Saturday, April 12, 2014

Forging a froe

The ultimate aim of my recent venture into blacksmithing has been to make myself a froe.  A froe is not the sort of thing I can pick up at my local hardware so forging my own has always seemed like a good idea.  I have previously used an improvised froe made from a flat tire lever welded to a round shafted wrench.  The tire lever was only 25mm wide so there was barely enough leverage to open out a split.  The new froe is made from a section of leaf spring 50mm wide.  I started by forging the eye and then drew out the edge, hammering the section down and out to a thin taper, so the the finish width is about 60mm.  One unintended consequence of drawing out the edge is the curve in the blade.  Drawing out the edge also stretched the material along the length of the blade.  If I were to make another I would pre bend the blade to compensate.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rye sailing day

As usual Rye turned on great weather for our regular February sailing day.  A great turn out of about 16 boats, many of which I haven't seen before.  The highlight of the day was being swept up by the couta boat fleet returning to Blairgowrie.

Not so much a sailing day as a beach picnic day one hour at the helm brings my total to 147 hours.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Alma Doepel

After several months occupied as a gentleman of leisure I have recently gone back to full time work to pay my debt to society.  As a result I have been spending less time on line and even less time in my workshop.  I did, however, have the opportunity through the week to visit the Alma Doepel restoration workshop.  The Alma Doepel is a three masted top-sail schooner built in Bellingen in 1903.  She is a shallow drafted ship with two center boards so that she could carry goods along the NSW coast and be able to cross river bars.  Seeing the ship dismantled with all the items cataloged made me realize just how complex a process restoration is.  It would probably be easier to build from scratch.  It's possible the volunteers just just want to maximize their time in such a massive and impressive workshop.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The weirdest workbench you'll ever see.

I have had my engineering vise mounted to a three leg trestle for a while now and find it quite useful.  In my workshop the name of the game is to be able to move things around to suit the job.  The original trestle was welded from 50mm RHS and whilst functional I did notice some flex whilst using the hacksaw.  Having recently been given some heavy 75 x 100mm RHS I decided to make a new matching pair to suit my tinkerers work holding beams.  I haven't decided what to do with the spare post but I might mount my bench grinder on it or fabricate a post vise.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Years in the planning.

I'm getting to the end of my stash of exotic scraps.  It has been a stretch to figure out what to do with some of the smaller pieces but I think it has been worth the effort.  Off cuts from son of tinkerers laminated banjo neck have made some very simple boxes and candle holders.  The cutting board may or may not be teak.  At some stage during the nineties I recovered a broken, danish style, side table with a split down the table top. It was far too good a piece of wood to throw out and now, twenty years later, I have a large presentation board.

Friday, January 31, 2014

From tree to treen

I finished this birch wood box today.  Again the timber has come out of my scrap bin but this piece is unusual in that I recall the tree it came from.  Most of the wood has been used to carve spoons but I cut some planks buy hand and picked the nicest piece for the lid with a beautiful curl in the grain.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A plea for common sense

If you're an online retailer of brass hinges could you please list all the critical dimensions.  "25mm brass hinge".  What the @&#% is that!  My latest pile of scrap includes some blackwood which I have dressed to 10mm so I needed some hinges which were 10mm from the edge of the hinge plate to the center of the hinge pin.  I also had a fairly thick piece of unidentified wood I wanted to use as a center panel so I didn't want a flimsy pressed hinge, and wanted to know how thick the material was.  They say you can find anything on the internet.  They are wrong.

Thankfully my local supplier let me rummage through their stock with my six inch ruler.