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A hand-held micrometer requires the operator to simultaneously hold the part, hold the micrometer, and operate the spindle, while a bench micrometer eliminates at least one, and sometimes two, of these. It's not that hand-held micrometers can't be accurate, it's that bench micrometers allow the operator to concentrate all their attention on the actual measurement itself. So, rather than the hand-held style of micrometer tool Goodson sells I'm making the equivalent of a bench micrometer.

With the above in mind, the 1" micrometer I will be using allows setting the cutter over a 2" range of diameters. So, I designed the instrument to cover the range of diameters from 1" (i.e. a smaller seat pocket than I can imagine ever needing) to 3" (larger than I can imagine ever needing). I want it to be as accurate as possible, but since it only will be rarely used, I didn't want to spend a lot of time on aesthetics. Basing it on a repurposed chuck of Al satisfied these requirements.

For no good reason (I mean it, for no good reason) some time ago I bought a used Black & Decker valve grinding set, and with that set came a number of duplicate pilots. One of those duplicates would do quite nicely, so I picked one that the cutter tooling fit over with no perceptible play (so, probably less than 0.001" clearance, although there was no reason to take the time to measure it).

The first photograph shows the large diameter micrometer head I won't be using along with the bracket it came with.

[Linked Image]

I decided to repurpose the bracket rather than make something from scratch, so that only required making a sleeve to match the smaller OD of the 1" micrometer head to the ID of the hole in the bracket. Conveniently, the OD of the head is an Imperial ⅜" so it was an easy matter to ream it for a snug fit, shown in the next photograph.

[Linked Image]

The sleeve was thick enough that I could have tapped it for a setscrew, but I decided to slit it instead and rely on gentle clamping pressure to hold the micrometer, as shown in the next photograph.

[Linked Image]

With the micrometer portion done, I turned to making the base from a large Al bracket in the scrap bin. The next photograph shows it after I had roughed it to size with a saw and then faced it to the desired thickness on the mill.

[Linked Image]

I ran out of time at that point, but the final photograph shows that what remains to do is to tap two holes in the side to hold the micrometer bracket, and drill a hole the depth of the Al block to hold the pilot.

[Linked Image]

The pilot I've chosen is for a guide that is +0.010" over ⅜", so I can drill the hole for it as deep as possible with nearly-inflexible ⅜" carbide tooling. Although I'll have to finish drilling that hole with an extra-long ⅜" HSS bit, the earlier portion of the hole should keep it quite straight. I'll then remove the remaining ~0.01" with the Sunnen hone for a tight push fit.

Making a 1.000"-dia. standard to fit over the 0.375" top of the pilot will let me zero the micrometer (actually, any accurately-sized standard that is 1" or larger would do).

NYBSAGUY and I were laughing about it earlier today, but this new precision instrument will be yet another inscrutable object in the garage for my daughters to puzzle over when settling my estate sometime in the (far distant, I hope) future, before tossing it in the trash and moving on to the next of the thousands of unidentifiable objects.

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The specific reason we were laughing was the repeated use of the phrase "from a deceased gentleman's estate" in the Bonhams Stafford auction. Seems the closer I get to being that gentleman, the more often I see the phrase in use.

Since I will, at some far off point, fall off the perch, it will be my daughter's responsibility to get rid of all the crap in my garage. "It says 59GS head complete, but I don't know what that means. You can have it for $5."

Multiply that by 1,000 for the expensive crap in MMan's garage and you can see the issue his two brilliant daughters will face.

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Originally Posted by NYBSAGUY
Multiply that by 1,000 for the expensive crap in MMan's garage and you can see the issue his two brilliant daughters will face.
Triggered by the fact two of my Gold Stars came "from a deceased gentleman's estate," I assembled a 'Black Book' containing a flash drive and paper copies of files listing the tooling (and my estimate of prices) for my lathe, mill, hone, precision tools, etc., plus each of the bikes, as well as other information that could be of great use in sorting out the disaster I'll leave behind (e.g. bibliography of my 3000+ motorcycle books, magazines, etc.). However, I expect my daughters will dutifully go through, at most, the first page of the Black Book before losing patience and hiring a dumpster.

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I almost finished the setting micrometer yesterday before again running out of time. While the base does not have to be perfectly flat for it to be completely functional, slight rocking would be annoying. So, I accurately clamped it in the vise and faced it, as shown in the first photograph.

[Linked Image]

I then reset it in the vise and tapped two holes for attaching the micrometer assembly, as shown in the next photograph.

[Linked Image]

A third accurate repositioning allowed me to drill the hole for the pilot. To do this I carefully positioned the center of the drill 0.500" from the end of the fully-extended micrometer head and on its centerline. It turned out the ⅜" carbide drill bit I have is long enough that I didn't have to extend the depth using an ordinary HSS drill bit. The only remaining task is to hone the hole for the ~0.01"-larger diameter of the bottom of the pilot.

The last photograph shows a mock-up of the final tool.

[Linked Image]

The bottom of the pilot is tapered so it sits in the ⅜" hole.

