Pushing on …

The beetle project is moving ahead and even here on the brink of the Easter holidays in South Africa the relentless push to drive the project forward continues.

We have new videos coming out soon, but just to keep everyone up to date from the Beetle trail.

Today, late in the afternoon before Good Friday most of the people in the Alrode Industrial area in the south of Johannesburg are walking or catching a bus to the nearby township of Thokoza.

Very little is open, anywhere.

Slightly desperate to get our last minute pre-Easter shopping list of pillow bearings and machine work done I was given an address by Craig Nast at Otmar machine tools who did some lovely machine work for us but was headed out for out with family. He said Werner Nast, his uncle, might be able give us a hand.

The closed factory streets were still. South Africa’s industries shut down for the Easter holidays and vast movements of people out of the megacity of Johannesburg mean an eerily quiet descends on usually busy and bustling places of work.

We are working through the holiday, so the last few days were spent procuring all sorts of parts that could never be found during the near week-long break of Easter. The last few linkage pieces to be cut were in the cab of with me in the old Toyota truck. Without them we can’t do our assembly and get the reactor running.

A smiling Werner at EJN was not only opening and answering the door himself but yes they were ready to help with last minute work before closing.

Marius Swart did the programing of hole-alignment work in short order and had the massive drill machine punching out perfect 8mm holes in a bath of drilling fluid. He has worked for 28 years as a Fitter and Turner and now is a qualified Setter and Programmer.

Today they helped us out at it very difficult time when the future of our build depends on being able to capitalize on the time during the Easter holidays to get good work done.

You can see Marius holding up the holes cut in the linkage, and the part being processed through the drilling machine.

These guys are really making the difference between success and failure, thanks Craig, Werner, Gerrie and Marius!