Mike Macartney


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Sometime ago somebody asked on this forum how many cars finish the Veteran Car Clubs London to Brighton run. Today, a list of results arrived for this years event:







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45 minutes ago, Mike Macartney said:

Sometime ago somebody asked on this forum how many cars finish the Veteran Car Clubs London to Brighton run. Today, a list of results arrived for this years event:








Hopefully there were no accidents this year?



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Last Thursday, with no electric, turned out to be a nice and peaceful day. No phone ringing, no internet and had a restful day catching up on some reading in front of the log fire. The next day I got on with blowing down the parts to spray.


Then cleaned all the surfaces to be painted with the epoxy primer with 'panel wipe' (a mild thinners).


Mixing the epoxy primer was strange to me, it is extremely thick, after adding the hardener 1 found I needed to add a lot more thinners than with 'normal' paints I have used in the past. I still don't think I thinned it enough as it sprayed on like treacle! Anyway, that said, I managed to spray all the wooden parts.


I also sprayed the back of this bulkhead as some of it will be open to the elements.


I got a couple of runs on dashboard - I hope they rub out OK.


The finish on the trunk area 'left bit to be desired'. It covered OK, but the finish wasn't 'orange peel' it was more like 'grapefruit peel'!


See what I mean. At least it should seal the wood and hopefully stop the paint cracking or flaking.


The next day I gave all the panels I had painted a guide coat of thin black paint to help with getting a smooth surface when it comes to rubbing down.


Attention then turned to replacing the two odd rivets in the bonnet. The ball end drills arrived, they were in fact milling cutters with a thread that fitted into my Clarkson Autolock chuck for the milling machine.


I marked the position that that dome of the rivet needed to fit in and then used a small centre drill to make the first hole.


Then drilled with the ball end drill until the rivet sat nicely in the concave hole.


Previously I had made up a rivet set to push the hinge part hard onto the rivet and machined the rivets in the lathe to try and match the existing rivets in the bonnet.


Pushing the hinge onto the rivet.


Before I peen the underside of the rivet I need to cut off some of the length of the rivet. They say that you need about half the thickness of the material you are riveting sticking out before peening. I cut the excess off with the Dremel tool with a thin grinding disc.


Not perfect, but they are a lot better than the ones that had been fitted previously.


The underside of the rivets that have been peened with the ball peen hammer.






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Looks great!  Thanks for posting the extra detail on the rivets, that's not something I've done a lot of and it is something that keeps coming up.  I've tossed some parts instead of messing with the rivets. 

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It is a long time since I last did some riveting. I seem to remember that I made this tool box 55-years ago when I was at the Ford apprentice training school. It is now used as our letter box!


It looks as if it is overdue for another coat of paint.


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This is a job I have been putting off, until I finished painting the epoxy primer, fitting the aluminium mouldings to cover the join of the trunk area to the main body.656.thumb.jpg.dd4e41f680a5eb8267edaf514ea7415d.jpg

I started off by marking on the outside of the mouldings two positions where the screws would not foul an existing screw or nail. I then drilled a clearance hole for the screws that would hold the moulding in position. The pilot hole on the body was then drilled into the ash frame for the screw to thread into.


I then measured the heads of the screws for drilling the countersinks into the moulding.


As the countersink was on the curve I was surprised how deep I needed to drill the countersink. I took this photo before I had finished the countersinking.


Once I was happy with the fit unscrewed the mouldings to paint. I may need to grind a little off the edge of the screw heads so they are flush with the moulding.


They got coated with etching primer and were left overnight to dry.


Meanwhile I got on with rubbing down the epoxy primer hoping, that I would not need to spray another coat, as I had nearly run out of the epoxy primer.


The brackets that would hold the trunk lid hinge panel were clamped into position and a screw put in.


Both brackets were fitted and the panel tried in place to make sure it still fitted.


Someone on this forum suggested that I use marine grade Sikaflex (291i) for the seal between the trunk and the body. For my first try of the material I ran a bead in the joint between the body and the plywood strengthening panel I had added.


I then squeezed it into the join that will be hidden by the aluminium moulding.


I also squeezed it onto the back of the mouldings before finally screwing then in place.


The left hand side, which was the problem side, needed a lot more sealer to fill the joint.


I then got carried away and sealed all the joins in the wooden panels to try and make the trunk area water tight - well, that's my excuse!


To my amazement it seemed to go well with the fit of the mouldings.


Even on the left hand side.


I thought it wise not to try the hinge panel in place until the sealer had ;gone off'.


Attention then turned to the bonnet. Before, when I had been playing with the bonnet, I was finding that it kept slipping of the workmate. I remembered I had these plastic plugs and fitted them into the sides of the workmate and that solved the slipping problem.


I am sorry that there are no photos of actual panel beating because nobody wandered into the workshop while I was bashing the metal to take a photo for me.


After a couple of hours of 'tin bashing' I was worn out. I had forgotten how tiring this can be when your in your 70's! Where there is strengthening underneath it was impossible to get every dent out. Hopefully I can get it good enough to only need a small amount of fine filler. I found a few more areas that would need a bit more welding - that can wait for tomorrow.

