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Just a thought about the curve in the top of the bow. 


How about slitting a 2mm saw cut in the centre of the bow from one side to the other ( you could even leave a couple of mm of wood on the bottom side so it couldn't be seen from underneath) and insert a straight or curved up piece of 2mm thick steel or stainless ie. 25 x 2 mm across the full width.  Through bolt or screw it and cover the ends of the threads so they are hidden and that should hold it straight.



Sorry about the size of the sketch

2019 hood bow 001.JPG

Edited by DavidAU (see edit history)
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David, many thanks for your thoughts and the drawing. That is certainly a good idea. Over the weekend I took off the front bow and laid it on the bending jig board. The problem of the 'dipping' curve in the horizontal part of the bow seems to come from the 'over bending' of the curve to compensate for any spring back. It appears that we overbent the curve by too much. To fit the bows to the metal frame, the 'legs' of the bows need to be stretched a little to fit the metal side frames, this 'stretching' is causing the 'dipping curve' in the horizontal part. If we had not allowed for 'spring back', it may have been better, as by pulling the legs in to fit the metal frames, it would make a slight outward curve to the horizontal. As they say - "you live and learn". I'll try and take a photo today to try and explain the above a bit better.


I have contacted the trimmer and asked him to come and have a look to see if he thinks I need to make some better bows.

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By way of a change I have been cleaning the windscreen surround.




This is how tarnished it was when I bought the Humberette. The nickel plating has all but disappeared. Due to the cost involved I am afraid to say that it is going to have to be polished brass and not nickel plated. On my vintage motorcycle restorations I have nickel plated small parts myself in the past, but the parts to plate on this car are too big for my plating tank.




The knob for locking the screen in place has been 'butchered' in the past. By filing and using flap discs I started getting somewhere to remove the marks. On the front face of this knob is engraved with the Auster logo. Below is a period advert of the company. I believe they made aircraft in the second world war.




Jane started cleaning the brass up on the dining room table. She started by using the tomato sauce which did not work as well as it had on the smaller parts of brass I had cleaned before.




She did the best that she could without using rubbing down paper. I took the screen back up to the workshop, masked the glass up and started using 180 grit and working down to finer grits, hoping to finish with 2000 grit. By the time I got to 400 grit I had had enough of rubbing down. . . .




. . . . and used Solvol Autosol cleaner.




That will do for the time being. I made new leather washers to go between the mounting bars and the screen.





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Brazing the exhaust flange. A jubilee clip around the end helped to hold the flux.




Lets hope I can chisel the Jubilee clip off after the brazing!




It needed a hammer and a small chisel but it came away successfully.




Now they were brazed on I could get on with the final adjustments to the pipe bends.




Chalk is good for marking things when they are going to be heated, as the chalk marks still shows when the metal is red hot.




Small alterations to the exhaust pipe can be made by heating the pipe to cherry red without resorting to filling the whole pipe with dry sand.




Working out an idea for a mounting bracket to strengthen the down pipe using a cardboard template. I'll see what other ideas come to mind over the coming weeks.




Although these stainless steel satin black clamps are not 'vintage' they do work very well.




Turned up this way they will hardly show when the rest of the exhaust is painted with black exhaust paint.




A pattern was made for the exhaust manifold gasket. . . .




. . . . and cut out and marked. . . .




. . . . on both sides.



New rods were made up for holding the silencer (muffler) end plates together with the canister. The existing ones looked a bit of a bodge.




This is the original silencer expansion chamber. The end plates are held on with the canister squeezed between them.




The tail pipe end ready to fit to the canister with the two new rods.





Edited by Mike Macartney
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May I make a suggestion ?  We did some home plating on a project and made a plating tank out of a piece of plastic roof gutter (verses aluminum) - worked pretty nicely and other than a shadow "line" in the corner that was hardly noticeable where we changed positioning  ...

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John, I am always open to suggestions. That is the great thing about this forum we can learn from others.


I like the idea of using plastic roof guttering. This maybe a silly question, but did you remove the glass from the frame?


The main plating problem I have is that the last owner spent £1,000 having the radiator rebuilt but did not have it nickel plated. Hence my idea of having the rest of the bright work in brass.

