More work today prompted by the clutch installation. As you can see, there is a gap between the clutch flange and the gearbox input flange. This is filled with a flexible disc coupling of which the original was made of leather.
We are fortunate in that we have the remains of one to copy. Mind you, how they were made is outside of our knowledge. Fortunately another of our dear friends, Mark, a retired submariner, knows all about this sort of thing and very kindly offered to make it up for us. In fact, he made three as the main propshaft flexible joints operate on the same principle.
These are amazing pieces of work and must have taken him ages as well as the severe wear and tear on hands. Thank you Mark. The next challenge though was to put the holes in them in the right place. Now, how to you put a 5/8" hole in 1" of leather? An ordinary twist drill was suggested so I had a laser cut blank made to position the holes with extra screw-down holes in the edge to enable the leather to be trapped against a board.
Then another woodworking pal suggested using a 'Forstner bit' which is something I hadn't come across. It has the advantage of a sharp edge all round to neatly cut the hole without tearing it. I did a test piece and was pleased with the result.
Then I went for it!
The leather is sandwiched between two plates which spread the load from the bolts. These had also been laser cut some time ago. I cut and filed them for the Autocar couplings but I am certainly glad that technology has moved on and I didn't have to do that again!
These have a single securing rivet to each pair so I drilled through the leather, with a twist drill this time, and made up some rivets by softening some ordinary wire nails.
These went quite well.
Now we need a clutch pedal and linkage but that will be a story for another day.