Monday, 2 November 2009

My old tool chest

Made ooh , well back in the early seventies when I first went into the joiners shop at Portland Naval Base clearly seen to be now overflowing with so many tools, so many in fact I've had to place others elsewhere in the shop to make room to close the lid.

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It has three sliding drawers which has so many tools jammed into them that they no longer slide any longer , it was designed with a lower section to house my many planes, The upper drawers two on a top level that is supposed to slide over the middle section single drawer. Upper left showing all my numerous Marple's chisel which consist of sets of firmer , bevel edge , bevel edged paring chisel , mortise chisel, and  gouges.

This photo shows the lower section which houses all of my Stanley planes ranging down from no 7 , 6, 5.5, 5, 4.5 4, & No3 + a 10.5 rebate plane, no 71 , no 55, no 112, no93 shoulder plane, no 130 and two No 60 .

LH photo one of the upper drawers with mortise and marking gauges, pliers , pincher's and calipers plus many other tools. As can be seen in center photo from this top drawer full to overflowing with all my Marple's chisel sets of mortise , paring, bevel edged, firmer and a small set of gouges . RH photo Middle drawer again full with other tools.

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Finally last photo showing saws hanging up for now .

As your now probably well aware I have no space left in My old tool chest .
I simple have out grown it , hence I have been designing My new tool cabinet please keep visiting my blog as I am to shortly do a post here on the construction I have in mind and do feel free to leave any comments good or bad .hc

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

It all started here.

It started as an apprentice carpenter and joiner back in 1964 I served a five year apprenticeship with a small building firm here at Portland in Dorset.

I was taught ever thing there was to know about woodworking in house construction.

We constructed our houses from the ground up, we did it all, my boss would not use contractors so all the apprentices where taught about ever thing. This included digging the footing and concreting them as well. I did all the marking-out with site square & dumpy level plus height levelling rods for the foundation,then it was all hands to pick and shovel, till concrete was mixed, poured & levelled, then back to your own trades.

There where five apprentices myself the carpenter/joiner ,1 bricklayer, plumber, painter, electrician.

I was taught by the boss his self Nobby Clark, nice old guy now dead and gone (Sadly), anyway as i said, I was taught everything from marking out, hand saw cutting and pitching all roofs including felting battening and tiling. first fixing , second fixing, the first & second fixing would also include manufacture of all exterior & interior door, windows frames ,staircase and then fix all on site we also manufactured all our own kitchen units as well in those days mostly wooden t/g floor boarding upstairs and oak floor down stairs so all in all a good all round trade training, we had to learn all other trades as and when we wear needed else where .

Shortly after completing my apprenticeship i left and went into Portland dockyard to join the joiner shop there where I spent seventeen years , worked on all sort of ships joinery mainly the back up service to the Royal Navy R.M.A.S. Royal Maritime auxiliary Service and the R.F.A. Royal Fleet auxiliary, plus on the odd occasion when she visited Portland The Royal Yacht Britannia.

Then two sets of promotion first to TG1 officer whilst still working for
P.A.R.U. Port Auxiliary repair unit which was basically to clock in and out all my work force which consisted of the shipwrights painters and joiners all in all about 60 tradesmen which I had to record all time worked on all there individual jobs for costing of refits and payment of wages which I did for two years.

My second promotion was as the assistant Property Manager working for the navy in there Property managers department for F.O.S.T. ( Flag officer sea training) F.o.s.t was the main employers of all civilians employed in the dockyard The property manager where employed to run the naval base whilst F.O.S.T. controlled all Naval ship movements in the Western world and played there war games giving vital training to naval personnel .

My job was day to day maintenance of the entire NATO naval base and all of it individual departments within it.

When I first started this job property managers were phasing out term contractors which basically was just one large contractor to do all maintenance which proved to costly . when I arrived we switched over to self employed contractors usually one man and his van , this is where I came in .

It was my job to liaison with head of departments and the captain of the naval base to arrange for any day to day maintenance work to be carried out as not to interfere with fleet operational requirements and to ensure work started on time but most importantly finished on time and to my required standards.

Once the new system was up and running it proved to be very successful with some really good contractors working under my control , I had two budgets to work from one being £250,000 for day to day maintenance and one for £2.5 million this was for much bigger jobs up-to £2,500 or more for each individual job worked.

This was the highlight of my working carrier I enjoyed ever single solitary second of it , right up to the closure of the base in April 1997 when every one was made redundant, by then I had served there for 22 years.

