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My 1910 Mitchell "parts car" project


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Today was unscheduled. I had planned to work in the yard if it was nice but it rained last night and we have a minor leak in the roof in the office so I came in to check to see if there was much water in the bucket...and discovered it was completely empty. So, I went down to the shop and made a couple of 1" buttons with a 3/8 hole in the center. These will be used to get the center-to-center measurement for the bolts that will hold the 2nd bracket.

 

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I have the measurement for the first bracket  4.108 " so I set it up in the mill in order to use the table advance to get the measurement exact.

 

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Then center drilled and drilled the holes.

 

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They came out fine so I bolted the bracket to the crankcase and use the little tool I'd made for the pattern to locate the center of the threaded sleeve.

 

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I also put the buttons on the rear two holes to get a proper measurement. The distance between centers for the first two is 4.108. The distance on the 2nd two is 4.273. Neither make any sense and you have to wonder how they managed to build cars when their notion of precision was so loose. It certainly illustrates why Cadillac won the Dewar trophy.

 

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I had planned to mow my grass today but after spending an hour or more changing toe belt on the mower I discovered I'd bought the wrong one...so I'll have to wait another week by which time the grass might be 8" high. It's a good thing it's a relatively powerful mower and I'm not very fussy about how it comes out. In the meantime I came in to the shop to get at least something done today.

I drilled the bracket and set up the boring head.

 

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Then bored it out to 1.440 - the hole size for a 1-1/2 - 18 thread.

 

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Then threaded it.

 

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It isn't much but at least it's something. I have to insert the threaded sleeve and take the thickness down to 3/8". Holding it flat and tight and above the jaws of the chuck might be a trick but I have an idea I'll try out tomorrow.

 

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There are times when what should be a simple job fights back. This little bracket has fought back every inch of the way but I think it'd done now.

 

I managed to get the threaded sleeve in although this was a struggle because I'd threaded the OD to match a gauge I now realize was oversize...

 

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Then I drilled two holes and countersunk them for flat head 10-24 screws.

 

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The piece was then attached to a 1'x1' square bar which held it in the vice while I milled the surface - reducing the thickness and getting the sleeve perfectly flush on both sides.

 

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I got rid of the milling marks by using my bench-mounted belt sander.

 

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Then it went back in the mill and I removed the area where the holes were that held it down.

 

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Everything was a struggle but it fits and I was able to do a test fitting of the well.

 

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The test fitting showed that the threaded piece that connects the well to the bracket was too short so I had to make another.

 

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After I'd test fit it again, I soldered the threaded section into the cap.

 

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and here it is assembled. There is enough adjustment in the height of the well so that I can get it perfectly aligned with the oil tube on the bottom of the sump.

 

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Thanks Ed. I'm going to make the bolts for the sump since I want the thick heads with the slight crown. After all this, it would look dumb if I used hardware store bolts.

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After yesterday's ordeal, today went pretty smoothly. I started by putting the blocks and the intake manifold back on the crankcase. I didn't feel like doing it but I decided the only way I could be sure that the pieces fit was to see it in place. It was good I did because it turns out that the dipstick is located perfectly to just miss both the blocks and the manifold meaning that its length is no longer an issue, allowing me to make it much easier to reach.

 

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And from the side...

 

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I cut the tubing.

 

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And soldered in it's end. It doesn't show very well here but to heat it uniformly I put it in the lathe and ran it at threading speed while holding a propane torch on the seam.

 

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I also soldered all the pieces together...and here it is from the bottom

 

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And the top.

 

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If I can find one that I like, I'll replace the knurled knob with a brass ring which might make it easier to pull up.

The last step was to mill a flat on the dipstick. It still has to be regulated and marked but I'll need to have everything in place first so I can pour iol into the sump.

 

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With all that done I started on the other bracket. This one will be made as if I was going to use it. After I've verified all the measurements I will add some material and have it cast - then machine the casting. The casting will be stiffer than my assembled version and look much more "period."

 

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And I'm off tomorrow, going to Vermont to look at a car with a friend...Its a 3-hour ride each way so I won't be getting to the shop.

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Perhaps taking a day off was a good idea  — my friend did buy the car we went to look at (a 1920 Cadillac) and I have to say I really liked it. It was one of the most "untouched" cars I've seen in a long time.

