Wednesday, 24 August 2016


The Blog seems to be drying up, and to be honest, I can't see things getting better, any time soon, I was hoping that by now my health issues would be on the way to being sorted, but instead, things seem to be going from bad to worse, resulting in me being unable to spend any time out in the workshop.

I am not yet going to close the Blog, but it will be in hibernation until there is significant improvement in my health.

Thanks to those of you who have been dropping in, there may be an entry here from time to time, but for now, I wouldn't bank on it.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Trailer Maintenance

This is definitely not going as I had hoped, I had the intention of removing the sides in one piece, and restoring then, but after I had undone the nuts, I found, the trailer had not been built to be maintained!... sounds stupid, I know, but it's correct.  The sides have been bolted to the main frame, in such a way, that to try and remove the bolts would have split the boards, so after a struggle I re-applied the nuts, and sanded the side down in situ, just removing the wheel arch, and strap holders.

Once I had finished sanding the old finish off, I again used engine oil to cover the side. it looks a lot better, and should last a while. That's half the trailer done, I'll get the rest done as time allows.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Home Alone!

Marcela headed off Saturday morning, and won't return until tomorrow, she and her Mother have been getting the shop ready for opening on Tuesday, (Monday is a National Holiday!)

Earlier on she sent me these two photos, it looks as if she is nearly ready for business

Apparently she made her first sale today, a child called on them whilst they were working, that is certainly encouraging! The shop is near to a school, so we are hoping that will help, because here in Colombia, the schools provide nothing, everything has to be bought by the Parents, not ideal, but hopefully that will help Marcela. She also intends to liaise with the school regarding stocking text books, so all we can do now is keep our fingers crossed.

I am sure that I will be called upon to do odd jobs, but that is it all wrapped up for now.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Another Project bites the Dust!

It took me a couple of days longer than I thought, after working 12 hours on Saturday, I woke up on Sunday, and wanted to curl up and die, between the pain in my back and feeling ill, I was fit for nothing, so spent the day in bed, I said it was as a result of the heat, Marcela said it was because I didn't stop to eat!

Yesterday, I had a better day, mainly because I went to visit my Colombian Accountant, and as a result of the taxes I pay back in the UK, along with the expenses working on the house, I have again had a nil income tax return in Colombia, so I was happy to pay her fee, but I have been warned that, I am likely to have to pay something next year, as there is a big tax reform coming in later this year, and it is unlikely I will get away scott free again

This morning it was back to the shop, the work was more or less completed, I just had to add some trim, tidy up a bit of the work, put one of the glass display cabinets together, and install the alarm, I arrived at 7.30am and left at 11am...Job done!

Now it is all up to Marcela and her Mother to make it work, although from the interest shown whilst I was working there, I don't think they should have much trouble making a success, of what will be a Stationary store / Papelaria and Costume Jewellery / Bisuteria.

Saturday, 6 August 2016


I've been working for 12 hours today, and don't I know it, unfortunately I needed a few more bits to finish it, which I hadn't got with me, so will nip back tomorrow.

To be honest I am too knackered to post, so I'll keep it brief,

Two shelves put up over the sink, for large sheet card, and one of the boards put on the wall for displaying costume jewellery.

'L' shaped shelves built, just needs a strip tacking down the corner join, the 'L' is intentional, because the toilet has no door, and this saves fitting one, just walk behind the  shelves, and start humming!!! :D

I have also got to fit a board on top of the 'kitchen' sink unit, the Landlord has taken out the taps, so it will sit nicely on top, and be used for the photocopier/printer...I think.

Anyway once this is finished, that is my connection with the business finished, I may be called upon for maintenance, but otherwise I am staying clear!

Hopefully the Stationers / Papeleria will be open for business sometime next week.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Shop Fitting!

I have been put to work, and finding it frustrating that I am limited in what I can do. Marcela is opening her first shop next week, it will be primarily a Stationers, but also selling her costume jewellery. The idea being to give her mother employment, because due to health problems she isn't going to be able to work in her current employment as a Seamtress until retirement, Marcela will share the time spent in the shop, and continue working on the road selling the jewellery to other shops.

Therefore she needs, stands for the stationary, on a tight budget. I thought of plywood/triplex, but as most of it is imported prices have shot up. My next preferred material was MDF, until I went to buy it, when I saw MDP, I haven't worked with it before, but, it should certainly be strong enough for the job intended, so MDP it is.

On Monday I went and bought three sheets of 15mm 183cm x 244cm and one sheet of 12mm the same size, and because of the size I paid for the initial cuts to be made. They told me it would be ready for collection at 2pm on Wednesday.

Wednesday came, I arrived at 2.10pm with my trailer to find they hadn't even started cutting, I was not happy, 'Our fault, sorry, we'll have it ready in an hour', yeah! right, they had it cut for 3.15pm, then I was kept hanging about until 3.45pm until it was loaded on my trailer, as you can imagine, I was not a happy bunny.

Yesterday, I started work, the first job was to work out what I had to cut out of what pieces, because although I had gone with  a printed cutting sheet, showing which pieces were where, I had done that on the premise that they would be using a 3mm saw blade, and they use a 4mm, so the layout was different. Once that was done it was fairly easy to get going.

 Firstly I had to set up my machinery to do the cutting, and that meant having enough support,

I only had one biggish panel that needed cutting down, and I didn't want it to snap.

As you can see, space is a bit tight, I wanted to keep the sawdust to one end of the shop,

Once I had the cut started and onto the rollers outside, it was easy.

The rest of the day was spent cutting panels to size, for the frame, shelves, supports, uprights etc. Once the cutting was complete, I then routed the channels in the shelf to accept the upright supports, which hopefully will stop the shelves from buckling under the weight of the stationary.

By 4pm I had finished, and had one flat pack shop display ready to take to the site.

It doesn't look much cut up, but there is still plenty of work to be done, hopefully I will have access on Saturday, and I will get it built and ready for use.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Little by Little!

My health seems to be keeping me out of action, for the forseeable future anyway, there is a light on the horizon, as I have actually made some progress with my spine, also the Orthopaedic Surgeon has decided that he is going to operate on my knee, once my back is sorted out, it is all a case of when...

Marcela did my 6 weekly cancer check, a couple of weeks ago, and found new lumps and bumps, I have a routine check up with the Dermotologist in ten days time, so hopefully he will confirm one way or another!

I tried to do some gardening on Friday, and ended up flat on my back afterwards, it is all very well Marcela and others telling me to just do a little bit at a time, but, as they say...Time waits for no man, and that goes for weeds as well!

Today, I decided that I could make a start on general maintenance on my trailer, the wood is starting to look pretty weathered, and I don't want it to rot

I started with the tailgate. I removed it from the trailer, took off the trailer sign, and home made number plate, then sanded all the wood, but rather than varnish it, I decided to use car engine oil, I have some old 'new' oil that has been lying around for a while, and I wouldn't use in the car,

after it was well oiled, I cleaned up the trailer / remolque sign, and made a new laminated number plate, that is now complete, I just have the other three sides to do...hey! no rush.

I have got to do some woodwork later this week, Marcela is opening a shop, hopefully next week, over near her Mum, and I promised to make the display racking, I'll post on progress!