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Hello Mike,

I am still chewing on the steam bending process.  Here are my current thoughts.  Please share your thoughts on the subject based on your practical experience with home brew steam bending.  My thought is to simply bend the hoops to a point where the legs are parallel with each other and with no over bending.  (They will probably tend to spring back a few degrees).  Watching what you have completed, if you then needed to pull them in a bit to fit your top irons and body, that "pull in" would end to flex the bow up a bit in the middle and not down which is what you have noted.  From reading the comments from other posters, it appears to be a desired condition to that the hoops bow up a bit in the middle just above flat.  I am still liking your idea of two bending chambers instead of one big chamber (that would heat/steam the full length of the unbent hoop).  I have watched several You Tube videos where fellows that do lots of bending steam the whole hoop, but I think it is to accommodate numbers to be bent at the same time.  I am more of a onsey twosey guy on this matter and do not need or want a big elaborate steam bending system.  Your thoughts please.

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You would have to remove the glass from the windshield frame to plate as the chemicals would damage the laminate layer in the safety glass.


If plate glass you could plate the windshield frame together


As a sidenote though:  Plate glass in a windshield is pretty dangerous stuff in like in an accident it can slice through you like a knife - if such is the case really should replace.

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Hello Al,

You are on the right lines with your thoughts. If I was doing the steam bending again I would do it as you suggested but would join the two steam tubes together with another bit of tube. The thin metal straps for the bending on the jig worked very well.

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RE: Plate glass and top bows.

Hello John,

Thanks for your posts and advice, they are much appreciated.

The upholsterer came round to have a look on Friday evening. He suggested screwing a steel bar on the top of the bow. I have decided to try fitting a length of 1" half round feathered edge mild steel bar along the top of the bow. I am waiting to hear back from a steel supplier as to availability and price.


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Mike, maybe knock 1/8 to 3/16" off the curved outer edges of the bow and I bet the issue pretty much disappears.  And if needs some more work, then you could also glue in a filler strip - modern glues are pretty great stuff and actually some are stronger than the wood itself, weather resistant, and ... 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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Hello Mike,

I am reflecting on a comment or two that have been shared here on your forum thread.  My current thinking is on plating.  Plating is always a big pain in the pocket book.  You commented on doing your own Nickle plating on one of your other projects.  I have a nickle project in the works and would like to know the possibilities for a home plating set-up.  I assume that your success was with "bright" nickle plating not industrial?  What did you use for a power source?  How big of items can be home plated?  Where did you source your plating supplies?  I know this is not really in keeping with your current endeavors but something you have worked with none the less.


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Hello Al,


The plating kit I originally purchased was from www.frost.co.uk


Below is a review, I have just found, on their plating kit.




The nickel plating anodes, that came with the kit, were quite thin and I found that they perforated quite quickly with the use (I found some thicker ones to buy). Some parts of the kit I found to be a bit 'Micky Mouse' and replaced some of the hardware in the kit with better parts that I found from other suppliers, at 'bike shows'. I also added a 'bubbler' to agitate the solution while it was plating the parts. The bubbler seemed to be the same as is used in fish tanks. I still have the plating kit stored away. I have not used this Frost plating kit since changing from restoring veteran and vintage motorcycles to cars. The two MGBV8's I restored had chrome rather than nickel and I haven't needed to plate anything since. Most of the parts I plated were small parts like: carb parts, small brake parts, nuts and bolts. The largest parts I nickel plated were motorcycle acetylene headlamps.


The main problem I found was working out how long to leave the plating kit running for. From memory, sometimes the plating came out very dark and you had to start over again. I think this may have been caused by the part not being perfectly clean before going into the plating tank, but I am not sure.


I have just found this site.




At a quick glace of the above, somebody was not happy with the Frost kit and sent it back for a refund.


Below is a photo of a veteran 'Gamage' motorcycle, that I bought unseen in New Zealand, and ended up making and plating a lot of parts that were missing from the motorcycle when it eventually arrived in the UK.




I suppose I could have a go again at plating. My problem with the Humberette is that there is an awful lot of plating to do. To date I have chosen the easy path and have removed the poor original nickel plating to leave it as polished brass. Maybe I'll have another think about it when the trim work is completed.


