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Member postings for ken king, King Design

Here is a list of all the postings ken king, King Design has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Honing gunmetal cylinders
25/01/2018 11:00:01

Hello again Bob. Annoyingly, unless one knows titles reasonably accurately, nothing comes up. I should have given you 'Quick,easy and effective bore polishing mops'. Hope this helps,


25/01/2018 10:51:44

Hello Bob, you may find this useful in achieving the surface finish you seek. I used it to polish some bores, using green buffing compound mixed with a little oil, but equally well you could use a different compound, such as superfine grinding paste if you are after a micro-scratch oil-retaining surface. A very short description can be found by searching for 'quick and effective bore polishing mop'.

Bore polishing mop

Fixing method

It comprises adhesive backed draught excluder and (in this case) a piece of broom handle, turned to about 3/16" smaller diameter than the bore. Spin the mop at modest speed in the lathe or drill, and feed the casting back and forth by hand, making sure of course that the mop is not too tight a fit.

Thread: beryllium copper compression spring needed
19/01/2018 14:29:48

Hello JohnF, I realise I haven't answered your question. The answer is - for superior corrosion resistance in a wet steam atmosphere and a most innaccessible part in a locomotive boiler. BeCu was suggested by the designer, and his choice is supported by my client, for whom I'm making the regulator valve assembly. Does anyone have an opinion on material choice ? 316 stainless for example ?


19/01/2018 14:22:08

Thanks for the various links chaps; Redditch seems to be a hotspot as far as exotic springs are concerned, and isn't it interesting to view the number of responses suggesting suppliers, compared to those related to Health and Safety concerns. Having been involved in H & S professionally years ago I know it's important to maintain a sense of proportion alongside sensible concerns. Reading Material Safety Data Sheets is a bit like dipping into a medical textbook; ne can quickly go from feeling fit as a fiddle, to being convinced there are all sorts of things about to go wrong.

18/01/2018 10:12:35

I need small beryllium copper compression springs, o.d in the range .125 - .250", in very small quantities.

Internet searches have been fruitless. Can anyone point me in the direction of a U.K. supplier please ? Alternatively, have you any experience of winding such springs yourself, in something like 24 - 26 SWG ?



Thread: Yet another three-phase motor question
04/01/2018 11:23:32

Hello all. Having read several of the related threads I'm pretty well confused about inverters, converters, static and rotary means of providing 240v 3-phase from domestic mains supply. Perhaps one of you gurus will be kind enough to point me in the direction of most cost-effective solution to the following problem.

I've acquired a benchtop sliding table saw with a LeRoy-Somer motor, type LST 71 69, of the following spec.

kW 0.55, ch? 0.75, rpm 3000, 50 Hz

I've moved copper links to change it from star (v420, A 1.25) to delta (v240, A 2.2) as given by the motor plate, and now need the means to feed it. Is a VFD, with the potential for speed variation, a better bet than some other device giving just a fixed speed ? I think single speed would be acceptable for my needs, though one never knows.

Your words of wisdom will be much appreciated, and sorry if I'm asking you to repeat advice already given to others,



Thread: A listing of potential helpers
20/12/2017 18:38:04


I would like to do that, as I used to. There's no 'dancing around semantics', or me failing 'to get it'.

The end.

My sincere wish for a Merry Christmas to one and all.

20/12/2017 14:17:47

Hello Michael,

I suspect you are not alone in wondering how I am coping with the flood of work coming in. Let me answer your question and by so doing, put into perspective for readers and Moderators alike, the scale of my operations.

Since starting the thread I have received ONE enquiry which has resulted in an order for some simple undercarriage legs; value - less than £100. This may or may not have been a result of the thread, but possibly from some other source, I don't know which.

I had one other enquiry from a gentleman who makes replacement parts for a well-known brand of sports car, asking if I might help with machining, but that looks unlikely.

That's it.

In the meantime, and completely unrelated, I've had a repeat request, from a long-established client , to machine a regulator casting and make some associated small parts; value again about £100. I also made some small parts for this client back in June.

Prior to that, the last job was for a modeller in Thailand, started in February, but only finished in July, as I was asked to work in stages to suit his pension budget.

Hardly the flood you and others were perhaps anticipating, but that is the activity level of this market. I will add that my empire comprises a shed 10' x 12', into which I have crammed my old Myford ML7, an equally old Centec mill, a workbench with vise and pillar drill, a tool cabinet, metal storage on shelves and in a filing cabinet, and other odds and ends. Hardly an industrial unit is it ?

