JV Puleo

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About JV Puleo

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 11/01/1951

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

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  • Biography
    A lifelong Brass Car enthusiast

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  1. I started with the holes in the timing gear. These are to lighten it, the goal being to get rid of about half of the weight without weakening the gear. I started with my usual drawing to work out the mathematical details. These are actually 63/64" holes and 1/2" holes arranged in two circles. I put the test gear in the milling machine and attached it to the rotary table with the clamps I made last week. I'm not really thrilled with these but they will work for this job. The holes are spaced 30 degrees apart and arranged so that the outside edge will be about 1/32 inside the relief when I mill it. There are 3 gears, so just drilling the center holes took some time. Tomorrow I'll drill the center holes for the inner circle and start actually making the holes. I was going to do some of this in the mill but I've since decided it will be a bit more foolproof if I do it in the drill press. These center holes will allow me to locate the drill perfectly.
  2. Here is a screen shot of what I'm getting.
  3. The forum opens. I'm not sure how to describe it... but there are no graphic elements and all of the type is on the left hand side of the screen in a very long, descending line. It would be effectively impossible to find anything as it appears.
  4. The valve cages were one of the first things I made. I only had one original. The same was true with the pistons. I only had one of them. A good friend and vastly more talented machinist offered to make patterns to cast new ones. They are semi-finished now and I'd post the photos but they are stuck in hopeless photobucket... I'm unable to copy them or export them and haven't the patience to sift through the onslaught of adds that sight belabors you with. In any case, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the problems associated with finishing the pistons have kept me awake at night. I think I have them sorted out now so they may well be the next big project. I have 5... one extra for setups and tests. Remarkably, in their semi-finished state, 4 of the 5 weigh exactly the same to the gram. When the pistons are done, I'll be making connecting rods. That should be interesting. Look for a Brown & Sharpe Combination Square... that is an 18" one. Don't buy a cheap import... old is better than new in this case and be sure to get the three pieces that go with the scale. The selling prices are all about the same, regardless of whether it's good or bad, so there is no reason to get a poor one. I think I might have $25 in this one.
  5. I turned the centers and pressed them into the gear blanks on Saturday. One of them is not quite as tight as I'd like but that was easily dealt with... I put some Loctite "press fit" glue on it to hold it secure until I've finished making the dutchmen that will secure the center of the gear and provide a 3/8-16 threaded hole should it have to be pulled. Actually, I know it will have to be pulled because it has to come off to grind the crank. I faced them lightly... I won't finish them until the dutchmen are in. I had planned to use some "off the shelf" threaded inserts but, at the last moment, decided I wanted the job to look a bit more period appropriate. So, I experimented with the one 1/2-13 brass bolt I had handy, drilling and threading the inside and turning the head down to 9/16. These will make a much neater job but I have to wait for them to come in. I then went on to getting ready to drill the 12 holes in the circumference of the big timing gears. The first step is marking what I call the "zero" line. Notice the neat "center finder" accessory for the old Brown & Sharpe combination square. This makes drawing a line across the center of a circle a "no brainer." I also need another tool to finish the small sheave. It presents it's own problems because I made the original together with the large sheave and now I have to bore the new small one to match and drill & thread 3 holes in it that line up exactly with the big sheave. To do this I've made something of a combination tool. This started out as a fixture to make the rocker arms. It did not work very well and, with the job half done, I scrapped them and started over. My second effort was better but this is a good illustration of the problems you can have when reverse engineering and trying to make one-off items. I don't throw much away... so I put the fixture back in the lathe. and made something completely different out of it. If I've calculated this correctly, I can use this as a gauge to bore the hole in the small sheave and an alignment tool to get the holes perfectly located, after which I will mill a slot in it and use it as a one-time bushing to broach a 1/4" key way in both parts. It looks as if I don't get to drill holes until tomorrow...
