Friday, November 25, 2016

Recent happenings

No I have not disappeared  from the face of the earth..... Just been busy as heck.

I said prior that I needed to keep busy to help me deal with Heather's loss, well sport fans I have succeed beyond all my expectations.

I am a member of my local Royal Canadian Legion, branch 98 
and at friends request I have now joined the Rotary International organization 

Between all kinds of auctions and food drives that keep me occupy for sure, then once a month I go to Halifax to attend the 1st Halifax African Violets Society meetings, it was Heather favourite AVs club so I stayed on as secretary, I am still the secretary of my local Air Force wing Wood Hobby shop, where I will soon gives a few courses on hand tool woodworking.

Meanwhile Rudy and I have traveled together close to 20,000 Kms (you are going to have to ask Ken for the distance in miles :-) going to visit family and friends from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario...
Rudy has made many friends along the way, both of the 2 legs and 4 legs variety :-)

Meanwhile my life is slowly becoming normal, as if there was such a thing in my life???

Between all these events I have been putting off a small thing I long ago promised to a friend...
Well, I finally did it!

My local Post Office in downtown Kingston NS

Package being prepared for shipment...
On its way to Namibia, Africa

Yes for you sharp eye readers, the box it is being shipped in is a USPO box, I recycled it from a recent tool shipment from the States :-)

Merry Christmas Gerhard! hope it gets there in time...

Besides all that, I did some minor woodworking... well minor is right...
In anticipation of her final days at home we had replaced our bed in the bedroom with two single electric beds. What I did not knew was that it was not good enough, she still required a proper hospital bed...
Such proper bed was delivered to us by my legion, after she was gone our bedroom was kind of depressing... one small bed under a large queen size headboard I made for a previous house.
At times I did not want to sleep there it was too ... sad, I slept in the spare rooms.

Finally did something about it and bought myself a bed and new mattress set.
Yes I know, I am a woodworker and I could have build my own...
But at the rate I am going it would have meant sleeping on the floor for a while...so... One day I will replace it by my own creation.

The original beds, there are two electric adjustable beds side by side
in this set up under a leather upholstered queen size head board.
Imagine the scene with only one... :-(

Removed head board and fixed the wall

New bed being installed. There are only three planks under...

New bed and bedding in place. 
Is it just me or they really make new mattress set so bloody high 
that you almost need a ladder to climb in bed...?
Yes Rudy need a small step stool to get in :-)

Sure enough, these three small boards did not took long to cry Uncle, so I had to strip the bed to solidify it under. I suppose if you were just to lay still and fall asleep it would be ok but.... :-)
Made two more boards and legs to put under all 5 boards. I will probably replace that by something more substantial later, still not trusting it much to last.

Between all these trips and events our headstone got delivered and installed, I am very pleased how it turned out.

I had asked the engravers to leave my final date blank, 
I wanted it to be a surprise... :-)

The picture I choose for the porcelain cartouche.
That is how I wanted us to be remembered...

Then after a few false starts, due to inclement weather, Finally got to find the perfect spot to scattered some of her ashes with my son and a few friends.
I looked long and hard to find the perfect spot, it had to overlooked her favourite view. Everytime we came back from the city (Halifax), the first view of the valley overlooking cape Blomindon is what she wanted. When she saw that view she always said, we are home...

Her special place coming into view on the Highway 101 West.
The red arrow point to the spot I found thanks to a friend. 

I did not wanted to do it on the side of the highway, I wanted something more dignified and private and thanks to Jeanie I found it! It is truly the perfect place.
And it belongs to me... and other veterans :-)

It is called Veterans Memorial view park.
How appropriate, thank you citizen of Nova Scotia.

It is a small park with the view she so loved 



and I can visit anytime
 and sit on the bench to talk to her...

I scattered her ashes in the small plant garden and toward the view.
Note to oneself: when scattering ashes, it would be wise to check wind directions ...before proceeding... just saying :-)

Scattering ashes toward the view... 

Scattering ashes in the plant bedding

Due to the wind shifting directions on me, I got my fair share of her ashes on me, oh well I am sure she had a good laugh looking at me from above. For all I know it could have been her own doing, she was mischievous :-)

Well that is all folks, I will be returning to regular woodworking projects soon and I have a growing pile of tools awaiting research and documentation, cleaning and etc.

In the mean time, rest in peace Heather I missed you and love you



Saturday, November 12, 2016

The seldom seen Goodell-Pratt No 83 Universal ratchet handle

I have been looking for a small corner brace for a while and finally got this early Stanley No 994 during my recent trip to the Tools Of The Trades Show (TOTTS)
That show and sale is twice a year; I went to the recent 2 Oct one.
Next one is in Spring 17

The Stanley No 994 Joist or corner brace

One portion of the top pad is cutaway, 
allowing it to be positioned closer to a wall. 
Notice the usual brace ratchet mechanism?


