A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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20 January 2013

Huzza For Folly O!

So said John Keats.

Keats recognised the merit of the whimsical, the eccentric and the sometimes apparently foolish. In another age he might have been a Special builder.

Over the last couple of months I'd been a bit disappointed with the performance of my new wood burner. I'd had to sit in front of it to keep warm when according to everyone else who'd got one, I should have been standing at the end of the garden in a T-shirt to keep cool. My cottage stands in a fairly exposed position on a farm and the four winds have always whistled through the building at will; a blessing in summer but a curse during the winter months and, thinking it out, this movement of air had to be the problem. I'd always planned to buy some perspex and make up secondary glazing panels for the windows in the house and, last Tuesday, when the whole of Norfolk came to a standstill because of the snow and it took me 4 hours to get home, I decided that the following day would see the job done, at least downstairs. It's worked! I now have still-ish air in the house. I must have grown so used to the drafts that it was something of a shock to have to open all the doors and get the heat out of the sitting room and up the stairs. But constant vigilance is the key. Last night, I was beginning to think that my triumphal mood might have been a little premature until I discovered that the postman had thrust letters through the door so hard that the letterbox had jammed open. So, the sitting room is now quite toasty and inviting and I can hold a pencil still enough to do some more sketches of the dashboard layout

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and the workshop comes a poor second whilst the temperature's below freezing.

Not so for Learned Counsel who I keep spotting lurking in the shadows in the farmyard. I popped across on some pretext or other and got off a couple of shots with my camera set to silent.

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I see that the heads are on and the radiator's in position. The exhaust is taking shape - it's a bit of a plumber's nightmare and reminds me of the exhausts on the Lycoming and Continental engines though with Jowett's exhaust manifolds exiting to one pipe each side, life is a lot simpler. I know the Lycoming and Continental engines are air-cooled but I wonder if a similar system could have been adopted? The steering rack is in though it awaits the fitting of new gaiters. And I see a coil's been fitted - we could be near start up....hmm.

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There seems to be an inordinate number of copper pipes to-ing and fro-ing from the brake master cylinder and the fuel pump - he doesn't want to get in a muddle with those otherwise he'll have to change the pedals round; he won't know whether he's Cumming or Gowing.

So said George and Weedon Grossmith.

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