More Fun With Tubes.
Bending the tubes was the easy bit. Now I had to let in bracing and that would require a tube notcher to make a decent fist of it - or so I thought.
Before tube notchers existed, there must have been another method to get the job done neatly, and there was. Whilst searching the internet I came across an extremely clear explanation by a chap called The Fabricator. He has a YouTube channel and I've yet to explore what other handy hints and tips he might have.
First draw a centreline on the tube. Then mark the general angle of the fit as precisely as you can.
Take 1/3rd of the tube diameter and make a mark on the outside of the fit line. Draw the cut lines.
Make the cuts.
I'm using ¾" tube with a wall thickness of 1.5mm. By feathering the inside with a stepped hole saw, the fit can be made very close which will prevent blowing holes in the tube when welding.
It didn't take long at all to make the bracing for the second hoop. I've not quite finished with this one yet as the dashboard mount has to sit in front of this one.
I roughed out a dashboard shape, but I'm not happy with it at the moment - it's a bit clumsy (and actually looks better upside down). The centre instruments - RPM and vacuum gauge - will have to swop places for a start as the balance is wrong. Where the steering column emerges is represented by the smaller diameter blank on the right of the right-hand larger blank. This is the speedo which, to tell you the truth, I've got used to not looking at in the Hillman and regulating speed solely on the rev-counter.
What I didn't plan but has ended up as something of a lucky break, was that the top of the driver's footwell is in exactly the right position to accommodate the electric steering assist fandango. The steering column tube will need shortening by only a couple of inches and the universal jointed sections will set the wheel at the right angle in the cockpit.
And while getting all these bits to line up, I also had to attend to the setting of the pedal's axle. I cut a hole in the driver's footwell and with the aid of the plywood 'me', I think I've got it more or less in the correct position. The next problem will be dreaming up a method to actuate the clutch. The lever on the bellhousing is only a few inches to the left of the clutch pedal and about four inches forward - too close for a cable and too far away for a direct link. I'll think of something in time.
The bit I cut out received the bead roller treatment which sent the panel into a complete twist! However, I'm pleased to report that my training with Geoff Moss on the wheeling machine, has paid off. That's one piece that hasn't gone down the tubes.