If You Can't...
... fix it with a hammer, it's electrical. I had an order to fabricate an ROV mounted frame for an underwater survey system. You may recall that I've done them before.
All had been going well with the new water-cooled TIG torch until I noticed that something was amiss.
The electrode suddenly decided that it wouldn't ball up properly and instead produced a sort of coronet of tiny balls making the arc uncontrollable. A bit of a balls-up, so to speak. Nothing I did seemed to help and ordering new gas lenses to see if that was the problem, was a nightmare - one company's standard lens is not the same as another supplier's. I normally get the tungsten balled-up on a piece of mild steel before welding the aluminium and a test piece with the new lens appeared to have solved the problem.
Much less trouble was getting this 1913 Buick running again. It hadn't been touched in almost ten years. Someone had fiddled about with the insides of the magneto and also contrived to set the plug leads in a 1-2-3-4 firing order.
A couple of hours fettling and a tow down the drive, saw it happily clattering away again.
In the workshop was also a 1901 De Dion-Bouton Vis-a-Vis voiturette - the one that had the ignition problems in the torrential rain that visited the last Brighton Run. A baked bean can over the distributor will keep the weather out.
I was up in Norfolk at the beginning of the week and called in on Very Learned Counsel to tell him of the completion of the Magneto Magnetiser. "I have just the thing for you", he said, and whizzed off to a shed to pull out this probably pre-war Crypton coil, condenser, and armature tester.
It's a fabulous machine, though in need of complete restoration (I've stripped it down and the chassis is now undercoated). A very helpful Facebook group has given me some pointers - at the same time advising me to get some more modern equipment, but that's not the point. It'll look well next to the new magnetiser.
A 6v motor and points is part of the set up. If anyone out there knows about or recognises the machine, your input would be much appreciated.
Back on the Teardrop Special, I'm putting all the major wiring gubbins in this plywood box mounted above the passenger footwell.
I've got this far with a lot of to-ing and fro-ing to the internet which, not unusually, has proven both helpful and debilitating in equal measure.
I've roughed out a preliminary wiring diagram, but I know there's something - or many things - wrong with it, and every time I look at a definitive 'this-is-how-it's-done' article, it's often contrary to the one I last read. I think I'll consult with Awkward and co - before I fix it with a hammer.