Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The Horse Latitudes

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.

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