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1937hd45

THE ACTIVE BRASS CAR Forum

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I am currently not a brass era owner but I am a "wanna-be" The closest project I have to qualify is a massive Wisconsin 6 cylinder t-head engine (5-3/4"x7") looking for a suitable chassis.

 

What interests me are the technical articles - not only about the technology of the day but the "how to" or how I did it articles and stories. I always look forward to David Greenlees shop stories over on "The Old Motor" website.

 

When I hear people talk about having to fabricate parts and body pieces I keep thinking how wonderful it would be to see photos and read an article associated with such work. Yes, these automobiles are unique but there is still much to glean from such resources.

 

Best regards,

 

Terry

 

As found.

11-23-08e.JPG

 

 

Intake manifold patterns & core boxes

100_3697-c.jpg

 

 

Work in progress

IMGP9256.JPG

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)

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  I will probably have to have an arm made and use the body as is unless I get real lucky and find a donor mag in good condition.  It is a model X n the bottom, never seen another one for sale.

 

 

 

I have a Splitdorf EU4 mag here that I'd be happy to sell.

 

Peter

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post-99220-0-35591300-1455039649_thumb.jpost-99220-0-02870000-1455039724_thumb.j

 

As long as we asking for help I was looking for this book. Motor book 1904 new York. I know the Horseless carriage library dose not have it. I have a registration tag 7044 on my car and was wondering if it was original to it.

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Terry the engine is great,did you make the patterns for the water outlets on the cylinders?Would like to hear about that part of the project

cheers Pete

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Hello Pete,

Yes I did. When I started this project all the brass and bronze pieces were missing. Since out of the 8 surviving engines (that we know of) only two are 100% complete finding replacements was not an option. Like many of us I could not afford to pay a skilled craftsman to fabricate the patterns so reading books and lurking around the internet I taught myself.

 

For the actual casting I met a very talented gentleman with a backyard foundry. You would be surprised how many people are into foundry work as a hobby! Anyway he cast the parts for me and I got hands-on foundry experience.

 

To date I have had the upper water manifold pieces cast as well as the intake manifold, oil pump drive housing and valve shrouds.. Once warm weather arrives I will start brazing together the intake manifold which, like the original, is fabricated from castings joined by brass pipe. Currently I just have one pattern and a couple of core boxes to complete for the lower water manifold.

 

If you folks are interested in more detail let me know and I will talk you through it. Other tasks included fabricating new valves, new valve guides, several roller lifters as well as a ton of misc. parts - sight gauge, water pump, shaft, bushings etc.

 

Best regards,

 

Terry

 

100_4445.JPG

 

Intake manifold castings

IMG_4064.JPG

 

 

3D model - Intake manifold assembly

Intake%252520Manifold.jpg

 

In addition I needed some builders plates to I taught myself how to etch my own

Lombard%252520Log%252520Hauler.JPG

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Terry, I Googled Lombard Truck, was your engine once in one with rear tracks, like a WWII Half Track? I wonder if the old tracked truck in the Connecticut Antique Machinery collection is a Lombard? If it is I'm only 45 minutes away to check out details for you. Bob

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Terry beautiful work.I am running home made pistons in my 12 Mcintyre that a retired tool and die maker cast in his basement, I was the gopher that day.I would really like

to know the in and outs of the etching the brass plates.Look forward to your response Peter

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Another worthwhile contribution might be to compile a bibliography of the works may of us have, and have found useful. Many of these can still be found, and often aren't terribly expensive, but difficult to find if you don't have titles and authors. I'd gladly start this but I'm n the UK at the moment and won't be home (where the books are) until next month.

 

And, yes, Terry's work is inspiring. As soon as I get back I'm starting on the fittings for an intake manifold using his techniques.

 

jp

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)

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Thanks guys,

 

I believe the tractor in CT. is a Linn. H.H. Linn was a salesman for Lombard back in the early days. Most Lombards were equipped with skis. The skis could easily be replaced with wheels for use in the non-winter months - which seem to be few up here!

 

In regards to the photo etching here is the method I use.

 

The most daunting task is creating the artwork. I use AutoCAD but graphic programs such as Photoshop etc. work well also. The important thing is that the resulting artwork can be printed off exactly the correct size. When creating the artwork the black line work and areas represent areas that will be masked and not etched. Many times I work from a scan of an original plate. A flatbed scanner is best or at the very least a nice straight on photo. I import the image into AutoCAD, scale to exact size and trace over it. Trying to match fonts can be tricky. On most of the plates I have done I had to trace around each letter since a suitable font could not be found. Yes, its time consuming but well worth the effort.

 

img062.jpg

 

Once the artwork is complete the image is mirrored. If, as in the case of the moto-meter, you want the etching process to make the holes and cut the shape, you will need to make artwork for the back as well. Again, areas that do not have artwork will be etched - this means, in the case of the moto-meter face, that all of the back will be masked with the exception of the holes and the perimeter which we want to have etched clear through.

 

Here is an example: In this case the image or "mask" has already been transferred to the brass sheet (more on that in a bit) Registration marks (not visible in the photo) are included in the artwork so the front and the back can be aligned accurately.

