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A Special Builder's Notes

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The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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06 January 2024

Leading Off.

At last, a gap in the clouds.

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Young Harry and I took The Great Collector's MG VA to the New Year's Day meet at Hawkedon in Suffolk. That's himself and Counsel leading the way in the Wolseley Hornet.

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Though jolly chilly, especially when the sun called time, there was an excellent turnout.

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There weren't a lot of new attendees to choose from for my 'Car of the Year', but I did spot this very nice B31. We had one back in the day, although it was a plunger frame job. It's a lovely looking engine, and I would have liked to have kept it along with my Ariel VB outfit. Just as today, bills to pay and a precarious income preclude hoarding capital items.

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I'd never seen carbide lamps in action - I can't imagine carbide headlights would be much use. Perhaps it's a chore to get them going and why the owner left them alight.

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If I couldn't have the BSA, then I would have to fall back on this magnificent Lancia - my favourite from last year. I said at the time that the body was of Italian origin - it's not, it's Dutch built.

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I've some welding work to kick off the New Year; these are the stainless-steel parts for a couple of manifolds.

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To make this sort of work go as smoothly as possible, I've invested in some decent quality tools. The holes are cut on the mill at a very slow speed using this type of cutter. I used to use my plasma torch, but the edges always ended up wobbly and messy, even with a template.

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For my 3ph welder, I bought a new water-cooled torch. It's American made, light as a feather, thin, and very manoeuvrable. Even the supply pipes are soft and pliable in the cold. To combat tension and fatigue on long jobs, it's made all the difference.

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I'd been thinking and planning for the Buick Dynastart over the Christmas break. An addition to my mock-up was the provision of a 5" pulley. How all this was going to fit and be attached to the car securely, wasn't immediately clear. In the end, I drew up the flywheel and pulley full-size, cut it out, and offered it up from underneath the chassis. It was a good move as I found that I could accommodate a 6" pulley, giving a better reduction of about 3:1.

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Looking for a suitable taper-lock, poly-V belt pulley on the web, it soon became evident that the combination of a 17mm shaft and 150mm diameter rim, wasn't catered for. After a brief chat with Chumley, we decided that my only option was to make one. That's going to cost a lot of sausages, but it'll get the ball rolling.

previous post A Change Of Scene.
next post Miscellany.

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