Monday, October 10, 2016

The Bob and Rudy travelling zoo is back home

After another 4864 kms of driving.  I was way off in my last trip estimate of 2600 kms, it was more closer to 5K kms like this trip. So Rudy has now traveled almost 10,000 kms within a month. I am impressed how well he travels, that is a big relief.

My car got dual temperature zones: I put the A/C on my side, heat on his side with often the seat heat on to warm up his bed faster. 

When he is cold he goes under his little blanky

He wear a body harness attached by a swivel to the car seat belt receiver. That turns off the passenger airbag. He is safe and near me, he feels secured :-)

One of our first stop was in Moncton Nb were we stayed with Laura

We went to the garden of heroes, were they commemorate the three RCMP officers who were gun down a few years back in Moncton. 
Rudy is paying his respect to the K9 officer

He got to saw some of the doggies friends he made on our last trip and met some new ones.

At my brother place; Mary Jane and their dog Slinky with Rudy.
They are both saying, yes we will be good but... :-)

The principal reason for this trip was my friend's reunion in the Forest Montmorency.
It was mostly the same gang that we hosted in Greenwood last year except that more could makes it this time around. Not all of them being retired.

Meet an old friend that I haven't seen in 30 some years,
while we are loosing some more to the dreaded cancer...

Since I was already half way to the Saguenay region, I went to see my friends from our days at 3 Wing Bagotville. Thank you Serge for hosting me and Rudy.

Denis "Dr Tournesol" et "Fever"
Tournesol is a reference to Tintin :-)

Mau and Bob

Before and after the reunion, I stayed at my friends Francois and Jacynthe in Quebec city.
Then it was only a few days till the Tool of The Trade show in Pickering, so I hung around the Ottawa region for a few days until the week end. Tried to visit mostly those I missed last time around. Stayed with Sylvie and Jean. Sylvie and I haven't seen each other in over thirty years, it was like we never missed, we just picked up were we left off. The sign of a good friendship. Military service forged many such friendships thru the years, we truly are a band of brothers and sisters.

Stopped overnite in Trenton to see more friends, then off to Ajax at one of Heather cousin, Cory and Eric, that was strategically located very close to the tool show, bonus! :-)
Rudy has always a blast playing with Sunny their dog and Eric.
Took me longer to find a place to park, once arrived at the show, than it took me to drive there from their place!!!

The entrance

What you find inside, tools galore...

I looked at the slicks, Gerhard but they were a tad pricy...

Boxed tools anyone?

That show is twice a year, Spring and Fall, but I always found the Fall one better for some reasons. It has been a while I been there. As usual it did not disappointed, lots of good tools well priced. Renewed personal contacts with some of my old tool pushers :-)

So what did I bought...... Nothing...I meant not much...

Well OK I bought some, you got me! 

I will be covering them in upcoming posts.

9 planes, 5 marking gauges, 2 drills, etc :-)

After the show, on my way back I stopped again in Ottawa to attend my former club meeting of the Ottawa Woodworkers Association. It has been a while I attended a meeting since I left in 2006. I was one of the founding members of the association. I bet you I was the only one with a Nova Scotia license plate in the parking lot  :-)

During the Show & Tell portion, a member shown us his unusual love seat

There are literally thousands of screws used, 
and they are ALL clocked people!

The screws heads are adjusted to match a tractor seat he used as a guide

It was quite the star of the nite. Well done, and in case you wondered,
 yes it is comfortable to seat in

Oh, also put in my obligatory visits to Lee Valley stores;
The one in Ottawa was having a Festool event, got my food plate :-)

Power tools are not my thing anymore but they sure make nice tools,,,

This time around I remember to brought my small plow plane with me to drop off at the store in Ottawa in order to have it modified. I miss the first time around but they decided to extend that offer until the 10 of Oct... Done.

Visited the new store in Kingston, they were having their 1 year anniversary.
I missed on the cake, I was too late...darn... but I got the coffee :-)

Very nice layout inside, different 

All the LV stores that I have visited so far are all different in sizes and layout. Some of the new ones are getting quite fancy with more brick and mortar stores opening soon.

Stayed with Jack and Kathy then made a visit to Ken and Trish, Rudy gets along great with their 3 years old dog Wally. The two of them have lots of fun together.

Then all too soon it was time to make my way home.
Went to visit a friend at Montreal's Jewish General hospital, that brought back a flood of recent memories, but it's alright, I am glad I managed to see him, it has been a while. Hang in there brother, cancer really suck the life out of you, I hate fucking cancer......

