I'll Hang Onto That.
During the winter when I wake up in the morning, I listen first for the wind.
That's because my pre-breakfast job is to empty the ash from the day before's fire. The wood burner usually stays in overnight - it's been going since the beginning of January - so I tease out all the ash that I can, leaving only red-hot embers from which the new day's fire develops. If it's windy outside, as soon as I open the back door, the ash blows everywhere - all over me and back into the house.
Replacing the steel panels on the scuttle with diagonal bracing left me with two small sheets of metal, one of them from which I was able to fashion a cover and handle for the fire's ash tray. This is something I've been meaning to do for several years. It works very well - no more ash disposal woes - and demonstrates the value of the come-in-handy pile.
My daily walks continue to set me up for the day's projects. I was lucky to catch these Leverets running past me - they seemed oblivious of my presence - as did the two herds of Roe deer that pass the day nibbling at the shoots as the fields green up. A Peregrine Falcon was sitting in the field not fifty yards from me, also looking forward to a spot of breakfast to pass by.
A frame for a testing device started the week off on a positive note and I think I'm finally getting the hang of my MIG welder. MIG is a bit like flying a Tiger Moth - anyone can do it, but doing it well takes practice.
I've resolved to extractum digitum and get the engine finished ready for running. The scuttle has also to be finalised and the steering added so that the chassis will at last be mobile under its own power. I had to make four studs for a blanking plate at the rear of the cylinder head. They're 26tpi BSF. Fortunately, I have the tap and die though it was something of a mystery as to why the brass nuts I made up wouldn't fit.
I got there in the end with a bit of brute force and ignorance. The centre nut is just in case - though in case of what, I'm also not so sure.
Whilst I was working at the back of the engine, I noticed that rust has started to appear on the exhaust manifold studs. I shall have to address that before it gets much worse. It's been cold in the workshop this year as I've switched off the storage heater which historically has cost a fortune to run over the winter months.
The problems with the erratic running of The Great Collector's Sunbeam have at last been resolved. A quick trip to the magneto people confirmed that ignition wasn't the problem, so it could be only fuel or valves. The head had reportedly been attended to in the last twelve months so that left fuel. As the Claudel Hobson carb is for all practical purposes, not really adjustable and the mixture was too weak, by resetting the choke disc to richen the mixture for smooth running was our only option.
The car now runs well with a good turn of speed, though caution is advised as there are no front brakes.
I've been meaning to create a Special Builder's Breakfast Club badge for several years and with the popularisation of laser and waterjet cutting, I imagined that the process would be simple. Create the design, scan it, and produce the .dxf file to do the donkey work. Regrettably, it's not that simple. To produce the .dxf file, a 3D prototype has to be produced for scanning and the only way to do this is by hand. The Other Wright Brother has a vibro saw which I hope will be able to get through the work. The late lamented Abrafiles would have done the trick perfectly, but an ordinary fret saw would make heavy weather of it.
Learned Counsel has been having a clear out and dropped off an interesting box of stuff that's worth hanging onto. You never know.