Wednesday, 10 October 2012

And now for something completely different

After last week's Handlebar Brouhaha, I've calmed myself by making something completely unrelated. The oilers. There are nine of these liberally sprinkled over the machine in two different sizes, small and even smaller. The vast majority of original machines I have seen are missing the oiler caps and many are missing the oilers themselves. Being tiny, made of brass and sticky outy, they tend to get knocked orf and lost.

When I mentioned my proposed shedweek activities to Mr. Middleton, he initially expressed incredulity, 2 BA oilers being a standard off the shelf item. He quickly checked himself, realising that of course I have to make them, they wouldn't be right otherwise. My lovely wife rather unkindly calls this OCD, I prefer to think of it as an attention to detail that normal people don't have.

The original machine I am copying has most of its oilers and it has one cap remaining, the one on the rear hub where it is fairly hard to get in and poke it off.

The only oiler cap surviving on the original geared facile.

A small amount of research led me to the original supplier, Snell & Brown of Birmingham, although I note that they had a London warehouse less than a mile and a half from Ellis & Co.

Clearly the oilers used are the V93 type. 

This advert from Sturmey's Indispensable Handbook for 1887. Interestingly, the brake lever and spoon pivots are also from this supplier, being items 7 & 4 resp. More on these later. Snell & Brown had folded by early June 1889 and the well known Brown Brothers company had emerged from the ashes and continued in business well into the 2nd half of the 20th century.

The oilers on the front wheel bearings and the lever pivots are slightly larger than those elsewhere, I need to make 4 small oilers and 5 tiny ones. The five smaller ones are located at each end of the connecting rods and in the rear wheel. Once again pictures can describe the machining processes used.

 Machine the brass down to the correct size for a 2BA thread.

 And then cut the thread. A tip to get the thread straight is to support the 
die holder with the drill chuck and feed it in under slight pressure whilst turning the work .

 Then drill the smaller through hole and cut off the oiler from the barstock.

 Then remount in a handy 2BA work holder and drill the larger recess.
Finally tidy up the sawn end with a 45 degree chamfer. This is the oiler complete.

 To make the cap, drill out the barstock to the same OD as the oiler.

 Then machine the outside to profile.

 Knurl the top edge of the cap.

 Remount in the dividing head to drill the 4 holes around the cap.

 Close up of the dividing operation.

 Use a junior hacksaw to make the slits to the holes.

 Cut the cap from the barstock.

 Remount in the 3 jaw using a piece of barstock and a shim to prevent crushing.

 Clean up the top of the cap.

Then repeat 8 more times. Except of course, I did nothing of the sort, instead I set up a small production line and repeated each step before retooling for the next one. History has shown us that these tend to get lost or stolen so I've made a few spares.

The small ones on the left are the main front wheel bearing and the lever pivots, 
the tiny ones on the right are for the con rods and the rear hub.

In other news, I've been painting my kids bedrooms this week. These are not included on our EQC earthquake damage claim, so we can go ahead and do them. The rest of the house of course has to wait until the men in suits with clipboards deign to give us a date when our house will be repainted/repaired. This may or may not be in my lifetime. The kids like their new colours and refer to them as their new rooms.

We had nasty little magnitude 4.2 this lunchtime. I heard it before I felt it, it wasn't large and it didn't go on for long but being the first one for a while it served as an unpleasant reminder of what we've been through these last two years.

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