Made it back to my brother on the south shore of Montreal (My stomping ground), then a couple visits in rural New Brunswick and we were back home late Friday.

While driving in rural New Brunswick, what are the odds of being ...

behind a Potato truck, or...

A logging truck.

Just about 100%... that is just about their biggest exports. I took a small Hwy across the province, Hwy 108. At time I wasn't sure it was really a highway, if it was not for the signs along the way it could have fool me, 10 kms of gravel road (which was better than some of the paved sections), in the middle of nowhere NB, no cell phone range...hummm, the only traffic I encounter were logging trucks.. May have been shorter on the map, but i don't think it was any faster :-)

Bob and Rudy, will travel for friends and tools :-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Collector versus User debate

...In my head...

Full disclosure, I am a bit of both.
And depending on who you asks, they will tell you I am one or the other, rarely both... Go figure :-)

This is one area that we did not touch much on our Why do we collect tool's discussion.

Both are in a bit of a competition for the same finite pool of antique tools.
Both blames each others for the raising prices
Both wants what is best for the tool, to preserve it
Both do not approach restoration the same way or to the same extant
So, who is better? Both is the simplest answer, you cannot really compares an apple to an orange...

In the end, regardless of what I do to my tools, I am but only the current custodian of it, for it will end up in someone else hands later on.

I do not do the shiny nickel & buff everything to blindness state and etc. Whenever I have to do repairs, I do not try to hide them, Id rather see them apparent, but functional.

Cut off damaged area
Typical repairs I do on plane's tote or saw handle's horn.
Not hiding it, but I take care that it blends in smoothly.
In this case I used a piece of Orchard Apple

My reasoning's are as follows:
I am not trying to up its value by making it new again, I am simply fixing it in order to have it work as it should. You would be surprised about how much better a full horn on a plane tote or a full unbroken horn on a saw handle makes a big difference in how it fit comfortably in your hands, resulting in less blisters etc.

One piece of advice, follow loosely the original outline, but in the end it should fit comfortably in your hands. So don't be afraid to alter slightly the horn's shape, let your hand guide you.  

Regardless of which camp you profess, rust should never be allowed to continued unabated. If left to its own it will slowly destroy the artifact. Stop or slow it down and more generations will be able to enjoy it, before it disappears.

Besides, if you do not perform at least a cursory tear down and clean, process, then you would never be able to really examine its condition, too much remaining hidden.

How much cleaning?
Well, even if you buff your brass blingly's shiny, it will tarnish back. Just as long as you are careful not to erase anything of importance, no matter how insignificant it may appear: Such as the asking price written in pencil on the body of the plane, a faint saw etch, evidence of wear or earlier repair attempts.

Don't confuse patina with grunge. You don't want to bleach out the wooden parts but just want to remove the extra grime, goop, dirt, grease, etc

As long as the object will tarnish back to its former (would had been clean) self, then you know you did not erased the patina, you just enhanced it. Adding new patina, not dirt.

In the end how much to clean or not, remains a very personal choice, but to me, less is always more, when it comes to restorations.

My ultimate goal remains to preserve the tool well enough to put it back to work.
That implies sharp cutting edges, some polish surfaces, clean and oil as appropriate. 

I just happen to have a growing pile of tools that somehow "Followed me home" (Tm). As I go thru them ill show you how I go about it and the relevant history of the tool I'm working on. I also plan on trying a few different things, I'm learning from Jonathan's blog  

Bob, trying to re-conciliate his tool user mind with his tool collector mind... ouf always a complicated thing...Where is my beer...Squirrel...!

Monday, September 12, 2016

On Rat Patrol...

Ever since I discovered some rodent's nest under my car hood, and was told that it happened a lot with retirees... What? Well yeah, our cars don't move as much as they used to...

So ever since I have got Rudy on Rat Patrol duties, we called it.
Cue music from a TV series of my youth 

Fitting knowing that Rudy's breed was bred as a ship's ratter. Meant to get at the rats in small places. So on a daily and semi regular routine, I take Rudy on rat patrol around the car and try to move it more often. Is it working?? I don't know but it is keeping me busy, so that's good :-)

That is about as far as I let him into the "forest" along side the garage

How to see deeper into the thick forest

Corner of parking space, check!

OK, car is cleared on that side Dad!

