Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Arc eye!

I thought I had become immune to this phenomenon, but a mild dose of it earlier this week brought home how irritating it can be. A spell of concentrated welding on a couple of reconditioned Herald/Vitesse chassis for customers was the cause. We had wheeled out the chassis jig from the back of the workshop last week in preparation and gave the old girl a dusting. That piece of kit has done more jigging than Michael Flattery! Back in the day when the restoration trade was still flourishing it was being used on average 2 to 3 times a month. On a busy month I might do 4 chassis for JK (this was the early 90's) . Now we sell that many in a year! In retrospect it's probably a good thing as we couldn't sustain that throughput by finding suitable core chassis. A couple of containers full of units from New Zealand helped back then, plus JK was still breaking the odd Herald or Vitesse for spares. Having said that I'm still not sure how we managed to find enough as I am sure I have done over 100 chassis in my time. I used to keep records of each one, and numbered every one by welding that number on the front face of the chassis leg that runs under the engine sump. That stopped when I lost the book containing the records.
It's funny how the trade is changing, and what isn't selling now that used to do 15-20 years ago, still I'm not sure I miss all that welding, I know my eyes might last a little longer as a result.

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