You never know where an interest will take you and for Mark Bedford that interest in fridges has led him to a business where he is the go-to guy for repairing, restoring, modifying and preserving vintage fridges. For our cover story in this issue, we visited Mark in his Auckland workshop where he describes his engineering approach to the preservation of these rare and collectible kitchen essentials.
“Mark’s stand-alone ’60s cinder block workshop sits at the far end of a long driveway skirted by large-scale factories. For this appliance engineer, musician, and general tinkerer, the industrial setting offers the right kind of seclusion.
Mark’s place is equal parts workshop, man cave, and band rehearsal room. His business, hobbies, and work life merge as one. By the roller door, a primer-grey 1980 Bedford CF camper-van conversion sits up on blocks awaiting the installation of a new power-steering system. Next to it, a free-standing 1950s commercial fridge restoration project is in the mock-up stage.”
Back in the carefree/careless days we took a drive up to the Hokianga harbour, mainly for a fish and chip meal at the legendary Omapere pub, and promptly fell in love with the place. It’s New Zealand 50 years ago: clean, uncluttered with houses and people and just plain beautiful on any given day.
The harbour simply sparkles on a sunny day and the dunes on the north head are nothing short of spectacular. The views coming over the ridge from Waimamaku and the Waipoua forest are breath-taking. We still stop and try to take it all in.
Everything moves at a leisurely pace up at the “Hoki”. It is still a hidden gem, but not for long I feel. We have a few celebs up there now and there are more and more serious homes going up, but it still has that laid back feel to it. Opo the dolphin is the only thing that has happened to the area and that was 60 years ago.
Lift the carpet or lino in an old villa to prepare the floor for polishing and you are bound to reveal the gaps or rotten bits in the floorboards.
So how to get them up and insert a tongue-and-groove board into an existing layout? First, work out where the joists are. If you’re lucky, the piece you want to remove will begin and end on a joist, or at least one end will. If not, find the joist nearest to the point you want to cut, usually by tapping the floor.
Often you will see the old nail holes, a good guide to where the centre of the joist might be. Next, scribe a line across the board you want to cut. I use a Tajima knife.