The base could be ~1" shorter so I'll have to decide after I finish making it, whether I'm finished making it. There's no functional reason to shorten the block so I'll probably leave well enough alone.

Before someone raises the question, yes, I agree, this is quite a bit of trouble to go to for a tool that I'll rarely use, and that my daughters will throw out sometime in the future because they don't know what it is. But, arguably, it will be easier to use and more precise than the commercial version, and it didn't cost $450. However, the real reason for making it is that I have a love of precision instruments, wanted to make it, and could make it. So, I did.

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With only one item left on my to-do list I thought I'd get it finished... wait, what's this, my list has a second page?.... oh, no, , it's an entire notebook!! Damn. Oh well, I wanted to get at least one item crossed off my way-too-long to-do list.

I honed the hole in the base to fit the bottom of the guide, ending up with a fit that required light taps from a small hide mallet to insert the guide in the base. So, the clearance is zero and it has full contact with the base over ~2½" providing excellent alignment. I then measured the ID of the ball driver for the cutter at 0.0001" over ⅜", and the OD of the exposed section of the pilot to be 0.3744", so the clearance between them is 0.0007", i.e. ±0.00035".

[Linked Image]

Of course, the clearance between the ball driver and the specific pilot that would be used when machining a given head wouldn't necessarily be the same, and in operation the side thrust on the cutting tip might or might not take up some or all of whatever clearance there is. But, the measured clearance on the setting tool itself means I can set the cutter to an accuracy of ~0.0005".

Given that this setting tool is capable of accuracy in the tenths, a round setting standard for it would only introduce unwanted uncertainty due to the additional clearance it would have. In any case, when accuracy is needed, gauge blocks are the gold standard. The measured diameter of the pilot is 0.3742", for a radius of 0.1872". This means a 0.3128" stack of gauge blocks next to the pilot would extend out 0.5000" (1.000" diameter), which is where I want to 'zero' the micrometer head. This is shown in the next photograph.

[Linked Image]

With the micrometer head accurately calibrated with gauge blocks, the tool is now ready to use, as shown in the final photograph.

[Linked Image]

With luck, I'll never have to install another valve seat, but I'm now ready in case I ever need to.

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Anyone who is interested in the technical details described in this Ariel rebuild also might find interesting a thread documenting my complete restoration of a Vincent Black Shadow.

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This post is directly related to the Ariel in that the Ariel's work stand stood where the Vincent's is now, and because when I cleaned the Vincent's work stand in September I found a stack of 21 mounted 35-mm slides containing images that had been missing for four decades. How they ended up on the Vincent's work stand after one cross-country and two cross-city moves, I'll never know.

Anyway, forty years ago I created a research project to use an extraordinarily-sensitive superconductive magnetometer to see if magnetic anomalies could be detected at the surface that might reveal the presence of geological features thousands of feet below ground level of the type associated with oil deposits (e.g. salt domes). Clearly, a motorcycle would be required for this project, so I bought a Bultaco Alpina (a Sherpa T with lights).

After an earlier test of the mission-critical transportation systems at a site only 200 miles from the lab

[Linked Image]

my research group's first field test of the system was in an oil field located in the definition of the term "middle of nowhere," 30 or 40 miles from Rock Springs, Wyoming (n.b. whether or not SQUID describes a younger me, it actually means Superconducting QUantum Interference Device). The oil field had been mapped by others and had well-characterized boundaries between oil and no-oil, so was a good location for testing.

On that expedition I rode the Bultaco to the top of a nearby ridge that towered a few hundred feet over the otherwise-flat plain, where I shot a series of overlapping photos (hence, the 21 slides) that I later used to make a panoramic photograph to hang in my lab. That photograph disappeared in my move to the university shortly thereafter, and I wasn't able to find it despite several thorough searches, so when the original slides turned up on the Vincent's stand two months ago it came as quite a surprise.

I shot the following from the screen of a slide viewer so the quality is less than perfect.

[Linked Image]

The photograph is deceptively telephoto-like since it's just the center portion of the slide, so visualize me having been twice as far away as it appears, with twice as much barren Wyoming landscape in the frame.

While the project seemed like a good idea when I conceived of it in the comfort of my office, this expedition exposed me to wind, dust, snow and mud, as well as required physical labor and dirty hands, all of which convinced me I needed to spend the rest of my career indoors, as a gentleman physicist. So, I did.

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They just announced the 2023 Cannonball, and my incorrigible teammate wasted no time phoning me from Ireland to tell me he had requested applications for both of us. Not that I'm insane enough to do it again, even though it would require minimal preparation since I already have a completely rebuilt Ariel, as well as have a trailer customized for just such an event, but...

For the record, the route will run from Virginia Beach VA, through Augusta KS at the midpoint, and will end at Huntington Beach CA.

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you didnt make that mountain section, you remember.

very picturesye


i'm old enough to remember when patriotism meant not trying to overthrow the government.
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Originally Posted by kevin
you didnt make that mountain section, you remember.
Don't remind me...

