Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Of Lathes And Sleeves

... wherein I wonder why I didn't think of this before.

I'm making one final push to finish rewiring my MGB. I've taken the cockpit wiring apart again and am using my new BB-60 workbench to do a 1-1 scale assembly of the wiring harness. In the process, I've discovered I seem to be missing some of the sleeves that keep the light bulbs for the dash instruments lit at night from falling out the back.

The tachometer. Note the bulb nearby. That goes into the back of the tach to light it up at night.

The rear of the tach with the bulb inserted. The next photo shows how loose it is.

The bulb will fall right out!

Here's the back of the speedometer. Note the metal sleeve that gives the bulb a snug fit. Why didn't MG make the bulb housings the right size? Because they're British, that's why!
I stopped by one of my favorite British auto parts places yesterday and got some sleeves that might do the trick, scavenged from an old MGB wiring harness. I kept thinking there must be a way to build these sleeves from scratch, but my brain wasn't functioning properly until this morning's coffee.

I need to learn how to use a lathe.

Lathes make cylindrical objects which are symmetric down the center line, exactly what I need. There are Maker Places and Fab Labs nearby with lathes and classes. I might have all the sleeves I need now, but it would be grand fun to learn how to use a lathe and keep that trick in my back pocket the next time I need to do something like this.

Hmm. I wonder if I could create a functional sleeve out of plastic using a 3D printer.


tim eisele said...

Well, of course you should go learn to use a lathe! Isn't that the whole point of projects like this? To have an excuse to learn how to use new, expensive tools?

I haven't had the opportunity to get involved with makerspaces, but it looks like they can be a lot of fun. If you do this, let us know how it goes.

Ohioan@Heart said...

If the object won't be subject to high temperatures, then 3D printing would be a great option.

Of course, learning how to use a lathe and then making them on a lathe would also be really fun.

Seems you have to choose between high tech cool and 'more power' fun. Envy running high here...