Friday, April 30, 2021

Of this and that

Well, we had been doing fine, but lately this third wave of COVID is really taking off, we spiked quickly at over 70 cases a day in Nova Scotia.   I know, it does not sound like much, but these latest variants are much more aggressive.

So we have begun a Lock down for 14 days, Province wide.  Should had started Monday the 26 Apr but it took them a few days to get their information on line an updating correctly the orders etc. So we did not started until Thursday the 29 at 0800, the finally corrected orders being dated for the 28.

Civilians, what is it they don't understand about orders? $#@@&* Ok, off my rant, back to normal woodworking.

Since I have lots of time gazing at my navel, may as well... 

Regardless of the size of your workbench, 
things have a tendency to accumulate quickly...
Have a few things on the go.

Putting away tools, de-rusting and cleaning some.  Attending to minor repairs on saw handles, mostly broken or damaged horns.  The horns on each end of the saw handle are important for better control, and better feedback.  I cannot say enough about the importance of a well fitted handle that fit your hand like a glove.  That and the correct hang angle for you.

Been experimenting with de-rusting  a few saw plates with Evaporust.  Normally I use a razor blade and WD40 to scraped them clean, followed by a light wet sanding, then a buffed  wax coating. 

Not the ideal container, but it work

I was always curious to see how a saw plate will come out.  It comes out a dull grey and shows every little speck of pitting there was.  All rust free, but that pitting is going to attract dust and rust quickly, so I just coated them with Autosol  and a light buffing.  Still have a haze from Autosol until I decided what I'm gonna do next.

Scratches are from vigorous brushing with a metal hand brush.
A light sanding with a hard block will cleaned that up.

For the record saw plates do not have to be shiny, just smooth.  Scrapping, light sanding, buffing a coat of wax is all they need.  And of course a sharpening over.

Came across a small claw hammer head with a broken handle. Drove the stub out and recovered the metal wedges.  Will re handled in a size suitable for my youngest grand daughters. 

While I was going over the handled tools, I removed two loose handles, recovered metal wedges if any, and dumped all these heads in Evaporust.

A small 2-1/2 lbs  hatchet head, a small 12 Oz, claw hammer head 
and a 4 pounds sledge hammer head.  There is also a wedge and a screw in that soup.

Taking the handles off was not too difficult except that the hatchet gave me a hard time. Getting the metal wedge out was easy, but the wooden wedge did not came out without a fight.  Got it out without damaging the handle but cannot say the same for the tools used :-(

The chisel I used got a few nicks from hitting the metal wedge and the side of the eye.  One of the screwdriver I was using to dug some pieces out, snapped.  Oups.  Screwdrivers are not pry bar, who knew? :-)

Ever see inside a Moores & Wright ratchet screwdriver?  I just did.

Clean break, did not took much force

looks like some sort of pot metal??
Also looks like the broken part can be removed in each end by a screw?

Ratchet still works fine.  Looks like a copy of a North Bros design??

Even that screw fought me, splintering a piece out.

Strange screw and the piece inside is not budging.
Put the screw in the Evaporust bath.

 Spent a lot of time moving things around.  Put stuff where it is supposed to go.

Taking time to survey my domain and figured out what I need to build next to organized my shop better.  A never ending process...

In my ongoing Spring Clean up (ongoing since last year :-), came across one of my first ever shop project: A tool caddy organizer thingy on wheel featuring my first ever real joinery using my brand new Craftsman Sears Best 1/4 inch router.   That cabinet has been repurposed a few times since built in 1987 and has been around in 5 different shops since.  It's a survivor.

The back of it.  First time I used a lock drawer joinery.
A 1/4 in tongue lock into a 1/4 inch groove in 3/4 inch plywood.
I only had a set of 4 Marples chisels at the time, but left room for expansion on my chisel holder

On the side I had a turn button to secured my 24 inch handsaw.
Hand sharpened by an old gentleman.  First time I ever had a sharp saw.

In its last incarnations, my bench top drill press, 
 used to resides on top.  After I added my big table on the DP, it became too tippy.
The whole thing was done with my trusty Craftsman Chrome edge
 1/4 inch straight router bit.
One of the few bits I own then.

I put wheels on it, but they are a bit on the small size and fully loaded tend to protest a bit by being cranky... Just like me :-)

I really like my saw bench.  It is so much more than a saw bench.
With Holdfast and a removable fence I can hold pieces , bang away at mortise.
I do a lot of work on it.  I have a few ideas to trick it a bit more.

Currently I have the saw mitre box on top of a vintage (1950s)
Singer sewing machine cabinet.  Its about the same height as my bench.

The scenes from my usual vantage point, in my office chair.
So many tools, so much work to be done :-)

So I guess I know what I'm doing during this lockdown... more cleaning, more decluttering, more fixing tools and hopefully a few more shop projects so needed.

Bob, sipping a cold one and taking it all in.  Making plans and switching priorities.  The usual :-)

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Table top rod hockey game

Recently during my everlasting shop clean ups I came across a bag of accessories for an old hockey game.  A Canadian classic, called a table top rod hockey game.  

A rod hockey game??  Yes as in the way you operate the players to play.  By pushing and pulling and twirling rods.

My rod hockey game that was in safe storage.
Lots of accessories missing on this pic

When I was a kid we had such a game in my house and I remember playing it with my brothers and friends.   After its introduction,  this game brought out by Monro quickly became a success story.  Who knew a game about Hockey would became so popular in a Hockey crazed country :-)  

With success comes competition, there were a few starters in the field, but it quickly whittle down to two companies: Munro and Ideal.

Ideal being second, got licensing rights from the NHL to gain a leg up.

