A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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08 November 2013


...brings dark evenings, falling temperatures, damp, in fact everything that makes it a bit of a face-up to stay in the workshop into the night. A cosy room with a fire and a good read has got the better of me of late and that's got to change. Learned Counsel looks in for a cup of tea every now and again and reminds me that he's done this, is going to do that and is generally getting ahead but, what I've noticed is that he keeps asking me to go out to do some job or other for him and, when I come back, he's often as not to be found tinkering with the Jowett instead of working. Hmm.

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He's doing the final fit of the bonnet before painting at the moment; he's still got the wings to fiddle about with before the front panels are complete. I saw that he'd used very successfully the MIG welder with the aluminium wire to fillĀ  a couple of holes (one of which he shouldn't have filled) and to repair a couple of cracks in the front valence. Meanwhile, all I've been able to do is bolt down the three bits of wood which form the base of the Hillman body..

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and I've got to take them off again because in the rush to get things done, I've forgotten to put the grease nipple in the handbrake lever mounting. You'd be able to see it if I'd also remembered to bore a hole in the wood for the grease gun nozzle.... and on it goes!

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Under the bottom rails I've put strips of anti-vibration matting. Normally I would use a more traditional felt but, looking at the stuff that lurks under old car bodies, it seems that although it might not have disintegrated, its useful working life was over pretty quickly when it came in contact with oil. As the matting I've used is a man-made substance, it should last a great deal longer - I've even made rocker cover gaskets out of it - it's very versatile stuff. Anyway, to cut holes in the strips for the bolts and also where some of the chassis rivets stand proud, I turned up a cutter from an old piece of Jodel joystick - excellent steel - and with the vice and a bit of plywood, made a neat job.

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And the only other bit of progress, albeit small, is that I managed to grab 2 minutes and cut out the aluminium panel for laminating to the plywood firewall.

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It's only rough; I'll trim it up once it's attached. I used stainless steel screws for securing the Austin's aluminium firewall panel to the ply bulkhead but I'm going to experiment with clear silicone sealer as an adhesive for the Hillman. Once the panels are together, I'll mark out where I want to put the stainless steel detachable panel (for access to the rear core plug) and cut the lot at once. I cut out the aluminium sheet with some air shears; it took about 1 minute to do and if I'd wanted to, I could have cut the panel accurately enough not to need to trim afterwards; the shears are an excellent tool.

I must put on a couple of extra jumpers and get out in the workshop - it's not really what you'd call cold yet...

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