Sunday, August 23, 2015

Yesterday was a special day

Summer took its time to arrive but we have been in high heat and humidity for a while. Yesterday was the first time we had some real rain all summer... and lots of it!

But that is not what made this day special... Yesterday we celebrated the wedding of a good friend's granddaughter :-)

As if to punctuate this special day, we had twin rainbows in the evening sky, we don't see that very often.

Congrats Andrew and Meadow, 
may you happily grow old together 

The rain did not damper the celebrations, besides, that rain was long overdue and welcome.

A proud gramma.

Her father own Green Goblin Hot Rod shop in Canning. It was the perfect setting for a great reception. Great food, great friends, the rain did little to dampen everyone's appreciation of the day.

Reception was held at her father place.
There were some pretty awesome cars in there. 

Just in case of rain... 

Yes, good call :-)

3 generations; Gramma, mother and daughter

It may have been a wet day, traffic on the highway was down to a crawl at time with 4 way flashers on (rain you say!!) But nothing could interfere with the celebrations of two young people in love. 

We were very glad to have been a part of it.
So here's to you Andrew and Meadow, let me raise my glass one more time (well, coffee cup this morning :-) and wish you the best.

Bob, who played chauffeur yesterday. Am I ever glad for the integral traction on my car :-)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Woodworking projects for my wife sewing machines collection

I said earlier that my wife started collecting sewing machines, all Singer.
So far she got 11. Well, down to 10, she gave one to a friend :-)

Singer model 99K, 3/4 size of No 66

These old workhorse are plentiful, and inexpensive. At one time pretty well every housewife in the US and Canada owned one, Singer dominated the market at about 75% until the late 50s early 60s which saw their market share down to 30% with the onslaught of cheaper machines from Japan (Sears, Montgomery Ward etc).

One of the last few good models, a Singer 185J.
Notice the fabric covered case? If you stripped it out, you MUST recover because the fabric is helping to keep the case joinery together!

These old girls were all cast iron with steel gears, cleaned and oiled they still purr like the day they were made. Practically indestructible and bomb proof :-)

Talking of which, when I was a young kid during the Cuban missile crisis, being near an Airforce base (St-Hubert) and near a major city (Montreal) we used to practice the Duck and Cover drill every morning in school. We sang Oh Canada, then practiced hiding under our school desk then pray. Never understood that logic. Figured if we were to pray first, we wouldn't had to hide under our nuclear blast proof school desk :-)

Never realized before how sturdy wooden desks could be :-)

Since Singer made machines by the bazillions, they were also at one time one of the biggest cabinet makers in the country (Canada, US and UK).
They produced all kinds of cabinets and portable case out of wood. And yes, in the later years they switched to termite barf wood look alike to cut cost...

They made bentwood case and veneers cabinets.

Case on left is for full size machine No 15-90, on right 3/4 size No 99K.

Case for 15-90 need a handle like this one.

Severely damaged bentwood case saw at a recent auction, 
machine a No 128 went for $25... No we did not got it, 
but in hindsight should have for the handle!

Solid side panels are glued in place and re-inforced by glue blocks

BTW NEVER carry a machine by the case handle alone, support the bottom....
Remember that these machine are cast iron, not very lightweight...
If you want a truly portable machine, get a Feather weight No 221, but be prepared to pay big bucks for it.. $300 and up! Yes, they are very popular with quilters.

So in preparations for fixing some of her finds, I have been slowly getting into veneering tools.

Vacuum press, glue injectors, veneer saw, tapes, glycerin 
and a large selection of veneers.

I have pretty well everything I need by now, so one of my first project would be to redo the top of a drop leaf. Many older cabinets got used as plant stands with the resulting water damages....please don't do that! Clean, oil and use the machine instead!

She gave me practically free rein to do whatever I want to try on this top, so... :-)
Some sort of veneer pattern is what I want to do! Possibly duplicate the pattern on the doors?

Top with water damages...and some peeling veneer piece. 

This is the missing top's cabinet for it. Currently housing a 15-91 in it.
Very similar to the 15-90 except the motor is potted (direct drive) versus a belt driven one like on the 15-90

Inside of cabinet

Singer Model 15-90, belt driven

I also have the bottom of one of her bentwood case (15-90) that need some works, the corner blocks holding the machine are loose, and the bottom feel flimsy.

bottom case has some minor veneer damages to attended to also.

Showing the joinery used. Dado and rabbet corners

Found this online tutorial for making new case, want to try that.

Yesterday, I picked up two cabinets and a Sears machine, that a friend want to switch from a particle board cabinet to a solid wood one, except that the hole and the position of the mounting pins are different, so that would required some surgery.

