I must’ve received this clock (as a gift) somewhere between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, when I was very much in to the Surrealist art movement, using it as the focus for much of my A-Level Art work.
To say I appreciate this clock is an understatement. I’ve never (knowingly) met anyone else who owns one and the majority of visitors will comment on it. But it stopped running correctly a few years and, in spite of several battery exchanges, I couldn’t get it back to its best… Until now!
A common symptom of dampness and insufficient ventilation, particularly during the winter months. If you’re already aware of black spots or damp patches on your walls and ceilings then you know your home is ‘infected’.
But there is a cure. In fact, by browsing the internet you can uncover a range of home-made and personal solutions. What’s most important though, is that you get at it ASAP, as those spores, in spite of their size, can be seriously detrimental to your health.
I’m a big fan of sash cramp heads for their sheer versatility. Whether you prefer to say clamp or cramp; these heads can be fitted a length of wood pre-drilled with a series of holes. Wooden bars will always be stronger than some of the cheaper aluminium clamps you can buy today and the real beauty is that you can keep several lengths of pre-drilled wooden bar, but you might then only require a small collection of set of clamp heads, which can then be interchanged to suit the projects you are working on.
In recent years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have bought a few of these for some very reasonable prices on eBay. You’ll occasionally find that some of the older heads require 12mm holes, where most of the modern ones are suited for 10mm but there’s a bigger problem I’ve noticed with some of the newer sash clamp heads from Record or Irwin and I’m going to address that with a solution in this post.
With a long weekend and clear skies forecast, I decided I would use this time to try and replace the fence panels that blew down sometime in, erm… February! That’s without mentioning the two fence posts that had each rotted away at ground level. It had seemed like a monstrous job; the kind that I detest, with my general hatred towards pathetic fence panel construction. Each morning I’ve driven to work, each evening I’ve come home; that gaping view on to the neighbour’s weathered decking had been haunting me for far too long. I was tired of tripping over the old panel remains just outside the workshop door. Something had to be done!
With the seat assembled and the bulk of the work on this repair job complete (ignoring the other seat, which suffered a similar fate to the first one, very recently), the last step before finishing was to create two new rails that would allow me to attach this new seat to the legs of the existing frame.
I didn’t have enough meranti left to do this but, I did have some iroko which is, in all fairness, likely to outlast the rest of the entire bench structure, if left untreated over the next few years! I used one of the original rails as a template to directly mark all the significant features on to the new wood (length, hole locations, mortise positions and the radiused ends).
Having cut and cleaned out all the mortises in my previous session working on this bench, my next job was to cut the tenons on each end of the seven slats. With relatively small components like this, I like to use my faithful router sled to gauge the thickness by making a single pass across each face.
Over the weekend, I made further progress on the bench seat repair and started by preparing all my previously sawn stock down to finished dimensions.
When I’m working with timber that’s been at least partially sawn on a circular saw, which leaves a much cleaner finish than most bandsaw blades, I find it helpful to scribble over the sawn faces to void confusion later. Unless your planer knives are razor-sharp, it can sometimes be tricky to distinguish the prepared face and edge from the two other surfaces… On a few occasions, yes, I have made the mistake of referencing off the wrong face and edges when feeding stock through a thicknesser! 😳