Too much to chew?

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Before I start on a project I spend many a sleepless night ( I am getting old it comes with the territory) thinking it through, working out how it all fits together, what building blocks I need to achieve my goal – I have spent too many years listening to corporate executives trying to impress each other. Most of my projects can be traced back to my core interests and crafts, but today its time for a change.

Now its not unusual for me to make something I have never made before, something I have never seen before, for which I don’t have a set of drawings, and I don’t know anyone who has ever made one I can ask. That’s normal. But normally I am adapting techniques I already understand, with materials I am used too. However today I have thrown that all out as I have set sail on my latest project.

The heart of it is an Ice Cream machine, an industrial size churn of creamy ice cream mixture, frozen in bath of ice and rock salt, with a paddle turned by …….? That is indeed the question. Horsey friend’s of of mine want it powered by a Horse, which I have to say is the favourite, and I can see it being a star attraction at a country fair. A friend who is a  promoter of Cycle events assures it would go down a storm at Cycle events powered by a bicycle. I have also considered a portable windmill, and a human size Hamster wheel. All perfectly possible, and all great fun. There is just one minor fly in the proverbial ointment. I need to build the Ice Cream Machine  first.

So starting with the easy bit today I have built the wooden cask, into which fits a stainless steel container with the ice cream mixture. Over that fits a mechanism , we will gloss over that bit, involving gears and engineering, which turns a paddle which beats the mixture smooth. That’s the first big hurdle. You cant just order one online. In my naivety I believe I can first make it out of wood, then use that to make a green sand casting in aluminium, although I have never done it before and at the moment I don’t have a furnace capable of smelting aluminium. mere details, but I did read a book about it. So to the get to the end of this project I first have to build a foundry. If you say it quickly it cant be difficult.

Now it may be I have bitten off too much, but until I try, we will never know. Its going to take a while so its going to takes some commitment from both of us, me to do it and you to keep up with what in this modern fast changing world is a long term project. But think of the sense of achievement we will both have when you come and taste the end result, natural strawberry Ice Cream, you don’t get a choice of flavour. Think how we will strive together, share our triumphs and our tragedies, and each little baby step gets us closer to our goal. 25 litres of magnificent strawberry Ice Cream on a hot summers day, and a carrot for the horse.

Stay with it your worth it.

Tom

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