A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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11 July 2021


... it takes at least a week to get back into the swing of things. After a month's worth of nights, the first few days at home are basically wasted time. It also takes three of four days to get your land legs back - even sitting down you can find yourself compensating for the movement of an imaginary ship.

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But whilst I was away, a job came through that I'd quoted for back in November of last year. Several of these trolleys which carry the loom rolls from the looms to the finishing department at the silk factory need to be fabricated. The 1"x1" tube comes from the steel stockists in a very greasy state, but the stale petrol collected from the auction vehicles last month, soon had that problem licked. It was interesting to note that the old fuel didn't react with my nitrile work gloves like fresh fuel does - the nasty bit has obviously evaporated or become chemically inert.

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I'm almost ashamed to report that besides thinking a lot about the tubular frame for the body, I've managed to do absolutely nothing except put this seat on the floor of the Special. I've continued to try and produce some sort of plan on paper, but to no avail. The good news is that I've ordered a manual tube bending machine and a set of dies for ¾" round. I seem to have got myself mentally stuck in a place where the only way out is to start the framework which makes up the scuttle - hence the purchase of the bender.

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After visiting with Awkward at his workshop - where this monster John Deere was hidden away; there's something rather wonderful about massive classic tractors - I motored off to The Great Collector's, as a month had gone by and there was bound to be something afoot.

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His little Humber Tourer was back on the ramp following the return of its rebuilt magneto. Assembled clever chaps were not getting very far so everyone was pleased to see me - as if I could do any better! Counsel and I are renown for getting things about face when it comes to timing.

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The magneto sits below the huge dynastart. It wasn't at all convenient to adjust when in situ, but luckily its retaining strap was a simple affair and with the distributor and points caps disconnected, it was the work of a moment to remove - which was just as well.

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I think we had it out at least a dozen times to reset the drive dog on the taper of the magneto shaft. After a couple of hours, she fired up running on only 3 cylinders. A stuck tappet on No.1 received some encouragement from the thumb-finder and all was well.

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As indeed am I, after my reckless adventures shopping in Delft, in the apparently plague-ridden 'amber' Netherlands. I'm obliged to take 3 Lateral Flow tests now I'm back. I must text 'Yes' to M15 if I've taken the tests. Curiously, the results are of no interest to the spooks.

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