Thursday, 29 March 2012

Keeping Up To Date

Having to update a bit more regularly of late as there is so much going on at present if I leave it too long I’ll be bound to forget what happened when.
Tuesday was fairly quiet with a few jobs around the house between trimming cupboard doors for T-A then a run to the plumbers to get a few bits to try and tidy up this cats cradle.
Call me old fashioned but I don’t like to see pipes flopping around any old how.
Popped into Doug Howes plumbers merchants in Melton to get valves for a leaky kitchen tap that the big boys don’t stock.
I love these places where there are racks all over the place behind the counter and the old boy disappears into the darkness and comes back with exactly what you want, and then issues a hand written receipt.
Picked up Brocks prescription on the way back, the old dog is still plodding on, despite being told he would dead 18 months ago.
Wednesday was spent sorting out taps and  than taking cables and equipment down to T-A in readiness to start the rewire.
Today was out with the GCS on the boats again down to Grantham and back. Lucky old me got one of the cushy jobs on Three Shires again.
Maffi isn’t the only one who can shift rubbish.
This is on top of what was shifted last week. Another brilliant day out.
The motley crew taking lunch at Harlaxton, they may not look very scary but they put the wind up the locals.

I may not have had the hardest job today but I’m cream crackered, so dogs have been fed it’s time for a boil in the bath and relax – another busy day tomorrow and the day after.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Control Desk

Been keeping busy over the last few days.
Last Thursday saw me out with the GCS again. Did a bit to tidying up in Woolsthorpe depot and then wandered down the towpath to meet up with the boats at Denton Wharf.
Grand day and a nice stroll by the canal.
This is the recently refurbished bridge 62
Hopped on Three Shires and managed to steer her back to Woolsthorpe without getting lost.
Friday spent catching up with jobs in the garden, servicing the mowers and putting them to use, all in between sanding and varnishing the cupboard doors from Trudy-Ann.
Saturday and Sunday down to T-A doing some measuring up and so forth but not a lot to show for it, mainly bringing stuff back to make space – the rest of the time just catching up with jobs around the house.
Today has been a full day down on T-A. Installing the last of the soundproofing on the engine bulkhead. The last parts of control desk framework are now in place so the control panel could be fitted. Panelling to cover the framework will be made once the wiring is complete but will be fully removable.
Now the rewiring can start in earnest, but only the bilge pump and engine loom wired in so far.
Access to the wiring is as easy as pie.
A bit different to what it used to be.
Brought home some more furniture and cupboard doors for remaking, just in case I get bored.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Rubber Hammer Strikes Again

Today I decided to check out the glue on other cupboard doors so started with the two that were going to be shortened anyway.
Whack, whack and blow me down, yes it’s expansion foam again.
Although I decry the assembly, it’s an ill wind that blows no good. The bond is so poor that all the elements come apart with no damage, so ninety minutes later the doors have had 3”(75mm) chopped off top and bottom and been reassembled.
The first door is glued and clamped, the second is only pushed together (Need more bench dogs)
The only trouble with an easy job is it left me time to walk the dogs, wash up, do the washing and cook dinner – damn – that’s definitely getting my priorities wrong!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Visible Progress

At last things are starting to come together, albeit very slowly. A last lick of paint this morning and down to Trudy-Ann this afternoon to fit brackets and put bits in place to see how they go together,
Has become this
The isolation transformer is mounted in its secure bracket but not yet wired in. The main battery cables which were draped over the engine bearer now run through the bearer and are boxed in troughing and the new base for the Hurricane boiler has positioned but be removed until the rewiring and plumbing is complete.
More furniture and cupboard doors removed to be shaped to fit, to make more room to work.
You can tell this was a happy build, by the way the cupboard doors smile back at you.
This may well be due to the fact that only the door fronts have had a skimpy coat of varnish and the backs are bare wood. If that is the case then I am hopeful that judicious use of clamps and steam will sort the problem before lots of varnish is applied. That is of course assuming the glue is not the same as used for the bathroom door, if that is the case, they will be disassembled.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Those Little Jobs

