Author Topic: The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn  (Read 1252 times)

Stuart Cyphus

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The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn
« on: October 14, 2017, 08:12:23 PM »
Over the past many years, many visitors to Jean's Open Day may recall the somewhat grotty old invalid carriage that sometimes used to get pulled out of the back of the barn & parked right next to the shiniest visiting car on the lawn. This was one of Edwin's many follies, a hulk of unknown parentage (if at all!) bought as a rusty pile of dismembered parts in 1986, and remaining ever dismembered and getting ever rustier as the decades passed. Surely only the Gordon was worse within the cannon of the Hammond Collection...

 Indeed, for a decade even the make of this mound of parts was unknown until a certain self descended on the Farm in July of 2005 for the second Open Day. That Sunday morning, in the presence of Tony Marshall, he & I were to assemble this pile, albeit loosely (in the extreme!) into the hulk that revealed itself to be a 1961 Harding De Luxe Model B. Nuts. Bolts. Fiddly bits. All were either missing or mangled, but oh well, yet another project for the future. (oh goody! some were heard to whisper)

 Slowly the years passed, most Open Days out it would trot, & then return to the depths of the barn for another twelvemonth. Most observers merely sneered at it. "Only an invalid carriage" they said, "not worth doing. What's the point?" as some plotted only to squirrel the Black Box electrical system away one day.  And so it went on, until July 2017 when yours truly bought the hulk for a bundle of folding stuff and transported it to darkest Oxfordshire in the back of a Luton van hidden amidst 95 sets of ex council traffic lights. (and therein is another story). At last, the Hammond Harding was to get its turn...
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 08:19:38 PM by Stuart Cyphus »

Stuart Cyphus

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Re: The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2017, 08:34:58 PM »
 Once home, the first objective was to go though the hulk and re-familiarise myself with what part went where and what exactly was missing from it, and also to gauge the precise condition of what was there, for it had been some six years since even I had last seen it. Fortunately the rust hadn't bitten as deep as I had feared it may have, thanks in the main to liberal coatings of a sort of earthen dust all over everything despite there being almost no paint at all left on any metal parts. It was rusty yes, but 30+ years in an earthen floored barn had as good as sealed the rust at an early stage.

 As mentioned, virtually every nut & bolt was missing. Items such as the mudguards had been wrenched off way back in antiquity. The headstock top yoke was bent, presumably where someone had wrenched the bearings apart to separate the forks from the frame, and to cap it all, the Villiers Mk 31C engine had the remains of a squirrl's nest within the crankcase. Still, nothing a solid fortnight with a Black & Decker rotary wire attachment, two tins of Satin Black Hammerite, and a 5lb hammer couldn't cure...
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 08:38:37 PM by Stuart Cyphus »

Stuart Cyphus

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Re: The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2017, 08:41:19 PM »
 :)

Stuart Cyphus

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Re: The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2017, 08:56:07 PM »
 With most of August being taken up with painting of components, September saw attention being turned to the chassis, and in particular the brakes, which had been seized for several decades. Being mechanical rod activated, the entire system was a riot of clevis's, welded levers and cross shafts. All in metal-to-metal contact with each other, and all having not seen hide nor hair of oil in my lifetime. Needless to say, the whole lot was a solid mass of orange metal. Day one, oil everything. Day two, oil everything again. Day three oil everything again, tap lightly with small hammer. Day four, five & six, repeat earlier sentence. Days seven, eight & nine, repeat sentence again and tap slightly harder with slightly bigger hammer & detect slight movement in all parts. Repeat for a further four days until all parts are finally moving freely again. Someone remind me what the phrase; "patience & perseverance" mean again please?

 Then, having sorted the brakes, at long last the whole chassis could be made presentable again following yet further hours with the Black & Decker and the black paint...
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 08:58:25 PM by Stuart Cyphus »

Stuart Cyphus

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Re: The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2017, 08:57:42 PM »
 :)

Stuart Cyphus

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Re: The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2017, 09:15:15 PM »
 With the chassis tidy, it was now time for some reassembly for the first time since at least 1986, and also to look at how to place the engine, of which more anon. For the panel-work, which mainly consists of the rear wings and rear light/number plate panel, all are attached by pretty hefty nuts & bolts and even heftier metal tube clamps, which by the looks of them, have their roots in Victorian times. In being removed all those years ago, instead of being slid lengthwise off the chassis tubes are they were meant to be, they had simply been prised apart by Geoff Capes on his afternoon off in order to pass them over the chassis tubes! Clearly nobody had ever given a thought to ever trying to reattach them. Ever-larger pliers, mole grips, ever bulging biceps. Nothing it seemed was going to shift these clamps back into position! Hmmm, problem. How to do this? Then my gaze fell upon the No 6 vice upon our bench. Hmmmm, now if that could be unbolted....  And so at last said clamps finally yielded back into shape under under half a ton of best Draper accessory, held vertically upon one's knee. It might ruin one's creases, but it gets the job done!

