Tuesday Shop Night

Shop night last night, like most Tuesdays. Don’t know how we picked that one, but it’s been working so why mess with it. The excitement and building momentum at the shop is in the air and we can all feel it. With the cold air comes a renewed interest in spending time building new projects and fixing the place up. Without formal planning of any sort, there were six people last night working on bikes. Perfect.

I got the milling machine variable speed conversion done last weekend and was ready to square up the head. I’ve not used this machine in two or three years and have moved it twice in that time. Young Dan and I and set about getting it trued up so we could cut something.

First we indicated a precision square on the table parallel with the Y axis and locked it down. We then traveled the head and made sure it was parallel to the reference square. Close enough.

Square indicated on table

Next we rigged up bent piece of round stock to check the nod and tilt. Took us about a half hour or so as I’m a little rusty and this machine was WAY out. After messing with it a while I remembered to set it up by eye first with the precision square then use the indicator for fine tuning. Done. +- .0005 all the way around. Lock it down and leave it. Everyone instructed to never move the head. That’s why we have a big adjustable angle plate (that weighs fifty pounds!).

Good all the way around

“Hey Dan, wanna cut something?”

“Hell yes. I’ve got a cylinder head for the BSA salt bike that needs some work”

Now that he knows how to use the indicators I told him to fixture it to the table and call me when done. I’m not sure of the year, but he’s attaching a later cylinder head to a 40’s BSA pre-unit motor and needed to reposition the head bolt holes. He’d already press-fit aluminum plugs into the existing holes and drilled them in the new location. We just needed to deck the area around the new holes to leave room for the fancy new ARP head bolts he’s going to run. Easy first project.

Head fixtured to table

Young Dan at work

Just about done

We all stood around to witness the rebirth of this fine machine and christen it for use in the new shop. May she live there bolted to the floor cutting motorcycle parts for many years to come.


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