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Friday, May 17, 2013

That's The Brakes.....

I have learned - and improvised - a LOT while building this buggy! It is pretty amazing the "high-tech" that goes into a modern horse drawn carriage....I decided not to use a lot of it, but I was amazed at what was available --

Disc Brakes
Drum Brakes
Torsion Axles
Fiberglass Wheels
Air Suspension
Windshield Wipers
Electric Flashers

Etc, etc, etc - the list goes on and on.

I am just as - or MORE - impressed with the gentlemen who build there buggies with almost NONE of the above list. Sure, they might use parts made a little sturdier than a hundred years ago, but they are essentially the same thing.

One of the things I am using on my buggy is the old style "pad" brakes. They consist of a THICK rubber (or wood) pad, mounted on a rotating shaft, and postitioned in front of each rear wheel. To operate, you simply move a lever by the driver, into one of several notches cut in a curved steel plate.

I set out this evening to make the curved plate...

First, I cut a piece of 3/16" x 3/4" flat steel to the desired length, then I added a twist to each end:

First Bends

After it cooled a bit, I then needed to bend a "hook on the ends of the twisted part:

Second Bends

After all that heating, twisting, and bending, I needed to bend a gentle curve into the whole thing. I just "cold" bent this part, using my patheticly small anvil, some brute force, and a little smoothing blows with a hammer:

Third Bend

At this point, I had to twist the ends of the hooks down a bit to allow me to insert a bolt through them, and attach the whole thing to the side of the carriage:

Twist The Ends

I still need to cut the excess off those tabs, and cut notches in the curve, but it looks like it will work like it should. When I get to that point, I will need to make a handle - with a nice, round, ball at the top - a cinch arm to attach to the brake rod, and a small clevis and rod assembly to tie the whole mess together.

If I have my list straight, this is the last MAJOR part I have to make and install. There are about 15 other small pieces, but most of the "heavy" stuff is about done.

Then some paint, seat cushions, and a harness.....

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