Saturday, 23 November 2013

Mirror dinghy CNC kits

Sunday, 19th January, todays news!

Some time back I was told of a dinghy exhibition to be held at the Zeekoevlie YC on Sunday 19th of January, 9am to 2pm, the Mirror Dinghy will be one of those on display.

There are none in South Africa as far as I am aware, up to now the kits on sale have all been cut by hand? A recent talk with Mirror people says there may be a chance to start CNC production?

With the Worlds being held here at Theewaters YC in January 2015 can we start production and can we build completed boats?

Note, this class does not allow the sale of plans, you can only buy a kit or a finished boat from a
licenced supplier or builder.

We can supply the kit side and have a top quality boat builder with years of experience ready to start but we need the licence to do so first!

Would that be a great thing!

Enquiries would be a useful start to allow me to judge response and possible orders?


This is the South African web site, contact them via their links for Mirror Dinghy news.

The next Mirror Dinghy Worlds info can be seen at the link below.

Taken from the Mirror class web site on building your own Mirror.

Written by Martin Egan   
Saturday, 28 April 2012 15:44
A Mirror dinghy under construction from a wooden kit
Mirror 70670 being built using the MCA jig
"There is enormous satisfaction to ge gained from building and racing your own boat" - a quote by Guy Wilkins from his book "Mirror Racing".
When the Mirror dinghy was designed in the early 60's, the Daily Mirror newspaper wanted a boat that in kit form was simple enough for a teenager to assemble with perfetly commonplace tools. The construction method used on the first prototype which Barry Bucknell, a TV handyman, had built for his son, fitted the bill perfectly. Instead of the traditional method of using softwood battens inside the hull where the plywood panels were joined, Barry used one of the simplest and oldest boat building methods know to man:sewing.  The Vikings used it on their ships. The Polynesians still do. They "stitch" the skin of a hull together - then waterproof all the seams. So Barry borrowed the method used by Ken Littledyke to make KL canoes. The edges of the plywood panels were "stiched" together using copper wire. With the panels held in place in this manner, the joints between them were made permanent using glass fibre tape and resin. This method is now commonly know as "stich and glue" construction and is now widely used for wooden dinghy construction.
A frequently asked question is "Can we build it easily and quickly?" The answer is "yes". Thousands of ordinary people have built a Mirror dinghy from a kit. A group of nine schoolgirls completed the hull at an exhibition in eight hours! Apart from a kit (available from a licenced kit manufacturer), these are the things you need to provide as a minimum.
  • A bit of spare time - about one hundred hours - that's a month of evenings and weekends, should see your boat ready for painting.
  • A bit of spare room - a space about 5m X 3m (15' X 9') is the minimum you require
  • A few simple tools - no sophisticated equipment is necessary but, although you don't need an electric drill, it does save a lot of time.
If you are tempted, why not have a look at this short video presentation of the building of Mirror 70670 by Ben Hill? Then browse through the building instructions to get a good idea of what is involved.
See also

Friday, 22 November 2013

Hillman Imp disc brake kit

This set arrived today, making it kit number four that has been Imported from the UK to Hout Bay now.

We have the engineering drawing and permission to copy the mount plates but given the ease of placing an order, then waiting for the post to arrive two weeks later, why bother making them yourself?

The  Goodridge hoses are special too, metric one end and imperial the other!

Ford Fiesta calipers, they are early type and for the 12mm thick none ventilated discs.

The new discs are for the Ford KA, so 240mm in diameter, the car we are re building now will retain the 12" steel rims so the discs will be 220mm

Arrived today, they will need a full service before re using.

Used but still fine for the Hillman Imp range, once refurbished by a specialist.

Note, we have a pair of chrome plated Imp disc link plates for sale, suitable for the 13" rims and now
ex stock. The cost is GBP 10 plus postage.


Thursday, 21 November 2013

The first rotary engine?

This came to me yesterday and I have to say its a first for me, rather a frightening thing to have in your engine bay?

This was a mail I sent to yacht designer and sports car restorer Dudley Dix, check out the link!

Ever seen one of these Adams-Farwell  motors, I have not, must be the most dangerous motor yet! The car dates back to 1906.


 Dudley sent it to a friend named Hunter who has experience with engines.

These comments from a friend of mine are interesting. He commissioned and is building the prototype of the Didi Sport 15 that I added to my blog and website a few days ago. More pertinent, he used to build and maintain racing Lotus Sevens in Australia and has been around cars and machines a long time.

Subject: RE: The rotary engine!

Most of the early French WW1 aircraft engines were rotary, saps a lot of horsepower and can’t make high revs so it was obsolete quickly.

