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

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

It's good to be back home

The Bob and Rudy travelling circus is back home after a 3 weeks trip thru New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario, seeing family and friends.

The primary reason for this trip was to attend Heather's life celebration that was organized by her former club; the Ottawa African Violet Society, and was attended by a good cross section of our mutual friends... Some I  have not seen since we left Ottawa in 2006. Heartfelt thanks to all who participated, and hopefully you got to know my Heather a little bit more, who she was and what we accomplished together.  I would never be half the man I am today without her. For every successful man there is a great woman standing behind her man.

In preparation for this long trip I have been training Rudy to traveled in the car.
He wear a body harness and he is attached securely to the seat belt connector.
Doing so turns off the Air bag on the passenger seat.
He has enough room to turn in circle on his seat without being tangled up, thanks to the swivel connector. I normally put the AC on my side, crank up the temp on his side and sometimes turn on his seat heat :-)

Rudy slept most of the time while travelling

When he was cold, he went under his blankie

In our travels he has been introduced to numerous friends and relative's pets,

Rudy and my brother Michel's Slinky

Rudy has taken over Slinky bed and brought his blankie over

Went to have lunch where my nephew Alexandre work, a small restaurant bar in downtown old Beloeil by the waterfront.

The main building is the old flour mill.
 Look at the thickness of these walls 

While in Ottawa stayed at Claude and Wendy and attended Heather life celebration, organized by Maureen. Thanks a lot Maureen and all who pitched in to make it happened. Then it was off to Ken and Trish

Rudy playing with his new friend Wally at Ken and Trish place

Wally and Rudy greeting Ken back

Went to see a Baseball game with Ken and Trish

Trish, Ken and Bob

Play ball...!

Then it was off to Hamilton to see our eldest son Tim and Rachel, with stops in Kingston and Ajax along the way
Stopped at the Mac Naughlin woodworking museum in Kingston.  I was lucky to have the girls at the museum looked after Rudy so I could browse the museum. Rudy is quite a babe magnet :-) While in Kingston, had a short visit with Marty.  

My favorite room where you can play with some of the planes

A small sample of the collection, nose prints in glass...mine...

A typical French Canadian raised panel called " Pointe de diamand"

Rudy playing with Sunny, at Eric and Cory place in Ajax. 
Cory is a cousin of Heather

Me and Rudy in their backyard

Finally made it to Hamilton and spent some days with Tim and Rachel.
Will take the kids off to some sunny destination this winter, it will be a small family reunion with all the kids and their partners. 

Tim, Rudy and Rachel

On my way back to Ottawa made a stop in Trenton to go see Paul and Judy. They came recently to visit us, so reciprocated.
Back in Ottawa did a few more visits, Henry and Lorna, Jack and Cathy. Went to Carleton Place to see Eillen then Kevin in Renfrew

Kevin inside one of his shops, where he deals with vintage machinery

Made my obligatory stop(s) at Lee Valley flagship store in Ottawa ... of course :-)

Rudy wondering, do we have to stop here again??
Yes, I am the first in line before opening...

A part of the manufacturing building at Veritas

On my way out of Ottawa stopped in Almonte for lunch with Terry.

The newest LV store in Almonte, it is a boutique modeled after 
an original hardware store, very neat.

Then meet with Jean Claude on my way to Norm.

JC and Rudy

Finally made it to  Norm Pirollo where I had a lovely supper then made it back to Bourget to Claude and Wendy place overnite
Next day made my way back to Quebec, visit with my sister in Montreal.

Had a great lunch outside in Griffintown at a micro brewery

Did a caleche tour of old Montreal with Rudy and my sister Francine
Rudy think that the horse is a big doggy... :-)

Came across this crate in a market in old Montreal.
Ironically it is from where I came, the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, 
minutes from where i now live.

After a short stop at my brother Michel, it was off to Quebec city to visit my youngest brother Daniel in Beauport.

Arriving back in my old stumping grounds, 
Beloeil on the south shore of Montreal

Arrived at my brother Daniel in Beauport

Daniel and Rudy besides his new toy... Mercedes SLK

After that it was off to New Brunswick to see another of Heather's cousin, Cathy and Maurice and their doggy Miky in St-John NB, then stayed overnite with Laura in Moncton then visit with Ray in Cap Pele NB and made our way home.

Miky and Rudy

All in all a whirlwind tour, thousands of Kilometers driven, one oil change and no pot holes. Both the car and Rudy traveled well, we are both tired but happy to have seen so many. To those that we could not accommodated in our travels, we will see you again soon.

Now I have a small pile of stuff to attend to, from my travels :-)
Planes, saws, handrill, jointer fence, etc etc...

My next blog entry would be about Gerhard's new hand drill 
North Bros No 1445

The Bob and Rudy traveling circus is back in town