I am awaiting an explanation of the glaring contradiction between Neil's rules specifying the use of free classifieds for private individuals selling their services (which is what I do) and the denial of those free classifieds to myself. I hope that by making it abundantly clear that I am indeed a very small operator the Moderators will accept that I am being unjustly penalised and have the courage to admit it.

Please note, this thread was not intended to be about me alone, hence my suggestion of a directory of potential helpers. I'm only trying to bring together those requiring help and those able to offer it .



20/12/2017 12:52:45

Certainly Michael, I suspect you are not alone in wondering how I'm coping with the flood of work; well, let me put things in perspective.

I have had one enquiry, which has resulted in an order for some simple U/C legs, total value less than £100, and another enquiry from a gentleman who makes spares for a well-known brand of sports car, and who wonders if I might be able to help with some machining. That looks unlikely.

As for my current workload, a repeat customer, first met with several years ago, has asked me to machine a regulator casting. This enquiry had nothing to do with exposure in the thread, and again is relatively low-cost. He also asked me to make some small parts, in June.

The previous job was for a modeller inTaiwan, enquiry in February, and completion in July after working in small stages to suit his budget.

That's it. As you must agree, not exactly a flood of enquiries, nor money coming in. I trust the Moderators will also take note and perhaps revise their assumptions about my 'large commercial undertaking'. My shed is 10' x 12' and into it I have squeezed my ML7, Centec mill, workbench 5' x 3', and a tool cabinet 4' x 2'. I also have a bench grinder, small pillar drill (on the workbench), and material racks on the wall. Quite an empire isn't it ?

I'm awaiting a response to my highlighting the glaring contradiction between the rules of Neil's 'help' thread, relating to use of free classifieds, and the way my use of them has been denied

19/12/2017 23:49:26

Jason has just mentioned the 'Help and Assistance' thread set up by Neil three months ago. Interestingly, if you read the associated 'sticky' spelling out the rules for its use it states :-

Quote - '(This thread is) a more formal place to offer or request assistance in the form of surplus tools, materials, advice, loans of use of specialist machinery or tooling, or even a practical helping hand.

The only rule is that this MUST NOT BE FOR FINANCIAL GAIN!

  • Private sales of good and services should be made using the free classifieds.
  • Commercial sales must be through proper adverts' - end of quote


ISN'T THIS WHERE I CAME IN ? I'm a private individual, what Paul Kemp called 'the fellow in his shed', not a commercial enterprise. I have a trading name as a hangover from my days as an engineering consultant, and Neil asked me, a couple of years ago, to attach it to my user name, because I charged the occasional user of my services. At that time my use of the free classifieds was not questioned, and my level of activity has not changed. The quote above confirms that the correct way for a private individual to sell (not give freely, but sell) his services, is through the free classifieds, so why am I now being denied this facility ?

The above rules were published just three months ago, yet Neil and Paul , for whom I have the greatest respect, seem intent upon ignoring them and instead enforcing a most inflexible and contrary attitude, and frankly, I can't understand why.

Come on chaps, we should all be trying to row in the same direction, making the hobby more enjoyable and fulfilling for all.

18/12/2017 20:32:15

Hello to John Flack, let harmony reign. We're all just expressing opinions, which is what we can do in a democracy. Who was it who said' I vehemently disagree with what you are saying, but I will defend to the death your right to say it', or words to that effect ?

I like the idea you put forward John, for a 'small suppliers' corner in the mag. It would do what I'm trying to do, that is, make it easier for those seeking help to find those who can help them.

All the best to you,


18/12/2017 00:53:16

Thanks to Phil H1 and Rik Shaw; it's true what they say about great minds, isn't it ?



18/12/2017 00:44:59

Jason, I thought I'd said my last, but you prompt me to reply. I fail to see what the 'size' of a job has to do with anything. I actually do very few jobs, and a good proportionof them are too small or ordinary to warrant a place in my albums. Therefore it is natural that my albums give a skewed picture of the scale of my activities.

What you failed to note was the long timescale over which those albums are spread, nor did you note that a good many are unique subjects for which no commercial supplier exists. I also have to point out that my business name is included in my user name because I was specifically asked to add it by a moderator quite some time ago.

Thanks for any referrals BTW,



17/12/2017 10:55:02

Well, that opened a can of worms, didn't it ? I have to repeat that some folk have lost sight of the actual question in the fog of their own righteous indignation. I think John Flack went a little too far in associating my position with handbag snatching, stabbing, and driving without tax and insurance. I live within the law, observe speed limits, try to be courteous to all, and helpful when appropriate. I'm just glad I don't inhabit HIS hidebound world, where individuality, eccentricity, innovation and budding entrepreneurship must be stifled at birth by red tape. Chacun a son gout.