Another week already, this retirement time don’t hang about like they told me it would. The old bus flew through the MoT, probably because every year I say ‘If it costs too much we’ll fix it with a new one’, but in the best tradition of Sweden it continues to soldier on.
The early potatoes are in and Karen is sitting out back like granny Clampet with rocking chair and shotgun after seeing the crows feeding on her broad beans.
Last Thursday out with the GCS clearing more trees down at Swab’s Lane, having a good time as always.
A couple of days down at T-A saw the soundproofing being fitted to the engine hole bulkhead where the heating boiler will go. Managed to jemmy the doors open on the bathroom cabinets, hopefully to be removed on the next trip. No room this time as car full of cushions and other bits which are being removed to make room to work. We have taken the decision to defer any cruising for the time being, as putting things back to make the boat serviceable is slowing the overall refit quite considerably. The rest of the time has been spent in the workshop making a mount for the heater in 6mm steel, capping for the battery cable duct and a drop in bracket to stop the isolation transformer moving about. Also started cutting some test pieces for the forward section of the wheelhouse using wood recovered from the old doors. So nothing spectacular but necessary work none the less.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Gorilla Works

This morning the clamps came off the bedroom door and it’s solid as a rock.
Given its first coat of varnish with several more to follow. Once they have been varnished the doors will be stored out of the way until needed.
One good thing from all this is that with all the cupboard and wardrobe doors having to come off for adjustment, (and some of them will be reshaped) dismantling is not going to be a problem. Some will have to wait for warmer weather as the bathroom cabinets are stuck solid.
The old bus is in for its MoT tomorrow so will probably plant a couple of rows of potatoes between varnishing sessions.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

A Victor Meldrew Moment

Well it has been a busy old week again. Down to T-A fitting a few more parts to the control panel and wiring in the new negative bus bar. I have decided I need a bit more room down there to work to speed the job up a bit – things are just taking too long. To this end some of the furniture is being brought home bit by bit on each visit. A gathering with old friends in Leicester on Wednesday. On Thursday it was out with the GCS again with contractors dropping trees that were growing into a culvert.
Phone BW - the canals blocked.

Soon had it clear though and dropped another one in its place but that was cleared as well – not a bad days work and got some firewood out of it to boot.
Party in Derby on Friday for old friend ‘Pinky’ Salmon after clocking up 49 years on the railway.
Down to Trudy again yesterday to clear things out and took down the bathroom and bedroom doors  As none of the doors fit they are being removed for trimming on the table saw. To dismount each door there are three hinges meaning 9 screws a 5 minute job you would think, but no, several screws have the heads chewed up so the have to be drilled out, they are of different sizes meaning having to change bits and several are broken off.
I somehow think the numpty that fitted this boat out has not figured out why there are different torque settings on modern drill/drivers nor the advantage of drilling pilot holes when working in hardwood.
Tip. Try these pilot drills.
The outer sleeve centres the drill in a hinge hole and slides back when the drill penetrates giving a centred hole every time.
Today doors duly mounted on the table saw to trim top and bottom, but the bedroom door jammed half way up because the door had been trimmed to fit top and bottom but not where the ball catch was. Only one screw in the ball catch, that’s nothing new. On removal broken screw found which is perhaps why the door had not been trimmed at this point.
Woodwork duly cut back and screw removed
and afterwards the rebate re-cut for catch. It’s no wonder jobs are taking so long when each five minute job takes half an hour because of poor workmanship in the initial build.
This door also has a scratch on one of the panels so I wondered if I could replace it. Well a mallet and a softwood drift had it reduced to its component parts in less than three minutes.
That’s when I couldn’t believe it. The whole thing appears to have been stuck together with the foam used to line the boat.
Anyway – Panel replaced and the whole thing has been stuck together again.
This time I am experimenting with a product called Gorilla Glue as the wood has been contaminated by the expansion foam I doubt that normal wood glue will take. This Gorilla Glue sound like good stuff and the fact that they give you gloves with the pack makes me think they mean business.
Let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Celebrating And Organising

I don’t know into March already where does the time go.
Not much happening in this past week, the framework has been completed for the top of the control desk to which the panel will be mounted, so it was a couple of trips down to Trudy-Ann to offer up the parts and adjust as necessary. Now it’s just a case of sand and varnish to build up the layers especially on the bits that hopefully will not see the light of day again. That is one thing I have encountered whilst working on T-A, if it’s not on display bare wood will do, not any more it’s not.
Celebrated mine and brothers birthdays this week as they fall either side of the month end and this year they are a day further apart. Got a nice watch from Karen – is this a subtle hint to be back for dinner on time?
And  lots of storage cases which will be a great help running between home and boat because I have lost count of the times down at Trudy when I whish that I had a particular size of screw or bolt, or you realise  that the tool you want is still at home, now it can all be easily stacked in the back of the motor.