A new tool has unexpectedly arrived in the workshop.
The Bookbinding Tool side of the business has declared an intention of making a large standing press, which will (when built) somewhat resemble this:
(This drawing is taken from Edith Diehl's book "Bookbinding: Its Background and Technique", Dover Publications, 1980.)
Although my design is not at all complete, one thing is essential: a large diameter wooden screw thread. The problem is that I've been unable to find a large diameter tap suitable for cutting a wooden thread. Beall tools do sell a 1.5" tap, but this is nowhere near large enough. I had somehow settled on a 2.5" diameter thread as a suitable size.
In the end I spoke to an island machinist, Sam Anderson, a Scot of few words: he said that he'd think about it and get back to me, but thought it could be done. Time passed, as it does on Saltspring as elsewhere, and since I had more urgent things to think about and do, I let the idea drift along by itself, until one day last week I had a call from Sam's wife to tell me that the tap was ready, and could he bring it by........?
Here is the finished tool:
It's turned from a solid 3" steel bar, stands nearly 6" high, and weighs about three and a quarter pounds. As soon as I've saved enough pennies to buy a 2.5" Forstner bit, as well as a 2.25" bit, I'll be able to try it out.