Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hardware and Mill Stores, Vellore

I would like to document a very interesting experience that had a long time ago.

This was somewhere in the year 1999 or 2000. I was a second year medical student. For many of the activities that required acting or music, I usually found myself in the group that made props. We had precious few tools in those days. Power tools were  a luxury. Power tools in the hands of students had not even crossed our minds. We used to use hacksaw blades (without the handle), when they broke, we used the broken blades to save us the trip back to the hardware store seven kilometers away.

It is in this scenario that we decided to borrow a drill from the faculty, and none less than the Principal of our college. I think it was a Black and Decker drill. I remember being drawn to the name... "Black and Decker". Sounded so good when it was vocalized... He readily gave it to us, intact in its original packaging.

I tried to look after it and treat it like a treasured possession. However despite my best efforts it picked up a few scratches, and a blotch of black paint on it. And when I did decide to return it, I found out to my horror that I had lost both the drill key, and the original packaging. I hunted around in the mess we had made in LCR, turned over every bit of cardboard, rummaged among all the waste, but the key and the box were gone.

I had no idea what to do next. I however decided to make a trip down Gandhi road to Long Bazaar, and finally landed as a skinny nineteen year old, at the entrance of Hardware and Mills Stores (HMS) Vellore.  I cannot remember what I said to the gentleman over there, but I remember him sending up one of his workers into his upstairs stores. I remember him tossing down an empty black and decker carboard box. I remember the feeling of sheer incredulity that I felt, realizing what he was doing for me. I remember him promising to order a drill key (which I picked up from him two weeks later). The principal got back his drill complete with Black and Decker packaging and key.

Even now, when I think of the extent to which he went to help a clueless lad, I am amazed. Seventeen years and more than seventeen kilos later, I still visit HMS stores. I have bought several power tools from him. He is now a dealer for many other companies such as BOSCH and Ferm. What keeps me going is not only the present, but it is also the memory of what happened seventeen years ago, when he went out of his way to give me an empty cardboard box.



Keeping a cupboard closed

Keeping a cupboard closed
I noticed this ingenious way of keeping a cupboard closed. This was at the office of the Bangalore Medical College. 

Wooden signboard

This was a wooden sign board made for the new tennis court, in honor of one of our previous faculty.

Wooden sign board, pictured in the rain

The base is a slab of teak wood, cut out at a bevel with a jigsaw.

The base is finished with terminator anti insect liquid, followed by Asian Paints PU exterior sealant, two coats, and two coats of Asian Paints PU exterior Matte varnish.

The letters are made from 12 mm finger jointed rubber, as that was the only lighter colored wood I had access to.

The letters are stuck on with marine grade fevicol, and also secured with stainless steel nails.

For the supports, I used 1.5x2 inch thick babool reapers, and fixed them with stainless steel screws. They are finished in the same way.

There is a cross bar at the bottom too, that is covered in cement.

The whole assembly was fixed into the ground with concrete with the help of  a mason.

I hope it will last through the weather.


wooden Plaque

This is a wooden plaque made by one of the members of the CMC Woodworking club.

The base is a piece of karuvelam (babool) wood. The letters are made from reclaimed rose wood from some discarded furniture.

The finish: For the base: A coat of terminator anti insect liquid, followed by Asian Paints PU sealant and then finished with Asian paints PU exterior Matte finish.

For the letters, Asian Paints PU water based finish was used, for ease of application.

The letters were stuck using fevicol.

The whole plaque is very heavy. A chain is attached at the back which holds it up to a solitary nail  on the wall. The chain helps it to self center.

Wooden plaque made from karuvelam wood.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dolls House

This is a doll's house I made from Finger jointed rubber wood. It was for the department of Geriatric Medicine to demonstrate an unsafe vs safe house for the elderly.

Material : Finger jointed rubber wood.
Size : 3 feet x 2 feet
Finish : Asian Paints polyurethane glossy
Furniture : Some of it is stained with Asian paints walnut stain, and some is reclaimed rosewood.
Total Build time : about 30 hours

Wooden dolls house


Wooden dolls house


We did some interesting photos which can be seen on Anand's facebook page or at the woodworking club page 

A sketchup model of the same is below
sketchup model of the doll's house
Overall it was a very enjoyable though long project. 




Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Wet wood warps

I bought a sheet of finger jointed rubber. It was delivered on the top of an auto. Just when it was reaching the club, there was a sudden downpour and the 12mm sheet got wet on one side. It started to warp almost immediately, convexity towards the wet side.

I cut the wood into two to ease carrying it. I placed the wet surface facing upwards and placed it on the floor with a lot of wood weighing it down. I hope this is reversible.

Wet finger jointed rubber on the ground to dry. The wet side was convex. 


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Park bench

This is a simple park bench made from Karuvelam wood (babool). This was made for work camp during the foundation course for the MBBS batch of 2015. This was done by the woodworking club, CMC.

We used 2x4 reapers of babool wood, rounded them off and used large stainless steel screws to hold them down. Only butt joints all the way, but hopefully it will be strong.

We used Pidilite terminator anti termite coatings for added protection.

The finish is asian paints PU exterior finish.

The mason who fixed the benches suggested that we cover the  buried parts of the legs with aluminium sheets for protection and we did so. I am not sure of how useful this added step will be. Time will tell. It will definitely protect from termites.

The  sketchup model

The park benches after installation

Monday, June 29, 2015

Quick wooden dice

A group of our community health doctors was planning some activities for the tribal children in Javadhi hills. One of the activities involved an outdoor game that required dice. This had to be visible and had to be large.
I made this from a cuboidal beam of neem wood. I cut it out with a jigsaw to get rough cut cubes. This was then sanded down using a belt sander. The edges rounded with a router and the holes drilled with a drill press.
It was left unfinished as it was going to be thrown a lot on the ground.
It was quite useful in the field.

Cuboidal block of neem wood 
The humble jig saw used to cut the wood. Humble because this is possibly the cheapest power tool to own. 
Rough cut blocks

Smoothened blocks
edges rounded with a round over bit
Finished blocks ready for shipping
Beta testing

Wooden dice

Some wooden dice made from karuvelam wood. The white dots are made from finger jointed rubber plugs.
The outer box: made from 12 mm rubber.
The lid is made from two layers of 3mm veneer.
Why I made four of them, I have no idea, but it looks good as a set of four.
I left this project unfinished.

wooden dice box made from karuvelam wood (babool)

Wooden dice made from karuvelum wood

A set of wooden dice made from Karuvelum wood. 

Wooden toothbrush stand

Here is a wooden toothbrush stand made by a member of our woodworking club. It is made of 12 mm
 finger jointed rubber wood.

Wooden toothbrush stand made from 12 mm finger jointed rubber wood