Tuesday, 30 April 2019

From the Archives

Pathé News was a producer of newsreels and documentaries from 1910 until 1970 in the United Kingdom. Its founder, Charles Pathé, was a pioneer of moving pictures in the silent era.

Its roots lie in Paris when in 1896 Société Pathé Frères was founded by Charles Pathé and his brothers, who pioneered the development of the moving image. Charles Pathé adopted the national emblem of France, the cockerel, as the trademark for his company. After the company, now called Compagnie Générale des Éstablissements Pathé Frère Phonographes & Cinématographes, invented the cinema newsreel with Pathé-Journal, French Pathé began its newsreel in 1908 and opened a newsreel office in London's Wardour Street in 1910. Wardour Street, in Soho, was to become a centre of Britain's film industry. In 1958, Pathé was sold to Warner Bros. and became Warner-Pathé. Pathé eventually stopped producing the cinema newsreel in February 1970; by that time, many homes had their own or rented televisions and the days of the cinema news reel were over.

The Pathé News archive is known today as British Pathé. Its collection of news film and movies is fully digitised and available online and it's no surprise that that archive includes film of our favourite subject. You can do a search like this:


This famous film of Harry Perrey crossing the English Channel on a 1929 'Black' Ariel was made by Pathé and is here too:


Harry was Competitions Manager at Ariel until 1930 and apparently, on arriving in France after a 7 hour trip, Perrey returned to dear old Blighty, on his Ariel, the same day!

In 2019, 90 years later AOMCC President Ariel Atzori will repeat the experience though in slightly warmer climes, on Lake Como during the 2019 Italian Ariel Rally.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Dry Build - Rear Brake Pedal & Bell Crank

Updated: first published 15th January 2019

Let's have a look at the brake pedal and crank arrangement next. Here's the crank in place - the rod is very rusty & I broke it trying to dismantle it...

The crank is held in place with a hex head screw (which I think is 5/16" CEI) and a large washer - both of which are missing. There's a clevis on the end of the brake cable.

I'd thought I might buy a new rod assembly from Acme, but having attacked the original with the wire wheel I see that much of it (rod aside) is in pretty good shape and would replate, so I have sat the broken bits in the vice with some Plus-Gas in them.

Drilling that broken rod out is going to be straightforward. Here's how I did it:

I decided to use the lathe to ensure that I drilled the broken std out on-centre. Since it was tricky to hold the banjo shaped swivel in the chuck, I made a simple collet out of a bit of aluminium round bar. The larger part of the swivel would sit behind the collet, which grips the parallel part.

I used the collet to hold the swivel in the 3 jaw chuck, and drilled the bit of broken rod out with progressively larger drills. I cleaned up the thread with a tap.

The rest of it cleaned up easily with the wire wheel. The bolt and washer used to retain the bell crank in the frame are missing - I understand (thanks to Mick D on the AOMCC Forum) that the bolt is 5/16" CEI, about 3/8" long. The thread needs cleaning up:

I've turned up a new washer from a bit of 25 mm 303 round bar:

Moving on, the brake pedal is all good and the spindle fits nicely into it's hole in the frame.

No idea why it is plated though. The spring, although it fits and is working, is very pitted and will need replacement:

I've made a new brake rod from a piece of 1/4" round bar. The collet chuck and tailstock die holder are very useful for jobs like this:

Here we go, new and old:

All fitted up. Next step is a new brake pedal spring and then the brake light switch.


The brake light switch fits onto a welded bracket on the frame down tube, right above the swinging arm, close to the abutment for the brake cable:

The brake cable uses a clevis arrangement to connect to the bell crank. This one is a bit long, and needs a washer and a split pin:

Friday, 12 April 2019

Little steps: Horn Bracket for the FH

Back in January, before I started work on the crankshafts and before my little Grandchildren laid us out with those pre-school viruses they love to share, I was assembling the toolbox and some bits around it. I wrote about it here.

Workshop time for bikes often occurs as a distraction from something domestic you are supposed to be doing but have become tired of - or maybe I have a short attention span; so it was that yesterday found me building shelves for my off-grid battery bank and making a horn bracket while the glue dried.

You'll recall that I have a toolbox which may be too early for my FH. The bottom bracket looks like this

Ariel do not list a separate horn bracket for 1958 and here's why - the horn bolts directly to the toolbox tab as shown in MickD's picture below. As you can see, I don't have those holes on my toolbox! The swinging arm toolbox carried a -54 part number through to the end of four stroke production, so I must have an earlier incarnation of the same part, designed to be used with an Altette and not the Lucas HF1441 horn used in 1958.

I needed to make an intermediate bracket, or modify my toolbox. I have the correct Lucas HF1441, which I think came from eBay. It has a right angle bracket, retained to the multi-leaf horn bracket with two 2BA hex head screws:

As always with any sheet metal work, we mock up the required part in cardboard and test it for fit:

Then, with some Dykem marking blue we can lay it out on a bit of 4mm sheet. It's hard to see with the lighting, but I have punched witness marks around the perimeter of the part to help me see the shape during the filing & linishing that will happen later:

Cut out commences with the hacksaw, and carries on with files and the linisher - a very useful tool that I acquired recently.

The holes were actually drilled while the part was still square - so that it could be clamped securely in the machine vice on the drill press:

Test fit - good to go to paint I think, though it's very close to the upturn on the toolbox bracket. I'll need to deal with that as the toolbox may get powder coated.

Friday, 5 April 2019

Welding Nuts

As you will know, the swinging arm Ariels make use of Spire fasteners and matching screws in various places, which look a lot like blunt self tappers. These appear in the rear mudguard and the seat base. Additionally, the bikes use captive nuts in sheet metal cages (I made one here) in the headlight and in the chainguard.

Of course, the captive nut in the chainguard was missing. I thought about making one, and having fiddled around for a while making a 5/16" one for the headlamp, I wasn't about to make a smaller (1/4") one for the chainguard that no-one would ever see, so I decided to weld a nut in.

Now the tab on the chainguard is not so large, and I wanted something larger than a conventional nut to weld to, and secondly I wanted to make sure the thread was in the centre of the square hole in the chainguard, so I came up with a special nut, designed to be welded in:

It's turned up from a piece of 3/4" round bar on the lathe:

It's got a 0.35" diameter journal to fit into the hole, and a lead in chamfer to a 1/4" BSCy thread:

The back is also chamfered, to allow me to make a fillet weld easily:

I'll make some 5/16" ones for the mudguard and seat.