The Menace Sledge

Before we start, let’s stop for a second so I can get my excuses in early. Firstly – after the flurry of activity some time ago – there have been some problems in the actual build due to exploding drill bits, lost wood and last minute design changes. This is what happens if you put a ten year old in charge. The only possible way things could have got any worse is if I’d be installed in the post of engineering director.

But I was happy in my role of “insane driller” and “frenzied hammerer” – as I’ve said to you before, to a man who only understands the hammer, all the word is a nail Anyway what’s built isn’t finished because I couldn’t find the right powertool to inflict more injury on the mutation that squats before you. Secondly, the lost wood I obliquely referred to earlier may have been accidentally set on fire.

Because the “to be painted” pile was left perilously close to the “to be burned pile“. And as I trudged down to the shed for the sledgehammer*, I couldn’t help noticing some brightly coloured wood being licked by hot flames. I did offer “something from the woodpile, Madam?” to bring the beast back to height, but Verbal has even less patience that me and wanted it finished today.

Which it isn’t. Too cold for rattle can paint, not enough snow to see whether it’ll maim my firstborn in a) ten yards b) five yards or c) no yards at all as it splinters on first impact with the snow. But what’s there – as you can see – has all the skill, craft and care that an artisan such as myself can lavish upon it. For example, how many sledges do you know that have “go faster holes” in the runners plugged by modellers’ clay? Or a cunningly installed 3/4 drill bit that could – at any time – dislodge itself to become an unwanted brake.

She likes it. God only knows why. Maybe it was the lovely job I did with the rifling bit** to countersink the seat screws. I mean it’s clearly dangerous enough already without subjecting Verbal to metal chafing. She thinks it’s a triumph, I’m not so sure but I am reasonably confident what anyone else who sees it may classify it as. Already have my strategy for that “no, no nothing to do with me, it’s something that made in school, bless ’em

Verbal is hoping for snow. I’m hoping for a some queue jumping allowances at Hereford A&E.

* I had some fine and neat work to complete.

** Probably not the proper term, but that’s what it looks like to me

5 thoughts on “The Menace Sledge

  1. James

    Oh dear god! I knew I should never have sent you a link to …aren’t the rails meant to curve upwards slightly at the front?, and is your local level crossing missing a set of gates now? It worries me most that you seem to have left room at the rear for a two-stroke engine!

  2. Alex

    Well spotted. That’s the power tool I was missing. A “chamfer” shall be applied using the bastard sander of doom this week. Verbal has done most of the work herself with me holding drills etc so she doesn’t slice off a leg or something. I think it’s fair to say she’s picked up all her old dad’s woodworking skills.

    I shall not let her loose with the sander tho. Once that thing gets up to speed, the whole concept of “blast radius” comes into play.

  3. Doug

    I have it on good authority (well, a blonde I met in May…) that there has been 12 inches of snow in High Wycombe this past week. Might be able to take it for a test run in the Chilterns perhaps? Get some snow tyres and take Verbal for a tow 🙂

  4. Alex

    We didn’t get much here but that didn’t stop us trying it out. I’ve not much to add other than it’s back in the workshop for a major refit and Verbal will probably stop bleeding soon 😉

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