  6. These are helical cut gears. Theoretically, that isn't a problem as the Universal mill was made with that sort of job in mind but I don't have the original dividing head and the one I do have is too small to do the big gear. I could make riser blocks for it, but given the amount of time I've put into making the blanks, I think I will send them to a friend who has a Gleason Gear Generator. What would be two days work for me is probably two hours for him. I have made spur gears using the dividing head and the horizontal milling machines I had before the current one but there is something peculiar about the size of these gears. They don't correspond exactly to the appropriate diameters for the diametrical pitch. They might be what are called "stub gears" which were popular in the auto industry because they are a bit stronger. I'd have to do some experimenting before I felt comfortable cutting helical gears so it is prudent to get someone with a lot more experience making gears to do them. I did have a productive day today... I started with boring the threads out of the big sheave. The hole is now 2-3/8" and I'll make the new hub to fit. I also faced off a piece of 4-1/2" bar to use for the replacement small sheave. And cut about 1" of it off. This saw has never been good at cutting short pieces because it works via gravity and, if the piece isn't long enough to be held by the entire clamp, it wants to tip down. After literally years of using it, it suddenly dawned on me, yesterday, to put a little block under the outside edge. It worked a charm. It took about an hour to go through the bar. Aluminum does not cut fast as it's gummy. You'll hear how much better band saws are but in a one-man shop this antique has the advantage of just doing its thing while I do something else. It even turns itself off when it finishes. The next operation was boring the gear blanks for the steel hubs. This is a bit awkward because you can't reverse the jaws to hold the piece... the boring bar would hit them when it goes through. In order to get it reasonably flat, I used spacers. This isn't perfect but it gets it close. This is the main reason I made the blanks thicker than the finished size. The tiny amount they are off will be eliminated when they are faced after the hubs are in. This part of the operation went quite smoothly and I hit the desired dimension spot on the first time and was off by .001 the second time. This is not bad for an old, well used machine. So... two blanks bored and two hubs made. Next I'll turn the OD of the hubs and press them in, then add the threaded sleeves that will serve as dutchman and provide an easy way to pull the gear. But, this time I decided to take my own advice and leave it for tomorrow or Monday.
  7. I very much doubt that is a date... it is probably a patent application number. I expect I could find it if I had several hours to waste.
  8. I was back in the shop today and finished boring the hubs of the crankshaft gears. The measurement is a real oddball. The crank mikes 1.566. I suspect that it was an error at the factory and that it should have been 1.5625 (1-9/16). Rather than regrind the crank, I think they just reamed the gear out to 1.564 so it had a .002 press fit. The inside of the gear shows bad chatter marks, as if it was reamed with a straight cut expansion reamer after the key way was in. If I had a big cylindrical grinder (and knew how to use one), I'd have been tempted to fix the crank. My only real option was to make the gear fit the crank. I bored it to 1.564, the same as the original gear but will probably make a custom lap to enlarge it about 1-1/2 thousandths. This odd measurement was also why I had to make the custom expansion collet... to hold the gear to face both sides. I also ought to have used a stiffer boring bar as this one flexed very slightly. That isn't ordinarily a major issue but in this case, where I was trying to hit a specific number dead on, I had to go very slowly, making small cuts and constantly checking to estimate what setting to use to get the final number I wanted. I did hit it dead on, but it was very tedious. With the bore finished, I cut the piece into halves... it is really 2 hubs but given the difficulty of getting the number right, it hardly made sense to do them separately. Besides, with the piece about 2-1/4," it sits straighter in the chuck. I then used the expansion collet I made last week to face the ends. I cut from inside to outside... this eliminates a burr on the inside edge and it is much easier to take the burr off the outside edge off by holding a file up against it while spinning. Here are the two hubs and the two gear blanks. I will bore the gear blanks before turning the OD of the hubs because it is much easier to hold a close outside tolerance than it is an inside tolerance.
  9. I'm inclined to think that what a restorer does is a reflection of what he considers important. There are plenty of people with body tools and body work expertise... because what a car looks like has always been more important than what it runs like, at least in the American context. Also, the heavy emphasis on later cars has greatly diminished the need for imaginative machine work. Rebuilding any engine from the 30's on is pretty much a "cookie cutter" operation. It's time consuming, but 90% of the knowledge needed to do it is commonplace. It just so happens that my interests end with the 30s at the latest... I really prefer the period from about 1900 to 1920. The only car I really regret selling was the extremely deteriorated wreck of a very early (1897–1899) Panhard. In that early time frame, there simply are no undiscovered stores of NOS parts for obscure makes (if there ever were any)...and most of the cars are, to some extent, mechanically worn out. I'd guess that probably 90% of the restored brass cars are nice paint and upholstery on a measurably worn chassis that has had, at best, a few of the worst problems addressed. Two years ago I was at a show and met an old friend - a gentleman with some fabulous early cars... and who knows what makes them tick. We were looking at a beautiful, very "over restored" American Underslung that we knew had recently changed hands for a high 6-figure price. Soto voce my friend said to me "I wouldn't trust it to go 100 yards down the road."
  10. I don't understand. What item are you referring to?
