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    Collecting books. Bonsai. Classic Bikes. Ships and Ship Models.

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  1. Hope all you alcoholics sober up before you turn on power tools or ANY SHARP THINGS. These days, my favourite tool is an adjustable chair.
  2. I got a cheepo brass pair off ebay last year (from India) for £10. Actually very well made, I was surprised. If you look up how to use them there's much to be done. Of course you get what you pay for, but mine are capable of doing all the tasks I found listed. Ideal for marking discs and cylinder shapes into equal segments as required. A ships wheel comes to mind.
  3. How many times have I cut my fingers on a blade of grass? Too many. I was told by my grandfather...'there's no limit to stupid'. How right he was.
  4. This may look daft BUT if you don't want the world on a string? Other colours are available.
  5. For a safer more robust, durable scalpel type look up the Swann-Morton 'Supatool'. The blade fits into 2 part handle which closes with a screw. A wide range of blades are available. The surgical scalpels have their uses but the 'Supatool' is much more appropriate for general model work.
  6. Here I am as usual, finding old posts and putting my misguided views forward. My take on fitting and removing these blades isn't going to make me any friends with the health and safety mob and I don't recommend it to the ham fisted and careless. (see 'Supatool' at the end). DISCLAIMER I take no responsibility at all for any self inflicted injuries. Over 40 years ago I was shown how to do it this way; I must have changed blades a dozen times a day and in all these years have never cut myself or broken a blade. IMPORTANT! the business end of the holder must have no knocks or nicks that would cause the slot in the blade to hang up. FITTING Hold the handle in the left hand firmly, with the locating 'flange' facing you. Carefully pick the blade up, flat between the fingers, observing the base of the blade angle is in the same direction as the stop on the handle. Carefully place the wide bit of the slot over the locating 'flange' and slide it along until it stops. Put the handle flat on a firm surface and hold it there. Using a suitable implement (I use a mini screwdriver) ease the blade to the left, pushing against the left end of the slot until it clicks into place. REMOVING Hold the handle firmly as before. The blade has a long notch at the top rear. Place your index finger in that notch and place your thumb against the flat at the bottom and lift that end of the blade and gently slide the blade to the right so it is onto the 'flange'. Then firmly pull the blade off the handle to the right. Dispose the old blade considerately. Left handers obviously have the handle to the right with blade to the left. As with any SHARP thing, keep away from the SHARP bit! BEWARE These blades are not designed to be used with any side pressure. They WILL SNAP and travel great distance with lethal velocity. NEVER use a cracked blade. It has been my experience, using pliers of any kind is guaranteed to crack or break the blade at the slot, more often than not. I use the number 3 and 5 handles with 10a blades. Both my handles are over 30 years old. You may not be aware; Swann-Morton produce their 'Supatool' range of blades and handles, which are more hobby related. These are a much more substantial heavy duty scalpels. The blade is held between the two halves of the handle which is closed with a screw. There is a much wider range of blade shapes and cutting edges. These blades don't break unless seriously abused and remain sharp for longer. My suggestion; if the scalpel worries you, go for the 'Supatool', which is made for our kind of work anyway.
  7. Frankie, I agree with what you say, no problem. Looking at the 'Constitution photo which I based my original observation, the one pin you can see clearly does seem to have at least four turns around the pin. Still I agree with what you say. My original point remains, that the 'spare' cordage coil isn't over the pin its self. Most models I see; that coil is over the pin.
  8. Ah, the photo's depict something I haven't noticed before. The line is first looped in a figure of eight over and under the pin, maybe four or five times. Then the crewman 'hand coils' the line. The coil is NOT passed over the top of the pin (as seen in so many models), but instead a 'loose' loop from the last winding over the top of the pin is past through the coil from behind, then over the top of the coil and then past back and over the top of the pin, securing the coil. The coil is hung from that loop, which can quickly be lifted off again. The crew member must put his arm through the coil again to support it from falling untidily to the deck. May-be THAT'Swhy so many sailors only had one arm! That's how I read the picture anyway; my main point being that the bulk of the coil doesn't actually go over the pin!
  9. Once again, chaps, that's another thing sorted. Many thanks.
  10. Here's what is probably another old turkey! Was there ever a 'standard' belay pin size and shape, say in the 18th and 19th centuries? If so, what were the proportions and dimensions?
  11. Wefalk, how right you are about the 'dark, pre-internet days'. Looking back perhaps 30 years, nearly all schools had well equipped workshops often running night classes. Long gone. My oldest friend is my school metalwork teacher. He was one of the old school and it was sad to see how he didn't cope with the changes in his field. The workshop environment totally went out the window. All his skills and equipment suddenly became 'redundant'. He's getting on now, but is still willing and happy to share his time and knowledge with an appreciative 'student'. Sadly, they are rare as hens teeth.
  12. Mark, thank you for the 'how to' site, just had a quick skip through the contents.....just what I need. I'd like to say; I'm relatively new to the forum and periodically smooch through old topics and find myself re-activating what to some are old news. Each time I get involved, it seems to prompt new activity in a subject. I do enjoy methodically working through forums; often coming across topics I never knew I needed to know about. And to me, that's what the forum is all for. A delightful feature of my questions puts me into 'indirect' contact with the 'old hands' who invariably share their knowledge and experience freely. These members frequently put their input (perhaps for the umpteenth time) which must sometimes be frustrating. My appreciation to this community is profound. You are a fine bunch. Thank you.
  13. BETAQDAVE , I've been doing that for years too. Even done it with copper, brass, alloy and the odd bit of iron and steel. I never kidded myself there was any precision involved, but with care it's amazing what can be done with the simplest of tools. If you can find some old magazine features from the 20's, 30's and 40's those guys mostly had nothing but enthusiasm and imagination. Hell, I was involved with producing a book called 'Engineering Through Trouble'. The story I remember most was a wartime aircraft factory, building a prototype. They needed a new air-screw spinner, quickly. The tool shop began listing the new press tooling etc. they'd need. Argh! The cost! The time! One guy says 'Get old Burt from the factory floor to take a look'. So they talk to Burt, who looks at the drawings. He takes a sheet of aluminium and sets it up on a lathe. He'd trained as a metal spinner in a pan factory before the first war. An hour later he pops the new spinner on the board room table. To everyone's astonishment it was nigh on perfect and turned within a thousandth of an inch to the drawings! Burt had been sweeping the floor over ten years. And that's the truth.
  14. Thank you all for your kind advice and contributions. Now these lathes have bubbled up to the surface, I'm actually excited. Can't remember having that for a while either!

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