Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sweep, Hoover, Dust

That’s all I seem to have done over the past week.
Laying the new floor panels is taking longer than expected owing to the amount of mastic, spray foam and broken screws to be removed. Removing the water pipes revealed a pile more rubbish and sawdust. The flooring being re-laid is being reinforced with more 19mm ply strip under the joins to reduce the amount of flexing and it’s all being secured by 5mm(No 10) stainless steel screws in countersunk holes. The result will hopefully be no more rusty broken screws.
Every piece of work is followed by a sweep up and hoover, now all the crud I can find has gone I don’t intend to replace it with more.
Been toying with the idea of signing up for a bee-keeping course in Grantham as we’ve been thinking a hive in the garden would be good for pollinating the fruit trees on top of the chance of some honey. The only worry is that one of the locals might take the opportunity for a feast.
He’s already emptied the bee box we put up.
Tuesday was down at Woolsthorpe depot fitting new security bars to the windows with Ralph. This time it was sweeping up brick dust.J
The rest of the crew were putting the finishing touches to Mudlark.
The weather round here has been absolutely foul for the past couple of days, got a few cutting jobs done in the workshop but varnishing has been out of the question.
Glad I’m not down in Devon or Cornwall, so shouldn’t complain too much.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Another Busy Week

Quite a bit of involvement with the GCS in the past week, both planned and unplanned.
Saturday and part of Sunday was down at lock 11 near to the A46 at Stragglethorpe clearing some of the debris left after the Experian work parties last month
while the WRG party cleared out lock 10
to expose the brickwork.
That has got to be a big well done for all the lads and lasses involved.
Got back from a run into town on Monday to find the phone ringing. It was Ian from GCS asking for help down at Woolsthorpe depot after a report of a break in. When we got there we found the windows to the rear had been completely ripped out leaving only the bare brick hole. The security grille in the messing area had been forced off and entry gained there. Stayed until eight making the place as secure as we could.
Down to Tool Station in the morning for new fixings and sealant to do a proper job. Finished in the dark again and have decided to add bars to the outside of the windows to try and deter further intrusion.
The stupidity of this whole sorry affair was that there is nothing of any value kept in the depot, the biggest loss was some soft drinks and crisps left over from the open day, yet the damage done would indicate that these were more than just children. Does the term ‘Strong in the arm – thick in the head’ apply here?
Wednesday morning spent making new security bars for Woolsthorpe and in the afternoon popped over to Hawkes Timber at Bassingfield for a job lot of ply to line the base boards before laying the new flooring.
In the evening it was the GCS AGM. All the usual bits and pieces that you would expect but I was a bit brassed off to learn that CaRT was now insisting that the society pays navigation fees for any workboats using the canal to carry out maintenance.
Urine extraction methinks.
Finally got a few hours down on T-A today. Took the new steps to measure up and mark out where the access to the cool store and bilge will be. The steps still require more varnishing but the felt so secure in position even without fixing I decided to bring the old steps home. They will have to be finished when all the new lining is varnished. Fitted the first couple of flooring boards so with a bit of luck I can start getting the new floor down next week. GCS permitting – I’m already down for a work party on TuesdayJ

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Friends And Fiddly Bits

All sorts of disjointed jobs going on this week. The new steps have had the screw holes plugged, and have had a first coat of varnish which had to be done in three stages owing to the shape. The cooler weather is slowing the drying time which is a bit of a pain. I’ve decided the cables for the LED lights are too long which meant cutting the cable because the plugs are sealed in silicone and as the colour displayed is selectable there are four wires in each cable.
The individual wires are too small for crimps so each one is soldered
sleeved in heat shrink tubing
which is then all covered in more heat shrink
and of course this has to be done for each lamp.
Remember the original ash deck boards from the wheel house? Bits of one of them form the front of the steps and a bit more has been used to make the capping to cover any wiring on show inside the steps.
Yesterday friends Tony and Lesley popped over to help celebrate Karen’s birthday (the big 50) and I like to think a good time was had by all.
They were very taken by the new pup Tommy and a head count had to be taken on departureJ. Ian from GCS also popped by for a coffee and drop off the tools for this weekends work party at locks 9, 10 & 11 with our team supported by WRG North West.
( I dare say they think we are supporting them, so don’t burst their bubble. J )
Today has been down at T-A reaffixing some of the flooring over the ballast and removing the old mastic. Still finding plenty of broken screws to remove, slow work but we’re getting there.
Karen has taken a week off work to celebrate her birthday but an awful lot of it has been spent up to ankles in mud clearing the garden for winter - typical.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Still Working Away

Not a lot going on at the moment, not least because the weather is making me think it’s time to hibernate.
Even so I managed to get three visits to Woolsthorpe depot to help get Mudlark and Earwig ready for use.
Mostly cleaning and painting
Rowan tried the stove in Earwig but it proved to be a bit smoky.
Things did improve as the chimney warmed but it is definitely in need of resealing.
On the doggy front, we’ve been having a few problems with Tommy getting stressed out when the dogs are left alone. This has been overcome with a bit of patience and a lot of treats so that now if we are both out together he does not think he is being abandoned. All in all though it has meant that the last couple of weeks there has been somebody in the house most of the time and as Karen still has to go to work it has meant less time down at T-A. Still managed a couple of visits to check all OK and offer up various pieces for fitting.
The steps are nearly complete, just need a few coats of varnish and ducting making to take the LED wiring. Hopefully the varnish will help differentiate between the ash body and oak treads. Most of the wood used has been recovered from T-A. Which reminds me – we have a refund from BHNB – found a penny when lifting the floors. J  
The bottom two steps are hinged so that they fold over the step above to give storage access.
A lot of the flooring which cannot be reused is at least keeping us warm at the moment.