  11. I pull it off it's shelf, lay it on a board across the ways and push it up and on to the threads. Once I get it started on the threads, it's easy. But... that's why I don't like doing it and why I generally don't do it when I'm tired. I made the backing plate to mount the little (8 inch) chuck in the photo above and use it most of the time. In fact, I've only needed the big chuck a few times since I mounted the small one two years ago. Unfortunately, I've needed the big one quite a bit for this job. I guess I'm just getting lazy.
  12. I've had a trying week since my last posting. I finished the smaller sheave but, in the process, realized I had made several errors. First, I used a left-hand thread to attach the sheaves to the hub. In order to be absolutely secure when the engine is running, it should tighten in the direction of rotation. Because the engine runs clockwise... I used a left-hand thread. Except, I now realized, the sheaves tighten against a stop and the direction of rotation is viewed from the back, not the front. This would not have been a deal breaker in itself but, to compound matters, I incorrectly calculated the angle I used to cut the V groove on both sheaves. I not only realized I'd done the first one wrong, when I corrected this on the smaller sheave I did it wrong again! Fortunately, the groove on the big sheave is easily fixed. In both cases it was the end of the day and I really should take my own advice and not do fussy things that require calculations when I'm tired and my back is killing me. Three mistakes add up to a rethink and I am pretty certain I can fix everything and, most important, not have to make the big sheave again... Here are the pieces... I will bore the threads out, make a new small sheave and a new hub. I've come up with a better design too, so even this cloud has a silver lining. I did receive the nuts & bolts I needed and assembled my fixture to bore 12 one-inch holes in the perimeter of the big timing gear. This looks like it will work just fine, allowing me to do the entire job in the milling machine. Those little clamps will also be used to hold the gear flat on the rotary table to mill the relief and on the lathe face plate to continue the relief through the center of the gear. While thinking about all this, and making the odd bits of tooling, I decided to finish the crankshaft gears. The first step was to make the blanks. Here is one in the lathe getting it's first facing cut. The idea is to get the surface flat so that the hole in the center will be perpendicular to it. In this case, I am not making any finish cuts. The goal is to get the blanks absolutely uniform. All of the turning to finished size will happen after the hubs have been pressed in. Finished size for this step is 4-1/4 Diameter, 1" thick. I discovered in the process of doing this that the best results come from facing one side, then turning the piece around and facing the other. This way, both faces are relative to the inside of the hole. These will have to go back in the lathe to have the centers bored out to 2-3/8" but, again, it was nearing the end of the day. I have to put my big chuck on to do the next part and I hate doing that when I'm tired, as it weighs something in excess of 100 pounds. So, I'll leave that for tomorrow and start on the hubs. I need the big chuck for the boring job on the big sheave as well, so it is best I do both at the same time.
  13. Nice job. The block was "stove enameled" black. I would guess that any tough, shiny black engine paint would be appropriate. Also, check the ends of the copper tubes that run through the water passages. These sometimes leak. They were an odd diameter ... the block itself was machined with a slight chamfer at the top and bottom and the tubes pressed, on the ends, with a special tool that expanded the ends. It was a bit like setting boiler tubes. If they are tight, I would not touch them but under no circumstances should the blocks be "decked"... that might well cut off the expanded end of the tube. I'm guessing you've noticed all this... Back in my RR days, I had special tubing drawn to replace them... it is not a job I'd like to try again.
  14. Until I saw this Caddy, I didn't appreciate the scale or design of the bumpers. Between the very large round supports, and the support rod running back through the fender, the rack literally can't have been for anything else. Now... was it a "factory" accessory? If I had to guess, I'd say it probably was, for the simple reason that nearly all the after market accessories I'm familiar with were "universal" in that they would fit a multiple number of cars. I don't see how that rack could fit anything except a Cad or LaSalle with those bumpers. There were 4 interesting, pre-war cars in Newport... a DeVaux, a 36 Packard convertible sedan, the 34 Cadillac convertible coupe and a '26 Cadillac dual-cowel Phaeton. They ALL had Connecticut plates so I'm just guessing that the owners, or at least some or them, know each other and traveled together. The '26 was at the "Cadillac LaSalle Club stand, so those people probably know who owns the '34.
  15. Frank, there was a red, 34 Cad convertible coupe at the Newport Motor Car Festival on Sunday and I immediately thought of your LaSalle. It had those same odd "shock absorber" bumpers and it had a luggage rack though a much larger, folding one. I like yours quite a bit better... it's much less obtrusive. I also saw how the horixontal support rods that screw into the back of the rack work and can't imagine that the one you got was for anything but a Cadillac or LaSalle, if not from your car originally. I'd have take some photos but didn't have my camera with me. Truth to tell... I expected the show to be all post war and didn't bother to bring it. The red Caddy had Connnecticut plates and, unless it came a very long distance, is probably local to you. It may have come with another Cad from the Sterling, Connecticut area. I doubt there is much for you to learn from it that you don't already know, but maybe it's worth knowing it is out there.