Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Between 30 and 35 degrees North of the the equator and between 30 and 35 degrees South of the equator, are what's known as "The Horse Latitudes". I was taught that they were called this because ships were often becalmed there, and any livestock on board would perish and be thrown overboard.
Apart from throwing dead horses around, this period between Christmas and the New Year always feels like that to me and I can seldom muster much enthusiasm for anything other than the traditional seasonal excesses. In the course of the week leading up to Christmas, I did manage to make a new r4ear brake actuating rob for the BMW, but that was the sum total of my productivity I'm afraid. Making a brake rod doesn't sound like much and in all honesty it isn't, but I did manage to make rather more of a meal of it than you might imagine to be the case. The initial intention was to re-use the original item once I'd managed to persuade it to detach itself from what used to be the brake pedal, but is now the idler for the rear sets. That didn't exactly go swimmingly well, and I ended up breaking the retaining clip on the clevis pin, though I did manage to free the stop screw and nut off with out any further displays of ham fistedness.
A scout around the workshop produced a selection of left hand threaded Rose (or Heim if you prefer) joints with an M6 x 1.0 MM thread. I'm fairly sure that these were originally some thing to do with a gearchange linkage and came to be lurking around when two of the linkages were modified, using a new rod and the right hand threaded joints. As I bought a left hand thread M6 x 1.0MM die to make the linkages for the rear sets, threading the end of some 6MM bar to accept the joint and a lock nut was simply a matter of remembering where I put the die. Once the new rod was fitted with a pivot and cut to length, I threaded the other end to accept a nut to act as a stop for the spring, and the original brass wing nut adjuster. It's fairly obvious that tapping that much thread along the rod was a fairly time consuming job. What's possibly less obvious is that the spring was quite a time consuming job as well, as I wound it myself. It's actually one of a batch of 10 or so that I made a while ago using the screw cutting facility on my lathe and a couple of simple tools.
That, in all likelihood concludes the progress for this year, and frankly, I've forgotten what I was planning to do next, so that will have to come as a surprise to us all.
Monday, 20 December 2010
What the motorcycle needs at this point is a penultimate re-assembly to check that everything goes together and works as advertised to avoid unpleasant surprises once everything is painted, powder coated or plated. With that in mind, I drilled some more speed holes in the footrest hangers and cleaned up the last traces of any bracketry that I'd lopped off of the frame and sub-frame. Finding homes, or more accurately, making homes, for the ignition coil, regulator, rectifier, a horn, and the mythical fuse box, before the frame is powder coated or painted, makes a lot of sense to me.
Sunday, 12 December 2010
Despite the auguries to the contrary, I did actually manage to make some tangible progress on the BMW this week. It started badly with my trying to get some one on the phone who knew about Acewell digital speedos, as I'm a bit unclear about which would best serve my needs, and failing miserably at that.
Havng arrived at Friday slightly tired, dazed, and not entirely sure why I was in the workshop, I turned around and got back in my car, and instead of doing the sensible thing and heading for home, I went to B&Q and bought a length of 12mm threaded bar, and some suitable nuts and washers.
The reason for buying it was that I couldn't find the original fine thread nuts that went on the two original engine mounting studs, which meant that I couldn't tighten the engine mounts, which in turm meant that I couldn't make sure that the frame splices were correctly aligned. While threaded bar isn't suitable for use as an engine mount, it can certainly substitute for one right up to the point where the engine is fired up. Certainly in the past, I've noticed that people assume that because I've used it while constructing a frame, it's going to fine as an engine mount. The truth is that I use threaded bar for these applications because its' more convenient, the coarser thread saves time winding nuts on and off, and if I damage the thread then I haven't wrecked a stud which will have require more investment of time, energy, and often money to replace. Once I'd cut a couple of lengths of threaded bar, I cleaned up the cut ends of the frame rails and bevelled them and the splices ready for welding.
Saturday, 4 December 2010
Last week I mentioned that there was something odd about about what I mistakenly called the "headstock/top tube gussets", when in fact I meant there was something odd about the top tube/down tube gussets. I blame the fallibility of the human condition, and the better part of a bottle of wine for the error in nomenclature.
A week or so later, Anonymous Don and I were attending a custom motorcycle bash, when Don was smitten with a revelation-ette on seeing a supplicant get on their hands and knees to inspect the underside of a motorcycle which was in the car park. Quod erat demonstrandum baby....
Carrying that idea further, in the BMW I'm trying to build a motorcycle that does nothing for the instant gratification seeking, Discovery channel watching, custom motorcycle enthusiast of recent vintage, while at the same time attempting to build one that rewards the patient observer. The more you look, the more there is to see.
Whether I have the ability to bring that off with any aplomb remains to be seen. Although, one would suppose that the advantage of being what is quite arguably insufferably pretentious in a subtle way, is that if you fail to bring it off, no one is necessarily going to notice. Unless you post that intent on the Internet of course...
As you can see, the steel gusset I made from the card template, had a fairly high ratio of hole to metal. sadly it didn't actually fit that well. More accurately, it didn't fit. at all. For some unaccountable reason, possibly not entirely unrelated to a somewhat unmerited glib attitude as a result of having done this several thousand times before, I neglected to offer the steel blank up to the frame to check that it was the required shape.