I don’t know what inspired me to at last extractum digitum but the sun was out and I found myself with a bit of cardboard in my hand.
I’ve yet to decide on the mixing of styles but I can attend to the rear guards if the combination isn’t so easy on the eye. I had a bit of 1mm aluminium and whizzed out a couple of shapes with a bit extra round the sides to accommodate the wiring of the edges. There’s always plenty of fencing wire in odd corners round the farm so I had everything I needed bar the wheeling machine.
Very Learned Counsel had kindly offered me the use of his wheel but I’d discovered another whose owner was equally generous and not far from both the laser cutting people and (importantly) the Norfolk butcher.
I’d never used an English Wheel before and was looking forward to the fun. ‘The work’s done on the back stroke – you’ll get the hang of it’, was the extent of my instruction and, like the advice I was given before I went for helicopter lessons – ‘don’t look in the cockpit, just keep your eyes on the furthest horizon’, this seemed to do the trick.
Of course, wise words don’t preclude you from getting in a muddle but the man who never made a mistake, never made nothin’. In my enthusiasm I over-worked one of the panels but managed to sort of pull it back and called it a day before I got myself in a real jam.
I quite like the look because it gives the front of the car a bit of width – something it had always lacked. Still, I’ve yet to get the fitting right and then wire the edges which will throw the whole lot out of kilter again if I don’t pay attention.
In a bid to pick up a few more handy hints and tips I’ve ordered an American publication, ‘Learning the English Wheel’. In it are pictures of the author’s work on the replica Hughes H-1 racer and he seems to have made a decent fist of that so I’m in good hands.
Leon’s Coventry Climax installation is nearing completion as he fabricates the manifolds in stainless steel. That should give the exhaust note a pleasing ring.
A day’s racing at Brands Hatch with Learned Counsel provided plenty of entertainment and was a reminder that if I don’t hurry up and go for my racing driving test, I’m going to miss out on the Le Mans Classic in 2018. Luckily, Snetterton is practically on my doorstep and there’s an organisation there which is affiliated to the Motor Sports Association (MSA) and who can conduct the test.
It’ll be back to bread and scrape for the foreseeable; not an entirely welcome development.