A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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10 June 2018

The Best Thing Ever....

... since the last thing I thought was the best thing ever, is my new-to-me, cut-off saw. It's 3 phase and whips through 5mm thick 80mm box like butter. I reckon I've now got the hang of stick-welding so the next thing on the to do list is an English Wheel. Practical Classics published a plan for one about a year ago which Counsel is digging out for me. I'll buy in the anvils as making those is beyond me but I've picked up an old Boxford tail-stock to use as an adjuster for the bottom anvil - I didn't think of that, I read about it somewhere.

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Before I left Halden, on my way to work I popped in to the monthly meeting of American cars. I'd never seen a Desoto before; very nice.

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I found my railway line and the next thing I knew,

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I was back at home inspecting a chum's recently finished Straker Squire. Another very nice car.

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In his workshop was a handsome Sunbeam in the throes of having a new head gasket fitted. Interestingly, at TDC, the piston crowns rise above the block by about 40 thou. To accommodate this, the head gasket is a very thick and solid affair - much beefier than any I'd encountered before.

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A machine servicing job took Learned Counsel and me down to the other side of Cranfield and on the way back we stopped at Old Warden for lunch. In the hangar was this 504 in exactly the same livery as I'd had mine - only the Le Rhone and the painted prop gave the game away. Apparently, the day before, they'd had three 504's on the flight-line. That was a first.

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Back home, the 8hp Rover in the workshop was waiting for its gearbox and associated controls to be completed. This is going to be a bit of a long job as the gearbox is, in effect, part of the structure of the chassis. I'll have to remove the gearbox as it appears that some bits could be missing and in any case, to get the gear train in, the casting which supports the box needs to be released from the frame. This involves dismantling the rear spring mountings and moving the axle back. To get at all this, I've decided to take the body off so I'm left with just a rolling chassis.

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A bit like this; then the dog can see the rabbit. Mr Summers (of Summer Road) turned up with his Morris side-screens for cutting and re-welding so they'd fit his nearly completed tourer. A trip out in the Hillman proved that the brake conversion has been a success. I need only take a little bit of metal off the caliper brackets as the bolts which secure the discs to the bells just kiss the brackets on sharp corners. I could take up a flat on the hub nuts but that wouldn't really solve the problem long term. I'm also going to swap the 1" master cylinder for the 3/4" cylinder I have in stock. That should give me more travel at the pedal and so greater 'feel'.

Then they'll be the best thing ever!

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