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Extra Space

by

Rob Andrew

Grasshopper
Grasshopper

Isn't it odd that when you search for a thing you can rarely find it?

When I was trying to build my first Pembleton Grasshopper, I decided that I'd look for a bonnet ornament shaped like a Grasshopper. Have you ever tried to buy any hens' teeth? It is far easier to get hold of rocking horse sh(one)t!

Yet, when looking for something completely different, (in this case the cafe, I was gagging for a cuppa), the very item you're wishing to find, shoves its head up above the parapet and waves its arms like a demented thing possessed.

My better half, Pat, saw some nice trinkets. Low and behold, there, sat all by itself, in the far rear corner, was a 'Grasshopper' Yippee!!!

All I have to do now is to make a mount for its tummy to sit upon, as it will very soon break if I mount it just on its legs. That; however will have to wait until I've finished the rear carrying compartments.

Cardboard template

Talking of which, I bought my metal, ready cut to my rectangular sizes, £35. Even then, I had to ask for the off cuts; just one piece was slightly over a 1/4 of a full sheet, + all the smaller bits! Here are a few before and later photographs of the work I've done so far.

I needed to bend the Ali, and having no bending machine I had to improvise, as so many other Pembletoneers have previously done. I collect wood for my son & daughter-in-law, who have a log burner. In among it all, were two nice long pieces of wood, 2" X 2" X 4' long. These I found had one lovely straight-edge each, which were almost perfect; I clamped them together leaving them in the garage for a few days. Then, were they just right.

The side floor of the compartment

So the marking out was done; the correct piece of pre-cut Ali was brought forth, and the left hand floor of the compartment was eventually made; (it only took me three days)!

It just needs a little more fettling to allow the wheel arch side to join to it.

The final floor

I've not been able to do much else to the car for a while; family comes first, or so I'm told. Therefore the only thing I've done is to curve the R/H edge on this photo', straightened the left hand edge and curved up the bottom edge; furthest point on this photo'. I had to shrink the L/H/S at this point to allow that piece to become the shape I needed it to be.

As you can see from the photo, I still have some planishing to do on some of the corners. Actually; fettling the last few bits of the edges, to make them fit correctly; took me almost as long as it did to bend the edges.

planishing required on some of the corners

Someone told me about this stuff CC4000; as you can see in the picture, I have been shrinking the edges, in an attempt to turn up the last 1½" of the end, to form a flat lip. NO! I did not say fat lip! :-)

As you can see, I have spread the contents around the area of aluminium I wished to heat up and anneal. Somehow, this CC4000 stops the spread of the heat beyond itself. Thus enabled me to heat the area quickly, using a gas blowtorch, and using some soap for the correct heat indication for annealing. Having done so, I then shrank the bulge on the edge dragging the end lip upward. To make it fit here. Just so.

CC4000 compound
Forward end of the L/H/S carrying tray
The rear compartment's rear bulkhead, all in 2ND hand (re-cycled) cardboard.
Now it is made up of an Ali bottom ½, and the top piece

I'm looking at the possibility of making the whole of the rear bulkhead out of a single piece of Ali. Then adding the spare wheel bracket's cover to that. (N.B. The bracket still requires a lid to it). It will of course mean that I'll need to put a door into the bulkhead for access to the compartments, I have a boot rack fitted, thus I have no access room from the side of the tail area.

Here: as you may be able to remember from ePAG #58, that the lips of the side pieces (on the cardboard template were not copied on these (almost) final side pieces.

As you can see, there's still a little final fettling to be done here, before everything's riveted together.

I've made up the left side of the carrying compartment and it too is ready to be fitted when all the other parts are completed.

My next piece will be the left hand side of the wheel arch.

The L/H/S. of the carrying compartment
The Left, inside wall of the wheel arch

Now having done those two pieces, I started on the R/H/S of the wheel arch.

At this point, I wish to pay homage to my long suffering wife, Pat.

She has had to put up with having many of my tools in the kitchen, due to the cold, and me not being able to work in the low temperatures outside these days. Had I been able to get these things done earlier in the year; but the wider family commitments, etc. plus other things, MUST take priority - so I reliably informed.

Me taking up lots of the kitchen

One of the many things which caused the delays.

Here is a picture of my award, for having worked for the Saint Catherine's Hospice shop in Great Driffield, for 25 years.

Me taking up lots of the kitchen

Please excuse the red face and cheesy grin; I did some celebrating when I returned home.

I think that's all I can get in this time, or I'll not make the deadline for the ePAG newsletter.

May I wish all of you the very best that the New Year can bring to all of you and yours: i.e. as much health, happiness and prosperity, as you feel capable of handling.


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