In the workshop at last.

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Retired

Established Member
Joined
24 Jun 2012
Messages
193
Reaction score
219
Location
Fenay Bridge. Huddersfield.
Hi,

It's ages since I posted on this forum due to being bogged down with heavy jobs around the bungalow and gardens. 30 years upgrading our detached bungalow and the last 3 years getting the gardens under control. It's like living on a mountain living here the site being a steep valley side making standing upright outside challenging. I'm now aged 73 and have jokingly been fully retired for the past 20 years; I still don't know what retirement is because I'm still grafting as hard as ever but now it's full time and no holidays or weekends off. I do all the work on my own breaking big jobs down into smaller jobs so I can manage them. This summer I've spent up the mountain removing a huge 60' long hedge with tall mature hawthorn tree including stumps;

Rear garden_0002.JPG


When I say hard graft how about one of the stumps/root balls I removed this being interlocked laurels taking 24 tons of hydraulic jacking pressure to break it free then it was dragged dangerously across the steep slope using a 2,500Lb winch; I finally cut it up and disposed of it only a couple of weeks ago needing two trips to the tip in our Skoda Yeti.

Rear garden_0004.JPG


Yes it's like living on a mountainside; this picture taken from the lane; our bungalow is way down below the trees which are in our garden; roof tops of neighbours houses seen middle right. I had a fan club for months whilst carrying out this work; the 4" x 4" fence posts were 12' long and I couldn't lift and carry them up the mountain so strapped each in turn to a sack cart and struggled. To add to my pleasure the post holes had to be sunk 3' into sold rock so this meant buying and using a big electric jack hammer to break through the rock. The meadow wild flowers are ours and attract lots of favourable comments some walkers stopping to take pictures; even erecting the wire mesh was hard graft but I got there in the end.

Turned mice_0003.JPG


Not wishing to be lazy one day whilst it poured with rain I turned two wooden mice for my lovely wife; she's delighted with them.

Goblet_0004.JPG


Another wet day as the rain poured down I turned my first ever goblet this from home grown Holly that I'd been drying for years.

Lathe steady_0004_01.JPG


Here's a center steady I've only just completed because I want to turn more goblets during winter.

Lathe steady_0005_01.JPG


The steady mounted on the lathe ready to be used in anger.

This year during bad weather I've also learned metal spinning and TIG welding aluminium. I fully restored a scrap Suffolk Colt petrol mower only to find the petrol tank to leak so I've fancied having a go at welding aluminium for many years; my wife generously bought me a TIG welder as a combined wedding anniversary; birthday present; TIG welding is an expensive hobby but having got the welder I then joined a MIG welding forum receiving lots of guidance into TIG welding; I ended up making two different styles of petrol tank just for the fun of it.

Petrol tanks_0003.JPG


The original but leaking steel tank on the right the two new aluminium tanks on the left; TIG welding aluminium proved more difficult than expected because I've been arc welding steel for over 50 years.

More spinning_005.JPG


I rebuilt and upgraded my Graduate lathe a few years ago to 1.5hp 3 phase inverter rated motor via a VFD giving full variable speed and reverse etc. I use this Graduate for both wood turning and metal spinning; here's a spinning former one of three that I needed to make new aluminium reflectors for two scrap coach lamps I restored; the lamps needed three pairs of reflectors so as usual I did it the hard way learning how to spin metal with the generous help from a friend who owns a metal spinning company who took me under his wing when I approached him to buy spinning blanks; we're now good friends.

Reflectors_001.JPG


The finished reflectors; the lamps were completed and installed each side of our front door. I've also spun the aluminium domed ends for the petrol tank seen in the tank picture. It's been incredibly hard work all year with no let up but it keeps me happy and fit. I've got projects lined up for winter but at the moment I'm researching turning goblets not wanting to produce these in large quantity but concentrating more on quality.

I've rambled on long enough and hope this is of interest; being bored isn't an option for me.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
Last edited:

Doug B

Shy Tot
Joined
6 Aug 2008
Messages
4,690
Reaction score
4,443
Location
@dougsworkshop
Certainly looks like you’ve had your fair share of graft Colin but the rewards are obvious to see, excellent job on the tanks & reflectors & new skills well learnt.

I really like the mice, can I ask what you’ve used for the eyes & where you got them please?
 

Terrytpot

Established Member
Joined
9 Aug 2017
Messages
316
Reaction score
180
Location
Derbyshire
My wife and I love those mice :) I only hope I can be so productive myself if I reach your age but I'm currently just shy of 2 decades junior to you and already feel that what you've achieved this year would be beyond me. I seem to have squandered a chunk of my life in an occupation not renowned for keeping one in the best of physical condition (HGV driver) and whilst I've stopped doing "tramping" and eating the junk food provided on motorways I doubt I'll regain the energy that I used to have that you obviously still do. Top marks for learning a new skill though and something I aspire to myself.
 

