My New Surface Table.

So, as part of my quest to tool up in a proper manner, I decided to liberate a 4ft x 3ft cast iron surface plate from Glasgow University.

With the help of two Tirfor winches, a pallet truck and an engine hoist, my good wife and I brought the plate across the bridge to the island, down the steps and onto its base in the workshop.

50 years old but in fine fettle due in no small part to being kept with a protective wooden cover, I had one more task to do before it was ready for use.

I had to drill a hole through the plate to mount my bottom bracket post.  Like some noisy hardened steel harpoon though the skin of a great silent whale, I broke through the 40mm hide of this grey leviathan and ran paper under thumb to smooth the burr.  The fine hardened stainless steel post was made in the new world by Mr Alex Meade.  The post is designed to be used with Park facing tool threaded inserts.


I measured and drew out the shape of the casting ribs on the underside of the plate so that I could choose the optimum position for the post.

I used a thick piece of hardwood clamped to the table as a drilling guide.  I pre-drilled the wood on the pillar drill.


I used a spring washer, a flat washer and a nylon lock nut on the stud underneath the table.


Made in 1964, grade B (toolroom grade). More than adequate for bicycle frames.


Ready to go. Most bike frames will fit without overhanging the surface at all. The post can be removed in 30 seconds and the wooden top replaced to use as a general work surface.

I’m really looking forward to checking and aligning frames on this table.