Job's come in threes.

Colin

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Hi,

No gardening today; it's snowing but I'm seldom without jobs to do. Bron came out of the bathroom last night and informed me the fan heater wouldn't switch off; this morning I popped over the street to our lovely neighbours to give them Christmas prezzies and whilst there my attention was drawn to their main oven with the microwave oven above both built in; the spacing glass panel had become detached and broke as it hit the floor and now they were struggling for ideas because although both the ovens are unmarked and look like new; spares are difficult to source. Back home Bron informed me the Hoover Junior vacuum had packed in so this completed the trio. (y):(

Taking the jobs in order this afternoon I isolated the fan heater from the supply and removed the front cover expecting to find the switch needed replacing? The switch was OK but the operating lever had snapped this being the norm for items made these days it being flimsy plastic.

On with my winter gear and I headed down to the workshop in the snow; out of my steel offcuts I selected a bit of steel and made a new lever; I've included a picture below; now let's see this steel lever snap.

Whilst in the workshop I searched for a bit of suitable timber to make the oven replacement panel from; how lucky to find I had dark very dense hardwood of exactly the 2" width required and long enough but at 3/8" it needed to be twice this thickness; I cut the correct length and popped over to our neighbours to see what it looked like in position; as expected it didn't look right being too thin so I've just cut two short lengths of the same timber and glued one to each end of the longer piece giving the correct thickness; tomorrow I'll smooth it with abrasive paper then spray it black to match other trim on the ovens.

Back in the bungalow I've now installed the new lever to the fan heater and this is now working at no cost other than an interesting bit of metalwork; the new lever being steel is electrically safe because its cord operated and mounted in plastic. I've also replaced the vacuum drive belt as I carry spares for this so just a bit of paint spraying tomorrow and three jobs nicely sorted without having to mess around ordering and waiting for spares; it made a change today to potter around in the workshop; I'll worry about the snow tomorrow morning when I go shopping first thing. :)

I wonder what jobs will appear tomorrow?

Our immediate neighbour next door has just emailed saying her washing line and the big tree stump it was attached to at one end has finally died and fallen over so I reckon with my luck this must be a bonus.

Kind regards, Colin.

DSC00142.JPG
 

Colin

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Hi,

Can you move next door to me please, @Colin !?

Thanks alp; I'm asked this many times and I also get lots of husbands into trouble with my endeavours. :D

Bron and I have a lovely neighbour living next door; Carole is retired and on her own her husband sadly passed away about five years ago just before she moved here. We keep an eye on Carole and I'm forever doing jobs for her. The old fence on our boundaries was wire netting on wooden posts with two big wooden panels at the bottom; our laurels had grown through the netting as had brambles etc. I must learn to keep my head down but I ended up cutting back the laurels removing the old fence completely running all the debris to the tip; Carole asked for new fence suggestions and as we live on the steep valley side subjected to high wind I designed a new fence and Carole was happy to pay for materials whilst I endured a week's graft working up her very steep garden erecting the new fence having firstly had to clear a working area for access.

Carole has a lovely cat called Max who Bron and I make a right fuss of; I set about and spent three days making Max a little bungalow; this is a heavy duty bungalow that I painted and then felted the roof.

Carole one day was most upset having spilled nail polish remover onto one of her nested tables the tables being special to her; the remover had gone right through the finish to bare timber; I'm highly colour blind but I can match like for like working by shades; I restored the table for her much to her delight. A few pictures of these jobs are below.

I've done lots of other jobs for Carole like making wooden moulding to match original picture rail moulding that is no longer available; I demolished a shed; put up a bathroom cabinet; sorted out a light fitting and even showed Carole how to use a bead loom she had bought; it's not a problem because Carole is an excellent neighbour and in return Carole kindly buy's us gifts as a thank you; after the fence job Carole had been in Paris and brought back a Mona Lisa print which she kindly had professionally framed for us as a surprise present; Carole has just phoned asking if I would like a windscreen cover because she now garages her car?

The only downside of these jobs is that they take a lot of time and I end up running into winter trying to do our own jobs; I also do lots of jobs for friends like making a bird feeder and today I'm completing a wooden panel for our neighbours oven. The bird feeder is shown below but I made two of these one which we are currently using.

