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WW1 Peerless lorry restoration

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Our newly rebuilt wheels are now in our possession. Here they are on display during our Australia Day open day at our heritage site where the 1918 International truck is being restored.

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Can't leave Dad to have all the fun! Now that the front wheels are on along with the track rod, king pins and stub axles, the king pins need some greasers. We are fortunate to have the remains of

Guy, a forum member put me on to a recent auction in case there was anything there that caught my eye. Something most certainly did, four Peerless front wheels. I put in an on line bid and was delight

A Genie! Gosh that made me laugh. Nothing quite so exciting really. Here is a picture of the store room.

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A few weeks ago (January 6 to be precise) I posted some photos of the front axle we were considering using. It was complete but in fairly rusty. Steve had a poke around in the stores and found another one which was in much better condition complete with steering parts and perhaps an easier proposition. He and Dad have taken this apart and have put it in the pile for sandblasting. The kingpins seem to be in good condition which is excellent news. Something else we dont have to make. 











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We have been looking at the front wheels of the Peerless. They do appear to be in rather good condition. The paint will need chipping off and cleaning out the hubs will take a bit of work but hopefully not too difficult a job although maybe rather time consuming. Sorry Dad.

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5 hours ago, Citroman said:

It's incredible to see the condition of these parts. We had 3 hour fight today with the U-joint of a 50 year old Volvo just to take it apart.... 😉

Sometimes it is just like that. We have not had too much of that with the Peerless yet - still, there is plenty of time. Dad put the first coat of paint on the flywheel today and is scraping the paint off the front wheels.




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Dad is progressing with the wheel cleaning. It is going to be a long old job. Completed one side so far. To break the monotony there is always painting to be done. We had a batch back from our local sand blaster. Always very satisfying to get the first coat of red on. 







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On the subject of hard rubber tyres on wooden rims, though not directly truck-related, I would never have guessed how this was done:


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8 minutes ago, andypugh said:

I wonder if the tyres on Ordinary bicycles are attached the same way? 

They certainly could be, but they may not be subject to sufficient abuse to be worth all that effort.  Obviously there was enough of that going on to warrant producing specialist machines to do the job.

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23 minutes ago, MatchFuzee said:

At least on a Penny Farthing


Hadn't caught that one.  Did you notice on the buggy wheels Dave matched the tension of both the tension wires by just pinging the wires to give the same note?

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Overhere at the coalmine they made bicycle tires from gas hoses during the war as no new tires were available. They coupled the hoses together with a piece of wood in the hose that they fixed with 2 little bolts throug it sideways. Needles to say they weren't a comfortable ride but then it was better than on bare rims. 😉

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The cold method was carried out on Shed and Buried by Sam Lovegrove and Henry Cole  when they restored a Penny Farthing.

What size rubber and wire would you require for a truck wheel! just getting my coat now 😁

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Our wheelwright demonstrated the exact same method as the video on one of our visits, but it can only be done up to about 1 1/2" tyre width.

For our truck wheels, we took the rims only, to a retreader who wound on rubber in a continuous strip to the desired total thickness, then cured it in an autoclave above 200C. It was then spun with an abrasive wheel to grind it to shape. We then delivered the re-rubbered rims and centres to the wheelwright to make the timber centres. He imported American Ash from USA already steam formed to the specified radius for the felloes, and he imported American hickory for the spokes which he turned and sized himself.


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There are some good lessons there. I had heard that the tyres were wired on but could never fathom how they closed the joint. Thanks Chaps!

I haven't been leaving Dad to do everything although it does feel like it some times. Two of the things we need are some new pistons as the originals had been broken by a previous restorer so I have made up the pattern for them. It started off as usual with a pile of MDF blanks, glued into a block.


Using the press as a convenient clamp.


The main plug was just a simple turning job in Father's Colchester. I must treat him to a dust extractor!


That was straightforward enough.


On to the core box which I built up in the same way. However, this time the block is splitacross the diameter of the hole and then held together with long wood screws. before boring.



The profile was machined inside using the dials to get the position and depth right. Very easy to make a mess of!


Both blanks were then taken home and I set about making a strong point to allow the piston plug to be drawn from the sand. it is just a tapped boss silver soldered to a plate which is then screwed to the top of the plug.



The core box split quite nicely and I fitted the screw holes with some alignment pegs before making the gudgeon pin bosses.


These were fitted along with a rib across the crown and some bosses to take the gudgeon pin locking screws.


Filler all round, dressed back with the dremel. A messy unsatisfying job as I can never get really nice smooth fillets. I must try to get hold of some pattern makers wax. I have never used it but understand that it can be smoothed with one's finger which must be an easier process.


First coat of paint and a bit of remedial filler where I hadn't done it very well.


A second coat of Bondaprime, polished back with wire wool and we are ready for a trip to the foundry!


Hopefully, there won't be quite so many patterns with this lorry!

Steve   :)

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1 hour ago, Old Bill said:

There are some good lessons there. I had heard that the tyres were wired on but could never fathom how they closed the joint. Thanks Chaps!

I must try to get hold of some pattern makers wax. I have never used it but understand that it can be smoothed with one's finger which must be an easier process.    


From my (much) younger days when I did these things professionally, I remember the wax as nothing special at all, melted from a stick when needed.  I would suggest just sacrificing a candle and seeing if it worked.









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If you have been following the Dennis restoration thread you will have seen my comment on the pick and spade that should go on the side of the lorry.


A British GS lorry should carry a pick and shovel or spade on the side. I found an original WW1 dated pick which Steve mounted on the Dennis. The Peerless requires three pick axes and three spades, while the Thorny requires one pick axe and a shovel. This leaves us with just four more pick axes and five shovels or spades to find. I had never seen a WW1 spade before until last weekend when I went to Stoneleigh. I also found three more WW1 pick axes. I certainly feel that we are on our way. 









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1 hour ago, Tharper said:

On this side of the big pond Freeman Supply offers wax fillet material available in strips and various sizes.

as well as the application tools. They also offer leather fillet material.

https://www.freemansupply.com/search?q=FILLET WAX

I thought that Jon Winter had it in the UK, but their web site seems to have lost the easy to find list of products. 


Easy Composites have wax and tools:




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