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About probablynot

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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. 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!]
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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?)
  6. 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.
  7. 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 ...
  8. It does. That’s what I do, each time. But it comes back. It’s rather like my bank that tries to tell me to load Trustpilot every time I log in to my account. Can’t stop the bank doing that. Adds to my distrust of Trustpilot.
  9. I did say I'd try to get some pictures here for you this weekend. and by the skin of my teeth, with just over 2 hours to spare, here they are: First pic shows the cabins. All the furniture is scratch made. The tables are 1mm plywood with blunted brass planking nails for legs. The chairs - well, see my little masterclass further down this bulletin. Arrgh! - I should have brushed off the sawdust before I took the photo! Now a few general views to show what overall building progress I've made. Stairway, barrels and black-and-grey 'things' ** all added. I've assembled all the seating benches, and yes I shall probably be fitting them in due course. But I think Popeye's benches look better, and I'm trying to overcome the temptation to scratch-build my own. Deck planking is proceeding well. ** I think these 'things' are foghorns... The next series of pics shows the neatly simple way I turned a length of 5mm x 6mm hardwood into a better-than-Occre chair. Only five separate cuts with a jeweller's saw, plus some filing and sanding, and there's the chair! Believe me, it's actually quicker than trying to assemble one of Occre's two-piece cast-iron ones!
  10. Ooh I do like that paddlewheel, Popeye. Nice work! All in all, you're showing yourself to be a master craftsman! I've been watching your progress second-hand, via the email notifications I get. Trouble is, I can't leave 'likes' for you unless I take the trouble to log in to MSW! I've just popped in to put that right!
  11. Oh wow, I just noticed it's over a month since I last said anything here. Apologies. I've had a few distractions taking away some of my attention in recent weeks. Blame it on my new sewing machine. I can never resist a new toy, and this one's got bells and whistles that the old one never had. So of course I had to clang them and blow them! So far I've made two patchwork-quilted cushions, and a lap quilt, and donated them to the Admiral. So I'm amassing Brownie points that I can use when I do get seriously distracted by the Mississippi build and somehow miss out on vital household duties ... Even so, I have been making some progress on the Spirit of Mississippi. The furnishings and equipment in the second-deck accommodation have been completed. The lighting for the second deck has been installed, and the circuit still works. The third deck has been fixed on, and I'm now about half-way through applying the planking (which continues in the diagonal style I used for the main and second decks). No new photographs at this time, I'm afraid. I'll try to put that right before the weekend's out. Because I decided to fit out all four passenger cabins instead of just the two that are visible when the side walls come off, I didn't have enough of Occre's 6mm-wide cast-iron chairs. So made an extra pair out of walnut. Dead easy really. Take one length of 5mm x 6mm walnut, make 5 cuts with a nice sharp jeweller's saw, get busy with some fine files and even finer sandpaper, and hey presto! One high-backed walnut dining chair! I can probably photograph the finished article for you OK, but sorry, I didn't take pics of my attempts to emulate Mr Hepplewhite!
  12. I received the inks a couple of days ago. I'm itching to experiment with them, but a host of other projects (not all of them model-ship-oriented) are keeping me busy right now. When I get the chance, I promise I'll tell you how I get on.

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