For once in my life, I got there first! I saw a bench shear for not much money on a popular sales site and jumped in the car to go and see it.
It's an absolute gem and it waltzed its way through 3mm steel without me having to do any adjustments or maintenance at all. It can cope with 4mm too, albeit slowly, but I think 3mm is a sensible limit. I've wanted one for ages as they're so handy when doing small brackets. It's also a lot less fuss and mess than a cutting disc.
With the front suspension pretty much out of the way, it was time to attend to the back brakes in readiness for the mounting of the rear axle. There's a couple of things that will hold me up: the first is that one of the rear springs has been abused at some point and has a slight reverse curve in the middle. The wheel must have gone down a very big pothole or somesuch. I might be able to hammer it out cold over a curved anvil but I'm not up on the finer points of smithing so may have to give it to someone who knows about these things. Our local blacksmith declined the invitation. The second is that I've been sent the wrong brake linings. The trailing shoe's rivet holes are all in the wrong places and they'd start to resemble a Swiss cheese if I redrilled them.
That didn't stop me from cleaning and painting. I'd distorted the can in hammering the lid down which had produced an air leak and lumpy paint. The very kind paint people gave me a new can gratis, and with the aid of one of Miss X's stockings, I was able to sieve out the grotty bits.
Whilst waiting for the paint to dry, I popped across to The Great Collector's Emporium to assist in starting the Daimler. It had been running - sort of - and some further dismantling, cleaning and reassembly had been done in preparation for a second trial. These new adjustments resulted in it running on even fewer cylinders. The trick is to remember which way the rotor arm in the distributor runs. After putting the plug leads back in the correct order, she fired up and ran as sweet as a nut, though a leaky exhaust caused us to quickly vacate the premises.
The next day was sunny- though bitterly cold - so I hauled out the Hillman for its monthly run-up.
All the needles went round to the right places and it idled happily for 20 minutes with the occasional blip on the throttle because it sounds good!
With the various bits and pieces dry, I assembled the rear brake pistons and adjusters on the back plates. It was frustrating not being able to complete the job, but I had the front track rods to assemble which kept me busy for the rest of the day. Incidentally, the Monroe front struts were a lucky purchase too.