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Alf’s Workshop Tour - very long and potentially boring

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Alf

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Welcome to this extensive tour of a workshop made famous, by, erm, well it might be famous one day. Please try to keep together, ensure you have your floor plan with you at all times, and if you get lost please look out for the 26” Spear & Jackson handsaw I’ll be waving over my head in lieu of an umbrella. Remember we have to be back at the coach by four, so no dawdling… Oh, and click on the images for a larger version



Through the door, one of two although the second is rarely used, into this granite-walled ex-farm building. Will tall members of the group please avoid hitting their heads on the security light? It does double duty; security and lighting the tired woodworker back up the garden path at night.



Immediately to your left you’ll notice the fire extinguisher (near the door so you can get out in a hurry if it doesn’t halt the flames…), First Aid Kit, sink and steps up into, er, the wall.. Moving swiftly past the sink; no, don’t look, it’s a bit of a…



Oh, you looked. Erm, every workshop needs a glory hole or two, and this is one of them. The Belfast sink was rescued from the garden, cold running water only. All the various pots and containers get used for glue, stains, parts of tools, you name it. Very useful, but a pain to store until they’re wanted.



Going up the steps we find to our right the entrance to the timber store. This is an enclosed raised platform, about 4 ft off the ground, occupying approximately an 8’x4’ area, furnished with an 8’ length of ex-village store shelving. There was some thought amongst experts that this related to some sort of tribal custom, but apparently it was simply to take advantage of the 9’ (minimum) ceiling height.



Some newly delivered Cherry, Beech and Walnut stowed on the bottom shelf.



On the end wall of the timber store, next to the doorway, are hung levels and straight edges.



Continuing around to the side wall of the timber store, we find some local fauna, in the shape of a ‘Rat. Please refrain from screaming, ladies. It’s quite harmless. Some experimenting with T-track and a stop can be seen to the right. The small set of drawers holds router bits and toys to keep the ‘Rat happy.



Below the ‘Rat we find the advantage of the raised timber store. Here we find eight boxes, six of which are filled with rare historical artefacts. You might call them rusty tools waiting to be cleaned… Behind them lives the garden shredder, which can be accessed from the end without disturbing the boxes. Also present is The Table, which needs a proper home before I bring a tour group here again. The buckets function as bins; one for rubbish, one for burnable scrap and one for, er, whatever’s left over that won’t fit in either of the others.



Above the rodent we find the first of many kitchen cupboards. This one holds various bench, moulding and rebate planes, plus a woodie jointer or two on the top. Problem? What problem?



This way please; quick as you can. Under the other half of the timber store is a cupboard for some of the power tools. I made it very early on in this workshop, it’s moved around considerably, but it’s been tremendously useful - if butt ugly.



Now for perhaps the most outstanding feature of this tour. Above the cupboard we find…

An area of empty wall

Unlikely that this will be preserved for long, but for the moment please feast your eyes. Postcards of it are available from the shop…



Hanging in the corner we find the Poverty Stricken Person’s Festool Guide Rail System. I don’t know why because the cutting table they go with is now elsewhere.



Below them, still in Strapped For Cash Central, we find the Poor Person’s Planos, and some very rusty, and utterly awful to use, Record roller stands.



Continuing round on the west wall - that’s the wall marked as 23’ -0” on your floor plan - we find the next bank of kitchen cabinets, storage for twisty, drilly things, and, erm, one or two saws…



The Moore and Wright machinist’s chest, containing marking out gear.



In the left hand cupboard are more (that’s a surprise) more planes.



Above are shelves for the unused bits of the Maxi 26, and, erm, another plane…



To the right, screws, nails, fixings of all varieties.



Below that, a rather charming work by an unknown French artist.



Sandwiched between quantities of clamp head type bar clamps is the bandsaw - workhorse of the w’shop.



And connected to it, the dust extractor, which is more of the stubborn mule of the w’shop… The oil filled radiator is pretty self explanatory. The SCMS resides on the drawers that were formally beneath the workbench. I understand future plans for this historic building include making an improved station for this tool and donations for the fund to implement the work are currently non-existent. Please give generously on your way out.



Please be careful in pulling out the drawers to examine the contents; some of them are very heavy…



Above them is the resident orchestra, aka the radio, a mess of bandsaw blades and frame saws, sanding supplies, storage for the Maxi’s fence and so forth.



Currently the corner holds the saw horses, an ugly, but useful box to stand on, and you may just be able to see the edge of the Record drill stand, set up for mortising.



Above them are - surprise - more kitchen cupboards. More odd fittings, bolts etc, but mainly glue, paints and finishes. The hand powered mitre saw’s two main parts are distributed above and below.



Continuing, it’s worth a moment to pause and take in the full majesty of the North wall. The drill press stands proud and alone, flanked only by the sharpening station and another kitchen cupboard…



…containing drill bits, and all sorts of odd things I can’t seem to get the Old Man to shift somewhere else.

But enough of that.



Flanked by the second example of a glory hole on this tour, are two hand-cranked grinders residing on the sharpening station…



… with more power tools and such carefully preserved below.



Continuing onto the East wall, past the exposed stonework probably slept on by Queen Elizabeth I, we find a rack of further ex-village shop shelving. Fretsaw, bench sander, grinders, metalworking tools, turning blanks and genuine assorted gubbins throng these plains. No, please don’t sit down, we still have a long way to go yet.



