A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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28 July 2012

How Very Thoughtful.

In honour of the day that the first piece of the Hillman Special was assembled, a spectacular jamboree of olympian proportions had been arranged. Happily, it transpired that some very important sporting events were able to piggy-back on the celebrations scheduled for the The Great Day so I was not embarrassed by the generosity of my well-wishers.

Here is the great moment:

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As I think I mentioned some time ago, I'm using aircraft quality bolts and Nylock nuts on all the major assemblies. They're a fit-and-forget mod which I found to be excellent on the Austin Special. So, the front engine mount is in. And that's as far as I can go for the time being as I first have to make up the bushes for the brake cross-tube that hangs from the middle engine mount. These bushes will be brass and I've forgotten to order the stock. But I do have a shelf of nice shiny bits to look at.

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At the same time, I need to order a new belt for the lathe I've borrowed. It must have the wrong type fitted because as I start the work, whatever I do, I can't get rid of the chatter and I think it's because the variable speed drive is not working as it should and is slipping, or the speed is fluctuating very rapidly - or something. The belt in the illustrated manual is different (and not inexpensive) which is why I suspect a modern (and cheap) equivalent has been fitted. It could also be the size of the motor - it's about 1/3hp and it should be nearer 1hp - thinking about it, this is more likely to be the root cause of the problem as it's single phase operation.

Hmmm. There are 2 lathes in the workshop, neither of which is cutting the mustard. This is deeply frustrating and I'm beginning to think about replacing them both with something that works. The other day I was offered a really nice American lathe and it all looked splendid until I found out that the feed screw worked in reverse - fine if that's what you were brought up with but otherwise a disaster waiting to happen.

In the meantime, I can hang the hand-brake cross-shaft from the rearmost cross member and that has brass pulleys on it -  more shiny bits means more progress and more progress is always encouraging. I've treated the wooden packing members and the 2 beams which sit inside the forward section of the chassis rail but have to wait 3 days for the jossop to go off before they're painted.

Learned Counsel very kindly helped me collect the newly painted parts (he has a truck you'll recall) and, so he didn't feel left out of The Great Day, I slipped him a half-dozen of the finest Norfolk Sausages.

Fayre's fair... so to speak.

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next post The Good Life.


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