Thursday, 14 August 2014

1000 km later

We have moved house. The blog has been inactive for a short time as I had too much other stuff to focus on. Other stuff has now mostly happened so we can continue. It's coming to the end of winter here and on the whole we've had a very mild one, it has however been extremely wet.

This was the road outside my new house in June, we had severe localised flooding after this.

On the whole though, I have been able to do some riding at the weekends and I've now put 1000 km on the facile. This hasn't been entirely trouble free but I'm pretty certain I've worked out most of the issues now. In no particular order

1) The trouser guard was constantly rattling on the backbone, the extra length of this making the problem worse. A normal length guard wouldn't have the same issue. Over time this would have had the potential to work harden the spot where it hits and cause a crack. I'm pretty confident that this style of trouser guard that loops over the tyre is only found on pneumatic examples such as the one I copied. Solid tyre examples have separate guards per side that end in little round knobs. The cushion of the pneumatic would mean less vibration to make it rattle. I've yet to make some little round knobs but I chopped off the loop and the problem has been solved. I have some little rubber caps as a temporary fix.

 Percy Nix's Knobs

Temporary rubber caps until I get the lathe set up again.

2) the american style tiring that was originally installed was a disaster, it barely lasted 300 km before it got too loose and became dangerous. I'm not sure why this was, the installer used a solvent instead of soap to lubricate when the wire was pushed through and it seems that this has eaten into the rubber and made it tacky to the touch. I replaced it with some old English style tyring that I had lying around and the problem has been solved in the short term. I'll revisit this when I wear out the current rubber. As always, it pays to do it yourself.

3) the front wheel had developed some play in its main bearings. I was greatly worried about this as I thought that the nitrided 4140 had worn through the case hardening and into the softer steel. I pulled the whole thing apart over two evenings to discover no wear whatsoever, the bearing surfaces were perfect. I was pleased but also perplexed. After much consideration I discovered that the inner bearing cones had just enough play in the threaded bearing holders to move slightly, this tiny movement at the hub became noticeable at the rim. These inner cones are prevented from rotating by 4BA grub screws that lock into indentations in the outer surface of the cone. The grub screws are large enough to prevent coaxial rotation but too small to prevent radial movement, the end of the grub screws was getting deformed and allowing the cone to move radially. The solution was to loctite the inner cones with a weak thread lock which will be easy to dismantle when necessary. 100 km later and I'm happy to call the problem solved.

4) The front brake rattle was driving me mad, everything is a very nice fit and I wanted it to be quiet. I considered making a stronger spring and also a supplementary spring but then decided to try just using a block of shaped rubber. This rubber does two things, it holds the brake lever off the head by just enough to prevent contact. It also places enough downward pressure on the spoon to prevent it rattling either in it's pivot or against the lever. It's so simple and yet it works perfectly and is very unobtrusive.

The brake and spoon are completely silent now, even over significant bumps.

5) As I've got more used to riding the bike and have done some longer rides I've slowly moved the position of the seat. It's now 1" farther forward and 3/4" higher than it was when I first put it together. I was beginning to get knee pain and this seems to have cured it. The saddle has proved to be very comfortable on longer rides.

6) I occasionally get spokes coming loose, this isn't a real problem and I'm reluctant to loctite the threads, I'll keep an eye on things and if it persists I'll go down the traditional route and user boiled linseed oil as a spoke prep.

7) Over about 40 kph (~25 mph) the bike starts to wag its tail. It's easy to control by slowing a little but I imagine it could get exciting quite quickly. I think it's probably due to an harmonic frequency and there's nothing I can do about that. I seldom go that fast that it's not an issue.

The bike is now so quiet that the only noises I can hear are the ticking of the gears and tyre noise on the road. The creaking is entirely me, I'm afraid.

I seem to be averaging about 22.5 kph (~14 mph) at the moment, that's an approximation as I don't have a bike computer. Bear in mind that all of my rides feature gravel sections of varying lengths and where I live now isn't flat. Kung Fu Pete and I are going to ride the Source to Sea in November so I need to do some actual training. I've ridden it before on a modern bike, a 1946 RRA, and the route is lovely. It starts above 600 m and more or less descends to seal level over 100 miles. The seal colony being at Cape Foulwind just near the finish. That's only a 0.4% average downhill so not as much help as you would imagine.

