Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stove number two

Stove number two is an attempt at a small portable camp stove that could boil a billy without too much trouble.  One of the problems with stove number 1 was that with a front loading configuration, ash and embers would fall out.  In stove number two I  was trying to incorporate some aspects of a rocket stove into the design which was based around a 5kg gas bottle I had been using as a water tank for steam bending. It has a 90mm vertical exhaust tube and a 50mm intake tube which worked well for air circulation and produced a pronounce rocket sound as it drew air in under pressure.  Once going the stove burned well, although my neighbours would complain that it put out too much smoke whilst I was getting it going.

The main problem with the stove in use was that when I wanted to load fuel to boil my billy it would block the air flow and reduce the temperature.  I also discovered that it was relatively difficult to find bits of wood precisely the right size to fit the stove.  My welding skills haven't improved in the intervening months since the first stove but I did learn how tricky welding curved surfaces can get.  I spent a lot of time planning each setup to maintain a good body position for each length of weld.

Friday, January 18, 2013

German movement. Westminster chime.

The springs have been cleaned and the the clock is keeping time although is is very sensitive to being level.  Any slight slope seems to interfere with the mechanism.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A painted face

Luckily for me my clock dial is constructed with numbers screwed to a square brass plate.  I was able remove the glass door and unscrew the numbers leaving the brass plate.  Originally the face had been silvered but there were areas which were worn, blackened and even dented.  I rubbed the face back with steel wool and spray painted the face white.  The screws holding the numbers on were the smallest I have ever used.  At about 1mm diameter by 1mm long I struggled getting them started.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A special clock

I recently inherited a clock which was given to my grandparents as a wedding gift in the 30's.  It was supplied with a broken suspension spring which I have replaced, but apart from that the clock is complete.  With the new suspension spring the pendulum can swing but the clock doesn't seem to go for more than 20 minutes so I have handed the job to a clockmaking friend who has suggested that the mainsprings should be cleaned to remove any gummed up grease or rust.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What would Heppelwhite do?

In the second installment of my holiday furniture restoration series I have a desk I made for my sister in 1996.  It arrived in need of some polish and some fairly serious splits at the top of the legs where the mortises had been cut.  I can't image how the traditional craftsman might approach this problem without making new legs but hot on the heels of my last project I decided to knock apart the desk and reglue it with epoxy.  I don't feel too bad about how it has held over 17 years.  It has survived at least 3 house moves and 2 toddlers growing up.  I'd like to know how owners of Hepplewhite furniture approach vacuuming without damaging table legs.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Holiday furniture restoration

I seem to have a backlog of furniture restoration projects for the holidays.  First off the rank is a modern dining table with an interesting extension mechanism.  The table is in reasonable condition except for a worn and possibly water damaged table top.  A couple of days sanding and polishing seems to have done the trick.  The extension leaves are screwed to angled battens which slide under a central frame which supports the main table top.  In what might be a fine furniture making first I used epoxy to fill the damaged screw holes so I could redrill and secure the extension leaves.