Quantcast

"2nd LONGEST EVER" project on UK W?? Now Parts 1,2,3+4

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

AES

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2011
Messages
4,291
Reaction score
89
Location
Switzerland, near Basel
Update 10th June:

Title now edited to acknowledge the fact that this is NOT the "longest ever....."! And Part 4 plus latest (bad) news added on page 2 of this thread:

(Or: - "The story of a 1948 MG TC Midget pedal sports car for kids").

This is the story of probably the longest, and certainly one of the most drawn-out and exhausting (if not "exhaustive"!) project that has ever appeared on UK W - bar none!

At 9 years and counting, not only is it L-O-N-G, it's also definitely NOT a project involving any fine wood working or cabinet making at all - more likely, what's to be seen below is enough to make any even half-decent site chippy cry (or laugh)!

It consists mainly of ply (OK, it IS decent quality Birch ply, but still!); softwood glue blocks; PVA & epoxy; plus screws (though the screws are in the main stainless steel). And not even one proper joint in sight either! AND (as will be of little surprise to those who have read of my background in some of my earlier posts here) this project also consists of a fair bit of metal work, in mild steel, a little bit of brass and cast iron, plus aluminium.

TC Modell Vertig 2.jpg


ABOVE: What we found on the "Stephenson Projects" website (see text) .....

MG TC-C.jpg


ABOVE: One example of the real thing

Anyway, here's the basic story:

Back in 2009 or 10, feeling flush after a lengthy overseas work project, and with SWMBO's agreement, I lashed out on a small Chinese metal working lathe that was on special offer at one of our local DIY Emporia - the type of lathe that has now become pretty familiar to many. In my case though, and purely without any prior knowledge, my particular lathe turns out to have come from the apparently slightly higher-quality of the two well know Chinese makers of these fairly capable little machines (the maker of mine's called "Red Dog" would you believe)?

After getting it properly set up and more or less fully tooled, I was looking for a "project" which would answer SWMBO’s question “Now what are you going to make with all that stuff down in the cellar?”

As I also like dabbling in woodwork and general DIY, and with me seeing full-time retirement appearing ever-nearer on the horizon, I soon got to looking on the internet for something to really get my teeth into. My wife was also doing much the same as she was interested in joining in, and to cut a long story short, we found a down-sized “semi-scale model” of a 1948 MG TC Midget two seater sports car, but this to be built as a single seater child’s pedal car. You can see an enlarged version of a picture of the toy found on the vendor's web site above, together with a reminder of what a real MG TC looks like.

The plans consisted of several photocopied pages of a magazine article describing “how we did it”, a couple of full-sized paper templates and 4 sheets of dimensioned drawings. They arrived quite quickly from the US vendor, though I did note that their standard postage charge was about double the value of the stamps actually applied.

Inevitably (for me), after looking all through the supplied info I've "upgraded" some of the "engineering" shown.

But before describing all that, a word or two about that term above, “semi-scale”. At about 1.80 M length overall (while the real car is, at a guess, at least 4.00 Metres long) this toy was clearly not going to be a true scale model.

In the model aircraft fraternity, which I inhabited for many years, there are two different classes of flying scale model. First is the "true scale" class (that's for the real contest-level expert, where a model is required to be an exact, scaled measurement-for-measurement replica of the original) - a "rivet counter's dream" in other words. Or perhaps a little simpler, there's the "semi scale" or "stand-off scale" class. The concept here is that while you will not see a true-scale relationship between the dimensions of the real thing and those of the model, when you look at the semi scale model from a distance of, say, a metre or two, you will immediately recognise exactly which aircraft the model represents - for example, a stand-off scale model Spitfire MUST have an elliptical wing and rounded tail surfaces, even if the dimensions are all more "proportional" than scaled actuals.

I applied exactly the same thinking here, because while there is clearly no “real-scale” relationship between any of the dimensions of the actual car and this “model”, all the characteristics which typify the real thing should be faithfully reproduced – to the extent that anyone who’s even vaguely familiar with the 1940s-series of MG Midgets will immediately recognise that this toy represents a MG Midget - in other words it's NOT just a generic kid’s pedal car.

That meant the important features such as those big, swooping front wings ("fenders" in US-speak?), the large headlights, the louvered bonnet sides, that distinctive radiator, the prominent hexagonal MG badges, the "strapped on separately" external fuel tank, and ideally, those wire wheels too - will all be present and correct, or at least present to some representational extent.

I'll leave it to all of you to judge how well we've achieved that overall "picture" (but I guess you'll have to wait to decide on that for the last post in this series)!