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Mike, got a question for you. Should the screws in the moldings be oval straight blade to be correct?  The 1928 I'm working on has no Phillips head screws anywhere. And I think an oval screw would look better than a flat head screw. Thanks mike

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Mike, you are correct. The alloy mouldings are replacing wooden mouldings that were held in with panel pins. The heads of the Pozidrive screws will be hidden with a little filler and then painted the colour of the body, I have used slotted screws in areas that will be seen.

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I have deleted the duplicate posting's. Sorry for thing you were seeing double, triple, quadruple, etc!

As I stupidly managed to delete all the test I am editing this post to try and add the text back in.


The debris of tools left over from panel beating the bonnet into shape. A good selection of panel beating dollies and hammers helps. 


I have never managed to panel beat the dents out of panels without using some filler. I admire and envy people who have the skills to panel beat without having to use any filler.


This photo is of the hinge panel after lightly rubbing down the epoxy primer, showing the darker areas that still have the black guide coat on. This needs more rubbing down until all the dark areas are removed. You then know you have the panel reasonably flat.


All the guide coat removed and a reasonable surface for the primer coat


This photo is not meant to scare you! I thought I would show you the face mask I have been using. I believe it is sold for woodworking. It has a rechargeable battery pack that supplies air through the filters, that are replaceable. The battery pack did not last that long before it decided not to recharge. I rewired the mask and now connect it to a 6 volt motorcycle battery that is in the top breast pocket of my overalls.


This area near the hinge is going to be a problem area. I will not be able to get it flat along the area of the rivets as there are too many thicknesses of metal to try and straighten. I will just have to do my best without taking the whole bonnet apart. I am not restoring this car to 'show', I am restoring it to use.


A guide coat spayed over the bonnet to aid the rubbing down process.


I filled the screw holes in the trunk to body join mouldings and tried the trunk lid hinge panel to see if it fitted. It didn't! I then relieved the edges of the wooden hinge panel until it would slide nicely into position. 


Screw holes filled and rubbed down.


Just to prove it fitted here's a photo.


I better check that the trunk lid also fits. There is a slight warp on the lid but I can live with that.


The areas I welded on the underside of the bonnet (hood) were filled to tidy up my welds. Does anybody know why in the UK a hood is called a bonnet!


Just showing where the low areas still are on the windshield support panel.


Yet more filling. It is surprising how wide the filler spreads to when you are getting near to getting the surface flat.


Well, it seems I have managed to get some text back into this post with editing. It's probably not exactly the same text that I accidentally deleted, but never mind.


Edited by Mike Macartney
Duplicate posting and loss of text (see edit history)
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You've been drinking too much of that Old Engine Oil beer again!?!


Sorry, my mistake. My laptop computer decided it didn't want to talk to the modem and I thought the post hadn't uploaded. I'll try and do better next time. I will see if I can delete the duplicate post.

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It now seems I have deleted all the original text? I'll go and stand on the naughty step. Sorry about that for those who did not see the original duplicate posts! Yours sincerely A Real Wally

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I often have a problem with this site in that it repeats photos and/or inserts them out of order.


I'm enjoying these photos of the panel beating - something I know very little about. I've painted a couple of cars and motorcycles but that was many years ago. They came out OK - though perhaps not to the standards of "show cars."



Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Joe, I don't think it was a problem so much with the site. I think it was a more an operator issue! Today I am going to attempt to edit that last post on the panel beating and filling by trying to put the test back in that I managed to delete.


I am only going to prepare the body and parts for painting. I shall let the guys at my old company spray the colour coat as they have all the equipment and low bake spray booth to do a far better job than I can in my workshop. At present I am regretting that I have involved myself with any of the paintwork, as it appears that over the years, I have become sensitized to isocyanates that are in most paint and filler activators. My breathing has become a lot worse recently and I am suffering from very itchy skin. I hope today will see the last of the filling on the bonnet. I can then turn my attention to the metal work repairs on the front and rear wings.

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By way of a change from bodywork repairs. A fellow Humberette owner contacted me the other week asking "what is the thread on the bolt that clamps the adjustment on the steering box?" Apparently, he had mislaid the nut and could not find a nut that would thread onto the bolt. Being the helpful guy that I am?! I removed the nut and bolt from my Humberette steering box and checked the thread for him.


I measured the thread diameter in imperial and found it to be an odd size.


I then checked the pitch and found it to be 25 threads per inch which is also a rather odd pitch to be found on nuts and bolts. I seemed to remember reading some time in the past that Humber used metric nuts and bolts, which seems strange at this age of motorcar.


I measured the diameter of the thread again in metric and found it was just under 8mm.


On checking the thread pitch in metric it seemed to be 1mm pitch. Therefore, I was able to confirm to him that the bolt was an M8 x 1mm pitch. I had my suspicions that many of the bolts on the Humberette were metric, when I was working on the chassis of my car, as  my metric spanners fitted the nuts and bolts when my BSW/BSF spanners didn't fit.

Below are details of Tracy tools who are a good source of odd source of taps and dies.


