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Nutgone's Tarpen

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Wed Jul 25 2012, 13:05

The belt is a little cracked & perished, but it works. Maybe I'll treat it to some of that tyre & bumper restorer stuff, make it last a bit longer. I've taken it completely to bits now, & cleaned it up, it's looking good.

I'm not too sure about that red metal plate on the top though, it's obviously there to stop grass & stuff getting inside, but I think it's going to stop the motor getting it's proper cooling, has anyone here got a Grassmaster? (I know there's someone here who collects Tarpen bits), what goes on top of the motor???

I'll add some pics later, to explain things a bit better.

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Thu Jul 26 2012, 18:22

I've had this thing (the Grassmaster) stripped to it's component parts over the last couple of days, painted bits of it Tarpen Green & other bits Black, I forgot to take any pics though, but it's a pretty basic project.

I'm a little concerned there isn't much meat left on the motor brushes, but then I'm not planning on using it much. The blade is very well worn as well, I've sharpened it up, but it's so old it's been shortened over the years, due to wear & tear, so it won't cut much. It'll look good as an exhibit though, which is the important thing I guess.

I've just started putting the main bits back together this afternoon/evening, I'll take a couple of pics when I can turn it up the right way. I've got 5 metres of brand new black rubber flex to go on, & I've sorted the dodgy switch out.

I really need to find a decent rubber handle grip, the previous one was a bit of plastic flexible conduit, the same stuff they use for caravan flexible waste hose. It'll do for now, but isn't a good fit.
Also, there was a sticker on the handle, barely legible, it was white with red letters & said.....
"AVOID STONES
KEEP SPECTATORS CLEAR"

I would like to get a reproduction of this, so I will see if the place which did the TARPEN decal can do it, it's only a vinyl sticker after all.

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Thu Jul 26 2012, 21:32

Here we go, a few piccies of the Grassmaster...



Obviously not quite finished, but I've gone as far as I can until the paint hardens off a bit. I've also treated the belt. I've just got to do the wiring bit, find a plug for it & I'm away. I know it had a plug on it, which fits the genny (5 amp round pin) but I've used that for a new lighting board I made up last night (& haven't taken any pics of yet Rolling Eyes ).

I can get those plugs from my electrical wholesalers, but they're very modern looking & they're white, so I'll have a root around the autojumble at this weekend's rally, see if I can find a proper old Bakelite one.

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Thu Jul 26 2012, 21:48

Oh yes, & I'm pretty sure it isn't supposed to be Tarpen green as well, but I had plenty of it left over, & I'm not so choosy with what is basically an antique garden strimmer! Laughing

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Wed Aug 01 2012, 22:01

Got this thing finished on Monday, after I got home from the rally. I only had the electrical side of things to complete, I also found an old motorbike handlebar grip which fitted, so I stuck that on there with something called "Grip Glue" apparently the right stuff for the job.

I put the belt on, pulled out the engine & gave it a quick go. All working very nicely....



It even chopped a few weeds which were growing through the stones (I was careful though, didn't want to hit a stone, I know how I can get carried away).
Now it's all tucked away in the workshop, ready for it's first outing in the August bank-holiday. I'll take a pic or two of it all set up there, which should finish off the thread nicely.

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by pauldg on Wed Aug 01 2012, 22:19

Looks good actually.

I was never sure about the colour choice, but the more I look at it the better I think it goes with the black and silver. Not that it matters what I think, it's not mine!

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Wed Aug 01 2012, 22:37

It looks better in sunlight, & looks better in the flesh as well (I had my reservations too). It also seems to dull down a bit as it goes off, or maybe I'm just getting used to it... scratch

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by stationary stu on Thu Aug 02 2012, 11:58

Cracking set up you have, something to be proud of and done in no time, well done.

Stu.

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Thu Aug 02 2012, 13:47

I've got a final little surprise coming up for the Grassmaster. There's a small business just up the road from me, I've never been in there before, until today (less than half an hour ago in fact). I should take delivery of it in a day or so......

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Thu Aug 09 2012, 21:33

Cast your mind back to the Tarpen Grassmaster. When I was going to paint it I noticed a sticker on the handle, almost completely gone, but I wrote down what was on it, made a sketch of the sizes of the sticker & the lettering & made a note of the colours involved......

Last week I paid a visit to a small business just up the road from me, it's a company called "Kit Print" & they specialise in Vinyl signs, banners etc etc. I asked them if they could do it & today I picked up the result....



Quite good I thought. I only wanted one, he told me he usually charges a minimum of £15 just to switch the machine on, but there was no way he could charge me that, so he offered to run them through when he had another job going, & said he'd do 2 for a fiver.

I collected them today & he said "I've done you a couple of spares", it was still a fiver. Very Happy

Anyone else got a Grassmaster they want a period warning sticker for??? Laughing

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by pauldg on Thu Aug 09 2012, 21:48

Stickers look good! I thought they were massive though until I noticed the screws in the background wood Rolling Eyes

I forgot to ask before, how's the voltage? I remember you said the regulator didn't really regulate... Does the grassmaster surge much or anything?

