This is Lent, when popularly, it is thought that one should be giving something up, as in, "I gave up peanut butter for Lent." As I understand it from the ancients, though, it was about cultivating a deeper desire for Christ, not necessarily giving something up. Appended to this was the idea of penance ...
Now anyone who has undertaken to build a boat is familiar with penance and suffering ...
The winter was long and deep. In addition, a trip was made to South America, other responsibilities and vocations were attended to. Time in the boiler shop was scarce. I could not spend as much time on the launch as I desired. The spouse became worried as neurosis set in. But today dawned warmer with a hint of Spring, and I was free to work in the shop.
As you may recall, faithful reader, I am building three boilers - one for myself and two for friends. The one was just ninety some tube-beadings away from its hydro-static test. And so, thinking about my sins and shortcomings, I picked out a flaring and beading tool, hefted Cletus from the air gun rack and made penance on the tube sheet. Cletus and I are old friends. He is thirty-five years old. Together, we must have beaded over hundreds of tubes in six different locomotives; some repeated re-tubings. Cletus has a slow, long stroke that when throttled is gentle when starting the tube roll, but can build to a chain-gun crescendo when putting the final polish on the roll.
To illustrate all of this for the uninitiated, here are some illustrations:
An array of tubes (not mine); some flared and some beaded:
The beading tool:
A boilermaker (no acquaintance), beading tubes with an air gun (not Cletus):
So, after a slow, thunderous morning and afternoon, I finished the one boiler. I ache and there are few busted knuckles, but my soul is purged and free. The result from the camera-phone, still flecked with bits of Crisco. Quiéscite ágere pervérse, díscite benefácere: quærite iudícium, subveníte opprésso, iudicáte pupíllo, deféndite víduam. Et veníte et iudício contendámus, dicit Dóminus.