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Everything posted by Gary_Ash

  1. It will take many steps to go from a Scotchbrite pad to 1500 grit paper. As I recall, a green Scotchbrite is about 400 grit. Maybe some aircraft stripper will remove the paint without harming the aluminum. Then you can go from 80/120/220/400/600/1200/1500 grit in stages if you really need polished and shiny. It’s doubtful that the original part was polished to this degree, probably a nice sand casting. Try a small pneumatic orbital sander (Tractor Supply, etc.) with a 2” hook-and-loop pad to work your way through the grades of grit.
  2. The upper and lower parts on the cowl have different part numbers, as do the parts on opposite sides, i.e. four different part numbers. I measured my trim, think the lower one is about 1/16" shorter than the upper. If you can get a long strip of the trim from the hood, door, or rear quarter of a 1941 car, I think you could cut and reform the ends to make what you need. You might have to make up some little pieces for the 45-degree cut ends and the square-cut ends and glue them in. Over the 6.62" long pieces, I don't think any difference in curvature on the mounting surface would matter. There is about 0.090" crown at the middle of the part. Dennis Dupont said he had to buy an entire '41 parts car just to get some of the trim pieces. I don't think roll-forming new pieces from stainless sheet is a task for amateurs, and tooling would be expensive, though that is probably how the original parts were made. Parts could be 3D printed as patterns for casting in bronze or zinc and chrome plating - it's just time and money. That's how I made the mirror shown above. The original trim pieces are ~0.014" thick stainless steel, probably 410 series (magnetic), weigh almost nothing. An off-the-wall alternative would be to 3D print some patterns, paint them with conductive paint (or use electrically conductive PLA filament for 3D printing), and electroform a copper skin over them, then chrome plate. Here's a CAD rendering of the left upper part. It would weigh about 3.6 ounces in solid bronze.
  3. McMaster-Carr carries F1 felt in various thicknesses up to 1" thick in 12" x 12" sheets.
  4. I started on the last major wire form for the body - the belly pan. The pan is about 32.5" wide below the cockpit, tapers slightly to the front and a lot to the rear. At the back end, it goes under the axle, gets very narrow and curves up to meet the tail section. The front end goes up to the joint between the engine block and the bell housing, but needs to be profiled to follow the shape of the cross member and bell housing. I drew up the basic shape on the CAD system and started figuring out the shapes and dimensions I needed. The pan needs to be 6" deep with a 3" radius at the bottom and around the front corner. I made a bending tool for the 1/4" diameter steel rod used for the wire form from a bunch of steel scrap, angle iron, 1/2" bolts, etc. This allowed me to get the lengths of the short legs and the radius exactly reproducible so that I wouldn't have later issues hammering the aluminum sheet metal to fit. The first wire form I made used cold rolled steel rod. It's nice stuff but quite stiff. Hot rolled rod bends much easier and can be hand-tuned to match a curve. Fortunately, my bending tool made the 14 hoops I needed with just the right radius. After a few tests, I found I could cut a length of rod, bend both ends, and have it fit exactly. The front section of the form is mostly done, but now I need to climb under the car to figure out the shapes to match the joint with the tail. Old guys like me should not have lie under any car for long - it's hard to get back on my feet. Once the form is done, I'll be back at Pro Shaper to cut, hammer, and roll 0.062" aluminum to form the pan. As I was told by the owners of the original cars, you don't step on the belly pan when climbing in because there is no support under the aluminum skin. Lots more work in store to finish the wire form before I go off to Pro Shaper again next month. Original Indy car showing belly pan. Belly pan at rear of car. Rod bender. Rod bender with rod on 3" outside radius. Wire form (upside down) for front section of belly pan as welding progresses.
  5. The link should read "" (without the quote marks). You may have been using "http" instead of "https".
  6. Getting the drawings for the parts from the Studebaker National Museum is a good start. The drawings should show the part numbers for the original manufacturer's part numbers. There are cross reference books for these. The cork seals can probably be replaced by seals cut from #1 Felt once you know the i.d., o.d., and thickness. I've used pieces of copper pipe and exhaust tubing with sharpened edges to cut seal rings. There should be a modern seal replacement for the leather seal.