In other news, I no longer have a workshop. The new house has a very large garage but no separate room for the machine tools. I can either build another shed or I can carve a room out of the garage. The machinery was beginning to develop surface rust so I've had to drench everything in oil. Having an insulated room means that not only is it possible and comfortable to work all winter, it means that nothings rusts.

In more other news, I've bought another lathe. I'm so excited. My current lathe, a 1956 Myford ML7, is in almost perfect condition. Mr Middleton knew I wanted one and spotted it and bought it on my behalf without needing to ask. He knew I would buy it off him and he was right. I grew up with an ML7 so I know it intimately. During the course of the construction of the facile, I've often wished I had a little more speed, or clearance or power. I also wanted the ease of a gearbox rather than change gears. Every time a Myford Super 7 came up for sale locally, I'd go and have a look and come away disappointed. One man's idea of excellent condition is not necessarily the same as mine. Then two weeks ago I went to see the only example I've found that was worth pursuing, it's a long bed Super 7 from about 1970 with the gearbox and a host of accessories that I mostly already have. It's pretty grubby but is in very good condition under the grime. I hope to pick it up this weekend and start stripping it down. Mr. Middleton of course has first dibs on the ML7, an offer he was happy to accept. The Super 7 comes on a genuine Myford cabinet so I'm going to have more bench space as a result. It means I'll be able to make faciles twice as fast as before.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Vital Statistics

Over the past two weeks or so, I've put another few hundred kilometers on the bike and I'm thoroughly enjoying riding it. The bike has proved reliable and I've only needed to tighten a single spoke so far. The motion of the feet is beginning to feel reasonably natural and easy. I've also tackled a few short but steep hills and while much slower than a modern safety, I'm able to plug away and get to the top without dismounting. I know through experience that I'm entirely unable to ride the same hills on an ordinary I have to get off and resort to my 24" gear.

I've finally found the stack of receipts that I mentioned last time, so here are some statistics on the build.
  • I started the bike on my lovely wife's birthday and finished on my mum's birthday, 2 years and 8 months.
  • I didn't keep accurate records but I spent about 750 hours in the shed over this time frame. Bliss.
  • Total weight is 43 lbs (~19.5 kg)
  • Cost of raw materials was $2687.25. I was surprised by this but I do have lots of left overs such as spare castings and lots of chromoly tubing
  • I spent $834.29 on outsourcing services such as welding, mandrel bending and heat treatment.
  • Here's the real surprise; the extra tooling I bought specifically for this project and excluding getting the mill over from England was $5290.75. Of course now that I have it, future antique bike projects won't incur thus cost.
  • In total, the bike owes me $8812.29.
  • During the same period, my lovely wife bought 12 pairs of shoes. I think I got the better deal.
  • I suffered countless cold dinners. Possibly my fault.
I also promised last time that I'd show you some better video of the gear mechanism.

You're welcome.

Here's a couple of videos, one from each side. I'm trying to illustrate how the sun and planet gear train makes the wheel rotate faster than the cranks. I've placed two bits of tape on the bike, one on the crank and one one the spokes initially lined up with the crank. I then cycle the cranks through one complete revolution. You can see that the wheel completes almost 1.5 revolutions for the single revolution of the crank.

The ratio is (driver teeth + driven teeth) / driven teeth = (18 + 37) / 37 = 1.49
So my 40" wheel become equivalent to a 40 * 1.49 = 59.6" wheel.

drive side.

non drive side.

I've had a bit feedback from people asking what will happen to the blog now that the bike is done. I'm sorry to inform you that it isn't over. I have many more projects to complete in the coming years so the blog will continue with a slight focus shift to other antique bikes and related stuff. First on the list is a cushion tyre racing safety that needs a lot of work, then I have the remains of a Singer 'xtraordinary to complete, then... Well, you get the idea. 

However, the whole reason that I've built this bike in the first place is because I want to do something before I'm too old. I want to recreate the 24 hour facile record rides of the 1880's. In particular the 1888 ride of Percy Nix when he set a new record of 297 miles (~475 km). More next time...

Monday, 5 May 2014

Riding Experiences

I apologise for the lateness of this post. I actually finished the bike off a couple of weeks ago but Other Stuff got rather in the way and I've only just got interweb access back again. However, we can now continue with updates as usual. I did manage to sneak in a trial ride before I painted the levers, my daughter recorded it for me.

Hastily recorded footage of the unpainted bike.

