Sunday, June 17, 2012


Long time readers might remember an earlier post, last August, where I had dismantled my "Classic" radiogram ready for renovating the finish.  Finishing is not my favourite type of work so it has been sitting in my workshop ever since waiting for my motivational levels to reach a critical threshold.  In the process of building three canoes I have tripped over this lump at least once a week so the time is ripe to GET IT DONE!  I wont be posting about every coat of varnish but hopefully the finished product will be worth showing.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Beating the winter blues

Winter in my workshop is always a struggle.  Cold, damp and early darkness saps my motivation every year.  This winter I have taken up a welding short course at my local technical college.  I have had a long and difficult relationship with my welder.  It started when I was about 16 tinkering with my Dad's and now my ancient arc welder where I eventually managed a barely passable fillet weld in 6mm material.  At one stage in my twenties I worked for a laboratory manager who was a welder by trade who used to give me grief about my lack of welding skill.  More recently I have thought about welding light gauge tubing but haven't been able to manage a good weld.

The revelation came last week with my introduction to the full penetration open rooted butt weld.  Not the sort of thing I would normally Google so it has slipped me by for the last 30 years.  High strength welds start with an open gap between substrate material.  Layer upon layer a weld is built up which joins the substrate across the full cross sectional area.  My construction project is a new stand for my drill press from 3mm angle which I am very happy with.  High voltage power tools and a slag hammer.  I would recommend them to any one struggling through winter.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

One small step ...

Well is only a knock together router table with a lift mechanism made from scrap timber but its a huge leap forward in tinkering technology for my workshop.  The lift mechanism works well and the adjustment mechanism is perfect for fine adjustments.  Any lift or drop to change tools needs to be done with a socket drive in my battery drill because of the slow feed.  I have added two locking screws to make sure the router is secure and stable during operation.  This is probably not required in a conventional lift mechanism precision machined from steel components but with any timber sliding mechanism needs clearance and will therefore be loose.  I had to fork out for flat and spring washers to complete the project so the expenditure crept over the $5 limit.  Other than that it has been made from scrap.