This morning I went back to the bracket/pattern I started on Wednesday. I started by milling some slots.

 

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Then a 15/16 hole...

 

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I have to turn a radius on the end of this piece so I made an appropriate arbor for the rotary table.

 

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And milled the end round centered on the arbor.

 

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And pressed the parts together. I'd thought I'd have to glue them but the aluminum flat bar is just enough larger than the milled slots that it pressed together.

 

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I then milled two pieces to fit in the slots. These will be reinforcements.

 

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And pressed everything together.

 

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I still have to drill holes in the bottom. Then I'll mount it on the crankcase to check my measurements. The last step will be to convert this into a pattern so I can have one cast in one piece.

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Posted (edited)

I have to devote the next 3 days to catching up on the outside jobs I've offered to do for friends. I don't do outside work as a rule but I know from personal experience how difficult it is to get someone to make unusual or one-of-a-kind parts so I haven't the heart to refuse a friend when they are stuck. But, because I have to set the mill up for another job I thought I'd better drill the last two holes in the bracket and try it. It isn't perfect (but I didn't really expect it to be). It's designed so that the final fitting can be done by machining the casting. That was pretty much inevitable.

 

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I think it is just a tiny bit high and the bolts that attach it to the crankcase don't thread in perfectly. I suspect that is due to the irregular holes in the sump since I took the measurement off the threaded holes in the crankcase and the sump is now in between that and the bracket. I will add material to both ends, machine the surface where the 3-way fitting goes and then adjust the height by milling the surface that is bolted to the sump. I always suspected the holes in the sump were slightly off and given the "freehand" methods they appear to have used in drilling and tapping, that is hardly surprising.

 

When I'm done with the solder molds I was making I have to grind an Acme threading tool. I see from my ebay purchase list that the gauge I was waiting for has arrived but it's in the mail box and I don't have the key so I wont see that until Tuesday,. Still, I can now get started. I've also said I'll rebuilt the water pumps on the 1920 Cadillac my friend bought and I'm hoping that doesn't turn into a major undertaking. They aren't leaking badly so I suspect it's just a matter of new shafts - which are probably badly corroded from electrolysis. Aside from a couple of very ham-handed repairs  that look to have been done recently (like the electric fuel pump that puts out WAY to much pressure) the car is in astonishingly original condition. Of course the leather seal on the inside of the gas cap is missing which may be why the original pressure system isn't working. I'm always astonished by hack work (even though I shouldn't be). It's the first time I've ever seen an original belly pan for one or the linkage for the tipping head lights. The leather boots are still on the steering, rotted and falling apart but there nevertheless.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Over the weekend I finished the worst of my outside jobs...the job I thought would take 5 hours and, in fact, it took 5 days. Having finished that, today I had a case of the slows but still decided to get back to the crankcase. This required putting my extension plates on the table to get the case under the spindle.

 

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The first job is fixing the hole I drilled and tapped for the oil filler. Ages ago I made a threaded insert but when I was doing this earlier I thought "what the heck...I'll just tap the aluminum." Well, I made an error and the hole I drilled was very slightly too large so that the threads were very shallow. This has been bothering me for months so I decided to finally put the insert in that I'd originally planned. First I made a little centering fixture to line the hole up exactly with the spindle.

 

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That is a 1" end mill holder with a 1" to 1/2" bushing in it and a piece of 1/2" ground stock. When it slides easily between the end mill holder and the fixture in the case I know it's in line.

 

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Then it was bored out with an end mill I had ground to the correct diameter.

 

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Threaded.

 

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And the liner screwed in with some Loctite on the threads. I may face it off tomorrow with a big end mill just to get the top surface perfectly flat. There will be a thin fiber washer here to prevent leaks. I will be amazed if this car doesn't leak oil – all brass cars do but I'm trying to minimize it.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

I started today by finishing the oil filler hole with a big end mill...

 

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This was just to face the insert absolutely flush with the crankcase. I doubt if I took .010 off the surface.

 

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Now I won't be reluctant to screw the oil filler in tight for fear of stripping the threads.

 

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Then I had to reaggance the table extensions to get the magneto shelf under the spindle. This took some time. It's awkward and I tried a couple of ways of bolting the crankcase down before I thought of one that worked.

