Saturday was not too successful.
From the weather forecast I knew I had about 5 hours before heavy rain would set in.
I started working on the starter rail for the WeatherTex cladding.
I am working off the laser level marks I made earlier in the week.
The first problem was that I had already installed two pieces either side of the door frame and according to the laser level they were 10 mm different.
However, when I measured them relative to the deck they were also 10 mm different.
So this was a relief - no complex discrepancies - I had just measured incorrectly when I installed them.
I had to spend an hour removing the RHS piece without damaging the building wrap, and then reinstalling a rail in the correct place.
The next problem was that the building wrap had ridden up in places.
This could be solved by adhering to the bottom of it with some gaffa tape, pulling it down and taping under the flashing.
This allowed me to install another two pieces.
However, by the time I reached the RHS, the repeated light showers meant that the gaffa tape could not adhere to the building wrap and no amount of rubbing with a rag could fix the problem.
At this point, the showers became more frequent and I realised that it was time to head home.
I will need to tackle this on a dry sunny day (and none of those are forecast for the next week).
About an hour and a half after I returned home, Paul came to donate to the Computer Museum some interesting pieces from his late father's collection.
After unloading these in to the barn we sat around, had a coffee, and chatted for an hour or two.
I want to "tickle along" the refurbishment of all the sashes - there is a tremedous lead time with these - the glass itself and the balance springs take quite a while to be custom made. Also, once the putty has been applied it must be left for 2 or 3 months before it can be painted.
I am starting to examine each sash, gluing any cracks and patching any holes.
After the chemical paint stripping, many of the existing glass pieces are very loose and ready to come out.
Also much of the old putty has fallen away.
However, there are the odd sashes where a pane of glass has been replaced relatively recently and the putty is very hard to remove for these.
It has to be painstakingly chiselled out leading to damage in the facing.
I had received some very good advice to make up a template to run my trimmer / router in and speed up the job.
I spent most of Sunday making up this template.
If you know the old "there's a hole in the bucket" song from the 50s you might have an idea of the prerequisite steps I had to go through.
For starters I had to trim a length of multi-ply and then route a groove in it for the trimmer's collet to run in.
Now I have a perfectly good router set up in a router table.
However, I do not dare touch it as it is set up with the 1.75 mm diameter router bit that I use to insert weather stripping in to the external staff beads.
About 4 months ago, with the intention of creating my own external door frames, I had bought a new Makita router for only $169 - it is "cheap and cheerful" and will probably last a long time. It has been strongly constructed but is just a bit clunky - every movement requires some pretty deliberate force. But I am not complaining - good value for what I paid.
Fortunately I have the router table option for my old Triton.
I attempted to use it years ago when end matching floor boards but it was not strong enough for that task.
However, it is perfect to accept this new router.
I spent about 2 hours at the kitchen table getting it mounted and clamped in to the table plate.
Once in the Triton it worked perfectly to run a groove in to my trimmer template.
I discovered that one side of the template was deflected too easily, so I cut and routed a second template that was wider with enough room to fix a stiffening timber.
I then carefully played around with various settings on the trimmer to clean up a putty encrusted mullion from one of the sashes.
I discovered that if I clamped the reinforced side over an identical work piece, then the piece being routed was pretty much held in position - all I needed were a few clamped blocks of wood to stop the piece retreating from the router bit.
I carefully increased the depth of the cut, bit by bit and ended up with a good result.
I had to chisel off a half mm layer in one place and caused a little bit of damage but I think the next patient will turn out perfectly.
So I am very happy with the outcome of that exercise.
By now it was 2.00 pm and I moved on to my next exercise.
I have bought the soakers that I will require for the convex and concave corners of the bay window assembly.
However, all I could obtain were 90 degree internal and external corners and mine are all 135 degrees.
I need some tools to gently modify each piece without ending up with a puckered corner.
I have obtained a pair of panel beater pliers (duck billed for turning up edges).
However, the duck bill is only 80 mm and my soakers will be 170 mm.
I am working on creating some "franken pliers" by bolting on some extension plates.
My original intention had been to create a three layer sandwitch to clamp on the plates.
However, on Sunday, I thought that I would try drilling holes in the duck bills and bolt straight to the plates.
I found it easy to drill a small pilot hold (4mm) but as soon as I tried to go up to 8 mm no drill bit would go through the pliers metal - it must be specially hardened.
So the upshot of this attempt was that I made no progress but learned a lot.
After work, I continued working on the "franken pliers".
I went back to my original idea of a three layer sandwich.
This seems to work and after a couple of hours of drilling and angle grinding I have outfitted one of my pliers with the extension plates.
Maybe tomorrow evening I can complete the second set.