I'd love to help everyone but it's amazing when visitors see my workshop and work I've carried out their eyes light up and they have lots of favours to ask of me? I've now been retired 17 years whatever retirement means but I'm happy to keep busy and Bron too enjoys her crafting so neither of us are ever bored. :)

Yesterday I fixed the vacuum and the fan heater today I'll complete the oven panel; I started to make a router table a couple of years ago and I'm dreaming of finishing it?

Kind regards, Colin.

_010Caroles fence.JPG
_021Caroles fence.JPG
Caroles small table  (1).JPG
Caroles small table  (2).JPG
Caroles small table  (3).JPG
Davids bird feeder I made (2).JPG
Maxs bungalow undercoated and glossed (2).JPG
 

alp

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Nice to have nice neighbours .. or no neighbours.. @Colin !

I prefer no neighbours .. Another industrial fan delivered to the alchemy!
 
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Colin, you are a talented, kind, generous and often witty person, Brilliant doesn't begin to cover it!
Have you heard of "doppelgangers"? They are the exact replica of a person, but not the same person (two people sharing the same characteristics, physical appearance, and talents). You may be my husband's doppelganger--do you by any chance have a beard?
 

Colin

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Hi,

Many thanks alp & Fagiolino much appreciated. (y)

No neighbours is best alp but good neighbours are second best and can help each other in emergencies; our neighbours are mostly good and the bad ones we leave well alone which is a shame because they don't play fair. :(

I've spent years doing vintage radio projects; a friend of mine had a big collection of these radios and I started off repairing his cheaper sets just to learn how to do it and if I made a mistake no harm would be done; however right from the first restoration I did well and went on over the years getting better and better so I restored more expensive sets all without charge it was just an hobby I had adopted and my friend got his sets restored whilst I enjoyed a very good hobby it costing very little monetary wise but I did put the years in. One day my friend was upset because he had bought through eBay a Philco Peoples set back panel and the panel hadn't been delivered it costing the best part of £30. Many vintage radios are missing back panels and this particular panel is much sought by restorers.

I asked my friend to supply a sheet of 6mm MDF and I would have a go at making a panel? My friend supplied a full sheet of MDF and I came up with an idea of how to make the panels. I believe these panels have over 650 holes in each of them and each hole needed to be positioned accurately. My friend borrowed a back panel and initially he had marked a blank panel with the intention of hand drilling each hole which to me would be an impossible task to do accurately.

I did some measurements and used the computer to draw a paper template hole pattern; this in turn was attached to a blank piece of 1/4" thick mild steel; I very carefully punched on each hole center then used my big industrial drill press to drill the holes. The big sheet of MDF yielded 20 back blanks; I securely taped ten of these together then having accurately marked the top blank secured the new steel drilling guide and could then drill right through all ten blanks which was very laborious indeed and the MDF had a strong blunting effect on the drill bit which I frequently had to re-sharpen; with ten successfully completed I then repeated the job with the other ten; I gave my friend 18 perfect back panels and I retained two which I've since had scrounged off me by other restorers; I did all this just as a project and for the fun of it; it was just another challenge to me and I've done dozens of such projects over the years; the new steel drilling guide was also used to produce a different back panel this one being rectangular. When I have time I really do enjoy these little challenges finding them most interesting indeed and I've never yet failed which encourages me to carry on; I've now stopped doing all this work to concentrate on our home but for around ten years vintage radio restoration proved to be a truly wonderful hobby involving many skills all which I learnt from scratch. The pictures below show the lengths I go to to help people out; I hope they are of interest.

Thanks marlingardner for your kind comments. No I don't have a beard but I can grow hair at the back of my head even if I can't grow hair on the top of my head. :D I did state though in a previous post today that I'm oft told I look like Christopher Lloyd (TV series Jim in Taxi). On one such occasion I was in Blackgates Engineering buying materials at the head of the queue when Duncan who was serving me stated I looked just like the guy in "Back to the future" one smart guy in the queue spoke up in a clear voice to Duncan saying (It's bad enough paying your prices without being insulted) it was hilarious and both Bron and I like Christopher Lloyd; I'm not surprised Bron likes him though married to his double? :LOL: At the risk of scaring members here's a mug shot of me below to compare. :D:D:D

Kind regards, Colin.


Peoples set drilling template..jpg
Sprayed with Poundland black paint..JPG
Sprayed..JPG
Template in use..JPG

Me.JPG
 

Colin

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Hi,

Thank you for the detailed explanation @Colin
I'd really like to be one of your neighbors!
Are you a professional handyman?