 

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I lined up the holes and bored the threads out with an end mill. Then I threaded them for the inserts. Because this is so low in relation to the top of the crankcase the tap only went in half way before the wrench hit the case...so I finished the threading with a 1/4 drive 8-point socket on the end of the tap. It didn't fit perfectly but it worked.

 

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then I moved the case in and did the second hole.

 

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The magneto mounting base with the inserts in place. You can see where the Mitchell company started drilling a hole in the wrong place and then corrected it.

 

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Then everything came apart again and I set up the crankcase arsm. These are getting much thicker inserts with 1/2" holes in the center.

 

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I threaded the hole and screwed in the first insert. It didn't go in quite as far as I wanted and there was no way to unscrew it or to force it. It was only about 1/8" so I left if. When the Locktite had set I gfaced it off with a big counterbore, again only just touching the surface of the aluminum.

 

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So as not to have that happen again or worse, have the insert get stuck half way in while the Locktite hardens I made this little turning tool...it's just a bolt, some washers a nut and a bushing but it allows me to tighten the nut and have the socket head of the bolt to use to screw it in.

 

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After which I finished the 2nd arm. I now have to ake it all down again and position the front arms under the spindle.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Joe, a few years ago I bought a small set of 3/8" drive sockets that have square ends and magnets inside to hold threading taps.

 

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I am not sure of the make that I bought, but I must have thought they were a reasonable price, or I would not have bought them!  Mike

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They are extremely handy. Mine are "Matco", and use o-rings to hold the tap in rather than magnets IIRC. I don't think they were inexpensive, but I bought them so long ago I don't remember what they cost.

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Posted (edited)

When I left yesterday I thought it was Friday so I was surprised when I looked at my computer at home to realize it was only Thursday...so rather than mow the lawn I came in to work on the crankcase. First I did the third arm...easy enough as I'd already done two of them.

 

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I left the challenging one for the end...

As you can see, this arm is badly corroded. The hole is corroded as well so while I can get close to the center I've no way of knowing if I have centered it perfectly.

 

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I centered it as well as I could and bored it.

 

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Then threaded it and ran the insert through without Locktite...the idea being to make absolutely certain it does not bind in the threads.

 

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I then took the case off the mill and bolted it to the engine stand. I tightened down the three arms that I'd bushed and screwed the last insert in with Locktite until the bottom of the insert was tight against the angle iron that represents the subframe. I used one of my expanding arbors to make certain I had something to hold.

 

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Then it went back in the mill, was centered again and I used a 1" end mill to get a flat surface. The end mill just fit...

 

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I don't know why this one is so badly out of focus but this is the insert form the bottom. The cavity will be filled with Devcon aluminum putty which I'll also use to fill the pits on the outer surface. when done it would look exactly as it once did. The Devcon is a grey color that will not match the aluminum casting but I am going to paint the case with aluminum paint - which is what was done originally – so it shouldn't show at all.

 

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When all that was done I set the mill up to bore for the insert that will carry oil to the center main. I want to center the new hole on the 3/16 hole that goes through the case. It turns out I have a 3/16 #9 B&S Tool holder (it came with the set) that I'd not only never used, I've no idea what I'd use it for but with a piece of 3/16 brass rod passing between the tool holder and the hole it was perfect for locating the center of the spindle over the center of the hole.

 

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The first three crankcase arms line up with the holes in the engine stand perfectly. The last hole was slightly off but I don't know if that was caused by the location of the bushing or if the hole in the stand was off to begin with. Since I drilled the holes in the engine stand from the crankcase before I made the inserts it could be either or a little of both. In any case, since I am going to make a new sub-frame it makes no difference as the holes in that will be drilled taking the measurements from the engine.

Edited by JV Puleo
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Posted (edited)

I took a break from struggling with my lawn mower – which is fighting me every inch of the way. It looks as if I need a battery and since the local Lowe's store is close to the shop I decided to try to actually get something accomplished this weekend. Since the crankcase was all set up in the mill I drilled a hole exactly .450 deep. I've found that when plunge milling, even if I use a center cutting end mill, I get a more accurate hole if the end mill is only cutting the outside edge of hole.

 

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I changed the end mill holder and bored the hole to .950.

 

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Then went in about 2/3 of the way with a plug tap.

 

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And finished it with a bottoming tap.