On the back page of their catalogue are listed the majority of thread sizes, TPI and tapping drill sizes. Their catalogue is worth getting just for this information.



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Well, after that interlude on bolt threads, it's back to more bodywork. I have found out that I am booked in for the body to be painted on the first week in January. I will not have all the wings (fenders), and wheels ready for painting by then. I should be able to manage to get all the parts that are going to be painted Royal Blue, the body and bonnet, ready by that date. Since the skin reaction I have been trying to protect myself by wearing a white paper coverall with hood. This seems to have helped.


The areas of filler still seem to be getting larger in area. The guide coat definitely helps with finding low areas. Some high areas have also come to my attention. These high spots show up as shiny metal and can be moved level with some gentle tapping with a slightly domes planishing hammer.


Areas that are difficult to get into with a air or electric sander were flattened with a block of wood with the production paper wrapped around the block.


I inherited this square electric sander from a friend who died. In the past, I have always used air sanders. I have tried this square electric sander for the first time on this car and found it easy to use than the normal DA round orbital sander. It also has a bag that collects most of the sanding dust.


The door needed a skin of filler all over the door skin. I didn't bother to put any black guide coat over the filler which after I sanded it made it quite difficult to see the low spots.


Another morning of filling, I think that I should be ready to spray the final coat of epoxy primer on the wood parts and 2-pack primer over that and onto the bonnet (hood) and door tomorrow morning.


I've done as much filling as I am going to do under the hood. I coated all the bare metal parts I could find with etching primer.724.thumb.jpg.6fd52c8a6c01b23b7a16f75269ced375.jpg

I have found this BIG BOY fine bodyfiller very good and easy to sand. I have been buying the small 250mL cans as I find larger cans can tend to dry out if not used on a regular basis. The metal spreaders are very cheap and much better than the plastic spreaders that come with the filler. After each fill I wash the metal spreaders and plastic one that I use for mixing in my Tupperware pot containing standard thinners. You used to be able to buy gun wash which would be suitable for cleaning, but it only seems to be available in 25L drums and I don't need that much.


Wood bits hung up, ready to clean with panel wipe, clean with a 'tack rag' and spray.

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It seems ages since I last wrote a post. Looking at the date of the post above it's only a week. It does seem like a lot longer with all the rubbing down and filling.


The final coat of epoxy was sprayed onto the wooded parts. Before the 2 pack epoxy 'went off', about as tacky as the back of a self adhesive postage stamp, the 2 pack high build primer was spayed on over the epoxy.


I also gave the bonnet a good coat of primer. Then sprayed a coat of black guide coat, to help with getting the paintwork smooth, when I rub down the primer.


I removed the masking over the metal panels that was there to stop the overspray of the epoxy primer and remasked the top edge to cover the wood framing. You can see in this photo that I have rubbed down the primer on the trunk lid and rear panel. You can see the difference in colour between the trunk lid hinge panel which isn't rubbed down and the trunk lid. As I did not want to rub through the epoxy primer I used a cork block with 240 grit rather than using powered sander. Took longer, but there was no rush to get the job done.


Bonnet was rubbed, down with a sander and highlighted some imperfections that needed a bit more filling.


Some of the screw holes in the alloy mouldings needed a bit more filling with fine body filler.


More rubbing down and filling.


All the bare aluminium parts were etch primed again where I had rubbed through to bare metal.


I now hope I have finished with the filling and can get on with spraying the final primer coat.


Before spraying I wanted to get all the holes drilled for the hood fixing turnbuckles. This 'gizmo' I found worked well for marking the holes to be drilled. It spays a dot of paint through the alloy jig.


When you remove the jig you can see where to centre punch the hole.


I found that by putting in one screw first the 'spraying gizmo' could be used to mark the hole through the turnbuckle without having to use the jig. This seemed to be easier and more accurate.


Centre punching for the second hole.


Screwing the turnbuckle on with one screw and then drawing through the other hole also marked the position of the hole well.


It was a two man job, or should I say one 'man and his wife' as I got Jane to help me as I needed to get Jane to make sure I was drilling a right angles to the moulding.


All turnbuckles fitted. Job done. Now to take them off again, have a good clear up and hopefully I can spray the final primer coat tomorrow.


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That is looking really good Mike. What impresses me most though is that is is now solid... perhaps more so than it was new.



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Thanks Joe. I remember driving old pre war sports cars in the 60's and 70's with 'scuttle shake' looking through the mirror attached to the windshield and seeing the rear of the car moving from side to side. Our 1934 Singer 9 sports, which has never been rebuilt, also suffered from this. Rather than renew the ash frame I fitted a metal box section frame inside the bulkhead to strengthen the scuttle and bulkhead. It's still in the car. I feel loathed to rebuild this Singer as it has character and patina the way it is. I mentioned to my daughter about possibly selling the Singer and she said "You can't sell it - it's part of the family!" We have owned this Singer since 1969.


This photo was taken in 1980 when we were at Greenham Common American air base, attempting to obtain the world speed record with our 'Poppy Flyer', human powered tricycle. We left early as we were just off to a Singer rally in France to Le Mans and a trip up the Loire valley. The trailer is full of our camping equipment. 

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