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David Schweizer

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Everything posted by David Schweizer

  1. Does anyone have list of the narrowboats marshalled as a Fire Service Boat in WW11? I have always understood that Pisces operated as one in London (or possibly in Birmingham), but I have never found any photographic or documentary evidence.
  2. It is very unlikely that they have painted the gate with anything. Traditionally, new gates were submerged in water to swell the joints and make them watertight, it is far more likely that the gates have been recently removed from the tank for transportation, and the shine is geing generated by residual water onthe gate surfaces.
  3. Little Venice, just how I remember it.
  4. Having spent the first 25 years of my life in Ruislip, I know knew the Lido well. Below are several photos of the Lido building and the official opening ceremony. I am fairly certain that the man on the left in the third photo is Leslie Morton, who was general manger of the GUCCC at the time.
  5. I have been enjoying the historic photos being posted by mark99 as many of them relate to my early days on the canals, but where have they all come from? I have trawled through Mark's posts but am unable to find any mention of their source.
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  7. We had one of those on Helvetia, one of the first welding jobs I had done was to increase the size of the drainage channels, which resulted in no more rain getting into the rear counter chamber.
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  10. Or get stuck solid and stop the engine. Something I have seen happen on a couple of occassions.
  11. Over the years I observed that boats with only a small distance between the prop and counter plate had a tendancy to get lumps of wood, and other extaneous materials, jammed between them. We had a 6" gap on Helvetia, and rarely caught anything between the prop and the counter plate, just a bit of banging and watch the wood float off behind us. I would suggest that a 1" gap could be asking for problems.
  12. It used to be possible to buy a inlet heat conversion kit for Nuffield/Leyland tractor engines, from some Agricultural Merchants, I believe it could also be used on the BMC 1.5 and 1.8 engine.
  13. All this "buy it from Howdens" and adapt it, but don't bother too much about fitting the cabinets to the hull tumble home is not Cabinet Building it is general carpentry with a bit of bodge thown in. I was taught by a Master Cabinet Maker, and he regularly stressed that any decent Cabinet Maker will give as much attention to the back of the cabint as he will to the front and sides, even no one else will see it.
  14. I am assuming that you have never done any boat fitting or you would be a little more circumspect about it. The first thing you will discover will be that none of the "walls" are flat or perpendicular, you will not find a spirit level or plumbline of much any use. and will need to invest in a couple of roofers squares, hoping that the floors are flat and level. I re-fitted my boat including a fitted galley, making all the units in my workshop at home, Large sheets of cardboard are the main essential as all the unit building will need to preceeded by making templates. It all takes a lot more time, and having also fitted a full kitchen in my house, I know which job was easier.
  15. I am not sure where you get your information from, but European Oak has been used, and is still used, for boatbuilding (including Narrowboats) for centuries. As for blackening, it is true that American Oak will blacken less than European Oak beacuase it contains less tannin. However, American Oak is far more water absorbant than European Oak, and is not really suitable for boatbuilding, or for any othe outdoor application. Where it excells is as a timber for Furniture and indoor panelling etc.
  16. European Oak timber is actually a darker colour than American Oak, which is often referred to as White oak, because of it's lighter colour. However, it is sometimes referred to as Red Oak because that is the name of the tree, from which it comes, named Red after the colour the leaves turn in Autumn. American Oak has a straighter grain than European Oak and is often devoid if any Medulary Rays. A not unattractive wood, but I much prefer European (preferrably English) Oak which is a beautiful timber, and which mellows to a wonderful deep honey colour in time.
  17. Tell me about it. there was a huge amount of timber left over when my daughter had a new worktop fitted to her central island. In hindsight, I somewhat foolishly, agreed to make a couple of coffee table tops from the surplus timber, that is when I discovered what rubbish rainforest hardwood worktops are. The top and edges looked fine, but the interior was made up from random sized bits with many air gaps between the pieces of timber, plus filler in the larger gaps. Eventually I managed to make two reasonabley good tops, but if anyone ever asked me again what I could do with leftover work top timber , I would suggest chopping it up and putting it in the woodburning stove.
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  19. Genuine Beech Butchers Block work surface is a completely different (and superior) product from modern rain forest timber work tops. We had them in the dairy on the farm where I was Saturdy boy, and you don't need to treat it in the same way. I agree that some most modern laminate work tops a less than impressive, but if you are prepared to pay for decent quality, it is available, and if low maintenance is an issue, it is worth paying more for a better product. I am not able to recommend anyone in Lincoln, but what you need to do is earch out a local company which specialises in good quality produxts and discuss your requirements with them. the first thing is to ensure that the laminate is a decent thicknes and not like paper.
  20. If you buy them from B & Q then that is what you will get, but you can get much better laminates these days which are virtually indistinguishavble from real wood, but you have to go to specialist suppliers, and be prepared to pay for them.
  21. I am not a fan of Vactan, never ever having had much luck with it. When I painted my engine bilges, I cleaned as much old paint and rust off, and after de - greasing gave it two good thick coats of what was called Finnegans Smoothrite in those days. Finnegans had assured me that providing I let it cure completely, the paint was both heat and oil resistant, after ten years there was no sign of deterioration. Smoothrite is still made, but under a new name of Hammerite Smooth.
  22. For what it is worth I think wooden worktops are a future problem waiting to happen. They always look lovely for the first few months, but no mattwer how much oil is rubbed into them, they eventually start to stain and darken, requiring a complete re-furbishment, and just hope that a tap does not start to leak whilst you are away from the boat! I settled for decent quality laminate covered tops, which are minimum maintenance, and always look the same as when they were installed.
  23. I bolted a 7.5mm thick round steel plate to the bottom of the bilge pump which held it down by weight. This did mean that the pump would not completely drain the bilges, but as my bilges were always dry it was not really an issue, but it would have worked if there was an ingress of water.
  24. It was my interest in old tools and Agricultural History which led me to describe what I know as Pole Axe. My complerte lack of enthusiasm for Military History led to me not being aware of the term Pole Axe being more commonly used to describe a Medieval instument of war. Your item may have been a Military Pole Axe, however, I feel it is more probably a loggers tootl used for the moving of unprepared timber. Below is a photo of an Agricultural Pole Axe used for the slaughter of cattle:-
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