Hardware

Time to replace the tidy-bowel knob. I thought a nice matching wooden knob would be nice so I stuck a piece of wood on the lathe and had at it. It looked like crap and felt about as good. I like the feel of the compression adjustment knobs on mountain bike forks, so I tried six sided scalloped with a base that would recess into the gauge body, hiding all threads. It had possibilities but as I was cutting the last scallop, it broke. Arg! So I sulked off and poked around in my miscellaneous junk hardware box. And found a chunk of rust with threads on it from who know where (probably the side of a road). With a hang hole. This suited my mood so I cleaned it up and made it all shiny. Which wasn’t the look I wanted so I decided to try “bluing”. I’d read somewhere that hold steel + linseed oil = color and protection against rust. I couldn’t find a reference but in the absence of facts, there was no way I could go wrong, right? After a false start, I did this: Heated the bolt to 450 degrees (in the oven), dunked it into a bucket of boiled linseed oil (it didn’t even smoke, let alone burst into flames, how boring), dried it off and stuck it back in the oven. with the heat turned off, and let the oven cool down and the oil cure. It has a lovely brown glaze, sorta like the thanksgiving turkey skin. I have no idea how durable it will be.
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I shortened and shaped the blade holder. I also chopped the beam and mortised the holder into it. More wood, less metal. Looks better.

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