Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The challenge

Mrs Tinkerer recently requested a new wardrobe ... with doors ... for the spare room.  I personally don't see the functional value of doors on wardrobes.  They obscure the view of whats inside and they take up space when you open them.  My chipboard, stackable, "storage solutions" I made in a weekend when we moved in eight years ago worked well, I thought.  Never the less, I was happy to accompany Mrs Tinkerer to our local Swedish flat pack showroom along with every other Melbournian one Sunday afternoon.  I don't mind looking at furniture show rooms because I usually come away with some good ideas.  One "wardrobe" on display for $59 was like a tent for clothes with a zip fronted door.  Probably great for long term camping.  The cheapest wardrobe under consideration for our spare room was called "Hemnes" and was $399.  I liked the name but it was made from something resembling cardboard.

"I could make something better than that" I said.
"If it has doors then go ahead" said Mrs Tinkerer.

Back home "Abraham" the armoire was sketched roughly with a face frame, two doors and three wide drawers at the base.  In an effort to keep the cost down I have used radiata pine frame and 4mm ply panels along with a selection of various timbers from my vast timber store otherwise known as the scrap pile.  The carcass face and all the visible trim will be finished in hoop pine.  To date I have spent $380 and I have yet to buy material for the doors and drawers.  My big miscalculation was the waste from a sheet of ply.  The back frame has two ply panels cut from one sheet but the left over is not big enough to use any where else.  I might have to fit cardboard boxes for drawers and curtains for doors to keep the price under $399.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Stove Number Three

Stove number three project started months ago as a way for me to warm up both my welding technique and my electrode before tackling some routine repair jobs.  I have used some of my 2mm mild steel sheet stock and the idea was to make a simple top loading camp stove with an inlet and exhaust baffle.  The initial firing wasn't that successful.  As with stove number two I seem to consistently under estimate the volume of air required to maintain the burn.  I found I had to keep the lid open to maintain the heat so it sat in the back of my project pile waiting for modifications.  Since then I have been put on a "transition to retirement program" courtesy of my previous employer, so I have found myself with some extra free time but not enough cashflow to start my Paul Gartside 30 foot cutter retirement project (that's a joke by the way).  Instead I have dug out my stove and drilled some additional vent holes.  Testing seemed to be successful and being able to boil a billy for two cups of tea in under ten minutes makes for a useful camp stove.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Inner city sailing

The plan was to head out of St Kilda and potter round the beaches but the conditions were too good to go home.  We launched at St Kilda and the first mate decided he would prefer to tack into a headwind all the way out of the channel rather than row.  He would have had my full support if it weren't for the multi million dollar obstacles. Out on the bay we popped in for lunch at the Kerford road beach, then headed off across the bay to Williamstown.  It was so much fun we headed back to Port Melboune then back to Williamstown by which time the wind had died off.  The last crossing back to St Kilda was a more leisurely pace and took about an hour.

Six hours on the water, three hours relaxing on deck with video camera and three hours at the helm bring my total of hours at the helm to 140 hours.  Next time I'll stop in for a cappucino some where.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Launch day for Maeve

I thought it would never come.  There was always something else on, or the weather was not quite right, but today on a whim I decided it was launch day for Maeve.  There was a slight onshore breeze but I managed, after a few initial spills, to head out on the water and return without falling in or getting swamped.  There was no support crew or fanfare but I'm glad I finally got her into the water.