Then of course it rained and it rained and it rained. At some point during this I did manage to paint the levers and assemble the bike for the last time. I'll post some better video next time of the actual gear assembly working, it's magical. In the meantime here's a gratuitous centre fold photo.


Since then I've put about 100 km on the bike with the longest ride being 40 km (25 miles) last Saturday. I have a few observations from a facile tyro:
  • It is geared quite highly (60") and consequently goes relatively fast compared to a penny farthing. The down side is that it is harder to start off from a stop. I'm reluctant to stamp on the pedals at this early stage.
  • The wind seems to affect it less than a high wheeler. It's obvious really when you consider the smaller frontal profile and the fewer, shorter spokes but it's worth noting. Particularly when being ridden on a small windy island in the middle of the roaring forties. We're quite good at doing wind here.
  • It makes a ticking noise as you ride it when the drive swaps from side to side at top and bottom dead centre on the gears. At this point the levers have no driving pressure on the gears and the backlash is taken up by the momentum of the bike then driving the gears. As soon as the other lever is pressed, the backlash is taken up the other way again. It's not unpleasant, a little like the ticking of a Sturmey Archer hub in top gear. By concentrating hard on my technique I can almost make it go away. Gears need backlash.
  • It definitely requires some relearning about pedalling, this is something I've noted when riding other faciles, your feet want to do circles and they can't. It meant I had to keep re positioning my feet on the pedals.
  • It has impeccable road manners, it steers beautifully but hands off is impossible at the moment, I suspect that it may never be possible [1]. My lovely wife who has almost no front driver experience, a defect that I intend to cure, found it quite disconcerting. In contrast my giant son just hopped on and rode it, I was impressed.
  • The larger (24") rear wheel is more comfortable and quieter than the smaller wheel (~18") on a penny farthing. Rational bikes happened for a reason.
  • From the front, it looks just like a safety bike being ridden, it's the same height and you can't discern that the feet are going up and down and not round and round. It's only side on that you can tell. This means that it's A Stealth Bike. Sometimes you just don't want every other person asking you how you get on (or off) that thing for the n'th time that day. This is the bike for those days.
  • In motion the driving gear is hypnotic, very steam enginey.
  • The brake lever, despite being a very accurate fit, makes a jingly tune as you ride. The same melody as every other antique bike I have ever ridden. If for no other reason, pneumatic tyres must have been a revelation in peace & quiet when introduced. They may catch on you know.
  • As advised by various writers of the day [2], you really do need to get off the power before the bottom of the stroke. When you remember to do it, your speed noticeably picks up. At pace you can just tap the pedals at the top of their stroke.
  • It uses subtly different muscles to rotary motion, this combined with the very narrow tread meant that I had jelly legs after a short (10 miles) ride at a reasonable pace.
  • The saddle is comfortable from the start, whether it is still comfortable at the end of a long ride remains to be seen.
  • Despite having a higher gear than an ordinary, the facile almost scampers up hills in comparison. This was well noted in the sales literature of the day.
  • Coming down the other side of the hill is vastly safer due to the lower, more central weight distribution. In addition all pedalling forces, forwards or backwards, are behind the axle. Back pedalling is just as awkward as forward pedalling at present.
  • You need medium size feet to ride this with the balls of your feet correctly on the pedals. I've noted this before but Victorians had smaller feet than us. I have UK size 9 feet and I'm probably at the upper limit, any longer and your toes interfere with the lever when at the bottom of the stroke. My giant son with his size 13 flippers has to use his toes which gets tiring.
  • My face aches from overuse of the grinning muscles.

[1] - Badminton Library 1889 edition. Discussing the new Rover rear driver. page 413

"In this particular it much resembles the 'facile'; both machines are the easiest to steer with one hand, but the most difficult (in fact, almost impossible) to steer without their aid."

[2] - Bicycling News June 9th 1888, The "geared facile" and how to ride it.

"The "facile" action, geared or ungeared, will teach the rider many things: it will teach him to push hard, and it will teach him to get off his work quickly, and thus two important points will be early inculcated."

"A great mistake often made by those who try the 'facile' is that they do not release the pedal directly the stroke is finished and it is at its lowest; the consequence is that the power applied to the other pedal is counteracted by, as it were back-pedalling, whereas the foot should be taken off the pedal or rested very lightly on it during the upstroke to get the full value of the muscular power expended."

