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A Special Builder's Notes

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The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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24 March 2019

A Useful Exercise.

The last operation on the foam model was cutting out the windows, bonnet, door, boot and radiator openings.

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It was a bit tricky keeping as decent an edge as possible while digging out the surplus....

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... hence the extra filler to build back the lines. The position of the steering wheel needs some attention - it's always good to take a picture as it shows up all sorts of things you might otherwise be blind to.

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Then, a last scan so that the cut-outs could be overlaid on the whole body mesh allowing references for those parts to be incorporated in the buck files. The next move was to slice up the 3D image (the mesh) into twenty or so laterally spaced profiles, then laser-cut all the parts for a buck at the same scale as the model and in cardboard. This would give me some help in determining the method of frame construction. I've two options, a traditional ash frame or tubular steel.

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Meanwhile, Leon has found a local rolling road. We all used to race off to Pete Baldwin's outfit near Cambridge before he closed down, but this one's much easier to get to - just up the road near Eye - and doesn't entail a trip along the murderous A14. You need to know your way around your carb and take with you extra needles to play with. A Lambda sensor boss in your exhaust will also be a very good move - another job I have to do on the Hillman shortly as there's a slight leak on one of the manifold gaskets. That gives me the excuse to hinge the nearside mudguard, drawing that job to a close too.

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Back at S-Can, where they sell Mini accessories such as this pop-up rocker cover.......

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... and other shiny bits for your Leyland 'B' Series engine, the two meshes had been put together and a sheet of cardboard placed in the laser-cutter.

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A couple of sheets of press-out parts produced this puzzle,

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... which after a couple of hours, was transformed into this:

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The completion of this exercise gave me first sight of the shape of the car as a whole. It also gave me an insight into how the buck would be constructed and assembled. There were a couple of 'gotcha's' in the parts where I had to split the formers to make them work - this kind of snagging is particularly valuable at this stage of the game. Being able to see inside the form is a real bonus for establishing the parameters of the cockpit. A roll-bar is an absolute must, as will be seat-belts and I'm beginning to wonder if suicide doors, despite being period, are right for the car. I lie awake at night mulling over the joys of fitting windscreen wipers, a cabin heater, de-misters, wind-up windows and so forth. Shakespeare clearly anticipated the woes involved in Special building, alerting us to those "curs├Ęd thoughts that nature gives way to in repose".

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The foam model, now redundant, has taken up duties as a bookend, though the efficacy of its new role is debatable.

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