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Old Bill

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Old Bill last won the day on June 23 2023

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About Old Bill

  • Birthday 01/18/1965

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  • Interests
    Military Vehicles, miniature steam locomotives, ships, aeroplanes, anything mechanical.
  • Occupation
    Refuse Collection Vehicle Designer

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  1. Thanks Alan. They could be OK but I would need to inspect them closely if any turn up. I spoke to a chap called Mouat but I am aware of Richards Bros. I see that they advertise that they can do new centres so it is getting to be time to give them a call. This is going to be the most expensive part of the whole job! Steve πŸ™‚
  2. We went to the Spring Autojumble at Beaulieu yesterday and had a good day. We saw this but didn't buy it: I don't know if we have one or need one but I did take the chap's card. Then the find of the day! This is a rare animal but just what we wanted so it was worth the trip! We only have front wheels and they have a rim size for a tyre no longer made so they will need some attention. We found a wire wheel man to talk to and he was most helpful. He has rather fired my enthusiasm to get on with the job so I thought it time to get a grip of the rears and spare. Unfortunately we are short of two wheel centres which look like this: I would therefore like to ask if anyone can lay their hands on two-off Rudge Whitworth number 80 splined wheel centres please? Number 80 is quite big with a 4" diameter spline which is 4 1/2" long. I could make them but I don't want to and I think there is a good chance that we can find a pair. They will require twin rims for 880x120mm beaded edge tyres but that is a problem we can solve. We could do with a pair of spinners too but I could make them if I have to. Must finish the Peerless first but it would be nice to have the bits in stock ready for when we start the job in earnest. Steve πŸ™‚
  3. I missed Brighton this year and spent the weekend in the shed instead. We did make some progress which is nice. First job was to unload our new wings. These were made for us by Nigel Taylor at Vintage Wings near Preston and a nice job he has done too. They will be going into the paint shop shortly. We have also fitted the magneto switch which Tim managed to find. It is exactly the right one. Wiring might be on the horizon soon. In the mean time, Dad has been progressing the endless painting. It is much easier to paint the planks on the flat. The inside faces require only a final coat but the outsides are only as far as undercoat. They are, however easier to paint tha inside as that can be done standing up. The angle brackets were brought out, clamped up and drilled through. Then it was a case of simply aligning the planks and drilling through. It is never quite that easy, of course! The planks have grooves cut in them and seperate tongues are pushed in. Getting the tongue in the first groove is quite straightforward but fitting the next plank on top is a fight. We managed in the end. I used a sash clamp to pull them together before drilling. On to the front boards, following the same process. There was a bit of time left over so I set about fitting the lamp brackets. The dash board is sapele and took some effort to drill. I did clamp some scrap on the back to try to stop it splintering as the drill broke through and was largely successful. Tim has found some correct pattern Adlake lamps, complete with bales so we had to put them on. Dad is back on the paint brush and I am making bonnet components. Getting close! Steve πŸ™‚
  4. Interesting. Any date or capacity on it? Steve
  5. Sorry. Missed you! Yes, it is heavy. Getting back off the bench once assembled was an entertaining event. It stands about 18" tall and I am guessing that it is about five ton rated. The recovery lorry drawings state that it is equipped with 'two 8 ton, two 4 ton and two 3 ton screw lifting jacks with iron crank' but we have found only this pic: This jack doesn't look like it but it is period and who is to say that it didn't pick up an alternative later on? Equipping this lorry is another challenge but interesting things do turn up. Steve πŸ™‚
  6. Ah yes! Sorry. Being a bit slow! Do you think they might be PoWs with the labels around the neck? The picture was taken in the middle east somewhere. Steve πŸ™‚
  7. Sorry, but I am afraid that one escapes me. Mind you, flat caps are becoming mandatory but I think that is an age thing! As you know, we are recreating one of the Army's first recovery or 'Ambulance' lorries as they were known. When Tim turned up the original drawings in the National Archive they included a list of the equipment to be carried and, not surprisingly, this includes a couple of jacks. We have been fortunate enough to find this one, a Charles Willets Mk1 screw jack of 1915. We think it is of about five tons capacity and will do the job admirably. 1915 dated! Generally, it is in very good order with just a couple of things to fix. After taking it apart, I sorted out the bend in the rotating ring. It was just a case of heat and a bit of tube to lean on it in the vice and it was soon fixed. The tube also provided a replacement handle. The lifting handle on the front was there but two of the screws had sheared off. I drilled them and then tried my E-Z out extractor. I am usually very wary of these things as I usually end up with a sheared stud with a hard centre! However, in this case, they worked well. Then painting. I have just this evening reassembled it all with lots of grease and am well pleased with the result. Something else to store! SteveπŸ™‚
  8. Hi David. We try to avoid a specific date unless we are pretty certain we can hit it. The Dennis for Brighton in May 2011 was just about do-able but was pretty borderline. The last couple of months make pretty good reading, however! We don't have a date for this lorry but plan to have it on the road this year. I have been pushing on with the bodywork and have been making tailboard hinges. I reported my trial bending of the eyes and have now done the remainder with the correct section of steel. 