Tag Archives: lathe

Men in Sheds – the journey continues…

it was time for Men in Sheds again today and I managed to make it this time, avoiding the need for dentists and car mechanics. Hopefully this situation will continue, though with an intermittent fault in the car and a mouth full of ageing teeth nothing is guaranteed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of the members brought his lathe in today – he says it’s been gathering dust for the last twenty years so it looks like we’re already doing some good by enthusing people to take action. Once it was going he soon got back into the swing of things and turned out a replacement hammer shaft for one of the farm’s impressive stash of defective tools.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Later we covered the basics of bowl turning (is there no end to our ambitions?), spoke of mahogany, shellac and long case clocks.

There’s not been a dull day in the shed yet!

Me, impersonating a hamster

Well, we’ve bitten the bullet and announced the shed will be open every Friday from 10.30 until 12.30. Let’s see if the initial enthusiasm translates into a a viable membership.

I used to use a lathe with my grandfather when I was in my early teens and I wish I’d carried on with it, but I didn’t and I’m going to have to relearn the skills again. It’s just one of a range of handicraft skills I let lapse over the years. I’m also going to have a crack at making wooden toys. It’s another thing that runs in the blood – the same grandfather made so many black market toys from scrap wood during the war he was able to buy a bath. A proper bath, that is, rolled top and all, not a hip bath.

He was a very industrious man, my grandfather. He joined up twice and his employers made the RAF cough him up twice because they couldn’t do without him. He spent all day as a quarry foreman at a cement company (they need a lot of cement in wartime, what with runways and pill boxes and such) and all night as a fireman, serving in Manchester and Liverpool during the blitz. I’m not quite sure where his spare time came from but he didn’t let it go to waste.

As I sit here, frittering my time with inconsequential chat on a blog I’m not sure he’d be pleased to see the way I turned out.

In group terms the day started badly when the taxi turned up with only three people. They said they’d told the driver he’d missed a pick-up but we’re not sure, as they aren’t keen on the new arrangement where there are four of them in the taxi.

It was all sorted by a quick call to the taxi company, but it wasn’t a great start.

It’s also an example of what happens when cost-cutting leads to the use of cheaper and less efficient taxi companies, though some would call me cynical.

It was a rainy day and though we rewove some willow hedge, potted herbs for the Ploughing Match and polished off a number of odd jobs, it didn’t seem like we did much as it was all in bits and bats.

Apple pressing again tomorrow – they sold so much at the weekend we need another pressing just to restock the cafe. That’s good, but it also puts me in mind of a hamster constantly circling in his wheel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA