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My 1910 Mitchell "parts car" project


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Yes...when I opened my garage/restoraton shop, which was close to 40 years ago, there were multiple machine shops in the area. The demise of real manufacturing and the capitol expense of purchasing the latest computer driven machines has killed most of them although I know of a few that survive and one or two that are thriving but here we find owners who have a lot of imagination, which isn't terribly common. There is definitely room for a few shops that will do specialized, one off work but no one wants to work for the relative wages their grandfather made - and why should they. In my case, I was already semi-retired when I started to put this shop together and I've never "had" to work to crushing deadlines...I had plenty of that over 40 years in the printing business.

 

 

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Got to agree with you joe on there being a lot of small guy shops in our area. I know of three motorcycle enthusiasts who became machinists because of the need and love of specialty work. One is a dirt bike extraordinaire and another, a street bike guy. The street bike guy ended up getting into plumbing as his brother had a business that he couldn’t seem to run well. He bought the business from his brother and turned it into a 6-8 vehicle outfit with crews working all over. Of course he has little time for his machining business anymore. With all the Mills and manufacturing in our area, the Morse twist drills, Browne and Sharpes, continental screws, chamberlain manufacturing, etc., many guys and even a few girls were born with the skills and love of machining in their blood. Generations of machinists lived here. I can remember growing up and almost every man you talked with knew the trade. Today, the local boys don’t even know a Phillips screwdriver over a flat blade one.

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Small machine shops seem to fall into one of the classic traps of business succession when a owner ages out of running the business. The capital value is built up slowly over the years the business is in operation , and sometimes becomes of a quite high value. But the potential for a likely profit margin isn't nearly high enough to justify an outsider making a outright purchase of the business with such a high capital value as a going concern. So the only way for the retiring owner to recover some of the capital slowly invested over 3 or 4 decades is to have a piecemeal dispersal auction.  It seems to happen fairly frequently around here. Very few of these sort of outfits survive a generational change.

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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The table of the mill set for the 20-degree angle of the gear teeth. This is what is called a "universal" mill. It was intended as a tool room machine rather than a production machine. Most mills don't have the swiveling table and this is actually the first time I've used it. I'd like to know what a machine like this cost new. I expect it was more than most cars - perhaps a lot more.

 

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I finished the second test gear and started cutting the teeth.

 

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Everything was going just fine until the two intermediate gears on the dividing head fell off. It looks as if the attachment I made with a shoulder screw isn't good enough. I'll give some thought to that and come up with something better. As disappointing as this is, I remind myself that this is why you do test pieces. Doing this over is a chore...but doing one of the finished pieces over would be 5 times as much work.

 

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Ed...if you are going to make a bronze impeller may I suggest that I mill a flat on the shaft for a set screw (or one on each side) rather than put that hole through it for a pin. I haven't drilled and reamed the hole yet and, if you use a set screw we can make the flat wider than the screw so you'll have a small amount of adjustment in the position of the impeller. Also, the only way to make certain the pin lined up perfectly with the two pieces would be to drill and ream them together.

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No. It just unscrewed. It needs to be lubricated better, something I didn't think of because it turns so slowly. I'll make a hollow bolt with an oil hole and that should fix everything.

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That may be the case but I can't say I've met many people of any age that grasp the complexity of making things. I'd go so far as to say that only people who do that, and it may be to make anything, have an inkling of what can be involved. That said, the demise of manufacturing in this country has certainly exacerbated that problem.

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I made the hollow shoulder screw for the driven dividing head gears to rotate on. The problem here is that the gears have to be mounted on a keyed sleeve so that they rotate together and, since there is no access to the sleeve when it's assembled, it has to be oiled from the inside. I bored the sleeve out to 5/8" (it was 1/2") and then made the fat end of the shoulder bolt and drilled it 5/16" through the center.

 

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Then both ends were threaded 3/8-16. The tap won't go all the way through so this had to be done by flipping the piece around.

 

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I then put a piece of 3/8-16 threaded rod in one end, secured with Loctite. For the other end I drilled a 1/8 hole through a 3/8 brass set screw but before I inserted it I drilled the through holes in the body of the bolt. This was so I could blow it out and get rid of whatever chips there were.

 

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The set screw was then inserted...the 1/8" hole doesn't effect the hex socket so I was able to screw it in tight. Now I have a hollow shoulder screw with a little oil reservoir in the center.

