A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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17 December 2012

Country Life.

On the way back from a job today I was distracted by a yearling lamb coming towards me in the middle of the fortunately, quiet country road. I stopped the car, got out and mustered the poor bleating beast into a nearby property. This turned out to be a kennels. Well, they thought it was lunch didn't they!

I really don't care for painting; I'm just not set up or, cut out for it.  Nevertheless, I've hand-painted, including undercoat, 81 items in the last 2 days. The bits were all those that I didn't want to spend ages removing the powder-coating from where it shouldn't be and which were too awkward to mask up.

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I didn't realise when I started out how many bits needed painting before I assembled the rear axle or the front hubs; they just kept on coming. There's still quite a lot to go but I'm going to wait until the rear axle is assembled until I paint the half-shaft casings. In the meantime the casings can double as candelabra as a gesture towards the festive season.

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The painting chore has set me back a week but I think if I concentrate this weekend I can still meet the December 28th deadline for the roll-out. I'll have the springs back from the powder-coating boys by then and can attach those to the chassis for good. The other thing that's occurred to me this week is that there are 12 brake shoes to be re-lined at N £'s. Until you stop and think about it (never a good idea when you decide to build or restore anything) you don't quite grasp that these minor details are actually fairly substantial expenses; that'll teach me to have 3 separate braking systems - one at the front and two at the rear.

I still haven't drawn up the plans for the shock absorbers; this is one of the things for the New Year. In fact, I've promised myself that once the chassis is standing on its own four feet, I shall make up another schedule of works and try to stick to it. I've rather lost my way in some of the detail work of late (the complications of the gearbox and the front brake system) and what with trying to earn a living, progress has been a bit patchy. The new hood for the Hillman 14 - I haven't even thought about it since the fabric arrived and, putting the Austin back together again - what happened to that? Well, I know what's happened to that and I gave chap a call this morning to gee him up a bit. He's coming round to measure the crank tonight.

The other news is that the Monaco Dash has been postponed until September of 2014. This is because I shall probably be working down in the Pays Basque again in May/June of that year. 'You can't postpone it', said Learned Counsel, 'That's cheating!'. 'You're just giving yourself extra time to finish your car'.

Nonsense. What an absurd notion. If I'm making the rules, how can I possibly be cheating?

People do bleat so.

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