So, after initial "planning" and some major materials collection (mainly 22, 19, 12 and 6 mm birch ply, plus some special taps and dies - who knew that bicycles have a different screw thread standard all of their own? - the project started in earnest in 2012. Not quite finished yet, it MUST be finally handed over to its new owner in May 2019!!!! Yup, as I write this that's the end of next month.

Before getting to the real meat of the thing though, some final introductory words of "explanation" are probably in order - to at least try and explain why a single toy would need a 7 to 9-year timescale to produce! (The following are all just weak excuses really)!

First off, this wasn't a full-time job. When first started I was still running my own company and was often disappearing at short notice to all sorts of weird and (often not quite so) wonderful corners of the globe for weeks - sometimes months - at a time. And I didn't finally close my company and retire until after my 3rd back operation in December 2014.

And after 2 separate hospital and rehab stays, plus numerous Out-patients visits in that same 2012 to 2019 period - not to mention 3 separate hospital stays for my wife also - you'll begin to see how the years have simply rolled by. Then there's the inevitable house and garden maintenance, plus significant time to set up a half-decent work shop in the cellar - I THINK you begin to see that perhaps we haven't done SO badly for time after all!

BUT I must also freely admit that my "production rate" down in the cellar would make a snail look like Concorde in the midst of a supersonic Trans-Atlantic trip! So there's no real excuses for a 7/9 year delay - except to admit that I am a bit of an "over-engineering perfectionist" - as well being a complete Klutz sometimes. For example it took me 4 tries before I'd produced a satisfactory pair of those "flippin" front wings!

LH Front Wing-C.JPG


ABOVE: My LAST go at the LH Front Wing (now with first colour coat too)

AND I need time to "think things through" too. That meant some sketches on the back of an envelope, then some measuring up of the work so far, references to the plans, then following that up with a cup of coffee and a fag while thinking about things yet again - PLUS reading of any relevant UKW topics - then some (more) time to scratch my backside while thinking a bit more, accompanied by another cup of coffee and (of course), another fag! All that took up more than just a little time you know!

Anyway, what follows is picture heavy, each separate section being a .pdf pictures file (to allow bigger pictures) along with extended captions, all without this Forum's restrictions on layout, formatting, etc. As ever, clicking on the link will open the .pdf section which will then appear on a separate screen. You can either view that on line or download separately, as you prefer.

Last for now, here's another pic, this time the more or less complete carcass - by way of an appetite wetter (or off-putter, just as you like).

Body Carcass Jan 17-C.jpg


I hope you all enjoy the following posts and will be pleased to try and answer any questions that come up.

Now on to Part Two (also the first .pdf file) - "Holzbaukaste". I'll probably add this tomorrow, with other "finished" .pdfs to add each day or so - IF members show interest.

Cheers for now.
 

Attachments

Claymore

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2014
Messages
2,775
Reaction score
0
Location
Scotland
Have to agree with Sam there Andy......what a project and looking forward to the next post, all you need once its finished is a real one to tear around the countryside (if ya back can handle getting in and out lol) as with your "other" project there's no point rushing it lol.
Cheers
Brian
 

AES

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2011
Messages
4,291
Reaction score
89
Location
Switzerland, near Basel
Well MANY thanks for all the "likes" and all positive comments from all of you. That means that now, as well as finishing the flippin' thing, I've got to do the rest of the posts too!

But as for the "we're not worthy" comment, thanks for that but I can only say that my "flabber is well and truly gasted"! This project is definitely NOT even approaching the "Custard level" fine cabinet work that we're all used to seeing here by many members. It hardly even belongs on a wood working Forum at all IMO!!

Anyway, "ta very muchly" ........ and perhaps about a word about that end of May deadline?

Started so long ago, the car was originally intended for another family we both know (we have no kids of our own). But in the (considerable) "meantime", the young lad for whom it was originally intended is now 11, his big sister 13 and his little sister 8. So that car's not much use to them, certainly not for a long term "present".

But a former Swissair colleague of mine married a Luftwaffe aircraft engineer responsible for the heavy maintenance of NATOs fleet of Boeing E3 AWACS (Airborne Warning & Control System) - i.e. Boeing 707 airliner with a big radar "flying saucer" mounted on top. The problem is that those aircraft are based in NW Germany, at a placed called Geilenkirchen, roughly midway between Aachen and Dusseldorf.

Now Uschi, my ex-Swissair colleague, of course lives with her husband up there, and since marriage has had Peter, now 4, and Johanna, soon to be 3. So ideal "candidates" for the car!

