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My first tool restorations (5 images)
The rust bucket
After watching an article on The Repair Shop where they used electricity to de-rust an extremely rusty set of hinges I thought that it might be worth a try so I purloined a couple of tools from the rusty collection of donated tools.
Started by trying the plane but it wasn't really rusty ENOUGH to work very well so a quick bounce onto You Tube to find out how to renovate one. About 3 hours later the thing was transformed. All that was needed was a bit of sandpaper, a spot of black Hammerite silk smooth finish, a touch of teak oil and it was totally transformed. All I need to do now is to get Alan or Chris to sharpen and adjust the blade.
The renovated spokeshave
The more interesting one was the spokeshave - now this was really in a mess, in fact it took a reasonable amount of effort just to dismantle it. I really must take notice of what I tell everybody when starting a project - TAKE PICTURES - I forgot so can't show the start of the clean.
The electrolytic bath components (3 images)
Spoke with Rod and it turned out that he had some stainless steel strips left over from when we refurbished the Shed. Mike and Colin set to and made the wooden former to mount the electronics and the Boss gave me an old washing up bowl and a packet of washing soda (sodium carbonate). Luckily I had a spare battery charger at home.
Started by putting a few long screws through the former to stop it falling off of the bowl, mounted the stainless strips (I used half a dozen of them because they were there and it would give a more even distribution of the current) wired them all together with one screw sticking out to clip the positive lead to (my wires came out of an old mains cable so I used brown in place of red and blue in place of black). Ran an uninsulated piece of wire across the middle to hang the parts from and connected that to the negative terminal. Filled the bowl with about 2 litres of water and about 2 tablespoonsful of washing soda. Plugged the lot in and watched the bubbles.
About an hour later, as if by magic the rust had virtually disappeared. A quick dry and rub with some fairly coarse wirewool and all was looking good but how to protect the parts?
I made sure that all of the parts were clean and really well degreased, I made sure NOT to touch anything with bare pinkys and then into riflemakers blue for about 10 minutes, dropped into an oil bath to cancel the reaction and it left a nice even shean. The hadle was a bit more of a problem so a spot of the good old cast iron black polish and voila.
It was really worth doing - I felt that I had achieved something new and shall now pass the items to Richard to see if I have enhanced their worth. Don't really care if I haven't - I think that they are worth keeping in the Shed now even if they aren't worth putting on eBay.
If anybody else fancies having a go there are plenty of tools that would benefit from a bit of tlc and it can be done in the garage at real minimal cost.
Well I have been hard at it all week, but finally finished 78 crosses to be placed on riflemen's graves in Normandy next week, A few of us got the job, mine was the crosses and one plaque, another was to do the large plaque, mine is going to be put in a café close to Pegasus bridge. The large plaque will be put on the bridge. The list of the graves the crosses will go on. I can't tell you how proud and honoured I am to be part of this. Lest we forget.
Well done John Camfield. We can but hope that there is NEVER a similar event that needs to be remembered in this way.
Do you remember those plinky-plonks that Oliver was making? Well I have finally managed to get around to grabbing this one that was posted on our Facebook page last year about the young lady with learning difficulties.
I called in there earlier this year with some more magazines for her as she devours them at an alarming rate of knots, and had a few words with her Mum. They have been completely socially isolating since the start of the pandemic and she was so appreciative of the marvelous little music maker. Apparently it has been something of a lifeline to her.
Let us just hope that we can get back to making some more soon.
The few that we had remaining will be in the Autism Hampshire shop - Serendipity - in the immediate future so if you know anybody in need of one they will be there. Just ask for Wanda.
This is the conclusion to the Wallington Seat project. When the seat was re-installed it needed to be finished with a protective coat but something seemed to get in the way and it was impossible to add the finish until lockdown was relaxed a bit. When it was allowable to leave the safety of our own homes Mick and Colin returned with pots of whatever was needed and finished the job. It now really does looks the part. Presumably everybody needs their own seats at the current time because of social distancing.
Apparently when the picture of the pair of them was taken they both held their breath while somebody pressed the shutter.
While we're closed, I thought it might be a good idea for us to write about projects we have done at the Shed, so I'll start with a piece about Shedric. He's a bit lonely at the moment, but setting a good example by avoiding social contact. Unfortunately that also means that we can't get a video or picture of him at the moment either.
The idea was to have a mascot to attract attention at fairs and in window displays. The torso came from M and S when they closed, and it was just an afternoon's work to make his head and limbs, using saw handles for the ears and folding rulers for the arms.
I had always wanted to animate him and thought maybe a windscreen wiper motor could wave his arm back and forth, but then Chris Nixon found me a Raspberry Pi computer and introduced me to a whole new world.
There's any amount of stuff on the web about using the Pi to control robots and wacky vehicles, and a lot of it is aimed at ten year-olds. But that's OK. We're all ten-year-olds at heart, just with a bit more pocket money. And the pocket money goes a long way. I've been amazed at how cheap the components are. The simplest Pi is under £30, servos and sensors only about £2 or £3 each.
Milton and I have fitted a servo to pull the arm down, and a spring to pull it back up again.It took a while to get to grips with new concepts and terminology, but it is very easy to write programs to control a servo. In a language called Python you just tell it how many degrees to move, and how long to wait before doing something else. That was stage 1. I've now added a movement detector so that the servo program only operates when someone walks past.
At the time of writing (March 2020) Shedric just needs to be plugged in and he will wave his arm whenever he detects movement. It's all still very crude, but it's been fun to do.
During our lockdown I can't make any progress, but I'm thinking about what to do next. Maybe some LEDs to make his eyes flash. Any suggestions?
John Perry was a UK citizen who emigrated to Canada. He eventually joined the Canadian Army and fought in the Second World War.
Some years after the war he returned to the UK and moved into Waterside Gardens which was a new development in Wallington. John planted a Canadian Maple tree in the small green at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Wallington Village Community Association was formed in the late 1970's and John was one of the founding members. Over the years John and his wife Margaret worked hard with others to save the “Wallington Bridge” which at the time was seen to be the cause of the local flooding.
John later became the chairman of the association for many years and was very instrumental in getting the Wallington village Hall built.
His son Michael who had stayed in Canada regularly holidayed in the U.K. to see his parents. Sadly John passed away in 2013 and his son Michael donated a sum of money so that a circular seat could be erected around the tree. This has now become a focal point of the cul-de-sac where his parents had lived happily for so long.
Over the years the weather has taken its toll and a lack of maintenance saw two of the six sections fall apart. The company that made the seat was contacted to see if they could repair it and they collected the 2 sections. After some 3 or 4 months the chairs had not been repaired so it was requested that they be returned.
We were then contacted to see if we could help in the restoration. The two seats were taken away and repaired. The seats were returned and in the process of trying to level the whole six part circular seat another two sections fell apart! These like the first two were repaired and now the seat is complete and levelled. A new brass plaque has been added to the chair in memory of John and Margaret.
In the spring when there has been a dry spell we shall return and treat the seat with teak oil.
We have received correspondence from the UK Men's Shed Association to the following effect:
Our membership currently entitles us to a 49% discount on hand tools and a 29% discount on power tools from Triton Tools - We will need to set up a Shed account with them before this can be used, once we have done this then members will be able to order through us.