Before the engine can be started, the scuttle needs to be painted and for this, the arrangement of the instrument panel and everything else that hangs off the structure has to be finalised - plus there's the carb to rebuild, an exhaust to fabricate, the radiator to fit etc, etc.
The rather flimsy steering column support needed remaking in 3mm steel. The tubular clip will be replaced by a properly machined clamp - that'll cost me several sausages and perhaps even a good-sized rump steak.
The later Riley RM series instrument panel has a separate chromed plate bolted to its underside on which all the ancillary switches are mounted. I think it's a bit garish and has the look of an afterthought.
I thought I would make up a turned strip for the switches and with the aid of a router, make a cutout in the panel and insert the strip so it was flush with the veneer.
Not having a router and advised that for plywood the cutter has to be really bright, I thought I'd have more control over the operation if I did it by hand. Taking my time so as not to mess the whole thing up, the task went very smoothly.
What was more difficult was cutting the holes for the switch bodies which all had a flat on the radius to prevent them turning in their positions. There was a lot of filing and despite taking every precaution, I managed to get the flat for the starter switch on top of the radius instead of on the bottom. The 'S' is now upside down. The casual observer won't notice, but I know it's there.
I thought it would be fun to have something a little bit unusual on the dash, so I've mounted the indicator stalk in the middle and its operation is up for right, and down for left - perfectly intuitive. I'll replace the horrid red plastic knob with something in aluminium.
In between all this, I made up a tool for removing the swivel pins from The Great Collector's 1932 Hillman Minx - the one with the Tickford body and winder-operated hood. For some reason, the thread in the top of the pins was 28tpi 3/8" UNF, and for some reason I happened to have the right tap and die in the draw. I know I bought them recently but can't remember what for. It'll come to me in the night.
This paid dividends in getting the pins out and Counsel and I were able to remove the old, and insert the new bushes with ease.
What we didn't have the facility for was to ream the bushes to take the pins. Chumley interrupted his schedule for us (more Norfolk sausages) and had a 16mm reamer to hand. He first turned up a steel pin to act as a guide and was able to grip and clamp the stub axle in his machine vice. I could have done this with my setup, but it would have taken me hours on my Myford to turn up the pin to centre the job - perhaps I should switch to a bigger lathe.