So the next little while I would be involved in those repairs and will try to document those for your reading enjoyment (you must be starved for my dribbles by now :-)

And finally, I would have to set up a sewing room somewhere in the house. Build an extension? :-)

Bob, who apparently is an enabler when it comes to collecting stuff.
Wonder where she got this idea? Oh yeah, my shop? :-)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Recent ramblings

Remember that bathroom I was working on earlier...

Were we left off.

Well, we finished it yesterday. We just both, had to find the time in our busy life to resumed work on it, it happened :-)

First we installed all the plumbing bits left to do.

Discovered in the mean time, that there are various grades of Teflon tape.
The good stuff (Mil-Spec, yes there is such a thing) is much thicker than the cheap lousy stuff you get from somewhere off shores..

So to finish this job, we went to our local Home Hardware store to see if we could find some good stuff. Turns out that they do. And it is pink colored instead of white. It cost  more, yes, but oh, so much easier to work with doesn't stick to your hands and you do not have to hold your breath while using, brilliant!

Being thicker it is faster and easier to put on to achieved a good leak free connection. We had success on our first try, now there is a first... :-)

And at about twice the price of the pink stuff, they carry even thicker yellow tape for gas pipe lines

Once that was all assembled and leak tested, we started assembling the shower enclosure. The instructions have you assembled it outside the bathroom then dry fit in place to mark where the enclosure walls hit the tiles.

Of course no holes locations in this whole job hits where a grout line was. All 10 holes we drilled thru some pretty darn hard tiles!
First we tried one of my new cement twist bit with a carbide insert. Took forever in a day to make one hole. Back to the store to see what else they have.
Bought a tile bit, the flat pointed bit of carbide stuck on a shaft. Worked good for a few holes, had to keep sharpening it with my diamond paddle to keep cutting.
After 6 more holes, the carbide part separated from the body. It surrendered!

And in case you wondered we kept the bit water cooled during its short service life...

Back to you know where by now, bought the last one of the size we needed, and it finished the job... one last hole for the hand shower bar!

Following the instructions to the letter, my friend Dave
 ended up stuck inside the shower enclosures :-)

The only thing left to do, when I left, was to silicon caulk wherever the instructions said to, wait 24 hours, then finally enjoy! Cause you earned it my friend! (with apology to Stumpy, I stole his line, having a cold beverage, heh!)

Today we went to a preview of an upcoming auction.
Spied some furniture outside the auction house, so looked it up.

Rows upon rows of similar looking cabinets, with same nailed pattern back boards, all streaming black rust trail in the same lines.
Their vertical back boards did not obviously had much room to move because they are all wavy by now, it moved at the weakest point, between the narrow nailed boards, instead of pushing off the side boards.

Many rows (8 or 10) of very similar bookcase, mostly painted white.
They were obviously removed from the same room, where they would offer quite a spectacle with their shelves brimming with books? Or they could be pantry cabinetry??

Here is a detail of the upper cornice.
See how it is composed of three very simple profiled boards, put together with a plain board on top? That is a typical and perfectly good way to make a multitude of profiles. Just changing the positions of these same three boards slightly make a dramatic effect on the shadow lines, which is what moulding profiles are all about. Only two simple moulding planes and one complex (middle board profile) would have been needed. Either that or a few H&R planes, not many.

Boards on top are shelves boards

Back home tonite, I decided to have a look at why one of my expensive post solar lite has been kaput for a while.

No visible switches to go bad, anywhere, that is good. 

There is a cover access to the removable Ni-Cad battery.
Twisted battery around, NoGo. Removed battery, look good, no leaks, 
contacts wiped with my shirt, put back in, still NoGo.
In case you wondered, too lazy to fetch my DMM :-)

Open the cover by removing 4 screws.
Visual inspection good, nothing amiss.
Passed shake, pull, and evil eye close inspection. 

My two driveway markers had a
 removable Ni-Cad battery, lets try one.

As soon as the battery went in, the light came on,
 as it should, sensor is in the dark.

Re-installed on top of stairs post, all four are now lighted. I don't expect that one to last long tonite, it has been out of the light for a long time...

Tomorrow auction then...?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Steadfast handrill

During one of my recent travel, I was given this handrill, by a friend since she knows all too well my fondness for old tool (hum sound strange doesn't it :-)

Anyway, it has some sort of Buck Rogers influence on it, enclosed gears train, uses of the grey color on the body and some sort of hard red plastic for both handle and knob.
That's about where all resemblances end...