Stuart Cyphus

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Re: The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2017, 09:34:49 PM »
 Then of course we come to the engine. As mentioned earlier, originally this Harding was powered by a 148cc Villiers Mk 31C engine, complete with Black Box electrical system. Not your normal fitment to an invalid carriage of this particular type certainly. It is my belief that this particular Harding may well have been a cancelled order for a Harding Consort, the rather rare full-bodied & full luxury flagship of the Harding Range, which, instead of being built up as a Consort, was simply outshopped as a rather special hot-rod standard De Luxe. A "Sleeper", if you like...

 Be that as it may though, I decided long ago that it would be pointlessly expensive to have this 31C engine restored as I already had a complete & rather more functioning 147cc Villiers Mk 26C lump stored in the depths of the shed. This model of engine, in fan cooled form, was fitted to countless carriages between 1947 & 1961, and indeed my particular engine had seen service in a c.1954 Tippen Coventry until being removed when the carriage was cut up for scrap in the '70s.  Upon lining up the 26C lump into approximate position within the chassis earlier today, it was very satisfying to find that the front engine mounts lined up perfectly with just a tiny bit of filing needed for clearance.

 And so that is how the Hammond Harding stands as of 14th October 2017. All is painted, the rear end is all attached and the engine is half-in. Future jobs are to reattach the front forks & steering. Fabricate rear engine mounts from scratch & install Albion 3-speed gearbox (again currently sat on the bench). Then it's woodwork time as the footbox and seat are again fabricated from scratch.

 Watch this space as the Hammond Harding slowly comes back to life...

Rob Dobie

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Re: The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2017, 10:32:10 PM »
Well done Stuart. Keep up the good work.  Looking forward to seeing and trying it when I get my disability scooter next month. It's going to be a long ride from Sussex to Oxfordshire though.
Ain't got nuffink now except memories.

Rusty Chrome (Malcolm Parker)

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Re: The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2017, 11:43:33 PM »
Great work Stuart. I'm guessing you may have cornered the market in ex-council traffic lights!
Malcolm
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Bob Purton

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Re: The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2017, 09:33:13 AM »
Nice Inter photo Stuart. I remember us setting up that shot.  Keep it up mate.

steven mandell

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Re: The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2017, 10:41:01 AM »
You certainly have earned a medal of honor from me for your patience and perseverance!
But with that behind you now, would you suppose that either an acid dip or bead blasting might have been worth your time?
I am not familiar with Hammerite.
How does it stack up to powder coating, other than the presumption that it is significantly less costly?
Why were the collar clamps removed?
Did the tubes that they held together ever get taken apart and put back together by yourself?
I would not envy that labor, but similarly applaud you for yours.
Good thing that they worked with thick metal back then, or you could have wire brushed the dimpled surfaces into a ventilated configuration.
Looking forward to your next post.

Rob Dobie

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Ain't got nuffink now except memories.

steven mandell

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Re: The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2017, 10:33:29 AM »
Rob,
Sorry to say that link gives no clue as to a y properties of Hammerite that might distinguish it from any other black metal paint, other than a typically expected "ours is the best" boast..
I've had pretty good luck with a one part epoxy that is a bit difficult to work with, but strong except when continually exposed to gasoline vapors called POR (Paint On Rust) 15.

Bob Purton

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Re: The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2017, 01:46:25 PM »
I think Hammerite is much the same a POR15 Steve. POR 15 has been pedalled over here for years by restoration catalogues like Eastwood featuring many American products. Hammerite is our home grown product and actually very good. You just brush off excess rust and paint it on , it stablized the rust. You have taught me something though, I had no idea that POR stood for paint on rust!

 

Barry

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Re: The Hammond Harding finally gets its turn
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2017, 06:46:20 PM »
I read recently that the formula of Hammerite was changed considerably when the original company changed hands not so long ago.
It suggested that it was not much good at all anymore - perhaps this was just the smooth version?  Smoothrite.