Tuesday 20 September 2016

Rotary table extension

I can see a job coming up shortly which is going to be to big to fit on my six inch rotary table. 

A quick look on Ebay finds me a large vehicle disk brake which will fit on the rotary table centrally once I have made an adaptor. With a bit of drilling it will get the job done.

The existing adaptor that fits in the centre of the rotary table and is used to fit a chuck on is to small for the brake disk bore and needs another adaptor on top of it to fit the large bore in the brake disk. This is a simple job to do but gives me a chance to try out my new camera – proving that I’ll never make a living behind a lens. Good job I’m retired then what?

I do it here:    

Friday 9 September 2016

Car easy exit rest.

Lyn showed me a gadget the other day she had found online which makes it easier to get out of a car. Rather than buy one I dragged one of these old steel brackets out my scrap box and wrapped it round with a bit of insulation tape to save the paint work...........

hung it over her door catch...........

and bobs your uncle - job done.

With her creaky hips and all it makes it just that little easier to haul herself out of the car seat.

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Steam at Earls Barton

We spent a pleasant few hours at the Earls Barton country fair yesterday where we saw this pretty little fairground engine. It was built in Kings Lyn by Savages in 1896 and was originally named ‘DORIS’ but has now been renamed ‘LYDIA GRACE’ by the present owner.

It would have powered a roundabout carrying 45+ people and would have been positioned at the centre of the ride. The small auxiliary steam engine mounted at the front end of the main engine powered the organ. This then is the Savage model five and a half ( 5 ½ )

More info here:

My moving picture here:

Thursday 18 February 2016

Latest work from the toolroom.

I have not posted here in quite a while so here goes. I've had my eye on making a bit of equipment to help sharpen some of my engineering cutting tools for some time. It was designed by a chap called Harold Hall and I have made it to his design but with a few extras.

This piece of equipment is used as a universal tilting tool rest in conjunction with an ordinary bench grinder. The table is four inches square to give you a sense of size. It can be rotated and angled in any direction to suit the tool being sharpened. I still need to make a range of accessories to go with it before it can be properly useful and that will be the next part of this ongoing project but for now I am pleased that the most important part is complete.
Everything was made from bits from my scrap box but I made the ball handles using ball bearings I bought on ebay which I silver brazed onto short lengths cut from a guide rod from a scrapped printer . Stainless steel cupboard handles also came in handy.


Sunday 14 June 2015

There's nothing quite as funny as watching a drunk in motion. Look at this lot - completely withered!

Sunday 15 February 2015

...........goodbye Brian.

Today,  Lyns "little" brother Brian went to a better place after a short illness.  In the 'fifties - as now - girls had dolls but Lyn had the real thing. Her mother Pauline had her hands full with a poorly husband,  Lyn's younger sister and brothers, Pat, Trevor and Brian of course, work, and a house to keep, so Lyn became little Brian's surrogate mother.

 I have only known Brian since I met Lyn nine years ago but I do know he was a very popular chap who was liked by his many friends and acquaintances.

Intelligent, clever and sociable, "BJ" will be sadly missed by all who enjoyed his company.

We should take comfort in knowing that he has gone to a place where his trade will place him in the company of the best known carpenter of all - Brian was also a "chippie".



Brian Johnson

1954 - 2014

Saturday 14 February 2015

Alba 1A shaper restoration project

Following the relocation of my workshop to a larger building I found the additional space allowed for the install of a machine which will greatly enhance my machining capabilities.

 I had been keeping an eye open for a second hand metal working shaper for a while when I found this sad little article at - of all places - a car boot sale. The Alba 1A - "Made in England" in 1959 was delivered two weeks later and at approaching half a ton was quite a struggle for the delivery chaps to get into the building.


Over the next two months I choked over white spirit fumes, plastered myself with car body filler and generally splattered paint everywhere. Here she is with her "makeup" applied and finally transformed from mucky little trollop to English rose. I quite fancy her now!


I had already got a tool holder I wanted to use on her but it was to thick to fit so this was going to be an ideal first job for her and a challenge as well as the holder was diamond hard. I machined the required amount from one side then turned it over to do the other.  She may be a lady but  she packs an impressive punch seen here:-