July 2009? WTF it's 2011 now!
have I really not posted in so long? have I really made nothing worthwhile?
I guess so...
as an update where my last post got to.
I was in the middle of making a motorbike trailer in February 2010, a fairly simple truss design, when late one night, as I was welding, I guess somebody noticed the mesmerizing blue lights from the street...
Long story short, the garage was robbed, bikes stolen, MIG welder stolen, Arc welder stolen, angle grinder stolen. and a few other bits and bobs.
that was in February, now I have to admit that the insurance company were really good in some ways, they didn't care where the equipment came from, just what it was and gave very similar replacements, but now over a year later I'm still not back to where I started from.
(so my £10 welder was replaced with a £200 -no, I didn't cheat the insurance company, I got a like for like replacement).
For one, I still don't have my tow hitch that was going to go on the trailer. This one just pisses me off, it's sheer incompetence on the part of the insurer, most of the stuff taken were tools, so they just passed the whole claim to a tool supplier. who don't supply tow hitches. and who didn't bother to pass the claim back.
The next thing to piss me off is the arc welder, now the replacement is perfect, exactly what I had a SIP Weldmate i220p, it's a beast, and a new design. which is where my problems start, it's got screw terminals when I was expecting earth and electrode clamp leads. and they didn't supply either the earth lead or the electrode clamp.
The next in this comedy of errors is the gas bottle for the MIG welder, I had a big bottle. now this tools supplier said that they can't transport the big bottle and would I like a little bottle. I said this. I had a volume of gas, I don't care about the container, it's you've like to send me a crate of little bottles because that's all you can transport, then that's fine. oddly enough they didn't want to spend £250 replacing a bottle size that should have cost £80 so they just didn't...
Now the second to worst bit about this whole experience is the amount of time and research I had to put into this, when I first reported the theft to the insurer I detailed everything. the tools and the model numbers. then the insurer had me look through catalogues, get part numbers and prices. I had to do all the work of finding the tools.
then I had to pay £100 (excess) before I could get the tools replaced.
then the tools were delivered to my door (which was nice), but with only a days notice. good job one of my house mates was in because I couldn't take the day off at such short notice!
as said above the tools were incomplete, when I said this to the insurer, they said that I should go out and buy the replacements myself, then send them the receipts!
but the fact of the matter is, I didn't have the £80 - £100 for a new gas bottle, the time to arrange delivery, or the time to collect.
I didn't have a spare £70 to go and blow on welding leads and clamps.
I didn't have the £30 to get a new cast iron tow hitch to replace the one that was stolen, nor the time or inclination to drive to a supplier (the only one I know of is Towsure, based in Birmingham).
long story short I didn't have £200 that I could just lose for a month or two waiting for the insurer to pay me back. I didn't have the time to sort out sourcing a decent price, collection or delivery of these items.
and I didn't pay my premiums for the half arsed service that I received.
to be honest, I've found the experience a bit of a let down, it's only really now, (15 months later) that I find myself with the enthusiasm to spend spare time actually in the garage doing things.
the real kicker with the welder is that in that time the actuating arm for the clutch in my car broke. and rather than going to a garage and paying the money in labour, I bought a new arc welder from screw fix (Kende) -the biggest in the range. so my the time my incomplete arc welder arrived from the insurance company I'd already replaced it myself!
Still, I can't help but think that a welder with screw terminals would make a better supply for a TIG conversion anyway!
Anyway, I've gotten a bit of a bug for making stuff again, so I hope that there will be some more updates!