BUT "GK" is a helluva long way away from us at home (over 700 Km), and neither my wife nor I drive long distances without good long rest breaks these days. So getting up to GK takes simply AGES! Anyway, that MG wouldn't even fit in either of our cars.

But Klaus, Uschi's husband, not only has a decent towing vehicle but also has a decent sized trailer too. So Plan A is now that Klaus will drive down to us during the last weekend in May, overnight with us, then take the MG back to GK on the Sunday. Hence the deadline.

So now it's back to Part Two (I should get it posted late tomorrow evening, hopefully).

Again, thanks for all the positive comments.
 

novocaine

Established Member
Joined
21 Jul 2014
Messages
2,177
Reaction score
39
Location
Warrington
don't put yourself down, it might not be fine cabinet making, but damned if some of those shapes aren't almost impossible to make in steel, never mind in wood.

looking forward to holding you up on the completion date by making you post information about it. :D
 

AES

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2011
Messages
4,291
Reaction score
89
Location
Switzerland, near Basel
Thank you Sir! Having missed the first completion date (end of March, but my wife went into hospital suddenly - she's back now) I MUST finish it now. Re shapes, wait until you get to the description of how I "made" those flipping front wings (which, being a devout coward, I deliberately left until the last bit of wood working). ;-)
 

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
11,789
Reaction score
172
Location
Bristol
That's brilliant!
Taking 9 years is a positive thing - it's kept you actively and happily using your problem solving skills all that time.
More please!
 

AES

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2011
Messages
4,291
Reaction score
89
Location
Switzerland, near Basel
Thanks Andy T. I really am dead chuffed over all the positive comments on this project.

IMO, the fact that this "little" toy takes/has taken so long, AND that the workmanship is not up to all that much really (certainly not the wood working anyway - very much a case of learning by doing!) led to me being honestly amazed by all the enthusiast responses - but now I see at least some positives in all that time. Thanks.

BUT still a helluva lot of help and encouragement came/comes from SWMBO, and together with the help here on UK W (both direct and indirect) really is mainly responsible for the results now being achieved.

And you're right, problem solving (whether caused by self-inflicted "design improvements" and their unexpected consequences, or "silly" ideas in the original plans) has been a big factor in coming to terms with our reducing fitness and the overall consequences of retirement - e.g. we did both really love our work (mostly!) and I miss mine still very much. (IMO you really can't have more fun than messing around with aeroplanes without taking all your clothes off first).

Sincere thanks to all. Part Two "coming soon to a cinema near you"! :D
 

AES

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2011
Messages
4,291
Reaction score
89
Location
Switzerland, near Basel
Right folks, here we go, Part Three is below (again, in .pdf format):

View attachment CCC Part Three of.pdf

When posting Part Two (29th April) I said "Part Three will be here in 2 or 3 days time". It's actually been a bit longer than that, sorry - not for the first time, I've had much too much to say in Part Three!

But thanks to all for the positive results so far anyway - I really am highly chuffed that so many members appreciate this stuff of mine and bearing in mind the very high standard of so much posted here, I really am sincerely humbled.

But there's still a lot to go until the project post (AND the toy!) are complete. As explained before, I really MUST get the toy finished and ready for pick up by the end of this month (yup, May 2019).

So although I have loads of photographs (I did intend to do a WIP series of posts right at the start) I'm finding the time taken to make what I consider both adequate explanations of the work done and the decisions made is rather time-consuming - and I'm trying to make it all a bit entertaining, not boring too. So I doubt if there'll be much more info to come from me (Part Four and onwards) until after the car is finished at the end of the month.

Just one question to those followers of this saga if I may: As said, I doubt there will be any more posts on this before the car's finished (3 or 4 weeks time). So when I am ready to post again should the next Part/s go on the bottom of this thread, as I've done so far? Or should I start a completely new thread?
 

Attachments

Harbo

Established Member
Joined
13 Nov 2006
Messages
5,548
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire
Excellent work but I don’t really want to steal your claim but I’ve been making a skeleton clock for over 14yrs

Rod
 

AES

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2011
Messages
4,291
Reaction score
89
Location
Switzerland, near Basel
@Harbo: OK, noted. Shall I change the title (next time I post) to "2nd longest ....."? :D

@Sammy: OK; and thanks again. REALLY chuffed. :D
 

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
11,789
Reaction score
172
Location
Bristol
I'm enjoying this too.
And it's just how I thought it would be. You have clearly enjoyed the engineering challenge of making a working toy car from available bits and pieces. But from the sneak preview of the paint job and the dashboard, I reckon its new owners will love it most for being red and shiny with a horn that goes 'parp!'
 

