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Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:25 pm
by StanHowe
This is the kind of thing that takes all the time.
Replacing the 4 little balls and two springs in the Stromberg carb's adjustment needles.
I spent an hour on these today, it is piddly little work and no matter how many I've done I can't seem to do it any faster.
I wind the springs for them on the lathe, buy the little steel balls by the bag full, etc., but it just takes time.

Notice how the steel ball is rusted into the knob. There is a spring on each side with a little spring inside. Nearly every one is rusted up or at the very least, sticky.
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First thing is to get the old balls and spring out. Bigger hammer, hot wrench, it's amazing how that little spring can stick in there.
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Have to clean the hole up, this is a .126 -- .001 oversize reamer --
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Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:32 pm
by StanHowe
I wind these little springs, have to do some more, I see I only have one more in the drawer with the balls. The larger springs are for the economizer on OF's.

Now the tricky part, get a ball, the spring, another ball in the hole, seal it in and still have enough of it sticking out to contact the sides of the holder.

Do one side, turn it over, insert the spring, insert the other ball, whack the tool with the hammer, hope it is all in the right place when you're done.
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Now the tricky part, get a ball, the spring, another ball in the hole, seal it in and still have enough of it sticking out to contact the sides of the holder.
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Finally, take a 1/4 x 32 die and run it down the threads and a 1/4 x 32 tap and run it through the threads in the holder and it should be good to go.

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:05 pm
by Scott_Conger
Lovely work as always, Stan!
Thank you for sharing.

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:05 pm
by Mark Osterman
Are these spring loaded balls an indexing system to hold the needle in place during adjustment?

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:09 pm
by Mark Gregush
Yes they are fun! ;) I have replaced a few too. I have an LF that I need to make the short needle like in that one photo.

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:15 am
by StanHowe
Mark, yes.

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:41 am
by wayne sheldon
Beautiful as always Stan H, beautiful as always!

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:22 am
by It's Bill
Wow. Are you using stainless for the balls and spring?

Cheers, Bill

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:33 am
by Doug Keppler
Carb work in general is piddly work but it is necessary work!. Stan if those balls are in good shape, not pitted like the one you show, could the needle be soaked in PB blaster to free up the spring?

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:50 am
by Rich Eagle
Thanks for reminding us. Those of us that stay at this hobby often forget how tedious some things get. At work we noticed that 20% of the work took 80% of the time.
Keep at it. It's fun to see.
Rich

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:27 am
by John kuehn
Great work Stan! Reminds me of a watch maker doing carburetor work.

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:46 am
by Quickm007
Thank you Stan sharing this with us. People can't imagine how many hours we spent in small but very necessary things. I'm impatient to try your OF carb you sent to me. I will try it during my holiday time off and let you know how it go.

all the best,

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:53 am
by tman12
Stan: Hi From Cold In Iowa! As always your work not only looks great, but works as well! Thanks For Sharing with us ole car enthusiasts Who Do Not Have Your Talent! John

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:31 pm
by StanHowe
Thanks.
As far as soaking them in something to free them up.
Some people do that and probably can make it work.
My answer is when I ask myself "should I do that and it will be ok?" is that people are paying me pretty well to do a restoration, not a half assed rebuild that will work.
So unless they are not pitted, free and working and will hold the setting -- rebuild them, replace the balls and the spring. Do it right the first time you don't have to do it over.

I should post a photo of one that came in recently with two new holes drilled for the spring and balls.

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:35 pm
by StanHowe
My "adopted" grandfather was a clock maker/repairman, my other grandfather was a violin maker/repairman. I learned a little clock repair but not much and spent over 40 years in the violin business, went to school for awhile for it. Helps with patience and piddly work like this.

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:01 pm
by RajoRacer
The Winfield carburetor also has that type of "ball & spring" tensioner on them which most are stuck !

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:04 pm
by jab35
Could a bronze or SS coil spring be used the this application? Just curious, beautiful work on those, jb

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:20 pm
by Henry K. Lee
Stan,

I have lived in Montana and know the winters are long, but, piddly work is good! You know you can go crazy doing that too much! LOL

Nice Work, patience of the Craftsman!

Hank

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:21 pm
by dmdeaton
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Like these? 😁

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:24 pm
by BuddyTheRoadster
Every time you post I learn something new!
Now, for beginners like me, how do you get the old balls and spring out? And does the housing get swedged to retain the new ones?

