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Monday, 4 March 2013

A much needed project.

Small Faceplate and Banjo
Side View
Underside of Table
Table in situe
Bits I used out of the scrap box
Table Drawing
I have neglected the workshop these past few weeks but now the fine weather is starting to show and spring seems to be in the air, all I want to do is get outside either sketching, gardening or in the workshop with the doors open. The winter pastime of sitting in front of the computer is now relegated to the still dark evenings when the television has nothing to offer, (Friday was an exception to this, wasn’t Brenda exceptional, such a talent, and to think she comes from our hometown, and a few doors away from where I was brought up.) what happens when we turn the clocks back in a few weeks time is anybodies guess.
So, something I have been meaning to do for a long time now has occupied me for the last couple of days out in the workshop, so I must apologise to all for not posting during this time.
Many years ago I was I suppose fortunate enough to purchase an old woodturning machine, in the many years of my working life I had often wondered if I could turn my hand at turning a piece of wood into something of use.
Wandering round a local market one weekend tucked away in the corner of a stall was a very rusty old machine that had obviously been neglected over many years, it was in bits, presumably for easy transportation and now forgotten by the stallholder with piles of books and a lot of other paraphernalia covering it from view. With trepidation, because money was rather tight in those days, I cautiously asked him ‘how much’ and was surprised to hear him say £80 and there were a few chisels to go with it. Bearing in mind I had previously looked at machines on sale and found them to be way out of my reach price wise, the cheapest being in the range of three to four hundred pounds even in those days and dismissed the venture out of hand until I had come up on the pools, or a very distant relation that I hadn’t heard of left me in their will a sum of money.
I remember thanking him and walking away out side to think, ‘where can I get £80 from?’ Needless to say with the help of the little lady in doors we came up with the money and I have never looked back, spending many hours repairing and refurbishing that machine to its former glory to the envy of many since. It was a Myford! Beautifully engineered in the first place to a standard that today is totally unheard of, ‘British Made’ and built to last. But . . . . . . . . . . . .
I soon discovered the accessories needed to complete many of the operations in turning cost more than the machine, this is still the case today with the modern machines on sale and being made in far away countries are not in any way finished to the standard of my old Myford. So I set about making all the bits and chucks to fit my machine, a task that I have enjoyed over many hours, giving satisfaction to a hobby far greater than I could have dreamed of. For those that are in the know, I have even acquired a compound slide that is extremely accurate, some saying that it is cheating, but my lids fit to a thousands of an inch ……every time! Even the chisels I have made, collecting pre war old discarded ones and turning them into whatever shape that I needed at the time, making brand new boxwood handles to a shape that fitted my hands. To say I haven’t bought parts would be wrong and telling porkies, but the first thing I ask myself is ‘Can I make it? And if I can then that is the route I take, keeping my precious savings for a rainy day.
Something that I have been meaning to make for quite a long time now is a small table to fit into the ‘banjo’ on the bed and it had to be accurate. I have an old ‘Picador’ 14” sanding disk with an ancient twin tub motor attached (Pre 1960) that has served me well over all this time, but its big and also heavy kicking up a lot of sawdust so its wise to use it outside because of the dust. Turning a small 3” aluminium faceplate to fit the headstock with a sacrificial hardwood front I found it necessary to have a small table in the ‘banjo’ to hold the work I was sanding, this is the project I have been working on these last couple of days.
Any questions, please feel free to email me. I have included one of my primitive drawings that I made before starting; everything used was out of the scrap box and didn’t cost me a farthing, (that’s old money, the real stuff )   
For those of you that are interested in my sketches, I have started one that is taking me a little longer than normal, and will post it sometime this week when it is finished.
Thanks for stopping by.  

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