 

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I then tried the insert in the hole. I can't put this one in yet because it projects above the ltop of the case. If, for some reason I need to machine the other side and use the top as a guide surface this would cause a big problem. Ultimately it will be screwed in tight with some pipe dope on the threads and probably with a fiber washer under it.

 

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Then, as it was all set up to do it, I faced off the boss where the special bolt that retains the cam bearing sits. I'd done this with a file but, unless you are really good (and I'm not) that rarely give you a truly flat surface. This will be a lot better.

 

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When facing, I try to take off the absolute minimum amount of material.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

This morning I set the mill up to put it what I think will be the last of the threaded inserts.

 

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I decided to do the upper one first. I have nothing planned for this hole which, I think, originally held a support for the iron intake manifold. I do think it will come in handy when I design and make the linkage for the timing and carburetor , something I've thought about but have no plan as yet as to how to do it. I will need a number of things in place first so that job is still a long way down the road. I bored it .504 for a 9/16-18 thread.

 

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Threaded it and put the insert in.

 

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I then decided not to do the lower hole. I have no use for this hole as it just goes into the crankcase. This is where the oil line for the center main bearing was attached - except that it didn't go to the bearing and just emptied into the case. It's threaded 1/8 NPT so I just used a tap to clean up the threads and I'll put a plug in it.

 

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Next, I started converting the bracket I made to support the 3-way oil connection. I cut a piece of 1/8" Masonite and clued it to the top end...

 

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I trimmed it to match the aluminum and filled the hole with bondo.

Although it probably isn't necessary, I'm trying to make professional looking patterns. With this in mind I bought some #2 (1/8") wax fillet. I should have taken some pictures of this operation because it proved much easier to do than I'd anticipated. You trim the piece of wax fillet to about the right length and adhere to the pattern by burnishing it with a little "ball on a stick" tool which is lightly heated in an alcohol lamp. You can buy the real pattern maker's tool or (as I did) a set of Chinese cake decorating tools - the real tool costs about $40. The cake tools cost about $5 and I can't see what the difference is.

 

While I was doing this my neighbor came over to pick up the solder molds I finished last week. It turns out that years ago his father bought out another foundry and got all the pattern making stuff in the deal. They don't make patterns so if I'd asked, I could have had it free. Well, next time I'll check out their stash of wax fillet before I buy some.

 

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As I said, the filleting went very well so I cut another piece of Masonite for the other end of the pattern, glued it on and gooped it up with bondo. I'll sand it all tomorrow and, if things go well, paint the pattern. The Masonite pieces are to give the bracket extra width. These are the two surfaces that will be machined so I need to add material to be able to reduce it to the exactly proper height.

 

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You can see the wax fillets in this picture...

 

Out of curiosity, I counted the inserts. There are 49 brass inserts in the crankcase and 22 holes that didn't get one. Of those, 21 are in places where I can use a lock nut. The one odd hole is blind and in a place that would be extremely difficult to bore. (It's one of the three bolts that hold the oil pump.) Fortunately, the design is such that it cannot come loose. The one major drawback to my oil pump is that it has to be assembled on the car and cannot come off in one piece. I don't regard that as a major issue as even if it was possible to take it off intact you'd have to take the engine out or take the flywheel off to reach it.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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I can't assemble the pieces of the oiling system until I have the bracket I am making so I've spent yesterday and today finishing up the pattern and taking the other small parts I will need as far as I canb. Monday I got the pattern to the point where it just needed a little touching up with glazing putty.

 

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I put the putty on before I went home and let it dry overnight...I also soldered one of the two projecting arms into the new rear Banjo fitting.

 

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And made a little locating tool for the Banjo. It's placement is awkward because it will have two arms but I can't put the other one in until I know what the angle is and, to get the angle I need to mount it on the sump. But...if I bore the hole to the finished size I won't be able to clean up the inside end of the projecting piece. The solution is the little locating tool and to bore the Banjo to 3/4". When it's all lined up and the 2nd projecting piece is in I'll bore it to 13/16 - the finished size.

 

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I also painted the pattern so it could dry while I was working at the lathe.

 

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I delivered it to the foundry (which is next door...I am welcome to use the back door too).

Boring out the Banjo...

 

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The locating tool in the sump..

 

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With the new Banjo...

