Its a flower decoration…

I have spent most of the day on lumps of 316 stainless that have proved to be incredibly fiddly, first attempt went well however it was when it came out of the machine that I realised that it was 10,0mm too short as I had not taken into account I needed to machine the pilot hole away when finished. It went in the scrap bin.

Second attempt, well that went OK right up until I had chatter on the final cut of the small diameter, that also went in the scrap bin.

Third attempt was great, dare I say perfection, I powered  the machine down and wound away from the final cut and clipped the next diameter putting a very fine single point thread type finish across the surface. I took it out and presented it to the Viking in disgust who studied it for a few moments, then walked across the workshop to a potted Clivia in the corner stuck the part in and announced it was a flower decoration.

Time to walk the dogs, enjoy the sun and escape for a while to clear my mind.

Things that smell of the Sea

We head out to the Marshes at least twice a week for a long walk with the dogs, it does us all good to get out and escape from life and just enjoy the nature around us. Yesterday was no exception, come mid afternoon we bundled the dogs into the back of the mighty Defender and headed East. As ever I had checked the tide table and the plan on this occasion was to walk to the water. Now this might sound rather odd however this is the Lincolnshire Salt Marsh and the sand is very flat which means a good walk if you are to get to the sea at low tide, it also means choose the wrong time of day and the water can come in rather quickly which means wet feet, if you are lucky.

We always split up at the start of the walk, I take the Labrador on a more challenging route on the water side of some creeks and the Viking takes the Lurcher along a path at the base of the sea defence banks, the plan being we meet up around half an hour later and continue our walk together. This also gives the Labrador a chance to work with me without the distraction of the Viking’s companion.

We met up at our usual spot and headed out, getting to the water was certainly attainable with a leisurely 1200m+ walk in front of us however as we closed on the water I realised some tourists in the form of Grey Seals had beaten us to it, I could see the tell tale dark and light blobs on the water’s edge and could even hear the occasional bellow as the wind was coming in from the NNE so we turned away at around 600m and left them to it.

One of the pluses of walking in such a place is that we seldom see another person, in fact I have never met anyone on our more usual walks once we have left the car.  This does mean the local wildlife is in abundance and we obviously need to be very aware of what our dogs are doing and where they are. Recent sightings include the normal range of Waders that I invariably struggle to identify other than Little Egrets and Dunlins and even then it is down to time of year and plumage. The more unusual include Marsh Harriers and the occasional sightings of Roe Deer.

Even if we do not see any Roe Deer or Muntjac, signs of their existence are abundant and these tracks made me smile, Deer plus the start of the Samphire, I do wonder if that would work on a plate as well as it seems to work on the Marsh.

I am trying to expand my recognition of the local plants beyond the Sea Lavenders and Vetches and usually snap a picture so I can look up the subject when I get home. The remains of this old boat are always interesting as it seems to be the host for numerous interesting species and based on the tracks around it is a bit of a meeting point for many birds and animals.

On the subject of animals a picture of the Lurcher who excelled himself by finding a dead Grey Seal that had been washed up on one of the high tides a couple of weeks before and rolling on it many times until he had picked up an impressive change of colour and smell, his more usual colouring is white with the occasional darker spots across the back and the brindle colouring to his head and base of his tail.

We always say things that smell of the sea are the sea and dead seals however you can add Lurchers to the list. The Labrador has been known to roll on dead seals in the past however he is easily stopped by a quick shout and invariably heads back looking slightly amused. The Lurcher however obviously thinks we are nothing more than an unnecessary distraction when the allure of something smelly calls. Here he is looking slightly defiant and I have actually caught his better side in the picture. That additional colouring is basically decomposed seal and worst still we still had to drive home with him in the back of the Defender 🙁

He was washed last night and again this morning and right now is looking like an RSPCA advert for a maltreated animal as he usually does when he has got wet.

The red harness in case you wondered is the Viking’s choice as it means he is easily spotted at a distance, not that it is difficult to spot a white Lurcher hurtling down a path towards you at 40mph!

Well that is a bit of a catch up for the Journal, I am going to make myself another cup of coffee and start on today’s work,  one of the pluses of working for yourself is you can actually have a late start to a Saturday.

OAL Gauges – The signature range

Firstly the OAL (Overall Length) gauges. We made some changes to our OAL gauge design earlier this year and this is an example of our new ‘Signature’ version, all but impossible to photograph and looks like it could do with another polish however you should get the idea. It is now exclusively manufactured from stainless steel and measures around 355,0mm on length, threaded 8mmx0,75 on the nose section. The advantages of such construction are longevity and precision, with a stainless steel body it is going to last a lifetime with normal use and the stainless pusher will not flex so you get a precise measurement every time you use it.

Why signature? We have been looking at some additions to our product range for a while, both new items and upgrades and we decided the new items would be described as our signature range as they will be, dare I say even better than before. Other items include a new bullet runout gauge with an interesting use of materials for a both practical and aesthetic reasons.

The metric thread is not the same as some alternatives and for good reason, it means people usually come to us to have their cases drilled and tapped which means I can control the quality of the whole system and we will always drill and tap a couple of sets of cases free of charge when you purchase one of our systems. After that we charge £5.95 per pair of cases for the service with some postage on top.

Our OAL gauges are shipped right across the world and we have many customers on all continents however if you live in the USA you will need to contact our new USA distributor and details of this will follow in a few days.

NV illuminator brackets and OAL Gauges

As well as the usual shiny stuff which makes up most of our product range and gunsmith work we also have requests for bespoke items and this is an example of something quite normal however I found it very interesting as well. A mounting ring for an illuminator on a Night Vision system. The customer asked that it be a snug fit as the ring is to be glued in place and the short length of rail is deliberately set back from the bell to enable the rubber cover to be retained. Personally I would have anodised the ring and bracket however the customer has a different plan.

Most memorable recent job was some emergency machining on hardened die plates for a fish food company, a job that went on well into the evening and required the use of ceramic inserts so a truly diverse range of work outside of our ‘routine’ stuff.  I think it was Cowper who said ‘Variety is the very spice of life’ 🙂

Left handed scope brackets for the International

We have been producing ‘scope brackets for the BSA International for a whilehowever always in right hand form so we have decided to build a few for left handed shooters and here is one fitted on one of our own rifles.

As ever they are machined from 6082 aluminium and have been vapour honed and anodised and come with a long zero MOA rail that will accept most night vision systems as well as normal ‘scopes. The rail is fitted long however it is easily shortened if required with the most basic of hand tools and if you get stuck you can always ask us to chop it back a few inches.

This bracket was an obvious addition to the range and I cannot understand why it has taken me so long to get around to producing a handful which does mean that you lefties with an International languishing in a cabinet because of ageing eyes have no excuses!