MASK.jpg

 

Now that we have the artwork or "mask" we have to transfer it to the brass. I use a film material called PNP Blue. Its used to etch circuit boards. First, using a laser printer (ink jet will not work), we print our mirrored artwork onto the PNP blue. Next, we take a clean sheet of brass - and I mean clean! Wash it with hot soap and water and wipe down with lacquer thinner or acetone. You do not want any finger prints etc. You also want to keep it free of scratches. I also rub the sheets down with very fine steel wool. Above all make sure the brass is free of burrs on the cut edges. The iron needs to travel over a smooth flat surface and have 100% contact with the film. Now position your brass on a very smooth, flat surface - I use a piece of MDF. Position your art work face down on the brass. If you have to mask the back as I had to for the moto-meter, print the artwork on the PNP blue so it can be folded to form a pocket for the brass. After carefully aligning the registration marks I staple it on the edge - don't stable it too close to the image or your iron will keep running over the staple.

 

Now lay a piece of clean paper over the PNP blue - this helps to protect the film. Using a clothes iron set on high (no steam) apply plenty of pressure and iron the away. The heat and pressure will transfer the image to the brass. It takes some trial and error but eventually you will know when enough is enough or isn't. It helps a lot to pre-heat the brass - I use my wife's toaster oven. Once you are finished ironing quickly drop the hot brass and attached film into ice water. The cold water will allow you to very easily remove the film without damaging the mask - in fact it should come off by itself.

 

If all goes well, and it might take a few tries, you will have a nice blue mask transferred to the brass as shown above. Any scratches etc. in the mask can be touched-up with a Sharpie permanent marker. In addition, I like to put marker on the exposed cut edges of the brass - this helps prevent undercutting of the mask at the edges which can cause the mask to lift prematurely. If your doing a one-sided plate, such as a builders plate, use clear packing tape to protect the back of the plate from being etched and wrap it over the exposed edges. If for some reason your mask didn't come out right you can wash it off with acetone and start over.

 

Now the fun part... lets play with ACID! There are lots of formulas but the one I like is good old Muriatic acid and hydrogen peroxide. I get my acid at the local big box store in the masonry section - a gallon jug is pretty cheap. I use a mixture 2:1 hydrogen peroxide to Acid. You may have to experiment a bit with this since acid can vary in concentration and heat can have an effect as well. Too much acid and the mask will lift long before the desired etched depth is reached - too little and after a long, long time your mask will lift with little to nothing to show for the time. Remember your dealing with acid so PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is a must as well as common sense.

 

Here is a plate in the etchant  - note the marker used to correct blemishes in the mask and around the edge

100_4113.JPG

 

 

During the etching process you will need to agitate the solution - nothing fancy, just gently rock the container a bit to create some wave action. This washes the sediment off the face and exposes clean brass to the etchant. When the etching process has removed enough material remove the plate from the solution and wash with water. The remaining mask can be removed with acetone. The brass will be discolored. However, this is easily removed with very fine steel wool.

 

You can see in this photo how the use of a back and front mask allowed the acid to not only etch the relief on the face but also cut the hole and the shape of the plate.

100_4114.JPG

 

Plate ready for paint

img068.jpg

Now its time to finish our plate. I use rattle can Rustoleum. I start with the back ground which in this case is black. Once the paint is fully cured its time to start sanding. Again, use a nice flat smooth surface - make sure the plate is free of burrs etc. and can lay perfectly flat. Using a smooth piece of wood with fine 600-800 grit wet-dry paper wetted with dish soap and water, gently begin sanding. Do not press down to speed up the work! Take your time and let the sand paper and the weight of the wood do the work. Rinse the paper often so it doesn't  gum up. What you want to do is remove the paint off of the high areas of the relief. Don't over sand or you will loose the relief. If your design requires a second color apply that to the areas as required. If the areas are small, a toothpick works well for this. After it cures sand it as you did the background color.

 

Go over the finished plate with very, very fine steel wool. This will polish the exposed brass and give an even dull sheen to the painted areas. If you wish you can apply clear lacquer. Now stand back and admire your work!

 

If needed you can silver the exposed brass as well. I use a liquid plating solution. After painting you simply rub it on. It works quite well.

 

Untitled.jpg

 

 

100_3668.JPG

I hope this helps!

 

Best regards,

 

Terry

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)

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WOW  excellent info it does take a few times to read and get the full impact of what is being presented but I think we will give it a try  thanks Terry for the lesson  Peter

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Hello Pete,

 

if you use a mask on both sides of the plate the acid will cut it out for you. It simple eats through from both sides. which makes life a lot easier when your doing a complex shape like the moto-meter face.

 

On the single sided plates, such as that builders plate for the engine, it was only masked on one side - the back was protected by clear packing tape. I included a thin boundary to mark the edges of the plate in the artwork. Once the plate was etched I cut it out with a band saw and filed to the just inside the etched line.

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)

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So I came home Thursday to a package on my doorstep and the Splitdorf mag is back from NH!  This is good because I am going away soon and did not want it left on the stoop for an extended period.  I will start with two pictures to ask for help ID'ing this thing.  Is it a Model L as on the base side face (upper right corner of face) or Model X like the tag inside the magnets under the condenser?

 

post-76475-0-24822200-1455400047_thumb.j  post-76475-0-21837700-1455400048_thumb.j

 

Thanks,

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Here are pictures of the damaged parts of the distributor.  First is of the broken arm that the linkage from the steering column attaches to.  It was a round end with a threaded hole that crumbled when I loosened the connector in it.  The next two show the ear on the body that mounts the stationary point on the inside and the stud for wire connection on the outside.  One shows it in place in the yellow box while the other shows it removed like a sub-assembly.  The cap actually clamps down and keeps this point in place very nicely.

 

post-76475-0-90616100-1455424285_thumb.j  post-76475-0-31982400-1455424287_thumb.j  post-76475-0-88826300-1455424288_thumb.j

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