Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Mounting and Polishing

As Mrs. Graybeard continues to heal, I get to spend more time back in the shop.  I haven't broken dirt (broken metal?) for the Panther Pup, yet; haven't even ordered any of the materials, yet.  I'm going back and forth between the plans and a book I bought to help with design choices.  But, yeah, I need to get off the starting blocks on this. 

A project I've had going for a while was to turn an old walnut plaque into a base for my Duclos Flame Eater engine.  The walnut was half of an award plaque from the late 80s/early 90s, when I was working for Major Southeast Defense Contractor - they had a program (as so many do) of motivational awards.  I have a few of these, and I'm pretty sure I haven't found them all, so more potential boards to mount future projects.  I'm not sure where my patent plaque is these days, but it will probably be last. 

Several days ago, I was able to cut the plaque in half.  It had a cove routed into the edges of the board, so I needed to route the new, square edge to match.  It's not too inaccurate to say I have absolutely zero experience with walnut so that's my excuse for ripping some good sized splinters off the corners.  Good thing I cut a board in half, because now I have a smaller board for some future, smaller engine while using the second piece for the full sized piece I needed. 

Roughly speaking, I did the sawing and routing Sunday; sanded and did some filing to clean up the board on Monday; and put three coats of polyurethane varnish on it yesterday.  Today I mounted the engine and took this pic on my coffee cart.  Didn't quite push the junk far enough out of the way, but y'all are friends here.  You can tolerate it.

The aluminum looks pretty dull, so some polishing is in order.  If I can polish the brass acorn nuts holding the cylinder to the base, that will look good, as well as the brass accent of the four mounting screws in the corners. 


  1. I'd go with a brushed aluminum finish (600/1200 wet-or-dry on a rubber block), or maybe an engine-turned finish?

    1. Engine turning is pretty straightforward with CNC, but I'd have to take it apart. I really don't want to take it apart again.

      I found my 20+ year old tube of Simichrome for polishing aluminum and there was actually still a little left in the tube. It's looking better, but it needs more.

  2. Sweet! You'll need to post a video when it's running.

  3. Anything shiny and polished warms the heart of this old retired sailor.

    Very nice work.