 

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The keyed sleeve for the gears fits over it.

 

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And the hex socket serves as a handy place for the tip of my oil can.

 

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I have a couple of bronze thrust washers coming Monday for either end of the sleeve and still have to turn up another gear blank...I also ordered two more pieces of aluminum in case some further problem arises but I suspect this will be enough.

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I made a new gear blank and set it up in the mill...

 

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The thrust washers also came in so tomorrow I should be back in business. Let's hope that the third time is a charm.

 

And, because I had a little time at the end of the day I started to clean up the 2nd Cadillac water pump. I really don't like working on filthy parts so I'll get it reasonably clean before I take it apart.

 

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It doesn't look to me as if it's ever been cleaned so this is 100 years of grunge looks like.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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If it’s your own parts, of course we have to clean them. But if it’s someone else parts, I tell them they need to bring them to me fairly clean. I have many “friends” trying to drop off dirty greasy stuff for me to work on. I show them my parts cleaner tank and tell them to get to work!

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It looks as if the third time was, indeed, a charm. The first thing I did was put the intermediate gears back on the dividing head with the new attaching bolt. This worked perfectly and I had no problem with it all day.

 

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Then I started cutting teeth. Making gears one at the time time on a milling machine is tedious at best. By the beginning of the 20th century specialized gear making machines were in widespread use and the milling machine was relegated to making them only when it was a special "one off" item. Of course, that's exactly what we need for antique car work but the technique of doing it that way was probably never common and is nearly extinct today. I think I was about 4 to 5 hours on this - but keep in mind that I was not pushing and I've never done it before so I'm guessing that with practice I could get the time down to half that or less. This was the last cut...

 

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The gear itself looks very good...

 

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But I still have reservations about the measurements I took so I will make a "dummy" water pump shaft with this aluminum gear and send it to Ed to check in the White. I think there is a 99% chance it's right but if we check, we'll know. That, in itself, will relieve a lot of tension in cutting the finished gears.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Looks like intermediate gear setup for you dividing head is a good bit different than the L-W Diving head I have.  I mine has the two gears in the same plane which is in the same plane as the gear that feed the head.  The other end, of course, goes down to the table.  Of course I haven't actually hooked mine up and cut gears with it so it might be setup wrong.  I kinda hope I never have to find out. :)

 

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Joe....technical question. With a helical gear, the thrust pushes the gear towards the back side or “shaft” side of the gear where it rides in the bushing on the water pump housing. The bushing is pressure fed with oil pump and the drain for the bushing lubricates  the other timing gears and fan chain. Since it always is pushing against that side, why would they have the removable shaft extension that goes up against the timing cover? Theoretically it could never make contact with the end play adjustment.............? It was obvious that the end play in that direction never occurred, and the end play adjustment had never made contact with the gear.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I'm guessing (and it's just a guess) that the adjuster that mounts in the timing cover was insurance against rough treatment by ham-fisted mechanics - something White must have had plenty of experience with from the truck side of the business. (i.e. nitwit tries to hammer the impeller on to the shaft in place....or some such thing). Your car is really exceptional in that it does not appear to have ever been taken apart so we are getting a peek at how a high quality car went together to begin with - something I'm sure you'll agree is pretty rare in the old car world. I think I've only encountered that twice - once on a SG that only had 14,000 miles on it and was always well taken care of and with a Panhard engine built in 1903 but never installed in a car...

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17 hours ago, Luv2Wrench said:

Looks like intermediate gear setup for you dividing head is a good bit different than the L-W Diving head I have.  I mine has the two gears in the same plane which is in the same plane as the gear that feed the head.  The other end, of course, goes down to the table.  Of course I haven't actually hooked mine up and cut gears with it so it might be setup wrong.  I kinda hope I never have to find out. :)

 

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Is that the dividing head that was furnished with the Hendey mill? I'm not sure about this but it may not have the conventional B&S 40:1 reduction so the gear combinations that connect the lead screw of the table to the dividing head won't be the same. If it is the head Hendey used - I've never heard that they made them - then the Hendey dividing gears should match. If it isn't, it could still be used but you'd have to figure out the gearing based on the lead screw. How far does the table travel with 1 turn? If I's 1/4", it's the same as B&S.

