Monday, 16 July 2012

Back home at last!

There has not been much activity in the workshop for the past couple of weeks as all our attention has been focused around Meccano. We eventually got enough stuff together to display some Looms at Skegness although the thread we had ordered failed to appear in time and we made do with some black and white stuff we sourced locally. The show was a great success and we had a great time sampling the local eateries and of course the New Park Club’ selection of beers!

SkegEx 12 The view from the balcony
At the event we managed to acquire another Meccano loom that was in need of some attention. Unlike the small hand loom that started all this off back in February, this one is at the other end of the size scale. In fact it is too big to pass through a standard doorway and would not fit in Sue’s Volvo. There was nothing for it but to collect it in the van. The only small, shall we say, inconvenience in this arrangement was geographical. We live in South East London and the loom was sitting in a conservatory (it would not go through the door into the house) in Peterlee, Co. Durham. That is a 550mile round trip if you go straight there and back and 600 miles if you do a bit of sightseeing on the way back, as we did. Well you can’t go all that way without having a trip on The Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge and enjoying a fish and chips lunch in Whitby. I will post more detailed information on our Meccano website in due course.

The loom sitting in the back of the van.
Peterlee was Friday, a day out at the North London Meccano Club followed on Saturday and now it is Monday (Spent Sunday recovering) and it is time to get back to the workshop, I am sure there is stuff waiting for me in there… Now, where did I put the keys? … SUE!


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Thread up with waiting… Grrr!

Loom building is continuing at a pace but with one day until we are off to Skegness I am now getting a bit hacked off with waiting for the thread I ordered last week. I will have to go and find some tomorrow otherwise we will have a loom with no thread. I know exactly what will happen, as soon as I go and buy some emergency supplies, the stuff I have ordered will arrive while I am out, we’ll see…

Sue is working on the beaming frame - and a cuppa!
For now, Sue is working on the beaming frame and I am trying to get the new frame as far forward as possible before we go. I don’t expect to get it finished but I will give it a go. Working from the super model plans and a couple of articles published in Meccano Magazine in the sixties, is hard work. Most of the construction is guesswork as the words are at best vague and when the author gets bored with describing the model he brings the passage to an abrupt end by stating that the modeller will be able to finish the section of the model by close inspection of the photographs – yeah right! 

So how does the reed fix to the slay?
Not only are the photographs not very clear but also there are not enough of them. Some parts of the model are impossible to see, so guesswork and experimentation take over slowing progress to a snail’s pace. Normally this is all part of the fun but with time running out it all starts to get a bit tense. So it is time for a break and to give this keyboard a bit of a work out. Not too much, I don’t want to end up with this on the bench in the workshop.

OK, I feel better now, back to the building…


Monday, 2 July 2012

Our top ten stamps

...and now for something completely different!


If you look at the header on this page there is a reference to "Philately" and so far I have not made a post on this subject. Time to make that right. Both Sue and I are, and have been for most of our lives, stamp collectors. Over the years we have pruned down our collecting to a few countries including France, Italy and Great Britain. By far the most comprehensive is our specialised GB collection that spans all stamp issues from 1840 and pre-stamp material from before that date. Other than the three countries I mentioned above we have lots of obscure items that have just caught our eye over the years. Our top ten selection has been made from stamps we own rather than stamps we would like to own - now there's an idea...

To see our top ten just CLICK HERE

Have you got a top ten stamps? we would love to see them!

You can contact us HERE


Sunday, 1 July 2012

SkegEx 2012 is Looming...

Our new Loom in progress
The only workshop activity that will be hapening this week will be confined to anything to do with getting ready for the premier Meccano event of the year. Skegness is home to SkegEx every year at the beginning of July. Meccano nuts From all over the world meet to show off their latest creations and spend a few days discussing all things Meccano related. But for me the best part is the socialising in the evenings. Great food and good cheap beer, thanks to the hospitality of the 'New Park Club'.

First attempt at a reed hook
This year we will be taking our old refurbished loom, our new loom in a work-in-progress state as well as the Beaming frame. We will also be taking the crown from the Chelsea Flower Show exhibit, that I mentioned in an earlier post, which has a Meccano frame. Our pre-war clock will also make a last appearance. We are hoping our new thread will arrive in time to reload the loom and beaming frame. if it does not get here by Tuesday we might be in trouble! in the meantime I have been out in the Workshop having a go at making a reed hook. you can see my first effort here. After we get Skegness out of the way I will have a go at making a better one but this rather rough first attempt will do the job for now.