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probablynot

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About probablynot

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

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • 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 ...

Recent Profile Visitors

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  1. Cestuous is a place I haven’t been in. Nor Continent, yet ...
  2. Proxxon tools seem to hold their value well. Today I sold my MF70 metalwork milling machine, along with a precision vice, some cutters etc. The whole lot cost me £273 six years ago. Today's NEW price for the same kit works out around £370, and I actually said so in the Ebay blurb when I listed it a week ago. It sold for £405, plus a bit for p&p. A 48% return on my investment over six years ...
  3. Well yes, naturally. Even by us employees.
  4. Ah. Many years ago I worked for the UK Inland Revenue. My policy was, if I arrived at the office late, I had to leave early to compensate...
  5. I still remember cars that you could do a full 3000-mile service on at home, provided you had a set of spanners and a can of SAE30 oil.
  6. So what’s an unproductive sow? A beefburger?
  7. Sigh. I’ve now outlived my dad by ten years. He lived through WW2 by surviving. I lived through it by being a little kid. He flew as a gunner in a Beaufighter, crashed in Egypt somewhere, spent months in a hospital in Alexandria, then In 1944 came home hobbling on two broken ankles. Four years later we’d built a sailing dinghy together and we were having great fun racing with other members of the Dabchicks Sailing Club at West Mersea in Essex UK. By then I was twelve. So ten years ago I was the exact same age as my dad was when he died. Now, I need to survive another 13 years if I’m to outlive my mum. Unlikely, statistically, but I’ll give it a go! What really freaks me out is having daughters who are themselves reaching the age of retirement ...
  8. Beautiful work on those quarter windows. How are you proposing to present the actual glazing to those who see your model? My own (simple) solution was aluminium paint - looks as tho light is reflecting off the windows.
  9. Hmm, looks plastic. I’ve found better things than that in French attics!
  10. Thanks for that, Sam! And you Carl! What a fine community the Model Ship World is! But ... I have a confession to make. Every day for the last several months I've been telling myself yes, I'll get out to the workshop and do something about my 'Spirit of Mississippi'. And every day I've done nothing of the sort. Why not, I wondered. At first I just assumed it was the cold winter weather keeping me away from a chilly workshop. Maybe that had something to do with it, at first, but as time went on I knew there were other factors involved. And gradually I started to see them. May came, and the cold weather went away, but there was no renewal of the enthusiasm. I'd got myself involved in different pastimes. Interests that I could indulge alongside my lovely wife who sits there, looking beautiful, doing her cross-stitching, while my new (and outrageously expensive) sewing machine clatters busily away knocking out ever more quilts and cushion covers! I was thinking I must have a short attention span. And yet no, it's not quite that. My interest in model boats began in 2012, when I was reminiscing about the kayak I'd built shortly after WW2. The urge arose to replicate it with a 1" to 1ft scale model, but I had no expertise. So I decided to start with a kit build - Artesania Latina's Mare Nostrum. I build that, then I built my kayak, and the Enterprise, and the Half Moon, and ... well a few. Meanwhile I was buying up Proxxon tools as if the world was coming to an end. (The world IS coming to an end. But that's another story...) Now for a flashback. 45 years ago we signed up our 11yo eldest daughter for ballet lessons. She did them - and seemed to enjoy them - for well over 2 years. Tutor said she was her star pupil. We were even wondering if we might have to try and get her into Ballet Rambert, or even the Royal Ballet. But then she said she didn't want to do it any more. Why? Well (she said) she'd tried it, and she'd proved to herself that she could do it, so she had no need to do it any more. And that was that. She went on to other things. I think that's where I am. I've shown myself that I can build model ships. I'm competent. I know I could do a hell of a lot better if I really persisted, but I don't actually need to do it. It wouldn't prove anything that I didn't already know in my own heart. There's no imperative, in my head or my heart, to go on any more. It's been a real struggle, getting myself to acknowledge that's where I am. But now it's staring me in the face, and I have to accept it. A couple of weeks ago I sold my Proxxon table saw (incidentally, for more than I paid for it NEW, even allowing for ebay and paypal fees!). Other Proxxons will follow. And if the Grim Reaper gives me the time, my workshop will in due course become a sewing room, with a £10,000, 10ft long quilting machine standing where the equivalent value of woodworking tools now reside! But... I shall not forget the Model Ship World, nor any of the wonderful friends here who have accompanied me while I went through this vital, fascinating, absorbing, ESSENTIAL part of my life! I'll keep my membership here, and look in from time to time. Maybe I'll even write some comments sometimes! Thank you everyone. The last few years would have been so much poorer without you!
  11. The version I heard (slightly cleaner) went as follows: Young man: "How many 'F's in cauliflower?" Old Lady: "That's easy! One!" Young man: "Good. And how many 'F's in grapefruit?" Old Lady: "Same again. One!" Young man: "Correct. Now, how many 'F's in broccoli?" Old Lady: "Ah! There's no "F" in broccoli!" Young man: "THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN EFFIN' TRYING TO TELL YOU!" Hi everyone! I just posted that to remind you all that I'm still here! Been a while! Anyway, there's still a Mississippi steameboat on my workbench waiting for me to get up off my "F" in *** and put the top deck on. I haven't forgotten it (nor have I forgotten MSW) and I *will* make progress with it. I will! I really will!
  12. 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 ...
  13. 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...
  14. 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.

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If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

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