Getting to and from the start/finish is particularly off-putting. That would require something over five long days of mind-numbing Interstate driving, with the nine-hour drive home coming after 15 body-numbing days in the saddle. Last time I flew to and from the event, which was good, but it required using a U-Haul truck as our support vehicle, which was bad. Although I'm sure that shipping a loaded trailer to the start would be quite expensive, but when I looked into this last time I couldn't find anyone who rented a pickup with a trailer hitch, so that wouldn't even be an option.

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Hi MM
Have you tested the Ariel on the road yet since getting it running ??????

John

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Ditto your trailer?

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Originally Posted by chaterlea25
Have you tested the Ariel on the road yet since getting it running ??????
Hey, it's the middle of winter.

Originally Posted by Tridentman
Ditto your trailer?
All of us were triple dosed this fall and making plans to use it this spring as soon as the temperature dropped sufficiently in the mountains. Then Omicron hit. So, things are on hold yet again.

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Originally Posted by Magnetoman
They just announced the 2023 Cannonball, and my incorrigible teammate wasted no time phoning me from Ireland to tell me he had requested applications for both of us. Not that I'm insane enough to do it again, even though it would require minimal preparation since I already have a completely rebuilt Ariel, as well as have a trailer customized for just such an event, but...
That gives you around 18 months to acquire a spare cylinder head and refurbish it. A cylinder head swap should be easier than machining and fitting valve guides, even with the mobile workshop.

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Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
..... A cylinder head swap should be easier than machining and fitting valve guides........
And, while we are trying to plan MM's future for him........ What about a cup of sorts around the valve spring of that poor, dry running exhaust valve stem. Make it tall enough so that way the occasional squirt of oil would be captured inside it and hang around longer where it is needed instead of just running off.

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do it

do it

do it

as my kids would say


i'm old enough to remember when patriotism meant not trying to overthrow the government.
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Originally Posted by kevin
do it
do it
do it
Now I remember you. You were the kid who was trying to get me to jump off the garage roof into the pile of leaves below.

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Originally Posted by Stuart Kirk
And, while we are trying to plan MM's future for him........
Well, now that you mention it...

A small foundry to cast a new set of crankcases may come in handy, although machining a set from billet stock and creating a faux sand-cast surface should be stronger.

One of my friends worked in the railway workshops, and made a set of crankcases for his race bike as a "foreign order"

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Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
A cylinder head swap should be easier than machining and fitting valve guides,
Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
cast a new set of crankcases may come in handy, although machining a set from billet stock and creating a faux sand-cast surface ...
Shane's maintenance checklist for 2023 Cannonball:

Mile 500: oil drive chain
Mile 1000: oil drive chain and replace crankcases
Mile 1500: oil drive chain
Mile 2000: oil drive chain and replace head
Mile 2500: oil drive chain
Mile 3000: oil drive chain and replace crankcases again

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I see that MMan has accepted that he will enter the 2023 Cannonball and that all we are now discussing is the maintenance schedule.
Go for it, MMan!

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How about Vincents across America in 2023? You have the bike and time to get it ready. I have penciled you in as a maybe.

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Originally Posted by RPM
How about Vincents across America in 2023?
Hmm. Being a deadline-driven person I already have the 2023 Vincent Rally in California penciled in to give me a deadline to aim for, but a second (or alternative) deadline is even better.

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I've neglected the trusty Ariel for much too long, and I thought the upcoming May 22 'Distinguished Gentleman's Ride' could be a good excuse to do something 'official' on a motorcycle for the first time in several years, and to do it on the Ariel.

After I re-rebuilt the Ariel it had the tiniest of an leak from the oil feed line that took some time to locate. As the first photograph shows, it could have been coming from the fitting where the line attaches to the tank.

[Linked Image]

However, as the clean paper towel around the line shows, the above fitting is innocent. As the clean paper towel in the second photograph shows, after addressing the issue in a way I'll discuss momentarily, the leak had been fixed.

[Linked Image]

The way I stopped the leak was with O-ring washers on both sides of the banjo, that look like the one in the next photograph.

[Linked Image]

However, the leak that formerly soiled the lower paper towel could have come from either of two copper washers that had been there before. So, with two months to go before the DGR, today I threw caution to the wind and replaced the outer O-ring washer with a Cu washer, and started the test over again by filling the sight glass cup, and hence the oil line, with oil.

[Linked Image]

It actually requires refilling the sight glass several times, a day apart each time, because it takes time for air trapped below the oil to work its way up and allow the oil to flow downward. So, this test will require at least a week to be sure oil has reached the banjo.

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The following has nothing to do with my Ariel, but this still seems like an appropriate place to put this.

[Linked Image]

As can be seen from this two-page ad in the latest AMCA magazine, the Cannonball has competition. If you go to the web site you’ll see this is for pre-1930 bikes and is the first of future rides they say they will organize.

However, very fast support vehicles are a requirement. The Rules state they must leave each morning 30 minutes before the bikes depart, and they must maintain a minimum distance of 75 miles from the nearest bike. Assuming the support vehicles have outstanding acceleration, they still have to go 150 mph that first half-hour to be 75 miles away when the first bike pulls out.

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