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Right sizing


The sleeve drive crank is coming along nicely, sized to the inner race of the bearing. This is one of many critical sizeing operations and it’s quite stressful, knowing you can spoil the entire part if you’re out by even a thou!

After a trial fit and fine tune, we have a great push fit which feels really good. The photo shows the driving bar used to turn the piece between centres, which will house the drive pin once it’s bored to size. (Another critical dimension!).

Won’t be long before we have a component that’s completely finished!!

Clocking on


A bit chintzy maybe, but I had a set of rods from a Bristol Hercules looking for a home. Fed up with whacking my shins on them, I stuck them on the wall. The bearing journal in the centre was looking a little bare, so I popped a skeleton clock movement in it.

Huzzah! Now I can track all the time I waste in the garage. 🙂

Group Photo


Plenty going on recently but not much to blog about. I burried a cable across 30 metres of the neighbour’s garden to get electrics into the shed. A tough job but it needed doing. I also had a new ring fitted to the garage, so I’m all ready for the big machines – if they ever materialise!

In the shed we had the parts made to date sat together on the mill, when Bob suggested a group photo. So here you go.

From left to right: Conrod, Flywheels, sleeve drive crank, crank pin and 2 crankshaft.

Still some work to be done, but it won’t be long before we’re able to press the bottom end together. Now that will be progress! Time to really start thinking about how I’m going to make those cases.

Meanwhile from the saddle….


The old KLR has been banging along, providing reliable service as usual. Look after a bike, service it regularly and change the oil and it’ll last and last.

This week I passed 88888 kms. Lucky in some countries! I have no doubts I’ll take it ’round the clock’. I just need to decide whether to restore it at that point or leave it as it.

I am kind of attached to that patina 🙂

Maestro at work


With the bearing in hand the sleeve drive crank is underway on the Churchill lathe. Bob has been busy while I sort the crank pin on the Southbend lathe.

Just yesterday I was asked whether I really needed 3 lathes and 3 milling machines, as plans are afoot to acquire an extra lathe and mill.

Well, both lathes are in use so the answer is obviously yes 🙂

How much??


Now that the sleeve drive crank is being made, we need the bearings to accurately size the component. The large diameter bearing is an American made imperial bearing, only available from a specialist importer.

I mailed them and duly received a quotation for £326. Plus VAT. Plus £10 postage. Total price £400.

How much? Feck me!

So, plan B. A quick search around the web showed no metric equivalent bearings, but a couple that were close. After marking those dimensions on the plans with Bob, we found an alternative that will work. Press a couple of buttons on my phone and it’s in the post.

£142 delivered. Result!!