A bit of help please with my early 1928 Flying Squirrel.
Is my single fin 8″ rear brake drum original equipment?
The Enots fuel filler caps are non magnetic. Are they brass? I don’t think they can be stainless reproductions as they are at least 55 years old.
The steering damper knob I presume to be correct, the Scot forks are however, from 1927.
The toolbox has a well made metal lid – original or home made?
I notice a split link in the magneto chain. Since I am about to change mine using industrial chain. What is the general opinion of using a split link or riveting? I also have to say does total originality really matter?
The filler caps are indeed brass and were nickel plated. The steering damper knob is probably original. The tool box lid is not original, and the rear wheel is a few years later, early 1930s. The original rear wheel in 1927/8 had a non-removable drum, with a spoke flange on its outer edge. They were not very good as the drum was too thin and prone to distortion. The magneto chain would have to have a split link as otherwise you would have to totally strip the engine to fit it over the flywheel ! Rivetting once in place is VERY awkward…
The whole question of originality is a moot point, and it has a dramatic effect on the value of the bike. Far too many Scotts are ‘bitsas’ also known as an AJS (Auto Jumble Special !), but of course it is best to get a bike finished and on the road while you spend half a lifetime looking for the correct parts. See my ‘Machine Profile’ articles in Yowl (‘Technicalities), as I did one on the 1927 Flying Squirrel. The 1928 model was VERY similar, but had a different shape toolbox with splayed sides, and the forks had taper tubes in the bottom section, parallel section in the top section. The 1927 forks were all parallel section tubing.
The Club Archivist, Dave Bushell can supply you with a photocopy of the 1928 works catalogue for reference purposes, and Photograph Archivist Andrew Marfell can supply copies of ‘period’ photos of actual bikes.
Originality. showroom finish and serviceable use are individual choices. Bikes do become the focus from its owner,value being only one aspect. Mine was a 1929 sidecar sand racer with a long seat and rear wheel guarding. I removed most of that but kept as much of the previous owners work as practical. We all like to think our treasures have increasing monetary value but they are for use, and whilst I bought mine for my 79th birthday and mileage will not be great. Its on the road and running. The club forum and details available on the website are very good ( sometimes a bit conflicting) and because of my interest my two sons now have Scott’s. The Forum has excellent past information but is a bit underused since the club has 600 or more members. Most of us will have other makes of motorcycle ( or cyclemotors ) and hardware ,components and methods of repair are common. Long way round to say the tool box lid looks good !
Thanks Brian, usefull info. I took another look at the Scott Technicalities and noted ref. to the 1926 show 1927 Flying Squirrel model having a metal toolbox lid. That is good enough for me. Also the picture showing the controls. I too have a similar mix of levers on the handlebars! I think that function is more important than originality so I will keep the later rear brake and the early bronze Scott Amal (I assume it is an amal, it looks similar to the later crapalloy amals). What I don’t like is the use of modern stainless fasteners but, fortunately, the only offending item on mine is the gearchange rod.
I must admit to using stainless nuts and bolts on the Scotts that I have restored. In mitigation I make them on my lathe to the original Scott dimensions. Vintage Scotts had dull nickel plated fastenings so modern bright nickel is not correct. By 1930 Scotts were using a blacked finish on some of the fastenings as a cost saving.
Highly polished stainless is too “white” to replicate nickel, but let it tarnish and it does become more yellow. It also has the advantage that there is no plating to flake off when using spanners and the finish will last..
After a while most faster get covered in a film of oil and dust anyway. 😀
Appearance wise , stainless is more than acceptable. However when using stainless parts with threads that are “demountable” beware of the welding effect you can get making them unremovable. Engineering wise they are a nightmare. Use a non stainless nut not stainless to stainless. Blacking in the fifties was called Brunofixing. You can still purchase chemicals to blacken mild and carbon steels. The protection is mainly oil impregnation.
As Ian says, in the vintage years the finish on fasteners and levers, some front brake plates, etc., was dull nickel plate, there being no straight-from-the-bath bright nickel plating, however many items were polished dull nickel from new, notably radiators and exhausts. Period photos clearly show polished nickel on other items, especially on ‘show’ exhibits. I too use some polished stainless fasteners. Most grades of stainless can be slightly yellowed by heating with a blowtorch, and then it can be very difficult to distinguish from nickel plating. Conversely, polished stainless can be given the appearance of dull nickel plate by bead blasting. To prevent ‘cold welding’ of stainless bolt to stainless nut, just smear the threads with an anti-seize compound such as ‘Coppaslip’. To achieve the satin black finish on non-stainless items I use a cold gun blue solution, which is black despite the name. Earlier black finish processes had a number of trade names, like Parkerising, Bonderising, Black Japan (paint), etc.. I haven’t heard of Phil’s Brunofixing before !
Nickel plating kits are available for home use.