That is why if your players have NHL uniforms and logos, that game was made by Ideal.  If instead they have kinda look alike uniforms not quite NHL, no team crest, just the team city they represented, that was made by Munro.  Munro instead, had secured exclusive deals with some of the players; Such as Bobby Hull, Bobby Orr.  But still no NHL logos.  

Recognize the look alike teams?
The original 6 teams of the NHL 1940-1967
From Top L-R
New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings
Toronto Maple Leaf, Montreal Canadiens
Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks

Players from Ideal Toy had of course the official logos of the teams
Montreal Canadien shown
Pic from Ebay

 In my bag was a full set of players (6) for each teams (6) = 36 players, two nets, the infamous magnetic puck and the 4 metal racks to store the spare team players.  That mean, out of the 6,  4 teams on the racks, the two remaining in play. They remains all protected, well at least they stay together, easy to spot when gone MIA and do not rub against each other 

So that set me up on a quest to find my game, which used to be taking up space in my shop, so I relegated it to a safe place a while back because I could not find the bag of players, puck and etc.

Now that I got the accessories, let's fetch the game.  Turns out it was in a very safe place.  Took me days to find it, and even then I had to ask Jean if she saw it, cause I could not understand how such a big and bulky thing could just remained invisible.  I looked everywhere!

She said: Did you look on the floor under the built in shelving in the storage/gym area?

I thought so, but worth a second look.

Talk about a very safe place, really out of the way.
There are exercise machines in front of this area.
Apparently if I was to used the thread mill more often, I would have seen it.
Who knew? :-)

So now that the game board and its accessories are reunited, I got curious and wanted to know more.

Note this is not the game from my childhood, that one has long disappeared.  This is one I found at a yard sale years ago, about mid 90s.

Electric Hockey Master Game
Made in Canada by Munro Games limited.

With the patented magnetic puck.

I realize I am probably missing a few bits but I hardly see how this game can be called "Electric"

Perhaps something to do with the patented magnetic puck???

I have yet to pin down the patents, but between 1957 and 1961.

What does it do?  The puck stick to the player stick, enabling more fluid moves and you can flung the puck a la slap shot :-)

Even has the referees most often seen, calls.
Assuming the referees can see :-)

My referee is missing, but this is how he would had look like.
His hand is bend 90 degrees to hold the magnetic puck
Pic from Ebay

Lets look under the hood, err play field 

One side 
Steel gears mechanism

and the other.
Notice the metal strap to an empty hole 
and what looks like a battery holder?.
One tab is attached to the net basket structure.

Yes indeed, it fits perfectly a D cell, 
 one and a half Volts (1-1/2  V).
The other battery tab goes to the other empty hole.

On the top you can clearly see evidence of brackets
 being fastened into those two empty holes behind the net.

This is what those brackets would had supported, the backboards.  One on each ends behind the nets.
I cannot say for sure if it was those shown here,  because they had many small variations of the same game.  I heard of 30-40 different models, with various features added or removed.

On these backboards, the current from the battery would had flown 
between the two metal foot brackets, illuminating the lamp and sound off the buzzer until 
the puck has been cleared from the net to reset the circuit.
Pic from Ebay

Back of the boards.  The big dented wheel in the middle 
is rotated to show a number from 0 to 9 in the window up front. 
the score on your side, the other side does the same.
Pic from Ebay

That rectangular..ish slot on top is for the top bracket.
The tab sticking out on the field is for kicking up the puck in center ice to start the game.
You can also drop the puck from some brackets or from the referee.

So there was obviously a bracket to hold the center piece.  Nowadays inside the arenas that is where you would find the giant screen and scoreboards, on all four sides.  Back then, no giant screen, just scoreboards.

Again many variations thru the years to introduce games at various price points.  From roughly Cdn $5 to $12 for such a game in the Simpson, then Simpson-Sears Catalog (would later becomes Sears Canada) back in my days early 60s

Here are some examples I found on line

This is very much like my game, with the back boards (2) 
and the center piece (manual Score board, or timer)
You can also see the 4 spare players team on their racks.
It also shows those blue cartons to shown 
which were the home team playing and which was the visitor's team.
Those are often long lost apparently, go figure :-)
Pic from an auction site

Ok so that explain the big emphasis on "Electric" Hockey game, you shoot in the net, you score, the light goes on and the buzzer goes off, until reset by pushing down on  lever to fling the puck out of the basket back on the play field.  Pretty minimalist, but wow, you shoot, you score and the lite goes on :-)

Just like in the real game.  

OK so I exaggerate, just because you are shooting at the net, 
does not means you are going to score...
Especially if Patrick Roy is in the net :-)
But I digress...

I get how it is suppose to work, but I'm still scratching my bald spot trying to figured out how the puck trigger the lite. Very primitive, read inexpensive mechanism, but as I remember it: It always lite when I was shooting :-)

So more searching .  Probably will try to get some of the missing piece off Ebay.  It needs a good clean up, some derusting, some unbending some rods. But it is playable as is, or rather will be shortly.

The pic I saw on Facebook that started my quest to unearth 
my game after founding first the bag of accessories.
Now all I need is more beer to play with my friends :-) 

Here is the story of the NHL expansion thru the years, from 6 teams (the original 6, I grew up with) to todays 31.  And still no team back in Quebec city, bummer :-(

Lastly here is a short story of Munro and the role it played in developing this table top hockey game, which at one time reigned supreme from coast to coast in Canada


And if you remember, a few years ago, Lee Valley came out with a kit of the hockey game that started it all, the original Monro game, born of necessity during the depression.  The Monro company will cease operation in 1976.

Here is a nice blog from someone who built the LV Kit

Bob, with hockey on the brain. This is supposed to be Stanley cup times, well poop.  Are we playing golf yet?  Staunch Montreal Canadiens fan since 1956