Somewhere I have a stack of receipts for every piece of material that I used in the construction of the bike over the last 2 years and 8 months. I'll dig them out and add them up for next time. This project has all been building up to an idea that I've been seriously considering for some time. Now that I've actually ridden the bike and so far it appears to be strong and reliable, I'll tell you about it next time.

In other news, I promised my friend Christian that I'd make him a pair of hand grips for his 1888 New Rapid, I finally got around to it it a few weeks ago and then promptly mislaid them.

I'm pleased to say that I found them again. I'll post them off tomorrow Christian.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Levers part 5 - The end is nigh

Things have been progressing this shedweek, so much that the bike is very nearly finished, I'm just waiting for some paint to dry. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

At the end of the last post I mentioned that I just had to glue the lever bits together. This proved to be mostly true, although in my haste I made a monumental mistake that had me getting all sweaty and grumpy.

I'd made a little jig to hold the lever pivot and the bottom con rod mounts in the right locations. Both of these parts are bolted to the jig with appropriate spacers underneath and then pressure is applied to the end of the lever with a set screw to hold everything in place. I had a short window of opportunity to get everything silver soldered up last weekend and arranged with Pete to borrow his gas set. In a great rush to get back to my domestic chores I set the jig up wrong and brazed the bottom mounts on backwards relative to the pivots.

You can't easily tell but the bottom mounts are wrong.
I realised shortly after I'd just brazed up the second one incorrectly.
Pete photo bombed my picture and he's not funny.

It's far harder to unbraze something as you have to get the entire thing hot enough to melt all the braze rather than just the bit you're on at the time. Pete helped enormously as I don't like making mistakes and was beginning to lose the plot a little. I then had to clean up the joints again, re-flux, re-jig and then reheat for a third time in the right place. Of course by now, I'm a little flustered so I forgot to take any photos of the jig to braze the pedals onto the levers. The pedals were bolted together at the same angle and then the bottom mounts bolted together with spacers to ensure that both side were the same. These were easy to braze on as the sections are small compared to the beefy bottom mounts.

I also asked Pete to TIG my broken right hand con rod. I'd chopped out the middle section and replaced it with a section of plate cut to width. The joints are Vee'd out from both side to enable full penetration of weld. Once one side is done, it can be flipped over re bolted down and the other side done. Time will tell if welding nitrided 4140 is a good idea or not.

Once again I forgot to take an 'after' photo. Just take it from me that Pete is a good welder. 
This just needed filing to shape after it had cooled.

Then just clean up the brazed joints, use a tiny amount of filler on the welded joints and prep. for painting.

Then of course it started raining and it hasn't really stopped yet. I had a brief respite where I managed to get a top coat candidate on before it started again. This means that the paint will take ages to dry.

The first top coat candidate, I've just checked and they will need another coat.

In the meantime I've made the nuts and bolts for the pedal rubbers. I cheated and started with some coach bolts, these just needed the square section machining off and a slot cutting in the cap. Then cut a new 2 BA screw thread at the right length. The nuts are just smaller versions of the same ones all over the rest of the bike. They require the special tool to do them up.

This picture is taken shortly before the acid bath to prep. them for plating. 

I have a line on some genuine ribbed pedal rubbers but in the meantime, I've fangled some from some milking tube.

There are two diameters here, one is a very good fit inside the other and the bolts slide nicely down the central hole
The rough sawn ends are very easy to clean up on a grinding wheel.

So I'm now just twiddling my thumbs waiting for the enamel to dry in rather damp conditions.

The 10 day forecast is for a little rain so I may have a wait on my hands. 
Everything is now made, I just need to do the final assembly.

In other news this weather means that we're having a bumper crop of fungi this year. My lovely wife found a giant puff ball as big as a space hopper. she took it to school to show the kids and now she receives presents of giant horse mushrooms from the parents that have paddocks. It's a rural school you see and I'm not complaining, I love mushrooms.

Our garden just grows large numbers of fly agarics but as I don't own a reindeer they go uneaten.

My lovely wife says I'm a fun guy, maybe that's why I'm kept in the dark and fed shit.
Oh dear.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Levers Part 4 - Pedals

I got the levers back from SSM this week, actually I got them back the same day as I took them in. I like SSM, they look after the little guys. Now that they have been normalised it means I can file the welds by hand, there are no longer any hard spots or residual stresses from welding or work hardening from bending and rolling. When you buy chromoly it comes in a normalised condition, I'm trying to get back to that condition. Time will tell if I have been successful I guess.


A trial fit.