My ancestors where there when it opened back in the early 18Th century it was then known as Portland roads an anchorage for the old sailing galleons and then the new metal battled ships names like HMS Hood the prince of whales this was when it became HM Dockyard not till much later was it known as HM naval base Portland , I was the fifth generation of my family who help close it. (sadly)

Now with all my trade training and now five years in management after redundancy I went self employed so started my own company MJM Property Maintenance Ltd. which I ran successfully up-to early 2004 for nearly eight years , when both my wife and myself decided it was time for me to retire after spending nearly two years popping in and out of hospital with a recurring kidney infection which has eventually come under control .( thank god)

Now at last my workshop construction is completed which I had to keep abandoning because of my illness, so here we are now in April 2009 and this year I hopefully intend to start fitting it out with my own machine so I can at last start completing my own home and just potter about enjoying life.

I joined this forum just out of interest and to help kill time when I was recovering from my many hospital visits and now I really enjoy trying to help other workers of wood if I can , so if anyone needs help, please feel free to contact me either post here, or PM me, or e-mail , can't guarantee I'll know the answers you wish to know but if I can I'll try. hc

Thursday, 26 March 2009

upgrading a Stanley planes No 5


I did this to my planes IMHO it's was needed for this particular plan a newish jack no 5 which had a lot of slack around the y lever and pin which was bent and out of square with the frog gullets there was also slack on the adjuster wheel nut as well.

Primarily I wanted to remove as much slack from the plane as possible , I wanted to adjust my plane whilst using it with the slightest touch in either direction , when I took the frog to pieces it was easy to see what the problems were, bent securing pin ,out of square with the frog gullets , and a lot of slack around the y lever hole where the pin slips through, and slack in the yoke lobes.

So i sat and thought about how to remove as much slack as I could . The two other threads on this subject dealt only with the nose of the y lever to take into account the extra length needed to cope with the thicker blade from lie Nielsen, which in itself is fine, as I know works OK .

When you look at the y lever it like a nodding donkey in an oilfield with three point of contact
1. the nose 2. the pin 3. the yoke lobes on the y lever poorly engineering)

The main work will be to the y level it self , which the metal quality to it in itself is very poor so do be careful how you handle them whilst working on it , First i started by drilling the hole through the new larger centre pin to accept the old style centre pin which has to be a snug fit.

LHphoto This is the offending plane. RHphoto old chuck set in vice whilst drilling .


LHphoto the y lever before and after being drilled

MIDphoto drilled with new short centre bar still to be drilled

RHphoto assembled temp in Y lever


Both LEFT & RIGHT PHOTO temporarily assembled in frog in these two photos , here the y lever is still to be lengthened to fit the thickness of the lie Nielsen blade .

Photo showing y lever recess in old Stanley chip breaker , with new thicker lie Nielsen blade behind , it can clearly be seen the y lever nose now need lengthen and made slightly thinker to fill recess in chip breaker to eliminate any judder or backlash in blade movement.


Preparation of the y lever , its fiddle buy can be done by now you should be asking your self do i have the skills to do this if you don't feel right about doing it your self then ask someone else .

Be very careful with the heat you wont need much , flux the job well and the solder itself, it will help it to run easier, I couldn't manage to solder and take a photo at the same time so I'm sorry no photo of the job being done .

various stages of construction of new shape to nose on the y lever .


LHhoto This Photo showing fine shavings coming from the plane which I'm sure i can improve on a little more.

RHphoto offending plane AFTER the finish plane with the lie Nielsen blade fitted.


Wednesday, 25 March 2009

my workshop

Hi all

This is my workshop ,which I built with my son Ian, a lifelong friend Pip, and my future son in law Edwin a Dutchman who all helped me get it all erected in one day with tarpaulin covering the roof . My daughter Louise, Wife Pam , Annie Pipes wife and little Ryan my Grandson all helped with the bacon sandwiches and kept the beer coming all day long .

looking down to the decking area where we spend the summer months with security light on these also double up when were there in the evenings, nice place to barbecue and just general hang out,sun trap,lovely, still got to run an extra power line for the fridge for those lovely cool beers on the long summer days till you gentle nod off in the sun.

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Showing water butts that catch all our rain for those long summer days when my plants need a nice cool drink and an over flow when full returning all excess water to the ground soak away . late September with the wisteria in full leaf it's beginning to get well established now in it third year, with hanging basket of fuchsia gone past there best.


Just finished the roof in green fibreglass and all the exterior feather edge boarding coated with thee coat of natural pine Sadolin. I located it as far from any neighbours as i could so it's not close enough to cause a nuisance with the noise from machines.