Friday, 30 March 2012


This week, I have been mostly cutting up pieces of cork...

So while waiting for my fork tools to arrive, I have been cleaning up the petrol taps.

After several sessions in a hot ultrasonic bath, we have two clean Enots petrol taps, the type with the famous 'HexagON'. One is a reserve tap in that it has an additional reserve lever - so the bike will have three options - one side of the tank through one tap, the other side of the tank through the other tap, and a portion of fuel available from one side of the tank with the tap in the reserve position. How useful.

So, after ultrasound we have the Dremel & brass wire brush to buff up the nickel - which is has a distinct 'patina' brought on through years of service and inappropriate spanners. Nothing to stop them working though, at least, nothing that a new set of seals won't cure.

So, rummage around under the bench for the remains of a 1/4" thick cork table mat, and we can set about making some new ones:
  • make a wad punch out of some 15 mm tube, sharpened at one end
  • whack the punch into the cork with a mallet, onto a stout hardwood anvil
  • realise this only crushes the cork
  • think again and resharpen the punch
  • screw it into the cork to actually cut the seal blank out
  • do it five more times
  • stick a dowel inside the tube and push out your six blank seals
having crawled around the workshop floor, since they shot out of the punch and went everywhere, go and have a cup of tea. Next:
  • punch a small (4mm or so) hole in the centre of each blank
  • thread each seal onto a suitable screw, retain with a nut & washer
  • chuck the screw in an electric drill, or a lathe if you are lucky
  • using a 60 grit sanding pad, followed by 120 grit, reduce the seals to 1/2" diameter in your makeshift lathe
  • strip it all down and admire your handywork.

Next, oil the seals and wait a little while. Now you can put them in the taps, reassemble and revel in the fact that you have saved yourself £3.50!

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