It maybe worth you buying a book on 'nickel plating at home'. I am sure I have one somewhere in my collection. If you can't find one, let me know and I'll dig it out and give you the proper title and author etc.


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With regards to the downward bow in the top bows I have decided to take John's advice and glue in a filler strip. Robert came down yesterday and we trimmed up the remaining planks to tidy up the sides.




While these were being trimmed we cut off some small sections to make the filler strips for the bows.




Previously, I had marked the curve on a sheet of cardboard. . . .




. . . . and measured the depth of the curve.




This morning Robert brought me down the strips for the fillets, the glue and a cabinet scraper, for me to shape and glue in the fillets. I have ordered a small electric planer to help with the shaping. Luckily, Robert cut 6 fillets so that there are extras in case I mess some up!




Being Easter this weekend, the planner won't arrive until next week. I had a go with trying to use a belt sander to start shaping the fillets, then decided to wait until the planer arrived. I also tried the cabinet scraper Robert lent me and that took the sealer off quite easily. With the fillets I will try and put a slight outwards bow in them to make sure that the top does not dip in the middle of the bow when the material is tensioned.


Other stuff I have been doing and not reported to date is:




Flexible mountings for the silencer as suggested by Joe.




Machining some flats on half a dozen wheels for a friends English wheeling machine.




I polished the flats on the centre of the wheels after I had done the above machining.




Straightened the base of the clamp for the 'donkey saw' I had bought. Over the years the cast iron had been worn away unevenly by about 1/8"!




That should make it slide on the bed more smoothly.




On trying the mechanical saw for the first time I investigated why the sawing arm did not rise when you put it into the lift position. I found that the bearing cap to the pump had been removed and was missing. I contacted the previous owner of the saw and he had just lifted the arm up. I am too old and decrepit to lift the arm so I found a hydraulic jack to use. The saw gently drops OK when set in the cutting position and the saw blade lifts on the outward stroke to protect the blade from excess wear. So that bit works OK.




The trimmer is happy to have just the body without the chassis. So that he can move the body around easily on the bench I fitted locking casters on it.




Fitted the door to the body.




There was no way I could screw the end of this metal plate to the base board for the seat. I glued it in place with Sikaflex.




Because I have seen photos of Humberette's with the heads of these coach bolts put in after the trim was fitted I thought I better fit them before the interior trim was fitted.




So the trimmer didn't stab himself with he 'sticky out' bits of coach bolts I temporally fitted the ratchet for the handbrake. I will be making some better distance pieces. The ones that somebody made previously are a bit 'naff'.







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I hope that Easter has been as nice in the UK as in the US.  You are coming together with several aspects of your project.  Good and good for you for sharing what you are learning along the way.  I am scoping out your references for Brite Nickle plating.  Did you use a battery charger for a power source?


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The nickel plating kit that I bought from Frost included the power supply that had the variable control combined into it. It plugged into the UK 240 volt standard mains socket. Below are some details from an advert on the Frost website.


TO USE YOUR PLATING KIT, YOU WILL ALSO NEED Common Plating Module which includes: A 10 litre tub, Power Supply, Variable Control Unit, Suspension Rods, Support clips, Crocodile Clips, Dust Mask and Gloves. This Nickel plating kit requires the electrolyte to be about 30degrees, so we have included a tank heater. Other contents are 2 bags of Nickel Salts, Nickel Anodes, Scouring Powder, Test Kit and Instructions.


The main reason that I went for the Frost kit was that it included the Power supply and controller. Some of the other kits I looked at used a 12 Volt battery and light bulbs to add or take out as a controller.


The weather here in the UK has been warm and sunny over the Easter period. We even managed to take the open top MGBV8 out on Friday evening to meet up with Robert (The Woodwork Wizard) and his wife Gill, for a drink at a local pub. Jane and I were going to try and go out in the car again on Sunday, but it was so nice in our garden that we decided to stay put, I cut the grass instead. The problem is that the area in which we live, North Norfolk, is a popular holiday area . On any Bank Holiday the 'world and his friend' arrive and fill the roads up with traffic!  http://www.tournorfolk.co.uk/northnorfolk.html


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 The small electric plane arrived on Saturday from Amazon, so I had a go with it on Sunday morning, shaping a strip to fit to one of the bows. It worked well. I think this is the first time I have ever used any sort of plane! (I'm a metal work man, if you can't solder, braze or weld the material I don't normally want to know!) I have sussed out how to fit the new strips of wood. I will make a jig first to hold the metal frames each side parallel to each other. I will then take the metal frames, complete with the bows off the car, bolt them to the jig, glue and screw the new shaped bits of wood to the bows. Then remove the screws after the glue has set and plane and sand the bows to shape. As John Mereness said, if I am not happy with the result I can always have them covered with material. At least the steaming project was a very interesting learning curve for both Robert and myself.




