Category Archives: Customer Projects

Metals4U helps to get a rare classic back to the races

(Last modified: June 27th, 2017)

We love to hear about your restoration projects and seeing how our metal helps to make them a reality. The enthusiasts among you will know that restoring a classic car takes a lot of time, effort and TLC. But with the right parts you can get off to a great start.

Metals4U customer Bill Cowling set out earlier this year to modify and repair a Ginetta G18B Historic Formula Ford. Only seven were ever made and just three survive in current day, making this restoration project truly unique.

Ginetta G18B Historic Formula Ford

A car with providence, the HFF was driven by a very young Adrian Raynard (above). Raynard went on to become one of the most influential race car designers, manufacturing cars that won races around the world. The G18 HFF is said to have influenced Adrian’s first chassis design and is also mentioned in his autobiography, where he crashes it (again) at Brands Hatch.

Bill is fully restoring the race car, returning it to its former glory, and plans to enter it into historical racing as soon as possible.

Chassis of G18 HFF racecar

Bill started by stripping his HFF down to the frame work. He used the tubes purchased from Metals4U to repair bracing struts at the rear of the car, and replace the copper alloy coolant pipes that run from front to back. Smaller alloy tubing will also be used in constructing struts for the radiator.

HFF racecar

Currently down to the chassis, he’ll be crack testing before constructing new bracings and brazing them in. Then working alongside his ‘chassis man’, an ex world champion side-car designer, some new designs will be drawn up to bring it to life.

Bill hopes to get his HFF completed by March 2016 and into the world of historical racing. He’ll be attending international events such as Spa, Monza, Pau and Zanyoort. We certainly can’t wait to see how this true classic will look crossing the finish line. Watch this space!

If you’d like to tell us about how you’re using our metal products, please get in touch and we may feature your project on this blog using projects@metals4u.co.uk

Jim puts time, energy (and metal) into restoring a couple of British classics

(Last modified: June 27th, 2017)

The ability to bring something from the past back to life requires great vision, skill, time, energy – and bucket loads of commitment. Let’s not forget that it might need some metal too!

Metals4U customer Jim Perkins is currently restoring two classic Austin cars from the 1930s – an Austin 7 Pearl Cabriolet and an Austin 12/6 open road tourer. Those of you who have an interest in classic cars will know how well loved these models were (and still are).

The Austin 7 was nicknamed the ‘Baby Austin’ and gave British families in the 1920s an opportunity to own a motorcar because it was made genuinely affordable through mass production. But of the 290,000 made, only 8,000 remain – in various conditions – and Jim has one of them.

He tells us that it’s being fully restored and has been replacing metal on the body and around the rear wings because the original metalwork had succumbed to rust. He’s using a metal plate to hold the check strap on the driver’s door.

 

The Austin 12/6 is also being fully restored, although this is more of a challenge since Jim bought the vehicle as a ‘basket case’.

“Someone had stripped it right down – possibly to restore – but never got round to putting it back together,” he says. “We purchased it as a load of parts. Some parts were missing and there were a few parts that weren’t even for this vehicle.”

Jim and his team are in the process of putting it back together themselves – and when the project is complete we’re sure it’ll look magnificent. We’re certainly keen to see how our metal has helped to restore a couple of British classics!

 

If you’d like to tell us about how you’re using our metal products, please get in touch and we may feature your project on this blog.

The Dash-Hound and the Black Knight

(Last modified: June 27th, 2017)

While metal is strong, it’s also remarkably versatile. From tall buildings to intricate sculptures, it can be practical or used creatively as integral parts to some impressive projects – even ones that aim to set new world records!

When customer Tony Lovering got in touch with us to tell us about his project – to build a remote controlled car that aims to set a new land speed record and earn itself a place in the Guinness Book of Records – well, we were seriously impressed.

Tony is chairman of ROSSA (Radio Operated Scale Speed Association), which was formed some years ago to run radio controlled (RC) cars for land speed records. The current world record, by the way, is 202.12 mph, which is held by American Nic Case.

Every year Tony organises the ROSSA World RC Speed Championships, which are so popular that they take place in countries all over the world, including Australia and USA. As you would expect, Tony doesn’t just organise the events – he takes part in them.

He’s building two cars for this year’s championships – the Dash-Hound and the Black Knight.

Here’s what they look like:

Dash hound & black knight

The Dash-Hound is 2.4m long and powered by a B300F jet turbine engine, with 320N of thrust (72lbs). Tony tells us that he’s agreed a deal with RAF Cosford to run the car on 28th and 29th May for an attempt at the land speed record. We wish him all the best with that!

