As you can see, I've been very busy in my shed of late. Braving the cold, the drizzle and the incredible drafts that howl through the gaps in my jerry-self-built workshop.
This week I have been mostly brushing, filing, sand-papering and painting. Not to mention some arms-wood planing. But first, the photo above gives you, dear reader, a tantalising preview of two other restoration projects that I have in-hand…
First is my Cerrigydrudion, Please Drive Slowly (Gyrrwch yn Araf) sign. And no, I didn't steal this; like so many things in my house/shed/shed-of-a-house, I found it in the hedge along the A5. And the other exciting project on the cards is my orange rope restoration. Yes, this too came out of a hedge. It's full of ancient, tight-as-my-Uncle-Rhodri knots and crying out for someone with nothing better to do to come along and unravel it. You'll read about it on this site first. Someone may even make a film about it one day. Probably with someone like George Clooney playing me.
Anyway, If this restoration project could be drawn in graphical form, then it would look like that above left. And I have been working in the shaded area between points A and B.
First up, finished wire brushing down the steel pegs which support the ceramics. Quite badly pitted some of these. Followed by a couple of coats of every bodger's favourite – Hammerite. Marvellous stuff, which covers a multitude of sins.
A similar process followed for the metal straps. Now all shiny and good as new.
Finally, a birthday present from just over a thousand years ago came in handy to deal with the arms wood. Held fast in my trusty Black & Decker Workmate ™ and then half-an-hour with the electric planer (from Aldi) and some oscillating sand-papering then the wood began to look like it might belong in a dining table.
Keruing (Dipterocarpus) is a medium hardwood with more than hint of red about it. It comes mainly from Malaysia, and must have been harvested by the millions of tons. Which, although I am an avid telegraph pole connoisseur it pains me to think of the forest habitats destroyed and countless monkey evictions all in the name of progress in the western world. Still it is not the fault of the poles themselves, rather the people who sourced them where they did. Anyway, too late for this pole and at least this one gets another lease of life.
Tune in next time for the final thrilling episode in this series of telegraph pole restoration blogs.