As you can see from the shadows the weather was very sunny. Sorry that they hide my lines of the shape the fillet for the bow should be.




On the rear bow the rivets in the hinge mechanism was stopping the metal frame screwing right up tight against the wooden bow. I marked the position of the rivets, on some masking tape, attached to the bow and unscrewed the bow.




I then drilled a couple of indents into the bow to accommodate the 'sticky out' part of the rivet. By the way, that's a technical term!




After screwing the rear bow back onto the metal frame I fitted a ratchet strap to get the two metal frames parallel to each other.




. . . .  then clamped my shaped fillet onto the front bow just to see how it fitted. Next job tomorrow is to make the jig so I can work on the bows off the body.





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Making the jig for the top metal support frame and attempting to remove the negative bend in the hood bows.




This is some 2" x 1" box section I had lying around. I did not have a length long enough so1welded an extra bit on the end and angled the ends for the 1/2" diameter holes to bolt the frames to.




I cleaned off the rest of the varnish, with the cabinet scraper, that Robert lent me.




Marked the approximate centre line of the bows.




Set my jig up in the workmate and got Jane to help me transfer the bows and frames to the jig and bolt the frames securely to the drilled box section.




The temporary Philips screws were replaced with plain countersunk 3/4" brass screws.




I 'attacked' the rear bow first. Fitting a ratchet strap across the wooden part of the bow so that the measurements across the legs of the bow were the same at both the back and front of the legs of the bow. I also cut a length of 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" timber to 'push the inward bend of the bow outwards, then fixed a temporary screw to hold the new fillet of wood in place to see what it looked like.




Before I fixed it in place with glue and screws I fitted all the screws to hold the wood in place. Remember, this 'woodwork job' is all new to me!




When I was happy with the fit I put the woodwork glue that Robert had given me on both surfaces and screwed the bow and the fillet together. The ends of fillet were a bit 'sticky outie' so I added a clamp at each end. Being a beginner at woodwork I used too much glue and had to wipe it off the joint where it had leaked out and off the top of the workmate where it had dripped. I put a couple of bits of wood underneath the bow to, I hope, stop the bow getting stuck to the workmate, otherwise I may have the only Humberette with a strange shaped roof rack!




Now to wait 24 hours to see if this has removed the 'downward' bend of the bow - fingers crossed. 

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This morning I undid the clamps, removed the ratchet strap and undid the screws. The woodwork glue worked on the fillet for the top first bow - hooray!




Looking at the rule, which is touching in the middle of the bow, there is about a 3/16" to 1/4" gap at the end where my right hand is - just what I was after.




With the rule level with each end of the bow, the bow is about a 1/4" higher in the middle - great.




I finished replacing all the temporary steel Philips screws with brass slot head ones and started repairing the middle bow by ratchet strapping the width at the end of the metal bar to equal the width at  the pivot point of the side bars at the pivot point.




Rather than use the plane I used a sander to smooth off the radius at the ends to attempt to blend the new bit into the old. As you can see in the photo, I left the end slightly proud as I was concerned about disturbing the glue.




Just to be sure that the new fillet will stay where it is meant to be I screwed the fillet to the bow after sanding. Then sanded the next bow ready to glue the next fillet in place.




This time I did not use quite as much glue and no drips to mop up! I'm starting to get the hang of this woodwork lark! Now I have to wait another 24 hours before I can get on with the front and final bow. I am thinking that as the front bow goes in front of the windshield I will try and get the front edge flat to match the windshield.


