“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…

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