Jan to Feb Project

I’m sure we have all done it: started a project, had it drag out a bit, such as starting one early Jan, and still be completing it late Feb. Same here. Started this project in early Jan….2011! And only now getting close late Feb 2012. Not a hard project either, just been getting bounced around, bypassed, forgotten, rediscovered, and, well procrastination personified!

A year ago, the board looked like this (as a conceptual layout)


Since then (and all only just recently), I’ve made some progress.

Step one was taking the slab that had an initial rough sanding on the Torque Workcentre and giving it a good flattening sand.

Best tool I have for that is the BS105E, otherwise known as the Festool beast – a 105mm, 6.5kg $1500 belt sander. Yeah, still blows my mind too that a belt sander can be worth that much. Beautiful tool to use though. It has the sled that allows the sander to be floated over the surface, either aggressively cutting to the full depth of the paper grit, or raised so high that only the tips of the abrasive is impacting the surface. Typically, you use it somewhere in between!


The shear weight of the sander means you only have to guide the sander where you want it to work. No additional downward pressure required at all.

The surface at this stage was already becoming alive. Perhaps it is the natural oils in the Huon Pine burnishing the surface with the sanding, but it looks like it doesn’t need an actual finish! Doesn’t mean I won’t, but what that finish is will need a little research.

Onto a final sand, this time the ETS150/5, sanding up to 320 grit.


Possibly a bit out of order, bit it was then onto the tablesaw to trim up the ends. Given the slab has two natural edges, and two non straight edges, I used a sled to carry the slab through the tablesaw to get the first straight edge. The Incra Mitre Express worked well in this case.

Once the first edge was cut, this then was placed against the fence to cut the second edge parallel. The final two edges I’ve always intended to be left natural.

20120215-224621.jpg (Guard removed for photo).

Next, taking a holesaw, a cavity was cut for the steam pressure gauge. It was a little undersized (not having exactly the right sized tool). Getting it sized correctly only took a few short minutes on the spindle sander.

The brass items needed a real clean and polish.

With a can of what anyone in the military would be well familiar with (Brasso), each of the parts were given a good polish. Perhaps not to military spec, but I didn’t want them to be completely deprived of their history/age. Not sure where my before & after photos are- still in the camera I suspect! Will post them later.

I then tried my layout again. 12 (13?) months since I last laid it out, and it has become more refined. I have also finally figured out how to attach the cartridges, and other odd shaped items to the board. Time to source some copper wire.

Anyway, this is looking like it might be a layout I’m happy with. Now to bring it home, and finally finish a project off!

20120215-231511.jpg (Taken on my iPhone, so sorry if the colour balance is a bit off!)

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