  7. How about a side view mirror instead of the upper trim piece on the driver's side? I have two available.
  8. Actually, while Wray and an employee made the wireforms, the panel beating on the Macauley speedster has all been done by his students, some of them complete novices. Even us old dogs can learn new tricks, and young dogs can learn very fast. Wray is a good teacher and has high standards for accepting a panel. He's not afraid to say, "Throw that one out and start again!" In my previous post here, I had called it a McAuley Buick speedster - my mistake, it is a Macauley PACKARD speedster. See this:
  9. Wray Schelin at ProShaper in Charlton, MA has a similar body well under way. It’s a replica of the Macauley Packard speedster.
  10. Joe, we're all missing your interesting posts, awaiting your return. You probably just got lost in all those old books. Hope you are having a good time. Have a pint in a pub for us.
  11. Keep track of the hours and dollars? Leave evidence of my profligacy? Not a good idea, Mike, my wife would want full quid pro quo. I've told the adult children that I'm spending their inheritance now. That said, I've been going to Wray's for about 2 years now, off and on, will still need a few (ha ha) more visits there to finish the body.
  12. Another 3-day session at ProShaper working on tuning the tail surfaces and finishing the seats. On the seats, I ground the welds almost flush, planished them to level things out, and finally ground them smooth with 240 grit paper on a small orbital sander. After trimming the excess material at the edges, I did a test fit of the seats into the opening in the tail. A lot of work remains before they can be welded in. The front edge of the seat bottoms got trimmed square and I riveted some 3/4 x 3/4 x .062" aluminum angle supports to the front edge and sides. These will stiffen the seats as there is no steel framework under them. I'm still not sure why the original cars had various pieces riveted on, but I'm doing it the same way. With the seat area trimmed to about 1/4" larger than the wire form, I annealed the edges at the sides and hammered-and-dollied them over the 1/4" wire rods to make a 90 degree bend in preparation for eventually welding the seats to the outer tail skin. Seating area assembled, trimmed to size, and supports riveted in. Test fitting the seats into the tail section. The tail will be trimmed to match the seating area edges and welded all around. Rolling the edges over for the future weld joint. In what seems like an endless task, Wray and I spent many hours going over and over the tail surfaces. Several "sweeps" were used to check the curvature front-to-back and side-to-side. The sweeps are made from 1/8" aluminum plate cut to an exact radius. The idea is to get the metal surface to match the sweep exactly, i.e. within 1/32" or better. Running your fingers over the surface, you can feel very small bumps and depressions, and a sweep will rock on a high spot. Testing the surface with a sweep. For low spots, I climbed into the tail and held a dolly against the metal while Wray tapped with a hammer on the outside to bring up the level. This works because the tapping stretches the metal, forcing it upwards. We each had a small magnet so that Wray could place one on a spot outside, and my magnet on the inside would be attracted to the spot where I would place the dolly. He'd call out, "Up a 1/2", forward 1/4", etc. so I could move the dolly to where he wanted to hit next. Being inside the tail while Wray hammers is a good way to get deaf. To move larger areas, we used his newly-developed portable planishing hammer and also his largest English wheel. Wray's 35" deep portable planishing hammer. He previously made a 51" deep version (hard to maneuver), plans on a 30" version. A light coat of blue Dykem spray followed by a light pass with a straight sanding board highlights low and high spots. The other technique we used was to gently heat a high spot and then quickly tap the area with a heavy steel slapper. This shrinks the metal locally but also moves the surrounding areas a bit. Eventually, we'll have the entire surface smooth to within a few thousandths of an inch. This will greatly reduce the need for any Bondo or heavy primer before painting. Quickly heating a small area for shrinking a high spot. Note wire form for tail in background. Using the slapper on the heated area to bring down a high spot. When the shape is right, the sweep fits with minimal gap.
  13. Al, as a P.S., it may not be practical to form the flange in the disks to serve as a 1/4” spacer. Neglecting whatever radius is used at the corner, you would need to turn up 1/4” of metal. To fit on the 5/8” pipe, the hole in the center of the disk would only be 1/8” diameter. Then the metal has to stretch to fit the 5/8” diameter, reducing the thickness to about 0.002” at the outer end. I don’t think the copper will do this without tearing. As I recall, the length limit on forming a flange this way is about 2 to 3 times the metal thickness.