The Black Knight is a hybrid rocket car that he’s been running since 2008. It’s reached a top speed of 174.83 mph and was the winner of last year’s fastest vehicle. Tony was able to capture evidence of this on video – and you can get a sense of how fast that really is by watching it on YouTube.

Tony has high hopes for the Dash-Hound. It’s a scale model of the Bloodhound Project (a full size car that’s jet and rocket powered). His goal is to incorporate the rocket engine from the Black Knight into the Dash-Hound, so it has a fully working jet and rocket engine.

The jet should take the car up to 200 mph, which is when Tony will fire the rocket. If all goes to plan, that should see the car accelerate from 200 to 400 mph in around five seconds! At that speed, Tony needs metal that is aerodynamic, lightweight and robust.

We really do hope Tony achieves the success he’s been working so hard for when it comes to race day – and we’d love to hear from him to let us know how he gets on.

The ROSSA World RC Speed Championships will be held in the UK at Shakespeare County Raceway, at Long Marston Airfield in Warwickshire, on 4th and 6th September. Good luck to all that take part, and here’s hoping the Guinness Book of Records has a new entry to write!

 

Metals in creation and restoration projects

(Last modified: July 12th, 2018)

 

Creating something from scratch takes vision, skill and – above all – patience. We’re inspired by the level of ingenuity our customers show when working with metal to create things they’re passionate about. Take Ben Talbot, for instance, who is aiming to make a bicycle that’s sustainable, affordable and easy to manufacture on a large scale.

It’s what he calls the ‘Sustainabike’. It’s mostly wooden, but it’s all pieced together using various joining brackets made out of steel. It’s a work in progress – all the brackets are cut and welded according to the design. Now he’s got to finish tapping the holes and then make the wooden components before bringing it all together.

BIKE

BIKE 2

Ben has decided to use larger wheels and based the design more on a road bike – the image above shows this new design complete with forks.

Meanwhile another of our customers, Eric Rawcliffe, is using a flat brass bar and brass angle to restore the droplight window of a first-class carriage, which was built by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway in 1880.

The flat brass bar is mounted on a door with a 3/16th spacer and the brass angle is mounted on the underside of the window (which is called a droplight). To hold the window closed, the 1/8th inch angle sits over the flat bar.

BRASS ANGLE

To allow the window to be opened, it’s fitted with a leather strap that is recessed into the window frame. This clears the angle from the flat bar, allowing the window to drop into the door casing (controlled by the strap, which is yet to be fitted).

Eric is also encasing a steel tube within a wooden channel, which will form a guide for the passenger emergency cord.

Restoring treasured items can be hugely rewarding and extremely satisfying once the job is complete. Paul Geraghty was able to email us about his restoration project, but once he’s completed it he might have to let us know in a letter!

That’s because he’s hand-building a replacement space arm and ratchet mechanism in 3mm stainless steel for his 1920s Underwood Standard Portable typewriter.

TYPE WRITER

The original space arm was lost to the mists of time, and the machine itself was sold as unserviceable for £20 before Christmas.

Apart from manually advancing each line, he says that the machine works beautifully – so he’s really pleased that he could find short lengths of good steel so easily. His ambition has been to get the typewriter up and running so he can write a novel in the traditional way!

Good luck to Paul, Eric and Ben with their projects – we’d love to see them when they’re complete.

Modified racing sidecar

(Last modified: June 27th, 2017)

One of our customers, Ginny Bourne, is a competitive sidecar racer. Using our CDS tubing he fabricated custom handholds for his sidecar (talk about putting faith in our products!), which propelled him and his partner to 2nd place in their championship.

To make them even more competitive, a second order of the same tubing was used to extensively modify a new chassis which they’re hoping will deliver the results needed to obtain their ACU National licence, and compete in Camathias Cup Championship races across France, Belgium, Netherlands, the Isle of Man and mainland UK.

welded2

Animal Skeleton mounting

(Last modified: June 27th, 2017)

Chrissie has been using our metals to mount animal skeletons, one of the more unusual tasks our materials are used for.

Here are her project photos. In the first picture Chrissie has used brass rod threaded through the spinal canals of the Great Dane and the Alligator.

Skeleton mounting 1

She quickly left acrylic rod behind after these two, and in the second picture an Alpaca you can see brass uprights with mild steel sheaths attaching the uprights to the brass spinal support rod.

