Monthly Archives: December 2016

A little light reading….


Bob popped round this morning while I was out. After our trip to Newark Air Museum and a whole load of phone calls, I may have managed to source some parts. This is essential as without them the whole project stalls. While I’m waiting to hear about that, all kinds of design problems that will need to be resolved are being mulled over.


Is 7:1 compression enough?
How do I change the valve timing from 60/05 to 30/30?
What’s the best drive solution for the sleeve?
How will it be oil fed?
What will I use for ignition timing? Advance & retard?

The list goes on!!

The good news is that design work is free, it’s just a background thought processes to fill in the blanks. Bob was kind enough to dig out a few volumes for me to read. It might not look much but there’s a fair weight to those papers, and a real gem in rarity terms.

Sure, Google will tell you anything. But the information here isn’t on the net. It probably never will be, and the folks at Cranfield University who worked on it won’t be there now either. Information like this is being lost to the new generation and it’s a crying shame. I shall be doing my best to restore the balance by reading it thoroughly, and trying to understand it!

Making an engine of my own design isn’t going to be easy, even if I have the Head, Barrel, Sleeve and Piston to get me going. But I’ve set off down this course and I’m enjoying the challenge so far. I’m 50 in just under 4 years – what better milestone for completion??

New Bench!


It might not look like much at the moment, but what you can see is the makings of a new workbench. The plan is for an all steel bench across the back of the workshop, 3 and a half metres long.

I’m welding it up with a mate as a made to measure item, with under shelf. It’s over engineered at m6 plate and box section with a 5mm wall, but strong is good and you never know when you’ll need an impromptu bomb shelter.

In fact when I’ve installed my lathe and I’m working on a former bomber engine, on my bombproof bench, the irony won’t be lost on me!

It’s a slow process but eventually the workshop will be up to the job. By that time I should have my design finalised and the big question (can I get the parts I need) answered!


Last ride of 2016.


Well not exactly. I’ll be commuting by bike right up to the wire on the 23rd, but this was the last ‘ride’ in the social sense. Oddly enough it was also the first with this particular group of friends, organised through the wonders of Facebook no less!

I’ve always relished that about the biking world, the fact that friends I know well are known by their nicknames. Often I wouldn’t have a clue about someone’s real name, phone number or even what city they lived in. Yet staying in contact was never an issue as I knew we’d be at the same rally sooner or later.

Recently I’ve found more and more folk I’ve known for ages turning up on the great book of Face. I now know their real names and we’ve even started calling each other by them! Organising a ride out is that much easier with groups etc., so it’s all good – right?

Well maybe. I just can’t shake the feeling that something has been lost somehow. The romance of being part of a select minority? Perhaps not lost, stolen more like. We’re all online now and once you’re on……