Ah yes, the Monstrous Carbuncle lurking in this ancient building. What can I say? Most of it is more useful to me as a bench top than its intended purpose, as you can see. Basically it gets used for the planer thicknesser function, and that’s it.



Here we find ourselves at the redundant second door. Rumour has it that anyone entering by that door during a full moon will be entombed in checked shirt, safety glasses and tool belt for the rest of their days. Norm Abram apprently visited once. More clamps - can you ever have enough? Safety stuff and the Tool Chest.



A wall of tools. Currently in a state of flux and ear-marked for a program of renovation and scaffolding to obscure your view for the next three years.



At the end of that, to the extreme right of the entrance, is the Secret Chamber. Looks like a simple couple of pegs to hangs aprons on, doesn’t it? But pull those aprons aside…



… and reveal - some gauges and a few rules. Okay, so I didn’t say it was a good Secret Chamber. Look, this is a cheap tour? What d’you expect? I wanted to work in Torremolinos…



Finally, the piece de resistance. Literally the centrepiece of the building. The workbench. Built by the famous German renaissance factory of ECE, and recently resurfaced.



Only very recently has the decision been made to reveal the back to the general public.




Again, please exercise care when looking in the drawers; the contents are heavy and closely packed - particularly the one with all the rolls of bits…



Finally take a moment to look above your heads at the exquisite triple-wall polycarbonate roof, air filter and reinforced beam that used to be used for taking out tractor engines…



… and of course the floor. The original owner intended it should be a checkerboard of back and while tiles so he could play chess. Alas he died before completion, and his son preferred jigsaws… A real boon on a concrete floor though.

And that concludes our tour, ladies and gentlemen. I’m afraid we can only spare 10 minutes in the shop, and then back to the coach as quickly as you can. Please don't try to pet the guard dogs on your way out; they tend to get a trifle tetchy with strangers. Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen? Hello...? Where'd they go?!
 

Gill

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Thank you for a wonderful tour, Alf. Since it's a cyber space tour, the tip for the guide will have to be a cyber tip too :p . Despite all the wonderful sights, I still managed to cram in a Cornish pasty on the way out. Couldn't find any of Greta Fowl's dried frog pills, though... :twisted:

:)

Gill
 

RogerS

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A World Heritage site in the making to be sure.

I'm sorry, Alf...I peeked to see what you were hiding behind the towel :oops: but your secret is safe with me :wink:

Roger
 

Philly

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Splendid!
Thanks for the tour-hope you are putting this up on your web-site?
Cheers
Philly :D
 

Alf

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Roger Sinden":nrdp5d1i said:
I'm sorry, Alf...I peeked to see what you were hiding behind the towel :oops: but your secret is safe with me :wink:
You're not supposed to get to see that on the 20p tour... #-o

Phil, erm, how'd that get there? 8-[ It's the Old Man's, honest guv. As is the L-N #62, who's tote is sticking out. Now he's getting his/the other workshop sorted they'll be needing a cabinet to live in up there. Another thing on the Tuit list. :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 

Chris Knight

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A tour de force! Many thanks Alf.

You should stop wasting your time here and write the next BIG Thing - post Harry Potter stuff for the adoring masses. I can then claim I knew JK Rowling's successor before she was really famous and bask in the reflected glory.
 
A

Anonymous

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You've got a sink in the workshop :shock: :shock:

lovely tour Alf :wink:
 

Rosco

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Hi Alf,
wonderful tour of the sacred place. A couple of things I noticed was that you had removed the tea bags kettle and mugs from around the sink so we couldn't have a drink on the tour, I also noticed that you keep a good scotch in your draws.

All the best,

Rosco ( Chris ).
 

Charley

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Thanks for that Alf :D You have a very nice workshop 8)

tony":2xuo48dr said:
You've got a sink in the workshop
I've got a swimming pool/gaint fish tank in mine :p :(
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Alf

Thank you for the tour, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Such space. :mrgreen:

OK, you've left it for me to ask the power tool question. I saw the DW625, but where was the Trend T5?

Cheers
Neil
 

Alf

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Rosco":2qsbj41x said:
A couple of things I noticed was that you had removed the tea bags kettle and mugs from around the sink so we couldn't have a drink on the tour
Tea? You think I stop for tea?! It's all go round here, mate. No stopping for tea. Sheesh. :roll: :wink:

Rosco":2qsbj41x said:
I also noticed that you keep a good scotch in your draws.
It was once; now it's a soldering iron. :roll:

Newbie_Neil":2qsbj41x said:
OK, you've left it for me to ask the power tool question. I saw the DW625, but where was the Trend T5?
http://www.cornishworkshop.co.uk/workshoptour/newworkshoptour012.JPG

Cheers, Alf

P.S. Anyone want a tour of the other workshop as well? :whistle:
 

Adam

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Great stuff, its always useful to have a nose around how other people are setup.

Adam
 

Neil

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A fantastic tour, Alf :D And a fantastic c*ll*ction of tools as well, that could only be accumulated after years of hoarding....oops, sorry, typo there - I meant to say carefully researched selective purchasing :^o :p

If only I had a workshop that size... or will I? I'm saying nothing until next week... :whistle: Just think how much space I would have without the Maxi stuck in the middle... :-k

Neil
 

cambournepete

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Great stuff Alf, very interesting.

I'm jealous, not so much of the space (although the extra 4ft of width would be great) but of the fact it seems so organised. Now the shed's nearly done I must get organised so I can find stuff.

Cheers,

Pete
 
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