Sunday, 21 March 2021

Refurbishment of a customers 140 year old Chest Beckets

How Do All,
I was recently sent a pair of around about 140 year old antique sailors sea chest beckets for refurbishment.
This is something I have not done before, and had both beckets been in better condition I would have opted to preserve them rather than refurbish them.

The owners of the beckets also have the original chest and cleats which they have now refurbished themselves.
Both the chest and beckets still belong to descendants of the original owner. and they actually have lots of original paperwork giving the name and dates of the sailors birth, his travels, and also his passing; I think this is absolutely amazing that these have survived for over 140 years, are still together, and in the same family.
The Able-Bodied Seaman John Lewis was born in 1866. 
You can see some pictures of the finished chest, and also some of the documentation shown at the end of this post, with kind permission of the owners. Thank you.
 
The chest and beckets had been covered in white gloss and other modern type paints over the years, and about thirty years ago the current owners had a go at removing the paint from one of the beckets, hence why the two look very different in the before pictures.
 
The chest, cleats and beckets.
Photo with kind permission of the owners. 

The beckets as I received them.

Lovely white gloss over everything.

The other becket stripped bare.

Upon examining the beckets for myself, I discovered that the remaining bolt rope had been chafed through to the iron core, and the rope and tarred marline under the fragile and chafed leather had all but rotted to dust.
The pinked leather washers on one side had been stretched and the holes enlarged, cracking and splitting the dry leather in the process. 

Chafed to the bone so to speak, from use and the harsh marine environment no doubt.

After the leather had been removed the end knots pretty much fell away of their own accord.


The six surviving pinked leather washers, the ones on the right had been enlarged by the becket legs pushing them outward and over the end knot of the bolt rope.

The perished remains of the surviving bolt rope, and one of the leather washers in the background.

On the still painted becket I carefully removed the outer layers of paint (I actually spent several days with paint stripper, white spirit, and methylated spirit baths and an a tooth brush or two) revealing what remained of possibly the original finish. 
The original finish appeared to be a dark red ochre/oxide colour over the tarred marline bails (central handle part), the legs and eyes where in white, and the Turk's-Head knots in a vaguely greenish blue, the manrope knots on the ends of the bolt rope appeared to be the same blue but with a possibly later added red central part.

This was as far as I was willing to strip the good becket, and I wanted to save as much of the remaining finish as possible, had both been like this, then a clear coat to preserve this state would have been my preference.

On the left you can see the original red ochre/oxide colour over the tarred cord.

One of the end knots of the bolt rope showing the later? red centre, it looks as if the blue was painted over with white and then the red centre, but only the original owner/s would know for sure.

After soaking the misshaped becket for several hours I reshaped it as best as possible, but was not able to remove the lumps and bumps under the coving of the bail (handle part), and remaking the becket from scratch was not a viable or cost effective solution.

The reshaped becket on the left. 
Also the makings of the new bolt ropes and a start on the pinked leather washers.

I made up two new bolt ropes from hemp rope over a rust-less steel core and, and made up twelve new pinked washers in 3 different sizes based closely on the originals.

Mocking up the new bolt ropes for size and looks.

After several coats of shellac and primer paint I opted to paint the beckets in colours I thought complimentary to the originals though not an exact match. and the deep teal colour used on the knots was a request from the customer, and I think a good call as the blue colour I was looking at would not have looked half as good in my honest opinion. (the teal knots are actually more green in real life, they appear more blue in the pictures)

Freshly finished with optional cleat fixing hardware.

I was not able to make the pair physically match, as they started out in very different states of repair, also when originally made by the sailor they may have not been made simultaneously so have different thicknesses of material as well as physical proportions, I am however very happy with how they turned out.

The chest  and beckets back together again.
Photo with kind permission of the owners. 

The chest belonged to able-bodied seaman John Lewis
Photo with kind permission of the owners. 

The opposite end of the chest.
Photo with kind permission of the owners. 

Certification of service aboard the Barque "Lota" from the vessels Master
Photo with kind permission of the owners. 

A telegram to Ann Lewis (wife) from the Barque "Lota"
I can only half read it at best.
Photo with kind permission of the owners. 

Certification of service aboard the vessel "Indian Empire" from the vessels Master.
Photo with kind permission of the owners. 

Thank you for looking,
Take care,
Barry / The Knotty Bear

Saturday, 23 January 2021

24" Unicycle.com Club Freestyle Unicycle For Sale!

SOLD!

£90.00 or very nearest offer!


