Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Sears Bench Grinder

Here's a nice small Sears bench grinder featuring angular styling, dating to probably the late sixties, for sale at the Beaumont Mill Antique Market near Georgetown Ontario. 

Model prefix 315 tools were made by Philip Diehl & Co., a division of Singer. In the 1980s, the company was bought by Ryobi who maintained the same 315 manufacturer code with Sears. (


James Bond's wheels

 Despite this typically 80s and cringingly bad ad, Compomotive is alive and well selling wheels.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Bead pliers

Here's something you don't see everyday, a set of very specialized bead pliers made for a single purpose. These Bernard pliers are nicely made with logos in multiple places. But what are they used for? Scroll down. 



Thanks, Reg!


The postcard dates to 1908, and portrays a boat that had gone aground in Pigeon Bay near Leamington, Ontario. As far as I've been able to find, it's not listed as a wreck so presumably the unidentified boat was freed. 
One thing I'm quite sure of, no one will be looking at "wish you were here" postcards of the Ever Given in a hundred years.


Monday, March 29, 2021

Out for a summer ride...

A friend, Gary, found this old picture of his friend Ivor Rowlands , a.k.a. "Limey" by many of his U.S. friends, out for ride on a nice summer day. He had this to say about it;
 "Ah brother David and his wife Yvonne..the Triumph sidecar and a girlfriend with my 1959 BSA B31..XAU309 plate..out for a day trip summer around 1959. The BSA was later traded for a 1960 Velocette Venom...
I was a bonafide pretend Rocker with leather fireman boots and the gear...Ace cafe, Boxhill, Brighton all within a 35 mile radius..We were, or tried to be, nasty, especially to the scooter brigade.."


Alfa Romeo Bimotore

 The 1935 Bimotore was a desperate attempt by Alfa Romeo to keep up with the Auto Unions. Two inline 8 cylinder engines fed a central differential, which then drove the rear wheels through two drive shafts set up in a Y configuration.  The car was fast, though the power destroyed tires in record time. Between the pitstops for tires and for fuel, the car was not considered a success, though it did hold a world record for the flying kilometer of 199.5 mph, attaining a speed of 208 mph for a brief time. Two cars were built.  Artist Brian Hatton did the cutaway for Motor magazine.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

One of my vices is vises, Dawn

During some googling for the unknown offset vise I happened upon the name Dawn, an Australian company. According to the company website four brothers started the company in 1917, their first product being vices. the company quickly grew through WW2 and went through several owners till becoming proudly wholly Australian owned in 1998. The company is still going strong. I thought a heavy object like that wouldn't travel too far from home but then in a visit to an antique store last weekend, what's sitting in the shelf but a big beautiful Dawn vice! Coincidences! 

I have no space for another vice so I left it for someone else. The Dawn vice I really like is the offset one below. I'd retire another of my vises for that one!

Canadian Metalworking

Friday, March 26, 2021

Postcard from the Thousand Islands, 1910

Other than the nice scenery which hasn't changed much, the interesting thing is the address. That was all that was needed 110 years ago?

Frank Schrader

 Welland. Ontario


Introduction of the suzuki T500

 The Suzuki T500 was introduced in the fall of 1967 and the articles appeared soon after. The first US ad featured a good side view which showed a short tight motorcycle, much resembling the T250/T350s. It's hard to tell if the bike on the cover of Cycle World was the short wheelbase but very early in production, the swingarm was lengthened and the bike got noticeably stretched, which carried on till the end of production in 1977.  I wonder how many of the short wheelbase bikes were built, and how many- or if any are left, info on the web is sketchy and varied.

Later production long wheelbase bike for comparison. Looks like the swingarm length was added after the shocks, the fender curve matches the wheel so the frame mounts would have to change, also probably the chainguard, and possibly the taillight bracket (or the mounting holes in the fender). The ads below appeared in the spring of 1968.


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Aftermarket TR-7

 We did a post on the TR-7 a while back. I never liked the look of it, maybe these flares and spoilers help? You be the judge.


 A cover fit to be a poster, featuring a 1929 speedway bike with 500cc Blackburne engine built by George Wallis.  As speedway had just been introduced to Britain, this would represent the state of the art at the very beginning. Beautiful bike. 

It might be possible to make a replica using 21 inch rims to get close to the original 28x 2 3/8" tire size.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

DKW F1, F7


1937 F7

Far ahead of its time, the popular DKW F series of the 30s were small simple cars featuring the now standard layout of a transverse front-mounted engine with front wheel drive, that's about 30 years before the Mini. 

The 600cc two stroke twin engine was in unit with the 3 speed transmission and differential giving a top speed of about 80 kph. The plywood bodied F1 below was introduced in 1931. By 1937, the body was still wood but now covered with steel panels (above).

The F1 twin-member chassis above had been simplified to the version below by 1937 but would still support a ludicrous amount of people for a silly photo, though no one seems amused..

Essential motoring accessories... Cigarettes


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

E & B Holmes wrench

E&B Holmes was a company in Buffalo, New York that specialized in making machinery to mass produce barrels. The wrench would be part of the tool kit for making adjustments on the machinery, presumably.

 They were in business from 1840 till 2002, having just missed the craft beer and distilling resurgence. The building at 59 Chicago St. Buffalo still stands.


1919 Mercer

Out for a drive on a chilly spring day. I bet he feels like the king of the road.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Charles Lindbergh

 Lindbergh peers over the side of the cockpit of his Lockheed Sirius.

Portrait time at the McKinnon factory

 I found this typical turn-of-the-last century factory picture while looking for info on the McKinnon wrench. I can't tell what they're actually working on. The guys take a few minutes from their busy, noisy life to pose for the photographer. 

OK, Monday morning, back to work!

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Postcard from Ignace, Mar 19, 09


Sidecar Sunday bonus

Prompted by the front end shown on Sidecar Sunday last week, here's another rather extravagant centerlink front end...

thanks, Jon!


Sidecar Sunday

 1923 TT winner. Freddy Dixon's Douglas outfit with banking sidecar, the action controlled with a lever by passenger, Walter Denny. (Thanks JP)
If I didn't know better, I'd say the outfit is equipped with disc brakes. Also thanks to JP, information here on the unique brake. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

1952 Two stroke manual

This 1952 edition by Floyd Clymer (actually Motor Cycle magazine in England) is an interesting look at the two stroke world before the Japanese invasion. 

Mobile women's fashion

thanks, Ski

Quite amazing how much clothing women were weighed down with  for any activity they chose to participate in...
Below, Muriel Hind, the first woman motorcyclist in Britain, outfitted in appropriate garb.