Sunday, 31 May 2020

QR50 - that kickstarter again...

I'm sure this thing is going to follow me to my grave. Something as simple as a kickstart should be a five minute job shouldn't it? As you know, I've restored the splined shaft twice already which involved overlaying weld onto the shaft and making a dividing tool for the 31 tooth serrated shaft. It seemed to take ages.

So what now? the lever fitted didn't it? Well yes it did. But look:

Well OK, it's a bit bent. but that's not what I mean. Look here:

Try and kick it, and the foot pedal folds the wrong way - it's a right hand kick start lever.

Yet another job - a good lesson in buying a box of bits. You never know what you are getting - this has been more difficult than the SQ4 and much more difficult than the FH in terms of missing, broken or inappropriate parts so I guess, if we consider the expense of Ariel parts I guess I have been lucky.

Anyhow, not too difficult a job. First task is to centre punch and drill off that swage:

Now we can remove the foot pedal. We'll drill that pin for a screw later:

Here's the part of the lever that controls the way the pedal folds. We will need to fill that with weld using the TIG set and file up a mirror image:

Filling stuff with weld has become a bit of a speciality recently.

After a bit of filing, it now works as a left hand kickstart:

Here it is in both positions. The pedal is a bit bent, but we will fix that:

To retain the pedal, I have drilled and tapped for M6 in the end of the lever. The pedal is now retained with the original shakeproof and plain  washers by a large M6 set screw:

We'll paint it later, and put the rubber back on.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

QR50 - Retrieving Splines 2

As you will have seen from my previous posts, I successfully built up the kickstart shaft from it's previous mangled stump and cut the splines on it only to find that I had misunderstood the spline pattern Honda had specified - in my defence, the kick start lever shows maybe 24 of the 31 splines the shaft needs; I had estimated 32. You can see the difficulty in the picture below:

I had another Honda kickstart shaft knocking about from a PC50 which fitted the QR50 lever beautifully. When I found it, (after I had cut the new one, by the way), I discovered that it had 31 serrations, rather than the 32 I had assumed. After a lot of research, I found a drawing which matches the PC50 sample perfectly:

Building it up again was pretty straightforward.

What was much more of a problem was the fact that I had nothing to divide the shaft into 31 serrations - no 31 tooth gear, no 62 tooth gear and certainly no 93 tooth gear...

So, I'd have to make one. I took a chunk of aluminium I had knocking about and put it in the rotary table. Thirty-one divisions equates to 11.86° per division, which is not too difficult to resolve on the rotary table. I set up a small centre drill near the edge of this material, and drilled 31 holes around the edge, incrementing the rotary table by 11.86° each time:

That done, the next job is to move the three jaw chuck from the rotary table to the lathe spindle, trim the outside diameter and prepare the 12 mm centre bore.

Then the next job is to trim the outside diameter to start turning those holes into grooves. Really, the holes are only for angular positioning - they are not deep enough to provide the finished grooves and will be adjusted with a file later. The next time I do this however, I will run a drill through each hole while the work is still in the rotary table - that will save a lot of filing:

A little while later, we have the fledgling grooves exposed. The next job is to part off:

Of course it's not as easy as just parting off - I've extended the drilled holes using a hacksaw and needle files to form square-bottom slots the dividing pin will fit into neatly - we don't want it slipping out when we are trying to cut serrations.

I also dot-punched one of the slots so I could count them - I counted them several times to convince myself there was indeed 31. There was definitely 31, so I stamped the wheel to remind myself.

Next stop, prepare the shaft. This time, I managed to chip the carbide insert almost as soon as I laid it on the end of the shaft - carbide tips don't like intermittent loads, so I will use an HSS tool next time I try to machine an overlaid shaft.

This time, I am going to cut the splines in 0.125 mm (5 thou) passes to make sure the alignment is correct before going to full depth - full depth is about 0.9 mm. That saves straining hands and loading the machine, so the cuts should be more accurate. Here goes:

Part way through:

 Almost finished now, but have a look at the crests of some of the splines. A couple of things happen when cutting these splines and I'm learning how to avoid the problems they cause:

