... is full of exceptional people.
I am engladdened to note how many truly talented artists, engineers, inventors, and creators of the extraordinary are tucked away in sheds and studios, far from the limelight, and just getting on with their thing. Self-motivated, determined, and utterly capable, these men and women are the latter-day embodiment of those whose dedication and inspiration brought about the Industrial Revolution. Mr Laken is one of those people - a brilliantly innovative engineer and artist (see "How To..." and other posts about 6/80 valves). This fabulous stained-glass oculus arrived the other day; a hugely generous gift from Mr Laken who was inspired by the Special Builders Breakfast Club motif. His interpretation, down to the detail of the headlamp lenses, is a joyous and treasured work of art. Thank you Mr Laken.
With the channel section for the lower radiator support more or less complete - note the drain holes - it was time to sort out the brackets for its attachment to the chassis.
Starting off with the go-to CAD (cardboard aided design) method, it was the work of a moment to get in a muddle with all the angles. The radiator tilts backwards 17° from the vertical and I'm hoping that whoever re-cores the radiator can set the header tank horizontally - which calculates at 107° to the centre line of the core. That would ensure the proper operation of the cap and tank.
I had a piece of 3mm aircraft steel that had been kicking around since my Pietonpol days, and which was just big enough to plasma cut the two shapes before finishing and folding. Plasma cutting is a funny old process and always the results are unpredictable - at least mine are. One minute everything is going smoothly and there's very little slag on the back of the cut; the next minute, great globules appear. I think it might be to do with the angle of the head against the metal which, doing it by hand, is difficult to keep consistent.
Where the edges get too ragged, I run a bead of silicon or phosphor bronze along and lick it into shape with the flap wheel. When it's painted, who's going to know? It certainly won't be as obvious as someone's "repair" to the old core.
Because the channel I formed was deeper than the original, I needed to make up the thickness of the brackets. It's handy having a mill for this simple operation, though I'm still wary of its ability to fling stuff out of the machine vice if I'm not paying attention.
I found a couple of bolts for the newly refurbished starter motor...
... but noticed a problem with the alternator. It bangs up against the steering column when the belt is tensioned. There's a solution which will involve making a special stay to lift the casing away from the column, but as it moves upwards the belt slackens off.
I might have to redesign the main mounting bracket to put the centre of the arc the body describes, higher up - more on that later. I've got time; start-up seems worlds away just now.