Retired

Established Member
Joined
24 Jun 2012
Messages
193
Reaction score
219
Location
Fenay Bridge. Huddersfield.
Hi,

Many thanks for your replies and I'm sorry for the late response; I'm fully retired so don't have much spare time.

Thanks for your kind words and for asking Doug B. The eyes are readily available through eBay as teddy bear eyes and come in a number of sizes; mine are 4.5mm; I hope I'm allowed to post details as seen here;

Various EYES with PLASTIC BACKS for Teddy Bear Making Soft Toy Doll Animal Craft | eBay

I bought ten pairs (20 eyes) with backings but just used the eyes; I think I used a 2.5mm drill bit in my cordless drill drilling at an angle allowing the eyes to seat flush; the ears and tails were cut from a small sheet of leather 2mm thick also bought through eBay;

1-2mm Natural Genuine Cow Leather Sheet DIY Craft Piece 20x14-30x30cm UK Ship | eBay

All were super glued in; I can't take credit for someone else's idea but here's where I got the inspiration from whilst browsing YouTube;



I used an offcut of beech and it yielded two mice at one turning; length of body is 65mm x 40mm finished sizes; tail is 90mm long from body with a slight taper cut using craft knife against a steel rule. The exposed section of the ears are 10mm tall paddle shaped; I used a paper template for marking the ears before cutting them out; care obviously needs to be taken whilst cutting using a craft knife. The mice were turned between centers with a little knob left at parting for the nose which were then finished by gently carving with the craft knife. Finish is sanding sealer and the natural colour of the beech and leather look quite authentic; my wife loves these two mice and I confess I'm delighted with them too. They would make wonderful presents costing very little indeed and are easy to make.

How kind of you Terrypot; thank you. You could surprise yourself if you adopted a better diet; I was ill for the first 57 years of my life; a weak skinny kid with severe asthma until I grew out of it aged 11; I was often bullied at school and ashamed because I daren't wander too far from a toilet I was so ill; my late mother at times was up all night nursing me and I struggled to keep up with school chums missing a lot of my early schooling. I didn't understand what spectacles were for and I missed so many eye tests at school due to illness; I couldn't read the blackboard even though I was on front row of the class; my chum let me copy his work. Aged 11 life did change when I started at secondary modern school again initially being bullied but I finally had an eye test and what a transformation; I could now see and in the following four years I made rapid progress leaving school with seven passes and top of the school in tech drawing and art gaining distinctions in both subjects; I failed in religious knowledge; history and I detested both woodworking and the bully of a woodwork teacher.

I was in and out of hospital and in 1980 diagnosed with Crohn's disease; in 1982 I was subjected to major surgery having the Crohn's operation removing a mass and length of bowel also my appendix at the same time; by now I was also married to my truly wonderful wife who loved and cared for me throughout. Then after 6 months of potty training I was still very ill this time with a severe skin condition. I saw many specialists and had many skin tests but I sure was ill and not getting better; one night in bed my lovely wife read out loud an article in one of her girlie mags regarding food intolerance; two days later I was 80% cured and skipping around like an healthy kid; I'd been dairy intolerant for 57 years and a complete dropping of dairy products switch to Soya was remarkable in the speed of my recovery; I'm still applying Dermol Cream and if I suffer a blow up I have ointment but for months now my skin has even healed. I'm healthier and fitter now aged 73 than when I was a child; miss-diagnosed by so many over so many years and my ignorance of what spectacles were for caused me so much grief; to add to the problem we were given milk daily at school.

I've rambled on and hope I've not bored anyone but given my background I believe if anyone tries hard enough they will succeed. I come from generations of coal miners so I was working underground when I left school aged 15 in short I've had rather a rough life but it's toughened me up. Now I love all aspects of woodworking and metal working; I've built up an enviable workshop over the last 44 years of marriage; we've got a beautiful detached bungalow and can afford a new car every two or three years; neither my wife or I touch alcohol; we don't smoke or do drugs; we've not had an holiday away from home for 43 years and don't want one; we're content with our very basic but happy lifestyle making the most of what we already have without wanting more.

I was trained by highly skilled mechanical engineers as an apprentice at The National Coal Board and owe a great deal to these engineers for teaching me so much. I can make anything from wood or metal; when I retired I adopted restoring vintage radio's during our long winters; I'm hopelessly colour blind so could never be a sparky but I restored over 100 vintage radios the hobby spanning 10 years; I've had articles published and still feel I know nothing but I'm always keen to learn; I'm not scared of anything and I enjoy leaving my comfort zone to learn new skills; working on the radio cabinets I learned French polishing and veneering; I've made lots of our furniture both fitted and free standing; going down the pit aged 15 instilled in me a powerful work ethic which remains with me to this day; I'll probably drop dead grafting but I won't be bored.

My driving force is having such a loving and devoted wife who makes it worthwhile getting out of bed each day; we fully support each other in our respective varied hobbies and as long as we have each other we're happy.