 

 

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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It is not, Hendey had their own head I believe or they would've used the B&S.   Hendeyman would know.  The key for the head I have is that it is setup to be driven from the left side of the table.  Most of the heads you see around now are driven from the right side.   If I ever have to use mine I know this guy up north that is super helpful and will work me through it step by step and if I need something extra he'll either help me make it or make it for me.  Great guy to know. ;)

 

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Well B&S works from the left as well so there's a good chance it's "B&S" compatible.

Somewhere recently I read a description of how the formulas for calculating the gearing to get a specific lead are worked out...the math makes my ghead spin but I bet that when you study it closely there is one formula and everything follows from that. The beauty of these old machines is that everything ids logical...maybe not easy to understand at first but the more you do it the easier it becomes.

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I'm putting together a "test" water pump shaft for Ed to try in the White just to make certain the gear and other measurements are correct.

First, I counterbored the gear about 1/4".

 

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I'm going to attach it to a piece of 3/4 stock with a keyway - more of the rod I used to make the mandrel the gear was cut on. It doesn't look all that great but that isn't important here. I also turned up a "button" to go in the end of the gear and I drilled and threaded the end of the rod so I can attach the gear to it.

 

Then I made the fat section that goes behind the gear... again using a piece of aluminuym scrap turned to 1-3/8"

 

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I finished up right at the end of the day and assembled the test shaft...

 

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I'll ship this off to Ed to try in the car. If it fits correctly we'll know that the setup and process is right. If it doesn't, we'll know where or what to change.

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I'm flattered by the vote of confidence guys. Nevertheless, things can still go wrong so until it's in the car and the car is running I'm remaining cautious. I think the best lesson to be taken from all this is that problems of this type are solved incrementally...you move from one step to the next getting closer to a solution, often making changes and adjustments along the way. The much talked of "instant gratification" simply isn't possible if getting the job done well is a priority and this is probably true of 99% of what we do.

 

I've only watched a few minutes of the TV car restoration shows, in hotel rooms when I was traveling because I don't have a TV, but I found what I did see not only idiotic but actually insulting in that it cast us - those of us who take work like this seriously - as a group of vulgar buffoons. Compare that to the folks who contribute here, the real antique car restorers - and you can see the shocking disconnect between real life and media fantasy. (sorry for the rant...it just came to me!)

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This is the pattern I made for my water pump impeller. The base is about .125 thicker than the finished size and the diameter about 1/4" greater than the finished size. Shrinkage in bronze isn't much but the small amount of added material leaves plenty of room for machining to the exact dimension. The piece sticking up on the top is there to indicate the impeller in the lathe. It was indicated, then the center hole drilled and reamed. The flat surface on the back was machined using an expanding arbor and the diameter machined by pressing it on a mandrel. That way, the surfaces are all perpendicular to the shaft. This pattern was made of aluminum since I'm much better at working metal than wood. The overexposed portions of the photo are bondo used as a filler to get everything smooth. The fillets at the base of the vanes were made with JB Weld "steel stick"...one of the few uses I've found so far for that material. The entire pattern was painted with sanding primer...the smoother the surface, the better it will pull out of the sand mold.

 

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This is a finished casting...

 

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And the casting after it was machined.

 

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This was the impeller from one of my earlier water pump experiments. The finished one in the final water pump was made from the same pattern but has slightly different dimensions.

 

I had no way to make the curved vanes...but in the case of Ed's water pump I think they are important. I know I've said this before but it bears repeating...on these pre-thermostat cars, the pump volume and pressure were carefully regulated to the flow rate of the radiator. Nearly always, they are excessive by modern standards because the makers had no control over the ambient temperature and it had to be able to cool adequately on a very hot day. As a result, they over cooled on cold days. Most of the time the cars ran too cold for optimum performance. The straight vanes will increase the pressure which isn't a problem with my car because I expect to use a radiator that has better flow than the original but, on a project like Ed's, I think it would be a mistake to change the design.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Joe:  Is the finished part bronze?  In the photo, the color looks more like aluminum. Did you get it cast at the foundry next door to you?  I’m glad you have the machining technique worked out because I think Ed has a project that could need you and me. I’ll be warming up the 3D printer and the CAD program. 

 

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It's aluminum - and yes, it was done next door.

 

Gary, the casting will be a lot easier to work with if the center hub has straight sides rather than a cone shape...easier to indicate and easier to drill perfectly straight. I need a wall thickness of about 1/4" to provide a good thread count for a set screw rather than the pin used on the original.

 

j

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Hello Joe,

 

Most excellent work!

