Mike Macartney


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Thanks for the kind comments Joe. It's nice getting comments as it can get quite lonely working away or your own. Especially, when you hit snags like this. I tend to sleep on the ideas before I make a decision on how to progress. I find this forum very useful as a 'chalkboard' to discus  various restoration ideas. 


In the end I decided to put in some more screws each side trunk boards where they screw into the ash frame. I also want to strengthen the join from the trunk side, possibly with brackets. 

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I do that too. I've found that my best ideas come to me either late at night or early in the morning. I can't tell how many "insoluble" problems I've solved at 3AM.

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After fitting some more screws each side to help tie the side trunk boards into the ash frame of the main body, I decided that I would glue the splits up in the original thin wooden boards that fit between the two parts I have just screwed to.


Previous to this decision I had actually made some cardboard patterns of the shape to replace these boards


Cut a plywood panel and screwed it in place, but it just didn't sit nicely or look right.


I replaced the 'glued up' boards and put new screws into different positions. I also cut a length of timber to give a bit more support to the back of the seat base. You can see the screws in this photo between the junk on the seat base and the glued up boards.


I then tried to think of a way to try and strengthen this area where the wooden panelled trunk attaches to main body. I made up another plywood board to fit behind the 'glued up' panels.

(the drawing and writing on the plywood was my attempt to try and find the radius of the top hoop curves from the fragments of hoop wood that were left attached to the metal frame).


This was then screwed into place when I had eventually sanded it down to fit and made sure that the top part of the trunk, the bit that the lid fixes to, also fitted.


I then made some cardboard templates for some strengthening at the LH side of the trunk.


Turned the pattern around to check it fitted and made notes on the card for cutting both of the plywood strengthening panels.426.thumb.jpg.9982565457d6664c6ff913eb7ed6a714.jpg

Ready to cut one side. I am still not a 'happy bunny' when it comes to woodwork. Even simple stuff. At least with metal you can weld a bit on if you cut something a bit short. I have never managed to find an suitable wooden welding rods!


I covered the back, front and bottom edges of the plywood with glue. Clamped them both into position and screwed them in place. At least now I can make some decent metal brackets to hold the sides of the trunk to the main body. I packed up for the day to let the glue set overnight.




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Started to do a bit of work on the Humberette this morning and as it was a nice day had the garage door open. Two friends turned up, one after the other, I offered them both tea and now it's lunch time - not much work done today! So I thought that this afternoon  I would do a bit more on the reports to try and catch up with the work I've done to date. There's always tomorrow to get on with the work!


This top part of the trunk, that the trunk lid is hinged to, needs to fit snugly over the new bits of plywood. Also instead of the 4 large screws fitting it in from the top, I want to make a metal bracket to strengthen the rear and hold this top part in place with the screws on the underside, hidden out of sight.


I also need to fit a battery somewhere on the car so I thought it maybe a good idea to combine the strengthening bracket on the LH lower side of the trunk into a mounting for the battery as well.


Now for a bit of origami, with some bits of cardboard, as a pattern for the top LH bracket.


This might work?


Now I've got the pattern to fit, what spare bits of metal have I got?


Here's a few bits of scrap that should do for making the brackets and battery mounting.


I was going to draw a battery tray with combined bracket out, before I made it, but looking at it now I can make it up as I go along.


I can add a bracket at the right hand side to screw to the plywood boards behind the seat back. I can contain the battery with some 1/8" thick rubber and a battery right angle clamp that hooks into a slot at the front of the angle iron and screws to the plywood just above the middle of the battery. This can also be insulated with rubber. The battery cables can exit the trunk between the seat back and the battery.


Just checking I cut the metal at the correct angles.


After checking the fit and marking where they go. Will two screws on each plate be enough? I know about bolts but haven't a clue when it comes to screws. Before I drill the holes in the metal plates I'll have a word with Robert the wood wizard. I'm out for a drink with him  tonight at the local pub with the other Saga Louts in our drinking group. Sorry no photo of all three parts held in the correct places, as I only have two hands and no cameraman!


What length do I need the screws? I better have a look and see what I've got. The screws definitely don't want to be longer than 30mm long or they may poke out the side of the trunk!


I inherited a lot of screws from a friend who died 4-years ago. The trouble was, when I cleared his place, I just filled these white/blue plastic containers with them. Before I choose the screws to use I better try and sort them into the different sizes.






