Baling and sorting

Yesterday, I took delivery of four large oak logs and some hefty planks. Two of the logs are sized to support my anvils: the big one at smithing height; the small one at bench height for fine work. I got the small one onto its new stand this afternoon using a ramp and a back brace, trying to look nonchalant as Monica went past. The planks are the first attempt at milling by the firewood folks. They weren’t very successful in their selection of timber or their drying so these are “character” pieces that will need special thought and preparation before they can become furniture. Ideas welcomed. There are four, three-inch beech planks and two, two-inch oak planks. I had to pay for these—probably too much—but it’s good to support local enterprise and I’ll be very happy to incorporate indigenous timber into future projects. They have quite a stack left and need to move out of their yard so I hope they’ll think kindly of me when they realise no-one else wants their stained and knotty wood.


I also recently obtained some four-foot lengths of stout aluminium extrusion—the sort they use to prototype CNC machines—to use as rip and crosscut fences on my big table saw. This stuff is accurate to within a couple of thou over its length and has slots for t-nuts in each side. I should be able to slide it onto the saw’s own fences quickly and then attach stops, finger boards and hold-downs as required. I hope to make a large auxiliary table out of the same extrusions so that I can safely and accurately cut sheet goods. Now I will have to knuckle down to checking the machine for squareness and greasiness, which is good because I feel a fraud for buying a super-accurate saw and not properly fettling it since its journey here.

Today, the well in the Shippen came as close to overflowing as I’ve seen it. If it did spill, the water would just flow under the timber floor and out the same way but it was good that the system coped. The waterfalls on the hill opposite were loud enough to drown out the traffic noise. 

I hope it’s still wet tomorrow because I have yet to complete the tool kit I promised Ralph’s widow when I took away all of his gear. That was today’s job but, by the time I’d sorted his BA nuts and bolts and cleaned up my anvil, there was only just enough time to loaf about looking at the rain.

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