Taking The Plunge.
No, I don't have to turn up new small ends - because there aren't any. The small ends of the conrods are split and have a bolt to clamp the gudgeon pin which in turn is recessed to prevent sideways movement once the bolt is inserted. There aren't any torque values in the manual for the clamp bolts, the big end bolts, or the main bearing clamp nuts. I shall consult with Mr Holmes.
The heaviest of the six pistons weighed in at 373.9 grams, and the lightest at 358.9, the other four being all over the place at anything in between. Essentially, the six needed to be at the most within 2 grams of each other. 15 grams is a lot to take off a piston and the only way I could shave this amount of material from the heaviest was to pop it in the lathe and turn it off the skirt. I've ended up with all the pistons having different length skirts, but I'm guessing that this makes no difference at all and the mass of the piston is the thing to get right. We shall see.
A really handy piece of kit in this delicate operation was a set of pocket-sized jewellery scales, accurate to within 0.1 gram. The heaviest piston is now 360.8 grams - just at the limit.
Of course, Learned Counsel has disappeared to Spain and I forgot to get my ring compressor back from him before he went. In the interim I turned up some bonnet locating sockets for the Fisher Fury which visited the other day. 3BA cap head screws aren't easy things to get hold of - I found that out after I'd tapped the inserts.
The Great Collector's Austin Military Tourer is back together and running very sweetly now that Counsel and I have sorted out the timing. We got it right first time - instead of 180° out which is our usual practise. My new method of determining TDC of no.1 on the compression stroke is to put a finger over the plug hole and turn the engine over until my finger is forced off the seat. Beats looking at what the valves are doing - especially on a side-valve and it's taken me only 50 years or so to get with the programme.
All the parts for the Riley RME subframe have arrived and I spent a fun couple of hours piecing everything together. Mr Slightly-Strange had thoughtfully tabbed and slotted all the parts so it was impossible to get things wrong.
Chumley is going to turn me up a couple of tipping dies which will help in producing wired edges for Learned Counsel's Locost wings.
He seems to go through them rather quickly - it's always someone else hitting him of course; perish the thought it might be carelessness on his part - so I had to quickly re-engineer this cheap set of slip rolls which had been lying dismantled on my bench for nearly 2 years.
The next job is to make a catch-tray for the Bridgeport which should stop me getting my feet wet.