JV Puleo

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About JV Puleo

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 11/01/1951

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  • Gender:
  • Location:
    Smithfield, Rhode Island
  • Interests:
    Brass era... teens & 20s


  • Biography
    A lifelong Brass Car enthusiast

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  1. Sometimes I find myself asking "why didn't I think of that before"? The last little job, the oil filler, gave me an idea to solve a long-standing problem. I want to replace the intake manifold with one that is actually calibrated to the displacement of the engine. The Mitchell factory purposely de-tuned the engine, I suspect because it was unbalanced and was theoretically capable of greater RPMs than it could safely turn. I based the dimensions of the new manifold on the formula in Heldt's engineering text. It requires an inside diameter of about 1.65 to 1.70" - just about the correct size for 1-3/4OD tubing. But, the tubing has to pass between the blocks and include a provision to attach the carburetor unless you are willing to remove the jugs in order to remove the intake. A coupling that could be made airtight is needed so that the two halves of the manifold can be joined. Making the cap for the oil filler gave me the answer. Even though I really should have been doing other things, I had to try and make the coupling. This is what I came up with... The outside diameter of the threaded collar just fits between the jugs. The threaded collar will be soldered to one side of the tubing. The other side will screw over it with a viton-ring as a seal. I'm planning to use copper tubing - not the brass tubing shown here, but haven't bought it yet. I also have to make patterns to have the fittings needed cast but have hesitated to start that project until I was sure I could come up with a convincing way of joining the two halves of the manifold. The finished product will look quite like the manifolds used on the RR Silver Ghost and other high-quality cars.
  2. English Rolls Royce

    Maybe... but I doubt it. Even if I did keep them, it would have been a lot more polite to simply ask if I could copy them. Actually, my shop was flooded just before I closed it and long after S111BG had moved on. All of my records were reduced to a mass of sodden pulp. jp
  3. Selling titles

    My state, Rhode Island, does not require a title for any car made before 2001 and WILL NOT issue a title for an older car. It has always astounded me that the nitwits that created this extremely complicated system are unable to print a small handbook for DVM officials so that they can easily find out what the law is in other states. I'm still mildly in shock over the endless runaround I had with Pennsylvania years ago over a title for a 1905 Cadillac. To not accept the paperwork of whatever state the seller is in is a restraint of trade.
  4. English Rolls Royce

    I'd say so, though I don't believe plated wheels are appropriate for a Ghost that early and it was well before the stainless wheels were offered. It is a little difficult to tell from a photograph because the later, 21-in wheels with balloon tires had just about (if not exactly) the the same outside diameter. My taste runs to the very reserved... I don't generally like much plating and think that car would look better with painted wheels. The cars without front brakes are also lighter steering and, to my mind, more pleasant to drive. Properly adjusted, the Ghost 2-wheel brakes are easily adequate---at least I never remember having anything like a "it won't stop" sort of emergency. Keep in mind though, I never owned one. My experience is based on test driving other people's cars. That looks like a slant windshield Permanent Salamanca. I spent a lot of time with S111BG, the car used in the Robert Redford "The Great Gatsby" movie. As far as I know, it is in the UK now as I was contacted by an attorney in London who wanted me to confirm that it was the movie car... and "demanded" copies of my invoices for working on it. Needless to say, I dropped the correspondence at that point. I don't have copies of invoices for work I did 35 or 40 years ago and don't respond well to demands.
  5. English Rolls Royce

    I prefer the big (23") wheels without front brakes and the side shifter... all of which were changed to make the car more "American". Driving on the right has never been a problem to me... in fact, I'm off to the UK next week and have to get used to it again. My brass car is RHD with an outside shifter, which was normal in 1910.
  6. English Rolls Royce

    Oddly enough, I generally prefer the American bodies on these later cars but am indifferent to whether it is LH or RH drive. Were I in a position to buy any RR it would be (1st) A pre-WWI London-Edinburgh tourer or (2nd) a pre-1925 American Ghost.
  7. English Rolls Royce

    This car is well known today though I confess to having forgotten the chassis number is but it may be 25EX. It was one of the experimental Phantom IIs. The photo was taken in New York around 1948 by the late Alden Handy. I think it may have different fenders now.
  8. Lost: Henry Ford Punch Bowl

