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Posts posted by BenHawkins

  1. I needed to get some parts cast for other projects; it seemed to make sense to get the radiator sides cast at the same time.



    There is a brace across the bottom of the radiator but the pattern was too big to print in one piece so I split it into four. I included dowel holes so I could fit them together with glue and some 4mm steel rods.


    It needed a little filler and sanding but is nearly ready for some pattern coat.


    With that success in hand we continued to print the components for the front half of the header tank core box. I ran out of filament for the printer but was able to glue and screw most of the pieces to the MDF board. I don't know if the foundry would prefer to pack sand into the assembled core box or prefer to mould the two halves and glue them together but the design allows for either method.




    • Like 4
  2. 8 minutes ago, Tomo.T said:

    The ASC (Army Service Corps ) No. was an early means of registering military kit, including vehicles. The system did not work in practice and there were many duplicate no's issued. The whole system was scrapped in early 1915 and replaced by WD ' bonnet ' No's.

    Thanks Tomo, I thought that was probably the case but didn't want to jump to conclusions.

  3. I was wrong on the "The Austin Motor Company (1914) Ltd" statement. They appear to have reverted back to "The Austin Motor Company Ltd" in 1916 so the plate could be from before or after that period, but I think the font of the brass plate puts it earlier. I have seen a couple of the later brass plates but do not have any photos I can post.

    My engine number is also stamped on the two halves of the timing case (where they join at the top over the magneto drive), does yours have a stamping there?

    I obtained a copy of the instruction book for the 3.5kW set (four cylinder) from the Vintage Austin Register. It is undated but states it could be provided with Claudel, Zenith or Solex carburettor so the Zenith is perfect for my two cylinder after all.

    For ordering spares the book states that engine number or A.S.C should be stated.  I am not certain what A.S.C stands for either but some generators have both ASC and Engine number brass plates. 

  4. 9 hours ago, lynx42 Rick Cove said:

    This is the Claudel Hobson on my 2 cylinder Austin engine. No. E181 or E136 take your pick. Does anyone have any info on this engine?

    Lynx continues 013.JPG

    Lynx continues 022.JPG

    Shep Rally 007.JPG

    Thanks Rick, so the stationary engines (and probably the generators) did not have Austin branded carburettors, at least that should make it slightly easier to find.

    My makers plate shows "Austin Motor Company (1914) ... Engine number 213" and the dynamo is dated 1914. Austin Motor Company (1914) was formed in February 1914 to replace the existing company so given the slightly earlier number and lack of date in the name, I would guess that your engine dates from slightly before that. No idea why there is an E prefix or dual numbering.





  5. 6 hours ago, 8_10 Brass Cleaner said:

    The carb is very like an early Austin 7 one. Is it a 22mm?

    Yes, 22mm and almost certainly off an Austin 7. The two cylinder Austin generator probably started life with an Austin branded Claudel Hobson but the Zenith will not look out of place.

  6. 2 minutes ago, andypugh said:

    How does the top tank attach to the radiator core? 

    It is a horizontal tube radiator, the two brass tube plates get sandwiched between the cast sides and the top tank (with lots of 1/4 BSW cheese head screws). Only one of the tube plates has a hole in it to let the water through. The baffle in the cast sides put banks of tube in parallel giving the water a serpentine path (putting each bank of tubes in series with the next). The radiator outlet is at the bottom of one side.

    The brass pipe bend I had cast recently fits to the radiator outlet and is coupled to the water pump with a piece of flexible hose.

  7. Although I have drawn the radiator out in CAD, I wanted to check the dimensions against the engine and chassis before gluing any of the 3D printed features in place. No drawings have survived for the radiator so it is all worked from photos and chassis dimensions.



    A little bit of glue, filler and some paint completes the spilt pattern for the top tank but I still need to make the core box before I can drop it off at the foundry. 



    The sides are pretty much finished now (just need to polish the pattern coat).



  8. Having never seen ECL self generating lamps before I purchased the pair at the end of last month, I found another one this week. It also needs some weld repairs to the generator and some parts making.


    My good friend Mick has found me a lovely Zenith carb to replace the unsightly aluminium downdraft version fitted to the Austin generator. The Zenith does not appear to be missing any parts, unlike most autojumble finds. Mick has been a huge support (enthusiasm and parts) for my projects over the years for which I am deeply grateful.


    • Like 1
  9. The commercial vehicle projects are on a bit of a back burner as I am working on other projects (including building a blacksmiths shop at the bottom of the garden).

    However, I could not resist a trip out yesterday to pick up these ECL lamps.


    Obviously, the glasses and burners are missing but I have a feeling there should also be brass cups in the generators to hold the calcium carbide. Without brass cups I think the alkali solution of calcium hydroxide would eat through the aluminium quite quickly. Does anyone else have the same model of lamp and would be willing to take photographs for me?


  10. Virtually all of my casting work is done by Andy of AJD Foundries. I can get there from work during my lunch breaks and I have been really impressed with the quality of work.