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Screws now sorted! I have got a bit bored with writing about strengthening the area where the trunk meets the body. I think I will move on to some of the other stuff I have done that I have not written about yet. I'll come back to the trunk/body later.336.thumb.jpg.e54d65f0c0aa6e95fb8a3aeba8068470.jpg

I have now made my decision on how get over the problem of the gap between this 'lump of wood' and the sheet metal.


Also here, along the front edge of the join between this 'lump of wood' and the scuttle panel.

After trying to research what was originally used I have hit a brick wall. So I have asked myself "What would they have used to hide the joint if they had the materials then, that we have today?"


Looking in my box of 'SEALS & RUBBER' I found this dull black wing piping.


I also found this 'P' shaped rubber moulding.


With the hood down it is not even going to be seen.


And on the front - this is the rubber.


And this is the dull black wing piping, which I think looks better than the rubber. With both the wood and the metal body being painted Royal Blue I think this piping won't look out of place. Woolies (UK Upholstery Supplies) can supply it in 3 different diameters of bead. https://www.woolies-trim.co.uk/


As I am going to dispense with the holes here I am drilling them to clear out the rust and muck.


Poking wood glue into the hole with a bit of welding rod.


Poking my bits of whittled stick into the holes and then to gently tap them home.


Waiting overnight for the glue to dry and then cutting them off flush.


Next job - Try and work out the lengths of the wood for making the top hoops.


The length of the curve is actually 14-1/4".


Need to get the windshield back on the car.


I found this picture in on a 1914 advert for an air cooled Humberette (Note: notice no radiator won this type). I enlarged it onto an A3 sheet of paper with the idea of trying to work out the scale by checking the known measurements on the body and comparing them with the drawing.


I could then work out the approximate scale of the drawing. It's never going to be very accurate, but will give me some idea. I averaged 6 measurements


Now to try and hold the middle hoop vertical. Duct tape and a straight edge didn't work!


Hooray - two bits of stainless square section and three plastic tie wraps worked. Plus a bungy cord in case it didn't work. The windshield has lasted all these years it would be a shame for it to get broken now.

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I like it but it's probably plate glass. I confess that is one of the few features or early cars that worry me.



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When driving my old cars and motorcycles, even in our rural area, the main thing that worries me is other road users. I must admit I haven't thought about the plate glass.

Carrying on from my last photo of the hood hoops (top to you on the other side of the pond).


I added two cardboard curves for the middle top hoops. With the measurement's of the circumference of the curve sections, the width between the two uprights and the longest length of the upright parts I could calculate the length of wood required. I had estimated the length before we cut the section out of the sweet chestnut tree and luckily my estimate of 9 foot was OK.


It maybe some time before the moisture content gets down to 20%-25% before we can have a go at steam bending the hoops.


I've found these lengths of galvanised pipes that I will make into the steam pipes.


Believe it or not the windscreen surround is nickel plated brass. It hasn't been cleaned since at least 1926!


Side view for estimating  the wooden hoops.


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A few years ago I was in the UK during the summer traveling around the country taking pictures in museums with my colleague Stuart. I was driving, largely because I have a lot more experience with UK driving than he did at the time. We were using a GPS which had a tendency to take us down some really "secondary" roads - many were more like dirt tracks. Pulling up a winding hill on a very narrow road somewhere in the northwest I said: "I wonder how old this road is"... Stuart replied "judging from that Saxon church over there, I'd guess it's pretty old." I sympathize with the problem of other drivers... I've been nearly driven into a hedge by a tractor that was at least as wide as the road it was traveling on. Of course, we have the same problem here but, for the most part, the roads are wider, even the old ones like mine although that is probably due to the fact that none are anywhere near as old many of yours.


The church probably pre-dated the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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In Norfolk, England, we have 124 of the 185 surviving round tower churches in the UK. I believe the reason was, that flint was a cheap local resource, trying to build square corners without bricks is rather difficult, if not  impossible, bricks at that time were also expensive. They did knap flints, to make flint blocks, but this must have been expensive both price and eye wise!  From our barn there are a about 5 or 6 of old churches within easy walking distance. One of the nearest has a round tower. Three medieval churches sit in a line along the Holt to North Walsham road, each about half a mile apart and all very different from each other. The middle one is this lonely church of All Saints, Thwaite.


