Where’s Britain?

…was the question I asked the waitress in Les Loups des Mers (Sea Bass), a very nice little cafe on the Avenue de la Plage in Bourgenay. Strange question? Look at this…


See what I mean? Brittany’s missed off too. The owner explained that when they were redecorating, they wanted an old looking world map for the wall. They found this on the internet, had a huge poster made and put it up. Only later did customers start to comment. Apparently, the map dates from a time when the French and English were constantly fighting each other (surely not), and whoever made the map simply left off the countries he didn’t like.

If the English made a map of the world using those criteria, ie, leave out all those with whom you’ve ever picked a fight, the world map would only have England on it.

Finally; Drum Assembly

The turntable worked very well. In this picture…


…you can see that I can stand upright, so no back strain. Also, the drum has to be turned incrementally as the hardware is put back on. The swivel means that the rims are not being scraped and, of course, the whole operation is a lot less effort.

I began with the Bass Drum…

  

Then both toms…

  

 

…and finally, the snare drum. This took a whole afternoon just for that. Assembling the Lugs was easy. First, a couple of finger turns on each screw…

 

Once all the lugs were loosely attached, I used a small hand drill to take up the bulk of the slack…

 

…then finished with a screwdriver…

 

You can imagine how the turntable made this operation very quick. I reckon half an hour for each drum. Assembling the snare mechanism took a good couple of hours. This was where I discovered that, although I thought I was being diligent with my photography during dismantling, there were still key areas where I didn’t have enough images to help me. Quite a bit of time had to be spent comparing different images, just to get a sense of where a tiny part goes. Maybe I have to rethink my process a bit; it’s obviously slightly deficient. Here’s a picture of the snare drum completed…


…and a couple of before and afters…



Each lug had to have a new piece of foam inserted in it before it could be attached. The foam stops the rods and springs rattling, a common fault with cheaper drums. I destroyed the original foam on removal of all the lugs, but it had deteriorated anyway. I made new foam blocks from kitchen cleaning pads…


First, I marked them up. The green line is the centre cut line. The black line is a “this way up” line…


Dividing….


Peeling off the scourer…


Cutting… 

  

…and fitted in a group of lugs…


I bought new skins for all the drums. 30 years ago, I obviously preferred Remo, but now Evans has the best website and the most choice, so I went with them…


Nearly done.

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“Odeur de moisi, moisissure…

“Ohdoor day mwassee, mwasseeshoor…” means “smell of mustiness, mould”.

We took a flight from Manchester to Nantes (Nongt) last Thursday, hired a C Class Merc and drove to a cottage near Saint-Mathurin (Song-Matooran) in the Vendee (Vongday). We were looking forward to an idyllic week in the French countryside (French countryside).

By the Six Lines of Crewe, were we disappointed.

The cottage stank of damp, mould, mustiness, stoor, foost, drains. It was filthy. It had ancient appliances in the kitchen. The cupboard doors in the kitchen wouldn’t close ‘cos they were damp and damaged. There was just an old vinyl settee in the kitchen to sit on. No lamps; just harsh bright ceiling spots. The shower drained at the rate of a litre per week. There was un escargot (snail) in a bedroom. The table was filthy.

Unbelievably, we stayed the night. As Christians, we were conscious of keeping our eye simple. Not being fussy, snobby, elitist (hence making do with a C Class), try not to judge, give it a chance, clean a bit and see how it goes.

We lasted until Saturday. Two nights of waking up with throats and nasals clogged, coupled with crawly skin and a general feeling of stomach churning disgust finally broke our resolve. We left and checked in to the Mercure Cote Ouest (Coat West – West Coast) near Les Sables D’Olonne (The Sands of Olonne). 

Not without a standup with Madame, though. She couldn’t smell anything, was insulted and couldn’t see what was wrong with 80s decor and furniture that had recently been cleaned in 1984. Apparently, we were very bad people. Also, she went off on one in French at me  even though I kept saying “je ne comprends pas”. Maybe it’s just as well I couldn’t understand her. So she couldn’t smell and wore dark glasses indoors. Maybe only having 60% of your senses makes the place look ok.

The English rental company – Cottages for You – were very good about it. They didn’t insist that we traipse around France looking at other places. They agreed to compensation. We left Madame with some Euros for the gas, electricity and water that we’d used. We’re not thieves.

The internet was good enough for me to finish the most recent post, though. Small mercies.

Madame claimed she’d had over 40 years of British guests and we were the first to complain. Really? Come on Great Britain! We’ve got to get over this stiff upper lip nonsense and complain more often! Especially in Europe; they’re taking the piss now.

Ho hum.

Where were we… Oh yes; ballsing up saw cuts. After a few more angle cuts and some chisel clean up, I could put two pieces together like this…

This is the glue up…


I repeated this operation and ended up with two components which fitted together like this..

 

…and could move like this…


After lining up the centre lines and clamping, I could use the Hand Cranked Pillar drill to make holes for a pivot bolt…


With the bolt installed I could chamfer the edges…

There was a good reason for that step. As you can see from the picture above, the parts don’t line up quite precisely. This is due to the wood not being perfect to start with and tiny inaccuracies cutting the swivel joint get magnified at the ends. So the top and bottom need truing after assembly. I intended to do this with my No 8, but both parts side by side are wider than its blade. The chamfer brings the juxtaposed surfaces within that width. Also gives a nice feel to the edges. I planed all four surfaces.

Marking the surfaces…


…shows progress…
 

A swivel was screwed on…


Temporarliy secured with one screw to a trestle…


In the closed position…

…and hanging from a coach screw in the ceiling of the workshop…


With a drum on it…

This is going to make drum assembly, skinning and tuning a breeze…