Weekend Sundries: 25-26 June, 2022



‘For us, the rain has finally stopped, so now I can get out and do some work on the farm. The main aim is currently to mow all the paddocks before they become fire hazards, especially given our neigbours prefer lighting fires to mowing…

The attached are variously a couple of willie wagtails hunting, a black shouldered kite hunting and resting (though the resting portrait could be of a spider monkey having a dump on the termite nest), dawn on Wherrol Flat Rd and finally Sharky, the hammer head dog sculpture made by a friend’s daughter.’


Belated for Know Idea. Made stronger internal steering post plus external spacer,  made long Di2 selector from old Durace parts, 3rd dummy chainring for troublefree quick gear change ,  nylon spacer between frame and crank.
Next project to replace homemade idler cage using  bought parts to modify. 



Back in the shed working on the Ducati. Since returning from the ride to NT and the Gulf, I’ve mostly been working on electrics and wiring (not my strength). Trying to restore 40-year-old switch gear is an exercise in frustration and I’ve resorted to using modern reproductions. Other progress is fitting of the front mudguard, wheels and tyres. Surprising to me, good quality tyres in the correct sizes are still available for these machines, as long as you are prepared to wait a few weeks. The front mudguard is original, only appeared on this model and is unobtainable. I’ve never seen one for sale, so what to do to repair the ugly dent in mine? I didn’t have the tools or the skills to tackle this job, so I sent the job out to a local car restoration business. Bloody expensive but the results were excellent. In talking to the manager, I learned that there are people with enough $$ to pay $300K for a rusty, dilapidated Ford GTHO Falcon and then hand over another $300K for the restoration.

The weather in the Adelaide Hills is now too cold for painting and the colour coat will have to wait until the spring. So now attention has turned to disassembly of the motor. It hasn’t run for 15 years, the bores and pistons have done 100,000 km, and the big ends in these old Ducati’s are notably fragile if not set up properly and have lots of fresh oil throughout their life. Thankfully, all looks in pretty good order. I’m now hopeful that the conrods can be reused and refitted with a hone of the journals and an oversize crank pin, saving $2000.

These engines are oddities. Most Ducati’s run desmodromic valve gear where the valve is closed by a cam and rocker, the same mechanism to open the valve (see photo). So rather than use a spring to return the valve to the seat, the cam and rocker positively closes the valve. The clearance on the closing rocker is 0.00 mm, a clearance that is somewhat hard to measure! An additional oddity is that the camshafts are driven directly by a series of bevel gears, no timing chain. Everything is adjusted by shims. Lots of shims! So, while mechanically relatively straight forward, these engines take a lot of time to set up properly. So, I’ll be busy over the winter as you need very deep pockets to pay someone to rebuild a ‘bevel’.

Geoff McVeigh

Waves at Broulee 1

Waves at Broulee 2

Sunset from Granite Quarry Moruya

Mt Wandera at sunset from Broulee Hill

Letterbox Car on Cobargo Bermagui Road

Bergalia District War Memorial

Stingray at Preddys Wharf

Little Pied Cormorant with catch at Preddys Wharf South Head Moruya

Lambs and ewe in frost at Old Well Station Road

Moon rising over Majura

Shed at Stretchvale near Monaro Highway

Red Rumped Parrots at Goorooyarroo


C’est de la folie

Prime Ministers Avenue – Ballarat Botanical Gardens

Joseph Cook


George Reid


Arthur Fadden


James Scullin


Edmund Barton


John Watson


William Morris Hughes


Joseph Lyons


Alfred Deakin


Stanley Bruce


Earle Page


Bob Hawke


Gough Whitlam


Malcolm Fraser


Paul Keating


John Howard


Kevin Rudd


William McMahon


John Gorton


John McEwan


Harold Holt


Ben Chifley


John Curtin


Frank Forde


Robert Menzies


Andrew Fisher



Comet C/2017 K2  

Messier 65 and Messier 66 Galaxies (yep 2 Galaxies in one shot, about 35m light years away)

Southern Cross (as requested by Phantom)

call me Artie

I have no trailer on my hobby farm because I have no vehicle with a tow ball. But I have an old tractor with a basic draw bar so I made this old-fashioned farm sled to move heavy items around the place. Made mostly from found items left behind by the previous owners. I did have to buy the chains and shackles plus some bolts/screws etc.

Today I used it to move logs to be cut up later for firewood. Then to drag around some rocks I wanted to re-locate somewhere more aesthetic. It works amazingly well. The long runners slide over soft ground leaving less disturbance than a pair of heavily-loaded tyres. However, tight turns tend to leave pretty obvious gouges in the surface. So I avoid tight turns. You have to think ahead – reversing involves un-shackling the sled, taking the tractor around the back, shackling up again and dragging it backwards. The low load-height is good.

Thanks to the Bright Men’s Shed for the use of the metal-bending machine to make the sliders from found 6 mm x 75 mm MS strip

One day in autumn when the weather was not too cold I drove up to The Horn at the top of Mt Buffalo which is quite near my place. Here are three photos.