The chucks on these is a giveaway of their vintage period, since it followed the brace's chuck development.

This more recent one sport a much rectilinear chuck.
Mine, above, has a bulbous Barber chuck.
Pic from EBay

It is essentially a truncated version of their regular brace, same mechanism and chucks.
Main features: The cut away top pad and the ratchet mechanism allowed it to be operated close to a corner, say inside a joist bay

Sure make you think of another uses doesn't it? If you said the common mechanic's ratchet, you would be right!

The biggest difference between the joist brace and the mechanic's ratchet is that to be used as a brace to bore holes, you need provision to apply pressure on top.
The ratchet on the other hand only expect pressure from the side handle, not from the top

In my recent travels, in a Moncton NB indoor Sunday flea market, I came across this little guy: Part Rachet, part joist brace.

Goodell-Pratt calls it their Model No 83 Universal Ratchet Handle. Meaning it is designed to be able to play both part...

The Goodell-Pratt No 83.

My example came with an attached wood boring bit

It is a twisted stamped metal pilot bore/countersink drill bit.
Inexpensive to produce, how does it cut? Have not tried yet...

The bit holder squarish hole is tapered to accept regular tapered brace bits. 
The bit being simply held by a 1/4 in nut screw on the side

The biggest shanked bit it would accept is 3/8

The ratchet shifter knob is on the Right Hand Side.

To change the ratchet direction, you simply pull on a knob
and rotate it 180 degrees.. 

Typical mechanism of other Goodell-Pratt, then later Millers-Falls, products such as handrills.
The Goodell-Pratt No 5-1/2 two speed, hand drill.
Notice the pull button to select speed?

People are often confused by that mechanism to change speeds or directions. Simple, you just don't just pull, you have to rotate it a full 180 degrees before re-meshing it down.



They also produced the similar looking No 84 and 85 which sport different chucks.

The No 84 went thru a similar progression in its chuck such as the Stanley 994 above, the first ones sporting a bulbous Barber chuck, the later, a more rectilinear one. The No 84 has a regular brace 2 jaws chuck and hold taper bits better whereas the No 85 has a 3 jaws chuck able to hold smooth shanks drill bits

The similar Goodell-Pratt No 84

and its sibling, the similar Goodell-Pratt No 85

Goodell-Pratt produced rugged tools which still perform as good today as the day they were made (may require some cleaning and de-gunking). The were reputed to make solid tools, had a proud unionized work force, but did not survived the market crash of 1929 and in 1931 they were merged into Millers-Falls which continued to make many of their tools designs.

For an history of Goodell-Pratt see Randy excellent MF everything site

Bob, slowly going thru is new stash of tools with Rudy's help (??)

Friday, November 4, 2016

And we are back ....again

Rudy and I just returned from Montreal, we went to an old friend funeral service.
We first meet in CFB Greenwood back in 1977, Mario was a Weapons Tech Air 571, I was a Radar System Tech 523.

As usual Rudy travel with me, but this time he stayed overnite in Quebec city with my friends Francois and Jacynthe, other fellow vets from our days in Greenwood in the 70s. They retired from CFB Valcartier, home to the famed R22R, infantry regiment. In our military all flying assets belongs to the Airforce, even those attached to the Army or the Navy, so we get to play soldier or sailor with our fellow brother's services.  Years of fun :-)

Since Aug 22 Rudy has now traveled almost 14,000 Kms. No, Ken, I have no idea how many miles that is :-) He is a good travelling companion and never complaint, as long as he is with his daddy :-)

As you can see, he does not look worse for wear :-)
(No this is not a picture of Rudy)

In my travel I saw ads on the side of the highway in Moncton NB, for a Sunday indoor flea market, as I saw it was located right by the highway, it was not much of a detour :-)

Sure enough found some tools....


Picked up a Jack plane from A. Monty Roxton Pond Quebec, a Stanley No 41 pocket level and a Goodell-Pratt No 83 ratchet handle which came with a countersink brace bit.

I also made a chocolate run (Tm) shortly before leaving and came back with a few more finds... besides the chocolate :-)

A wooden brace missing its pad's bits, a reverse Ogee moulding plane, a dual beam mortise gauge, a Stanley No 207A bench stop and a Stanley No 65 marking gauge.

At the rate I am accumulating tools, I will need to spend a marathon, researching, cleaning, and fetling all these tools.

In the mean time, my next woodworking project would be making a small box for a friend small dog, who is not expected to last much longer... :-(
As soon as I get more details from her, I will get on with it.

In the mean time, I don't plan on anymore trips away until early December...

Bob and Rudy, starting to feel the Kms... Sure glad I drive a Lincoln :-)

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Bob and Rudy travelling zoo is back home

After another 4864 kms of driving.  I was way off in my last trip estimate of 2600 kms, it was more closer to 5K kms like this trip. So Rudy has now traveled almost 10,000 kms within a month. I am impressed how well he travels, that is a big relief.