  • the Honda splines run into a taper - they are blind, possibly because they are rolled in. The effect of this is that the tool comes to a dead stop which can potentially turn the toolpost, causing the tool to dig in or chip. Part way through this cut I turn an undercut for the tool to run into.
  • If the tool chips, you have to remove it for a regrind, all well and good. The problem arises if you don't pay attention to the tool height. Now, when you are turning the tool height is fairly critical, less so if the work is relatively large but height is normally fixed by the adjuster on the toolpost. The thing is the QCTP typically does not repeat the tool height very accurately which is not normally a problem, but when you are cutting a serrated shaft the height of the tool has to be spot on to the height at which you took the last cut. If it isn't, the next cut won't land in the same place in the partially cut spline and will either cause it to be misshapen or could remove the spline altogether. So that's a lesson for next time.
  • The reverse stroke of the tool has, I think, the potential to chip the tool. Shaping machines are fitted with a clapper box to allow the tool to disengage on the backstroke yet remain aligned on the forward stroke.
  • The last thing is to do with the shape of the spline. I cut these splines with a tool ground to 60°, which makes 60° grooves between the splines. In a flat surface, 60° grooves would make 60° splines between them and the same would be true (to a lesser extent) on a shaft of very large radius. As the shaft diameter decreases, that same 60° produces a spline that increases beyond 60°. This is not too much of a problem, as long as you expect it - just grind the tool to suit.

Have a look at the spline at about 10 o'clock - there's a groove cut in the top of it:

So that's it. Finally, it fits; whether it will withstand a hefty boot is a tomorrow problem.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Mini-Lathe - Cross Slide Gib

From new, the cross slide has shown itself capable of lifting at the gib strip, causing over-long turning or milling tools to judder. Adjusting the gib has been tricky - it's a balance between being too tight and having too much play. This is the cause:

Another shot:

You can see that the gib is very poor - it is too wide (the gib should be tall and thin, not short and thick), but we can't do very much about that without making a new cross slide. Secondly, there is too much clearance above and beside it.

The main problem that this causes is apparent when milling, boring or general turning with a long overhanging tool. Obviously the cutting load going into a tool should be passed into the tool post and then into the slides, but if the tool is long, the forces will generate a turning moment which will lift the right hand side of the cross slide. If the the gib is too thick, or there is too much top and bottom clearance, the gib will rotate in it's slot allowing the cross slide to lift on the gib side.

We can do something about this, by making a new one which fits; a better solution is to make a new cross slide with a much narrower gib slot, but for now I will file up a new gib strip from brass. Brass is self lubricating and easy to file, so it will prove the principle.

This is a bit of 1/4" x 3/8" brass bar - conveniently, the 1/4” dimension should be a perfect fit in the slot, leaving me to file chamfers in the 3/8” dimension:

We can file it to shape quite easily, by coating it with Dykem and using the odd leg calipers to mark the line to file to on each side.

Once close, we can fit it in position working from one end until it slides in.

Next job is to spot the dimples for the screws through the existing holes.

I've actually used dog-point grub screws this time, in deep 2.5 mm holes to improve support for the gib. This arrangement feels very smooth now, and there is very little clearance in the vertical or horizontal directions.

Next step is to test it, but I can tell it will be much better.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

FH Dry Build - Fitting & Repairing the Rear Mudguard

Updated: first published 27th April 2019

The whole point of a dry build is to trial fit parts before committing to an expensive paint finish that you might ruin with any remedial work you have to do, and the rear mudguard was a good example. Aside from the moth damage at the join, the mudguard wouldn't fit with the oil tank in place.

You can see the back of the oil tank bulges and pushes the mudguard to the nearside:

The centre bolt won't line up:

And here is the problem - the back of the oil tank is supposed to be flat:

Five minutes with a dead blow hammer, working around the edges has it back in shape. There is clearance between the back of the oil tank and the mudguard now, and the mudguard's centre bolt is in place.

Having got the mudguard to fit, we now need to repair it. It's not the worst I've seen.

This is the rear end of the main section showing the rust damage to the bridging piece, to which the tail section is bolted:

This is what it is supposed to look like:

And here is the front end of the tail section:

Again, this is what it is supposed to look like:

I cleaned this up with a wire brush a while ago to get an idea of what I was going to be dealing with - those holes are in the main blade section as well as this joining panel. Notice how the joddle that lives in the mudguard rib is rather deformed - it's flattened toward the rear end. It's quite square at the front and is clearly supposed to fit inside the rib, with the rear light cable below it - the cable does not go between the mudguard and the joining rib. We'll need to remove that, make a new one, and repair the guard as well.

Here's the blank, sliced from a quarter sheet of 20 SWG CRS. It's 3" wide and about 15" long.