There is no Thwaite village, but there is a Thwaite common. The tower on this probably dates from the 12th century, with bell openings of a century later. It was built against an already existing church, although the defining features of that church now are newer. The south aisle can be dated, by will evidence, as from the 1440's, but it was the early 19th century which brought the large school room built onto the north side of the chancel. Last year the lead on roof was stolen. They eventually found the guy who stole the lead, from the DNA of a cigarette end he left behind. His mitigating plea was that he stole the lead because he was very religious! The roof cladding has now been replaced with stainless steel. Many churches in the UK seem to be having the same problem with lead theft. Although, I am not religious, I feel it is a great shame that people will steal things like this..

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It's when they steal bronze War Memorial plaques that you know the bottom of the barrel has been well and truly scraped.?



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The Stocks!


This is a photo of the stocks outside the Church at Shalford village where I used to live.  


Funny thing, crime is very low in the area.?


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In 2010 my wife and I spent four weeks in a motorhome in England. We spent our time visiting four and five star churches and National Trust stately homes. It was our Ancient Architecture and National Treasures Tour!  Wonderful. A good reference on churches is England's Thousand Best Churches by Simon Jenkins. Others have set up web sites about it with maps and photographs. Cathedrals are not included. Britain must have suddenly had a lot of resources available after Waterloo and many churches were rebuilt during the Victorian period, destroying much old stuff -- not least because many of them were falling down from years of neglect.


Back to The Job. Your restoration is a joy to watch, Mike. Keep it up.

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I certainly agree viz the war memorial plaques... and the church roofs as well and you've reminded me of a good story...

Years ago, when I was in the old car refurbishment business, I patronized the Rumford Brass foundry in Pawtucket, RI. The owner, Raoul Goyette (it was a one-man shop) was the third generation to own the foundry. I was there one day with some bits to be cast when a "biker" pulled up. I don't remember what he wanted but Raoul immediately recognized the back-rest on the bike - a WWI grave marker. To simply describe Raoul as strong would be a gross understatement. After a lifetime of pouring metal, he had arms like Popeye. Without saying anything, he walked over to the bike and wrenched the grave marker off - breaking both of the lower arms... he told the biker to "get the &*() out of here and never come back."

Edited by JV Puleo
extra space bar (see edit history)
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There is a good chance Thwaite was one of the villages wiped out in the Black Death and never rebuilt. There were a lot of them. The famous "rotten borough" Old Sarum was one - the village was gone but it still had a seat in Parliment which was effectively in the possession of the landholder. Horace Walpole sat for Old Sarum.

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The North Norfolk village we lived in before we converted the barn, we are in now, had two parts to the village, Southrepps Upper Street and Southrepps Lower Street. It is believed locally that this situation came about due to the Black Death which took place from 1348-1350. The church which is in Upper Street is thought to have been the original village and then the surviving villagers moved a mile away and built the new village (Lower Street). Both parts of the village have communities now but are separated by farm land. I believe these split villages are quite common in England.

Anyway back to Humberette's …..


After working out the length of the longest length of wood for the 3 off top hoops my attention turned to how to hide the gap at the sides of the trunk.

The wood infill section was past using again and I needed something at least 1" wide to hide the pins holding the sheet metal to the ash framing. I ordered a length of 1" half round aluminium moulding which if I cut correctly should hide the join.


Because it needs to be shaped at both ends I thought I had better make a cardboard template. I will cut the aluminium a bit longer than the template and the shape it with my Dremel type tool. I bought enough moulding for the two sides plus one mistake! Lets hope I don't make two mistakes!


I marked up the pattern on each side and put it away with the moulding. I will cut the material when I have finished the hidden fixings for the trunk hinge panel.


I cut the metal brackets for the top strengthening bracket on the LH top front of the trunk.


And found 'bits of metal to make up the battery tray come bottom LH strengthening bracket.


I've got this 'rubber'? sheet material that I shall used to insulate the battery from the metal. My idea is to have a 3/4" metal strap hooked into a slot cut into the top of the angle iron section to the right of the battery and then the top of the bent metal strap holding the battery screwed to the plywood strengthening panel. This strap will also be lined with the rubber.


Before scribing for holes I painted the metal bits with marking out blue.


Because I was using scraps of metal angle and flat sheet I need to join these two bits together. I have laid them on some box section to hopefully get them flat and 'V'ed out between them for welding.


For cutting steel these 1mm thick cutting discs in an angle grinder are just brilliant. You can cut very accurately once you get used to using them.


