Its Monday That used to be the worst day of the week, but now I’m working piecemeal at several things or sometimes not at all? Well, the young ones are all back at school, the parents who took time away from work to be with their kids during school break (well done them!) are back at work, and it’s a nice autumn day here so it’s a better day than most.
I’m sitting on my thinking chair here in my workshop waiting for some epoxy to kick off so I can do the next part of assembling the rudder stock for SEI, and sipping on my mug of tea.
The rudder for SEI is a bit unusual, I’m trying some new thoughts here. Being double ended hanging over the stern to get the rudder blade up and down is a bit fraught, so I’ve built in channels for the lines that do that, and located the pivot a bit further aft than usual to give some leverage to do that.
In addition to this I’ve made the lower end of the rudder stock wider than normal, taken it about 125mm below the waterline and put an end plate on it so it will ( hopefully) be enough to steer the boat when the rudder blade is up and I’m creeping over the shallows.
That extra depth also means I’m able to put the rudder fittings a little further apart which makes things stronger.
On tools. My very elderly uncle has been a joiner, a professional worker of wood, all his life. Among the things he’s created is a spiral staircase with no central pole and a cathedral rose window, he’s built a replica of an 1840s wooden lecturn for a university, and worked well into his 70s rather than sit idle.
He’s gradually giving me a lot of the tools from his home workshop.
Much of the gear is light, and cheap, his workplace had every piece of machinery you can imagine, and he had enough of a reputation there to be able to use the serious machinery at work for his own projects, so cheap, light and simple in his little shop was ok. Some items have been a very useful addition to my collection, some will be quietly farmed out to people who will find them adequate for the occasional light task.
Among the things that I have inherited is an unused, very recently purchased Ryobi combination linisher (fixed belt sander) and bench grinder. 370 watt.
It does do a job, the light is handy when sharpening chisels or planes at night, the see through guard on its moveable arm works well, the water tray is way too small and if you have a machine of this general type you do need some suction on it to contain the dust from the sander. I bought a brand new Shop Vac the other day for $65 and its going under the bench and will have a switch installed under the bench top edge just below the Ryobis switch.
I am not Ryobi’s greatest fan, product that I’ve bought in the past has not been up to the use that I put it to and when I get them to repair I find that if its more than brushes or a duff switch its not worth bothering.
So how is this performing?
I use the grinder for planes and chisels, the wheel goes around ok, but you’d want to change the coarse grey wheel for a softer 80 grit wheel to reduce the burning of the blade that you are grinding.
The toolrest is a frustrating thing for sharpening tools on. I’m going to make a new one, the standard one is too short across, has a groove in it for sharpening drill bits ( totally useless) which makes the hand bump when sliding a plane blade back and forth across the wheel, and the dresser that came with it flew to bits about the third time I used it. (I have a “proper” one).
The linisher, that’s the sanding belt thing on the other end, works about well enough to show me that I’d benefit a lot from owning a decent one.
Its belt is small so tends to load up fairly quickly, but a belt cleaner block can take care of that. Its top wheel is masked by a guard that comes up too high so you cant use the round to get inside a curve, its platen behind the belt does not go down far enough to support product that is on the tool rest, or the tool rest needs to be higher up the belt. Its also very short of power, taking very little to stall it. All that and the tracking adjustment is a joke.
So what do I think of it?
Well, its actually pretty useful for the price that they are, I use it a lot and it works. But if you are serious you’ll spend a few more bucks on a better one, you’ll forget the pain in the pocket far sooner than the repeated annoyance of a machine that is almost but not quite up to the job.
Progress on SEI? I promised a correspondent that I’d put some pics up today, I’ve got the gunwale inners all rounded over, the oarlock blocks mounted and the brace that takes the strain of the anchor cleat fitted to the underside of the bow breasthook, I’ve fitted the braces for the forward extensions to the stern seat so that’s getting close to ready.
I’ve got the daggerboard ready to paint, the rudder stock all laminated up, and the rudder blade ready for fairing off.
She’s looking good, filleting proceeds slowly, that’s about my least favourite job.
The daggerboard, three layers of 9mm plywood with a hardwood inserted leading edge. The tricky little notch at the back of the handle is to take a shock cord hold down when its down, that runs from the holes you see in the frame "this side" of the daggerboard case and up over that notch.
When there is a need to hold the board part way up, that same shock cord loop goes around the after edge of the 'board above the top of the 'case.
View from aft.
View from forward.
By the way, I can pick either end up with one hand, she could be a little under her design weight. Good, easier to drag up a beach or put on a trailer.