Skeleton mounting 2

This picture is Chrissie’s current project, a Swan using the same materials. the biggest hold-up to her work is having to wait for someone to come along and weld the uprights to the spinal rods.

Skeleton mounting 3

And here it is finished

Swan Skeleton

In all cases Chrissie starts by using a mild steel rod to bend into a ‘pattern’ for the final brass rod and, if the animal is large enough, she will re use the mild steel on decreasingly smaller animals until there isn’t a straight bit left.

Scale Model Landrover 90

(Last modified: November 20th, 2017)

We recently received this email from Jonathan Fewings.

land rover 1

landrover2

 

 

 

 

 

 

My project is a 1/4 Scale 1984 Landrover 90 – for my Nephew to enjoy on the farm. Based roughly on a ‘Toylander‘ style design, however, only the basic Plywood shell has been used (with a multitude of alterations).

Power is provided by an Electric-Start 344cc Vertical Crank Briggs & Stratton Engine with a belt driven rear axle – incorporating a braking system. The exhaust system is made from Mild Steel Tube (Metals4U) sections (Lobster Back Style Bends) into a silencer from an Aprilia RS50 that was in the garage – and is pretty much an exact scale replica of a standard Landrover Part (who would’ve guessed?). The chassis is completely designed by myself and is made up of Rectangular Section Steel, Flat Bar and Tube purchased from Metals4U. The steering rack is borrowed from a Micro-car but heavily modified to suit its new use and the front Stub axles have been machined from EN24 – the steering system even includes Toe-in/Toe-out alignment! The body was originally going to just be painted ply, however, I chose to rivet an Aluminium sheet skin onto the ply in classic Landrover production style (originally riveted to a steel frame). The Aluminium was shaped by hand using a length of steel tube and a lump hammer……oh and a fair amount of elbow grease. Once this body had a touch of filler and a coat of paint the look was complete – especially the dipstick poking out the bonnet, or the OVH (overhead valve) sticking out the grill.

Things to complete:

  • Fit Fuel Tank
  • Fit Correct Rear Wheels
  • Paint Wheels
  • Interior
  • Lighting
  • Final Coat of Paint
  • TEST DRIVE!!!!

land rover 1

landrover2

Scale Model Aircraft Handley Page H42 Airliner

(Last modified: June 27th, 2017)

Model Handley PagH42 metals4u

This project blog entry comes from Peter Bruce who has restored a twenty year old wreck of a Handley Page H42 Airliner model, to full flying condition. Mr Bruce used our aluminium flat bar to repair the struts and the undercarriage. This model is 94” and powered by four 8.72cc two stroke engines.

Mr Bruce has also provided some background information on the Handley Page H42, that inspired him to undertake the task of rebuilding the model. The Airliner was named “Hannibal” and was handed over to Imperial Airways at Croydon Airport in 1931. This aircraft was massive even by today’s standards with a wingspan of 130 foot. The H42 was the first one million mile airliner in the world and was used on the far eastern route on the first schedule airline service in the world. Below are two photographs of this impressive model on the ground and in the air. The final photograph is of the original plane.

Scale Model Handley Page H42 metals4u

H42 Handley Page metals4u

Vintage Car Restoration

(Last modified: June 27th, 2017)

We recently received a wonderful letter of thanks from H.Horsfield & Son in Halifax who specialise in services to the vintage and classic motoring industry.

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“H.Horsfield & Son is a small firm offering services to the vintage and classic motoring industry.

Established in 1948 the firm now covers all areas of restoration from the sourcing and production of small hard to find parts to complete bespoke body design. Horsfields are very pleased to have the services of metals4u as they enable us to obtain the materials needed in affordable quantity. The web site is clear and simple to use and with their speedy delivery our work can be done with confidence.”

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We are delighted to supply Aluminium Square Bar and other materials to firms like H Horsfield and Son, when they restore such incredible vehicles, as shown below.

Strangways Hall Stonework Restoration

(Last modified: June 27th, 2017)

Our latest entry is from Abbotsbury Stonework, showing their wonderful restoration of the pinnacles on Strangways Hall in Abbotsbury. Rebecca Freiesleben founded the company in 2001, to specialise in headstones, carvings and sculpture.

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Metals4u’s 20mm stainless round bars were used to fix the pinnacles in place. This is an example of where our materials might not be visible, but play a key role in keeping Strangeways Hall looking as impressive now as it was when it was built. These before and after photographs show the fine work Abbotsbury Stonework do. If you are interested in ordering any stonework or even learning how to carve stone yourself, you can visit  here.

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