AES

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2011
Messages
4,291
Reaction score
89
Location
Switzerland, near Basel
Thanks Andy T. The kids haven't seen it yet , but both Mum and Dad seem to be delighted (I'm not so sure they appreciate the "parping horn" though)!

Yup, IMO it had to be fire engine red, no other colour would do (but was surprised when looking for pix of the real car how many other colours were around - British Racing Green was "OK", but black? blue? etc? Nah, red's THE colour for such a car (AND for the toy) IMO.

BTW, I'm Andy too (that's the "A" in "AES").

Thanks for the positive comments, and Yes, solving the problems was (mostly!) a lot of fun.
 

AES

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2011
Messages
4,291
Reaction score
89
Location
Switzerland, near Basel
UPDATE 10th June:

Right folks, here we go with Part 4 of "the car" (see link to .pdf below):

But before that - YES, I AM late (missed a deadline again)! But I do have a good reason, in fact you could say a bit of a disaster!

As is probably clear from some of the previous pix, I've had the car up at a reasonable working height by placing it on a couple of metal adjustable-height trestles (a bit like those wooden things you used to see for supporting a wallpaper pasting table). They're not fixed a set distance apart for this job, I rely on the car's weight to do that function, though I do have a length of old scrap chipboard clamped to the trestle cross rails to give some semblance of rigidity.

Anyway I was messing about trying to adjust the trestle heights (alone - as Sylvia said "Why didn't you ask for help?"), and lo and behold, I managed to accidentally shove one corner of the car right off the trestle. There was no way I could hold it, and in the blink of an eye it landed - upside down - on the concrete floor. Of course the first thing to hit the floor was the one Front Wing that is fitted (I STILL haven't fitted the LH wing) and tough though I intended it to be, I never envisaged all of the car's weight landing on just the top of one Front Wing.

As it's turned out, I don't think the damage will be TOO difficult to repair (after I've had another think about it - all suggestions welcome BTW), but for now work has come to a (temporary) halt. The pix below show the damage as well as I can at this stage (the car is now resting on the trestles upside down - something I was thinking about trying anyway, to make finalising the drive to the rear wheel a bit easier):

Chassis Damage-C.jpg

Light chassis damage

LH Front Wing Damage 1-C.jpg

Front Wing 1

LH Front Wing Damage 2-C.jpg

Front Wing 2

LH Front Wing Damage 3-C.jpg

Front Wing 3

Anyway, now here's the next part of the saga (Part 4) which deals with making the Front & Rear Wings. I hope no one is too disappointed:

View attachment Part 4 - Basic Front Wings Construction.pdf

Cheers for now to all.
 

Attachments

Bm101

Lean into the curve.
Joined
19 Aug 2015
Messages
3,737
Reaction score
100
Location
Herts.
Not sure how I missed this build. It's absolutely remarkable!
Incredible Andy, just read the whole lot in one go while the kids have their tea behind me. ("wow that is sick Dad! Can you make us one? Errrr.... maaaayyybeeee....*Think Chris Think!*
Have you done your spellings?!? (That shut them up and got them itching to leave the table. :wink: )
And then gut wrenching accident, keep your spirits up. :?
First amateur hour thoughts would be to brace it on rear with metal brackets or ply formers might be better. Glass fibre? Upol? I would guess that's not as bad as it seems although a bit of walk away time might be in order. Feel for you.

Despite the temporary upset that is an incredible feat by both you and your Better Half. Unbelievable really. One thing you must do is put all the build pdfs and records onto a usb and make up some 'official paperwork' and gift it to the kids when they get the car. They won't appreciate it now but one day they will be old enough to look at it and to understand what someone did for them and it might well change how they view life in general and certainly that there are certain special people in the world who will push themselves beyond the boundaries of many for no reward other than simply seeing if it can be done. They will eventually grow out of the car but they won't ever grow out of that realisation. Who knows what it could lead them to.
First class Andy. Really.
=D>

Best regards as always,
Chris
 

AES

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2011
Messages
4,291
Reaction score
89
Location
Switzerland, near Basel
Well BLIMEY Chris, what CAN I say? Thanks a lot for the comments, so glad you like it.

Yeah, the accident was/is a bit of a bug-er, but just as you say, I'm leaving it for a bit to see what seeps into my mind about a repair.

About a "book". Yup I had already thought about something along those lines - again, my thoughts aren't fully matured on that yet.

Again, thanks for all the positive comments, glad you enjoyed it.

Cheers
 

Latest posts

Top