the tobacco tins have stacked up. So I was fairly confident of finding something bead-like.

I hunted amongst the shirt collar stiffeners, the razor blades, the Blakeys, the uncut Yale keys, the Vacant/Occupied door bolt, and so forth, but no beads or bead-like objects. Okay then, how about a suitable nut of the "and bolt" variety? Not zinc plated, methinks, but something in stainless steel or, ooo, brass? Just as I was about to dig out my box o'brass bits, my eye fell on something in amongst the upholstery tacks and fibre washers.

Something with a hole in it that otherwise looked kinda like a straw boater. Or a train wheel.

If the Reader will cast his or her mind back to, um, last January (Really? Gosh, how time does insist on flying) and my acquisition of an older Millers Falls #2 hand drill. Missing the Little Rail Road Car Wheel that bears on the main gear wheel, wasn't it? Have I done anything about it yet? Have I heck. But would this fortunate find fit?

Well yeah, it does. Kinda. It's not the clever cam adjustment design of the original, and I think it's going to need some tweaking once I've tried it under load, but it's definitely a start and 100% better than nothing at all.

Maybe sometimes the tool gods do give us suckers an even break. Just once in a while, to keep us guessing.

Yes, you'll have noticed I found the box o'brass bits too - a couple of M4 nuts seemed just the ticket to fulfil my original quest. Next, the O-rings to go with them.


  1. Alf, At your local bike shop you might find a small brass "olive" used in hydraulic brakes. It's a brass bead with a hole in it that might be just what your looking for.

  2. Ah, would never have thought of that, Dohnn; thank you. I think probably my mum will be thinking more of something a little more in the jewellery bead line - which shouldn't be a problem as we seem to be as rich in shops for that sort of thing as we are poor in timber merchants around here. Sigh.


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