I believe the biggest problem is the gyroscopic effect of the engine mass affecting the dynamics of the handling of the aircraft.

The air intake on this one is in the center and the inlet manifold is made by capping the top two cooling fins on the air-cooled cylinders and heads.

The intake air comes from outside the engine compartment with a short snorkel arrangement.

I love the Smithsonian air and space museum we should go together sometime.

Subject: Re: The rotary engine!

Isn't the aircraft engine a radial engine rather than a rotary engine? This one the casing spins around the crank rather than the crank spinning inside the casing. And somewhere in the video he mentions the carb, which sits on the top. I mainly wondered about the exhaust gasses getting mixed into the intake air.


Subject: RE: The rotary engine!

Very Interesting.

I have not seen one in person but I kinda recall that they intake through the crankcase and are supercharged and fuel injected.

Think aircraft engines and it will make sense, but I’m sure there are more than one variant, not sure of this one’s origin.

Thanks for that.


Some history:

Adams-Farwell Rotary Engine

Photograph courtesy of the Canada Aviation Museum, Ottawa

from The Early Birds
Application for Membership
Collection of Cheryl Moore, 2-2-05
     1903, associated with Emile Berliner in experimental aeronautic work. The Adams Farwell rotating automobile engine, 5 cyl., 50 hp., variable compression, was remodeled and put into the Moore airplane at Washington and flown at Bennings racetrack by Mr. Moore.
     Developed new engine with variable compression which came to be known as the Gyro which was manufactured and marketed by the Gyro Engine Co., of Emile Berlinere, betginning about 1911. Models of 7 cyls., variable compression, 50, 80 and 110 hp were made. Paul Peck made duration and altitude records for America with one of these engines in "Miss Columbia."
     In 1913 the engine was demonstrated in England in a Wright B flown by George Beatty, a new 7 cyl. 80 hp engine.
     During the war Mr. Moore was consulting engineer for the Air Corps and chief inspector of Rhone engine production and continued subsequently with the Air Corps until 1926 when he went with Aeronautics Branch, Dept. of Commerce, as an engine and airplane construction expert. In 1929, he formed the General Airmotors Corp. and produced a new radial fixed engine with variable compression of 125 hp.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Wanted, Ford Fiesta brake calipers

One pair required now, used and service worthy accepted.

The caliper needed is the type that fits the none ventilated disc, so early Ford Fiesta, was that
around 1988/9

The discs we can buy locally and will be the 12mm thick x 220mm diameter to suit the 12" standard steel Imp rims which are the later Mk2 ones with a 4.5" width.

Cash waiting if you can supply!


Now sourced and again from Durban but a new supplier this time.
We may accept another pair as a stock item if you can supply?

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Hillman Imp body shell turning rig

The car turns out to be a Hillman Imp which was made in Scotland in 1971 but later sold new as a 1973 car on 01/01/1073.

Sounds simple but first the cars width and height needed to be understood.

This is the second Imp we have used the same jig on, the other car was the sprint car we shipped to Scotland in 2012.

This way up the car can really be serviced  and painted correctly underneath, its just so much easier this way up!

The car was originally painted in the rather nice lighter shade of Chrysler metallic blue you can see on the bulkhead, the car will be returned to its natural paint shade again, Rootes code # 145.

We are now into week three of the strip down and clean, all suspension parts were bead blasted and spray painted with DTM gloss black, the underside of the car and wheel arches have been given the same treatment.

Day three of cleaning the engine bay, first the sprayed on tar had to be removed by hand, this far just the cleaning has taken four applications of Castrols engine cleaner, the entitre engine bay will be spray painted back to its original metallic blue.


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Hillman Imp refurbished suspension parts

They can also fit the other brands of Rootes Car Co Imp based cars, Commer, Sunbeam and Singer come to mind.

The painting with DTM gloss black (four coats) was the easy part, just bead blasting the parts took the better part of a week, then I need to mention that some suspension bolts had to be either cut free with a disc or drilled out!

Easy, not this time.

Note, a higher standard of finish results from paint application from a high volume low pressure spray gun, the bottom of the car was finished that way at the same time. Paints used so far are 3 ltrs.


Hillman Imp (sunbeam) Road Springs, direct to metal painting

The locally made DTM paint sure saves a whole load of time, its a primer and top coat all in one.
Loose rust and of course any dirt or oils are removed, then you apply with a foam roller or spray gun.

A factory standard finish is easy to achieve, in this case they are standard length and as they had a white stripe on the cars originals I will apply the same to these also.