More progress today, the lathe has been assembled and placed in roughly the right place. The installation is temporary, because it will have to be moved to allow me to break through the wall behind it for the window.
Also the extractor ducting is now installed as far as the TS/Planer
In the meantime, with nice weather (over 20° here today) the main door is left open and I have the benefit of the view too...
A question on lathe height. I'm tall, a bit over 6' 2" and I've found it more comfortable to raise all my other machines on plinths. Looking around on various forums and books etc., I find that people say the spindle should be at the height of your elbow, so that's what I've done - hence the plinth. However, it looks awfully high - what do you think ?
I've read here and there that people have had trouble marrying up blast gates and easily available rigid tube. I've just finished the major part of my dust collection system and have found a simple method that may be of help to others.
The tube is standard 100mm OD drain pipe. The blast gates are Axi aluminium ones which have the same outside dia as the tube, so I initially used female to female straight couplers glued on with epoxy to attach them (the usual solvent cement does not work on the ali of course). Late this evening, when finishing off, I found I was short of a coupling, so in desperation, heated up the end of the pipe with a blow lamp and when it was suitably soft and wobbly, forced it onto the Axi blast gate flange. Not only did it go on easily, but when the plastic cooled, it contracted a bit and grips like the proverbial. Just to be sure, I've drilled and fitted 3 small self-tapping screws through the plastic and into the ali to lock it all into position. Bingo !
Here is the rest of the system :
The stub of 100mm pipe to the right is fitted with a screw on cover to allow rodding in the event of a blockage.
Cyclone from Chems at Cyclone central, basic 2HP extractor with cloth bag filter (for now) upstairs on the mezanine where there is lots of natural ventilation. Another blast gate just above the cyclone shuts off the section for the chop saw and the sander. The blast gates have been taped at the base to stop the slight leak, but it is a small price to pay for a gate that can be cleaned out when it fills up with dust !
The pipe leading off to the left then runs along one of the ceiling beams to the TS/Planer/Thicknesser, and that's where the gate I fitted by heating the pipe is located.
The long flexible can reach any of the ports on the Kity machine, and a 3m spare section of hose can be added by just plugging it in to reach over to the lathe for cleaning up after turning.
Notice the shop made cover for the sander - to my surprise and delight, it seems to be almost 100% effective. It just lifts off to change the sanding belt and the suction tends to hold it in position.
The band saw is still in a temporary position, but it has its own shop vac.
This was written back in july, but I didnt get around to posting it, so here are a few posts to bring the thread up to date.
I'm well on the way with my new workshop - however, as the workshop is in an old barn there is no natural light. The barn attached to the house, so that wall cannot have windows, the front has big barn doors but we are in a conservation area so changing those for lots of glass is not permitted. Because the barn is built into a slope the west wall is fully below ground, so that leaves the south wall which is along the rise of the hill, so partly below ground. The powers that be have agreed that I can put a window into the south wall provided it is all in oak (including the lintel etc.) and so I've started excavating the outside so that the window will be at a sensible height inside.
Here is the site :
This is the only practical approach open to me, as putting the window any higher will place it above the workshop ceiling/mezzanine floor.
The plan is to use the stone from the wall (70cm thick) to build a retaining wall for the excavation. The window position is marked in red, it's about 2m by 1m.
Here is the same view from inside - the red arrow points to the pilot hole I drilled which is roughly at the original ground level on the outside.
September 23rd :
Made and fitted the landmark final set of doors to the workshop under-bench store cabinets yesterday. I was actually supposed to be working on cutting out the window aperture, but after a couple of hours with a club hammer and cold chisel my arm was complaining, so turned to a less physical job for a bit !
Notice the little stove - picked it up for 15€ - bit of warmth for the winter and a use for those little offcuts !!
Regarding the window - so far I've cut a hole for a temporary support (200x75 joist for reference) and started excavating below for the lintel. The previous job like this was at my former home and I must say that the walls here are a lot tougher - the masonry is better made with bigger stones and the mortar is stronger too. Kind of reassuring, but much harder work than I had expected !
September 26th :
I've now got the lintels and have started cutting out the hole to fit them. No further progress this weekend as there are other commitments, but on monday I will get straight into demolition and get the first lintel fitted.
Because this is a rather wide opening and it is a fully structural wall, I've decided to play safe and cut half way through the wall, fit one lintel, then cut the rest away from the inside and fit the remaining ones. I'm probably being over cautious, but better safe than sorry. It also means I can keep working even if the weather changes...
October 3rd :
Whew ! Cut out the last of the masonry to fit the lintels yesterday and, as expected, the central block between the supports came crashing down ! Because I had expected it, I'd made sure I had a quick exit route so as not to have crushed feet. In the event it was fairly controlled, but a lot of the stone and old mortar fell inside the workshop which is going to need some very serious cleaning up.
Lifting the lintels into place was an interesting challenge - they are far too heavy at 85/90kg each to simply be lifted in one go ! I did it by building a couple of one legged saw horses in front of the hole in the wall, the other end being supported on the wall itself, then sliding the lintels onto them using levers and lots of grunt.