    The water manifolds have turned out well; the foundry seemed quite happy with the 3D printed patterns so I can continue to use the printer for the smaller patterns and details on the larger ones. 



    The pipe bend for the radiator outlet also looks good. When I have finished the patterns for the radiator and made the patterns for the water pump there will be somewhere to fit it.


    • Like 3
  11. Thanks for the kind comments on this project. It is a lovely little lorry to drive, managing quite a high top speed, pretty light steering and clutch, fairly good brakes and half decent visibility with reasonable weather protection .

    The Aster engine is half the power of the engine originally fitted so you get the fun of changing down at least one gear for every hill; at least it gives good miles to the gallon (more than 10).

    When I started putting the Dennis projects together I was working out of prefabricated concrete garage adjoining my end of terrace house. We looked for a house where we could build a suitable home for the lorries but ended up buying the Edwardian printing works in the photo, this gave what I thought would be enough garage space but I needed to spend two year converting some of it into suitable accommodation for the glamorous assistant. Another task for this year is planning the next garage.

    • Like 1
  12. On 7/13/2020 at 8:57 PM, Foden7536 said:

    Where are you based Ben? I get aluminium castings done by “Harling Foundry” in Hastings, they are very sympathetic with work on older stuff and delicate with patterns. They do quite a lot of vintage and veteran car stuff for me. Lloyd (the boss man) is very pleasant and knowledgeable. 01424 443160 If that’s any help. 


    I am based near Birmingham, my usual foundry appears to have been on holiday this week but has the advantage that I can get there in my lunch breaks. Good to know there are others out there.

    Not too much progress on this particular project this week, I have just been putting metal back onto some of the body ironwork where it has been cut or broken off. The repair pieces are being machined from EN3 steel and arc welded to the wrought iron. These ones make up the back corners of the body and carry the rear hoop.


    • Like 1
  13. With things slowly returning to normal and a dry forecast we decided yesterday would be a good opportunity to take the lorry out for a small drive. It has not been out of the garage for six months; not at all what we had planned back in January.

    We emptied the petrol out last time we used it so put four gallons in the tank and it started first swing. I have added a felt seal behind the fan belt pulley since the last drive; it has slowed but not eliminated the oil leak so I will need to revisit that at some point.

    Another task completed recently has been the reshaping of the headlamp bracket I made to fit a Powell and Hanmer self generating acetylene lamp. The in-service photo showing this model of lamp arrived after the bulk of the restoration was complete and I managed to find the correct lamp at the start of this year. The lamp is slightly narrower than the ECL but needs to sit higher to clear the water trap.



    Another detail I was missing was the canvas sheet "roof".



    I have been collecting period photos of fruit vehicles and found there appear to be three standard types of gathering baskets; these have been meticulously recreated by Pascal Carr of All About Willow.



    • Like 8
  14. On 7/5/2020 at 7:31 PM, Scrunt & Farthing said:

    What foundry are you going to send them to, Ben?  I have no experience of Alu in v.low volume, only Bronze.  I need to make some similar bits for my Leyland at some point.


    I think I will be visiting the foundry with a batch of patterns this week so I will check he is still happy to do aluminium and for me to give details here.

    The 3D printer has been used again to make the core prints for both ends of the header tank. The first step was to glue ans screw them on.


    Filler was used to cover the screw heads and tidy up any small gaps. The front half of the header tank pattern is now finished but I need to confirm the locations of the features on the back half. I don't have the drawings so it is being scaled from photos and chassis details but I am still not sure if there should be a flange for attaching to the front of the bonnet.



    I took some of the bits of wrought iron to work and blasted then in my lunch breaks. They have had a couple of coats of Bondaprimer


    • Like 2
  15. 1 hour ago, Citroman said:

    Hi Ben, that was a good bargain, these are very nice carburettors, my Citroen 5HP has a similar one. Also with barrel throttle. The venturis are just bolted in so you change them to the right size.

    This belgian collector has a lot of old parts for sale as he is selling the lot of his collection. He only speaks french but Google translate is a good help.


    Regards Fer



    I seem to remember more of my schoolboy french than I thought as I can understand a quite a bit of that without google translate. The Solex is really well documented so once I have confirmed the bore and stroke it should be quite easy to set the carburettor up correctly.

  16. Yesterday morning we had a drive down to Somerset; setting off early to avoid the queue of caravans heading south now they are allowed to stay over night.

    We spent five hours picking through piles of cart and carriage ironwork in an attempt to find all the remaining parts from the long dismantled Lyons tea van. It was moderately successful as we came back with a boot full of iron for this and some other projects.


    Am I a rustaholic, or do I just think I am? Anyway, it is not a complete set so I will continue to build my blacksmiths shop.

    During the week I drilled the two halves of the header tank pattern so I could fit the alignment dowels. This morning I marked the location for the filler and drilled a 20mm hole to locate the 3D printed filler neck and core print.



    After the filler neck halves were glued and screwed in place a bit of filler was used to blend them in and cover the screw heads before I gave them a coat of bondaprimer.



