Paul Brodie – Building the Whippet Part II

February 21st, 2012

Following on from his previous article Paul Brodie kindly sent us a second article further detailing the rebuild of the 1888 Whippet at Flashback Fabrications. Enjoy :D

Hi. Paul Brodie here. This is the 2nd installment in a series detailing how the 1888 Whippet came together. This bike will be shown at NAHBS March 2-4, 2012. It falls a bit outside of “regular framebuilding” because so many of the components have to be created from basically nothing. My lathe, milling machine, digital readout, and rotary table got used a lot! What I’m making here is the Scissor Linkage, pictured below >

I’ve taken some 5/8″ flat cold rolled steel, marked out the shape, rough cut it in the bandsaw, drilled (2) holes, and now the ends are having a smooth radius cut with an endmill. The holder is mounted in a 3 jaw chuck, on top of the rotary table >

The ends are now smooth, and I’ve drilled (3) holes and marked material to be removed with a red felt pen. The piece of cardboard is my template; that’s all I’m working from. No fancy Autocad drawings to get this bike done! Next step is to carefully use the vertical bandsaw to remove the metal between the lines >

Each linkage piece is now put back in the mill vise and a 1/4″ endmill used to finish the slot. It needs to be quite precise as the (2) linkage pieces have to fit together well.

A larger endmill is used to shape the other end. Note the feeler gauge being used with another small piece of steel (not seen..) to prevent the end being held from “squeezing in”. This allows the vise to hold the linkage securely >

This is the finished Scissor Linkage after a bit of filing and polishing. It will get bead blasted and sent out for Electroless Nickel plating, which is a very nice finish. I hope you have enjoyed this installment of how things get made in my shop.
Paul Brodie


  1. Giles Pargiter wrote,

    That is very good work that you are doing and it is good to see it being done. I can’t help thinking however that the part you have manufactured here and very likely quite a number of other components would be more easily made by forging them? Would that not be a more authentic method of manufacture? Their are techniques for making hinge and scissor fits very snug this way. With the critical pivot points accurate although outside dimensions varying slightly.
    I really do not want to criticise your work as I appreciate their are different techniques to achieve the same thing and one invariably as a matter of necessity/preference will use modern techniques.
    I’am very pleased to see you are doing it, must be very satisfying for you as well.

    Comment on 21 February 2012 @ 23:07

  2. Simon wrote,

    Seriously Giles? You have your head firmly stuck where the sun doesn’t shine.

    A more authentic method of manufacture? Are you mad?

    You remind me of that story of two farmers leaning over a gate watching their mate dig a hole with a JCB. One farmer says… “See that digger cutting that hole? well its doing 10 guys with shovels out of a job. The other farmer replies, “well those 10 guys with shovels were doing 100 guys with spoons out of a job.” To which the first farmer responds “well those 100 guys with spoons were doing 1000 guys with tooth picks out of a job.”

    Get with the program, Giles. Paul has done some beautiful work. Why cant you just be nice and say so?

    Comment on 22 February 2012 @ 13:31

  3. d_love wrote,

    I agree… altough these parts were defineitely forged it would have been more painstaking to manufacture the forgings just to produce a more “authentic” replica. Forgings is more economically sound if you have mass manufacturing in mind.

    Comment on 23 February 2012 @ 03:49

  4. Paul Brodie – Building the Whippet Part III – Brake Lever | Retrobike wrote,

    [...] width=”175″ class=”left” />Following on from his previous articles Paul Brodie kindly sent us a second article further detailing the rebuild of the 1888 Whippet at [...]

    Pingback on 29 February 2012 @ 13:36

  5. Simon wrote,


    Top marks young man! Excellent work.

    Comment on 1 March 2012 @ 10:38

  6. Defconfunck wrote,

    @ Giles Pargiter. How Paul has made this is how it would have been made original. Even when things where cast they had to and still do need to be machined. If anything the only difference between today’s machining and veteran years machining is CNC technology and Carbide cutting tools witch only speed up a process. Hats off to Paul’s machining and work holding skills I say, And that’s from a engineer that has had 6 years programming and machining under his belt. Top job Mr Brody Fred Dibnah would be proud!

    Comment on 7 March 2012 @ 17:41

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