Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Friday, 17 July 2009

Faces, hedges and metal-cutting

FULL FACIAL Visitors to Chez Bonden get a whole bathroom (English not American meaning) to themselves but males were previously required to shave standing over the loo since that’s where the mirror is. Now, thanks to this addition to the facilities, they may use their razor over the sink. This double-sided mirror brought back childhood memories about how strange my magnified face looked in a similar device at my grandparents’ house. Some people have even stronger feelings and fear seeing their face larger than life. Not just vanity (warts as big as golf-balls, etc) but genuine fear.

A QUESTION OF TEETH The hedge-cutting saga a week or so ago (High price for hating soccer) continues. To create a straight face of greenery it was necessary to cut back on branches that had virtually become trunks. My lopper, a word I have only just become cognisant of, lacked power and forced the acquisition of a pruning saw. Such saws, unlike those used on timber, have irregular tooth patterns. I would welcome an explanation as to why this is supposed to help.

OLD SNIPS BETTER I used tin-snips for cutting sheet metal during my RAF national service. A simple tool, resembling a looser, truncated pair of scissors, it worked well. Needing to cut sheet metal recently I bought what I fondly imagined to be a modern, state-of-the-art version. Despite its visual pretensions its performance was way down on the 1956 tin-snips; it haggled the metal. But it could have been me. Taking small bites I know about but is there an established technique?

12 comments:

marja-leena said...

Um, what's the difference between an English "whole" bathroom and an American one? In the former, is it the lack of shower doors or curtains around the tub when you need a shower, even though a hand held showerhead on a hose is there? Mopping up around the tub and the floor is no fun! Or is it the lack of counter space around the sink upon which to place one's toiletries? These are not just prevalent in UK but other places in Europe, even in large bathrooms. I see freestanding sinks here too, OK in the 'powder room' I suppose. Or do you mean that a mirror over the sink is not common there?

Interesting teeth on that pruning saw. I'll have another look at ours for I think it has the usual saw teeth.

Sarah said...

Obviously as the tree, bush, what ever is a living thing; the saw's teeth must be irregular, or the tree will get "used" to the pattern of the saw's regular teeth and mount a counter attack against it. Makes perfect sense to me!

Sarah said...

"Wilkinson Sword - Retractable Saw
Patented triple-angle tooth design allows you to cut through wood faster" Than what I can only ask? Certainly faster than beavers because I don't believe all that nonsense about their tree cutting activities

Barrett Bonden said...

M-L: The difference is much simpler. In the US, bathroom seems to be a euphemism for what we call a lavatory or a loo, a receptacle for certain of the body's waste products. In Britain a bathroom is a room which contains a bath. Nothing more is guaranteed although in most cases a washbasin is understood. If I read between the lines of your subsidiary remarks I note transatlantic tension; Europe cannot match North America in the matter of ablutionary facilities and this is a source of considerable grief to most west-east tourists. I adopted many American enthusiasms but never the one for showers - for me washing the whole of my body is merely an opportunity for an hour's reading. No shower, European or American, has ever managed to resolve this necessity.

Sarah: Comment 1. In fact New Scientist has sanctified your belief with its coverage of morphic resonance. Did a post about this nearly a year ago, but no one responded. Comment 2: The words "than stainless steel" have clearly been omitted.

herhimnbryn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
herhimnbryn said...

The deleted comment was me! I was trying to link to an image ( via google) of the tin snips I use. They are a more basic model than yours and the blades are slightly longer. No plasic covering on the handles either, just bare metal. A good cutting action too.


http://www.enterprisesales.ie/mp10029x111144/tin_snips_10_.html

Barrett Bonden said...

HHB: These sound very much like the tin-snips I used in the RAF which were simple, effective and not in need of modification. However, I'm quite prepared to accept that I am the dimwit and not the handtool manufacturing industry, and that the snips shown would work well if I'd bothered to learn the technique.

M-L (afterthought): Memories of getting caught out by Julia on the subject of North American bathroom phraseology now come flooding back so here's a little clarification. The reason for the parenthesis in the original post was to distinguish between "the bathroom" (in Europe a room containing a bath and, possibly, other associated chinaware) and "going to the bathroom" (a US, and possibly Canadian, euphemism regarding imminent micturition and/or defecation). The other points in your comment raise a vast number of important transatlantic differences on which European history and culture hinge. I am pondering a post explaining this (since the subject is technological) but my self-imposed 300-word limit is bedevilling me.

marja-leena said...

Okay, I got caught in that mesh of meanings. But ha, you've challenged me a two or three times to define something so I'm not going to apologize for being the cause of your need to explain the 'vast' cultural differences in this most important room! :-) I suspect we like a wee bit more luxury. And I'm not talking about the posh ones in the upscale homes, both sides of the pond.

Plutarch said...

My pruning saw has a pivoted clip on the top of the handle, which, when the blade is extended, engages with a notch on top of the blade and prevents it from accidentally folding back when it is in the working position. As I recall the instructions called for a sawing action in only one direction, which may, a fortiori, account for the arrangement of the teeth.

The Crow said...

I'd love to take credit for already knowing the answer to why the different teeth on your saw, but I had to Google for the correct response.

According to http://www.keengardener.co.uk, the Draper is a "Curved saw with hardened and tempered large and small teeth. The small teeth for starting the cut and the larger for fast wet wood cutting."

I have a similar (not quite as well made) pruning saw with teeth like the Draper. Didn't know why the two sizes of the teeth until I Googled this morning. Learn something new every day!

:)

The Crow said...

PS: a Master Gardener I know advised me to spray my pruner blade with cooking spray before using it on resinous wood - made clean-up easier afterward and cut down on sap-caused drap while cutting. Works on evergreens; can't say about anything else.

Barrett Bonden said...

M-L: Right on the button. "A wee bit more luxury" says it all. And the problem for tourists travelling west is it's extremely difficult for them to take this particular form of luxury with them on holiday. Perhaps this is how the phrase "everything bar the kitchen sink" emerged.

Plutarch: I am more impressed with a fortiori than the arrangement of your teeth. I've been looking for an opportunity to use in media res for some time, now. Nothing has shown.

The Crow: There's no need to be honest when blogging. Just chuck in a few "ers" and "ums" into a Wikipedia paraphrase and your reputation for wisdom will spread. Do it myself all the time.