Dispatch from Brussels…

…some people are right idiots. Only 50% understand percentages. The other 63% don’t get it at all…

I’m showing off now. I’m sitting in the Brussels Airlines crew room at Brussels Airport, between flights. Operating the Bristol flight at 1520. Why Brussels Airlines? We do a contract for them. Fantastic crew complex. Crucially, really fast, free wifi, so thought I’d tell you about my drill issues.

Here’s one I bent earlier…

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I was trying to drill a large hole – about 25mm – using the stepped bit which you can see attached. It kept jamming. I got frustrated and gave it some welly. You can see from the photo that as the hand comes over the top, turning clockwise, there is an anti-clockwise rotation around the normal axis. I gave it so much push to unjam it – I was frustrated! – that I bent the handle…

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You can see from the picture that I’m in the wrong gear. This is the fast gear, which is for small diameter bits. In the first picture you can see a mark on my hand. That’s the skin rubbed away. I didn’t notice. Also didn’t notice I was getting a blister in my thumb joint. The handle bent so much it began to foul the body…

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LEARNING POINTS

1. Don’t do stuff when you’re short of time and tired.
B. Make sure you’re in the right gear.
iii. Need a bigger drill with a bigger handle to get bigger leverage. Doesn’t exist, though.
* When you’re hand hurts, stop. The blisters are only now healing; I did this fiasco on Thursday.

I wonder how easy it is to make a big drill…

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It’s the wrong grommet, trousers!

…I spent hours arguing with a 90 degree angle. In the end, I had to admit he was right…

Peter’s comment on fitting grommets is well made. I couldn’t find any on tinternet – actually I couldn’t be bothered spending hours on it – so I came up with a cheap alternative…

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…pipe couplers, to replace this, the original grommet…

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…which was damaged…

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…and to fit out another couple of holes. I had to enlarge the holes in the 5 pin socket, the NVR Switch casing and the corresponding holes in The Base. This solution worked well. Here’s the NVR Switch casing with the “grommet” fitted…

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…and the 5 pin socket…
>

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Another hole needed to be drilled, low down on the rear wall of the base, to allow entry for the power cable. I drilled it out using a 5mm bit to start then enlarged with the step drill. When I’d finished, I fitted a “grommet”. Unfortunately, the nut bottomed out before gripping the wall, so I had to shorten the threaded section with a hacksaw…

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Drilling this hole proved problematic – it’ll be the subject of my next post – but now the rear wall of the base is finished and looks like this, with the new power cable entry hole visible beneath the 5 pin socket into which the motor cable plugs…

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To finish up work on the base – apart from the wiring itself – I fitted the FORS (Forward Off Reverse Switch) back on. There were two minor problems. A, the two original bolt holes didn’t align well and 2, one of the holes fouled an internal cross bar…

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The FORS only had two fixing bolts originally, but has four fixing holes available at the corners, so the solution was to drill two new holes in the opposite corners. The picture below shows the new holes at top right and bottom left. The hole at bottom right is the one which fouls the internal cross bar…

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The picture below shows the front left panel of The Base, with the FORS and the casing for the NVR Switch. The FORS has a conduit to guide the cable, so doesn’t need a grommet. There’s no room for one anyway…

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Between the last post and this one, I took a couple of days away from this project to put some shelving under my workbench, to solve a clutter problem which finally got me annoyed enough to do something about it.

I did all that work with hand tools only, apart from getting the plywood cut to size by B & Q. I used three hand drills with different bits in and the Hand Cranked Pillar Drill for the vertical holes. I honestly think that doing it this way was quicker – and more satisfying – than using power tools.

So that’s me getting over confident with the hand drills! Perhaps I needed a lesson…;