Olly Writes

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Tag Archives: health and safety

Scruffs by Name…

A brief post to say that I recently bought a new pair of safety boots for my day job and how impressed I’ve been with them so far.

My new safety boots!

Over the last decade, I’ve come to instantly dislike the ‘cheap, generic’ boots that almost any employer will provide you with on your first day. They were so uncomfortable that I decided to shop around and to start buying my own. I decided I liked the trainer-style of shoe and, after reading a group test review in Good Woodworking magazine, I went for a pair of Makita Hiker boots (yes, there is now irony in that name) and they turned out to be extremely comfortable (after the initial blisters of a busy customer service role in the middle of the summer).

As it happened, Makita footwear were actually made by Dickies and so, the following year, I decided to try a pair of their own (I dislike repetition). These weren’t too bad but I wasn’t as satisfied either and so, I went through a couple more pairs of Dickies boots (three or four in total) before we go back to May 2012, when I popped in to Toolstation and picked up a pair of Black Rock boots for only £25…

They weren’t quite the cheapest boots I’d purchased but they quickly became uncomfortable. They also had those knife-like metal buckles that eventually slice through your laces as you pull them up and I only really stuck with them until a few weeks ago because I’d invested in a pair of insoles – again, that was a trial-and-error experiment in itself; quickly realising that a cheap pair weren’t worth the pain and that you safe find greater comfort with an increase in expenditure.

Insoles? More like ar...

Insoles? More like ar…

This year, I was very tempted to return to those faithful old Makitas (now about £10 dearer than they were a year ago) but I didn’t find anything ‘inspiring’ amongst the current Dickies range and somehow (through a general eBay search, I think), I was reminded of the Scruffs brand. After which, I eventually narrowed my selection down to the Lightning II boots at a very reasonable £25 (thanks to eBay).

I could feel the comfort from day one. You can feel the cushioned insoles far ahead of the smooth floor and they’re also arched nicely in the middle to support your feet properly. Laces tighten up nicely, the tongues are big and soft and I think they look good as well!

Thanks for reading and please don’t settle for sore feet in any area of your life! 🙂

Short Rip Fence and an Update

I seem to be focussing heavily on video blogging lately and that’s distracting me from keeping this blog updated. There are lots of little updates and pieces happening most of them time and I find it far easier to either upload a Keek or maybe a photo to Instagram. I’m hoping that some of you have already seen my latest video but I’d like to bring it your attention today in case you haven’t seen it already:

It documents the making of a reversible short rip fence that I made for my Scheppach TKU saw bench. You could make the same thing for your own table saw or even for a bandsaw. It is dead simple to make and does feature the ‘shop-made T-track that I’ve used on other pieces in the past (namely my router tables). It was meant to be a short video but the final edit still surpasses the 10-minute mark (cut from over 40)! I tried putting music in the background of this one and it’s something I’ll try to stick with… But I’ll try to make it a bit quieter next time, as I can’t seem to make my voice any louder! 😛

This weekend, I’m hoping to upload the final instalment of my latest cutting board videos after they were very gratefully received by the client yesterday afternoon. There’s probably another one-hour-plus of footage to sift through so, I’d guess we’re looking at another 15-minute video (45 minutes in all… I should’ve made it a DVD!! :-D). I’ve had a lot of trouble with Windows Movie Maker lately but, fingers crossed, it is stable right now after much downloading and updating of various bits and pieces!

I’m also aware that today is the 1st of June and I’d like to be looking to move out of my mum’s home by Christmas, which will coincide with the dreaded clearout of my workshop… I could have three months left; I could have five. I recently put some sash clamps for sale over on UKWorkshop and there’ll be other little bits to come between now and whenever ‘then’ may be.

Thanks to you all. 🙂

I’d Rather Have Snow…

Just as I was getting dressed and ready to leave the house for work this morning, there was a knock on my bedroom door. Mum was eager to tell me that another fence panel had blown down overnight; narrowly missing her car and lying obtrusively on the drive. It wasn’t the panel I ‘repaired’ over the weekend – as I said then; that one’s never going to come out!! This one is as tall as it is wide.

A new day and another panel falls to the ground!

These photos were taken in the daylight, after I arrived home from work a couple of hours ago, using my phone as well (8 megapixels, apparently… Although, I rarely bother to preset the white balance). All I did in the darkness was to pick up all the loose stuff and to dump it infront of the workshop.

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Two Bandsaw Jigs

Over the weekend, I got around to finishing a couple of jigs for my bandsaw; both of which are based on examples you can find in the volumes 4 and 5 (‘The Compleat Bandsaw‘) of Steve Maskery’s Workshop Essentials series.

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Gloves in the Workshop

In the current issue of British Woodworking, Steve Prescott writes (in response to a reader’s letter in the previous issue) in the defence of his use of ‘grippy gloves’ while operating machinery. This is the kind of subject that can raise a lot of debate…

Read on for my opinion (and experience)…

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