New arrivals

As planned, the milling machine arrived on Wednesday. The vendor delivered and positioned it for me. I’m glad they did: it’s an awkward beast and the worn brick floor prevented any smooth rolling of their crane. Now I have to rouse Old Albert to sell me his unused tooling.

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Unplanned, this Wadkin wood lathe arrived on Tuesday and I’ve just landed it on the Joinery floor. It’s a special build: four foot rather than six foot between centres but still able to turn a two-foot bowl. That’s over the lathe bed; on the far end, you can turn an eight-foot table top! It attracted my attention on eBay because it has a traverse like a metalwork lathe plus a complete set of accessories; and it was cheap. Ken Dodde, a retiring Wolverhampton pattern-maker, had turned down ridiculous offers from Americans to split it up because he wanted it to remain together as a kit. Bless him. My favourite colour, too. The traverse actually allows me to turn big lumps of brass and aluminium, as well as wood, so that I can step up from the precision Myford lathe to make metal handles, mallets etc.

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Drinking beer, now, to calm down after the stress of moving half a ton of cast iron without hurting me or it. Tomorrow, all those machines huddling against the wall have to go back into place. As a bonus, I made a base for the morticer that raises it up to a better working height and will also allow me to put any length of timber through the window to receive its square holes. What fun.

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