Author Archives: Sophie Whiptank - aka Bart

About Sophie Whiptank - aka Bart

I'm just a bloke doing some stuff, the more interesting bits I post on my blog. Scroll down far enough and you'll see me riding from Melbourne Australia to Birmingham, England in 2014. But now I'm working on another project, a single cylinder motorbike engine at 2750cc!

CNC 1-01 Tiny steps

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It might not look much, but on the table is the start of getting the Bridgeport converted to CNC operation. Nick brought his new motor and encoder round, fitted to a neat housing he made. I’d picked up an ODrive and old power supply, which we coupled to a Raspberry Pi. Igor kindly donated memory card and we were on our way!

By the time the evening was out, we’d managed to get the motor to turn through a fixed angle in either direction, run continuously at a fixed rpm, and apply a holding torque. Three critical operations for CNC. A great start, although there’s no doubting we’ve still got a long way to go.

Next steps are getting some beefier motors, fitting the odrive into a better housing and upgrading the power supply.

Oilways away.

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Setting up to start drilling the oilway through the flywheel, now that the bores are final sized. It’s quite a challenge getting a flat started in the right place, on an acute angle into toughened steel. Luckily the spot cutters managed it, ready for drilling next.

There isn’t room for a centre drill, so it’ll be a delicate job drilling the pilot hole. But with a following wind the final part of the wheel will be completed ready for pressing together.

Big machines commissioned!

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It’s taken a while, but the Bridgeport mill and Myford lathe are now operational with inverters providing 3-phase power and the added bonus of variable control.

First job up is to use the power feed on the quill to get a good finish and final size the bores in the flywheels. That’s going well, which is a good sign as we’ll use the same method for boring the big end for the bearings.

Long term I plan to convert the Bridgeport to CNC, but for now it’s working just fine as a manual mill – and I’m loving it!!

RIP Nick Moss

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Just had some sad news that Nick Moss, our pattern maker, passed away on his return from the TT. I’ve only met him a couple of times, but Nick was one of those guys who you knew instantly was going to become a good friend. Or not, in this case.

Clever, talented, friendly & useful. You couldn’t ask for more. Just 65 years old! Give up smoking people!!

Pattern makers

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Pattern maker and engineer Nick Moss has been teased out of retirement by our project. This is good news! Nick came round a couple of weeks back and we had a good old chat. Nick made the patterns for Bob’s 500cc air cooled 4 stroke, so it was good for them to catch up.

Nick took a set of plans away and dropped by yesterday with a couple of questions. It was great to see how the pattern maker thinks, hearing about runners and casting sand. The next step is to visit the foundry and talk to them, which we’ll book in sometime.

Nick took a marked up set of plans away and will start work after the classic TT. Progress!

Great weekend at the HUBB

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Another great long weekend at the Horizons Unlimited travellers’ meeting in the beautiful Breacon beacons. Seeing old friends and hammock converts was great, along with making many new ones too.

Duncan Gough provided some great insights to Spain, making me appreciate and reconsider my travel plans to and from Morocco.

Louisa Swaden (aka the existential biker) made me highly jellous of her impending land speed record attempt, and the extraordinary story of how that transpired through simple acts of helping people.

The lovely Tiffany Cotes had some tall tales from Borneo and Gav Bowen’s custom Bedford just blew me away. Wow! My good friend Igor Chernikov presented for the first time, and I only saw about 30% of what was there.

The trade stalls were great, especially Bison Bushcraft, with Roger Harrington doing a great knife safety session. One of his knives would make a great 50th birthday present, if anyone’s looking for ideas 🙂 I picked up some very useful tips there.

So check out a hubb meeting if you’ve any interest in travel. See the links page for details…

The big move

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A long 2 days on a farm in Surrey went very well. We finally got permission to relocate the inheritance machines, so I booked a transport firm and hotted off down south in a van. Good friends Bob and Igor came along to help.

At the farm Ken Hamilton was there to greet us with tea and the keys. There’s always been a warm welcome from Ken. 🙂

We called Graham Baker, an old friend of John’s who moves machines often. He’d offered to help out in John’s memory. Graham was brilliant, just what we needed. So we set to on the Bridgeport first, with the first hurdle getting it through the narrow door….