No excuses, just an explanation is owing! The reporting on the project has slowed down, not because of lack of interest, but because of lack of cash! There have been plenty of other things going on, like getting things back from the powder-coaters! I didn’t really want to get parts powder-coated, for a number of reasons…
Firstly, it’s usually put on too thickly for my liking. Being basically a plastic coating, there are often problems with ‘fit’ afterwards, which make a lot of work…too much work. This extends to threads etc which also have to be blocked off (preferably with wood or metal – definitely NOT with plastic, as the oven will melt that to a nasty ‘goo’!)
When applied thickly, there is a greater tendency to chip, and being ‘plastic’, it’s very difficult to repair or get any ‘normal’ paint (or anything else) to stick to it…
I am also a bit worried about a sort of ‘bloom’ that is quite often seen on dark colours… almost an optical illusion, in some lights, though, the deep black or blue seems to have a ‘veil’ over it when viewed from some angles…
I was convinced while in conversation with someone regarding this, and it turns out that he is a powder-coater of the ‘other’ kind (not wishing to cast aspersions on any other ones, you understand)…
When I saw his work, I must admit to having been impressed! He was obviously actually interested in the job Many I have spoken to in the past, only do it as a last resort (or that is what they say, anyway…maybe just so that they can charge like wounded bulls!) and some don’t touch that kind of work anymore: too much trouble, too many small parts to get lost or damaged and the customers are always griping, about the price, the ‘quality’ or both.
That should tell us something, too, as restorers or just pain customers, it’s also up to us to maintain a decent relationship with those that provide a service, too, we are not gods and nor are they!
His coating was sooo thin and smooth and another job he had, there which was similar in many respects to mine (a vintage bicycle-frame, as it happens!), was done beautifully. The headstock was wiped out of any powder before baking, the threads were blown out and the finish was superb! Only a trace of tiny, almost microscopic, bubbles on one spot.
He said that he loved doing the work as it broke up the drudgery of one gate or fence after another, day after day! Well, he convinced me and I’m really pleased with the result: The frame, Webbs blades, top and bottom yokes, the toolbox and lid, rear hub and brake-drum and brake-plate, front brake-plate, chain-guard (3 pieces), dynamo-belt outer cover, 8” headlamp-shell, front mudguard-bracket, inner chain-case, one front mudguard-stay etc etc., all in all I think we counted 23 parts, from large to small.
What blew me away was his quote! He said he would do it all for under $200 (AUS): And, what’s more, he DID!
So at the top is the whole lot together that I got ‘painted’… there are still loads of things that have to be done, most of them I don’t even have yet (!), so no hurry there!
Another shot, showing nicely the damage on the inner primary chain-case and maybe you can also see the dimples on the front engine-mount in the bottom right-hand-corner. I also just noticed that I forgot to bring out the top and bottom yokes… they are on my desk, as I’m making drawings to make patterns.
I wonder if the self-nominated ‘miserable old bastard’ Ted Bloomfield (God rest his soul) of MCS-‘fame’ was related?? Good old Ted never had a good word for anybody, unless it was behind their back!
Bit of a strange angle and not a great photo, this shows what’s left of the frame-stamping, still legible as KDD 9268, which makes it a late ’47 manufacture, as the last I have listed is No. 9779 on the 20th.Nov. 1947 and January’s first frame being No. 7922, according to Ivan Rhodes.
All said, the preservation of detail is laudable and I was very pleased, you can believe me!
In fact, the blasting and painting brought a few things to light, which would otherwise have remained ‘hidden’ for centuries (so to speak), one of which is the questionable origin and ‘design’ of the front brake-plate!
These would normally have been made by Bloomfields in Birmingham, with which the Veloce Company had a deep and meaningful relationship…However, as we can see from the pictures, this plate has ‘Webb’ stamped on it, unusual enough for a Velocette brake-plate. If you take a look at the photo (I think I mentioned this before…) it is clear to see that a row of 4 holes (presumably for ventilation) had been blocked up, as well as at least two others, and that the boss and screw-holes for the front speedo-gearbox are also missing. Not only that, but on closer inspection, the water-deflecting skirt, seems to have been added as an afterthought, or to disguise this one to look like a Velocette item!
Further to that, the brake internals are fabricated in sheet-metal, so probably ex-WD!! (the brake-plate has no resemblance to the MAF plate, so it’s not one of those)
So Here are a few shots of the brake-plate, warts and all!
Very home-made-looking, now that I have the parts! What I will do is get the lot blasted clean again and do a ‘proper’ repair of the skirt (just the brazing and fillet – I shan’t try to straighten it out, I don’t want to hide the historical ‘witness’), so that’s one of the next jobs…
Here a Work In Progress of the top yoke, just by the way…
Well I shall be on my way and will be putting up the next blog VERY soon!
© peter gouws 2012