This one is for desmodromic…

I was twin-cylinder and single-cylinder crazy in the ’80s. Brit bikes mostly, but also Italian etc.

Here is a water-colour ink rendering of a custom bike I was planning to build back then based on a Duke 860 GTS. These days, I would do it all in Auto-Cad or similar and it would be much more realistic, but the old hand-painted rendering of concept has something nice, do you think?



Finally my stuff arrived from Australia, but the driver came alone and this piano is heavy. My plumbing days skills came into play to get it into the shed. Oh yeah didn’t even have a piano moving trolley. A few planks some old broom handle as rollers and an hour and a half. 😁

Brings out your sundries to

[email protected]



    • Hey Desmo, I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the build. You’re obviously a far better mechanic than I. When I bought my Le Mans, I was intending to get a Darmah (black & gold, of course), but the servicing put me off. No decent workshop myself at the time and something like $1200 for a major service from the mechanic I went back then (maybe that was his way of telling me “do not buy that bike”).
      So the Guzzi won. Especially from the angle that I can do a total rebuild with a couple of special tools to align the clutch plates, plus a rock and a cold chisel…

      • desmodromicMEMBER

        LeMon3, I wouldn’t describe myself as a mechanic. More biologist that has owned a bevel Ducati since 1976 and couldn’t afford to pay someone to work on the bike, so figured out how to do most of the necessary maintenance. I’m not much use on modern bikes or other brands but do know how to put a ‘bevel;’ together. Plus, I’ve had good guidance from people that know what they are doing. The only work I’ve taken to a specialist is work on the crank and new valve seats. To me, the engines are a thing of beauty and very reliable when set up properly. Oh, and they are a joy to ride as long as you remember that you are on skinny tyres and 1970s brakes.

  1. Know IdeaMEMBER

    Thanks Boom. That is stupendous. You must have thighs like tree trunks. (All natural, of course).

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      The skinnier and lighter I get the easier it is to get uphill on the 81er. Injured my elbow so have only got to the start of the hill and turned around. Used to climb it with 81 and 5tht up the cluster. Tomorrow morn will have a go at the hill in lower gear.
      How you progressing ?

  2. Camden HavenMEMBER

    Being in France the Aussie photos are particularly appreciated. And some great ingenuity on show too.

      • Camden HavenMEMBER

        Hi LeMon3
        The short answer is yes, it’s a process rather than an event.
        I am going to keep my job as a teacher in Oz and spend a lot of time here.
        It’s been really great here, loving the many things to do and see.

          • Camden HavenMEMBER

            Not sure, because I’m 64 now and the careers advisor gig I have is very good. I take my own advice and will hang on to my job I can have 3 years more leave without pay. Pay in France is quite low I believe.

  3. @Boom
    What’s with the huge chain ring on a twitchy bike?
    What is the wheel base on that bike.
    Looks to me like 15 1/2 inch chain stays and at best 1/2 inch of fork rake
    I’m guessing 74 deg seat and head angles
    Now don’t get me wrong, I love criterium race bikes, but I also like staying alive.

    • call me ArtieMEMBER

      Hi dodge.
      Re: 80 tooth ring
      Boom is legendary for his alternative (read that mashing the big gear) approach to cycling. It is non-negotiable and it’s sort of impressive, if a little contra-orthodox.
      Cervelos have fairly normal modern angles. I suspect the wide-angle lense has distorted the geometry in the photos. My old steel Colnago probably had more extreme angles than a modern carbon Cervelo (i.e. 74 deg head and seat, as you say)

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Impressive pic’s of Mt Buffalo. Afund from MB used to ride up there. Is there a preferred route for cyclists?. Have you ridden up there in the past?
        Know Idea
        Sorry for the missing pic inside crank and doubling up on another.
        The best thing about the big ring is I’m finally using the gears rather than staying in 11 and wearing them out having to source independent 11s all the time.
        Edit, looks like a few pics are missing .

        • call me ArtieMEMBER

          Hi Boom. Yes, I have ridden up Mt Buffalo. It was quite a few years ago. I recall it as being a nice climb, mostly steady gradients with a few steeper pinches. It’s incredibly popular with cyclists in the warm months. Most riders seem to target the Chalet as their destination and turn around there. Me too. The mountain goes higher and gets harder after that, eventually degenerating into a few km of ugly unsealed steep road to The Horn. I wouldn’t enjoy it on any road bike, maybe a gravel bike or MTB.
          I think the nastiest climb in Victoria would be a toss-up between the first 5 km out of Marysville towards Lake Mountain or Mt Baw Baw. Mt Baw Baw wins, I think

  4. Thanks gents, an eclectic collection of wonderful photos.

    The different artistic approaches to the PM busts are interesting. Black Jack McEwen’s was an extreme case. I do not think he was that featureless or dull.