It sport a Multi-craft chuck, made in Sheffied in Jolly old England, and it has the name Steadfast cast on the gear cover

Jacobs Multi-Craft chuck
Sheffield England

It is a small chuck, the range given is 0-5/16 or 0-8mm, a smidge bigger (1/16) than a 1/4 in (4/16). Similar to my Buck Rogers No 104 (1/4 in chuck)

MF Buck Rogers No 104, used as inspiration?

A quick Google search did not return anything to sink my teeth in it. So far, all I found is a Steadfast company in England and Scotland making industrial fasteners solutions for the oil drilling industry, mostly it seems.

That handrill has a definite late 50s early 60s style to my eyes.

The gear action is rough and it sound like the gears are skipping?
The knob at the end of the crank handle is not rotating.
The chuck operate smoothly and is obviously liberally covered in oil.

Now lets see what make this thing tick and if we can improve on its operation

Upon closer inspection, the handle bits are not plastic, but some hardwood paint with a thick red coating

The gear train is bathing in a thick grease which is oozing a oily substance all over the chuck.

Both gear trains operated smoothly, as you would expect in such a grease.
So why the jerky movement with the handle?
All three gears surfaces does not exhibits any signs of  wear or miss mashed gears.

Once put back together the crank rotated but not the chuck?? HUH???
That's when  noticed that the chuck gear shaft moves in and out, and depending where it is located, the chuck engage or not. You would think, its best when pulled out near the outside casing, but no, it only seems to engaged while push in a bit. Of course when you do drill, it would push on that gear train ...
Must be some sort of clip missing to secure that drive gear. The other end, the main gear does not have this play. But having everything covered in that thick grease, kinds of obscured everything. Will have to clean her out and inspect closer.
A messy job, I don't feel like this AM so later...

The handle unscrews, and there is a female thread to accept a side handle (MIA as in most handrill found)
The removed handle screws in so I know the size of the threads required.

I doubt very much it was ever used as such, but it does illustrated that a side handle is missing. I'm sure it is a lot smaller...

Although similar to my Millers-Falls Buck Roger No 104 drill, in size and shape, this drill is not as well balanced in the hand, feeling more heavy, and no where as smooth operation. Still I'm intrigued and will have to investigate further.

In the meantime, if anyone has any info on this company or this drill, please let me know

Thank you
Bob,  going to his "drill" when a new tool entered my man cave...

Friday, August 7, 2015

Bird photographies

Unbeknownst to me, there was something else on my to do list which, I apparently forgot about?
Yah, something to do with bird feeders ??  Do we need another !?

A while back, she got this idea and bought a few kits to make these bird feeders with old cup and saucer... She also got the cups and saucers, so it just up to me now, I guess :-)

All I had to do was to drill a hole roughly in the center of the saucer and the cup.
Don't try to center the bit too hard, all you are going to do, is end up with a mess...

A set of cement/glass bits (carbide tipped)

Aim best you can, hold everything solidly, and watch that bit skate around until it bite... Go slow, uses lots of water, do not overheat the bit.

I wanted to ensure solid support under the drill bit pressure, 
so I used this slim post to sit inside the cup or saucer

Then you just screw the part together, the soft washer against each sides of the porcelain.

Fill-R-Up with appropriate seeds mixture and hang it up.

Then the long waiting game for birds to show up and me 
be ready with the camera at the same time... Slim chances :-)

While I waited, I may as well replenished the suet cake. Getting pretty low.
That one did not took long to have birds, they are used to it.

The Hummingbirds feeder was also replenished.
Hardest thing to photograph well...

The big obstacle was the restriction of movements and making no sudden noises or motion. It would otherwise scare off the birds.

Then, I finally got smart and linked my IPad Air to the Nikon D5500, via its own WiFi connection.
TADA... Yes there was an APPS for that, free, from Nikon.

I can now relax, move and watch tv etc..
I have a live view of the Nikon and can 
take pictures from the IPad screen.

Very cool interface, very easy to set up. Perhaps not much control of the camera, but you can transfer the pics files and remotely trigger the camera, very cool, and nothing else to buy!

Meanwhile, not much action at this feeder.

All the action was happening here...

There was lots of action at supper time on that saucer & cup feeder, so kind of got me not prepared, was BBQ supper at the time :-)

The only pictures I got from the new feeder was on the IPad, now to transferred them...

Earlier I did experimented with the IPad front camera to sneak pics up the hummingbirds feeder.

darn it moved too fast, missed it!

Got it, but blurry little bogger.

In the end that quickly killed the day, and got some use-able pictures :-)
Learned a few things too about my camera and that Apps from Nikon, very cool.

Bob, the budding photographer