Marking out the hole positions with odd leg callipers.


Starting to get somewhere now.


Screws selected and holes drilled and countersunk.


Once the trunk hinge board is fitted there won't be much of the extra metal brackets visible and it should strengthen the trunk to body join. A bit 'belt and braces'.


A grit blast in the cabinet and a couple of tacks to hold the two bits in place before the welding begins.


Just to check that it fits before I fully weld it.


I don't think that will come apart easily.


The part blasted again and the back ground flat with the angle grinder with the flap wheel fitted.


It fits. Now to make and weld the other bits for the battery tray and the other strengthening brackets.




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I am still getting used to using wood screws! The LH side of the bracket will screw into the plywood strengthening and the original side panel. I don't want to go any deeper than 30mm maximum. Normally on an old car I would not use Pozidrive screws, but that is all I seem to have and the brackets I am adding, for strengthening, are hidden away. I suppose I can change the screws later if they really offend me.


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I am still getting used to using wood screws! The LH side of the bracket will screw into the plywood strengthening and the original side panel. I don't want to go any deeper than 30mm maximum. Normally on an old car I would not use Pozidrive screws, but that is all I seem to have and the brackets I am adding, for strengthening, are hidden away. I suppose I can change the screws later if they really offend me.

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Sorry, I had to close the last post quickly. There I was in the living room quietly writing my report when the better half came in and put the telly on. I decided to move to the kitchen with the laptop still on and something slid onto the keys and changed the screen size. Still can't get my screen looking normal but never mind aye!


While I remember. This trunk lid hinge support panel is made up of two pieces. I attempted to try and undo the screws. I tried most of the tricks, including using a hot soldering iron on the heads - no joy. In the end I gave up and decided to let the screws stay in place. When I turned the panel over later, I noticed a crack had opened up in a line of filler in a grain groove. I used a Dremel tool to grind out the crack and squeezed some wood glue into the crack. I left it overnight with my BIG copper hide mallet weighing it down and closing the crack.


The next day after the glue had gone off, I made some wooden plugs to fill the 4 x holes that I want to get rid of, as I am going to screw this panel down to affix to the side panel with screws from the underside through the top metal bracket that I'm making. Glued and tapped the plugs into place and another wait for the glue to go off. You don't get this waiting game with welding. Anybody would think I'm biased!?!


Measuring up for the length of metal I need for making the clamp for the battery to hold it in place.

I now have run out of time to finish this part of this post. Just realised that I am meant to be going to meet the other Saga Louts at the pub. It's our weekly get together where we 'put the world to rights'.


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When I retired, fourteen years ago I bought this drill/milling machine new. I find it is fine for drilling, but have never been very happy with using it as a mill. My previous milling work was when I was at college, a long time ago. I thought the problems with the milling were down to my lack of experience. Four years ago an old friend died and just before he died he asked if I would like to purchase his large milling machine and large lathe. Since I have owned these machines I have hardly used them. I think I was afraid of milling machine? I tried using it once for a small job and managed to shatter a cutter! Since joining this forum I have been following other restoration posts. One in particular is on a 1910 Michell. Joe does a lot of machining and he has given me the courage to 'have a go'.


I wanted to cut a slot in the battery tray I am making for the car to hold the battery clamp. I thought this would be a good time to try the Archdale mill again on a simple job. I drilled a hole each end of the slot and then cut the slot.


Success - thank you Joe , and this forum. If I had tried this on the other machine the cut would have 'wandered' and not been as straight as this. I am sure I will now use this milling machine a lot more now.


With the slot cut I could now tack the two bits of angle together with the MIG.


Checking the battery will fit before I go any further.


The hole was drilled in the strap to hold the clamp in place at the top and the strap set up in the vice to bend it at right angles.


Now to weld the end plates on.


Now to grind off the excess weld.


Checking again that it all fits and that the welding has not distorted the bracket too much. I will then clean this up in the blast cabinet ready for some paint and get on with the other brackets that are going at the top of the trunk.


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I shattered a big face mill very early on. It does cause you to hesitate.

About 90% of the problems with milling come from having to bolt the work down REALLY tight and "speeds & feeds". For my jobs, I find that it never hurts to go slower than the recommended speeds. I do use one of the online "feed & speed" calculators but they are optimized for industrial purposes. Often my machines won't even go as fast as the recommended speeds.

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