“Lockdown Projects” by Joe Butcher

The Butcher’s Engine Shed

What a strange year 2020 it has been, but I am lucky to have been allowed to work. In my spare time I have managed to finish some projects and ride my bikes.

We began with a Fairbanks morse and Lister h2 pump which was brought as a pair and as non-runners. After lots of help from my son Bradley, the Fairbanks was running after a short amount of time. I discovered that the Fairbanks was not running because the cam timing was incorrect.

We then moved onto the water pump. The water pump was very tight when it was turned. I identified that the main gears had been pressed back onto the spindle in the wrong position. Once we had fixed this problem, we decided to start the engine. We then found a series of pin holes spraying water everywhere on the end of the pump. After further inspection I identified that someone had used body filler to stick the casting back together after frost had caused damage to the pump and painted over it. I decided that this was never going to last, so I used the brazing torch to repair the damage. After a few hours in the garage, we soon had it fixed.

The next project was a Bamford water pump. A Bamford water pump is very similar to a climax. This was also purchased a non-runner which required assembling. During the assemble, we discovered that the leather pump cups seals were missing. We were able to research the missing part and was able to obtain some. My son Bradley and I was then able to continue the build. We purchased some old wheels and made a wooden trolley to mount the pump on. We fitted a plastic tank onto the trolley temporally but as I am a plumbing and heating engineer, I am sure I will eventually find an old, galvanised tank one day.

After connecting it to a battery and coil, I attempted to start the engine. The engine flooded with fuel, so I removed the needle to investigate. I discovered that it had corroded, so I purchased a new one. After the new needle was installed, the engine run on point. Once I was happy with the way it was running, I stripped it down and painted everything. I manged to paint the pin strips using a fine line tape and brush. Once completed, the engine was mounted onto a 2nd hand trolley that I purchased from an online selling site.

As we had completed all our projects and we was unsure on what to purchase for my wife for Christmas, we decided to purchase a non-running Lister D. Our idea was to paint the engine and transform it into a flowerpot for the garden. My son Bradley and I spent a few hours in the garage, wire brushing the engine to remove the old paint. We then painted the engine with the original lister green colour enamel paint. We finally added the strips and high lighted the detail with red paint. I am pleased to say that my wife was very happy with her Christmas present.

As there has not many meetings to attend, my daughter Katie and I have managed to have a few rides out on the BSA and participate in a few social distance motorbike trials. Let’s hope 2021 will be a better year.

Joe Butcher