Thursday, 30 March 2017

Big Bang Theory

I know very little about weaponry, and really want to keep it that way. This article really bothered me - that my country is the 2nd biggest arms dealer in the world. Britain has made ten times as much money profiting from weapons supplied to the conflict in Yemen than we have given in aid...
Pictured on the left is a fuse [frequently spelled fuze] for a mortar. Why have I put this here? Well...
...The other Saturday morning, ridiculously early, I went with Bob to our local industrial estate, where a motorbike repair place was advertising a relocation sale, with 'lots of tools, large and small'
While Bob poked around in the plastic bins of planes and hammers and wrenches, I spotted a wooden box, upended on a heap of rubbish in the corner. We came away with two woodworking tools - and a box to carry them in [in lieu of a 5p plastic carrier] The label on the box made it clear that it was of military origin - and once held fuzes. They would have been the detonators for mortars- making a very big bang!
But the the box was incredibly dirty - I have no idea how long it had been kicking around the workshop, or why it came to be there.
The wood looked dry and inside was dirt and dust. I took it into the garden and brushed it thoroughly with a stiff brush. A few nails needed hammering back in, and the lock plate was a little bent. Those faults were soon fixed. I wanted to make it look clean - but retain the labels. I made up some wood cleaning solution and went all over the box with it, using ultra fine wire wool. To protect the labels, I held a piece of scrap card over them so I could clean right to the edge.
It didn't take long to make a really different to the dull grey appearance.
You can see here the difference that just a few minutes of cleaning brings out the colour of the wood.
Finally I gave it a light coat of beeswax and buffed it up to a shine.

I haven't quite decided yet what to put into my box. It's strong and the rope handles make it easy to carry - maybe it will be good for carrying crockery and cutlery and condiments outside for BBQs. But whatever goes in it, I can guarantee it will not be weaponry - this is my equivalent of "beating swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks"


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