A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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31 July 2018


I'm still undecided whether to make the body of the Alvis Special in aluminium or steel. Whilst sitting in my hut in Sweden, I've had a bit of time to look into aluminium welding - at the moment, I have neither the skill nor the equipment to do this. However, I'm encouraged by reviews of the MIG-Pulse process. Simply put, pulse welding introduces many times a second, two currents. One is high - that does the melting and is one low, which keeps the arc going. The advantage lies in that only half the heat is transferred to the panel, so distortion is considerably reduced. With MIG welding, it's also a lot easier to produce acceptable results in a shorter time - that's the word on the street at least.

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Besides the view from the window of my shed, there are other distractions that prevent me from properly concentrating on my project notes. I share the space with five students and a radio. The only time I can work other than in silence, is when I paint. Though thought of as 'lightweight' by some, Chopin is a favourite.

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There's an interesting division of labour in the shed. Despite Sweden being a frontrunner in the egalitarian stakes, the girls sweep up and the boys do the 'clever' stuff - filling in the log books. In fact, I notice that the girls are generally more industrious altogether - this giraffe made entirely from Sellotape eked out a couple of shifts for one of them.

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After supper at 8pm (which is for me 2 hours later than I would prefer) I take a stroll along the front of Karlskrona harbour. A thriving yacht club and marina always ensures there's plenty to gawp at. The car park often includes some Americana, this '57 Buick for instance, and...

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...one evening, this ship turned up. The 'Eye of the Wind', sailing under a Jersey flag, offers all sorts of cruises - the Mediterranean, across the Atlantic or, a trip around the Scandinavian fjords are among those advertised. It struck me - especially the Atlantic adventure - as one of the things that should be on my to-do list. 3 weeks confined with a lot of hearty types? Hmm, on second thoughts....

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The following evening, there was another ship moored up, though it didn't seem to be for hire. On both ships, I noticed that a coat of paint and a bit of varnish here and there, wouldn't have gone amiss.

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Breakfast brings its own hazard in the form of gulls. Woe betide you if you take your eye off your cereal for more than a moment; someone is watching!

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It's better to suffer the heat and sit inside. The Clarion Hotel (part of the Clarion Collection - the Clarion in Drammen, Norway, also has an excellent chef) is almost on the sea front and provides an evening buffet included in the price. There's always plenty of salads, vegetables and cheeses which I can thoroughly enjoy in the current record 30+C temperatures.

I expect the Swedish army is on standby to distribute ice-lollies if things get too hot.

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next post Sunday Outing.


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