This week I'm going to make the pedals

There's not much to them really, I mean not much material, there's heaps of work to be done.

The first job is to make the boss that sits on the ends of the levers. 
I made this slightly tapered to be a nice fit. It's double ended since I'm going 
to make both pedals as one assembly to start with.

The body of the pedals will be made from an old 1" seat post, I need to bore a hole for the boss to locate through,
 this seemed the easiest way to do it. Locate at centre height...

...then just drill and bore through until at size.

Next make a little jig to hold the strengthening gussets at the correct location. 

The gussets are both made from the same plate. Have I ever mentioned that I enjoy filing?

This slips over the boss and holds everything square when clamped up. 
My son asked why I was making Cybermen

Next ask Pete to Kung Fu them up for me. Don't look at the arc. You did didn't you?

Then give the welds a little tickle with a mini carbide burr in my Dremel. 
Have I ever mentioned how much I like my Dremel?

Then saw the assembly in half.

The central part of the boss is not required... it gets removed.

Then decide which is the right and left pedal, they are not symmetrical in two planes you see. There is the obvious bias to the width of the pedal and also the pedals are slightly tilted forwards.
The pedals are fixed to the levers and cannot rotate, this means that as the levers follow their arcs, the pedals change their orientation to the feet. This forward tilt is to compensate a little for this otherwise at the bottom of the stroke, the little tab to prevent your foot going into the spokes is at the wrong angle to be useful. The width of the pedals is much narrower than would be considered normal today, these pedals are only 3.5" wide. People were generally smaller back in the day and certainly had smaller feet, the style of shoe worn was also narrower as an attempt to make the feet appear smaller. Look at contemporary illustrations of Victorians and the feet are always drawn as tiny as possible, funny eh?

The distance between the pedals is also worthy of a mention. In relatively recent years, the term 'Q factor' was invented to describe the width between the outer faces of cranks on a bicycle. A low Q factor was deemed desirable and triple cranks with a wide Q were disparagingly called 'birthing cranks'. The inventors of this modern term may or may not have known that the Victorians already had a word to describe this dimension. They called the distance between the centres of the pedals the 'tread' of a bicycle and again a narrow tread was deemed desirable. Manufacturers used to boast about how low the tread was on their machines. The figures are widely quoted in the reviews and catalogues of the day. A tread of 12.5" was considered very narrow for a penny farthing. The Singer 'Xtraordinary was published at 10", and a conventional facile was also 10". The tread on the geared facile is very, low at 8.25" and Ellis & Co. certainly advertised the fact. This is mostly because it has a small wheel and simple trig. means that a smaller wheel with the same angle spokes will have a shorter axle. But also because the pedals are biased towards the outside, 2" versus 1.5" and the measurement is rather mischievously made from the centre of the lever not the actual centre of the pedal. Slightly misleading advertising is not a modern phenomenon.

Slightly forward biased pedals.

Next make the little end caps...

...and silver solder them on.

Next week I'll glue the all lever parts together.

In other news, I'm afraid there is none, I've been working too hard for any other stuff to have happened. An hour before work in the workshop and then several hours after work trying to get this bike finished. I'm hoping that next week will be a little more relaxed.

Carry on.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Levers Part 3 (another pivotal moment)

This shedweek I've made the lever pivot mounts, these are the bits at the very front of the levers through which the pivots bolt.

They turned out to be relatively easy to make after I'd worked out how to do it and I was able to knock them out in just a couple of evenings.

First job is to realise that I don't have any bar stock big enough so I do a raid on Kung Fu Pete's metal stash for some 2" bar to cut into salami.

Mark and drill opposite centres. All will become clear...

Machine the outer face, this recess is to accommodate the special locknut.

Then flip around and machine the inner edge, this 
locates against the pivot on the end of the fork extension.

Hacksaw diet.

Mount between those centres and machine the trunnions to be a tight fit inside the front ends of the levers.

I only need one of the trunnions, the other only serves as a temporary way to...

... hold the work whilst I bore the trunnion to make it easier to braze...

...and feather the edge to reduce a stress riser.

Then chop off the spare trunnion.

Mount directly onto the mill bed to create the round shape. I machined some very accurate spacers so that I could bolt up securely and yet still turn the work easily. I searched high and low for a piece of tubing of the right size to act as a handle to rotate the pivot. I then realised I had exactly the right size sitting on the workbench next to me. Duh.

