Sunday, 2 November 2014

2nd November 2014

Apologies for the long delay in posting new content but we've been sorting out a shipping container that was onsite, waiting for it to become available so that we can convert it into a workshop.

The container only became available at the end of September, the first stage was to paint the inside, using gloss paint and an airless sprayer, that took a couple of days as its a 40' container, it then took over a week for the paint to go off.

Friday was spent assembling kitchen cupboards that will house the various tools that we will need, for example drill press, scroll saws etc, plus one as a work bench.  The long term plan is that some of these will go onto wheels so they can be moved around to create larger work spaces as needed.

Yesterday was spent assembling the monumental shelving unit I designed, it was somewhat heavier than I expected, I did look at buying units, but they would have cost over £300 so I decided to build something myself.  They are the size I want them, constructed using 18mm MDF and 3x2 CLS timber its a substantial unit.

The units are all down one side and have 18mm MDF tops, nice and substantial, everything is glued using polyurethane glue so they are very solid and there is no play in them, which will make them ideal when I install the various tools on top of them.

You can see the first fit electrics in the following photos, the plan is to have a similar setup to that on the boat, a generator outside secured to the container, feeding a small garage distribution panel, one circuit for lights, the other for the sockets.

Next week I'll have the electrics completed and should have most of the tools setup, I can then order the glue and first batch of timber that I will need.  While waiting for the timber and glue to arrive I'll be making a door as you can't close the doors to the container when you are in it and as I'll have some form of heating I won't want it to escape.

I'll also be sourcing and fitting some 12v LED flood lights and a PIR for security outside, plus a small area of decking so we don't drag mud into the container.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

3rd August 2014

I spent a couple of hours yesterday sorting out the steps at the rear of the boat that we use to get on and off of her. Since the move they have been about 2' short, I raised their height but it wasn't right for various reasons, for example where I had to add the new steps the transition step although the same width as the others stuck out further than the others making the on below it feel like it was only 2" deep. I'd been mulling over the options and decided to put a platform in and a direction  change, as it will allow easier handling of things on and off the boat and also a more logical entrance.

I had a couple of free hours yesterday so did the needful, in the rain, absolutely lashing it down, but that is the advantage to her being completely under cover, I could cut the timber on board and glue/screw it together outside,  under the bit of shelter from the corner of the tarps.

Quite pleased with how they have turned out, I've said it before and I'll say it again the most important thing when repairing/restoring or refitting a boat is a good set of steps, using a ladder soon becomes tiresome!

Todays task was to reattach the front of the canopy after we had to cut it off for the move.  Easier said than done, especially in the wind, they are very large tarps that cover her and collect a large amount of wind.

I'd also forgotten how heavy the front piece was that we cut off was, we really over engineered it, but after a lot of man handling and changing of underwear I got it in place, I glued large battens either side of where we cut it and screwed it in place.  Two new front supports and a horizontal cross brace complete the grunting and groaning to get us back to where we were:

It was good, being in the "zone" today, radio blasting out Absolute 80s and getting on with the tasks and achieving what I set out to do.  Onwards and upwards as they say!

Monday, 28 July 2014

28th July 2014

I had to work a night today, so had an opportunity to finally upload the video of the recent move, its in my youtube channel and can be viewed here

Monday, 21 July 2014

21st July 2014

2552's new home is on a slope, as daft as that sounds its actually a good thing due to the shape of her hull, it means that her back end is higher as a result and as she is almost flat on the rear it means that its a better height to work on.

The draw back is that the steps no longer reach, they are about 2' too short so I have had to modify them, which is work in progress and there will be photos to follow.

The end of the hard standing that she was on is somewhat overgrown and although not really causing us too much of an issue would eventually encroach on the her so during one of my days off I decided to clear the area, the dark patch in the photo is where the leaves, compost and soil had spread:

In places it was nearly a foot deep and had blackberry roots growing through it so a real pain in the next to clear, but somewhat satisfying.

I had a couple of off cuts of scaffolding boards left over from the steps and it occurred to me that it would make a great bench as we could do with something to sit on outside her while eating our lunch or just having a chill, quite pleased with it as its just some off cuts of scaffolding boards and a piece of shuttering board:

Sunday, 29 June 2014

29th June 2014

Some work was being done on the roof of Hangar 1 (Building 18) North Annex and one of the guys took a photo of 2552 from the roof in her new position:

Thursday, 26 June 2014

26th June 2014

Its been a good long while since I posted anything, but that is because work on her has come to a complete halt, mainly due to issues where she was, I use the past tense because we moved her.  Due to her size she was blocking light against the shed she was stood against so the shed was starting to rot, so we decided to move her to another area onsite.

We got in touch with Chris Miller again as we trust him with our project and we sorted out the logistics, on the 26th she was loaded onto a low loader and moved a couple of hundred yards:


Although the photos show a smooth move, which it was always going to be the photo below shows how tight the tolerances were on one of the gates that we moved through and its a tribute to Chris D's skill and experience as a driver that he reversed through without drama:

After the move Chris Miller told me that this was the last of the large moves he and his company were doing as he is retiring, it has been an honor and a privilege the work with Chris and his crew:

Saturday, 1 February 2014

1st February 2014

I spent a couple of hours on her today, removing one of the deck beams, one of the longer ones so I can use it to make the jig that will be used to remake the 55 of them that need replacing.  To put it bluntly, it was a pain in the ar$e of a task, but it gives me an idea of how strong her construction is.

I also put a floor down in what was the officers toilet which will make it easier to work in there.

Over the next couple of weeks we'll re-hoover her and clean up after the recent work that we have done.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

26th January 2014

The weather as we are all know over the last couple of weeks has been somewhat wet so I spent the day finishing off the onboard electrics, everything is waterproof and designed for low temperature as I've used arctic cable.

There are three 4' fluorescent tubes, all on independent switches, plus two bulk head lights.  There is a 25M four way extension cable, plus a 10M one in a waterproof box.  All in all quite a good days work.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

19th January 2014

After a bit of a break over Christmas as the Trust was closed and I also needed to work out what I needed tarp wise, the side tarps are now in place.  I've quite pleased with the frame and the covering tarps, even after all the wind and rain we have had recently its stood without any problems and the old girl is nice and dry inside.

Next week I'll install the guttering on the out edge, which was a request from the trust to prevent the rain run off from damaging what is left of the tarmac in the yard.  Getting the guttering to follow the shape will be interesting, but I'm hoping to use a heat gun to melt it slightly so it will follow the contours.