My final word is that if the directory came into existence it would Not be like advertising, which thrusts itself into your face, whether you are interested or not. It would be accessed only by those actively seeking help of some kind, and if I were listed therein as charging for my services, alongside others offering theirs for nothing, well, the consumer could choose freely from those offering that which was needed. I'd be happy to take my chances on that basis.

I wish all readers a very merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year,



14/12/2017 20:00:56

Thanks to those who have taken the trouble to reply to my question ; 'Would it be advantageous to readers to have a small directory of those able and willing to help with projects, on whatever basis ?'

Apart from the first enthusiastic response, from Anthony Powell, the others seem to have lost sight of the actual question and just become somewhat self-righteous about my personal arrangement of offering help in return for payment.

I feel obliged to defend myself here. There is nothing dishonourable about charging for my time and any skills brought to bear, and those who contact me on that basis are free to reject my quotations, with no hard feelings, though not many do, I'm pleased to say. Not that I do a great deal of business, in fact you can count my 2017 clients on the fingers of one hand, and some of those are quite small jobs.

I do also offer a design and make service for odd items which are not commercially available, and have shown the progress of some through site blogs for the interest and perhaps information of readers. I have given free help on many occasions, and post some of my ideas on this site for the benefit of all. So please don't attempt to take the moral high ground with me, it simply displays a somewhat narrow-minded view. Much better to simply answer the question regarding a directory of helpers, in the interests of possibly improving services available to all readers.

Regards to you all,


Thread: I section metal
12/12/2017 10:56:54

Eric, you didn't specify a material, but I have seen Brass in I section, along with Tee and Angle in several model shops, but Eileen's does seem a good source, and one I didn't previously know of, so thanks for that,



Thread: A listing of potential helpers
12/12/2017 10:42:30

About a year and a half ago I was told I could no longer run my little ads (offering general help with machining, fitting, etc) in the 'Classifieds' sections on this website as it might upset some of the regular advertisers who offer specialised services and products, and pay for larger adverts in the magazine, something I cannot afford. Such advertising is an important source of income for the publishers and keeps the mag. solvent.

The background to this was that a very few unscrupulous manufacturers, including a boilermaking outfit, were using the website 'Classifieds' to avoid paying proper advertising fees, and thus gaining an unfair advantage over their competitors.

Fair enough, I could see that THAT needed to be stamped on, but as I repeatedly pointed out in emails to Neil, I am not a manufacturer, just an OAP supplementing pension income by offering any kind of workshop help to folks who need it, and for which I make a modest charge.

I suggested it might be useful for readers to have a small directory of people such as myself, offering any sort of help from their workshops, to those perhaps less well equipped or without sufficient time or certain skills. I envisaged that some would charge, whilst others might not; in either case it would be an easily accessible source of help to those in need of it.

It was all to no avail. Neil did take my suggestion to the Board, but it was rejected, which saddened me as not only did it cut me off from folk I might have helped (to our mutual advantage), but I felt an opportunity to introduce a genuinely valuable resource was being missed.

Perhaps I am mistaken. I should like to know what others think, both those who could offer help, on whatever basis, and those who have felt the need for it but didn't know where to turn. Is there a concensus of any sort ? Please post your opinions,



Thread: Big Ben
15/11/2017 10:44:33

Just getting back to the refurbishment project for a moment :- Are other readers as incensed as me (i ?) at the decision to silence Big Ben for four years "in order to protect the hearing of workmen". During said TV programme the presenter and expert stood within a few yards of the bell whilst it struck twelve. Of course they were wearing ear protection ! Has it not occurred to any of the bureaucrat numpties involved that similar protection could be supplied to the workmen - just as it is in many well-regulated noisy industrial situations ?

Thread: How to make one of these (hardened steel lever)
09/08/2016 09:53:44

Fold one up from M.S. plate, drill and tap, check fit, then case harden either just the four holes in tne vertical limbs, or the whole thing for a bit of extra stiffness. Make two while you're at it (won't take twice as long) and you're covered for life.

Thread: Which material spec's for boilers ?
04/08/2016 12:40:37

First of all a big thank you to all who generously contributed their time and knowledge to this thread. When I first posted my enquiry about materials I didn't expect such a flurry of responses, nor the wealth of information on boiler inspections and certification, an area of which I was woefully ignorant.

I've concluded that it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for me to successfully navigate such potentially stormy waters, and have therefore notified my friend/client that I cannot undertake to make his boiler. I expect several of you are sighing with relief, with some justification as I now understand.

Thanks again, and happy steam-raising to you all,


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