January 2019.................

<< December 2018. I started extending my workshop. One of the reasons I'm doing this, since buying the Packard Ambulance this time last year I've struggled for space inside my workshop, yes I know, too many vehicles, ? this is why I put the Model A truck up for sale last year, which never sold ! SO, in Novemember I made the decission to extend the workshop.

Having first emptied out the Luton Van body that had the two Speedway Supercars and the Dodgem car inside plus other smaller items, I sold the van body to Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust so they can use it to store their items, We managed to slide it onto Dave's Bevertail Transit to deliver the Body.

This gave me room to unbolt the 4-post ramp, having welded some heavy duty casters on the bottom, I managed to roll the ramp around the corner where the van body was sited, this is where the ramp will stay, when I get around to fixing it up later in the year.

Having first emptied the Heating Oil Tank I built 4- Concreate pillars 3ft high to put the tank on, then dug out my old Lamppost that's been there for years, this Workshop is made up of Scaffolding poles and steel sheet cladding, so all i need to do is to fill this space in ?


So, Having firstly knocked the scalloding tubing into the ground in  3- places I made up the framework, then cutting out the bottom of the steel door frame, I welded that into the Steel tubing making the door fit okay and lock up, then, bringing the steel cladding up to the front to sheet over the tubework .

Having moved the front of the building forward, I started on the side of the Workshop, by removing the old blue sheets and putting them alongside the fence (Left) then started knocking it the legs into the ground plus putting the scaffolding framework to hold it all up, this left my workshop open to the elements.

Next was making up the roof,

Again that was made up using Steel Scaffolding poles to form the framework, some of these poles were 21 ft long and were heavy to lift up there, but I managed it on my own.

Having bolted everything together the next part was the cladding.



Having Trimmed off the tops of the sheets then fixed and bolted up the sides to the poles I then plumed in the 3/4" steel pipework to feed my oil heater which is situated further down the workshop, the tank will be sealed in after.


Having finally had the new 18ft long cladding sheets delivered to me, it took me two days bolting the sheets together to the Scaffolding poles, plus I had some clear plastic sky lights to get light into the workshop.


As this ground ALL slopes backwards, The first thing I did was to chizzle out a gap in the front wall of the ground to make up a gully to drain the water away, this it to stop the workshop flooding out in heavy rain.


Having Hired in a Concreate Mixer, I started concreating the bottom of the poles in the ground, plus all the edges of the broken slabs, plus all that needed to be concreated.




Next job, was to Concreate a catch tank below (underneath) the oil tank, this is to catch any spillages that might accure ?

Having bought 64 concreate blocks I started cementing them in place hence to seal off the oil tank from the rest of the workshop.


This is just in case there in a fire inside, this should protect the tank from any flame, 


So it's now 29th December and this is where I'm at at the moment, once I've bricked this wall to the roof I'm not that far from finishing the extension ?

January 3rd 2019........yep it's 2019.....HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Six of us took the Two trip boats "Electra and Richard" down to Dry Dock at Stourbridge for their two year inspection and a re-paint. 

Starting out from Parkhead after a full charge overnight we left at 9am, weather was dry and cold, about Plus 4 deg c today.

We tackled the 25 locks with no problems, the trip boats made it down there under their own power, taking it easy all the way, they both arrived at the Dock for 3pm. 

7th January 2019 Canal and River Trust start stipping down Blowers Green Lock for repairs which should last about three weeks.


The stop gate leaked very badly plus the walls leaked water back into the side of the boats, it used to sokak our passingers in our trip-boat !


So, they fitted a new Cill whith a new rubber seal across the bottom across the gate, then later mortered up the brickwork chamber to seal up the leaks and cleaned out the bottom of the lock chamber of rubbish. they finished on 

30th January.


The next day I was back modifying my workshop.

Having finished building the block wal around the oil tank I decided everything needed a coat of white paint, this brightens things up a lot better

Having painted everything I set about moving the shelving racks from one side of the workshop to the other.

