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Chris Preston

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  • Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Interests
    Naval and Military history, model building - ships, armour, aircraft. Cycling, sport scuba diving
  • Occupation
    Retired RCN as CPO2 - 44 years (Reservist), Constable - Victoria Police Dept -25 years, retired '06

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  1. Evening All,A question for you more knowledgeable types on Sherman Fireflies, this time regarding vehicle tool stowage on the rear hull. For British and Commonwealth Fireflies, particularly Mk Ic's (Hybrid) did they carry the gun cleaning rods, and if so, where were they stowed? Also, what was the most typical location for the Idler Adjusting tool, and the Hand Crank Starting Handle?The new Model Centrum pub on Sherman Fireflies, has two scale diagrams for Mk Ic's - early and late, with subtle differences in tool stowage on the upper rear hull.Thanks in advance.Chris PrestonVictoria, BC
  2. Many Thanks Adrian, This helps a lot, as most of the photos I've seen of British/Commonwealth Shermans in NWE seem to show the siren as missing or removed, particularly if the hull front is covered in spare track "armour". Cheers, Chris
  3. 'Evening All, I'm building a 1/ 16th scale Sherman Firefly Mk Ic (Hybrid) and have a couple of "detail" questions for the more knowledgeable Sherman types here.Q.1. Did British/Commonwealth Sherman Fireflies retain the siren mounted beside the left front headlight and guard when converted into Fireflies?Q.2. Were the Pioneer Tools mounted on the rear hull held down with leather straps and buckles, or web straps, and if leather, was the leather left in a natural colour or tinted a green?Cheers,Chris Preston,Victoria, BCCanada
  4. 'Evening Malcolm, I'm a firm believer in using the right tool/part, etc for the job. We're lucky in that we have a welder/metal fabricator that seems to really know what he's doing. That being said, all of us were surprised at how smoothly that part of the job went. Cheers, Chris
  5. 'Evening All, Thanks again everyone for you replies to my original query on welding armour plate. In the end we ended up drilling and tapping to replace the missing studs. To answer Malcolm's question on what drills and taps we used, I'll quote our welder/metal fabricator directly: "I just used auto parts store cobalt bits, Butterfield taps, cutting oil and elbow grease". Hope this helps. Cheers, Chris
  6. Will do, Malcolm. As soon as I get a reply from him, I'll post it here. Cheers, Chris
  7. Hi Malcolm, Glad it worked for you. Our welder did the work - he's also a metal fabricator with mill experience. I think he was using something better than what Canadian Tire sells for the tapping. That being said, only one hole gave him trouble tapping it, but in the end we got everything in that we needed to. Here's a link to our Museum's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Friends-of-Ashton-Armoury-Museum-Victoria-BC-Canada-219752694888399/ . I'm the one hovering around the Ferret in blue coveralls, trying to look like I actually know what I'm doing. Cheers, Chris
  8. Hi Malcolm, Apologies for the delay in replying - had to wait until I was back at the Museum today, and was able to speak with our welder. We had no problem with drilling the plating, except for one hole where the armour had a backing pieces welded to it, and the hole was right over a weld. We used cobalt drill bits, and had no trouble tapping them after drilling. So far, everything's holding up nicely, but time will tell. In a couple of cases, we just drilled and tapped the hole, and then screwed a bolt in from behind, leaving a nice "stud" protruding where needed. We used Loctite to ensure nothing loosens. Cheers, Chris
  9. Hi Shrapnel, Many Thanks for the info. We've dealt with our missing studs by drilling and tapping, and using Loctite to secure the studs. We'll see how this works, and re-visit the welding if we have to. Cheers, Chris Preston, Victoria, BC, Canada
  10. Thanks Everyone - excellent suggestions and feedback on this. I'll speak with our welder on "the way ahead" for the welding, but I think we can do the TIG welding. His other work to date has been excellent. Cheers, Chris
  11. We've given that option some thought - we'll see what our welder thinks and take it from there. Thanks for your reply. Cheers, Chris, on the Left Coast.
  12. Many Thanks Richard, Diana and Jackie for all your replies. I'll forward them to our welder for his thoughts. Happy New Year to all of you. Cheers, Chris, Victoria, BC.
  13. 'Evening All, and Happy New Year to everyone. We have some missing threaded studs to replace on the hull of our Ferret (for the muffler and right-rear fender), and as we'll be welding the studs directly to the hull armour, is there anything special we should use? We've also found some small hair-line cracks around the holes for the muffler mounting bolts that we'd like to address. Our welder is wondering if there's any special wire or pre-treatment to do before the welding. Any thoughts? Cheers, Chris Preston, Victoria, BC, Canada
  14. i Clive, Apologies for not replying sooner. The problem is very intermittent - it's actually only happened on two occasions, but it was enough. Our vehicle is fitted with the later No.1, Mk. 6 Switchboard, so we're leaving that alone - for now! Based on your advice (which is greatly appreciated), I ordered both the 30A and 10A Circuit Breakers from Banisters (great service and people to deal with), along with a new Ignition Noise Filter, and were working on installing the new parts today. I leave this work to those knowing more than I do - our lead electrical chap is a retired Naval Officer with a degree in electrical engineering, and he's been great at sorting out electrical issues. I wasn't in today but get regular updates on progress, so I should be able to confirm how things went shortly and advise. Many Thanks again, for your help, and to all the others who've helped as well. Cheers, Chris Preston, Victoria, BC
  15. 'Evening All, We have a 1940-42 Norton M/C in our museum's collection that we're working on getting back on the road again after some time sitting on display, but it's challenging us every step of the way back to being operational again. The following is in the words of the chap who's working on it: "It's extremely difficult to start the motorcycle. The engine will turn over easily and appears to want to catch but won’t engage without difficulty. Continuous adjustments with fuel, advance and air have little effect but engine will backfire occasionally when trying to start. Lately, the backfire is getting very noticeable. Spark is good but plugs show carbonization. I suspect mixture is lean but backfire suggests rich? However, when the motorcycle does start (once every 5 min and 50+ kick starts) it runs very well for 20 sec before stopping. No amount of throttle adjust/control will keep it running. For those 20 sec of running it sounds very good and the bike can be revved with throttle. But at the end of that 20 sec it simply quits. Spark appears good, and the points were adjusted and spark is good, but I am not convinced that the advance/retard setting is correct - movement is free, but seems to only go half way. Compression is good; gas is good, and so are the oil levels." Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Chris Preston, Ashton Armoury Museum, Victoria, BC, Canada
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