Monday, April 17, 2017

Hand drills from cricket stumps

Street cricket was rampant in my younger days.  All kids were on the streets after school in the evenings playing various games and sports.  With the boys, cricket was the most popular, played across the road using the 'foot path' and the house compounds on either either side where 'stumps'.  'Stumps' were drawn on compound walls using with green leaves plucked from one of the thick shrubs in a nearby house!  But when we needed to play along the length of the 'foot path', we used stumps.  'Traffic' was not a word we used in those days as only a few wheeled machines plied the roads!

The house opposite ours was "Liver House", that had 4 doctors, an engineer, two dancers and an army Captain [Srikantaiah].  Eswar, Shivaram and Udaya had outgrown their cricket playing days  and the stumps they had played with had no use. So they had given it to me.  They used to have metal points at the bottom and brass rings at the top to withstand the impact when the stump is driven into the earth, similar to the chisel handles of carpenters.  Stumps were like this:

They were of great use on several occasions, a boon.  They were an integral part of our tennis ball cricket.  For matches with other teams we went to the fields nearby but played in front of our houses on the streets in the evenings.   In 1978-9 I joined a team called "Combined XI" in the next street, Gita Road.  The wooden stumps were not required anymore what with street cricket also becoming less. 

In 1975-76 there was a carpenter engaged to make windows etc. for an extra room my father built to the old house.  I had been curiously watching his skills, techniques and how he used his tools, some of them he had made himself.  My interest in such things was recognized by my father.  I had a chisel a mallet of my uncle and my father got me second hand chisels, a planer and a measuring tape from a tenant's friend who did not require them anymore. I did not have the tool to drill holes.  These stumps came handy.  I cut them up and made my own drilling tool, copying from that carpenter.  I had also made a planer in wood which was crude. 

Junked iron rods and bicycle spokes were tried for the drilling bits.  The drill driver has a rope which goes around the 'cylindrical'.  

I made different widths of bit-tips. I had also seen how he sharpened the tips.  I had bought a flat file from Salar Masood & Sons, Ashoka Road. 

I have used them with great success for my several carpentry works and repairs. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Golf club display

My grandfather, besides his law profession, was a renown 'all-round sportsman'.  Way back in the 1930s and 40s he used to play a sport that few people played, golf.  The Mysore Maharajas encouraged sports also in a big way.  Mysore Sports Club was formed in the early 1930s.  It had a golf course [now separate as Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar Golf Club].

My grandfather's golf kit was of lovely red-brown leather, which in my younger days was lying around in a corner.  He had stopped playing it in the 60s. In the kit were a few woods and a few irons, some of them with wooden shafts [Web grab image].  In the smaller compartments were tees and used Dunlop golf balls, old and damaged. In the mid 1980s, we tried to sell the kit through an uncle [Dixit] in Bengaluru as he was a member of the Bowring Club. But after keeping it for 2-3 years he returned saying he was not able to sell. 

In 1990-91, we found that my friend and street mate 'Raju' was into golf in KGF where he was working [in BEML].  We gave it to him offering to quote his own price.  From the Rs.1,000/ he gave, we had booked our first telephone.  Before we gave the kit, I kept the weak and broken clubs [3 in number] with me as a memory.  I had also lost [regret now] the tees and golf balls, but carefully saved the golf ball tins [pictured here].
In recent times, I converted one wooden club into a desktop paper weight cum note holder. Another weak wood club gives company to my grandfather's walking sticks.  

The broken iron club now finds itself on display, sparked by an idea that flashed in my mind two days ago and implemented the next day following some light carpentry work. Proper grooves to hold the two objects. The golf ball is from recent times. 

See pictures: 

Holder stand is ready.

This is a "No.10 iron" club, hand forged. They imported several items from England.  Interestingly, the wooden club above left has an imprint "Spencer & Co, Madras"!

Display ready. 

The backside. Simple clips to hold them in place. They are earthquake resistant!