Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Thursday, 9 September 2010
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Friday, 16 July 2010
Madelvic Electric Carriage Company built electric cars in Granton, Edinburgh from 1898 to 1900. The factory cost £33,000 and was way over budget leaving the company financially vulnerable. This was the first purpose built car factory in the UK and is the oldest still surviving.
The carriage carried up to half a ton and could still manage steep hills that left horse drawn carriages struggling. One of the first customers to recognise the value of this was the Post Office who purchased three of the vehicles. It was a traditional Edwardian brougham carriage but built on a tubular steel chassis with wire spoked steel wheels and solid tyres. The batteries sat at the front, presumably under the footplate and the electric motor had a direct drive to the the central wheel.
After liquidation in 1900 several other car companies occupied the the premises building buses, lorries and taxis there until 1925, all with internal combustion engines. The building is not architecturally special, however even in its current neglected and dilapidated state it is still a spectacular factory space. Despite being listed grade B, approval for demolition was granted in January 2010.
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Thursday, 22 April 2010
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
New piston for a long stroke engine and a piece of machined aluminium. Please note that workshop cleanliness is not too important when making wooden pistons.
Many years ago a work mate told me a story about a friend of his who, in the fifties had bought a pre war Rolls Royce. This friend of a work mate apparently paid a weeks wage for it, only a few pounds and maybe just £500 in current values. So a great bargain. It ran beautifully, smooth, quiet and was everything you would expect from such a quality car. Having stopped for fuel on the way home however, he couldn't get the car started again and completed the journey behind a tow truck. His local mechanic had a look at it and after stripping down the engine he reported finding a load of wooden pistons. This apparently worked because each induction stroke cools the piston enough to stop them burning. But when stationary the pistons char and disintegrate. Being unable to find replacement pistons the car was eventually scrapped.
Of course I never believed a word of it. But until today I never thought to Google it. There are several similar stories, all referring to a third party experience, much like my own, but no admissions from an 'engineer' with a wood lathe. If anyone has proof, I want to see it.
As pistons for my Montesa 348 are getting scarce I may try a wooden one sometime however, what with it being a piston ported two stroke it might be quite complicated.