Saturday, 29 December 2007

Critical Path Analysis

Just before I went away for Christmas I heard from Magpie who said, essentially, you HAVE made some progress, haven't you...and won't believe that actually I have done sweet F-A in quite a while. He is amazing, and will write to say he has had a dry spell and only had time to strip the differential, replace all the brake hosing, etc.

Anyway, now that Christmas is out of the way I am going to put CPA into practice, years after I learnt it at engineers' school; not that I was an engineer. I was on the dole and they let me on the course to make up the numbers.

Basically it is about planning a process, taking into account those conditions which will have to be met in order for the process to begin, or progress to the next stage. It helps you to anticipate order delays etc. It is common sense really, but putting the process down on paper helps a lot. It also helps you decide what the most efficient use of time, in the event of a delay, will be.

For instance, I am mounting the finished engine on the chassis before completing the wheel arches because I need some critical dimensions which I won't have until the wheels are on. I need the front scuttle on for this...but as I say, the engine must go in first, and before that, the chassis must be on wheels and suspension. Before the wheels can go on, the brakes must be done..and that process is awaiting the pull-off springs. This is an "all for want of a horseshoe nail" situation. So: pull-off springs ----brakes ---wheels----suspension----engine----scuttle----wheel arches -----rear of cab. First I need to find or make those damned springs, and while I am wating for them to arrive, what would be my best use of time? Differential clean-up, I think.

When I get home, it'll be all systems go.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

I Finished my Trailer Lock today

Click here to see some of the designing and making process. One of the most satisfying things, apart from having made it myself, is that it is made entirely with reclaimed steel, scavenged from an engineering workshop skip (with their permission, of course). The red knob on the locking pin is a snooker ball that I dug up in the garden.

Warmer in the shed than in my house!

A mate of John's has a container of stuff he didn't take to the Philippines with him, and which he has been trying to unload, so I have very fortunately acquired a two length ladder, a collection of matchbooks, some old books and an oil-filled radiator, and it is that last item that has me down in the workshop more than up in the house after work now.

I have stretched some old carpet out on the concrete floor and have been busily removing brake cables etc from the rear axle (bloody hard to do. All the fittings are rusted solid. I don't want to grind them off because I want to restore the threads). Also I've been doing rust removal, which I decided to do myself and not get P&P to shot blast this time.

On the trailer hitch front, I borrowed a second welder and finished the cheek-plate, and have since Hammerited the post and its now concreted-in base, and while I did that noticed patches of rust on the trailer, which have been nagging did them too...and while I was down there, I noticed other bits and soon enough, the whole bloomin' trailer was silver!

My welder has gone to Sealey's for them to suss out what's up with it and give me a repair quote. It is a good service: Bennetts take it to Sealey's and bring it back, no charge, and there is no fee to pay if I decide not to accept the repair quote. Hopefully it'll just be a relay problem...and cheap. I feel lost without it. The borrowed one is 100amps to my 130 and does a crappy, spattery weld....but I can't look a gift-horse in the mouth.

When the rain goes and the sun comes back out I'll fit the post and get a picture for you.