This was harder than it sounds, as they had been in place for about 30 years, you can imaging the stuff that was dumped on these shelves ! Hence to say there was plenty of rubbish, after moving the racks, I gave them a coat of white paint before putting the items back on.

Having loaded all the shelving up, I gave the long plain wall a coat of white paint, this is to give me more room to get the vehicles in and out okay. I then Collected the Ford A truck from Simons Workshop where it had been stored for the last  4 months, I had a good shuffle around with my vehicles


15th January, Having given the wall two coats of white Masonary paint.

I fixed up my old enamel  signs to decorate, well not all of em are enamel, some are plywood, but they all look good.



I used to keep my Anvil outside because of the lack of room inside, but I got wet sometimes when I wanted to bash something in the rain !


So, I cemented some concreate blocks together as so to get it off the floor, save's bending my back you see !

BUT this proved dificult to lift the VERY HEAVY ANVIL on the Pedistal.

As luck would have it I put the block and tackle around a scaffolding pole which was strong enough to lift the anvil into possition, mixing up some concreate at the same time, that's that fixed in place now.

It just needs painting up now.


This has now given me some workshop space to build anything I want to, before, I had to shift a car if I wanted to build anything big, now I don't have to.

I decided it was time to paint the other walls now, plus re-paint all my cabinets blue, it's tieded it all up now.

I also, built another workbench  cementing the legs together out of concreate blocks then putting a work surface on the top makes an intant W/Bench alongside the caravan, this was mainly to put my 3 phase polisher on next to the 3 phase pedistal drill. 

Again  I painted them all blue

Friday 25th January. Trip-boat start's to come back from Stourbridge

On Friday 25th January we had to move the Trip-Boat from the Stourbridge Dock.

Pauline Farnell started the tow even thou we had charged up the trip boat it was going to take 3 days to get the boat around the LONG WAY because of the canal stoppogies up the 16 locks at Stourbridge.

So, we started off by towing the boat from stourbridge going to the 4 locks at Stourton, we drove the trip-boat down onto the Staff's and Worces canal going towards Wolverhampton, by the end of day we got the both boats as far as Swindon lock where we moored them both up for the night. 





Day 2 Saturday

Having driven to Swindon with the crew, we got on the boats and got going through the many locks ahead, having to get two boats through one lock takes more time, but we were doing it, the weather had been kind to us so far, Friday was quite mild, today was a bit windy, but dry (so far ?) after getting moving at 10am we pushed on, by about 12 midday we were into the flight of 3 at the Famouse Bratch Locks with no problem.


By 4pm it started raining, we had reached our planned destination today at Compton, where we moored up for the night, then driving back home dropping crew off on the way.

Day 3, Sunday 

The weather had turned for the worse, it had rained all night, as luck had it, it stopped by 10am were we all met up at the bottom lock to meet the trip-boat coming up on it's own power, the wind had picked up a lot, yes it was 50 mph gusts at times ! 

Which made it VERY COLD indeed !! But we pushed on regardless, by 1pm we had reached the top of the 21 locks where the trip-boat carried on. Then at 3pm I had a phone call of HELP....we are stuck and out of power !!! So, getting Bittell fired up at the Portal, we motored on along the Old Main Line towards Wolverhampton until we found them STUCK in a place called BILSTON, So afer quickly winding Bittell around, I got the tow strap on the Trip-boat and pulled it back to the Portal. 

Febuary, I started work on my Chevy Truck, having ordered some chrome exhaust side pipes from USA i started fitting them, I wanted them verticle, eaither side of the back of the cab, I started by removing the exsiting twin exhaust pipes then cutting a 2" hole in each side of the chassis.

Having used steel 2" flexi-pipe the exhaust was routed through the chassis and through the bodywork, I also made a stainless steel ring around the pipe to finish it off on the outside of the bodywork which looks a lot neater.