10mm x 50 which is quite chunky to wrap around a 20mm pin. The top one, below, was my first attempt at the 50mm strip. I heated it with the propane and then had a go but still left a little too much metal to close it as tightly as I would have liked. The second one was better and the third better still. As you can see here, the three hinges differ in that one bends each way to form the retaining pin eye and the centre one is straight. I cut and drilled the centre one and that was quite straightforward. The end ones are bent on a 13" radius. I gave them some thought but felt that my blacksmithing skills were just not up to hammering them round and I felt that I might do a better job with the press. Bending the plates edgeways looked tricky with the risk of firing them out sideways if I didn't set them up carefully. I therefore came up with these slotted rollers to keep them upright and also support them over an area without damaging the edges. They worked well and I am pleased with the results. I was also pleased that the press was big enough to actually bend the bars I gave them a push before moving them along and giving another push, repeating the exercise until I had the curve I wanted. The back plates on the inside of the tailboard, I had already had laser cut to profile and they made a nice gauge to check the curve against. Old time platers would have marked out the surface plate in chalk. My plate isn't big enough so I had to use the floor. At this point, I realised that the job would have been a whole lot easier if I had put another two inches on my piece of steel. Never mind. They were both just long enough. I have drilled and finished the ends and it only remains to bore the 1" holes for the locking pins. The woodwork is all quite easy. It is the ironwork that takes the time! Steve πŸ™‚
  9. We seem to be slowing down a bit. It is getting harder and harder to motivate oneself to go out in the shed of an evening after work. Getting old I think! We did do a bit over Easter although it was a family weekend really. Dad has been painting endlessly and had finished the kerb rails and the underside of the floor planks. We set up the kerb rails and bolted them down, using bolts from stock. It did take a bit of a rummage to find them but we had just enough in the end. Then I started laying out the planks. They had been cut to length and width by our chippy, Mark, who was impressively accurate. Not a gap anywhere by the end! The planks are all grooved with loose tongues. We had to slacken off a kerb rail and use a sash clamp to pull them up but the final fit was perfect. Then it was a case of screwing them down. Exactly 100 screws, again taken from stock. It is lovely now that we have got to this stage and have everything around us. I had a trial fit of my new brake rods. Rather strangely there was insufficient room for the joint as I had taken it apart. I took out the 90Β° link and all was well. I have since found a photo of it done like this so that is OK. The rods are now out again for painting. Tim gave me exactly the right magneto switch for Christmas a couple of years ago so I made a start on cleaning it up. It wasn't bad and I didn't want to be too aggressive with it so I used a fibreglass scratch brush to move the tarnish. It came out quite well although the nickle is a bit tired. That is fine as there is no reason that it should not look old. I picked up some steel over the break and have made up the remaining shovel brackets using my nice new bending tool. That is proving to be a worthwhile investment. Riveting can be very satisfying. Heads polished off with the flap wheel. And back in the paint shop. Mine this time! Dad is still painting, the headboard planks and the body brackets, ready for our next get-together. We really are very close now. If only it wasn't so far away! Steve πŸ™‚
  10. Lovely! A real boost to the enthusiasm! Steve😁
  11. We have had this done elsewhere in the past but it is nice to be self-sufficient. I always wondered how it was done and this was a good incentive to find out! Steve πŸ™‚
  12. I had a bit of 40x10 strip in stock here so I thought I would have a trial bend. Difficult to photograph on ones own but I got the end hot with the propane, estimated how much length I would need and had a go. It wasn't actually too bad a guess but I didn't pull it over far enough and the pin picked up in the plates and jammed. After dismantling the lot, pressing the pin out and then easing the holes, I warmed it up again and had another go. I am very pleased with the result although I left it slightly too long to close up completely. I will pick up some steel of the correct section the next time I go southwards and do the job properly. I have also been cleaning up Peerless greasers. Dad did a batch a while back but we need some more. They are of a very distinctive pattern with a central spindle which pushes a piston down, forcing the grease through the hole. Unfortunately, the leather seals had all failed or worn away and needed replacing. Rather than try to make up cup washers and rivet them between plates, I turned up some brass pistons and fitted them with O-rings. The difficult bit was the thread. One cup dismantled completely so I measured the thread as 1/4x20 UNC LH and made them all up. Unfortunately for me, all of the other examples had a different pitch of thread! Beeing Peerless, they seem to be 22tpi which is another non-standard size so I had to make up a 1/4x22 LH tap from a bit of silver steel. It wasn't very good but was just good enough the ease the 20tpi threads already cut and allow me to reassemble the things. Another Peerless googly! We want to fit the radiator tape shortly so I have made up a bifurcated rivet attachment for my mole grips. Seems to work! Dad is still painting planks and getting a bit cheesed off with it all. The next mission will be to assemble the body floor which will give us some more space and allow us to start on the side and end planks. We will be out this year! Steve πŸ™‚
  13. Yes, that was my first thought too!
  14. They will have to be hot as they are 50mm x 10mm thick around a 20mm pin so hefty stuff. I found a nice clip of it on Youtube and copied it from there. Now I have to make it work! Steve
  15. I have painted the linkage and made a couple more rod ends for the throttle linkage. Now I am thinking about the remaining body brackets. To that end, I have treated myself to a new toy: It's use is not obvious but the instructions give some very good ideas and it is quite well thought out. First brackets I have bent are parts of the pick and shovel mountings. I was quite pleased with the result. Much better than beating it in the vice and more consistent as this lorry needs three of each rather than just one. The pick bracket is shorter and more difficult to fit in. However, you can see an extra, smaller hole just behind the pin for a bit of bar. I used that and all was well. I was pleased with these and they are being painted. Unfortunately, I didn't pick up any steel for the pick handle bracket so that will have to await another visit to Devon. The tailboard hinges are more challenging. They are 50x10mm flat, rolled into an eye at one end for the hinge pin. Hand forging these is beyond my blacksmithing skills but in my trawling of Youtube, I found a hinge bending tool. I have therefore made one up. Here is a bit of 10mm strip in place. I have not yet had a chance to try it. We are going to need a bonnet soon so I may have to go back on the drawing board until I can get some more steel. SteveπŸ™‚
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