There's Never Enough Hours....
... in the day, especially as it takes a moment to get the ol' noggin joggin' nowadays.
This is the outlet valve for a pig feed silo. There's 6 of them in all and the problem was that the stainless-steel pipes had to exit vertically rather than at an angle as here. The job was 40 miles away, so it was worth getting the thinking right and making only the one trip to site.
I made up 6 tubes from good quality wallpaper stock, inserted the tube in the orifice and, using the concrete floor as a datum, drew a line around the tube with a pencil on a long adjustable stick. Excellent. Back at home in the workshop it was obvious that the results were not as good as I'd hoped for. Clearly, the floors were not as accurate as I'd been led to believe and the angles of dangle were over too wide a range. Hmmm.
In the early hours, I came up with this simple idea using an app on my iPhone. A second trip to the site was much more successful and the results were within 1.8° over the 6 outlets. The next problem was how to cut the threaded nipples. I was hoping that my chop saw would do the job, but the nipples were tapered either end and the saw blade would soon rattle everything loose in the clamp.
A generous bag of Norfolk Sausages usually solves most of my engineering woes and, as usual, Chumley came to the rescue - pointing out also that if we cut the nipple in half, there'd still be plenty to weld to and that would use only 3 of the 6 nipples I had. I hadn't thought of that.
And flushed with the success of that operation, I prepared the Riley propshaft yoke ready for welding to the shortened tube. Apparently, the method is to set up the tube in a V-block and position the yokes in line horizontally to within two degrees of each other. Once again, the iPhone app came in handy. I managed 0.7° with the yoke a good tight fit in the tube. A couple of tack-welds held it in place....
... ready for offering up to check that it wasn't going to slap about on the cross-member. The springs and axle are pretty much at their highest point with no weight on the back of the chassis and there's a good couple of inches clearance. By the time the body, interior fittings, fuel tank, battery, a bag of tools and Miss X are added, that can only get better.
I've a few alterations to make to the model as it was based on the Alvis TA14 chassis. The RME is slightly longer and because of the way I've arranged the engine and gearbox, there's every possibility that I can place the radiator on the centre line of the front wheels, giving a more vintage look to the coupé.
On the way to early-doors, I was still alert enough to spot this unusually symmetrical cloud formation.