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About Gary_Ash

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    SouthCoast, Massachusetts
  1. felt seals

    It shouldn't be as difficult as it is to find felt grease seals. Back in the bad old days, there were standard SAE sizes for felt washers, usually made from high-grade F1 white felt or slightly lower grade grey felt. The National Oil Seal catalog has (or had) them listed by size with numbers starting with 5M, e.g. 5M100. The problem is that the listings don't give o.d., i.d., and thickness. There has to be an old table of these somewhere, because all of the car manufacturers chose standard sizes! Anyone have a table of these? You can buy F1 felt sheet from a number of suppliers and cut your own if you know the finished dimensions. I have cut some by turning steel, copper, or aluminum tubes on a lathe to get a knife edge and using a small hydraulic press to punch some out from sheet material. I tried PVC pipe but it wasn't hard enough to cut the felt. South Shore Bearing in Quincy, Mass. has many old catalogs and a good stock of felt seals and bearings, very helpful staff.
  2. Constant Force Spring

    Have you tried and other suppliers of parts for old phonographs?
  3. 1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    Gee, Al, where did you find those photos so fast? You must have had a spy in the group! The pictures were taken at 8:30 last night as we were finishing up the 4-day course with Wray. All of us were dead tired as that slave-driver Wray () had us working from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm every day. It's tough on us old guys, but what a great experience. We got the four most-difficult pieces on the upper part of the cockpit skin formed, well-planished, and Wray welded them together and ground the welds and sanded them smooth. No Bondo would be needed to send the panels for painting. The skin is all type 3003 aluminum, 0.062-inch thick, TIG welded with 1100 aluminum rod. We did run out of time, so the right side lower panel is tack welded but not finished. The left side lower panel still needs some shaping before welding in place. I'll sign up for another session or two, will finish building the wire buck for the tail before I go back. It really feels good to have made so much progress in one weekend. The group photo above (missing two guys who had to catch a plane) is around the steel body for a Porsche 550 Spyder. The guys working on that one spent a lot of time over the stumps and sandbags stretching and shrinking to get the basic shape, then hours of English wheel time to smooth and polish the metal. It's hard to believe that steel and aluminum can be beaten and bashed so much, then smoothed to such beautiful, finished shapes. The photos below show Wray "bossing" an aluminum sheet to shrink it by raising ridges, then hammering them down. Next, the bumps are smoothed in the English wheel to yield a completely smooth and polished surface. The Porsche steel body parts were hammer formed and hand-shrunk to get the very complex shapes.
  4. 1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    I am at Wray Schelin’s ProShaper shop in Charlton, MA for 4-day course in body building for cars. I brought the wire form buck for the cockpit. This class has been divided up on various projects, but 3 or 4 guys have been helping makes pieces of the skin. Some are new to the craft, others experienced. Wray is an expert’s expert and a good teacher. There is lots of good equipment in the shop, but Wray pushes using simple hand methods for much of the work - like beating on aluminum sheet into a stump or leather sand bag, checking the approximate fit, and planishing out the lumps and wrinkles on the English wheel. The shapes of the pieces are gradually adjusted until they fit closely to the form without too many clamps. Wray has then trimmed the parts for a tight fit and TIG welded them together. I am hopeful that we might get the entire cockpit welded together by the end of today!
  5. Piston Identification Help ?

    George: Try contacting the current manufacturer of Silv-o-lite pistons at
  6. Faxon Auto Literature has reprints available for the 1925-1928.5 Big and Special Sixes, as well as for most other years and models. They show the Parts Catalog, Shop Manual, and Service Bulletins for 1925.
  7. Vent Window Restoration Questions

