Category Archives: Uncategorized

Brief encounter


Sat waiting for a delayed flight and a very nice lady asked a question about Birmingham. After a brief chat it turns out Victoria is from Russia, now living in Edinburgh. I had been through her home town when I rode home in 2014!

We had a nice chat about my travels and it was great to re-live parts of the journey again. I really must sort out the travel part of the blog and list it in the right order, in a separate area. It takes a lot of scrolling to get there now!

Looks like it’ll be a late one, then my 2 weeks holiday will start 💪😎

Glasgow Unveiling


Bit of a busy couple of days, flying to Glasgow to unveil a commemorative plaque for a colleague and friend, who sadly passed away last year.

I was honoured to be invited to say a few words about the late, great Jimmy King before his brother opened the curtains. Not many commemorative plaques have ever been allowed on Network Rail property, so it’s a great tribute to Jimmy.

I’m pictured here with representatives who served with Jimmy in the 1st Battalion of The Royal Highland Fusiliers. Lots of banter from those guys, who made take good company. Sat waiting to board my (delayed) plane, time to reflect….

Tap tap…


Over the break progress on the engine head been good. The drive side case is finished and the timing side well advanced. Attention now turns to the timing case, which will be quite complex. The first job is to get it bolted into the timing side, so we have a reference to work from.

The plan is to get the timing cover bolted on, then make a couple of mandrels to fit in the bores for the sleeve drive and main bearings. The mandrels will have a small hole in the centre, through which we can fit a bike punch. This will allow the centres to be accurately marked on the inside of the timing case.

In order to bolt the timing case on, the timing side needs to be drilled and tapped. 32 holes in total. Tap tap…. Starting tap, number 2 tap and finally plug tap. 96 operations! In the plus side, the second set of cases will then be ready to drop off at the frame builders.

Tap tap….

No Pressure!


Here’s a little project that’s been rumbling along in the background. I picked up an old pressure guage from John Collet’s place a couple of years ago. It was in the scrap pile and it just looked too nice to see going to waste.

I didn’t know whether it worked and the fittings weren’t compatible with my modern Chinese compressor of course! So it took a fair bit of fiddling with central heating fittings, some 8mm microbore copper pipe and a bit of soldering. Thanks to my mate Matt for helping with the soldering, much needed!

I thought about a full restoration on the gauge with a repaint in bright red, but I kind of like that patina – and it’ll only end up looking like this again in 30 years time 😁 Thankfully the gauge works just fine and that’s another thing saved for a while longer. Result!

Heads cleaned up


A fair bit of work has gone on which I’ve put up on the YouTube channel. I’ll embed a few videos sometime.

Meanwhile, the heads and manifolds have come back from Sutton Soda Blasting and a fine job they’ve done of cleaning them up. You can see them side by side with the spare cases in the background.

Having a choice of manifolds is good, noting that the mounting flanges aren’t square so they can only fit one way. I can start to visualise the ancillaries now and get a clearer picture in my head. Quite exciting!