I am just curious to know what method you guys use to seperate laminated shims. Is there a good trick to get the edge to delaminate to make it easier to peel the individual layers? My eyes ain't what they used to be.
I use a rasor blade to start it at the edge and then use either a pliars or my fingers to pull it off. Save it in case you need to add one thousandth in the future. I'm not sure how to do this if the eyes aren't good enough. Maybe you can mount a magnifying glass on a stand and hold it under to get a better view of it.
I use the edge of a new utility knife blade, and learned to work a corner of the laminated shim with the blade edge facing away from body parts...have the ever present scar of a gash to the bone over my right thumb knuckle to remind me of this ever important safety precaution when using the utility knife
I have heard that heat applied helps them separate on their own. Just small amount.
This could also be a great way to introduce a younger person to T's. Back when I was a kid, I would have gladly peeled shims for anyone one if they offered me a ride in their car. And of course lots of people will gladly help you out -- but they won't know you need the help if you do not ask them. Grandkids are great for this unless they are really young (I still have that scar from the pocket knife when I was learning to whittle at my Grandfather's. But hey -- it is still a great memory!)
And, if you think you will be doing the bearings again in the future, ask them to remove one layer and just start the edge of the next layer. You will still be able to bolt it together fine, but then next time the shim will already be started so you can remove it. You can add a layer back if you find out the clearance is not enough. If they are in hurry (most of us are these days) you could take a board or even a cardboard box, drive the nails in the board spaced out to represent the different bolts. Be sure to put Front – as it looks the same from either direction). Drop all the rods and place the shims over the appropriate nail to keep them in the correct order. Check for markings on the rod caps -- you want to put them back on the way and location they came off, then call your helper to come over. Have them remove one layer and start the corner for the next one and the corner of the other shim for the same rod. With the exception of when I ran the 1918 T low on oil and the rod started knocking – I’ve never had to remove more than one or two layers when I adjusted the bearings. That was a great opportunity for Dad to kill one dumb teenager (me) – but he chose to use the problem as an opportunity to teach me how to rebuild the engine. And it was a “win-win” – he had a better educated son (I’ve always checked the oil in all the cars since then) and the T ran much better after we worked on it. So for all normal adjustments I’ve only had to remove one or at the most two (one from each side) layers to bring it back into an acceptable range.
Caution: Unrelated stray thought / idea (occasionally some of them are even good) – what if our club started a “Model T Apprentice Program”? A list of basic items for a new apprentice – i.e. demonstrate how to check the oil, water, tire pressure, start and drive the car, etc. A next level with items like how adjust bands, change oil, adjust timing, or whatever.
Advanced – adjust bearings, rebuild engine, rebuild rear axle, rebuild front axle, etc. (and yes rebuilt correctly -- not just put together and painted for static display).
And present certificates as the experience is obtained. Find folks that are willing to volunteer to take the extra time to train/show the apprentice how things are done (anyone could the simple items but rebuilding the engine would require an engine, a location, tools, and knowledge of how to do it.
That might actually help facilitate getting some of us old folks (gosh – never thought I’d admit that – but I’ve been talking with a potential son-in-law and boy do I feel old) to share some of the information that was previously shared with us. And it might help increase the number of running Ts as well as new knowledgeable future owners.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
That's an Apeeling idea!
(OK first pun of '09!)
A propane torch works great for doing this. Past the torch back and forth. You will see the shim change color and it will be loose. No need trying to use a razor blade.
I've used the single edge razor blade method as long as i've been peelin' shims. Trouble is, I have trouble seeing what I'm peeling. I'm trying to cheat, Norman.
Hap, your Idea is a great one. I learned to "take up" and fit bearings over forty years ago. There were plenty of pre 54 -chevs around with babbit rods. As I think back on the great (and patient) mechanics that shared their tricks with me when I was a kid, I realize how many skills pass into oblivion with every generation.
Trouble is, with all the stuff have to occupy their minds, there is a lot of competition for kids interest. When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time hanging around the old guys, wiping off their tools, asking them questions, and even peeling their shims. This hobby needs more young blood.
Shawn, I'm going to try your propane torch trick real soon. That sounds like the answer.
I save any peeled off shims for future use and use a micrometer to measure their thickness, then mark the thickness reading on the shims with a felt tip pen for future use. You would be surprised at how they very in thickness though one would think each peeling would be the same due to manufacture. I've had some single layers measure between a 1/2 thousands to 1.5 thousands and everwhere in between....Michael Pawelek