... see well.
The 1908 Rover handbrake and gear lever quadrant had been sitting on the bench half completed for over two years and it was beginning to bug me. So, I made a massive effort to get the whole thing finished and delivered back to the customer.
I was getting on quite nicely and, as I had suspected and was probably the cause of my lack of inspiration to get the job done, it was a bit of a fiddle making everything work in a very confined space.
The best bit was that I worked out how to turn a taper - without reference to books or the web - and it came out very well.
In self-congratulatory mood, I took a picture of the handle resting on a print of a similar Rover's arrangement - one I was copying - and noticed that I'd put the whole release mechanism on the wrong side of the bar. Dope! I tidied up the workshop and called it a day.
The next day was spent making up a whole new system which, when it was done, was a lot better than my first effort. It was certainly more substantial and in keeping with the slightly 'blacksmith wrought' tenor of a lot of the fittings on the car.
There were some tricky bits which I had to be certain didn't end in disaster as I didn't want to remake the aluminium handle. Milling the slot for one of the steel fittings was difficult as the only purchase for the clamp was the taper and some of the tooling for my mill is a touch Mickey Mouse. Luckily, I got away with it this time.
Anyway, it all worked out well in the end. Despite getting it wrong the first time, when I get stuck in, I quite enjoy these one-off, cut-and-fit jobs that are designed more or less on the hoof.
There's always a sense of satisfaction creating something from nothing - and that works.
John Gaertner of Blue Swallow Aircraft noticed that I'd been messing about with a de-rusting tank and sent me some pictures of his setup. This was a very rusty 80hp Le Rhone that he bought some years ago. John has several batteries hooked up to his system probably making it considerably more effective. I read initially that the maximum recommended amps for the process was 2, though was impressed by the reaction in my tank when 8 amps was applied. I've since learned that anything between 5 and 15 amps is permissible, depending on the size of the piece or number of pieces being de-rusted.
The next cut-and-fit job involved Counsel drawing around my seated profile with a Sharpie on the end of a long dowel. There was a couple of bits of plywood going begging in a corner of the farmyard so what better use than to fix them up as a dummy (ha!) and get the seat and steering wheel position weighed off in advance of working on the buck. It'll be handy to check the roof height too.
Probably not my best side.