Once positioned in front of the hole, it was a simple matter to slide them back onto the nice level masonry pads that I'd built the day before. Here you can see the first of the infill stonework (on the left) built this morning.
This is very tedious as the access is restricted by the supports and the depth means you have to keep walking around to the other side to tidy up the opposite face of the wall. Progress will be rather slow untill enough is built to be able to remove the supports.
October 14th :
A week has passed and I've worked on refilling above the lintels as often as I could bearing in mind other activities and some foul weather, probably around 12h in all.
It is done at last !
Infill with irregular stone is one of the most tedious jobs I've ever done. The access gets smaller and smaller as you work, the thickness of the wall makes the middle part quite difficult to reach and the stones have to be selected to fit the space vertically as well as horizontally. As if that was not enough, when you remove the supports as the job progresses, you risk large chunks dropping onto your arm as you work - the old lime mortar really has no "sticking" properties at all. Not a job I would want to repeat.
I propose to give myself a break and do something else for a week or so before cutting out below the lintel for the window itself. Then it will be a few days to create and tidy the aperture, a week perhaps to make the window from scratch in oak and I'll be installed in a workshop with natural light before the frosts...
October 9th :
Had an overdose of motivation yesterday and demolished the wall below the lintels to start fitting the window. 1m80 x 1m x 60cm, that's over 2 tonnes of material demolished, sorted, stacked (the stone) barrowed away (the old mortar) and tidied up. Finished this at around 3pm and decided to clean up the surrounding stonework and make the "bed" for the bottom beam. Got carried away and actually laid it, got it level first time too, then cut the uprights to length and fitted them - loose tenoned into the lintel and bottom beam - and ... the light failed with a load of mortar made up !
Finished as much of the infill as I could see to do in the dark and cleaned up by around 20h !
No photos of the outside for the moment as I fitted a couple of sheets of hydrofuge chipboard to keep the rain off and to keep visitors out.
The big beam at the bottom and at the sides is to mimic the traditional form of construction. This was a condition of the planning consent, though I would have done it this way anyway for aesthetic reasons. I will add the traditional pegs at top and bottom of the uprights (they would have been drawbored in the 19th C) but mine will only be dummies. I could not see a simple way to build downwards from the lintel and fit uprights with traditional tenons. It would have involved "hanging" everything from the lintel with the bottom beam suspended over a space big enough to allow the tenons to be inserted and then the stone infilled underneath it after. Didnt fancy that, so my "tenons" are large chunks of 20mm dia steel rod into drilled holes deep enough to house the whole tenon in the upper part and allowed to drop into sockets in the lower part as they came into alignment. A rebate in the lower beam keeps things square and resists any tendency of the old wall to push out towards the aperture. Fast and effective. The oak will corrode the steel of course, but 20mm will last quite a while I think and the corrosion will lock them tighter into place !
Of course, in the traditional form, there would have been a matching frame on the inside, linked by horizontals in the thickness of the wall. This arrangement avoided having outside corners on the masonry and tied everything together in the days before steel masonry fixings. No point in doing this here as the inside will be hidden by the dry lining which will go into the aperture and up to the back of the window frame.
I confess I also chickened out as far as the width of the aperture is concerned. When I saw how close to the sections of old rubble wall supporting the lintel I would need to demolish to achieve the width I had hoped for, I played safe and left rather more in place than I'd originally planned. A consolation is that the proportions of the window aperture are rather more pleasing than the very wide low window I had sketched up. A bit less light of course, but you cant have everything.
It remains only to remove the last of the stone from the inside on the left and point up before starting to make and fit the actual window.
Since the last posting, I've pointed up the inside of the aperture stonework, then extended the insulation and dry lining up to the aperture on all four sides and around the inside up to the back of the oak framing. This was done a few days ago.
Today I started to make up the window frame itself. The sections were prepared some time ago when it was too wet to work outside, so today was cutting to length, making the bridle joints and gluing up. I cut the bridle joints by making one cut at the base of the joint using the hollow chisel morticer, then cutting up to that using the bandsaw. It worked really well.
The tenons were cut on the TS using a crosscut sled as I always do. It means a lot of passes with a single blade, but the shoulders are always perfect, the tenons dead centre on the stock and you can sneak up on a fit easily by raising the blade a fraction.
As always with this type of job, the work is too big for my limited supply of clamps, so only half is actually glued at present and I'm posting this while I wait for the glue to dry so that I can use the clamps on the other half !
If all goes to plan I should finish this today and be ready to start making the opening light tomorrow.
Here is a sketch of the window cross section. Because windows open inwards in France, it's a bit more complicated than a traditional UK window - dont know about the US..? However, inward opening windows have big advantages, especially on upper floors : easier cleaning, repainting etc. also for ground floor windows, there are no obstacles for kids running around the outside of the house.
The window is fitted at last ! I was held up by the lack of a TS due to a spare parts problem - now solved - and so I had to wait before I could make the oak glazing beads. However, it's done now.
...and here is the view :
Next step is to apply a finish to get more uniform colour on the lintel and uprights, but it's raining right now.
The window is hinged at the bottom, and fixed with a traditional "cremone" at the top. Irritating, but the parts I could find locally for the cremone were grey castings and black rods, so will have to do some painting :
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