Sunday, 24 November 2013

Day Five

 Removing the last of the masonite from the internal kitchen walls revealed a very small section of Baltic Pine lining boards above the door. All beading done by hand with moulding planes

 All the termite damaged walls removed and the roof structure propped. Good Summer air conditioning.

Our eventual view out the kitchen window towards Mt. Macedon.

Day Four

Moving layers and layers of concrete…..

Termite infested bushes, trees and tank stand

Revealing the original ground level when built.
 Reinforced by finding a very old spoon drain

And finding that the stone foundations had been rendered as a finished face, which was obviously visible. Note the termite damage in the bottom plate.
 These hardwood floorboards came out of the kitchen. You can see the felling axe cuts in what would have been the side of the log, before being sawn.
 Same board with the bark still on the underside.
On this pit sawn board you can clearly see the last inch which was split off rather than being sawn. Old stuff.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Three for three

Just before 5pm yesterday afternoon, I  passed 3 Coopers Pale Ale bottles to the owners of 3 newly made Perches. Our first 3 person Perch class was a great success and the results speak for themselves. A great finished product and 3 happy makers.

While this class was going on I also had a bit of a play around making a Travisher too. I've had a set of traditional travisher irons for some years now. When I say traditional irons, I mean the sort that have the  tapered 'stalks' which wedge in to the body of the Travisher body, as opposed to a blade that is screwed to the body, like say Peter Galbert's version.

Don't ask me why I decided to make one at this particular time, it just seemed like a good idea at the time.

I think, because I thought it would just be a rough mock up, I picked up a bit of American Oak and scribed a line around a very old Travisher that I bought from Patrick Leach a while ago. I then overlaid the outline of the Travisher Iron and adjusted the curve of the sole a little to suit.

 Oak is obviously not the ideal material. But it was what was staring at me at the time.

I then drilled two 4mm holes for the iron stalks and roughed out the shape on the bandsaw, making sure that I left the underside, as you see it in the photo above, flat. That way it would be easy to clamp and hold the oak while I shaped it further.

From that point I used a 1/8" dovetail chisel to transform the 4mm holes to rectangular to accept the iron. This took a bit of fiddling, to ensure that the iron remained tight, but also was going to seat down deep enough into the body.

At this stage I fully understood why Pete does use a screwed blade, as opposed to a traditional iron. There's just too much margin for error. Fixing the iron without having to drill and fit a square mortise, is a much easier prospect.

But I persisted and finally got the iron fully seated and tight. With the iron in place, I cut out the relief for the shavings behind the iron. I then had a search around the workshop and found a strip of brass, which I fixed in front of the seated iron. ( albeit with Philips Head screws - I didn't have any slot screws the right size! )

With the whole thing looking right, all that was left was to finish shaping the body, which I did on the linisher.

All done and I have to say, for a first try, I'm fairly happy with the result. Bonus was there were three Perch seats in the workshop the day I finished it, so I had plenty of material to trial it with. In fact a couple of the guys used it themselves on their respective seats and gave me a thumbs up on the results.

Here's the new model lined up next to 3 of Pete's tools, the old 1800's tool I based the shape on and James Mursell's Travisher. Mine is not the prettiest, by far, but it was a good experience and I might just get around to fitting the other irons too some time.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

No.3 Lathe sorted.

As promised, the Tough brand lathe from a few posts ago. In its new home and turning a treat.

Day Three

                                     Smoke stained shingle roof from before there was a ceiling

A temporary beam and struts to hold the roof in place while we remove and replace the stud walls.

 Brick wall to the left of the rotted wall. Interestingly 'they' laid the bricks directly onto the bottom plate of the frame. Termites love damp timber and so they ate it. I hope they got a stomach ache.

Above the missing bricks is about a tonne more bricks, which very quickly started to crumble away….. holy s%#*t

I don't know that I have ever laid bricks so quick before. I was squatting in the dirt like a sprinter in the starting blocks. Ready to take off if the whole lot gave way. That should hold it for a while.

Rotten wall below leaking valley gone. And so too the horrid 70's/80's aluminium double sliding door that used to face into this little courtyard. Opening up what would have been the original verandah.

When I first looked at the house I wondered what the original verandah posts must have looked like. Wonder no more. The last remaining post which had been hidden for who knows how long inside a later addition wall. It's 5 inch square with deeply scalloped edges. Nice.

A tonne  or so of detritus, dirt, rocks, half bricks and shingle ends removed from one side of the kitchen floor. This should give some breathing space under the new floor.

Day Two


                                                               Rotting walls.. ( Inside & Out )

                                                               From the Valley above.

                                                   Tops of fireplaces re-exposed

                                           And everything termite eaten removed

                                           Half Pennies and Pennies dating back to 1876, sugar spoons
                                           and tea spoons, buttons and marbles. The lens from a pair of

                                          A token for a free 'cake' of Palmolive Soap…..all relics of life beside the fire.

This pair of tins, Tobacco and Wax Vestas ( matches ) was found behind the weather boards on a noggin, next to the fireplace.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Day One

Lots of Figs...
Lots of work….
Bad holes
A deep hole, 33 ft in fact...

Up and running

Just a little over a week ago I had Emma and James in the workshop to make a pair of Perches and again I was impressed with the quality of the finished product. Given their enthusiasm it was not surprising. I reckon that the format I'm using  for the course is working too. 

An introduction to turning on the first day, culminating in the legs being turned usually just after lunch. Then drilling the three leg holes and sometimes even starting the reaming before the days end. A day of seat carving on the second day and finally turning the two stretchers, drilling legs, glueing up and final touches, rounding out the third and final day.

And so the Tough lathe I bought a few weeks back has been put back into service and is now going to allow us to run a 3 person Perch course.  After running courses for a maximum of 2 people for nearly two years now, I feel that an extra person is no impediment to the smooth running of the courses. It will also help with the back log of interested people who are on waiting lists to attend the workshop to make a Perch. 

With a new linked v-belt fitted and the motor re-wired and fitted to a new stand, it's running as smoothly as you could wish for,  Bolted down to the heavy cast bench there's not so much as a hint of vibration either. Ready for the last Perch class of the year, next weekend. Now I just have to re-arrange the shed to fit it in! 

I'll post a pic of it in its new home soon, or of course you can come and see it for yourself sometime, say when your making a Perch of your own….