    I agree with John S... but also think it was an "off the shelf" item, maybe good quality cut glass but one of dozens, if not hundreds, of the same design. Unless it comes with a sales slip from the shop that bought it in 1951, finding it is pretty much impossible.
  9. It's just a matter of trying and, if things go wrong, trying again. You learn as much from the mistakes as you do from the successes, or to steal an old dictum from the Talmud, "every misfortune is an opportunity." I keep a box full of my errors and more than once I've gone back and used the pieces again. The top of this cap was one of those.
  10. Thanks, Terry. I'm pleased with it. I wanted a shaper and didn't think I'd ever have a planer. Now it looks as if I have both. Here's the end of the oil filler/breather episode: The first step in finishing the cap was to drill and ream a 5/8" hole in that flat piece of brass. It's much thicker than it will be when finished but this isn't a problem and will be a help in machining it. I then put it back in the lathe to turn it round and reduce it to 1-1/2" This technique is awkward because it's hard to find a way to hold it securely enough so that you can turn the corners off. It would be better to cut the corners off first, but I don't have the proper tools for that. Still, it only took about 10 or 15 minutes to get this... I then set up the threading tool and threaded the OD so that it would screw into the cap piece and make the top. The thread, in this case, is slightly loose. This was intentional, allowing its exact depth to be easily adjusted and room for the solder that will attach it to the cap to flow completely through the joint between the two pieces. I used my camp stove soldering technique shown earlier. This time it worked perfectly. I put some flux on the threads, inserted the top piece and adjusted it. When it was up to soldering temperature I just touched the wire to the inside edge being very careful not to touch the inside threads. I used 50/50 solder which flows much more easily and uniformly than any of the low lead or lead-free solders I've tried. You can just make out the solder line on the top of the cap. With the cap soldered, I screwed it on to the filler tube and put that back in the lathe. It will serve as a holding fixture while I machine the cap. You can see why I wanted the outside and inside diameters to be concentric. Threaded joints are not absolutely concentric except in the position where the thread stops but this will give me the nearest thing possible to a perfectly concentric cap. The face and the sides of the cap were then turned to finished size. Where they were between .250 and .375 thick, they are now about .100. I also threaded the hole in the cap to 3/8NPT. McMaster Carr sells a nice breather valve in 1/2 and 3/8 NPT. I will put one in the top of the breather tube and the other in the side of the crankcase where the original filler tube was. The last step was knurling the outside of the cap. This not only makes it reasonable to unscrew with oily hands, it gives it a very original appearance. It is, however, not as easily done as it looks. The pressure needed to push the knurling tool against the piece is great and it is necessary that it be very securely mounted. Even then, I made four passes... when doing this, you cannot let the wheels lose contact with the surface. You'll never get them back in the same place so you have to traverse the piece, stop before the wheels lose contact and then reverse the feed. The result, if you are careful, it quite nice though it leaves a burr on the edge. Here I'm removing the burr and giving it a slight chamfer. The real challenge is now getting the cap off. The pressure from turning and knurling has screwed it on as tight as it can be and you don't want to damage the knurl by using vice grips. I wrapped it with leather and tried unscrewing it by hand. Much to my surprise, it came off so the worst problem was averted. And here it is with the top screwed on. This is done now, except for inserting the breather valve.
  11. Threaded plugs were a good deal stouter than pressed in sheet metal plugs. They also appear to be a bit earlier so I suspect that it took a while before the automakers figured out a cheaper way of plugging the core holes. My 1910 Mitchell had pressed in plugs... the 1908 and1909 cars had threaded plugs but the company was trying to drastically reduce the price of their cars in 1910 and every shortcut was taken. fortunately, the holes are the same size so I simply threaded mine.
  12. A few weeks ago I also got this... It is combination planer/shaper made by Lynd & Farquar of Boston. This should be a really useful machine... I can plane a few thousandths off the top of my crankcase with it to get it perfectly flat as well as make a few other parts that have, until now, stumped me, like the dog teeth on the crankshaft hub and hand crank. This machine was introduced in 1917. I'm not sure when this one was made but it has a factory motor mount where the earliest version was driven by overhead flat belts. I've come to the conclusion that it is often easier to fix early machines, like my Mitchell, using the sort of machine tools the parts were designed to be made on.
  13. And... for the oil filler/breather, I selected another piece of brass scrap for the cover and set it up in the 4-jaw chuck. This was drilled and reamed to 1" so that it would fit easily on one of my expanding mandrels. I wanted to get the faces square and the outside and inside absolutely concentric. With that done, I put it back in the chuck and used the mandrel as an indicator point to perfectly center the piece. I then bored the piece to 1.418 – the minor diameter of the threads I cut on the breather tube. I may have slightly miscalculated that because it turned out to be a tiny bit too small. That only wastes a little time where getting it too big would have ruined the part. With the piece bored, it was ready for threading - and it looks as if I forgot to take a picture of the threading operation. The threading tool looks like the boring bar but has a 60-degree "V" cutter. When threading, I take very small cuts, no more than .005, so it is tedious and you have to be very careful because the finished size sneaks up on you... a few thousandths over and the part is loose. In this case, I got very close and used a little 120 Clover to finish lap the threads. I'm quite satisfied with the result. The cap piece is about twice as thick as it will be finished. That square of brass with the red dychem on it will be the top of the cap but it was 4:00 PM when I finished this so I'm leaving that job for tomorrow.
  14. Here are some photos of the indicator mount on my lathe. The goal was to attach the indicator so that it will travel with the crossfeed. It has its limitations in that it doesn't act on the compound but so far that hasn't been an issue at all. In this case, the bar that holds the indicator is attached to the cover at the rear of the crossfeed. I also thought of attaching it to the side but didn't want to take it apart to drill and tap the necessary holes. Nevertheless, that might have been better although it would prevent the tailstock from being positioned up against the saddle. The piece of 1/2" rod at the back allows setting the indicator at zero regardless of the size of the workpiece. Again, it doesn't always fit and at least once I had to remove the back piece but so far it's been useful on about 99% of the occasions where it was important to hold a tolerance of .001. I used the largest diameter B&S indicator I could find... the larger graduations make it more precise and I can see them more easily.
  15. Dating an early White truck.

    I like the winterfront too. You hardly ever see them even though they must have been very common.