Here it s again, with a datum edge trued up on the linisher. It's marked out with a Sharpie against the dimensions of the old, moth-eaten one.

Here are the first two bends going in:

And joddling the top hat section in the middle:

Next step is to fold the two lower channels that fit around the rolled edge of the mudguard, then we will make the main bends. When that fits, we will cut out the old one and repair the main blade.

Here's the first bend of the two side channels:

To make the next bend, the work has been inverted from the previous shot, and it is clamped to one of the folding bars using a piece of 25 x 4mm flat bar. The second folding bar has been raised by the depth of the bend:

Here the work has been folded down over the raised folding bar, producing a joddle:

And here, the joddled section has been clamped behind a 1/2" bar and bent again, producing a shallow channel:

That done, we joddle the last bend and repeat the whole process at the other end to produce this.

I'm very pleased that it sits flat on the bench, with it's datum edge remaining straight and proving that all the bends are square.

Next we need to make the curves, and for that we need a former which is where this empty gas bottle comes in. These were a very expensive way to buy Argon that I used to use before I rented a refillable bottle:

A line drawn parallel to the axis of the bottle, and another square to the datum edge ensures the bend is square:


And it even fits. The marker line you see in the holes is drawn 1/2" from the datum udge, copying the hole positions from the original:

I've drilled the top two holes 9/32", to clear 1/4" screws which we will use for the next steps. These screws will ultimately be 3/8" (for my 5/16" threaded bobbin), but drilling them smaller allows me to move them a little if I need to. The bobbins look like this:

Having a quick look at the side pieces and the holes reveals I have been generous with the length of the blank, and the rolled edges of the tailpiece prevent the over-long bridging piece sitting in the correct position.

The next job therefore is to cut away the old bridging piece from the front section of the mudguard, so we can edge a bit closer to having the bridging piece in the right place and trimming it up. The old one was not too difficult to remove as it was extremely weak; I could see where a couple of the spot welds were and I removed these with a special spot-weld cutter which has been knocking around in my sheet-metal toolbox for decades:

It's a small, double ended saw blade (imagine a 5/16" hole saw) mounted on a mandrel. You can cut right around the weld:

Here's the end of the front section with the bridging piece mostly gone:

I'm going to cut it away back to that black line and let in a new piece of steel, like this:

I'm very happy that I've finally found a decent bi-metal blade for the bandsaw, as it makes life very easy when you want to cut out bits of sheet. This is the new panel - I used a similar technique to before for the centre rib; the curves are bent by hand:

Tacking up. I have a narrow dart in either side to let the new panel curvature match the old guard:

And here is the joining piece, with similar darts. Here it is bolted to the rear section:

These are skin pins - I have about 15 of these 3/16" pins, used for holding sheet metal parts together before welding:

Here's a couple of pictures of the mudguard bolted up:

From the inside, the bridging piece is approaching the final shape. We need to machine the weld nuts on the lathe and get those in next.

This view shows the mudguard with the bobbins in place and bolted up. I made them 1/4" BSC, to give myself a bit more wiggle room. I may make up some special 1/4" bolts with 5/16" size heads, domed and polished.

Here is the bridge piece again, held in place with a few skin pins and with the rear section bolted in place with 1/4" BSC bolts. This all looks good and the bobbins & bolt holes all align, so we can weld the bobbins in place:

Leaving the skin pins in, we can start closing the various joints. Secondly, one at a time, we remove the skin pins and make a plug weld in the hole, which fastens the bridge piece permanently to the main section of the mudguard:

Turning our attention to the other half of the mudguard, we draw around the mangled ears onto a small piece of 20 SWG, and cut it out with snips and the band saw. I've left  14 - 5/16" edge to allow for turning over:

We can raise the edge using various forms - lifting the whole edge gradually to avoid unwanted stretching:

Eventually we can raise it to 45 degrees - and then the end can be beaten flat.

We need two of those, one LH, one RH. We'll use the snips and a hacksaw to remove the old ears:

We need to be very tidy about this, so the new piece fits in the right place:

Welding against old metal is often tricky, but this has gone surprisingly well. Not so neat, mainly due to the fact that I dipped the tungsten in the weld pool part way through...

And the other side - there are four holes to fill, two holes to drill and then we are done:

I'm not sure what these two holes were for - a rack perhaps. To repair them, first clean the area thoroughly:

I tack a little patch on the back - this will be ground off eventually:

Fill the hole from the outside:

We'll grind it flat in a bit. We can do the same with this one: