Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Home-made lathe

Jack Hill's home-made, wooden, metalwork lathe, in Murchison Museum. As photographed by Mr Knight.

Mr. Knight and his Ancestors have been to visit. Mr. Knight's Ancestors comprise his mum and dad and they like to visit me because I'm just great. I did speculate it's because Mr. & Mrs. Knight (snr.) are int'rested in bell-ringing and lace bobbins. But I'm not. So I conclude that it must be because I'm fantastic and wonderful and kind and lovely and good and noble and generous and wise, and I might as well put all that on record where I can read and admire it since the next time it's ever going to be said is when I won't be able to hear it.

Mr. Knight (jnr.) borrowed a Peugeot bicycle off me - I have a spare - and together we rode Marahau Hill while his parents had breakfast. We didn't break any chains and we didn't break any spokes. However these two Peugeots have been prone to both chain and spoke breakage in the immediate past, and afterwards I set Mr. Knight to examining my spokes and thereby learnt a lesson, proving that despite any number of years of bicycle-building I still don't know anything.

First he hooked the bike up on the corner of the bench, where the wheel could revolve freely. (I don't have a stand.) Then he plucked each pair of spokes with a fingernail. - That is, each pair on one side of the wheel. - Then he told me I was an idiot because they didn't play the same twanging noise and since I am a violinist I ought to have known better. We won't discuss whether I am a good violinist.

So he took my spoke key and went round the wheel, adjusting each pair of spokes so they made the same note. - (Roughly. So they were both sopranos, as opposed to one soprano spoke and one tenor.) - And that, of course, made the wheel out of true. Yet only when they were playing the same note - and thereby had the same tension - did he go round the wheel, truing it by tweaking both spokes at once. Now that the wheel is true and each pair of spokes have the same tension I am given to understand it is likelier to stay true and the spokes are likelier to not break.

We shan't discuss the broken chains I've been having, other than to mention that if a friend happens to drop in when you're out and your workshop door is unlocked, there is the possibility that he might rummage among your belongings until he finds your chain-riveting tool, and he might use this to fix his Christian friend's Shimano chain thus impressing his Christian friend and saving him a half-hour walk to the bike shop. And unfortunately cos Shimano chains aren't designed for unriveting this might mushroom the end of said tool a tiny amount not enough to discern, and you, all unwitting, might subsequently use said tool on all your own chains which are actually designed for its use. And even unfortunatelier, this might result in your broaching a very, very slightly larger hole in a number of the chain's sideplates. And the result might be that, after being worked sideways repeatedly which is what derailleur mechanisms do to chains, when said chain is under extreme tension such as does happen on the Marahau Hill ride, a pin might pop out with horrible results. And you might well say to yourself "Well fuck, another example of a man who because he's a doctor thinks he knows enough to come into my shed and use my tools; how would he feel if I went into his surgery unannounced and borrowed his ear-looker-inner."

As I say, we shan't discuss any of that because it will provoke a No You Can't Borrow My Tools rant.

Anyway, Mr. Knight went home via Murchison so I commissioned him to nip into the Museum and photograph the home-made wooden lathe that was built to machine metal, which is the sort of thing that happens deep in the bush of the far-flung Dominions. Here it is.

And if you don't own a chain-riveting tool because as a doctor you haven't the disposable income to afford one, mayhap it will provide Inspiration.

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Blogger Mr Larrington said...

Ear-looker-inner be blowed! "Borrow" his golf clubs.

March 16, 2015 at 3:54 AM  

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