 

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I also have to open up some of the holes in the edge of the sump as the bolts don't all go in easily...perhaps a result of my fitting the brass inserts but the workmanship on this car is so erratic that it may be a combination of things. In any case, if the holes are a little bigger it makes no long term difference. It was difficult to find a way to get it in the mill as it's too wide for the table. After an hour of fiddling I finally came up with something and drilled the first hole.

 

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Joe, just a question on the pattern making for your bracket. You do not mention anything about shrinkage? I had always assumed that when you made patterns for casting you have to use a pattern makers ruler, for the metal you are going to cast, to allow for the shrinkage. Is this only necessary on large castings?

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Shrinkage would only be significant if the part were a larger. Aluminum shrinks about 1/8" per foot. This pattern is about 4" at it's longest so the shrinkage would be about .041 from top to bottom. That is the critical measurement and those are the two surfaces that will be machined so I added 1/8" to both sides – it's little pieces of Masonite from the back of an old kitchen cabinet. That will give me material to remove and allow me to adjust that dimension.

 

A bigger problem is draft, the slight taper put on parts so they will pull out of the sand. In a lot of cases, this one included, I haven't put any draft on the piece so the mold maker has to give it a little wiggle to get it out and that probably adds to the width or height a very small amount. The threaded hole in the center of the back of the bracket is for a bolt to use as a handle to pull it out. There is skill involved in making the mold so your are dependent on the mold maker as well.

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Thank you Joe for explaining all that. I keep learning a lot from your posts. Masonite is another word I had not come across before. In the UK, Masonite seems to be known as 'hardboard' which know about. Since joining this forum, I have been amazed how many different words there are in American English for items and materials that I know in UK English. Since not being able to get to do any actual 'hands on' work in the workshop, I am attempting to learn 3D drawing on the computer with Fusion 360. At least it is keeping me amused and out of mischief. 

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It's called "hardboard" here as well. Masonite is the trade name for the original product and I suspect its use may be a bit archaic. One of the odd things about my vocabulary is that until the age of 15 we lived with my grandmother. She was born in 1893 and was well spoken. The result is that I picked up a lot of terms and expressions that pre-date WWI. I'm not generally aware of them but occasionally I'll be asked "what does that mean" by someone quite a bit younger or whose frame of reference for language is television.

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Posted (edited)

I finished enlarging some of the holes in the sump today. This is how I aligned them. It's a piece of 1/2" ground stock with a 45-degree point on it. I move the table until it's close and then loosen the hold downs, wiggle the sump around until the centering tool is firmly in place and tighten up again. It's tedious as you have to set it up for each hole but of the 18 holes in the sump I only had to enlarge 8 so it really wasn't all that bad to do.

 

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When the first 4 were done (they were all on the same side) I put the sump back on the crankcase and put a bolt in each hole. This is how I was able to identifyt which holes on the other side had to be done.

 

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I did those and put bolts in all the holes just to make certain I had it right.

 

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Had I forced them, all of the bolts would have gone in but I want them to go in easily...at least half way with just finger pressure. That way you know they are not adding stress to the sump or the crankcase.

 

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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How about an O ring type rubber groove in the pan for a Seal instead of a gasket? At this point, it wouldn’t be terribly difficult, and it would be great for service or roadside repairs...........

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That's a good idea but I'm not sure how I'd do it. Bolting the sump to the table of the mill with the flange up would be a problem. I do have an idea but I'm not certain it would be rigid enough to use a ball end milling cutter on. I'll give it a try though...if it looks secure I may be able to do it. I also wonder about putting a radius on the groove at the ends but perhaps a square corner and using "o" ring material - which is available in rolls, would do.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, edinmass said:

How about an O ring type rubber groove in the pan for a Seal instead of a gasket? At this point, it wouldn’t be terribly difficult, and it would be great for service or roadside repairs...........

