Foundations continued…

Today was the big day. Today we laid the concrete for the new workshop.

It was all hands on deck… well all who were free. We even roped in Granddad and Grandma to come along with chips and mugs of tea at lunchtime.

We give thanks to God, for two good and successful days of work.

Workshop Foundations

Today we started to lay the foundations of my new workshop.


2016-05-27 10.56.29

Waste soil, (dirt for you Americans), being made into some “woodland style” steps.

We begin to lay the first layers. Scalpings first then blinding with sand, tomorrow a damp proof membrane and concrete.

2016-06-03 16.45.12

The woodland steps are coming along. (Sorry for the milky photo… taken into the setting sun.)

I might be too dead to post anything about tomorrow’s work.

Stanley 78

A few weeks ago I picked up an old and rather sad looking Stanley No. 78 Rebate Plane (or Rabbet plane as I understand it is called across the pond).

The string tied to the plane is because I am about to drop it into a barrel of molasses (dilute 1/9 with water).

After a week or so in the molasses it is looking a little more presentable.

Most of the heavy rust is now gone, and with a good pressure wash and some work with a wire brush the plain was ready for painting.

For this project I have just used Hammerite smooth black paint in an aerosol can.

Then it was time to get to work on the plane iron. It is a lovely Stanley original iron, made in England. As it often the case, they look pretty pitted and almost beyond doing anything with, but after flattening the back on a 300 then 1000 diamond stone, and working the bevil through a rough carborundum oil stone, and then the 300 and 1000 diamond hones, and then finally on to me Inigo Jones ‘Dragon’s tongue’ – Welsh slate stone hone and then a leather strop – the bevel was up to a mirror finish and the plane was giving fine, paper thin, shavings and a fantastic glassy, silk smooth finish to the wood.

The finished plane is now up on ebay

It is going to be a shame to part with such a fine plane, but I already have a Stanley No.78 Rebate Plane, and could use the cash to fund more projects to overhaul.

Getting back on the Tractor

How long a winter has this been? Ok it has not been a cold or snowy winter, but long and wet and has kept us from working on the Fergie. But in the odd gaps in the rain that we have had we are not just beginning to get back on with the work.

The original wings that came with our Fergie where rusted through and although we could have patched them, we decided that the best move was to take them apart, properly paint each part and then put them together again with new skins.

We are part way through this process. We are up to primer on the pain.

Hopefully more news on the tractor soon.

Michael's dice project


Not all the Drapper children are MAD outdoor types. (though most are). Michael, while still getting stuck into the outdoors stuff, is also very interested in computers, programming and electronics. (He is probably one of the more sensible ones, he can still work on his projects when it is raining).

For his last birthday, he received a soldering kit and a couple of projects to get stuck into.

This is his very first soldered joints, and I must say they are pretty good. They are not overloaded with lead, but are well connected.

Michael's very first solder joints
Michael’s very first solder joints

Not all of his joints were quite so perfect, but time and practice will see them improve.

Michael soldering his project
Michael soldering his project

Soon, his first project was finished and ending any questions about cheating when someone throws a dice.

Michael's dice project
Michael’s dice project

I gave a little help and advice on this project, but almost as soon as my back was turned he had completed the next project,  (a little stereo amplifier), on his own and in perfect working order.

David and Mark in our garden

Hooray for Summer… OK it is really only spring.

Ok, it is only really spring, but it has been a fantastic day and we are all very pleased to be back on the tractor.

We have done one or two things in the last few weeks. We have put the gazebo back up and reassembled the pole lathes, draw horse etc, and have built the heavy duty work bench that we have the gear box on below.

Mark working on the construction of the heavy duty workbench
Mark working on the construction of the heavy duty workbench

The new heavy duty workbench is a great improvement to working at ground level.

Mark working on the gearbox.
Mark working on the gearbox.

Mark, not sure what to do next???

Mark with gearbox
Mark with gearbox

Today’s big task was to get several of these well seized-on fittings, free and off the brake and clutch pedal bearing shafts. Lots of WD40, gentle working at them with a hammer and a  screwdriver behind them.

Dismantling Brake pedal assembly
Dismantling Brake pedal assembly

One of the bits come off, then that needed cleaning and oiling ready for the reassembly, or are being put by for the soon to be re established molasses dip, (see here), to strip the rust ready for repainting.

David cleaning the Tractor brake pedal bearing shaft.
David cleaning the Tractor brake pedal bearing shaft.

Boo hoo, rain next week but summer is on its way.