Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Jigs...'n' reels...

My very good bloggin' chum, Iain Robinson, has mentioned the use of jigs for making roof vent louvre packs for one of his buildings and he showed a reluctance.  I can understand that as we professionals seem to think we should be able to make anything by eye.  On the whole, we can, but repeats of anything, do tend to make some sort of jig a necessity.

For me, I had to give best to the notions of jiggery when I made the 1/12th scale Maserati "Birdcage" chassis as the front suspension and engine mounts were abstractly in mid air somewhere, so something had to be built to hold the right parts in the right three-dimensional place relevant to all else.

The 4 prong thingy on the left is for holding the engine mounts in place and the prong-fitted brass plate is to allow the steering rack fixings to be in exactly the right place as the rack actually works.

Then there was the front end of the McLaren M8F monocoque.  Now that was as abstract a lump as they get.
Looking at this lot now, I cannot believe I invested so much rare and expensive wood in one jig!
But...it seems to have worked.

It actually saves a vast amount of time and IS the professional thing to do after all.  At the time I had a bigger response to the pesky jigs, than the models!
I really would love the time to finish that McLaren. It's all in a box in a cupboard, the book full of sketches is still there, but unintelligible and somewhere I even have a real McLaren rear upright somewhere!  Alas the real car is long gone to Holland and I have very few photos left from those days...  But it would be a good pension pot addition, I suppose.  The man from Bonham's once told me around £13,000 when finished, but I doubt models are fetching that these days.


  1. DUDE ! That always amazes me.
    BTW what's the little box thing that don't open afore the first photo, yet after the text?

  2. That 1/12th scale chassis for the Maserati is a work of art. So are your jigs...very impressive. I have to keep telling myself, jigs save time :-)

  3. Thanks chaps. Rich, it seems to open as a blog traffic page! I never knew!

    Iain, thanks I think they do, as long as you don't fuss about with them. They need to do a single job once, then they go in the drawer. If they do a job more than once, they're tooling! And they then save a LOT of time.