It usually starts with an email, can you mend this, that and the other.
This one was ‘can you mend my hub or do you have a new one’?
I ask for photos and it turns out it was an original disc hub and the area where the bearing runs inside was snapped off!
The customer asks can it be done or shall I go on ebay to buy another? Now these things don’t turn up everyday and when they do as I’ve shown before they are usually crap, they are weak and crack all the time. It was a toss up, try ebay and hope for the best or get something just as crap for loads of money then more money to repair it. The customer brought the hub in to see, if it was one of the usual with cracks I would have scrapped it, but surprisingly it was original and mint and just like new, apart form the broken bit. So as I do said ‘I’ll have a go and it will cost whatever it costs based on time’.
So the hub needed machining, luckily I’d made a mounting jig for the lathe earlier this year when I was quiet to make my MB outboard hubs again. The hub was jigged up and pre machined ready, I spent ages doing a drawing then went to find some round alloy and only had some 2mm smaller or 100mm bigger! I found some square bar which needed turning, as I’m turning away roughing it all out, Luke came to watch and said ‘that looks cool’ which was really good as we may be having a new machining venture coming up between us so it showed he had an interest in the work I was doing rather than packing parcels. As he’s asking questions I went too far and machined it under size. Doh! This is why I work on my own. He asked what now and as I’ve said before ‘watch and learn dear boy’.
I swapped the chuck and turned round the square bar and sent him packing so I could finish off. The drawing for this bit took some getting my head around so slowly worked at it until I was happy. Once the great big lump was machined down to a precision tube it could be fitted to the hub. But not yet, I had to machine a dolly to locate the loose bit into the hub where the bearings run. The hub was pre heated and clamped in the vice and then welded and back in the hub jig on the lathe and machined down and cleaned up!
And here it is a hub like new, I gave it to Phil to price based on time and we both fell over. Maybe ebay would have been a good idea after all! Now we will never know! As with most jobs I like to get them in and out asap to get us out of this recession and as it was one of those days this customer was on holiday and 3 other jobs I’d done today their credit card declined just as we were having a good week!
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