The last week has been very ‘interesting’, inasmuch as that we have had a few days of 37°C and 39°C, which are not very conducive to work in the tin shed which is my workshop…
Above is a picture of me with the ‘Winterbottom‘ Ford racer which will be dashing around the ‘Clipsal‘ race this weekend in Adelaide…Very loud, hence the need for ear-muffs! (actually worn over the ears when driving – imagine!!)
Well, it has been a busy week, ‘bike-wise’ and ‘other’-wise…not a lot that I could show on the blog, but many things have been laid in my path to slow things down.
However, I’m not so easily put off, though things may appear slow. The forks and painting and things are held up because of niggling details that have to be sorted now, before everything gets painted.
Niggling details, I say?? Only the damping on the forks, thats all! ‘Someone’ had removed the thread on the damping adjustors, so that they are only for show and have no function at all!! Take a look at the photo:
So, having removed them, the threads must be replaced: There are two choices. 1) build up the areas with weld (very hard) and then re-tap both threads OR, I could just put enough thread on the ‘wings’ (below) and turn the other stubs down to the ensuing OD measurement and turn a thread onto them, turning the ends down to match the diameter of the other end. Actually, not a bad idea, as the diameter of the stub on the other end is immaterial, this would provide best strength and retain the the original parts without any great modification…and might be quickest, too!
I did go to a machinist this afternoon, to ask if he would do it. His first answer was “It’ll cost you $110 an hour and might take four hours”, so I think that I might just buy my own lathe and do it myself (as usual), and the lathe…now then, I might be able to use that for something else, too, in the future!
Like… Making up the pattern for the upper yoke, which I have been asked to reproduce. The job looks easy, but I can see why it has not been reproduced by someone else before…”in the detail hides the devil”, they say in Germany, and there are a few details that make it a little ‘different’ than it first appears. If I make something, it will be not only look authentic, it will be at least as good, if not better than the original!
I have difficulty listening to the views bandied on the Velocette technical forum by a certain Indian manufacturer, that one cannot anymore get the same quality in material these days, that was available then (seventy years ago!) to Velocette (in this case to make tanks that don’t rust before you buy them!!)
The materials may not be the same, but there are modern alternatives that are a lot better!! SO, the top yoke will be manufactured from the best high-tensile (or whatever is appropriate, issued with a certificate depicting the materials used and with a guarantee of fit and closest possible specifications regarding originality! I vouch for what I make!
The sketch with the rough dimensions can be seen in the above photo, this is used to make a 3D model (and as a backup, possibly for use for a hand-made pattern) which can be used for a rapid-prototype or CAM file. The pattern, in this case, cannot be simply split along a horizontal line and will require four cores (and core-boxes, as a result) so might be better to have the master CNC’d, from which I shall make duplicates, in order to cast more than one at a time. The final machining can always be done on a ‘need-to’ basis, so I can store the castings (they are not very big) until they are needed.
There also other parts that I will definitely make, these being better brake-hubs for the front (while retaining original appearance, with technology borrowed from the works racers!). I’m not looking for an arm-and-a-leg for each item, just to cover my cost and a cuppa! My aim is to make these bikes as usable today, as they were then, without resorting to high-level religious practice or devil-worship to get you through the day (or the traffic!)
© peter gouws 2012