from start


Update #: 1358, Date: 2013-09-08 07:09:55
Title: knot and button painting
Keywords: interior
I grabbed the dowel with a pair of vise grips and twisted it out of the plastic. The button works pretty well in the handle; i.e. I can get the desired behavior by pushing the button.....I'll admit, though, that I'm a little worried that it doesn't return with the same strength I would have expected. Still, I'm happy enough with it to have rattle canned it brown like the hand guard.

I also finished the lacings (ito.) Sword websites show two basic knots to use at the end, ura and omote. I ended up going with neither, and just tucking it underneath and then using a dab of hot glue.

It's "inspired by" swords instead of being a legitimate replica.....just like the rest of the car.

Update #: 1359, Date: 2013-09-15 11:09:51
Title: finished shifter
Keywords: interior

Update #: 1360, Date: 2013-09-25 07:09:28
Title: shut up and make things
I got into whiny rant mode over at GRM today. In it, I posted this Dave Grohl quote:

That's profanity laced, but it does get to the heart of the matter; I'd rather see people make stuff than see them sit around and talk about how it ought to be done. The Grohl approach is fully applicable to my car build.....there are some ugly seems and panel gaps, but I'm making my own thing and having a blast. I didn't go to a Covell master class to learn how. Sure, the end result won't be as pretty, but it will be something I'm proud to have created.

If someone doesn't like it, they can build one that is better. I'm fine with this.

Update #: 1361, Date: 2013-09-30 03:09:39
Title: how times change
I was just looking at Rob Sass's automobile blog at the NYT. He did a piece on the Fiat Type 56 that had some interesting engine specifications:
The 4-cylinder model was produced for the American market and for export, whereas the straight 6, the unit found in Mr. Dina’s Fiat, was never exported. It’s a daunting piece of machinery, displacing 525 cubic inches, or roughly 8.6 liters, and is rated at 55 horsepower, although Mr. Dina says it is closer to 80 horsepower. The car weighs more than 5,000 pounds and has a stretched-out wheelbase of 135 inches.
compare that to the power output of today's small displacement four cylinders. Today's engines get a lot more power out of a lot less engine. I don't know about that car's fuel consumption, but I'm sure that has changed a lot. Wiki says the Model T - with 20 hp and a top speed of top speed of 40–45 mph got around 21 MPG. That's about the same as the 210 hp 4.0L 12-valve SOHC V-6 in the 2008 Ford Explorer. We're addicted to power and speed, not gasoline. If we were willing to make a car with 20 hp and 45 mpg today, it would be ULTRA fuel efficient. That's impossible, though, given our current road speeds and power demands.

Update #: 1362, Date: 2013-10-19 08:10:54
Title: Brake pedal bracket
Keywords: brakes
Mounted the brake pedal. (Here's what it looked like when the bracket was half done.)

I started on the bracket for the gas pedal. I'll be using the datsun 910 pedal, mount, and hinge, but will need to modify the arms.

Update #: 1363, Date: 2013-10-19 09:10:31
Title: guitars, cars, precision engineering and craftsmanship
Keywords: brakes
Have you ever noticed the marketing material for guitar companies? Martin guitars emphasize their history and craftsmanship, making sure that everyone knows their instruments are made by hand. Taylor guitars emphasize the exact opposite; they talk about computerized inlays, precision engineering, and CNC machining of their parts.

Both methods can obviously produce quality musical instruments, and cars are no different. Most modern sports cars fall into the precision engineering category, but some of the most beautiful old cars were hand built by metal shapers using framing bucks, english wheels or a precision engineering involved. Early Ferraris and Maseratis were sometimes very assymetrical, but they were beautiful.

My personal take on the two techniques is that precision engineering gives certainly gives much higher consistency between items, regardless of what you are making. That means that you will probably have higher quality on average in your work. Think, however, of the really high end stringed instruments. I've heard that each violin by Antonio Stradavari has its own name, and usually a unique sound that can be distinguished from other instruments that he made. Obviously, the variations, the minor inconsistencies, that can be found in handmade goods are not always a bad thing.

I thought of this today as I was making the vertical braces for the brake pedal bracket. The holes were not drilled symmetrically, and at first I was mildly annoyed. Then I realized that the difference between the two holes was a good thing; if those bolts had been symmetrically placed, they could have inadvertently functioned as a pivot in the case of a failure of other welds and bolts. In this one case, an asymmetry on my car is a good thing. :)

Update #: 1364, Date: 2014-03-12 08:03:24
Title: good news
no progress since last November.....the foot pedal box looked impossible to build.....I finally got back to an MSCC meeting, and Travis correctly pointed out that I needed to get back to the project. One of the things that stopped me was a vacuum line going to the automatic transmission. I had no idea what it was (I have only a smidgen of mechanical knowledge.) Lance told me that I can probably shorten or move the tube without any issue. That will let the pedal extension box have nice straight - easy to fabricate - sides. I need to finish the pedal mounts and get on it.

Update #: 1365, Date: 2014-03-28 03:03:50
Title: yet another attempt at a pedal box
did a little work during spring break on the pedal extension box. (i.e. the hole through the firewall after moving the pedals to accommodate Dad's driving position....still don't know how I will be able to touch the pedals to drive the car after this)

Update #: 1366, Date: 2014-04-10 09:04:29
Title: covering the nasty gap
Keywords: windshield
nasty looking irregular gap that in a few spots is too wide to hide with welting.

I made a wider piece to hide the gap. The back of the cowl will now fit UNDER the flange at the bottom of the windshield frame instead of butting up against it.

It still needs to have the welds ground down, have the side pieces made, and have the gaps filled, but I'm already feeling like this is a big improvement.

Update #: 1367, Date: 2014-08-17 09:08:33
Title: relaunch
life changes forcing build changes. New pedal assembly on the way.

Both master cylinders will be 3/4".

The change is because I'm going to move the brake pedal away from the firewall and towards the seat. I didn't want the cylinders sticking into the cabin (i.e. past the dash) and hitting me in the knee)

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Quote: Possibly true story:

Jackie Stewart practicing for one of his first Grands Prix has the throttle stick going into the Curva Grande at Monza. Later at the press conference, he describes knocking the car into neutral, a big spin..."Just incredible I didn't hit anything. I thought it was all over, for sure."

The reporters sit there in awe until, from a corner of the room, Jim Clark asks softly: "So, Jackie, you ordinarily back off there?"