Sunday, 31 August 2014

It's All Go At The Mo

Tuesday was spent vainly trying to catch up with some of the jobs around the house and garden.
Wednesday morning doing the regular trip to the butchers and into Melton for a restock on dog food and household stuff. In the afternoon disappeared into the workshop cutting timber for the wheelhouse door tops. Not been to Market Harborough just yet, working on the principal that when I run out of wood completely I’ll have a better idea of what I need. At the moment I’m recovering odd bits of usable timber from under the benches.
Work party with GCS on Thursday surveying the self sets. For my part walked from lock 16 to Casthorpe bridge (Br 64). Plenty of work to do here as we have the go ahead from CRT to remove all the self sets and scrub between the towpath and canal over autumn and winter. Most of the sets are young ash, sycamore or willow, not very big but just too big to pull out by hand.
Friday. Working on the new wheelhouse door tops and popped over to Screwfix for some new hinges and the like. Trying to get a outward sloping angle so that water will drain from between the top and bottom sections. This is proving to be a pain. If it was just a case of running it through the saw it would be no problem but the bottom section is raised at each end so it must be cut by hand. I’ll post a picture when the hinges are fitted and both parts can be seen together which should make more sense.
Out with the GCS again on Saturday, tidying up the depot and then joining the work parties out at Casthorpe bridge doing the preparatory work ready to start sapling removal in earnest as soon as we pass the official autumn threshold (Sept.1)
Clearing out the yard this morning (I seem to have been making a lot of sawdust just lately) and splitting a few logs ready for firewood. In the afternoon it was over to Newark for the CRT open day at their dry dock.
Good to see these gates are well watertight.
It is the bow – honest!
Thoroughly interesting and well worth a visit. Dropped off to have a look at the work CRT are doing, repairing the lock chamber at lock 11 near Cropwell Bishop.
Pointing up
And replacing brickwork as required.
It’s great to see.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Fruitful Weekend

A few bits happening on the boat front at the moment. Apart from the varnishing side I’ve decided to rehash the wheelhouse doors. The big mistake I made with the first build was to measure the originals and use the same dimensions, but as you can see here the door is an inch shorter than the frame.
The plan now is to make the door bottom 1 inch taller but that means that the tops have to be an inch shorter. The reason for doing this is that the door top has to be narrower so as not to catch when it is folded down and the result is a hole each side of the door when the wheelhouse is up. Not much to worry about but it is annoying me and it does allow some water to get in especially of the wind is from the side.
What with this and making new shutters for the front windows at home there is a shortage of sapele so it looks like a trip to Market Harborough next week to get some more. Doing all this cutting the table saw blades seem to be running rather hot indicating they are losing their edge. Tried cleaning and a quick rub up with a hone but not a lot of difference. Rather than buy a new set I’ve ordered a machine specifically designed for sharpening circular saw blades. It’ll be interesting to see if it is any good when it arrives.
The past couple of days has been out with the Grantham Canal Society running trips for the public over the bank holiday weekend. This time we were running from Woolsthorpe to give the regulars a change of scenery from Harlaxton. Loads of bodies on Sunday and certainly more than I had expected today.
Unfortunately not such good weather as yesterday but most people still wanted to sit out in front to enjoy the ride. Plenty of positive feedback and enquiries about becoming active members.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Surprising Update

With the last blog entry I copied a link to Maplin customer services (Got to increase the ratings somehow) as it seemed only fair to let them know my comments.
Had a response within 15 minutes and further e-mails through the week-end. The upshot being my complaint is being taken up with the store manager and a donation is being made to the Macmillan charity. Quite a positive result all in all.
Otherwise it’s still a case of harvesting and varnishing. Plums are in full flow at the moment so if plum juice has the same effect as prune juice we should at least be regular in our habitsJ

Saturday, 16 August 2014

A Bit Of A Surprise

Still pottering about with a couple of trips down to T-A to bring back bits of the wheelhouse woodwork for varnishing.
Yesterday with Karen having a bit of time off work we had intended to take the boat out so we could get alongside to touch up those annoying scratches but the weather forecast made that rather pointless.
Instead we opted for a meal at the Otter on the way to Kegworth which was first rate as usual and then on to Pillings Marina. Going through Loughborough I decided to pop into Maplin to stock up on some lithium batteries  but ended up picking up a few extra pieces  as well.
One of which was this weather station that was on offer.
Down at T-A just a quick visit to remove the cabin doors for varnishing and home.
First job was to set up the new weather station. Opened the box to find that most of the components were missing!!!!
A quick check to make sure I had the receipt and repack the box(or is that repack the packaging). Now it’s getting on for 4 o’clock on a Friday and so it’s a mad dash for the twenty or so miles back to Loughborough to try and get this sorted out.
Arriving a Maplin it was identified that I had the box for the display model. Rather than an apology I was asked why I hadn’t noticed it wasn’t as heavy as it should be. Jaw hits floor – perhaps I should have compared the weight of all the boxes in the stack. Anyway replacement was issued without question but the to my amazement the empty box was again added to the stack on display!!! I don’t suppose there is much storage space in the shops but this is ridiculous.
Another twenty miles home, hopefully not taking my frustration out on other drivers.
Today  the weather station is up and working well, cabin doors have been rubbed down and had a coat of Impreg in preparation for varnishing while Karen has been sorting out the garden.
Just came in to order some circlips off the Beal website and to rub salt into the wound found that CR2032 batteries that I bought in Maplin for £3.99 each are available for 45p so I have ordered 5 at the further reduced rate of £2.20 and am interested to see how they perform.

Saturday, 9 August 2014


Or should that be a blinding flash of the obvious?
After scratching the new paintwork I’ve been wondering about ways to keep Trudy-Ann from rubbing against the bank. Well last week I ordered a new wheelbarrow wheel to replace the one ravaged by hawthorn cuttings and as soon as I saw it I ordered two more.
I’ve seen wheels used elsewhere but they always seemed too bulky and soon showed signs of rust, these seem to be made for the job.
Otherwise there has not been too much happening over the last few weeks other than some enjoyable days down on the Grantham canal. It may be classed as a remainder but it still sees plenty of use
In the garden all the fruit seems to be about two weeks ahead of the norm so it has been a case of lots of picking, freezing or juicing. Certainly getting our five a day at present.