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An O level comes in handy

It's late in the day for me to be posting - perhaps if you read this from a live feed, you've thought I wouldn't be posting today but, no, here I am.

Today has been a rare day spend at home, but largely away from the keyboard. 101 jobs around the house and office of a maintainance and repair nature have built up. For the majority of them we say "I know someone who can do that better that I could, and would enjoy doing it - I'll pay him to do it and earn the money to pay by giving a course" .... but there are some jobs that I wouldn't know who to ask and I feel competent in tackling.

Lisa has a pachinko machine - a cross between a slot machine and a pinball of Far Eastern origin - a family heirloom that's been carefully kept off to one side while we've been restoring this place ... but now is the time for it to come out of storage, and be cleaned up and used. But how to mount it? It's in a wooden frame that's about 20" by 30", but the working bits stick out at the back and are unprotected, and it needed wallmounting. Ahha - I know my Woodwork "O" Level would come in some time.

Side note for younger readers - "O" or "Ordinary" level exams used to be sat at the age of 16 - really bright students took around 10 or even a dozen, and there were different exams for the less bright ones. These days, the whole list have been replaced by the GCSE.

Woodwork. Ah yes - it was regarded by my fellow pupils as a soft options - I should have taken Latin or German or Geography as a "real" subject - but actually it wasn't a soft option at all. It was a very valuable useful art and it taught me to take pride in my work, to work with my hands, and to produce something that I could be proud of and to the best or my ability. So many of these skills that I use to this day and, if he were still around, I would be saying a huge THANK YOU to Mr Gilbert here for being such a stickler and for putting up with me and the three other mavericks who took Woodwork that year.

And so, today's project. A single frame in 5 x 1 timer (and a 4 x 1 base to allow ventilation but no dust ingress). Tenon joints on the corners, with the upper section appearing to lay over the sides, and the bottom appearing to be inset between the sides. Cutting list marked up and main pieces cut on a circular saw, tenons cut by hand. As the years go on, I find that I'm more and more accurate with such pieces even though I rarely use the skills these days - so only a little adjustment was needed. A single screw through the tenons at each corner (it grieved me to have to do that, but the pachinko machine is heavy), and 4 L backets to attach it to the wall. And a single hole in the top to allow a "cheat" cord to be attached to the release mechanism so that we can play and adjust the machine with neither key nor money.

A good job? Ummm - I'll go so far as to say a reasonable one. The machine fitted like a glove and is anchored by a single screw, yet feels rock solid. Lisa says she'll be painting the frame red, which is probably a good way to hide the knotty pine and one or two of the joints that aren't quite as snug as they should be.
(written 2005-05-30, updated 2006-06-05)

 
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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