 

I think I've devised a way of holding the sump but there isn't enough travel in the table to get the edges under the spindle and the maximum spindle speed on the mill is half of what is recommended for a small, bull nose end mill. However, I am reasonably certain it will work in my vertical mill. It's much newer, built in 1962. I've had it for about 2 years but had to take it apart to get it through the door and haven't put it back together yet. It needs some work as well since I bought it in a Boston scrap yard. But, I will have to do it reasonably soon because I need it to make the connecting rods and finish the pistons. Those will probably be the last things I need for the engine. I've put it off because, unlike many other parts, real precision is required and I didn't feel I had the skills yet. I may not have them now but I'm a lot better at this stuff than when I started 8 years ago.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Don’t have the skills yet! I consider myself skilled and can’t hold a candle to you machining skills. Half the guys I pay to make things for me have ten percent of the talent you have.  Don’t sell yourself short. If you were in Florida I would keep you busy with cash side work. 

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I'm flattered...If I was in Florida I'd probably be hanging around your place and not getting anything done.

While I'm waiting for my casting I thought I'd get moving on a special job I've been mulling over for a month. It's some acme thread nuts in a size that isn't available any longer, if it ever was. I don't think it was ever common. 1-1/4-6 acme. I've never cut an acme thread so there is a learning curve involved. I was surprised to find that no one sells acme thread lathe bits...perhaps it is rare to make them the old fashioned way. In any case, after getting the proper gauges and figuring out what the lathe bit should look like I started making one. Fortunately, I have this very adjustable grinding fixture.

 

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I'm not sure what it was originally for. I bought my old surface grinder from a shop where the owner was retiring and everything was for sale. He had half a dozen of these - they were only about $25 - and it looked as if it might be useful though I didn't know what for. I've used it once to grind my first internal threading bit so I know it works. The problem is, holding the 3/8" square bit in the fixture. I started by making a little holder...

 

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I think this will work...Before I can make the nuts I have to make a gauge to thread the nuts on to and to hold them while I turn the faces. It's the same procedure I've used before for making V-thread nuts but quite a bit more complicated. Acme threads are widely used on machines for lead screws and in places where you need extreme strength and/or fine adjustment so, if this works, it will be a really worthwhile skill. I've already thought of a way to put it to use for the device I've designed to motorize my line boring bar...

 

I'll have to make another holder for a 1/4" bit to fit into a boring bar to do the internal threads but if this works as I hope it will the next step will be a lot easier.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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That looks very similar to some of the tooling on my Cincinnati Tool Cutter Grinder.  Same style anyway.  It also looks a lot like (same color even) as some bits I got off a Foley Belsaw grinder.  It certainly look very handy.  It is interesting that you're using it that way because one of the first uses I'm looking forward to when I get the Cincinnati restored is to sharpen lathe bits and ACME threading was first in that line of that. 

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I should use this more for lathe bits. I'm glad I made the little holder for 3/8 because now I can do it a lot more efficiently. I should have thought of that a long time ago. I'm going to make one for 1/4" and 5/16" too although those will probably be used with boring bars.

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Much as an O-ring in the casting seems like a good idea, I'm a little leery.  For industrial designs, I've always liked to steal good ideas.  I spent a long career in industrial high vacuum equipment where O-ring seals were common.  For difficult applications where the flanges could be sideways or upside down, a dovetail groove and an O-ring worked well.  But, these were dry seals, not immersed in oil.  Dovetail seals work well to retain the O-rings in all positions, though they are not easy to machine and rounded corners, not butted joints at right angles, were commonly used.  So, I've never seen O-ring seals used in automobile engines, so I suppose there is a good reason.  I don't remember any good examples to steal.  It's tough to find an O-ring compound that stands up well to oil over long periods of time.  Maybe that's why a good old cork gasket on flat surfaces was used on oil pans over many years.  I was taught that pioneers are the guys lying face down with arrows in their backs.  It's made me err on the conservative side over many years.

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Posted (edited)

I generally follow the same line of thinking on changes. The limiting factor here though is that an oil pan gasket won't be under pressure and, when compressed, will hardly be in contact with the oil. Because this is a long throw engine, the sump is fairly deep. The surface the material would be applied to is a good 2" above the oil level, if not more. It isn't really a "seal" in the conventional sense. It's more a rubber gasket in place of a paper or cork gasket. In any case, it would not prevent me from using a cork or paper gasket if it doesn't work well.

 

In thinking about it, it would only work with a cast sump that had very thick flanges so there is no reason why we'd see it on anything made after the advent of stamped steel sumps.The only major reservation I have is that it contradicts my attempt to do everything according to what was known and done in period and I've already made compromises there partly because the materials just aren't available or using the original technique is beyond my capacity.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Yesterday I took the magnetic chuck off and setup the grinding fixture.