  14. Gee, calculating the size of radiator components turns out to be a complex problem, especially when we don’t know how much heat the engine generates. Perhaps an ancient 2-cylinder engine is only about 20% efficient, as a guess based on only a little data. So, to get 15 hp to the transmission, we need 75 hp in heat or 56 kW. Of that, 11 kW becomes mechanical work, 22.5 kW goes out the exhaust pipe, and 22.5 kW goes into the water. At idle or low speed, much less heat is generated. For the engine idling and air speed over the radiator is near zero, we get some convection cooling. As the car speed increases, the air velocity provides more cooling. However, I haven’t found any really good data for heat transfer coefficients for air over your finned tube configuration. It’s probably in the range of 100-1000 W/m2 -K. We science guys like those metric units! Then we follow some complex equations using the tube diameter and diameter and thickness of your copper disks. Where the disk is bonded to the tube, it’s temperature is assumed to be the same as the tube. At the outer edge of the disk, the disk is cooler so it transfers less heat per unit area. Hence, larger disks add more weight but don’t add a lot more cooling. If you want the science, read this: A 2” disk of 0.010” thickness falls at about 0.43 on the horizontal axis and follows the line labeled “3”, yielding a fin efficiency of about 83%. For 1680 disks of 2” o.d, and 0.01” thickness, the disks will weigh about 14.2 lbs and should dissipate about 7.7 kW with the car not moving (water at 160F, air at 70F). The pipes themselves will dissipate some more heat. At speed, the cooling capacity will increase, should keep up with the engine heat. I don’t think you will see a lot of improvement for 0.020” thick disks over 0.010” thick ones. In the end, just try to copy what worked back then. Have fun at the punch and go easy on the solder - it’s heavy.
  15. Harry Benchwick charged me $175 per carb plus the cost of the rebuild kits. I was able to give him 3 correct kits that I had bought previously. There was one more that he could not use. so he charged me for a new one. A rebuild kit with gaskets, etc. now costs $60-$80. I think the charges are typical.
  16. Al: have a look at They make a lot of different types of finned tube. For 5/8” tube, they seem to have options for 4 fins/inch ( or more) with up to 1/2” fin height (1-5/8” dia) - very close to what you want. As the fin diameter increases, the fin needs to be thicker to conduct the heat, so they offer 0.020” thick disks for 1-5/8” dia. Assuming your 2 cylinder engine is about 15 hp, at 746 W/hp, you need to get rid of about 11 kW of heat. With 5 rows high, 3 rows deep, 28” wide, you will have 1680 fin disks plus 420” of tube surface for heat exchange. It sounds like enough, but there are equations for this kind of heat transfer. Worst case is the car stationary and zero air velocity over the fins, e.g. the car in a parade. I’d advise trying to buy the finned tubes pre-made, as you could spend a lot of time - and money - pressing disks, mounting, and soldering. I followed how Sloth made his radiator, save yourself the work!
  17. I think the photos that Harry Benchwick sent me make the carbs look more yellow than they actually are. The carbs arrived at my house today, so I put them on some bright white paper, took some pictures, then adjusted the color to get the paper looking white in Photoshop Elements to take out any residual color cast due to the fluorescent lights in my office. Here is a photo that captures the actual colors pretty well. The zinc bodies are more of a tan or olive than bright yellow. The cast iron bases look like the correct dull black. Otherwise, the appearance of all the parts looks good, clips in place, throttle and choke plates move freely.
  18. Since I didn't find an original 1941 Studebaker mirror or a left side one made by Jay Fisher, I decided to make my own. Using the airbrushed picture from the Studebaker accessories brochure, I drew the mirror in my 3D CAD program, printed out some patterns on my 3D printer, and had the parts plaster investment cast in silicon bronze. They got drilled and tapped, polished, and chrome plated. The mirror heads are from some commercial peep mirrors, as it was too complicated to make some that would tilt. To mount the mirror, the two 10-24 nuts on the inside of the cowl that retain the short trim strip are removed, the trim pushed out, and the mirror drops into the existing holes in DeluxTone models. I made four mirrors, will keep one, one more is spoken for. I have two available at $350 each. Sorry they are not cheaper, but the costs add up fast when you only make a few. Let me know if you want one.
