Saturday, 26 May 2012

Contact with home

We’ve been using Skype to maintain voice contact back “down-under”.  Sons, friends and FMIL (Favourite Mother-in-Law) are all computer literate which means the only cost is the price of the internet access.  However I have noted the quality of these “free” calls can start to deteriorate as the call progresses.

Mother in Perth won’t have anything to do with computers.  Moreover, she struggles with mobile phones, answer phones and set top box remote controls.  Calls to her are made using Skype’s pre-paid service.  One thing I have noted over the last 12 months is the pre-paid money now doesn’t last as long, yet my calls are of the same duration.  I have therefore started looking at alternatives to Skype.  After looking at Call61 I decided against it.  The call has to be placed from a landline or mobile phone, but we only have the computer.  Now I’m considering switching to oovoo or perhaps running oovoo for the pre-paid internet calls.

Meanwhile, back at the boat Richard and James spent much of the day routering ¾” plywood battens for the bed extension.  I did the sanding and then applied two coats of waterproof sealer.  The latter provides a ‘waxy’ finish which we hope will make the comb slide easily.  The sealer will also assist in preventing the plywood absorbing moisture and expanding.

One other task for the day was to run the cables for the bow cameras.  I’d previously installed some 20mm flexible conduit through the cratch to the bow thruster locker.  However I discovered that whilst the conduit had sufficient clearance for the two cables it didn’t provide enough clearance for the plugs on the end.  My solution was to split the length of conduit by cutting it with my ‘Leatherman’ serrated knife blade.  The cables were then inserted through the split in the conduit.

Richard asked if I would plug all the screw holes in Waiouru using a bag of oak plugs.  The instructions were to dip the end of the plug into some pva glue and then carefully insert the plug into the hole with the grain in the plug matching the grain in the panel.  The plug was to them be hammered into the hole until it was firmly in place.  Easier said than done for someone with poor vision.  He even wanted the screw holes inside the wardrobes and drawers plugged.  I declined the suggestion that I should cut off the protruding ends of the plugs with a chisel as I could see myself making a serious mess of the timber.


Paul - from Waterway Routes Maps and DVDs said...

It sounds like you have the same system of wooden plugs as we have. Using a chisel is easy once you realise you have to hold the chisel the wrong way round.

On the rare occasions the plug splits you just take it out by putting another screw into it and this pulls it out of the hole.

If you trim the plug before the glue sets the few problem ones will come out easily, otherwise it can be a little difficult if the glue has set.

Practice on some scrap bits first.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Paul,
Well I could have trimmed back the plugs but then if I had accidentally damaged the panelling it would be me paying (a 2nd time) to repair/replace the damaged panel. I'll stick with the menial, low skilled tasks where my financial risk is minimal! :-)