    • I liked that the artists gave Little Johnnie No-Mates a good dose of smallpox and unleashed some kind of flesh eating bacteria on PJK…

  5. boomengineeringMEMBER

    With a name Dickensen sounding Danish I’m guessing you actually play that thing. Could I ask what type of music ?
    Know Idea,
    Back from my ride already, made it up the hill in low, being 64T. Not without elbow pain though (maybe the operation). The reason why the head stem was replaced with my strengthened version is that the original wouldn’t be able to handle the uplift force needed to keep the body in place, otherwise the cranks would stay where they were and body would just go up. In lower gears bodyweight is enough to counter the opposing force.
    btw any questions should be directed at Artie as he knows a lot more than I.
    dodgy as,
    Agreed, most dangerous sport I play. Everytime I throw the leg over, the question is will I come home in a pine box, hence the early mornings.. If the were any velodrome or criterium nearby I would never road ride again as I like it better and don’t get bored doing laps. have been to Adcock Park near the factory quite a few times. There are also criteriums at Manning Valley and Port Macquarie which some of the locals don’t know of.
    Curtailed my McCarrs due to being hit by car, front tyre blowout at 50-60klms, near miss’s. all on the way at Dee Why.

    • @boom
      Hey, don’t get me wrong, I still ride Mountain bikes on some of the most difficult tracks NSW has to offer.
      I was just looking at the pics of the bike and it looks to me like the steering will be very sensitive to weight position and that this inherent sensitivity is exacerbated by the huge chain ring and the large changes in forces associated with peddling big gears.
      That bike looks shorter than the twitchiest bike I’ve ever ridden (Ishiwata 015 frame), I loved that bike for the climb and hated it on the downhill, so many corners with the back wheel in the air that I felt like I was endo’ing a race bike. You also had to steer the bike out of the corner otherwise…well otherwise you’d end up on the ground.
      I just couldn’t imagine having big gears on that bike…..

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Very observant of you.
        I went for the my 2nd Cervelo as it looked strong and liked the aero handle bars for comfort. Previous bike make was hand made Campagnolo by John Bazelman in Perth late 1970s.
        Was going to cut out spokes in checker plate to lighten but just liked the look of it as was. Glad I didn’t as it is extremely smooth and a joy to ride. Can’t notice gear changes now but it previously didn’t like fast changes of chainrings.
        Btw fatique snapped the cross bar of the Campi so had to sleeve and braze it .

        • Ah Brazing Aluminum is something I’ve been meaning to ask you about.
          I’ve watched a bunch of Youtube videos and it seems to work great for an application that I have in mind.
          Unfortunately they say that the cheap Chinese Al brazing rods (you can buy on Ebay) are useless. Do you have any tips on where to buy good quality Al brazing rods in Australia?
          I tried at Bunnings and Sydney tool but neither place had any.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            That Campi was second light weight steel, wanted a stronger frame but the years caught up with it. Bronze or brass filler rod was used,can’t remember which.
            I prefer to tig weld alum and titanium because I have the equipment. Mostly not much wrong with Chinese filler rods so probably the wrong type/mix of rods were used by the complainant as there are many. The critical point of alum is ultra clean and do not grind as the silicon from the wheel will play havoc as well as turn welds black. Much easier to keep base metal clean tig welding as opposed to oxy.
            Will send pics next week of modifications of derailleur cage worked on today. All sorts of headwinds but sorted. Tomorrow will make bracket to give clearance to idler as 34T cluster not compatible for my Di2.

          • call me ArtieMEMBER

            Hi again Dodge.
            While bowing to Boom’s greater experience above, I must admit that I have never heard of brazing aluminium before. So I did some interweb investigations. As far as I can see, when the term brazing is applied to joining aluminium, it is used very loosely as there is not any actual brass involved. Bear in mind that I am only reporting what I found when I researched it quickly. It seems that brazing aluminium actually refers to using a very low melting point aluminium alloy filler rod which will melt and adhere to aluminium surfaces without having to actually raise those aluminium surfaces to melting point. If the aluminium stock was raised above melting point it would actually become welding. So it is a similar concept to true brazing where brass filler rod is used to join steel surfaces together at abut (I think) 1100 deg C
            Read about it here:

            Considering all the complications, I would possibly suggest that MIG (metal plus inert gas) welding might be your best choice. Sure, it raises the temp of the base metal higher, but it is robust and easier to learn the skills than is TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas)

          • @Arti
            here are a couple of videos that test this “brazing” technique
            The strength that they are getting is impressive for such a simple method. I’ve tried Tig and Mig but my skills just aren’t anywhere good enough to Tig thin Al and the Mig was a complete disaster, series of holes and rat droppings.

            The secret seems to be getting the rods to melt at close to 740C
            any higher and the Aluminum itself gets weakened too much.
            The Chinese rods don’t seem to flow until well above 900C .

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            The only reason to mig (thick) alum is speed. Unlike steel, mig alum is harder to get a good weld than tig.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Nearly forgot, the other thing on the Campi was always snapping crank axles.

    • Camden HavenMEMBER

      Boom, I’m a total hack at the piano but it was part of my reinventing myself from not that happy to very satisfied. So I cart this huge momento around with me. I can do simple Chopin on a good day.

  6. desmodromicMEMBER

    @Artie, love the custom build. Bevel-drive Ducati’s are elegant from the start and look good in whatever form they come. My first Ducati was a 1976 860 GT. It had springer heads and wasn’t particularly reliable. It was traded for my current bike in 1980.