The other side is cleared at this time, I repeat clear at this time, over
That "over" is an old Army joke about the Arty guys... 
If you say "over " on an Army net... You are asking for it :-)

OK cleared on this side, moving on

Sniff, Sniff, OK no devices found, all clear!

So there you have it I can report to you that after having driven my car over 2600 Kms in the last few weeks and alternating parking spots, quite literally from here to Hamilton :-) That YES, the daily Rat Patrol seems to be working, or so does Rudy think since he gets a treat after each successful missions. Which to him translate into : OK we are back in, I'll take my treat NOW!

By alternating his rounds we are keeping those $#@^%*(^$# Rodents guessing when will the big bad doggy be coming back???

So far it seems to keep both the dog and its owner moving...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The amazing North Bros No 1545 hand drill

As far as hand drills goes, this one hit all the right boxes.

Size comparison From L-R
Millers Falls No 12, North Bros No 1545, Millers Falls No 5

As picked by Rudy in the line up :-)

It is sized like a breast drill and accept different handles, either a large bulbous wooden hollow top (like the one I found) or a metal arc shaped breast plate.

Very solid attachment. But good luck trying to find
 a replacement handle...

Side handle attached

Side handle removed, often found missing

It used the double gears pinions to offset side loading and remain smooth and true under pressure, but where its funkiness really outshines them all its with the amazing little 5 positions slider selector switch.

YANKEE No 1545
North Bros Mfg Co
Phila PA USA
Pat. Nov 2 97- Jul 28 08
Nov 02 09- Aug 23 10

It the first position: PLAIN it works like any regular hand drill, you spin CW so does the chuck, spin CCW and the chuck does the same

In the second position: LH RATCHET

In the third position: RH Ratchet

In the fourth position: RH DOUBLE It is really funky, no matter which way you crank, the chuck only advance (turn CW) to drill. Oh and it also ratchet so you can take small side crank motion

In the fifth position: LOCK The gears are all locked, facilitating tightening or removing the bits

Here is a video of the drill in action showing off the 5 positions slider

Add to all this a lever to select Hi or LO speed for more torque and you can really use this thing anywhere on just about anything, wood or metal.

Speed selector set to HI speed

PAT. DEC 15 08

Now that is one sweet drill! And being made by North Bros you know it is built solidly and will outlast us all.

it sport a big 3/8 chuck
North Bros MFG
Philada USA Pat Mar 5 10
That patent date does not work in DATAMP, not sure if I read it right??

but thankfully here is a page that list all the patents they held So it look like it was Mar 15 1910

Here's what Chris Schwarz think of this hand drill family
Here is a primer on how to disassemble if required.
There is also a message board dedicated solely to Yankee tools

Lets have a look at the patents identified on this tool

Pat No 593,157,  Nov 2 1897
The funky 5 positions selector switch 

Pat No 894,673,  Dec 15 1908
The ratchet mechanism, that does funky tricks

Pat No 939,042, Nov 02 1909
Gearing arrangements

Pat No 952,320, Mar 15 1910
The North Bros version of Millers Falls protected spring chuck design

Pat No 968,372, Aug 23 1910
The adjustable ball bearing race near the chuck

Pat No 1,059,132, Apr 15 1913
The hollow detachable handle.
A very sturdy, bullet proof mechanism

All these patents point to a tool made post Apr 1913
North Bros Manufactured tools from 1878 until purchased by Stanley in 1946, which continues manufacturing some of their tools in Philadelphia until 1956-58, at which point they were gradually manufactured in New Britain, Stanley home turf and stamped Stanley only. At which point the quality started to declined.

Their tools have a long reputation for being solid performers, they are serious tools!

There was a series of these handrills numbered as such
1540 uses a 4-1/2 in dia large gear wheel
1545 uses a 4-1/2 in dia large gear wheel, 3/8 in,  3 jaws chuck
1550 uses a 5-1/4 in dia large gear wheel
1555 uses a 5-1/4 in dia large gear wheel, 1/2 in chuck

And also the similar models
540 uses a 4-1/2 in dia large gear wheel
545 uses a 4-1/2 in dia large gear wheel
550 uses a 5-1/4 in dia large gear wheel
555 uses a 5-1/4 in dia large gear wheel

The biggest difference between these models is in the chuck model and capacity

So all that to say that if you ever come across one, grab it you wont regret it, it is some sweet drill.
And now I pack it up and send it off to a friend in Namibia... :-)
I know you will enjoy it Gerhard, have fun with it.

I could go on and on but some one need my attention...

Bob, taking Rudy out for a walk