Water Tank Pipe Work Magneto

Part two of three: Restoring a 2 HP IHC Nonpareil

| February 2007

  • WaterTankPipeWorkMagneto.jpg

  • Formingthebaselip.jpg
    Above: Forming the base lip between two formers after the initial bending. Right: The finished base.
  • Basesetup.jpg
    Base set up with former to start forming the lip.
  • TankatanEarlyStageofRolling.jpg
    'Far left: The tank at an early stage of rolling, showing the bar in Peter’s workbench used to roll it. The cutout in the bottom lip and the exposed wire can be seen in the bottom left of the photo. '
  • HomemadeFormingTool.jpg
    'Clockwise from left: The homemade forming tool used to finish the rolled top; the template to form the top edge; forming the rolled edge, showing the steadying block of wood; the sheet set up on a bench between two steel bars to form the lip for the base seam. '
  • PlatesandPipe.jpg
    'Above right: The plates and pipe for the drain-off point, ready for fitting. '
  • TankatanEarlyStageofRolling-1.jpg
    Left: The side nearly completely rolled.
  • PlatesandPipe-1.jpg
    'Far right: The tank nearly finished with soldered seam, bottom lap joint and drain-off point. '
  • VerticalHeightoftheCone.jpg

  • PlatesandPipe-2.jpg
    Right: Clamping the profile to the center of the tank prior to soldering.
  • ConeafterFormingLip-Top.jpg
    Above left: The cone after forming the lip and top.
  • TheFinishedTank.jpg
    The finished tank.
  • RingAfterForming.jpg
    The ring after forming the wired edge and rolling. It is shown set up on the work bench to form the inside lip.
  • TheMagnetoContactBreaker-1.jpg
    Above: The old lead-out tower (left) and Peter’s copy.
  • ConeafterFormingLip-Top-1.jpg
    Above right: The cone after rolling and ring.
  • TheMagnetoContactBreaker.jpg
    Left: The magneto contact breaker showing new spring with supports at the ends.
  • Twohalvesof135-degreeelbow-1.jpg
    Below: The two parts of the “T” piece ready for brazing.
  • Twohalvesof135-degreeelbow.jpg
    'Above: Two halves of the 135-degree elbow, ready for joining. '

  • WaterTankPipeWorkMagneto.jpg
  • Formingthebaselip.jpg
  • Basesetup.jpg
  • TankatanEarlyStageofRolling.jpg
  • HomemadeFormingTool.jpg
  • PlatesandPipe.jpg
  • TankatanEarlyStageofRolling-1.jpg
  • PlatesandPipe-1.jpg
  • VerticalHeightoftheCone.jpg
  • PlatesandPipe-2.jpg
  • ConeafterFormingLip-Top.jpg
  • TheFinishedTank.jpg
  • RingAfterForming.jpg
  • TheMagnetoContactBreaker-1.jpg
  • ConeafterFormingLip-Top-1.jpg
  • TheMagnetoContactBreaker.jpg
  • Twohalvesof135-degreeelbow-1.jpg
  • Twohalvesof135-degreeelbow.jpg

The lack of water tank and cooling pipe work was the next challenge, and part of the problem was the size of the tank. I had some dimensions on an old IHC leaflet, but these were for the Famous and appeared to be some 6 inches taller than the Nonpareil. However, I measured the tank on a friend's 4 HP Nonpareil and it appeared the same as the equivalent Famous. While the old pictures of the 2 HP Nonpareil appeared to show a smaller tank, I decided to stick with the dimensions of the Famous tank.

Sourcing sheet metal and pipe was not a problem, but to be correct in the restoration it would be necessary to use American pipe threads. Fortunately, my son had to go on a business trip to Houston and he travelled with a shopping list of pipe fittings.

I purchased a sheet of 1.5-millimeter (approximately 16-gauge) steel to make the side of the tank and the ring for the screen, plus a smaller piece to make the base.

My rolling bars were only suitable for smaller work so the tank would have to be fashioned by hand. I decided to make the base of the tank first so I would have a template to gauge progress in rolling the sides. The diameter of the tank was 16 inches including the rolled edges of 1/2-inch, so two circles were scribed on the sheet metal of 16 inches and 16-1/2 inches diameter to allow for an overlap seam with the side. After folding the seam, the diameter of the side walls was 15-1/2 inches. I used a nibbler to cut out the base and tidied up the edge with a file.



To form the lip on the base, I had to bend the metal over a former with a small hammer and ground a piece of scrap steel to the correct radius. And to prevent making marks in the metal I ground the face of the hammer smooth, and then polished it with some 200-grit wet-and-dry sandpaper.

I clamped the former to both the sheet and workbench. Then, with a light, continuous tapping action while moving around the base, I gradually formed the lip. I only tapped until there was a slight movement, and then moved the former around the metal. To avoid marks and distortions in the metal, it was a case of tapping lightly and often, working slowly around the base.