    Yes, it will be OK to use hollow rivets.
  8. Vent Window Restoration Questions

    You can drill the rivets out, just don't enlarge the holes too much. You can buy a package of mixed tubular rivets at a good hardware store. Brass rivets are ideal, won't rust, easy to set. While you are there, buy six loose bearing balls slightly larger in diameter than the shank of the rivets you'll be using. Once you are ready to reassemble the window, have helper to hold the frame and hand tools to you, unless you have four arms or more. Choose a rivet that is about 1 to 1.5 diameters longer than the thickness of the frame and bracket. Put the rivet shank through the bracket and frame, place a bearing ball on the open end of the rivet tube, and squeeze the ball down on the rivet with Vise Grips until the end of the rivet spreads a little. If the rivet head is down in the channel, a narrow piece of steel can be slipped into the channel to stick out above the edge. Take the ball off and squeeze the rivet down flat. Of course, the ball may fly off to hide under the workbench, so that's why you have six of them. If you want smooth ends on the rivet, you can drill a shallow dimple in the end of a piece of 3/8" rod or bar. Sometimes, a small washer that is a tight fit on the rivet shank can help in cases where the hole is oversize. See photo below. Try tooth paste or fine rubbing/polishing compound on the glass stains.
  9. 1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    I couldn't help dragging out the box of heavy duty aluminum foil and laying a few sheets on the buck. It was a useful exercise as it gives some clues about where metal has to be shrunk and stretched. Shrinking is better as the metal gets thicker; too much stretching and the thinned metal is difficult to weld. I've started some drawings for the tail buck. I have the old plywood and timber one that I bought some years ago, but it doesn't have enough detail to suit, particularly the cockpit sides. I'll make a new one from steel rod. The original cars had formed "buckets" for the seats where upholstery was placed. I'm thinking of using modern race car seats since they can be adjustable and better suited to seat belts. In any event, it will be some work to figure out the shapes from some 1978 photos of one of the original cars (#18). I'm not sure why someone cut a large hole in the top of the tail.
  10. Flying car. Forgetting history?

    Don't forget Waldo Waterman and his Aerobile, powered by a 1937 Studebaker Dictator 6-cylinder engine! Here is a story I wrote back in 2007 for our Studebaker Drivers Club chapter newsletter: Since the first airplanes took to the skies, pilots have wanted to be able to remove the wings from the plane and drive away from the airport. Only a few planes have been successful at this, but this Studebaker airplane was one of them. Hold on!, you say. What could Studebaker possibly have to do with an airplane? This story falls under the category of “strange, but true”. In 1934, The U.S. Bureau of Air Commerce held a contest to design a light, easy-to-fly, affordable airplane. Only two entries won awards, but the Arrowplane, designed by Waldo Waterman, was one that met all of the rigid specifications. Encouraged by his success, Waldo formed a company and designed a version of the plane that could go on roads as well as fly. It should be noted that Waterman was a true aviation pioneer, not a crackpot. He built his first glider in 1909, trained with Glenn Curtiss, and later built airplanes in several of his own companies. Using a Studebaker engine with standard starter and generator, radiator, grille, and various interior parts, Waterman built a plane he called the Arrowbile with detachable wings. Many of the other parts came from automotive stock bins with only the flight instruments from aircraft industry. The 218 cu. in., 100 hp Studebaker Dictator 6 engine turned the propeller in the air and drove the wheels on the ground. The first flight of the plane took place in February, 1937. The Studebaker Corporation was so impressed by the result that they bought the company. Plans were made to build five planes using Studebaker engines and parts. Three of the planes took off from the factory in Santa Monica, California for the National Air Races in Cleveland in September, 1937. While one was damaged during a landing in Arizona, the other two made it to Cleveland and performed well at the air show. With the high wing and pusher propeller, the plane was very stable in flight and immune to stalls or spins. Air speed was 120 mph, with 55 mph available on the ground. Unfortunately, Waldo Waterman became ill in the summer of 1938 and the company was shut down. Waterman bought the fourth plane (unfinished) and an engine from Studebaker in 1940, but WWII prevented its completion. Following the war, Waterman acquired the sixth plane and rebuilt it. While the Studebaker engine and grille were no longer used, the plane had its roots in the original design. He installed a Tucker automobile engine, modified the wings and fuselage, and eventually got the plane registered and flying in 1957. In 1961, the 1800 lb plane was donated to the Smithsonian Museum. It is currently in the new Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport in Virginia. See for more information. Photos below are of the Aerobile and Waldo Waterman.
  11. 1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    I've been slogging away in the garage forming up all the steel bar pieces for the cockpit buck and welding it together. The curves with radius of more than 12" or so I formed on the rolls of the 3-in-1 sheet metal machine, the longer radius parts, like 18", 24", 32", and more, I hand formed on a small Eastwood rod bender and matched them to curves printed out from the computer. Once I had most of the "snake" formed, the hard part was hanging it in space and linking it up to shorter pieces that defined the side openings of the cockpit. The finished buck is very close to the originals, and the differences will never be noticed. I was assembling this and welding it together on the garage floor, spent a lot of time getting down on my knees, standing up to grab tools, lying on my belly, working stooped over, and swinging the grinder around all of the welds to smooth them. I took a break to run the snow blower around the driveway for an hour and a half this afternoon, so I am one tired and sore puppy! This is not a job for old men like me. It feels good to get the buck done, though. Compare to photos of the original in the post above. I'll be going to Wray Schelin's metal forming class in the beginning of March to form up the aluminum and weld it together..
  12. Patent Question on Door Latches

