A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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01 July 2018

In For A Penny.

We had a 3:00am start from Halden to catch the 7:00am flight from Oslo to Gatwick. Allowing for BST, that got us home by midday last Saturday. I unpacked, got the dhobi going, made some bread, enjoyed a pint of stout in my local and then settled in at home for an evening's TV - during which I would no doubt, fall asleep. I switched on the box and the next thing I knew, I was dashing out of the door with the set belching smoke and flames!

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That was a bore. Still, as I didn't leave my tablet on the aeroplane, I wasn't without. I bought a new TV from Amazon and - you know when something's not quite right? Well, as I remarked to the carrier, the box looked a bit suspect and then, unusually, there wasn't one of those annoying plastic things on the plug but, I persevered and set the thing up. It was like a visitation from the Mysterons; there were 4 rings of white light in the top left of the screen which wouldn't go away. There was also a band of light down the righthand side of the screen. I think this wasn't the first time this TV had been out of the box. It's gone back.

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I fitted the NOS brake master cylinder, despite the fact that there was something in the back of my mind which told me that this cylinder was, like the TV, also suspect. I should have listened to my inner voice because no matter what we tried, Counsel and I couldn't get anything to even remotely come good. I've ordered a new 3/4" cylinder and I'll go through the priming process properly this time so there's no mistake.

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In the interim, I drew up the English Wheel following the guidelines set out in the Spring 2016 Practical Classics magazine. Theirs is a bit of a monster so I've scaled mine down so it has a roughly 26" throat. I went up to the Other Wright Brother's factory in the week and pulled out of the scrap bin a hefty threaded bar and bearing block, complete with spoked wheel, which will do for the anvil lifter (the lathe tail stock isn't man enough for this job). A set of heavy-duty castors and a single phase motor and gearbox (for the motorised bead roller) were another couple of prizes to carry home.

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And my new-to-me chop saw will make a nonsense of the 80x80x5mm box for the basic construction. I'm thinking of 4mm sheet for the sides but, I'm wondering if I can get away with 3mm.

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A sunny afternoon with The Great Collector, Counsel and the Hillman 14 tourer ended in us ordering a new distributor cap, points and condenser - the blinkin' thing just didn't want to know. There was the occasional spark - enough to keep us interested - but nothing else.

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So, what do you do if your car doesn't work? Get another one! In this, The Great Collector is impeccably reliable and he now owns this very pretty Wolseley Hornet.

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I bought a piece of fillet to celebrate -  I don't know whether it was the marinade or the price that made my eyes water but - in for a penny.

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