28th December – making leather protectors for some chisels made during my autumn term blacksmithing.
This very nice scrap green leather was a present from Batchelors (after having spent £100 or so on tools).
This chisel and all the others in the second picture were made from a car coil spring (EN45)
The top socketed chisel I made last, all the others had tangs that were stuck into the handles with epoxy resin.
They were all made from different woods. Hazel, yew, ziricote, lilac, rhododendron and bog oak.
The ziricote was scrap from a friend and I thought twice about using it. I have never ever bought tropical hardwoods.
30th December Trip on the Epping & Ongar Railway.
One of the many joys of teaching – ex pupil’s invitations to great days out.
Jonathan Bushell was in the same year as my eldest son Paul (31).
Although there were many apologies for the weather it did not dampen my enthusiasm or enjoyment of the trip.
Jonathan was training the fireman. I thought that it would be easy just to shovel a few bits in now and then. Wow, silly me. The fire and its perfect maintenance is absolutely crucial to the well-being of its physical structure and performance. Heating the water to make steam does not really say enough.
I was on the engine footplate all the way and gained some insight into how it all worked.
If you ever get the chance visit your local steam railway get on that footplate!