JV Puleo

My 1910 Mitchell "parts car" project

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That's all there is. I plan to build a body - not exactly a speedster because I don't particularly like the "two seats on the floor" look, but not a tourer either. I've made some preliminary drawings but that part of the job is a long way off and I'll probably change things a bit before I get there. The "Speedsters" sub-forum started with a design discussion I took part in.

 

 

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After finishing the threading I found I needed a 1/4" pilot for my counterbore to in order to go further. While waiting for it to arrive, I've been making some of the tools that I'll use to finish the timing gear and make the crankshaft gear.

 

These will be little clamps to hold the timing gear in place while I bore twelve 1" holes in the circumference. The holes in the center are 10mm (my rotary table is metric and requires metric "T" nuts) and they still need a flat milled on one side.IMG_0072.thumb.JPG.a69d67d11878b891bcb8968f098f19c2.JPG

 

I'm also making an "extension" of sorts to lift the gear off the table so that I can bore the holes with the milling machine. Unlike the sheave, I don't have a drill large enough and, in any case, I prefer doing it in the mill. Here I'm cutting off a piece of 3-1/2" aluminum with my Antique Starrett power hacksaw. As far as I know, these were the only machine tools made by Starrett. It was patented in 1917 and I suspect production ended shortly after WWI.

 

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I also need a few things for the crankshaft gear. I has a nominal bore of 1-9/16 (1.5625) but the crankshaft actually measures 1.566 and the bore of the original gear, 1.564 — a .002 press fit which is very tight. I don't like that and don't think it's necessary, especially as I have no good way of pressing the gear on without taking at least a small chance of bending the crankshaft. I am aiming for a bore of  dead on to 1.5655, at most a .0005 press fit. This odd bore size means I don't have an expanding arbor to hold the gear while I machine it, so I bought a "machineable" 5C expansion arbor. It fits in the lathe like a collet but the head is soft, allowing me to custom fit it to the job.

 

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I also cut a piece of 12L14 for the two steel hubs of the crank gears. I will make them first because that bore diameter is the fussiest part of the job. If I get it wrong, I can do it again and not loose the rest of the gear.

 

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I have a 1-9/16 reamer and I've ordered an adjustable expansion reamer so here are the two crankshaft gears in their "raw" state.

 

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But... before I could do more on the gears, the counterbore pilot arrived, so this morning I went back on the sheave. (You can't see the third hole in the lower photo because of the angle I took it at.)

 

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That part of the job went well, but as often happens, something I hadn't anticipated came to bite me. I'd presumed putting in the groove for the belt was easy... just a slot and a couple of angled cuts. It didn't turn out that way. Putting in the slot in the center of the circumference proved much more time consuming than I anticipated and to make matters worse, I started the day out by putting it on its mandrel backwards so that when I started slotting, it unscrewed the sheave from the hub. I finally did figure out what I was doing wrong and proceeded but it was the end of the day before I was nearly done. The rest of the grooving will have to wait until tomorrow.

 

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For those that are curious about whether they had "V" belts in 1910... yes the did, but they didn't call them that. In 1911, P.M. Heldt called them "trapezoidal" belts. He describes them but says he didn't see them replacing flat belts any time soon. It is clear from the broken sheave I began this thread with that the Mitchell used some sort of "V" belt. What I don't understand is that there was no provision for tensioning them. I suspect they may have been a belt with some sort of spring tensioner as a connecting link but I don't think it is too much of a stretch to just make these to accept the modern version.

Edited by JV Puleo
typos and clarification (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, JV Puleo said:

I am aiming for a bore of  dead on to 1.5655, at most a .0005 press fit

Wow, that tolerance is close zero" ? if you aim for max of half thou ?

 

I do recall a local streetrod parts manufacturer place had the similar style power saw, 40 years ago and it was way outdated then, but did the job just fine then...allowing production, then even more, until they went to different era tools.

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This is one of the relatively few places where I feel I have to work to a very close tolerance... wrist pins and ring grooves would be others. The "right" tool would be a precision power hone but I don't have one and don't have friends who do. But, getting this close is more tedious than it is demanding, so it is more a matter of time and patience than skill. A big, cast iron lap would do the job... I may try and make one, something I've never tried before. In any case, if you don't aim at a perfect job, you'll never do it.

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I should add that jobs like this were done regularly, with little fuss and no electronically controlled machines, by the end of the 19th century. They developed techniques that worked. That many of these are no longer used, due to the advent of more modern production equipment doesn't mean they weren't effective and accurate. The interesting thing, to me, is that the old techniques are still available to the hobbiest and, truth to tell, still worthwhile for making ANY one-off part. Running a pile of old machines has it's drawbacks, but it they don't come with a huge monthly payment. If I were doing outside work (which I am not) I would still use the old techniques in making parts like this.

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Finished... or at least the big sheave is. I have to take it off now and it's so tight I'll need my chain wrench. The smaller sheave has to be done on the hub but separately as there is no way to reach it. That will have to wait for Monday though... I have to leave early today and can't get back this weekend.

 

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To say this is better than watching TV would be an insult to you. To watch anyone skilled in their particular endeavor is a privilege and even if I don't quite follow all that's going on, it is great to watch it happening. My continued complements.

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47 minutes ago, zipdang said:

To say this is better than watching TV would be an insult to you. To watch anyone skilled in their particular endeavor is a privilege and even if I don't quite follow all that's going on, it is great to watch it happening. My continued complements.

Indeed.