    If you have a patent number, type "Google Patents" into Google, then type in the number (with commas) and you should be able to see and download a PDF of the patent. That will tell you the name of the person who held the patent and perhaps the name of the company to which it was originally assigned. For example, put in 2,030,288 to see the Walter Freeman patent from 1935 for the No-Roll brake device, assigned to Wagner Electric.
  13. 1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    I think I found a way to post interactive 3D models here. Let's see if this works. The link below will take you to the Sketchfab website and show you a 3D model of my engine. You should be able to spin, roll, zoom, etc. What do you think?
  14. 1932 Studebaker Indy car build

    Like the swamp monster emerging from the ooze, I'm poking my head up again. The whole issue of shaping the body sheet metal has proved to be a real challenge. While Fay Butler's suggestions about filling in my cockpit frame with insulation foam blocks would eventually get me the shape I need, I decided it had some significant limitations. Principally, I couldn't be doing any other work on the car until the cockpit sheet metal was done and I could take the frame back. Also, a solid buck doesn't let you see the space between the buck and sheet metal and foam isn't usable for welding on. I made a trip out to Wray Schelin's shop in Charlton, Mass. (Worcester area) where he runs Proshaper. He teaches aluminum and steel body forming, and while he used to build cars for people, he tries to avoid that now since a number of his customers kept running out of cash in the middle of projects. Wray suggested that I build a separate form for the cockpit using 1/4" cold-rolled steel rod, ditto for the tail section. That way, one can see how closely the skin fits the buck and then the aluminum pieces can be welded together while clamped to the buck. And, I can get my cockpit frame back for other work. Makes sense! I'll sign up for a course there and make arrangements to form the sheet metal in the shop once I build new steel bucks. Here are some bucks in Wray's shop (first two pics). The big hurdle I have been struggling with for years is getting the shape of the cowl in front of the driver just right. From the driver's side of the car, the body opening curve up, around, across the car at an angle, then curves down and around on the passenger side, a complex 3D snake. I stared at a lot of old drawings and photos but couldn't see how to extract the snake. I finally went back to a set of three photos I have from the rebuilding of car #18 by Mike Cleary back in 1978. He had taken the pictures to help out Stan Smith Sr. in restoring the body of the #37 car. I blew the photos up as large as I could, drew in sets of evenly spaced parallel lines, and then found the intersection points of the snake with the XY (top), XZ (side), and YZ (rear) views. I had a few other photos and hand sketches from Mile's work to be able to establish the correct scale. After weeks of work, I finally had XYZ coordinates of the snake every few inches along the curve, plotted them up in Excel. I was then perplexed about how to actually form a steel rod into the snake shape. Fortunately, I put the curve into my 3D CAD program. One day, as I kept looking at the curve from various angles, I realized there was one direction of view that placed most of the snake into a single plane, not an X-, Y-, or Z-axis plane, but a plane rotated on two of the axes. When I looked at the projection of the snake, I could finally see that the drivers curve was on a 10" radius and the passenger's curve was on an 9" radius. I got out my grandfather's long beam compass from his 1913-vintage drafting set, drew up the curves on a piece of plywood, and got 100 ft of steel rod. I used the grooved rollers in my shear/brake/slip roll sheet metal machine to roll the rods to the radii, and have begun MIG welding things together. I made small weld preps on the rod ends to get full penetration and have been grinding the joints smooth. Along the way, I had a laser cutting shop make a couple of Harley Earl-style "sweeps" from 1/8th inch acrylic, a #11 and a #50. They were intended for the layout and refinement of the tail section, but I was pleasantly surprised that the #50 sweep actually fit the front hoop shape of the cockpit. When you look carefully at car bodies, there are no truly flat areas - sweeps are used to define the curvature. Anyway, I am re-energized that I have conquered a barrier and making useful progress again.
  15. 28 dictator fuel pump

    I called Then and Now Automotive in Weymouth, Mass. to see if they had one of these fuel pumps. They don't have one in stock, but can assemble a Type B pump for you for $295. Sounds pricey, but it's an option if you can't find a used one. They specialize in fuel pumps for antique cars, have many other parts, too. Their web site is at Phone is 781-335-8860.