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Everything posted by TerryMcK

  1. From my buddy in Plano He's from Chicago so Y'all is as alien to him as it is to me - but I'm learnin
  2. Funny thing is Coronavirus doesn't give any symptoms that make you go to the can any more than normal so no need to stockpile TP. We are seeing exactly the same behaviour you are seeing too Rick.
  3. The UK is now on lockdown. We had an announcement on all the public TV channels and radio stations last night at 8:30PM. People should leave home only to exercise once a day, travel to and from work where "absolutely necessary", shop for essential items and to fulfil any medical or care needs. There is a ban on public gatherings of more than two people. All places of worship have been closed. Closure of all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms. Stop all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals Restrictions would be under constant review and a relaxation of the rules would be considered in three weeks. If you don't follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings. "To put it simply, if too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to handle it - meaning more people are likely to die, not just from coronavirus but from other illnesses as well," the Prime Minister said. For reference the NHS is the UK's National Health Service. Nobody has to pay for medical services in the UK, no expensive insurance policies needed. We pay National Insurance which is a small proportion of your salary and it is deducted at source. Pensioners, usually retired people over 67, and unemployed folks or long term sick do not pay any national insurance. We believe total closure of airports and seaports for passengers will be next as they have told all Brits currently travelling in other countries (around 1 million people) to return home as soon as possible.
  4. I'm just speaking to a colleague who lives outside of Plano in Texas. He is currently on a shelter at home command. He had to drive into the plant in Plano to check out some equipment I was having difficulty remote controlling from the UK. He said there was hardly any traffic on the highways coming in. He also said the folks were only supposed to be out for essentials. Liquor stores were deemed essential I can't argue with that. We are currently waiting for a government announcement (we get one every day around 5PM) to tell us what to do next. It may be that we go into total lock down soon like Spain and Italy have done.
  5. I've had an omelette like that too Mark. It would take me a year to deep clean my shop.
  6. In the UK all the bars, theatres, cinemas, gyms, music venues, restaurants, schools, colleges and universities amongst many other establishments have been told to close. The government is supporting people by paying up to 80% of lost earnings, salaries etc which is good, for those people unable to work due to their businesses being forced to close. We are practicing what is called “ social distancing” a phrase that was unknown to us until last week. Essentially keeping a distance of 6 to 8 feet away from others when passing them in the street. My parents are self isolating as they are in their 80s and in a high risk group. Airports are scaling back and our local airport at Manchester has closed 2 of its three terminals due to vast reduction in air travel. My wife and I are ok but she has had lots of her activities curtailed, art class cancelled, amateur theatre cancelled, singing group cancelled, bookclub cancelled, swimming cancelled, People are panic buying and supermarkets are struggling keeping up stocking the shelves despite there being plenty of food in the system. From speaking to colleagues who work in other countries it appears to be also happening there too. I have a dodgy knee and two dodgy hips so am struggling to do any woodworking but am finishing off a coffee table piece for my friends 60th birthday. I also work from home and have done for years so am still able to buy lumber and tools . The selfish attitude of a few younger people in this country seems to be “it doesn’t affect my age group and I am invulnerable”. How wrong that is as everybody can get it and become a carrier to infect older people (like their grandparents) who are more likely to succumb to the virus. Stay safe everybody in these unusual and unprecedented times.
  7. Yes I've seen that before - obviously not up close. You can rent time on the telescopes which is great for astro imaging from a dark sky site using the internet. It is expensive though. That reminds me of a trip when my wife and I went to New Mexico, probably 25+ years ago, on a trip that took in the Very Large Array - we stopped in Taos for a few nights. Then we spent the next 3 weeks on a road trip touring the four states. We took a railroad steam train into Colorado, went to Meteor Crator, went to Monument Valley in Utah and saw the Grand Canyon - both rims. I think we even went into Nevada if I remember correctly. [EDIT] Yes we did - we went to Vegas my wife reminded me. One of the days we were staying just over the border in Arizona and went to a restaurant just inside Utah at night. The waitress asked "What would you like to drink?" I said "beer". She said "We have root beer and sarsaparilla." WT* - I forgot Utah is a dry state! Needless to say we ate up and went back to Arizona for a beer!
  8. I noticed there was a huge gap around the exit hose so a big air leak there. Some tape or caulk would cure that.
  9. Yes I agree. That's probably why she has a fork lift or that big truck outside. She probably drives from machine to machine.
  10. Have a look at her fantastic space here: https://youtu.be/4CFN0YQRW10 I wish I had that much space. One side would be the shop the other side would be an observatory with a motorized slide off roof.
  11. The Victoria and Albert museum best known as the V&A is superb https://www.vam.ac.uk/. The Design Museum is great too https://designmuseum.org/
  12. TerryMcK