 

In my first life I was a land surveyor. Your comments on methods of old bring back memories of how surveyors did things, always with a check by doing the completion calcs or reverse direction calcs (different formulae) or blunder check calcs or using different units for a measurement etc.. Checks were always required. And it was all done in 7 figure logarithms.

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9 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

In any case, if you don't aim at a perfect job, you'll never do it.

Hey, Joe...that "aim for perfect" is the way I first started my obsession with car door fitting.  The first completely apart car I did was "born" from a parts-car 30 Desoto "roadster" that had no good wood left, and back body behind the roof was cut/gone for a pickup conversion,( I bought it from Don "Scout" Carlson, at his D&D auto body in central CT. around 1972. )

 

I used that chassis to make an old hotrod back to stock, but I just can't scrap the rest on a clear conscious, so I did find a rear body with fenders from a 29 Plymouth which is same and married them.  The door fit ended up perfect, as I just was so inexperienced that I  just kept at it until if was perfect both sides.  Not really much extra time was needed either, in the end. I then bought a cut-up 4 door for the chassis and front fenders, etc. 

 

"Always making something" out of very little :) 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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From time to time lots of folks need machine work done,I'll bet watching these threads is a real eye opener why machine shops charge what they do, I think your work is first class and I bet the restoration will reflect it,.       Dave

 

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20 minutes ago, tristanchua said:

Great work on restoring that 1910 Mitchell! I read some blog about some tips on restoring old cars but in regards to what you did very amazing! May I ask how it's performance either the past few days you used it as well as on the long run? Thanks!

 

I don't understand. What item are you referring to?

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3 hours ago, JustDave said:

From time to time lots of folks need machine work done,I'll bet watching these threads is a real eye opener why machine shops charge what they do, I think your work is first class and I bet the restoration will reflect it,.       Dave

 

Most people, unlike Joe Puleo for example, simply cannot make enough spare space in what really is the average, normal, car restorers shop for a lathe.  That is the reason most people here simply must farm the work out.   Now, say JustDave needed only one or two parts made on his entire Moon resto, really wants to learn,,,there maybe be two ways : one would be mostly long gone trade school "special sessions" where a student gets the rare opportunity to have the customer right at the lathe...while you BOTH are learning!  The other way is to get lucky and find a guy like Joe Puleo that has the lathe, running at low overhead, but might not have the time...because he might have a 6o hour day job.

 

 

Overhead Cost, crushes ALL small and medium Businesses this past 3/4 century.  The costs to run any of these is a impossible task, with the "controls".  Too many people with hands in a very lightly filled pocket. 

 

go find a guy who does not care about the word "rule"  LOL  me?  er...maybe  :wub:

 

Rules...rules...  pic below shows the very exact rear boundary behind my longest building,  I drew an arrow pointing to a Gatorade bottle with orange cap.  The bottle is right at/on a bent over surveyor re-bar corner marker. 

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^^^ that was the corner when originally surveyed a long time ago....but that was done by the property owner to the left.  Later on, my property owner knew that owner was selling that lot.  My owner slipped in and did some quick easy cash deal, to have a simple change done, which was move the corner pin over to the left maybe, I guess 60 feet, BUT the other corner pin way far away at the road(in the direction of the arrow)..they left that pin stay, which was actually like a pendulum swing of the rear corner pin.. No idea the cost, but the guy said it was cheap, the other guy did not need the land (a thin pizza slice), so no sales cost, just a simple swing!  He did that to allow a wide road 'possibility" for future sales perk!  Like me!  If not for that lot line adjustment, the old boundary is following the exact sheathing of the building, which would make my shop useless for any access doors!

 

Ok though, that pin above, still hints to a line going across the back of shop.  So, I am trespassing standing for this pic,  Hmmmmn, that means my old steel wheel tractor is not on my land.  I really don't care.  and no need to care!

 

Below, this pic was for another thread, but you can see that same building's back side, but not all of it by that pin I showed.  So all this land in foreground only, is not mine, well....meaning really, my "untaxed land"!  I can use it, why not?  Lol.  For 10 years now!

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We the people, have allowed our country to be under so much control.  It is far too broken down to ever fix it all, but stand your ground! to save what is left!  We need more patriots and less rules  :)

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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."

Edited by JV Puleo
better word (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, JV Puleo said:

I'm inclined to think that what a restorer does is a reflection of what he considers important.

Wow, Joe....epic!  I did not read a word past that.......but I KNOW I will find time for the rest...

 

,,just as I know I'll find time for the rest of your book you so kindly sent me  !

 

Rock On, JOE!!

 

ps ..."my Joe", left a little bit of written words before daybreak this AM,...I will show them soon on my LaS "story of my" Life!

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo
commas (see edit history)

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A couple of questions,are you going to cut the gears on the horizontal mill or on a metal shaper,can you take some pics of the process,cutting gears has always intrigued me I just don't have the experience or equips to do it,will you be using a dividing head dave

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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.IMG_0093.thumb.JPG.1d313ee5f76e567dfbd4830453ebed68.JPG

 

I also faced off a piece of 4-1/2" bar to use for the replacement small sheave.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.IMG_0100.thumb.JPG.8271d41303a5ae7266c4c37c3d1ac9dd.JPG

 

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.

 

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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."

 

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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.

 

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I don't throw much away... so I put the fixture back in the lathe.

 

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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.

 

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It looks as if I don't get to drill holes until tomorrow...

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)

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Great update, really looking good.  I hope at some point you might give us some more back story on the valves and pistons.

Love the center finder... will need to keep an eye out for one of those.  

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