On the set screws, for what its worth I was taught to always use two set 90 degrees apart. Your going to want at least some draft on the hub or it might be a challenge to get a clean pull. Same with the fins and you may want some fillets as well - the foundry sand doesn't like sharp inside corners  - it will stick and will pull away.

 

The original may have been an investment casting which eliminated a lot of issues with undercuts and draft. Lost PLA casting could be an option. The major issue with that is your kind of stuck with the 3D printed finish since sanding is about all you can do for post processing. For my regular two part 3D printed patterns I spend quite a bit of time filling, sanding and painting to get a good finish. With lost PLA you can't do that.

 

 

T

 

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14 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

It's aluminum - and yes, it was done next door.

 

Gary, the casting will be a lot easier to work with if the center hub has straight sides rather than a cone shape...easier to indicate and easier to drill perfectly straight. I need a wall thickness of about 1/4" to provide a good thread count for a set screw rather than the pin used on the original.

 

j

Joe, if that taper is required for better performance, couldn’t it be cast with a straight hub, all the necessary machining done, then put on a mandrel and the hub tapered as the last procedure? Just a thought but you’re way more schooled in this than I’ll even think of being.

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I doubt the taper has anything to do with performance. I have some period material on water pump design I'll post tonight when I am home...it's very interesting and not something  I've ever seen discussed. Likely it's just draft to make it easy to pull from the sand. If they were making many of these that would be important to facilitate the foundry work but when it's only one or two pieces and the mold maker can "wiggle it" (as my next-door neighbor calls it) it isn't a problem, especially as the small amount of added material the wiggle creates is unimportant on an impeller which is going to be machined on all the important surfaces. Fillets at the base of the hub and the vanes are much more important. when I made mine I formed them out of filler but since then I've discovered was fillet that you press in and rub smooth with a heated fillet tool (I use cake decorating tools)...that works even better but if Gary is going to 3D print the pattern he can include the fillets in the design. I do think that the flash should be removed and the pattern should get several coats of high build sanding primer, sanded smooth with a coat of laquer to finish it. There's no reason why we cant' make a better impeller than White did.

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15 hours ago, Gary_Ash said:

Joe:  Is the finished part bronze?  In the photo, the color looks more like aluminum. Did you get it cast at the foundry next door to you?  I’m glad you have the machining technique worked out because I think Ed has a project that could need you and me. I’ll be warming up the 3D printer and the CAD program.

I think bronze is better but aluminum is easier for me because I'm next door to an aluminum foundry. They cast the SBC water pumps for Moroso so they know, and have at hand, the best alloys for the job so I'm not  worried about it deteriorating.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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I’m thinking “lost PLA” process if the foundry is willing to do it that way. They can just bury the pattern in the sand. They’ll probably still need a cope and drag in order to get sprue, risers, etc. in the sand. But, they can pour molten aluminum on top of the PLA, which will, melt, burn, and vaporize immediately.  I may leave the taper in the hub because we don’t know all the details of how the pump is supposed to work. However, I can extend the hub as a straight section so Joe can indicate from it and grab it in the lathe for boring the center hole and turning the o.d. of the impeller.  I’ll work towards good surface quality, but it’s easier without adding in draft angles. 

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I'm guessing Ed intends to use an art foundry near him to get a bronze impeller so he'd have to check and see if they can do the lost PLA technique. I've never used that and don't know if my friends at the alu7minum foundry ever have used it.

 

A straight section about 1/4" long on the end of the hub would be fine...

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Joe,

 

If all you need is 1/4" straight section than that shouldn't be much of a problem pulling the pattern. Again, fillets on the inside corners and I would add draft to the 

fins. Might want to add some machining allowance as well if your going to turn to diameter and/or face.

 

Remember that the shrinkage rate for aluminum is different from bronze.

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I will check with the art foundry near me on Monday, but the web page says it’s closed due to COVID. Twenty years ago, foundry’s pouring brass, bronze, and aluminum were easy to find......cast iron not so much. Today with EPA regulations most of them are gone. A sad side effect of us not making many things anymore. I would rather make it out of bronze, but if Joe’s next door foundry is willing to do them in aluminum we may just stick with that. Currently half the shops I am familiar with here in Florida are all working at 50 percent or less due to people out with COVID, home schooling kids out of the classroom, and similar issues. Just getting simple supplies during the pandemic has been a challenge. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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