 

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Aside from having to tighten up the set screws that hold the bit, because it moved this part of the job went as well as I could hope. I have gotten the angle perfect and, in as much as I can tell I have the width of the cutting face right too. Unlike 60-degree V threads, the width of the flat on the end of the bit is different for each acme thread so each thread needs a different cutter.

 

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I then started on the male fixture. The hole in the center is so I can use a mandrel to turn it.

 

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The ends are 1-1/4". One end will get a RH thread and the other end a LH thread but I need a LH nut to use as a gauge - I could do the RH thread (because I have a nut) but if I did the LH thread using the same numbers while it should work...I can't be certain it would work. If I made the nuts to fit the gauge and I was off they wouldn't screw onto the part they are supposed to mate with or they might be too loose.

 

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Then, because all this took less time than I'd predicted (a very rare event) I looked around for something else to do and lit on the crank handle bracket. I bushed this a long time ago and it was mechanically straight but the casting is so irregular that it looked off center and it's one of those things that has bothered me for some time. I finally thought to turn the end. I've no idea why I didn't think of that before but it uses the same 7/8 mandrel as the threading gauge so the late was all set up.

 

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There was also a plug in the original oil hole – which was badly off center as well. Because this is cast iron it is turned at a very low speed so despite not being a very big part I spent the rest of the day and this morning on it.

 

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I'll now see if I can clean up the other end and put in a neat slot for the cross pin that keeps the crank attached to the chassis.

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So far, everything had gone well with this job but just when you think it's easy, something goes wrong.

Next I turned the piece around to make the counterbore on the other side uniform... it was wildly off.

 

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And went right through the casting at the bottom edge, something I hadn't anticipated but fortunately isn't really a big issue because the casting itself is so massive. I filed the slot to make it look as if it was supposed to be there.

 

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There is supposed to be a notch on this side for a corss pin in the shaft of the crank handle. You can see here the Mitchell Lewis notion of "precision." Not only is it just a saw cut with a piece knocked out, it isn't on the center line either.

 

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So I put it in the mill and used a 1/2" ball end cutter to get a slot with a rounded bottom. I will probably use a 7/16 pin in this 1/2" slot so it slides in easily.

 

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Then I turned the piece around  to drill a hole for a little Gits oiler. The hole that was there was off center and I'd plugged it.

 

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I drilled it and when I tapped it the plug moved and the tap stuck.

 

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So I made one of my threaded brass sleeves.

 

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I was able to open the hole up just enough to eliminate the remains of the plug and then thread it.

 

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And put the sleeve in. The little pipe plug is there to give me something to turn.

 

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But now the end of the threaded sleeve projects into the hole for the shaft so I had to put it back in the lathe and ream it.

 

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So...after spending most of the day on a "quick" job I did get something acceptable. I have half a dozen of these NOS oilers I'll use around the car.

 

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I then spent the rest of the day cleaning up this stack of drawers given to me by a friend. The number of small bits around the shop is starting to overwhelm me and I'm wasting a lot of time looking for things I know I have so this is an attempt to get a little more organization into efferc.

 

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I'm still waiting for my casting but the material I need for the special sump bolts came in at the end of the day so between putting stuff away and that I've plenty to do for the next week or so.

 

 

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

The 9/16 hex stock I need for the sump bolts came in so I started on them. First cutting the blanks. I need 14 at 1-1/4" and 4 at 1-3/4" and I made one extra of each.

 

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Then they were all trimmed on both ends so that the blanks are of identical size. The actual measurement isn't as important as uniformity because if they are identical the same set up will work for all of them equally.

 

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If you are wondering why in the world I'm making bolts, its because turn of the century bolts had thicker heads and often a slight crown. They look quite different than modern bolts. To me,  just grinding off the grade marks is pointless. They still are immediately identifiable as new. In many cases that doesn't bother me but on this engine I'd like everything within my power to look as if it was done before WWI.

 

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The LH nut I need to make the thread gauge for my acme nut project also came in. I need to make certain I can cut an acme thread before I order the 2" brass stock for the nuts, since it's expensive. If this doesn't work, it's not something I'm likely to have much use for in the future. I set the lathe up to thread...

