Loving the alien queen.

A short workshop post.

I started to talk about this project in the March blog, the purpose of modifying workshop-right being mainly to set up a lower bench to accommodate a pillar drill.  The drill arrived, expensively, so that meant no new mainsail for a while but the drill is a serious long term investment for the workshop.

All in all it took most of the work time of 4 days to build, re-build and then alter the re-build of the bench, put the drill together, take it apart again and so on….and so on…

The bench is still a little bit too high as it’s a bit awkward to get to the drive belts to change the drilling speed so at some time i will have to de-mount it, tip it over to separate the machine head from it’s support column and alter the bench yet again.  I will do it because in the end i had to use a piece of 18mm plywood for the bench top rather than 25mm flooring ply which i originally intended.

This week i finally got to use the alien…..the description by the way is that i started referring to the drill as ‘the alien’ because in the half-dark one evening the head reminded me of H.R. Geiger’s ‘Alien’….big, long eyeless head see !

The first job for ‘the alien’ is drilling out the axle holes and the angled sheave slot for the new anchoring arrangement at the bow.  WABI”’ is getting a short bowsprit, that’s the timber piece clamped to my extended drill table.  The timber is a piece of old-growth close-grained pine from Stax reclamation yard down at Saltash.  It was as rough as you would expect when i found it but a session with the power planer (after de-nailing) cleaned it up.  I’m just back from there yet again having just found another piece of pew for the curious cabinet and some interesting, funky looking oak moulding which i am going to cut up for display plinths.

Anyway, the bowsprit job and the ‘alien’


My work today was to drill the wide holes for the axles and at the same time do the long angled slot top to bottom.  Once i had finished shaping the slot i then taped the over-size axle holes, plugged them with a high density epoxy filler mix and then drilled the plugs for the actual axles.  The sheaves are Delrin and turned locally….there are 2 in the bowsprit.   The next job i have i also don’t have the tools for and that is to lengthen the threads on the bolts…at the moment i have what i want which is that only the non-threaded part of the bolt runs through the plugs and the sheave but there isn’t enough thread on my M10’s to put nuts on.

The next job for the alien will be drill down through this end for the M8 eyebolt which will take the jib tack (top) and for an eye-nut (bottom) in case i want to hang a snatch block in the anchoring set-up.  After that the bowsprit will also get drilled across near the top again for an eyebolt/eye-nut combination for mooring strops to run up over the bow.

My modified clamping table which is a slab of 25mm plywood with M16 bolts coming up from the slots in the cast metal drill table……seems to be kosher so far.

Really now i should invest in some better quality bits although my spade bits did the job well enough : i’m hankering for some forstner bits which will have to wait a month or so though as i did rather spank the budget with the alien queen herself.


1 Comment

  1. In Steve’s workshop, no one can hear you scream 😉

    PS my comments on a number of your previous posts have not made it/disappeared. I usually use a VPN so am posting this from my real IP address as perhaps it’s a WordPress feature/bug?


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