First Turning 2020

I really needed to tidy my shed. It has been used mainly for cutting timber (and mdf) for the house, so rubbish has accumulated on the floor, and I didn’t tidy it away. The garden incinerator has been busy, mainly because I wouldn’t put that muck anywhere near the log stove.
My lathe bed was covered in surface rust, due to the high moisture content in the metal shed. First off, was a going over with the random orbit sander to polish the rust off, followed by a coat of paste wax. The lathe bed got a coat of wax at the end of the Summer however, so I’m not holding my breath.
I now have a dehumidifier running 24/7, which takes about a litre of water out of the atmosphere in a week. Once the worst of the wet weather is past, I plan to insulate the roof, and install a vapour barrier.

Turn it up!

When we were out walking the dog last year we happened across a barrel stave outside the cooperage we walk past. It actually looks like a dog hasbeen chewing on it.
It is a sorry sight on the outside, but once cut into, the beauty of the oak is revealed.
I’ve cut a few pen blanks from the stave, and marked them for later. Amazingly, the sharpie pen barely penetrates the fibres.
Turned to just slightly bigger than the brass tubes. I like a slim pen. I’ve done comfort fit pens in the past to suit individuals on request, but tend to do plain and slim for stock.
I bought these gunmetal pen parts online, and over-all I do like the finish. The supplied refills however are crap. One in three actually work. I’m assuming they are old stock and have dried up.
I need to buy some refills for pens I make. Nothing worse than buying a pen that doesn’t work properly.

I’m working on another project which will hopefully be finished next week – if the remaining parts arrive. This is not a turning project however, and is completely useless.

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Finally! A fireplace.

This renovation malarkey is taking time. Between working full time and living in it, it’s not easy to get a run at stuff.
We now have the front room finished though, finally.
Most important, the stove looks great.
Img_7098I need to get the tripod out and level the camera to take the photo properly. It all looks off-level. The hearth looks like it’s got a curve in it too, which must be something to do with the lens.
All in all I’m happy though. Another job completed.

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Putting the Tools to Work

Not turning related, but I made good use of all the new tools today. We recently had a log stove installed, and need a mantle for above it. We visited Scottish Wood today, and brought home a lovely piece of elm.

I cut it to size, planed, then thicknessed it. I then used a rounding over bit in the router to soften the edges before sanding it to 800grit. It was given 3 coats of polyurethane satin varnish.


I just need to get it mounted now.
Once it’s all in place, I may treat the world to a photo.

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Back in the saddle

The past couple of weeks have been quite exciting for me. I have some new and new to me power tools, some new to me turning chisels, and got some turning done at the weekend.
I now have a decent bandsaw for cutting up blanks, and other timber.
I also have a Tormek sharpening system, which makes a huge difference to the edge on my tools. I never would have believed how much of a difference.
I also bought a planer/thicknesser, and a biscuit jointer for other upcoming projects.

My first turning in many, many months is another quaich which was commissioned last week. I’m trying a new design, yin/yang is the name of this one.
I’m leaving the crack, unless the customer wants it filled. I would much rather leave all the blemishes in place, to show the material is natural.
Timber is sweet chestnut, and the finish is polyurethane.

All of the turning tools, although not brand new, were all still in the original packaging, with factory grinds.
These appear to be completely unused. I sometimes wonder why people buy tools then never use them.
These were also in the original packaging. The detail gouge looks like it has been sharpened on the Tormek. The edge was like a razor.

I’m looking forward to getting back to turning regularly now my appetite has been whetted.

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The end of an era

I spent yesterday collecting the last of my stuff from the steel container I had as my workshop before we moved home.
It was a bittersweet moment really. I had some really good times turning in there, but on the other hand we are far happier where we live now. The new shed is bigger, and much more convenient.
The container is sold to a good friend who will use it for storage.
Now I need to find somewhere to store my stock of timber. It will have to sit outside under cover until I build a permanent store.
I was surprised how well some of it has dried, considering it was straight off’f the trees a couple of years ago. I expected it to be horribly split having been sat indoors in a steel box.

I guess time will tell, whether it has started to rot inside or not.

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Almost There

The kitchen reno has taken a lot longer than it would have taken 20 years ago. Anyone would think I’m getting old. lol
I’m reasonably happy with progress though. Just some painting, boxing in to manufacture, caulking round the edges, and the floor to tile. I’m not looking forward to lifting the old tiles, but if they come up as easily as the bathroom ones then happy days. If the botched jobs of previous contractors are anything to go by……..
Transition #4
The transormation even takes me by surprise when I walk in the door.
Transition #3
Anyone would think it’s a different house.
Transition #2
At least the hideous chicken vein tiles are all gone now.
Transition #5
Hopefully it will be finished before my birthday next month, but if not so what? We have to live in it. That’s what is holding me up most. If I had a clear run at it over several days it would be much quicker.
I have to work to pay for it all though.

Once the kitchen is complete, I will take a few weeks off to get back out to play in my shed and maybe do some turning.

Baby steps

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We now have a ceiling in the kitchen! Go me!
You know you’re starting to age when you struggle to hold a sheet of plasterboard above your head and screw it in place. I managed the first sheet on my own, but had to give in and draft our Son in to help with the rest.
To date, I have single-handedly:-

  1. Taken down the old ceiling
  2. Installed new wiring for cooker, power, lights, smoke/heat alarms, central heating, TV aerial, telephone, disconnected old lighting circuit & connect new recessed pot lights.
  3. Knocked through for the extractor and installed ducting
  4. Plastered and made good damaged surfaces
  5. Re-structured ceiling to allow for supporting metric plasterboard
  6. Taped and filled ceiling
  7. Painted ceiling
  8. Removed/re-hung kitchen cabinets to allow access

Next step is to start putting Humpty back together again. Hopefully the materials will appear over the weekend to allow me to continue.

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