My car got dual temperature zones: I put the A/C on my side, heat on his side with often the seat heat on to warm up his bed faster. 

When he is cold he goes under his little blanky

He wear a body harness attached by a swivel to the car seat belt receiver. That turns off the passenger airbag. He is safe and near me, he feels secured :-)

One of our first stop was in Moncton Nb were we stayed with Laura

We went to the garden of heroes, were they commemorate the three RCMP officers who were gun down a few years back in Moncton. 
Rudy is paying his respect to the K9 officer

He got to saw some of the doggies friends he made on our last trip and met some new ones.

At my brother place; Mary Jane and their dog Slinky with Rudy.
They are both saying, yes we will be good but... :-)

The principal reason for this trip was my friend's reunion in the Forest Montmorency.
It was mostly the same gang that we hosted in Greenwood last year except that more could makes it this time around. Not all of them being retired.

Meet an old friend that I haven't seen in 30 some years,
while we are loosing some more to the dreaded cancer...

Since I was already half way to the Saguenay region, I went to see my friends from our days at 3 Wing Bagotville. Thank you Serge for hosting me and Rudy.

Denis "Dr Tournesol" et "Fever"
Tournesol is a reference to Tintin :-)

Mau and Bob

Before and after the reunion, I stayed at my friends Francois and Jacynthe in Quebec city.
Then it was only a few days till the Tool of The Trade show in Pickering, so I hung around the Ottawa region for a few days until the week end. Tried to visit mostly those I missed last time around. Stayed with Sylvie and Jean. Sylvie and I haven't seen each other in over thirty years, it was like we never missed, we just picked up were we left off. The sign of a good friendship. Military service forged many such friendships thru the years, we truly are a band of brothers and sisters.

Stopped overnite in Trenton to see more friends, then off to Ajax at one of Heather cousin, Cory and Eric, that was strategically located very close to the tool show, bonus! :-)
Rudy has always a blast playing with Sunny their dog and Eric.
Took me longer to find a place to park, once arrived at the show, than it took me to drive there from their place!!!

The entrance

What you find inside, tools galore...

I looked at the slicks, Gerhard but they were a tad pricy...

Boxed tools anyone?

That show is twice a year, Spring and Fall, but I always found the Fall one better for some reasons. It has been a while I been there. As usual it did not disappointed, lots of good tools well priced. Renewed personal contacts with some of my old tool pushers :-)

So what did I bought...... Nothing...I meant not much...

Well OK I bought some, you got me! 

I will be covering them in upcoming posts.

9 planes, 5 marking gauges, 2 drills, etc :-)

After the show, on my way back I stopped again in Ottawa to attend my former club meeting of the Ottawa Woodworkers Association. It has been a while I attended a meeting since I left in 2006. I was one of the founding members of the association. I bet you I was the only one with a Nova Scotia license plate in the parking lot  :-)


During the Show & Tell portion, a member shown us his unusual love seat

There are literally thousands of screws used, 
and they are ALL clocked people!

The screws heads are adjusted to match a tractor seat he used as a guide

It was quite the star of the nite. Well done, and in case you wondered,
 yes it is comfortable to seat in

Oh, also put in my obligatory visits to Lee Valley stores;
The one in Ottawa was having a Festool event, got my food plate :-)

Power tools are not my thing anymore but they sure make nice tools,,,

This time around I remember to brought my small plow plane with me to drop off at the store in Ottawa in order to have it modified. I miss the first time around but they decided to extend that offer until the 10 of Oct... Done.

Visited the new store in Kingston, they were having their 1 year anniversary.
I missed on the cake, I was too late...darn... but I got the coffee :-)

Very nice layout inside, different 

All the LV stores that I have visited so far are all different in sizes and layout. Some of the new ones are getting quite fancy with more brick and mortar stores opening soon.

Stayed with Jack and Kathy then made a visit to Ken and Trish, Rudy gets along great with their 3 years old dog Wally. The two of them have lots of fun together.

Then all too soon it was time to make my way home.
Went to visit a friend at Montreal's Jewish General hospital, that brought back a flood of recent memories, but it's alright, I am glad I managed to see him, it has been a while. Hang in there brother, cancer really suck the life out of you, I hate fucking cancer......

Made it back to my brother on the south shore of Montreal (My stomping ground), then a couple visits in rural New Brunswick and we were back home late Friday.

While driving in rural New Brunswick, what are the odds of being ...

behind a Potato truck, or...

A logging truck.

Just about 100%... that is just about their biggest exports. I took a small Hwy across the province, Hwy 108. At time I wasn't sure it was really a highway, if it was not for the signs along the way it could have fool me, 10 kms of gravel road (which was better than some of the paved sections), in the middle of nowhere NB, no cell phone range...hummm, the only traffic I encounter were logging trucks.. May have been shorter on the map, but i don't think it was any faster :-)

Bob and Rudy, will travel for friends and tools :-)