Water Tank Pipe Work Magneto

Part two of three: Restoring a 2 HP IHC Nonpareil

| February 2007


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.