A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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14 September 2020


There comes a point when it's almost impossible to do anything in the workshop because there's too much 'stuff' in there, most of which would never be missed if it was put in the skip. The old adage, 'if you're putting it in the attic, you may as well throw it away', comes to mind.

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So, from chaos while I waited for my new shed to arrive to a newly cleared and organised workshop, a good 3 weeks has passed. There's still work to do; Learned Counsel's sandblasting cabinet has to be accommodated and, as all of a mechanical bent will appreciate, it's very difficult to resist a new toy, even if it's an old one and space is at a premium. Chumley was also having a bit of a clear out and no longer needed this Series I Bridgeport (a later model is expected any day). I spent a morning down at his works giving it a good clean - it was a surprise to see that it was cream - and my bedtime reading is currently the Series I manual downloaded from the internet.

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This will cause more chaos as it will have to go in a top corner of my workshop so the sticky-outy bits don't get in the way when a car's in there. More 'thinning' is needed. For instance, there's a Series II Morris Six engine and a couple of gearboxes lurking in the shadows and, what to do with the head and block of the seized 6/80? With the addition of the Bridgeport, the 3ph bench pillar drill can go and a bunch of unused post-knocker hydraulic cylinders from another life can be disposed of.

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My late 40's, early 50's Portmac BC has been donated to Awkward and Leon's workshop and a box of windmill-sized nuts and bolts has gone to Mr Slightly-Strange (he lives in a windmill). I shall find other victims to off-load anything else I trip over that I deem surplus to requirements.

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All of which progress gave me space to work on the pedal arrangement for the shrinker/stretcher. I need to add another 6" to the height of the stand - having repositioned my 3ph chop saw, the lead no longer reached the plug - that addition will have to wait until I've replaced the cable. The pedal height isn't ideal - it's too high - so that requires further attention.

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Whilst I was on stand duties, I turned my attention to the bead roller and the mounting of the revised motor setup. Chain-drive is the favoured transmission method and calculating that the gearbox output would at its slowest setting be 48rpm and I need the roller dies when set at minimum speed to turn at roughly 10rpm (to give me a fighting chance of keeping the work on track) for argument's sake, I settled at a 5:1 ratio. A chain and sprocket calculator found at blocklayer.com, showed the sprocket diameter's to be manageable.

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I spotted this chap sitting on my gate the other morning. He looked like he was calculating the ration strength.


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