Edited by Mike Macartney
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Try a place named "UK Contract Flooring". I found the web site but for some reason, I'm unable to copy the link on this computer. I'll try again in the office but they seem to have the lino you need in something other than "artsy" colors. Lino is a big deal in the "green" construction world so I can't imagine it isn't available in the UK. But, I suspect the term "Battleship Linoleum" isn't used. I just searched on Linoleum and looked at the sites that differentiated between the original stuff and vinyl.


I think Lino is the way to go. It's certainly what I'll be using. I'm sure carpet is wrong and I suspect that even if the car had rubber mats it probably had lino under them.


Those fillets added to the bows are great....do the job and will be almost invisible when the top is one. I don't know when I'll ever have to steam wood but your description of the process, and the subsequent problems have added to my store of arcane knowledge of how things are done.



Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Thanks Joe, I'll try 'UK Contract Flooring' for the lino Yes, I'm pleased with how the fillets in the bows went. I glued the last fillet on the front bow this morning. This one I have made 'flat' as it is across the top of the windshield.



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I have just called UK Contract Flooring, hopefully, they are sending me some samples. They did not seem at all happy at me wanting to purchase a small quantity. They kept telling me their minimum order quantity was 4 sq metres. I have also contacted https://www.restorationstuff.com/products.html by email asking if they would ship to the UK and they responded immediately saying they do. I seem to have more luck with American companies than I do with UK companies! I will have to 'way up' whether the shipping costs from 'Restoration Stuff' is the same/more/less than buying twice the amount I need from UK Contract Flooring! Restoration Stuff seem to have other items that I am interested in that I have not found available in the UK.

Edited by Mike Macartney
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This photo shows just how the 'fillet' screwed and glued in place has straightened the front top bow.




With all the fillets now attached I sanded them with small electric triangular sander to shape the ends and curve the sharp corners. Finished the sanding by hand ready for the varnish to paint on the new additions to the bows.




The bows attached to the metal frame and holding jig ready to varnish. After sanding I put some screws back in.




Varnished with the first coat. I'll put another coat on this morning and then I can fit them back on the car tomorrow.




As I still had a little energy left I wiped the underside of the body with panel wipe to remove any oil or grease.




. . . . and started painting on the satin black paint.




Jane has offered to paint the difficult bits where you have to be careful not to get the black paint on the blue! Brush painting is definitely not my favourite job.



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Here are a few photos I took a week or so ago and missed putting them in my reports.




The door catch plate fitted OK. The area around the catch plate does not look as bad in real life than it does in the photo.




I fitted the lock to the door. This is where taking photos and writing the reports helps. I saw when I was looking through the photos that I had forgotten to clean and paint the door lock. I have now removed the lock cleaned the brass and painted the black bits! When the paint id dry I will refit it.




The hinges fitted well, but I had to pack the back of one of the hinges to get the door to close onto the catch plate nicely.

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Took the modified top frame and bows off the jig . . . .




. . . . and fitted them to the body.




Moved the trestle's to another position and finished painting the underside of the body.




Also painted the inside of the body at the front end.




Fitted the strengthening bracket, come battery clamp.




I suddenly realised that this hinge panel would need to be fitted before the seat upholstery was fitted, as it is fixed by screws coming in from behind the seat back. I am using this black trim to hide the gap. I punched out holes in the black trim for where the screw positions are.




Cleaned the surfaces with panel wipe before putting on the contact adhesive.




Masked the area where I didn't want glue! (I am not very accurate with a paint brush!) and painted on the contact adhesive on both the wooden part and the black trim..




Peeled off the masking. . . .




Marked and trimmed the ends.




. . . .  and stuck the trim in position. I think that will be alright.




Screwed the panel in position with the 5-screws. As the screws are hidden by the seat back, I used what I had, Phillips headed screws! The original screws had rusted quite a lot.




I am quite pleased with that. I just have to think how I am going to tidy up the hollow ends of the trim when it is viewed from the side.




Fixed the top brackets, that I had made previously and fitted to the trunk lid hinge panel, to the trunk lid sides and touched up the satin black paint. The back end of the body should now be a lot stiffer than it was previously.




A sample of lino had arrived from the manufacturer (Forbo). Jane and I had a look to see if we thought it would be suitable for the flooring. Thanks to everybody who gave me suggestions regarding the floor covering.



