Another long break from posting; however, we've been away gallivanting around England, Scotland and France for six weeks, so perhaps it's not surprising. The array of bicycle parts was waiting for me when I got home, with the official date for photographing entries to the Velo Village show just over two weeks away.
Before we left, I'd pretty much abandoned the orrery idea; Ian, it turned out, had no useful leads, and the whole thing was way too complicated. Another time. (I did in fact go on an orrery hunt in Europe; the best examples are in the London Science Museum. The Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris was wonderful, but orreries were hardly to be seen.)
We came back on Thursday night, and by Saturday morning I was back in the shop:
This is the main component of the bicycle-bits-and-pieces construct: a laminated hexagonal mahogany cylinder, about 18" long. It gave me a good deal of trouble, and came out rather smaller than intended, but since the intended dimensions were too large anyway, it finished up just right. All the same, this sort of thing does not make one feel terribly competent - merely careless, albeit with an ability to exercise a kind of niggling suburban fussiness in the effort to correct the errors. This process should not be mistaken for craftsmanship, even if the joints do fit. (Quite well, actually.)
Cut up truck tyres make excellent clamps for built up polygons, when wrapped tightly.
All tidied up and ready for turning. The dividers came from a Bricolage street market in Moissac, and caused a bit of a fuss when they were spotted in my baggage at the Eurostar security check at the Gare du Nord.
Turning was a touch stressful; it's too easy to accidentally shove some part of a tool (or tool-rest) into the raised hexagonal sections.
The finished barrel, complete with end-cap. At the top is the first incorporated bicycle part: a small gold tube.
Tomorrow: the stand.