    Feet Up Rev 2

    They had cameras and microphones everywhere in the chamber, sockets on each of the desks to plug headphones in. As well as voting buttons for, against, abstain and one to signal the speaker that the individual should like to speak. So I’m not really sure what the sound was like.
  13. TerryMcK

    Feet Up Rev 2

    A trip around Budapest parliament building revealed lots of woodwork and gilding decorations. They have a staff of 600 looking after the building including a team of woodworkers. The spectacular late 19th century building. And below inside the house of commons where the MPs debate.
  14. TerryMcK

    Feet Up Rev 2

    I’m in Budapest the capital city of Hungary..... in the hotel bar.
  15. I alternate between using 3M 1310 in ear buds (on a cord) if I am wearing my Trend Airshield Pro (that has a set of clip on Mickey Mouse ears which are useless BTW) and full ear defenders when doing non dust stuff (which isn't really possible in a wood shop ).
  16. DHL, TNT, Royal Mail all similarly priced and have track and trace. As you are shipping from the UK then one of those is the best place to start.
  17. TerryMcK

    Porch Pirates

    Porch pirates haven’t quite become a major problem (yet) in the UK but it’s only a matter of time.
  18. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to all - from an English woodworker
  19. I am of course still getting into the shop when I can and show a couple of projects. Earlier this year I completed a couple of guitars. One a five string fretless bass and the other a hollow body Telecaster shaped synthesizer guitar. First the five string This is swamp ash bodied and the neck is bolted on maple with a rosewood finger board - no frets but I did inlay position markers (thin slivers of mahogany) with mother of pearl dots. The fingerboard is coated with multiple layers of CA glue and polished to a very high gloss.I veneered the headstock face with a piece of oak burr veneer I had left over from another project. The headstock has mahogany binding around the periphery. The electronics are Seymour Duncan SSB-5B in the bridge pickup, EMG 40HZ humbucker in the neck pickup. The preamp is a 2 band Seymour Duncan STC-2P I didn't like the natural finish of ash as it is in two pieces and not bookmatched so I painted it gold with Nitrocellulose. The hardware, bridge tuners and strap locks are all Schaller. The nut is bone. Scale length is 34" and the tuning is low B (B-E-A-D-G) - strings are handmade flatwound Legend from DRStrings (A USA company). It has 26 (ish!) fret positions even though there are no frets and does the characteristic MWAH sound of a fretless. The flatwounds help greatly there. The fingerboard radius is 12" I finally finished this project in October 2019 after a few stalls. The other project I finished in October 2019 was a Telecaster shaped 6 string guitar with synthesizer pickup. This is a hollow bodied guitar made entirely from walnut. Even the neck! Body - walnut Neck/Fingerboard -walnut - green abalone inlay (my TMC logo) and dots. The fingerboard just has lemon oil applied to it - no finish Binding - mother of toilet seat (plastic to you and I) Electronics are Seymour Duncan SH-2N4C in the neck and SH-4JB in the middle (both humbuckers) - push/pull pots are also fitted for phase/serial/parallel selection I have also fitted a Roland divided pickup at the bridge with its GK3 controller. The hardware is Schaller M6Mini locking tuners and strap locks. The bridge is a Fender modern 6 hardtail. The neck is a bolt on and I used a Fender neck plate - I find these are simply the best as they are thick and rigid. For you guitarists the neck rear profile is a vee shape. The radius of the fingerboard is compound starts at about 9" and goes flatter as you get up the to the dusty end and is around 14" radius. The nut again is bone I line all the control cavities of guitars I make with self adhesive copper foil for grounding. The tuning is conventional EADGBE and the scale length is Fender-esque 25.5" Now the finish of this guitar is interesting as I had to seal the walnut first of all with thixotropic pore sealer called Jecofil made by W.S. Jenkins & Co Limited. I used the dark walnut version. Then I applied a red gel stain on the face. The rear of the body has green, yes dark grassy green, gel coat! The whole lot has multiple coats of clear satin nitro cellulose and the bindings were scraped free of crap (red/green overspill essentially) prior to around 3 coats of clear gloss nitro. I then polished the whole lot (after 4 weeks of curing) with some 3M 09639 Finesse-It Finishing Material Compound on a powered detail polisher. I wish I had discovered this stuff years ago as well as the detail polisher. It makes finishing so easier. I will be using this on other woodworking projects in the future as it takes all the hard work out of it. Even though the guitar is semi hollow it is still a reasonable weight and sustains like a Les Paul. I guess walnut is a good tone wood! It's not very loud acoustically of course but is not meant to be.
  20. Yes sorry about that! It’s like somebody listing what golfing equipment they use to me. Not long. A few seconds maybe. My mount tracks the sky at sidereal rate and I can easily get 5 minute or even longer exposures at a time. In practice I’m limiting myself to 3 minute subs just in case an airplane flies over. You get a red and green streak across the picture which can’t be removed. But you can put that frame in the trash and you’ve only lost 3 minutes.
