Yet another project, albeit a small one but even so, not without its complications. Four or five years ago, our village pub was closed and sold to a developer whose ideas didn’t really sit comfortably with the locals; a stale-mate ensued. Eventually the pub was sold to a local resident, restored and re-opened last year. One evening I was asked if I could give the landlord a hand lifting a barrel onto the stillage in the rather cramped cellar. It was an awkward job and really, some kind of hoist would have made the task much easier and, more importantly, independent of volunteers from the bar; a drink is the customary reward for these exertions. I said I would design and build something to fit in the space available but, more anon.
I haven’t started on the handbrake ratchet release system yet as I’ve been called away to Sweden. There’s 60km of cable to magnetise and so everything else has been put on hold. In the past we magneteers have driven to Karlskrona but this time the kit was sent on ahead and we took a flight to Kastrup, Copenhagen and hired a rather swish BMW to take us the rest of the way.
Very nice but, surprisingly, less refined than my 13 year-old Mercedes – no cruise control for instance, something a car of this calibre might certainly have – especially the automatic version. Of course, there’s every possibility that I just haven’t found it yet.
We’re working with the Maersk Connector; a giant of a ship complete with helicopter platform and, I’m informed, a flat bottom which, with its thrusters retracted, enables it to run up onto the beach to complete part of the cable connecting process. The downside of the flat bottom is the ship rolls about like a good’un in heavy seas..
She was a day late arriving so I had a bit of time to explore and drove up the east coast to see what Sweden had to offer. There were some charming little villages with harbours though I suspect most of the houses were holiday homes; they had that recently-abandoned-flip-flop air about them.
Before I left for Sweden, Learned Counsel and I aligned and welded the two parts of Project ‘Z’ to the frame of one of my workshop benches. Learned Counsel’s partner in this scheme, The Racing Driver, saw to it that the Kawasaki engine was removed to make way for a Honda 600 CBR, all the suspension components and the MX-5 diff came off and the work of rebuilding the cockpit section could begin.
Apparently, by the time I get back, the welding will be complete and then it’s up to me to get on with the body design as quickly as possible. Not knowing anything about fibre-glassing, I went with The Racing Driver to a place not too far away where all sorts of fibre-glassing activities were taking place – from car bodies to panels for (static) DH Mosquito’s. It was only about 10 miles away, next to a shop that built racing cars and I hadn’t a clue that either of them existed! Chap was very helpful and gave me a few pointers on building the buck.
On my return I shall first complete the stillage hoist; I know – shooting myself in the foot – but these things must be done.