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Fri Aug 10 2012, 10:20

pauldg wrote:Stickers look good! I thought they were massive though until I noticed the screws in the background wood Rolling Eyes

I forgot to ask before, how's the voltage? I remember you said the regulator didn't really regulate... Does the grassmaster surge much or anything?

Well I haven't actually tested the voltage since I first got it running. The Grassmaster seems to run fine, it makes the engine note drop slightly, as you'd expect, but it runs quite smoothly. The engine runs better with a slight load as well.

Previously this machine was only regulated by the governor, which is electromagnetic. Sadly the coil on this has long since blown, but the rest of it's there, & I still have the old coil. My intention was to one day take off all the old wire, weigh it & re-wind the coil with new wire, but it's a massive undertaking, it's very thin enamelled copper wire & there's a LOT of turns. I'd be interested in any other ways of getting a reasonably strong electromagnet from this unit, which is small enough to fit in the governor box.
Until then I will just regulate it on the throttle-stop screw on the carb, it's always worked for us.

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by stationary stu on Fri Aug 10 2012, 10:50

So that was the suprise, you managed to keep quiet about all this time. Great you've managed to get some made up and it should finish it off nicely, well done on adding the finishing touch.

Stu.

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Sat Aug 11 2012, 13:18

Almost forgot to say, after I got told off for starting the Homelite generating set, I decided, to keep busy, I would apply the sticker to the Grassmaster.

I looked through the old pics to see where it went, & put it on. Managed to get it right first time, the heat probably helped, as it went on a bent part of the handle without any wrinkles. So it looks like this project is almost complete....




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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by stationary stu on Sun Aug 12 2012, 10:35

Job done way to go, all finished. The sticker makes me wonder how big the crowds were watching someone cut grass lol! lol! lol!

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Sun Aug 12 2012, 12:36

stationary stu wrote:Job done way to go, all finished. The sticker makes me wonder how big the crowds were watching someone cut grass lol! lol! lol!

Stu.

I know, it's completely understandable, but the wording seems so dated. You'd never see words like that on modern H&S warning stickers.

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Tue Oct 16 2012, 12:55

I've bought some bits to make up a replica of the original exhaust silencer for this engine. Years ago Ian & me had another Tarpen, the same model which we restored & sold on, this one had an original silencer insert in the exhaust. They are made out of steel weld-mesh with a couple of big steel washers. I've bought some aluminium mesh & will cut my own big washers from some aluminium sheet I've got laying around.

Here's a pic of an original one, gone the usual way, as they do (there's a lot of moisture in those chambers)....



I'll post up some pics as I progress with this. The engine is at Ian's place, so I will have to get him to take some measurements while I start to build it up here. I'll take it out there & finish it off.

Also, the Tarpen stopped running right at the end of the last rally. It seemed to be an ignition problem, so I've also got to get that pesky flywheel off again. I suspect there's some oil in the points or something like that, it does seem to blow a little past the crank case seal, as many of these old 2 strokes do. If I ever split the crank cases I'll make up some kind of oil seal, but until then it's just one of those things, nothing serious, it's always blown a little past the seals (not that there are any seals, it's plain bronze bushes I think, the film of oil is supposed to create the crank case seal AFAIK).

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Sat Jan 12 2013, 23:44

Looks like this one's back under the spanners again. As I may have mentioned, the engine conked out at the end of the last rally of the season, back in September. It seems to have a spark, but I was pretty sure the problem was ignition based at the time.

Anyway, fast forward a bit to this week just gone, Ian brought the engine (just the engine with it's horseshoe shaped mounting, separated from the genny & the chassis) round to the already overcrowded workshop (not his fault, I asked him to bring it) so I could inspect it.

I thought I would take this opportunity to completely dismantle the engine, as I never split the crank cases on this one & was sure it would need a good clean out by now.

I managed to get the flywheel off & at first I thought the points were to blame for the failure back in September, as they weren't quite lining up correctly. So I re-faced them & put the magneto back plate back together. Then I thought I would test the coil. Well, it seems that's where the problems lie. It has lost the earth connection to the HT/secondary side of the coil, this is the bit with the wire that's thinner than a human hair. I've had a little dig around in there but there's no hope of fixing it, so I need to either find a new coil, or get this one re-wound. I've looked at the cheap BSA Bantam coils on eBay, but the hole in the centre is too small for this mag. I'm going to email a bloke in America who deals with WICO mags & see if he can help me, it seems we're a bit short on WICO flywheel magneto spares in this country.

Anyway, I've got the piston off, the head & barrel off, I've split the crank cases & removed the crank shaft. I've cleaned & de-coked it all, it was in a pretty messy state. I can't remember how much I did with the piston last time (need to check back through the thread), but I think the 2 stroke oil I've been using is pretty poor stuff. We only did 2 rallies with this engine, totalling 5 days, perhaps using 2, maybe 3 gallons of fuel. When I got the head off the piston crown had some pretty big deposits on it & on further inspection the ring grooves were well coked up. Trouble is, I've got that oil in 2 of my other engines right now, just under 2 gallons of mixture between them. Don't know weather to waste it or just use it up & hope they're OK? (It would go into my parts wash/easing oil solution, so wouldn't be completely wasted).