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:49 pm
by StanHowe
Answers: Material: Yes the balls are .125 stainless steel. The springs are wound from .023 stainless steel wire. I have a jig on my variable speed lathe that I wind them on. I used to buy them but I was always out whenever I needed some. Especially after I dropped the last one on the floor and it bounced somewhere I couldn't find it.

How do I get the old balls and spring out. Tiny little punch, itty bitty hammer. Bigger hammer. Bigger hammer. Hot wrench. Bigger hammer. I also have a variety of encouraging words that I yell at it while I am hitting the punch with the progressively bigger hammer.

How do I keep the balls and spring in the hole. The tool is a little swage. The tip has a hole for the ball to fit in far enough to hold it in position and the tip of the swage collapses the edge of the hole when you whack it with a little hammer. I usually hold the part in a V block while I am working on them but I used the V blocks for doing a setup on my mini mill and didn't want to tear it down so I did this one in a vise.

Note to self. Buy another set of V blocks.

Back to the shop.

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:58 pm
by StanHowe
""Thanks for reminding us. Those of us that stay at this hobby often forget how tedious some things get. At work we noticed that 20% of the work took 80% of the time.
Keep at it. It's fun to see.
Rich""

Rich, it is also true that about 80% of the work you do on things like this is never seen. People see the shiny outside, the buffed parts and pieces and the glow but seldom see the passages drilled and sized, the mating surfaces for the plugs resurfaced so they don't leak, the lead gasket on the main jet replaced so it will idle correctly, etc, etc. My teacher in the violin shop I worked in would say, "In a hundred years when they take the top back off this fiddle I want them to say, 'Pretty damned foxy, just pretty damned foxy the way he did this. Good work.'

I have every tool known to man if I could find it, that little .126 reamer is a case in point. I spent about 15 minutes yesterday looking for it before I remembered that it was still in the chuck of the miniature drill press that I used to ream the hole to size. Duh!!!!!!!!! Old and senile is part of it, inane phone calls is part of it, thinking about a cup of coffee and a cheeseburger doesn't help.

For people wanting to do this stuff, the set of American made over and under chucking reamers from .124/.126 to .499/.501 was about $350 years ago. But how else you going to ream a hole to .126??? Of course you also have to have a set of "spot on" reamers at .125, .500 etc.


Back to the shop, back to the shop, back to the shop.

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:20 pm
by Mark Gregush
Re the lost spring! :lol: I dropped one of the ball bearings for a carb I was working on, heard it bounce, spend an hour or more looking, gave up for the night. Next morning I walked into the shop reached down and picked it up and finished the job. Now I buy at least one or more extra of any little tiny parts like screws or ball bearings.

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:21 pm
by StanHowe
The only time I ever had time to clean the floor in my shop is when I drop something and can't find it. Sweep the floor or vacuum it and go through the dust pan or vac bag. Done that more than once.

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:31 am
by d stroud
I was taught this by a very wise person (my Mother :) ) about 65 years ago. When you drop something on the floor and can't find it right away, get down on the floor and sight across it it with one eye. It's a lot easier to see something when it's sticking up above floor level that way than looking down on it. That bit of advice has served me well over the years. Of course, if the floor is "cluttered", use Stan's method. :) Dave

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:23 am
by StanHowe
There is no way I could get my belly close enough to the ground to get my eye down far enough to see anything and get back up if I found it.
I've always made money enough to eat pretty well and it shows.
But I do keep a flashlight on the bench that I lay on the floor, it's surprising how it makes a little shadow you can see.

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:07 pm
by Duey_C
I can't even imagine trying to pick up one of those 1/8 balls with a tweezers. Yikes.

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:02 pm
by Doug Keppler
I lubricated my Balls, they are not sticky and thank goodness I didnt need tweezers to pick them up..... Oh by the way im talking about my OF carb

Re: Little Piddly Work is all part of it. Stromberg Needles

Posted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:04 am
by d stroud
Stan, as I said, that was 65 years ago, I'm pretty much in the same boat now. If one of the grandkids isn't around, I do the flashlight thing too. I also do as a comedian that I saw on TV once said, "As long as I'm down here, I might as well look for anything else that may be here". That was pretty funny 50 years ago, pretty much S.O.P. now!! :lol: :lol: Dave