Thanks Fagiolino; no I'm not a professional handyman at least not a paid one although I can repair or make just about anything I wish to make due to being trained as a mechanical engineer; I was taught by top professionals as an apprentice the difference between a fitter and an engineer; an engineer can make parts as well as fit them but lots of my previous projects I've completed are not really in the scope of a gardening forum and should I post details few would have a clue what I was on about; making potentiometer wire wound tracks from scratch; French polishing; veneering; building work from sewers with everything between right up to replacing the chimney stack; dry stone walling and felling huge trees; furniture making; wood and metal turning; painting & decorating; electronics and general electrical work including winding transformers; field windings/tuning coils; welding; I do the lot and enjoy saving vast amounts of money on labour allowing me to buy best materials; I use both my hands unlike the modern tradesperson these days who works with a mobile phone in one hand?

I'm not the sharpest tool in the kit but I'm stubborn and will do a job a dozen times if I have to in order to get it to my satisfaction; I find the only thing holding others back from doing new things is fear of the unknown being frightened to leave their comfort zone; I love new challenges and will have a go at anything if it grabs my interest; if I'm told by someone that something is impossible then it's fun finding out if this is true.

I'm a mechanical engineer and hopelessly colour blind but for ten years I repaired and restored over 100 vintage radios to as new condition and only ever restored one TV but did this to better than new and this TV is now very well known; I'm nobody special but as I say I love a challenge and my engineering skills can be built upon even now as a novice gardener because I fully understand tools and machinery so I'm off to a good start; I now need to understand plants and soil etc but in only a few months I've gained a lot of useful knowledge from kind members of this forum taking me by the hand.

Below is an example of what happens when someone leaves his comfort zone; I started entirely from scratch not even knowing how to use a multimeter (DMM) but as the years passed by and I gained more knowledge I gathered lots of equipment associated with repairing vintage radios; oscilloscopes; signal generators; coil winders; test equipment etc; after ten years of radio restoration I reverted back to my love of wood/metalwork although I never left these behind me; now I'm on with gardening so it's just another learning curve that I'm enjoying. How many would have a clue as to what the equipment is in the picture below; I certainly hadn't a clue when I adopted restoring vintage radios as a winter hobby. I like to encourage anyone to have a go but take extreme caution when it comes to electricity because electricity doesn't take prisoners.

Time I now got off my backside and wander down to the workshop where I'm Megger hunting; I have a 1,000 volt Megger (Evershed & Vignoles) that I'm so far unable to put my hands on having converted the garage into my full time workshop?

Kind regards, Colin.

Workshop. (1).jpg
 

alp

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Amazing you are, @Colin ! May you have more and more time to indulge in your favorite pastimes and the need to think because of trials and errors will certainly do your brain a whole lot of good.
 

Colin

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Hi,

Thanks alp for your kind comments. (y)

It's becoming increasingly difficult doing anything during this dire weather; just keeping warm is a struggle and each time I go outside I need to wrap up like an Eskimo. If only it was warm and dry the year round I could really enjoy myself because I have so many interests. I didn't find my Megger today because I got sidetracked and the new Hyundai tiller arrived so I've now assembled it in readiness for next springtime. If I keep busy and keep finding something new to interest me I'm happy.

Posting my mugshot took me back many years to when I was loading wagons for a living; my friend and colleague Clive at work was forever pulling my leg and telling jokes; one day he said to me " You're not the ugliest guy I've ever seen but surely one of the ugliest two" sadly Clive died years ago; he was a great character and could reduce me to tears of laughter with his jokes.

Kind regards, Colin.
 

alp

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sadly Clive died years ago; he was a great character and could reduce me to tears of laughter with his jokes.

He's a character.. I know he meant he's the other one. Sad that you've only memories..

It's hilarious that you're so brave to have put your photo on a forum. I was looking at a forum about webpage design. One comment was that, "I can see XXX has now taken you under his wing!:D" And I saw XXX's comments - he's like an overworked genius and every single one of his post was about one page long and he had to post 3 posts consecutively. And of course, we were talking about code, not banter or flowers or weather..

There and then, I decided that I have no intellect for this game!
 
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@Colin, you are a very interesting person!
In the pictures you showed I noticed you're very orderly and it's inspiring for me.
Sorry to hear your friend Clive died. You are so lucky to met a person like him. God bless who make other people laugh. It's so important, considering we are surrounded by negative news.
And thank you for showing us your picture, you're a very positive person
 

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