I haven't taken many pics, but I will get some of the progress I've made so far. I need to get some thin gasket paper to go between the crank case halves, then I can reassemble the engine, minus magneto, & put it on the shelf.

Looks like my plans to retire this engine for the season are going ahead weather I want to or not. Maybe I should hold onto this latest one I'm restoring?! Crying or Very sad

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by stationary stu on Sun Jan 13 2013, 13:21

If it's not one thing it's another, that's the problem when you have more then one engine. I hope you can manage to source a new coil and it's not to expensive.
As for the fuel can you remember what mix you used, then you could either add more petrol or 2 stoke oil so it's not going to carbon up as easy.

Stu.

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Sun Jan 13 2013, 15:50

I've actually finished that particular bottle of 2 stroke oil, the last of it is in the Scott & Homelite tanks. I think I will just finish it off & buy a different brand from now on.
I always run the Tarpen on 25:1 mix, & the homelite seems to like that as well. Think I will have to run the Scott on something a bit leaner. I will have to experiment with that one.

As regards the coil, I'm going to email some bloke in America, see if he can supply one which will fit.

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by Ianhw77k on Sun Jan 13 2013, 21:39

I'll sort us out with some decent 2stroke oil, you can use the stuff I put in my car diesel engine as I already buy that in bulk.
We can try to see if we can find a mix all the engines will be happy with, failing that they will all have to have their own separate cans. My Stuart Turner will run off 50:1, maybe we can try them all on 30 or 40:1 and see how happy they are.

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by kevjhnsn on Sun Jan 13 2013, 23:52

here you are nutty
project number four for you
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/330857171605?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649
shame its at the other end of my town and not yours mate
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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Mon Jan 14 2013, 11:05

kevjhnsn wrote:here you are nutty
project number four for you
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/330857171605?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649
shame its at the other end of my town and not yours mate
kev

I've seen that one, the guy's a joker. He says about the fully restored one recently sold for £150 (which was mine), but both of mine were bought in better condition than his for under £30 each! Also, that one has the wrong carb on it, as well as a couple of other wrong parts I can spot, & you'd have a hell of a job to get those castings aluminium welded if it's a later one, the metal they used on those castings was pretty rubbish, it wouldn't weld very well.

There, I said it! I've been wanting to send him a message, but have so far resisted (not sure I like my recent sale being quoted for some greedy joker to try & make a quick buck, my fully restored engine had a lot of work put into it & had all it's original parts). His one would make a good parts engine, could probably be made to run with a lot of repair work, but wouldn't look right with that carb on IMO. & certainly wouldn't be worth the time or the money. I just hope nobody falls for it & actually parts with the cash, they'll be disappointed. (I'm certainly not going to say "good luck to him").

It's worth about £20, if that.
He started it off at over £80 about 3 or 4 weeks ago, by this September we should be somewhere near it's real value & it might sell! lol!

I worked it out, very quickly, a rough estimate of what I made on that last Tarpen I sold for £150, it was in the order of £1 per hour, probably less, & that's not taking into account the eBay costs or ANY consumable materials (like paint, gasket paper, grease, oil, petrol, etc etc).
It's a labour of love, & I know that & am happy with that, but there's always someone trying to fleece people out of money, which I tend to take exception to. he might just be ill-informed though I suppose, or ignorant of the facts.

If he was a true enthusiast he should be able to tell the difference between his engine & the one which "recently sold for £150", sadly that doesn't appear to be the case. Crying or Very sad

It's a sad fact that it may well make more money if split up (although I'm not so sure, as only the dynamo is of any real value). These kind of sales make me laugh though, if he saw one sell recently for £150, then why not restore his one to a similar condition, like I did, make up a nice light board with reproduction period poster advert (as I did) & sell it for £150???

If it's that easy, why not do it???

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by Foden on Mon Jan 14 2013, 21:04

Phillip will advertise it for a while and then if it doesn't sell will possibly weigh it in Matt, same as I did with my one. Smile I have bought a few things from him over the years including my portable shearing set undergoing restoration at present and he can be a little ott on some of them, however the advice that he gives folk on forums and in SE magazine through the Scott and Norman helplines is second to none. He has a vast collection of engines, some rare aircooled open cranks but a lot of Normans etc, some of which have never been run from new but he rarely exhibits any prefering to just collect them. If anyone has a strange engine that requires identifying then he is the main man!

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

Post by nutgone on Mon Jan 14 2013, 21:13

I knew that was going to happen! Rolling Eyes Embarassed

I love the way the internet connects everyone sometimes. Still stand by what I said though, I'm only judging this sale, not the man's life.

Thought he would know better though TBH. It leaves me a tad disappointed if I'm brutally honest. Crying or Very sad

If he does weigh it in it will be a real shame, definitely not the actions of a true enthusiast IMO, would be better split for parts (& we all know how that goes down). It's a twenty quid (or so) project for some young lad somewhere, not a scrapper.

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Re: Nutgone's Tarpen

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