A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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12 February 2015

A Quiet Evening In.

I was in the middle of milling some Wolseley and Morris OHC tappet spanners ....

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.... when I remembered that I had a chocolate mould. On the face of it, that may sound an odd train of thought but there was a connection, albeit tenuous. Wolseley, under license, made Hispano Suiza aero engines in the 1st World War and later borrowed some aspects of the aero engine's design for its motor cars - the last manifestations of which were the 4 and 6 cylinder OHC engines made by Morris before Lord Nuffield called a halt to their development. It was the early aviation side of things that prompted the image of my chocolate mould to float into my mind.

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This rather splendid piece of work by the famous Parisienne company Letang Fils was given to me some years ago - in my Avro days - and I'd never thought to try it out. It was in a bit of a sorry state when I finally found it so a good polish and sterilization was essential (it looked like it may have originally been nickel-plated so I might restore that finish one day). By the time I'd finished messing about it was close to 9.00pm and I was short of some good quality chocolate to melt down for my experiments.

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On my route into town I pass through a village which sports a reminder to motorists to keep to the speed limit. Often, half of the bulbs don't work and I always think the resulting 'SLO DO 3' would be a suitable title for a science fiction novel; it's the sort of thing I imagine might appeal to Walter Mitty.

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With 1/2 a bar of Green & Black's dark chocolate melting in the bowl, I gave the mould a light coating of olive oil which hopefully would act as a release agent.

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After filling the mould, a wait of about 15 minutes for things to firm up a bit before a quick trim with a knife tidied the edges and separated each piece. Following roughly an hour in the fridge, the point of a knife under a corner of each piece lifted the finished chocolates from the mould. Success!

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And whilst I was doing all this, I realised that I'd got the drawing of the radius arm a bit wrong and the doubler which holds the bush at the front needed to be altered so that the load was carried more evenly along the length of the arm.

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The 'V' shaped end of the doubler plate will work better than a straight drop from top to bottom - with any luck the boys and girls down at the laser-cutting works won't have started on the job yet. And on the subject of axles and fixings, I should also draw up the plates for the front axle clamp bolts. Some Rileys use a plate for each pair of bolts but I favour a single plate for all four. It's a bit more work but it make things a lot firmer and also easier for assembly.

Unless I'm distracted, I'll sort that out one quiet evening in.

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