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About probablynot

  • Rank
    Supercargo's clerk
  • Birthday 07/19/1936

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Pembrokeshire [Wales, UK]
  • Interests
    Remember, this is 'interests'. Not 'activities'. Some of them used to be activities, but the body deteriorates over time. And the mind? Well, it, er, changes.
    Kite-flying. Orienteering. Cross-stitching. DIY. Astronomy. Computers. Model ships (duh!). Philosophy. Morris dancing. Folk/country music. Cooking. Beer (or Real Ale, to be precise). Belly dancing (because my eldest daughter is amazingly good at it!). And a few other things ...

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  1. Apologies, guys! I've been meaning to respond to your kind enquiries and comments, but if there's one thing I'm good at, it's procrastination! No more progress yet, I'm afraid. Can't blame bad health this time - the warmer, drier spring weather helps to keep the gout/arthritis symptoms at bay. No, it's all because I've been committing myself to do all sorts of other things recently. The Spirit of Mississippi is still there in the workshop, waiting for me to get on with it. And I wlll, I will ...
  2. Just thought I'd add (re my picture yesterday evening) a comment about the thing my prototype staircase is standing on. It's my jig for cutting 6mm-wide planks from 0.6mm veneer sheet. The 12-inch steel ruler is spaced exactly 6mm from a fence (7mm x 2mm basswood) and superglued to 2 scraps of 1mm plywood (which themselves are glued to the wooden base). Shove the veneer in, press down firmly on the ruler, then a couple of passes with a sharp craft knife produces the plank. Very quick, very accurate. I just hope the superglue won't have mucked up the markings on the ruler when I return it to its normal function...
  3. Thanks Carl, Sam, Popeye, for looking in. Good to know you're still here for me! A little more progress today. I've scraped and sanded the deck, and I added the deck edging. Now waiting for the glue to set before I sand away the surplus and apply a first coat of varnish. And I've made a start on planking the walls of the upper-deck bar-room. These past few months I've has plenty of time to think about my prototype spiral staircase. I've concluded that the concept works, and with a few minor adjustments it would actually look good if I could make four of them. The prototype itself can't be used - I made the individual steps about 3mm too long for one thing. And when I made the prototype I hadn't given enough thought to how the handrail could be made & bent into shape & fixed on. My current thinking is to make an eyelet at the top of each step's upright, and have a 'rope' handrail instead of a brass-wire one. But I won't be hurrying to get the staircases done. They're something of a distraction from the main job of building the ship itself, and I think they can be fitted at pretty well any stage of the build. Here's a picture.
  4. Phew. Getting old isn't a game for wimps. You need to be tough. I was thinking a fortnight ago that my knees, feet and ankles were at last telling me it might be safe to get back in the shipyard, but then the knuckles of my right hand gave me a different message! Doc (Lucy's her name, and she looks as though she's about the same age as my granddaughter Lucy) now says my problem's not arthritis, but gout! Anyway, she's been dosing me with a variety of anti-gout pills and they seem at last to be working. So yesterday I unlocked the shipyard and completed the diagonal-stripe planking of the third deck. The gouty fingers aren't quite back to their best yet, but I don't seem to be suffering any nasty after-effects from the work. That was my first real working session on this ship since before Christmas! When I've added some edging strip and sanded everything down for an application of varnish (soon, I hope), I'll take a pic or two to prove I haven't abandoned my Mississippi steamship! Thanks, guys, for all the morale-boosting messages.
  5. Super work on that whaleboat John. I love your miniature accessories, esp. the little compass swinging on its gymbals, and the two nicely-matched knives. Welcome to the MSW madhouse, from a member in Wales, UK who was a novice at age 76 (and at 82 still is a novice, really, I suppose …)
  6. Lucky you, Dubz. I just tried it (deleted cookies and restarted 'puter). My Firefox MSW is still the same - an empty "Images" box, and nowhere to post text. I'm having to use MS Edge now. I refuse to load Chrome - I hate their aggressive/intrusive self-marketing.
  7. When I'm using Firefox, I'm not getting the "images" on the Home page any more. The Images box shows, but it's empty. It's only been a problem since Firefox did its update to v.65.0.2 a few days ago. [latest news: Firefox updated itself to v.66.0.1 on my kit just now, but MSW's 'images' still don't show.] All other images in MSW seem to show OK, although Firefox is also failing to show me some of the graphics elsewhere (eg, it won't show me the crosswords on the Guardian website!) If I switch from Firefox to MS Edge, the images on the MSW home page (also the Guardian crossword) show perfectly. [ ... and I've just noticed that Firefox now only lets me enter a title for a 'new topic', but doesn't give me a box for entering any text! I had to log out of Firefox and jump to MS Edge to post this message!]
  8. Nope! Sorry! Arthritis doesn't usually last more than a few days when it attacks me, but the damp weather of the last few weeks seems to have encouraged it to take liberties. I really want to make more progress (I'm halfway through planking the third deck, and my spiral staircase project needs a lot of work too), but getting out to my workshop hasn't been easy for a while. However, I seem to be getting better. Watch this space. Maybe by the end of Feb I'll be able to post an interesting picture or two.
  9. I've got some of those. Ought to throw them out really. The screw parts flop about in their short length of thread and they're awfully imprecise. Oh well, maybe yours will be better!
  10. I'm still here. It's just that life has been pulling me in several directions recently. I haven't forgotten about my spiral staircase - in fact these last couple of days I've been working on a prototype. Only nine steps (there should have been ten, but I obviously didn't use enough soldering flux on the top one and it broke after I'd glued it to the central column). I'm pleased with the concept. Next attempt I'll make the steps themselves a little shorter (say 16mm instead of 20mm) and I'll put an eye on each spindle where the banister rail is intended to be fitted. Then I can simplify the job by having a rope as the hand-hold.
  11. You do love keeping us on tenterhooks, don’t you Popeye! (Hmm, I know what I meant when I said that, but does anyone know wtat a tenterhook is? Or was?)
  12. Thanks everyone, for the comments and likes. But oh, Popeye, you and your spiral staircase! You've really set me thinking! Occre's ladders (for passing up and down, through rectangular openings between decks) have no finesse at all, and the idea of substituting scratch-built spiral staircases has been flitting through my mind for ages. So of course I've been watching your own progress with the elegant, all-wood spiral staircase, sharing in your joy as you found aspects that worked well - and in your frustrations as you met with problems that were difficult to solve. At first I was thinking I'd try to make something similar to what you're doing. But I could see where the construction problems arise, so this evening I've been trying to see how I could get round them. I don't really need elegance - what I'd be making is only a glorified stepladder. The main essentials for me would be simplicity and accuracy. Here's what I've come up with. It was only after I'd drawn this little sketch that I realised I was actually coming up with the same design (in brass) that the Victorians were using for full-size spiral staircases in cast iron! Next time I go out to the workshop (it's too bl***** cold tonight!) I'll see if I've got any 4mm brass tube and try knocking up a prototype.
  13. Fascinating problem, those spiral staircases. I've been looking at them with a view, possibly, to having spiral access ladders between decks at locations like this one: I think my approach would be similar to yours, but once I'd made each of the steps I'd glue an upright (spindle, I think it's called) to it. That way I might get it truly vertical. I haven't yet thought how I'd make the banister rail though ...

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