    • Like 3
  17. Thanks for all the help with the WO stamping.

    Looking through the parts book it would appear the Thornycroft T4 was fitted with a Solex carburettor (there is no text to say that but I don't think there were any carburettors that looked similar). After a little bit of research it would appear that one from 1914 should have a barrel throttle rather than a butterfly. There was one on eBay last week the right size for the Coventry Simplex engine so I bid on it.

    It does not seem anyone else is really looking for one as it cost me a little over 10 pounds which seems cheap for an Edwardian bronze carburettor.


    The tickler button and spring is missing, and it does not have the optional choke but does have the float, jets etc. If only everything was that easy to find.

    • Like 1
  18. These patterns have been given a couple of coats of paint and will need polishing when the patterncoat has hardened.



    I have added 3mm of ply to each stack of MDF for the header tank pattern to make up the thickness. I then drilled holes for dowels to line the two halves up. IMG_5729.thumb.JPG.555c5ccf31fdb8a587e42f8bb73f062b.JPG

  19. Before the rain set in today we were able to unload the generating set from the trailer. Whilst applying plusgas everywhere I came across these stampings of the broad arrow with WO. Obviously I have seen this with WD on many occasions but I am sure someone on HMVF can explain the why this was stamped WO instead.


    The rocker cover has four Rotherhams of Coventry flip top oilers but only one has the lid so I was concerned the rocker chamber might be full of rust. To my surprise the oil I applied last week seems to have done the job and I was able to loosen the thumb knob that secures the rocker cover. 


    Although it is obvious that some water has made it in through the three faulty oilers there is still only light corrosion so I am sure the rockers will free off

    • Like 1
  20. 19 hours ago, Doc said:


    Pleased to see you've bought the Coventry Simplex generating set. I was under bidder on it at the Crawford reduction sale last year. Part of me wishes I had persevered, but you can't have everything. Good to know it's gone to a good home.


    Thanks Andy,

    Perhaps I am better off not knowing the hammer price but I am quite happy with my purchase. Although it is obvious the engine has spent some time outside and there were two spark plugs missing when we picked it up I did take some modern technology with me.

    The first tool was a welding rod, I poked it into the sump and to my amazement all that came out on the rod was clean, clear engine oil. No black burnt sludge, water, emulsion or rust. That might still be in the bottom of the sump but decided it was a positive sign.

    The second tool was a £20 boroscope. I poked this into the two open spark plug holes; it does not give fantastic images (partly due to poor illumination) but I could not see anything to worry about. The threads for the spark plugs only had light surface rust and being horizontal did not appear to have let any rain in.

    I have not take the engine out of the trailer yet, it is too tall for the engine crane so we need to rig up the chain block and scaffold tower. Last night I put some oil in the bores and on most of the fasteners before covering it over with a tarpaulin.

    The starting handle had been broken at some point; I suspected the drive dog was in mesh and the shaft was stuck in the carrier so I unbolted it this morning so at least I will not bend it any more when unloading the trailer.

    I found a piece of bar that could be bolted to the flange on the crankshaft. This piece of bar has quite a few holes in it from some of the dismantling on the Dennis projects.


    To my amazement the crank moved with light finger force at about 2' away from the axis. I don't intend to turn it any more than that but it is certainly a positive sign for disassembly.

    • Like 3
  21. It has been quite slow finding parts for the Thornycroft with the three major missing components being the steering box, engine and gearbox.

    I spotted this generating set online and we have been out today to collect it.


    At first I thought it was one of the Thornycroft T4 generators. The engine is very similar but in fact this one was made by Coventry Simplex.



    Looking at the engine numbers used in cars I think this dates it to around 1914 and makes it the 18.5hp model. I believe these generators were used to power searchlights, it ended up on a farm but from some of the lining on the paintwork I suspect it also found a fairground use at some point.


    The inlet over exhaust configuration is the same as the Thornycroft T4.



    Like the T4 it has only two main bearings and the crank has to be extracted through the hole at the back of the crankcase.



    The spark plugs stick out the side too so it may be the closest match I can find.


    Worth the 250 mile round trip! I will keep oiling it over the next few months before attempting to free anything off.

    • Like 3
  22. We are still mainly concentrating on other (long neglected building) projects but really enjoying getting back into this one after so long.

    I have glued each additional layer of MDF onto the CNC cut templates and used the router to trim them with a slight offset to give 2 degrees of draft angle. Each is currently at 4 layers of 12mm and the final depth needs to be 4" so I need to add some thin ply or similar to the backs to finish them off. There are still a few more parts to print before moving on to the core box. 



    The outlet is on the side of the radiator so a tight bend is needed. Three of the four parts of the pattern have been printed, rubbed down and primed; the other half of the core box is currently printing.



    • Like 4
  23. Yesterday we printed the first half of the core box for the water connectors whilst I was working on other projects.



    The pattern had a couple of coats of bondaprimer and some rubbing back during the week and is starting to look good. The first half of the core box has had a light sanding and a coat of primer; the second half is hot off the printer.



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