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You are quite the craftsman!  I enjoy watching this beautiful automobile come together!


Maybe for the open ends of the welting you could fabricate a decorative metal "plug" that would have sort of a "tail" on it so you could slide it into the welt and maybe with just a dot of epoxy keep it steady.


Steele Rubber carries these glove box bumpers that are made with a long tail.  Something along those lines may be a nice finishing touch for the open end.


Keep up the beautiful work!!  

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Many thanks Gary for your kind comments, it is much appreciated. Sometimes when writing posts on the Humberette restoration, and I get no comments, I think I am the only person who ever reads them!


Thanks also for the idea of the 'tail' to plug the end of the welt. When I wrote the post I couldn't think of the proper name of what I called 'trim'. I now realise I could have also called it 'piping' or 'cording'. It must be my age! I shall attempt to make a couple of plugs in the lathe to finish the welt.


I have just had a look at the Steele Rubber web site and saved it in my favourites for future reference. They look a useful supplier. 

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We are all reading your posts. Some of them are just too awesome to comment on. You are doing beautiful work. I would love to tackle a job working with wood, but I have two all-steel coupes to do.

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Thanks Keiser31 and Bloo, I think I must have been feeling a bit down when I wrote my comment. When you are mainly working on your own, you can feel a bit isolated. It's great with this forum to have guys out there that you can 'bounce' ideas with.

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It is a lot easier nowadays, than it used to be, in that you can look 'stuff' up on the internet. Whereas, when I started 'playing' with cars in the 1960's it was more difficult as you had to get books out from the library to learn 'stuff'. Now, you can even find videos on U-tube on how to do 'stuff'. All you need is a positive mental attitude (PMA). Which means; a philosophy of having an optimistic disposition in every situation.


The reason for me doing these restoration reports is to try and help others who are starting out on restorations and/or get others interested in working on old cars. It can be an interesting and rewarding hobby.


I started out being interested in cars in the 1960's. The majority of what I have learnt so far, I say 'so far', as you are never too old to learn, is self taught, having acquired knowledge or skill on one's own initiative rather than through formal instruction or training. I've made mistakes on the way, but you can learn a lot from your mistakes.


If anybody is interested, I can write a brief summary of my hobby and work experience over the years, if it would be any help to others.


Here is a little bit that is on the Jaymic website, that my daughter wrote, when she took over the parts side of the business, 14-years ago when I retired.


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Now the Humberette body is waiting on the coach trimmer to let me know when he requires it, I believe he is just finishing off upholstery work on a Jaguar, my attention has turned towards the chassis and engine. Before I remove the engine I want to make the brackets to support the exhaust downpipes on the bell housing rather than all the strain going through the 2-bolt exhaust flanges as there are only exhaust mountings on the silencer (muffler) and tail pipe. This was an idea given to me by Joe Puleo who is posting the work on his 1910 Mitchell on this AACA forum. His work is well worth following if you haven't seen his posts. Over the last couple of months I have been thinking on and off how to hold the exhaust pipe, in a reasonably 'vintage way' to the bell housing bolts.


The first thing I did was make a cardboard pattern of the 'space' between 2-bell housing bolt/crankcase holes and the exhaust downpipe.




I marked around the cardboard pattern onto 3mm (1/8") mild steel plate with a black marker pen. I will cut the shape out later once I have made the other parts. At first I thought of making the exhaust clamps out of exhaust pipe of a larger diameter that would just fit over the diameter of the downpipe, but gave up on this idea because I felt the clamp would be too flimsy. The next idea was using a exhaust U-clamp, the problem with this idea was the bracket from the bellhousing would need to be twisted as the angle of the downpipe is not at right angles to the bellhousing to crankcase join. I decided in the end to make the clamps from scrap round bar and 1/8" x 3/4" mild steel bar.




Boring out the solid bar to the outside diameter of the exhaust downpipe.




Machining the outside diameter to give the 'clamp' an 1/8" wall thickness.




About to cut the tube off with a parting tool. Before I did this, I used the lathe parting tool, to mark a line down the outside of the tube, you can see the line just above the tool.




Splitting the bit of tube into two halves.




I tidied the ends up in the lathe. Now I need to cut each tube in half to make the clamp.

Edited by Mike Macartney
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