These little needles of swarf are deadly sharp and have got everywhere. 
I'm still picking them out of my hands.


Next week I'll make the pedals, these will be the last actual parts to make. I have a folder of photos of the original bike on my computer, whenever I finish a part and have no further use for the photos of it I move them to a different folder. I started with 264 photos and I only have 9 left, all of the pedals. I'm ignoring the rear mudguard for now.

In other news, I knocked the bike over this week. I had the front wheel slightly overlapping the workshop door and when I pushed the door shut it gently pushed the bike off balance. I was mildly annoyed and may possibly have taught the children three doors down some exciting new grown up words. It fell on the right hand side and fortunately didn't do too much damage, there is some scuffing to the hand grip and the lever pivot. But the con rod suffered the most, getting badly bent. It turns out that the brazed joints aren't strong enough after all. I'm going to chop out the centre section and ask Kung Fu Pete to weld in a new bit. I should have done this from the start I guess. The left hand side is OK at present so I'll leave it for now. We learn by our mistakes.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Levers part 2 - Beefy Bottom Mounts

Hoorah, I got the welded levers back from Pete.

As usual, he has done a brilliant job TIGing them together for me. I have some reservations about strength and the nature of welded 4130 so I'm going to get them normalised before I go too much further. If they break in use I'll have a re think about how to make them again.

This week I'm going to make these bits.

They are the bottom mounts for the con rods and are really quite beefy.

Starting with some scrap 3/4" mild steel plate, mark out and bore a counter sink at the correct depth.

Then using a series of drilled holes remove most of the excess metal from the mounts. 
Drill bits are cheap compared to milling cutters...

Then bolt directly to the bed and mill the final thicknesses of the mounts. 
The top part is just a tad thicker than the lever at 0.675" and the bottom part that the conrod bolts to is 0.375".

Next flip the mounts over and again bolt down square to the bed. Mill the sides to the correct width.

Then using these new milled surfaces as the reference, mount in the machine vice and mill the top of the mounts.

Next mill the slots for the lower con rod bolts. 
Recall that these bolts had flats machined on them. These flats locate into these slots.

Next mount at 45 degrees and mill away most of the excess of the upper thicker section...

...tidy up with files.

Then mark out the outer shape of the mounts and get busy with the hacksaw and files.

The last operation is to machine a curved slot into the upper thicker section so that the levers are wrapped by the mount, this needs to be a nice fit so that the brazed joint will be strong. Careful measuring of my Myford and the lever radius means that I can just turn these by mounting on the faceplate. It really is pushing the lathe to it's limits though. Simply bolting the mounts to the faceplate won't be rigid enough, the interrupted cut will soon knock the mounts out of alignment and make me a bit grumpier. In one of those rare moments of serendipity, I discovered that the slots in the faceplate are the same width as the slots in the mounts, This means that I can make some spacers that will rigidly locate the mounts onto the faceplate. By drilling a hole through, I can very securely bolt the mounts at the correct radial distance so that the bottom of the cut is the inner radius of the levers.

Very securely held in place, the correct radius can be adjusted by sliding in or out...

...and then bolting up.

With such a large diameter of cut, I needed to slow the lathe right down to successfully machine the groove. The interrupted cut meant that the feed in had to be very gentle.

I was also cutting almost blind, in that it was very hard to see where the tool was contacting at any time. 
I found that placing some white paper beneath the tool and viewing directly downwards with one 
eye shut wearing magnifying glasses and standing on one leg helped a lot.

Once I got close to final size and depth, I used the same trick that I used when filing the neck to fit into the backbone. The levers were coated with engineer's blue and slid around the groove, the marked high spots were then machined off and the process repeated.

I'll start on the lever pivots next week.

In other news, the strange fruit that was discovered in my garden has correctly been identified as an Akebi fruit. Thanks for that Christian. I found the vine that it grew on (we have a big garden) and discovered a few more, they don't grew on top but underneath a top layer of leaves which is why I've never seen them before. The plant, known as a chocolate vine, is classified as a noxious weed here in NZ. In the interests of scientific discovery I immediately ate one of the fruits, seeds and all. It wasn't too unpleasant, a little like melon, but had a bitter after taste. Later that evening I became slightly disorientated and nauseous. The following morning I had a mild headache and slept in a little later than usual, I seemed to be sensitive to light and loud noise. It must have been the space fruit, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with the beer I'd drunk to get rid of the bitter taste.