Work Tomorrow, Yippee!

My doctor has finally agreed to allow me back to work, for light duties only, but back to work none the less. It has been a long time coming. My shoulder is getting stronger every day. I can now manage tasks I found impossible only a few weeks ago. Things like switching on a light, or locking my hands behind my head, or even pulling on a pair of boxer shorts evenly. It’s the small things that matter most.
I have been managing to get out to the shed on a one day on, two days off basis, for a couple of weeks now too. I’ve turned a few practice pieces, nothing to write home about. At the same time however, I have been muddling away at a project I started last year which I had to shelve due to other circumstances. (previously mentioned here)
I normally aim to complete one project each year, that I have never seen anywhere else. Things like my gumball machine, my giant hourglass etc.

Last year’s project would have been this:


A wooden model of a Showman’s traction engine. The music is sampled from a calliope incidentally, not from the model. I had enough trouble making the electronic module for the canopy lighting. The vast majority of the parts have been turned from a variety of timbers. There is beech, elm, oak, teak, yew, laburnum, and rhododendron in the turned parts; pine and bamboo for the wheel spokes; and the canopy is made from plywood and tongue depressor sticks.
The supports for the canopy are stainless steel tubes. I could have turned these and filed the spirals into the wood, but drilling them would have made the task impossible. I needed these uprights to be hollow to hide the wiring for the canopy lights.
I am not 100% finished, I still need to get a drive belt for between the “generator” and flywheel, and to fit an on/off switch.
The flywheel turns and is attached to a crankshaft which in turn is connected to a pair of con-rods. The con-rods push a pair of pistons in and out of the block. If I manage to find a suitable drive belt, the plan is for the small motor inside the generator turning to drive the flywheel. The result will be a reverse of what happened in the steam engine, but I think the engine clattering away as the lights flash should finish it off nicely.

Front #1
Front view
Side Full
Side view
Back #2
Back view

I am also nearing completion of a second project, which should be ready for reveal shortly. The second is one I started just before the shoulder went ping. After that, I should be in a position to concentrate on the project for this Summer.
As the saying goes, watch this space.

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