Monday, November 24, 2008

I can haz bukkit...

On a jaunt down to the Gold Coast (okay, important excursion to send my Eldest Married Daughter off on a plane to Japan for a month) I ended up visiting the Carrara Markets. When I last went there (20-odd years ago!) they were a large flea market with a few 'craft' stalls; now they're mainly craft stalls but also have a couple of seriously decent second-hand bookshops and some 'antique' (read 'old wares') stalls.

I spent a very pleasant and profitable hour or so wandering around gawping at everything, found a copy of a book I'd been looking for for a while and, most importantly, scored a small oak cask (the sort that holds about 5-6 litres and can be usually found on someone's bar...). This one had all its taps missing, and one of the metal bands around it, so the vendor very nicely marked it down from $39 to $25 (okay, so we haggled a little... :-) ).

The next day I set forth to remove bits and convert it into a bucket... among the pics of period buckets I'd found on the net, there was a very nice Welsh well-bucket, but as I didn't have the ironwork to go on the top, I decided to go with the handle-fixin's of another Welsh bucket of the same period (but different castle LOL!), and probably will use rope until I find a semi-circular piece of iron for the proper handle.

I numbered all the staves (with chalk, on the bottom) in case the blasted thing fell to pieces when I knocked the rings off (because typically the remaining 'middle' ring was at the wrong end), put the 'middle' ring where it should be (i.e. near the top of the bucket) then removed the end of the cask that had the tap hole in it by the simple expedient of whacking it repeatedly with a hammer until it caved in... mmmm percussive maintenance.... As it turned out, the little cask held together through all this abuse and I was able to rub the chalked numbers off the 16 staves and not worry about it.

The cask had been lined with wax (obviously, given its actual use) and I filled it with water and sat it on the sink to see where it would leak from... 24 hours later and there's no loss of water and no mess on the sink, so all good! I can haz bukkit!!1!

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