Thanks Roberto Flintofski for your encouragement; yes to keep busy is to keep fit it works for me; the thing holding me back is our dire climate otherwise I could do so much more.

Now for a bit of an insight into some of my work.

Clock_0001..JPG


Antique clock case needing full re-veneer and finishing it being too bad to tidy up. I removed this useless top panel and completely replaced it; I use hot hide glue on these jobs; not the easiest of glues to use but definitely the best.

Hand rubbed finish..jpg


Re-veneered and hand rubbed French polished. Over restored but better than thrown in a skip.

Ekco TV_0001.JPG


1957 Ekco TV/radio as bought for restoration project; full of woodworm with much delamination of veneers; I like a challenge and although I'd restored many vintage radios this was my one and only TV restoration; after this I lost interest wanting new challenges.

Ekco TV_0002..JPG


Yes the same TV cabinet finished in French polish having been given much TLC by me.

Lorch_0001..JPG


My Lorch Schmidt precision engineering lathe as bought it having been stored in a scrap yard for over 20 years in need of a lot of love.

Lorch_0002..JPG


The Lorch nearing completion of a full and comprehensive restoration; since then I've upgraded it to 1.5hp 3 phase Poly V Drive via a VFD. It's now a joy to own and use it's an extremely rare lathe.

Clarke lathe_0001.JPG


Having sold my big Colchester engineering lathe my lovely wife treated me to a small Clarke lathe until I eventually bought the Lorch; first job I did was to destroy the circuit board and motor the Clarke expired in a cloud of smoke; my fault because I'm used to industrial lathes and I thought I was using a light cut at 60 thou; pity I didn't read the manual which states maximum cut of ten thou.

Clarke lathe_0002..JPG


Pointless replacing a very expensive circuit board and motor so I upgraded to a much more robust drive using heavy duty servo motor designed for an industrial sewing machine adapted to the Clarke using a counter shaft; now it was happy with a 60 thou cut; I sold it to a delighted new owner.

SEPT 2020 (24).JPG


The top of our mountain bordering the lane; here was a huge double hedge needing tall ladders to trim; I've only just completed removing the lot including stumps and erecting the new fence; 2 tons of mulch spread with a further 3 tons of mulch around the garden; I won't be trimming the hedge next or future years; just one of the huge hedges I've removed. This is 60' long.

SEPT 2020 (189).JPG


The new wildflower meadow I created having removed the double hedge at the top of the garden; it was breathtaking in its beauty and much admired by walkers along the lane. Sorry If I'm repeating myself but I daren't check in case I completely lose this post.

These are just samples of work I've carried out; I've virtually rebuilt our bungalow from the foul drains right up to installing a complete new roof; I never want to be lazy or idle; life is to enjoy not waste. I've got thousands of images of work I've carried out over the years and I recommend anyone doing projects to record progress using a camera for future reference; I use my cheap £60 pocket camera then if I drop it I don't lose much compared to using my much more expensive SLR camera.

It's a miserable day again outside and dark so I thought I'd spend a bit of time on the forum at least I'm keeping busy. I hope no ones fallen asleep.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
Last edited:

Retired

Established Member
Joined
24 Jun 2012
Messages
193
Reaction score
219
Location
Fenay Bridge. Huddersfield.
Hi,

Thanks pe2dave; metal spinning is a great deal more difficult to do than woodturning and much more dangerous; I'll post a lot more details regarding my entry into metal spinning which is a story in itself; I was shown how to metal spin by the owner of a metal spinning company and I'm indebted to him for his kindness and generosity; what he didn't tell me though was how easy it is to break or fracture a rib this suffered by many manual metal spinners; of course I found out the hard way. I've got more images on file that I'm happy to post in a short while; the weather is too bad for me to play out again and I don't fancy getting cold and wet wandering down to the workshop.

Metal spinning is definitely satisfying to do. but here's something to watch; it sure isn't easy it just looks easy to watch a professional metal spinner;



Kind regards, Colin.
 

Al 546

Member
Joined
26 Dec 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
Location
Slovenia
Morning Colin

I'm writing this message from beautiful Slovenia where we ourselves have retired. Infact yours and my retired sound quite similar but wouldn't change it. Its raining and blowing a gale at this moment, maybe the remnants of storm Bella that I saw on uk news. Having just read through your chapters, you have given me the inspiration to jump out of this warm bed and get out to my workshop, put on a fire and start some work. I've recently brought a union jubilee as you know from your reply but can't play right now as I'm waiting for a UK delivery of tools but I can continue the restoration of a 1963 volvo pv544 I brought during the summer. Going back to the lathe, I last used a lathe in school in the seventies and can't wait to get going. I will send you a picture of what I make first. Keep going my friend. Thanks for the encouragement and happy 2021. Best wishes Al.
 

Latest posts

Top