A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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13 October 2020

Short Order.

With the upheaval of changing around the workshop arrangements, positioning and then repositioning the Bridgeport - still not wired up - time has slipped past and I don't seem to have been getting anything done. That's not entirely true - there's just not been a lot of progress on the Riley.

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After further thought, I ended up putting the mill on the back wall where it's least in the way of general operations. Its first job - after I've read the manual and worked out what all the buttons, switches and levers do - will be to cut a number of holes in the aluminium which is just on the left of the picture. These holes have to be very precisely positioned and I'm looking forward to using the Digital Readout (DRO) facility instead of my troublesome guessing stick.

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The aluminium is for sensor-carrying frames for ROV's. The holes in the horizontals carry special probes which can detect unexploded bombs, wind farm cables, shopping trolleys and anything else made of metal that people have purposely or wantonly discarded on the seabed. As you can imagine, I had great fun with the cutting list and when the material arrived, I was 10m short of two of the sections, indicating that I'd completely missed out parts of the assembly. There are plenty of bronze bushings to turn to keep me busy until the extra bits arrive.

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It would have been useful to have a few more measurements on this drawing of the front of the Riley chassis, sans subframe. Because on my chassis, the lug on the top left of the end plate is bent inwards, I can only guess at the exact dimension between it and its opposite number. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it as to the nearest 1/16" will be accurate enough.

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Mr Slightly-Strange has almost completed the drawings and he's very cleverly introduced tabs to all the parts which ensure that the assembly (some parts of which are handed) can go together in only one way. The 'U' shaped channels on either side of the vertical need to be moved so that they're flush with the rear face of the frame (we're looking at the front) and that should wrap it up ready for the laser-cutting people to do their stuff.

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The subframe progress has been fitted in around the ongoing construction of this splendid Model T. A run rod and an exodus of white metal from the engine of another of Mr Slightly-Strange's T's has also been a distraction. A replacement block has been procured which, in the stripping and inspection was revealed to have a crack around the base of one of the tappet bosses. It's proposed to repair this using the laser-welding technique where a beam produces a highly focused and concentrated heat source. This facility greatly reduces the prospect of distortion and I believe, though not cheap, is surprisingly inexpensive.

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The 'O' rings for the MS head arrived. Following its reassembly, I should have 94 left over so I won't be short.

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