Thursday, 21 November 2013

Funeral yesterday for a young friend who had decided that he was no longer for this earth. A very moving farewell with lots of children and lots of tears.

Elliot was the most gentle of men - always remembered, his smile was pure sunshine.

RIP Elliot Longhorn

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Back in business!

A new , bigger culvert has been constructed under the road outside the front of the house so hopefully we will not be flooded again. They are tarmacing on Monday, this will take a week and the road should be re-opened after that. It's been over three months now since they started work and although it was a bit of a novelty at first it wore of a month or so ago.

The caravan has been sold, it being a bottomless pit down which we threw money. Also, I am beginning to find lengthy driving spells a mite uncomfortable with my dodgy back. We will both miss our frequent - and sometimes lengthy stays - in beautiful Dorset but things move on and we now find we have the option of exploring other destinations albeit in short hops.

The last place we visited a few weeks back was Lincoln and we both enjoyed the splendid cathedral. A cobbled street nearby leading to the city centre was named "Steep Hill". We both had a case of "laughing knees" walking down the hill and no, we did not walk back up, we got the bus!


I have added another nice steam model to my collection. I never had a part in making this, I just bought it because I liked it. It is a seven cylinder radial engine and is fully working. It stands around 24cm high and is very handsome.


It works very briefly here:
Have replaced the small machining centre with new, larger machinery in the tool room and this will allow me the flexibility of machining larger models. A larger lathe, a milling machine and a floor standing metal cutting band saw will allow me to do battle with bigger chunks of metal.

 The radial engine and the new machines are here:

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

You must remember this....................

Listening to the radio yesterday I heard a mention of something called "The Scarlet Road Study" which is an online website that deals with older folks memory problems.

 Wife has made a number of remarks recently that my memory is worsening and as I am of that age I looked up the website and undertook a questionnaire to determine if I was a suitable candidate for the study.

 When I had answered all the questions the robot inquisitor informed me I was not a suitable candidate for the study.

 After, I told wife what I had done and she asked me what the questions were. I had to admit that I couldn't remember.

 Laugh? ------ we cried!!!!!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Kitchen trashed

New kitchen gets fitted starting tomorrow so here in the conservatory we have new dish washer, ovens, hob everything - including the kitchen sink - piled high. The dining room is piled high with the stuff from the old kitchen and a man with a big hammer will demolish the old kitchen in the morn.

So as I sit typing this surrounded by boxes of new kitchen fittings, camping tables behind me laden with kettle, mugs, condiments, tea, sugar etc. and a pasting table supporting microwave, toaster etc. - what with this and the dining room it's looking like a very big car boot sale. So I should feel at home then?.............NOOOOOOO!
"Its like posh camping", I tell Lyn and I think it makes her feel a bit better (I hope)!

But phooey! - after the flood back in June this is peanuts - and it will all be done and dusted within five days.

Lovely sunshine today though.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Silver Birch

Its been pretty much sub-zero around here all week and the forecast is for several days of snow as of tonight. So we out today for shopping and intend battening down the hatches until it all goes away.

I did have to stop the car and take this pic of a very silver birch. The cold is certainly harsh but it can have its rewards when it produces results like this.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Opus Machina

A couple of months back I made contact with a bloke who had made a model steam engine and had offered it for sale. Normally I would not buy such an item but it had a huge flywheel and I cannot machine anything that size.

The engine design owes a lot to Stan Brays "Opus Proximum" but my engine is different enough for me to rename it "Opus Machina" (because it took me a long time to remake it!)

To cut a long story short, I paid the man for his engine but made a big mistake by not taking my reading specs with me. It was only later that day I was able to closely examine the engine with my proper specs on that I realised what a hopeless mess I had bought. It looked like it had been made by a blind chimpanzee. Some of the best finishes had been achieved with a hacksaw or a blunt parting of tool - yes, it was that bad! The sharp edges on the flywheel would have sliced bacon.

So, over the last few months I have ripped it apart and re-machined parts that could be machined and made new parts that could not be re-machined.

The only thing I have not touched is the cylinder assembly - I hardly dare imagine what it looks like inside. Just to give you an idea though, the valve chest is secured with 4BA screws. Trouble is - he'd stripped the threads on one of the holes - his solution? He super glued a 6BA screw in its place.

I have heard some horror stories about chaps buying others "works of art" but I never thought I would end up being a sucker as well.

Never mind though, it's kept me occupied over the last few months and doesn't look half bad now sitting on my desk.

This is a good example of the original finish before I started work.

This is my refurbed job.