Much of the week has been taken up tacking together the parts for the ROV sensor frames that detect UXBs and other inconveniences that are strewn across the ocean floors - especially the North Sea. Both the Allied air forces and the Luftwaffe would jettison their bombs into the sea if, for whatever reason, they had to return home still loaded. A misjudged landing could have disastrous consequences for everyone. A big hole in the runway is not what you need.
I've spent some hours cutting up the parts required...
... and then more hours with the mill, boring all the holes for the sensors and their fixings. I can't tell you how relieved I am to have a Digital Read Out (DRO) - it saves not only time, but all the usual games with the guessing stick.
When the aluminium stock was delivered, I put it on trestles in the old grain drying barn. All the equipment that dated from the 1960's had long been removed. I used to do the grain drying in the late 80's and the ancient barn is an old friend. I noticed the sun coming through a gap in the old elevator tower.
The Great Collector arranged for me the ash with which to build the frame for the body of the Special. 2" thick planks, both about 10" wide and 10' long, should get me started.
And talking of starting; this rare 6-light Alvis Firefly was running a bit rough. It started well enough, but was running on only three cylinders and had a very noisy clicking going on in the engine. Counsel and I went round to sort things out and traced the rough running to a duff, though almost new, NGK plug. The clicking, hmm, could be a few things. I understand that these engines are prone to breaking the small end of the conrod where the clamp screw is located - that would be the worst case; otherwise a worn cam-follower perhaps? The tappet clearances were all as they should be.
A trip to Very Learned Counsel (where I learnt about the Alvis conrods) is always a treat. This Aster engined Gladiator of 1901 was in the workshop where a complete new trembler coil system had been fabricated and the front axle was in the throes of being completely re-engineered after years of neglect (and bodging).
The Hillman Minx steering box Counsel and I have been working on was an education. In the grooves of the worm runs a spigot which transfers the steering action to the drop arm in the normal way. What we'd not come across before was the hemispheres (half ball bearings) that take the load. Apparently, pre-war MG's have this arrangement and new parts are available. Notwithstanding the fact that to use completely round balls would concentrate the load in one place and so wear the worm very quickly, I've sorted out a set of ball bearings that will take up the slack and get the car back on the road if the correct size hemispheres aren't obtainable.
On a whim, I decided I would walk to a local pub. It's a six-mile round trip and I can get to it over the fields.
A wonderful sunset on my return.