 

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And immediately discovered I had a problem. When using my antique Armstrong tool holders, I can't get the correct angle on the bit. Unlike a turning tool which can be ground to most any shape, the threading tool has to go in straight. I improvised and cut a 3/8 slot in a piece of 3/4 flat bar...

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that I happened to have and luckily is just about precisely the right height.

 

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Then started the thread. I took very small cuts and I purposely used the easy machining steel for this so the thread came out smooth. I'd looked up the dimensions in Machinery's Handbook and as I got close kept fitting the nut. It screwed on at a depth of .088 which is about right as the optimum depth is between .083 and .093. But, for some reason it sticks. It will only thread on in one direction which leads me to think the threads in the nut are damaged. I'm trying to make a gauge from a worn nut so, to an extent, I'll have to trust my instincts here.

 

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Tomorrow, or perhaps Monday, I'll do the LH side but this came out good enough that I think Ill order the brass hex tonight.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Pressing on with my acme threading adventure...this morning I did the LH thread. The difference between RH and LH threads is that the tool travels in the opposite direction. Right to left for RH threads, left to right for LH threads. Until I'd done this I thought there was something mysterious about it...although I think this may only be the second or third time I've made a LH thread. The first step is to reverse the direction of feed on the lathe since you want the spindle of the lathe to turn towards you but you want the saddle to move away from the head stock rather than towards it. That's done by moving the "tumble gears."

 

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Then the piece is set up to turn. But, in order to use the threading gauge to engage the half nuts you have to be able to move the saddle a few inches and the relief at the inside end of the thread is not long enough to do this. So, in this case you have to back the tool out and run the lathe in reverse to bring the tool back to the starting point for each cut.

 

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I have a brass nut to try this end with. Like the steel nut, it jammed before going on all the way, That was apparently caused by having the last thread in the nut slightly collapsed. Just turning it hard by hand pushed out a tiny burr and it went on just fine. I suspect that is what is wrong with the RH steel nut but I didn't want to force it.

 

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The finished piece...

 

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And with the nuts screwed on...

 

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I'm feeling a bit smug about this, never having made an acme thread before but we won't know if it really works until the job is done. I ordered hex stock last night and now I'll go back to the sump bolts for the car.

 

 

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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14 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

The difference between RH and LH threads is that the tool travels in the opposite direction. Right to left for RH threads, left to right for LH threads. Until I'd done this I thought there was something mysterious about it.

 

You have just solved the mystery for me as well! As my Mitchell & Woodhouse lathe does not have 'tumble gears', one of the many levers must make the must saddle movement change direction.

 

Your ACME thread looks absolutely brilliant.

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We bought an old Atlas lathe two months ago, and while cleaning it I found the reverse thread feeder. I was half way into a bottle of Crown Royal, but was proud of myself I figured it out in the middle of the night half in the bag. Such is the way of entertainment during lock down. The only problem with cutting threads for me.....right or left handed is lack of talent on a lathe............and I will never need enough items to make it worth my time to learn.

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I'm a little surprised at you Ed...Atlas is a total piece of junk. South Bend, which isn't the top end of lathes, is much better. Actually, you will find that like most tools it is far more difficult to work with poor tools than with good ones. I don't think any amount of talent would let you do a good job with a really bad machine. Atlas is the Yugo of machine tools.

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1 hour ago, JV Puleo said:

I'm a little surprised at you Ed...Atlas is a total piece of junk. South Bend, which isn't the top end of lathes, is much better. Actually, you will find that like most tools it is far more difficult to work with poor tools than with good ones. I don't think any amount of talent would let you do a good job with a really bad machine. Atlas is the Yugo of machine tools.

 

 

We bought it for the stand , tooling, and a bunch of other stuff in a small at home machine shop. We use it mostly for polishing shafts and making spacer and such. Up north we have a South Bend for small work, and a high end 10 hp 30 inch swing Japanese machine that I can't remember the name right now.........but it also has a five foot bed. We use that for most of our fussy work. Trust me Joe, you wouldn't want me doing your machine work! 

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Joe, if I remember right, that steel nut didn’t want to go all the way on his buffers shaft either. I assume one of the threads were buggered. The LH nut is the best one he had. He figures two or three of each will last him his lifetime. Your work is looking great but it surprises no one on this forum! It’s what we’ve come accustomed to.

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