  19. I had Harry send me some photos of the carbs. Color may not suit you but OK for my needs.
  20. Try Harry Benchwick at Benchwick Carburetor in Youngstown OH. He has a FaceBook page. A friend just got an EX-23 rebuilt there, looked good enough that I sent Harry four EX-23 carbs (6-62 model from 1937 Dictators) about 3 weeks ago for my Indy car project. I just got an email that they are finished - pretty quick. Only downside is that he can only do yellow zinc finish on the bodies, not clear, but I can live with that. I’ll post photos in a couple of days when I get home from a trip. Here is a “before” photo:
  21. When it's just a piece of tube that is supposed to be totally straight, lay it on a concrete floor, place a short piece of 2x8 over it at a 45 degree angle, and roll it with a foot. If the tube has other bends, like a complex brake line, it's more difficult, but maybe it could still be done on the corner of a table or a step.
  22. Of course you can continue to be auburnseeker: nobody can have just one!
  23. Between MWS, Richards Bros., and Orson Equipment (UK), you should be able to get what you want. See Orson Equipment’s FaceBook page or web site. The things I had made in China were by special arrangement through a friend, not a normal commercial source, but I did get exactly what I wanted and more. If you can, buy complete wheels, spinners, and the hubs from one vendor so that you can be sure that it all fits together. Drop center rims may not be original, but it greatly expands the options for tire shops that can/will mount and balance your tires. Damaged or improperly installed lock rings can kill. Whoever makes your hubs will want detailed dimensions of your spindles, knuckles, and the bearings to be used.
  24. The Rudge/Dunlop designs and tooling were sold to Wheels India long ago, still in production. You can buy what you need from MWS Wire Wheel ( in England, authorized distributor. MWS carries the wheel centers and various types of rims, will drill the centers and lace the wheels to your order. Unless you are absolutely set on rims with lock rings, wheels with drop centers and without lock rings are more agreeable to modern tire shops. Your challenge will be to find someone willing to machine new hubs and cut the 100 splines for 62 mm centers. While the listed dimensions are in mm, the original designs were in inches, hence the odd dimensions. Here is the table from Alec Ulmann's article from years ago about hub dimensions and my design for 72 mm hubs to fit my 1929 axle spindles:
  25. I've spent about 3 days a month for the last two years at Wray Schelin's Pro Shaper shop in Charlton, MA (see Wray has 20,000 sq ft of shop, more equipment than almost any shop could imagine. It's about 75 miles north from Newport, RI. Wray used to take on major projects, but has nearly given it up to focus on giving classes and selling his own line of English wheels and power hammers. Frankly, I've been amazed at the number and quality of youngish, e.g. 40s and under, people who have been there for classes, some for weeks on end. The students have come from all over the country -and Canada, South America, Europe. Some of them are already doing restoration or building street rods. [See my Indy car thread under the Speedsters part of this forum.] So, at least some people believe in a future market for coach building skills. Wray's biggest issue with the restoration and coach building business is the ability of customers to actually pay for the project through completion. Too many people start a restoration or custom build project and run out of cash in the middle, leaving the shop owner with unpaid bills and an unfinished car cluttering the shop. Admittedly, it is difficult to accurately estimate the time required to coach-build a car to high standards. Few people have pockets deep enough to fully fund such a project, but they are out there. I don't think material costs are a major cost item: my Studebaker Indy car project has consumed 4 or 5 sheets of aluminum for the body, say $500. But, the cost of the machines, space, and overheads can be very significant, as indicated by the above discussions of health insurance costs. When I started on the body for my car, I couldn't find anyone in New England who would take on the whole project and make the body the shape I wanted. I didn't want someone else's view of how it should look or be assembled, I wanted to copy the original Indy cars. Had your business been in operation back then, I might have become a customer. But, I've been hammering and wheeling aluminum for a couple of years now, might just make it to journeyman status about the time the body is finished. Wray is a full black-belt master and artist of the forming stump, English wheel, TIG welder, power hammer, and more. Maybe you should just make Wray an offer he can't refuse, take over his shop, and keep him on to advise and assist. I don't know anyone else who wants to work 9:00 am to 10:00 pm 7 days a week. He's there every day, so go talk to him. He could steer some business your way. Good luck, and I hope you get started in New England soon. Wray Schelin at one of his English wheels.