How Do All, 
Most if not all of my bikes are going up for sale over the next few weeks / months!
Due to my over active and heavy duty active life style, and overloading and breaking my body in all the wrong ways, Osteoarthritis has finally caught up with me, and I am now dealing with severe pain and spasms in my lumber spine and sacroiliac joints of the pelvis, preventing me from riding without considerable pain. 
I have all but given up riding in the last 6 months and now only commute to work 3 days a week out of necessity.
I also took a header on the Penny Farthing just before Christmas, riding home from work I got caught out by the ice going up an incline on a canal bridge and ended up hanging from the railings by my right arm, my shoulder is now strapped up and is going to be a long time recovering. 

Here I have my 24" Unicycle.com Club Freestyle Unicycle for sale, this is Brand New, Unused, and completely Immaculate with no scratches or damage. Please see the honest pictures to confirm this. 

I have only assembled it and then put it on the shelf, I was using a 20" (sold) & 26" Unicycle at the time and then stopped riding (trying to) quite suddenly due to my back, so I had no chance to even test it out, sadly!

Included with the sale is the instruction card and tools.

I ask £90 for this and am happy to ship this via courier for £7 

I also have a brand new 2 bolt nimbus seat post clamp, which I will offer at cost price if wanted for this unicycle, £5 

Payment via: cash on collection, Bank Transfer to Nationwide, (PayPal, but only if as to a friend for money owed) as I will not accept the PayPal charges.

Collection is from UB79DR

Please feel free to ask me any questions

Thank you for looking,

Barry















This is a gorgeous Unicycle and needs no work or improvements, you can ride off into the sunset with no worries at all.
If anything has been missed or you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

I am more than happy to have anyone come visit me (obeying Covid safe distance rules!) and examine the Trike. I am in the Heathrow Villages area Hillingdon, Middlesex.

If you are interested in this item please contact me. 
knotty dot bear at gmail dot com

SOLD!
The price I am is asking for this Unicycle is:
£90.00 or very nearest offer!

Thank you for looking!
Take care,
Barry ;-)

Friday, 22 January 2021

Standard Highweels 54" Racing Penny Farthing For Sale! Brand New!

 For Sale!

£1,200.00 or very nearest offer!


Optional Moustache Bars
How Do All, 
Most if not all of my bikes are going up for sale over the next few weeks / months!
Due to my over active and heavy duty active life style, and overloading and breaking my body in all the wrong ways, Osteoarthritis has finally caught up with me, and I am now dealing with severe pain and spasms in my lumber spine and sacroiliac joints of the pelvis, preventing me from riding without considerable pain. 
I have all but given up riding in the last 6 months and now only commute to work 3 days a week out of necessity.
I also took a header on the Penny Farthing (not the advertised bike) just before Christmas, riding home from work I got caught out by the ice going up an incline on a canal bridge and ended up hanging from the railings by my right arm, my shoulder is now strapped up and is going to be a long time recovering. 

Here I offer for sale my Standard Highweels 54" Penny Farthing "The Racer", which is Brand New!
I bought this High Wheel in February 2020, with the view of this being my race specific bike.
but due to the above I will no longer be racing and doubtfully riding for pleasure again anytime soon.

This bike also comes with a set of traditional style moustache handlebars.

I have assembled the bike and test ridden it, It is set up for someone that would usually ride a 52" bike, and I have made an extra step and set the steps at what was comfortable for me mounting and dismounting quickly.
The steps can be moved around or switched from one side to the other, or if you have long legs you can mount traditionally with just one step 
my leg length from the bit between my bits and the floor is 33" wearing trainers if that helps with sizing.
This bike is very light and handles really well as the picture below will testify!

The only time I rode it! was a test ride a few times around the block

The following pictures were taken on 26/01/2021 & 10/02/2021


















The Details:
Standard Highwheels, 54" Racer, Brand New!.

Year of manufacture 2020, Colour: Ocean Blue RAL5020.
Swept back race bars.
(This bike also comes with a set of traditional style moustache handlebars)
Red leather saddle, low version without seat post.
Red Bar Tape.
Foot Brake.
Two mounting steps.
SHW #1 tyres.
30mm deep section SHW #1 rims.
I will include a set of new flat pedals for the bike as I only ride with SDP pedals.

This is a gorgeous Penny Farthing and needs no work or improvements, you can ride off into the sunset with no worries at all!

If anything has been missed or you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

I am more than happy to have anyone come visit me (obeying Covid safe distance rules!) and examine the Trike. I am in the Heathrow Villages area Hillingdon, Middlesex.

If you are interested in this item please contact me. 
knotty dot bear at gmail dot com

For Sale!
The price I am is asking for this Penny Farthing is:
£1,200.00 or very nearest offer!

Thank you for looking!
Take care,
Barry ;-)