  21. You would have thought I would have had enough of computers in my day job Rick. But I just can't help myself. I still have woodworking to take me away from it though. I work for a US company now, DXC Technology, used to be called Hewlett Packard Enterprise and am “virtually” in the US every day controlling computers. Today for instance I am "in" Plano, Texas and the other day was in Suwanee and Alpharetta, Georgia. All done from my office at home in the UK! I can see my shop out of the window!
  22. Hey John, I have quite a modest setup a little of it is outlined below: Skywatcher HEQ5 with Rowan belt mod William Optics ZenithStar 73 with adjustable field flattener An IDAS D2 Light pollution filter (we have Bortle class 7 skies here and LED streetlamps everywhere!) Also just bought an Atair Astro Triband filter that filters Ha and OIII/Hb into separate bands for a DLSR or one shot color camera. QHY Polemaster that is awesome. No more looking through the polarscope to find Polaris! A guide scope (Skywatcher 50mm finder scope) that I modified to take a ZWO AS120MM-Mini guide camera A Canon DSLR 400D (Can't remember the US version name - think it is a Rebel XTi or something) with the IR cut filter removed. Lynx Astro 4 port dew controller which is computer controlled and heater straps. All this is connected together with USB hubs, USB cables etc so I run power and a single usb cable from the mount into my imaging laptop computer (which is in a large plastic storage box with a lid and hole in the side) to keep the weather out! Software on the imaging PC (Windows 10, 16GB, i5 and 250GB SSD) The mount is controlled by ASCOM on the computer and EQMOD. I like that software as is just integrates so well with everything. I'm currently using BackYardEOS for the imaging camera although I've also bought Astro Photography Tool to aid with plate solving Guiding is done with PHD2 using ASCOM to guide/dither the mount I'm using Stellarium and Stellarium Scope to find targets to image. Sequence Generator Pro looks good but I don't think I am quite ready for total automation yet. Software on the processing PC (Windows 10, 64GB, Xeon with a load of disk space) Deep Sky Stacker Photoshop CC 2019 I've been looking at Astro Pixel Processor too but that is really complicated, expensive, is in early days of development and doesn't turn out good results like Deep Sky Stacker (which is free - a bonus!) I don't have an observatory but drag the scope out when the weather clears. I was able to leave it out for about 4 days a couple of weeks back just covering it with a telegizmos cover during the day. I also have a 200mm reflecting telescope that is good for planetary observations/imaging and is just about within the load capacity of the HEQ5 pro. If you thought woodworking was an expensive hobby then astrophotography is just as expensive if not more so. Some of the dedicated astronomy cameras start at about 1000 GBP (probably 1000US) and climb higher than I can afford. Fortunately DSLR cameras are heavily used too and can be easily modified to be used for astro. Telescopes and other hardware can also exceed budgets unless you have a lottery win! Here is a picture of the Andromeda Galaxy (my first one) that I took in September 2019. My wife and I saw it in the reflector "live" and she nearly keeled over with excitement when see saw it. 2.5 million light years away, 220,000 light years across and we saw it as a fuzzy blob in the light polluted backyard. When I set the imaging rig on it and took about 3 hours of exposure of it I couldn't wait to process it next morning. I was astonished with what I got. No guiding on this and I didn't have the field flattener at this stage so it has a few egg shaped stars !
  23. I'm still around. I have been really busy with my new job, refurbishing my loft space (wood is being used but only construction grade) and taking up another hobby of astrophotography. The new year may bring more input from me back into the forum, more woodworking in my shop and maybe more pictures of outer space taken from my backyard. Here's one of the North America Nebula and Pelican Nebula I took from my backyard on Monday December 9th 2019 - it took an number of exposures totalling about 2 hours to get the picture as it is so faint. BTW it's got nothing to do with America it is a natural phenomenon that just happens to resemble the continent! It's about 1600 light years away and the Pelican is 1800 light years away. I don't think our tape measures will go that far! It can't be seen by the naked eye. The red color is produced by ionised hydrogen called hydrogen alpha. If you are familiar with the night sky it is close by the big star Deneb. Here is a picture of an old table (around 1920s English I believe) brought in by a client to be refinished. I think it looks OK now I've completed it and it still has the patina of age. Not my style but she likes it.
  24. Hey Ken. I’ve been very busy with my new job and haven’t had any time to look at any forums. Very little shop time this year too. I made a coffee table early February and last night I finished a walnut 6 string electric guitar.