Le Mans tools and tool deck

For now, I lumped all the pre-war cars together, I would LOVE for there to be enough demand to split it into groups (hint...hint, post here about your pre-war Singer)
casadecabra
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:11 pm
First Name: David
number: 7
Location: Andalucia, Spain

Re: Le Mans tools and tool deck

Postby casadecabra » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:31 pm

Hello David (aka cdk84) et al

Sorry for my delayed response; I've only just caught up with the forum. Give me a week or so and I'll do my best to address your queries. One problem here in the south of Spain at the moment is that my workshop reaches 90+°F by about 9.30am which does tend to slow one down.

Best wishes
Dave Bayliss (too many Davids!)

DarcyG
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:39 pm
First Name: Darcy
number: 3

Re: Le Mans tools and tool deck

Postby DarcyG » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:01 pm

I am rebuilding my car at present and from everything I have learned the top is ply under the aluminium.

The rest of teh answers I will leave to others but on my 50's 4A the screws were slot top wood screws (original).

I just happen to be in UK at present and acquired what looks like an original tool roll (or close to it). It is tared burlap I believe, does anyone have experience in giving new life to the stiffness in the old burlap? - It is not bad but could be better.

cdk84
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:00 am
First Name: David
number: 4

Re: Le Mans tools and tool deck

Postby cdk84 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:16 pm

Hi Darcy,

Yes, you are extremely fortunate to have found an original tool roll. Excellent!

Your Singer tool roll can be treated to improve its flexibility. The best way I know of restoring [some] pliability to tar treated burlap is to expose it to very warm, not hot, humidity.

To accomplish this you could use:

*one 5 gallon plastic bucket w lid (alternate: kitty litter bucket or two Pyrex baking dishes as top and bottom)

*(if using baking dishes, Plastic package tape should be used to seal the gap between the dishes during treatment)

*Plastic- or powder-coated oven rack that fits in the bottom of the bucket/dish, best with 1-2" legs (if you don't have a baking rack with legs, you can use half a dozen clean coffee cream containers under a flat rack)

*thermometer (or your fingers, but they're rather precious..)

*tea kettle

*distilled water

*timer

The procedure would be:
1) to put on the kettle
2) place the bucket in a warm place where it will stay hot and not need to be moved (in summer, attics are great; in winter, cellars)
2) pour 1/2 to 3/4" hot (definitely not boiling!) water into the bottom of the bucket
3) place the rack in the bucket, legs down
3a)NB: leave sufficient distance between the water and rack so there's no possibility of direct water contact
4) test the temp with either your fingers (grassroots approach) or the thermometer: no higher than 110 deg F
4a) 110 degrees is the equivalent of a really hot bath
5) place the tool roll, upright, on the rack on one of its short sides
5a) prop as needed with inert / plastic materials (water bottles, plastic silverware) to prevent contact with the side of the bucket
6) Gently[i] place the lid on the bucket and leave in position
7) make a cup of tea with the remaining water
8) check in an hour, trying, again gently
, to see if the tool roll is a bit easier to bend*
8a) *choose a large dimension for this test, ie: one of the longitudinal folds of the roll where the roll has presumably been frequently folded. If you test at a corner it may crack the tar and/or the burlap, or cause a complete break (!)
9) repeat as needed, two or more times, allowing at least an hour or two for each 'treatment'
10) remove the water from the bucket, leaving the rack
11) allow the tool roll to 'dry' --more accurately acclimate-- in the bucket overnight: the key here is slow drying
12) again, gently test how easily the roll can be folded, along a long, previously folded dimension

If the roll is really reticent to relax, you can try placing it flat on the rack, with something inert --start with an empty vinyl covered notebook binder, for example-- on top of it. Don't heap a bunch of heavy stuff on top: this thing is old and probably a little ornery about being folded by now.

There are other procedures for more friable or fragile materials. Start here and see what progress you make. This will likely buy you a little flexibility, but it may be temporary. If you get the roll too wet, it could lead to embrittlement when it finally dries out. (that's why you use distilled water: you don't want to introduce any more chemicals (water minerals in this case) into the fabric) Remember, this coated fabric is 60-80 years old. Tar can act as a preservative, but over the long term, it is acidic and its acids will break down the fibres of the burlap, itself acidic. These materials were never intended to last as long as they have, let alone remain serviceable.

By the way, it's likely that the water in the bottom of the bucket will discolor. Discard it if so, and re-treat with fresh, heated distilled water. If there's discoloration, it's probably a good thing. It's possible the treatment will remove some of the acids trapped in the matrix of the tool roll.

Patience is the name of the game. These recommendations are based upon training as an art conservator and will, if followed carefully, at the very least will not do any irreversible damage to the tool roll.

Very Best of luck. Let us know how it goes. We can revisit this process, depending upon the (degree of) success you have. One tool roll may differ slightly from another, partly because Singer likely used different suppliers, but also each roll has, by now, been affected by some of its (potentially damaging) storage environments for quite some time.

Hope this helps.

David

casadecabra
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:11 pm
First Name: David
number: 7
Location: Andalucia, Spain

Re: Le Mans tools and tool deck

Postby casadecabra » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:12 pm

Hello David and others.

Re. your queries:

I only have definitive information about the front section of the deck. I would be grateful for more information about the rear section, e.g. the overall shape and dimensions, which tools were mounted on it and where.

1) Judging from the photographs, the screws holding the wood braces to the scuttle appear to be wood screws. If that's true, is the aluminum scuttle sheet mounted to a sheet of plywood?
Yes, the plywood is inset within the flanges on all edges of the aluminium trapezoid. If you cut the plywood to size first and anneal the aluminium it is fairly easy to form the flanges over the sides of the plywood. My original plywood was de-laminated,decayed and worm eaten but seems to have been 15 mm thick (I'm sure I have read somewhere that, historically, plywood was manufactured to metric thicknesses though often retailed in nominal fractional imperial sizes). The aluminium flanges are screwed to the plywood by a dozen no 6 x 5/8" slotted round head chrome plated steel wood screws, 6 at the front and 3 and each side, plus a few nails through the narrower rear flange.

2) Your pictures show the top with very helpful outlines of the tools that were mounted on it. Would there be anything to be learned from showing a photo of the underside of this piece, too? (the underside may show nothing at all) This part on my car has been replaced, or at least re-mounted (judging, again, from the screws holding it in place: they are chrome plated Phillips head screws which don't match other Singer scuttles) so I can't add reliable information on this topic, and don't think this part of my car is correct.
The underside of the plywood is quite plain except for 4 through holes for the screws which fix the deck to the frame.

3) It would take a bit of time, but would you be willing to measure the wood pieces on your scuttle top, as well as the size (length as well as diameter) of the clips that held the jack handle, starting handle, grease gun and other bits?
I am working on this and hope to be able to post some drawings in the not too distant future.

Best wishes
David Bayliss

cdk84
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:00 am
First Name: David
number: 4

Re: Le Mans tools and tool deck

Postby cdk84 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:47 am

Hi David B:

Thanks very much for the details you have provided.

Look forward to seeing what you are able to come up with. Trust you have seen David Swann's posts. He provided a tool list for the contents of the tool roll, and detailed dimensions for the roll itself, based upon the tool kit that came with early Nine LeMans (if my memory is right about the model designation).

In my opinion this kind of sharing is one of the great virtues we members can offer each other on the Forum.

Very Cool,

DarcyG
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:39 pm
First Name: Darcy
number: 3

Re: Le Mans tools and tool deck

Postby DarcyG » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:24 pm

Still away, but when i get home i will try and also post details and photos.


Return to “Pre-War”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests