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Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A Room With A View

Things have changed a bit here as I have moved to the other accommodation block, Shackleton.  Our block is being refurbished, so we were evicted and moved over here.  I get my own room over here, and the view is much better than the last room, as I look straight out onto the waterfront.  Okay, so I do have the Fawley refinery to look at, but apart from that the view is great.  The people with houses looking over the same part must cost a fortune, so really I am getting a lot of view for the money!  

Here are a couple of photos of the room and one angle of view...

Aside from moving, there have been other changes too.  We have now finished workshop for this phase.  We did the final part last week, which was a half day course taking apart a three phase motor and learning about it.

If any of you wondered what an AC motor looks like inside, now you know!

The majority of our other subjects are tailing off as we finish the syllabi, and we are concentrating on revision.  For drawing all this can mean is practice, practice, and more practice.  I've included a couple of photos of my latest drawing which is very much like what we will get for the exam.  We will have three hours to draw three views (specified on the exam paper) including a parts list and title block.  It is very difficult to get it all done in this time and I haven't finished any of the drawings in three hours so far.  We are doing a mock exam on Tuesday though, so hopefully I will be quicker on that.    Photos below (CLICK ON THEM FOR LARGER VIEW)


I had the mock exam yesterday and it went well - I finished with ten minutes to spare.  I think I wasn't able to finish any of the previous drawings as they were broken up into two sessions, so I must have taken a while to work out what I was doing when I came back to the part done drawing.  So I was pleased that I finished, and hopeful that I do the exam in a similar way.

Aside from the drawing I've been filling my head with thermodynamics, mechanics and marine legislation.  I'm about half way through all the revision so just got to keep going to get it all done.  Next week we have short courses so not much of a chance to revise then.  I expect I will have a couple of hours in the evening and that's it.

I also have more photos of the view from my room.  These are from dusk and night time. (CLICK ON THEM TO SEE FULL SIZE)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Knurling and the realisation of time...

I just realised that it's only one month until my phase 1 exams are over and this phase ends.  Then I go away to sea, and for how long I don't know.  I'm sure these next few weeks will fly by and I'll be sitting in the exams before I know it.  So, I need to spend quite a lot of my time over the next few weeks revising.  This week we have our last week of workshop, so I will be able to revise during the time I would be in workshop.  This will be a big help, as otherwise I would only have the evenings and weekends.  In addition to the exams I need to study quite a bit of navigation for when Emily and I go sailing.

Last week was much the usual, with workshop being particularly fun.  We continued turning our workpieces on the lathes.  The techniques we learned this week were knurling, chamfering, cutting internal and external threads, creating a taper and turning a length.  Photos shown below illustrate what external and internal thread, knurling and chamfer are.  The parts which are a different diameter to each other are where I have turned a length - i.e. I have turned it down to a specific diameter for a specific length.


Finished piece - I've added a nut and a bolt to show the threads work.

Knurling gives grip so can be used to aid handling a tool - like on the handle of a ratchet driver.

So after looking at that you might think: what is it?  Well, it is an UAO - this stands for useless arbitrary object i.e. I just made it up.  It's just a combination of techniques put together, so no actual purpose. 

Talking of objects that have no purpose, I received my male and female fitting plates back last week.  These took me a very long time as I was being as precise as possible.   Consequently, they are very accurate, and if you hold them up to the light none shows through.  Our workshop instructor was very complimentary about them.  Photos shown below.

Not much news to add.  I just finished engineering drawing for the day.  We are currently practicing what we will do in the exam coming up.  I was timing myself to see how I'm doing and I ran out of time with about twenty minutes left of work to do.  The exam is three hours and it's pretty tight for timing, so I will work on getting faster over the next few weeks.  I will include a photo of the drawing on next entry hopefully.  Tonight I will push on with revision and some navigation studies too.