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Member postings for Bob Mc

Here is a list of all the postings Bob Mc has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Hot rail tracks
29/06/2018 18:28:05

I've got the same problem with hot lines meself...


Thread: What did you do Today 2018
11/06/2018 16:09:50

Cornish Jack mentioned Astro-tele-geeks..

I just made this fitting for a friends Skywatcher 5" Refractor... he had problems when trying to take photo's due to the commercially made fitting for a mobile phone camera, especially when he used a x2 Barlow which was quite difficult to adjust for distance from eyepiece and x.y lateral movements.

nb..the phone is not fitted in 'selfie' cradle as yet.


Astro scope camera fitting.

10/06/2018 20:00:56

Ha Ha.. thanks Sam..

...."One would assume that is quite a while since our warships had sail instead of engines..You must be knocking on a bit ".

The knocking on a bit is unfortunately true...! it should have read...'but I didn't work with engines' I did the gubbins for the radome thingummibobs.


10/06/2018 14:47:39

Thanks Ady...

yes that could explain it....funnily enough I worked on type 45's myself...but not with engines.


10/06/2018 12:03:53

I went to Blist industrial museum near Ironbridge, very interesting and lots to see and do.

I went to most of the exhibits and one in particular caught my attention .. the Hay Inclined Plane.. This was used to transfer material and small barges from a canal at the top of a hill down to the River Severn, a fall which would normally require around 27 locks.

The Inclined Plane is in effect like a funicular railway but when power was required to pull loads not balanced by the downward weight of another load a steam engine was used, the engine is long gone but some of the brick built housing is still there, I understand the engine built by Adam Heslop was a condensing one, but the thing I don't understand is that there appears to be two boilers...?

I have to admit that I do not have a great deal of knowledge about steam engines in general but could anyone explain why the need for two boilers..?

I found only one picture on the web a diorama at below... the two boilers are clearly seen and seem to be connected together.



Thread: Crayford Focuser
07/05/2018 06:55:17

Nice job John..

Thread: Gears and Gear Cutting - Ivan Law
20/04/2018 18:07:54

Thanks Neil..ha ha..!

now for rocket to fit the missus in..!!


20/04/2018 09:14:41

Thanks Michael G & Mark ... that clears it up ..

just in case you are wondering why the interest in bevel gears, I knocked up a simple drive mechanism for my 6" Newtonian binocular telescope which desperately needed some sort of Azimuth drive which didn't have to be accurate but would free up some manual control for adjusting collimation, focus and Altitude.

I used a clamp to fix the drive to the main vertical post of the ram which is required in order that the height of the eyepieces can be adjusted to suit the operator, however the Alt drive has to be disconnected when the ram is raised or the hydraulic ram would tear it to pieces .

Hence the picture of the clamp screw... I had little space to put the motor/gearbox so it had to be fitted vertically, which meant that the drive would need to be connected at 90deg to the motor drive and so a 90deg bevel gear was needed.

I purchased a small bevel gearbox which on arrival I thought might not be man enough, to my surprise it worked without failing, however the gearing could do with being reduced and made a little more robust, so I might have a go myself at making one.

see pics.dsc_0027a.jpgdsc_0161.jpgdsc_0162.jpgdsc_0163.jpg

19/04/2018 08:44:17

Hi all...

what is the error in Ivan's book as mentioned by Neil on 17/04/2018


Thread: Helping young people
12/03/2018 18:11:32

Thanks Andy, Daniel..

my opinion is that although there is very much a place for new technology in schools and as you point out this is what engineers would need in a technological environment but I can't help thinking it is all a bit one sided.

Is education all about fitting a person in place for a certain type of employment environment, should it not rather be a case of letting youngsters have a go at traditional skills as well where he or she would get a feel for the material and tools in their hands...hand and eye coordination.?

It might be that some youngsters would get excited about doing practical things but who knows if they don't get a chance..? I know I was.... I'm in agreement with you about asking a youngster to build a model be honest it is something I would struggle at myself along with many others, but there are lots of other things to be made.

I can only say that thank God I was educated in the 1960's, although my occupation for many years has been an electronics/communications engineer, at school we were introduced to pottery, woodwork, metalwork, even gardening and this has stood me in good stead when it came to doing things around the home and sometimes in the workplace.

I will say that these days we have a throw away society, for one thing the goods bought today seem to have built in redundancy and are engineered in order so no repair can be undertaken, but not all things are like this.

I was amazed when a very well educated chap moved in next door, a product of these new ideas of education, he wondered if I could put a mirror up for him on the wall..! one nail later it was done... then he had an ill fitting door which needed a little work with a 10 minutes job done...could I come round a fit a garden gate...? he had read the instructions and didn't want to bother me again, but couldn't fathom out why his drill bits wouldn't penetrate the bricks... to be honest it was if he had come from another planet!

Well I don't think my ramblings will alter things, to be honest I just think the real reason for not teaching traditional skills in schools is that it is much more cost effective to keep a healthy distance from them.


12/03/2018 14:31:28

Hi all...

Although it has been some time (4 yrs) since the last post on this thread which covered many aspects of the problems..but could anyone tell me if anything has changed..? do schools now have any more practical technology subjects apart from cooking? are there any more youngsters seen at Model Engineering shows?... are there any tv programs which feature model engineering? or practical skill programs aimed at youngsters..?

I am enquiring about this for my own interest and someone at the uk school of child education sciences who is doing a research project on the subject and seeks the opinions and/or experiences of model engineers and hopefully he will join the forum.

After visiting a number of Model Engineering shows I have to say it looked more like a Darby & Joan club meeting with older gentlemen in preponderance with very few youngsters, is there a connection between this and the running down of school interest in engineering skills..?


Thread: Comments??
08/02/2018 10:35:57

With thanks to Gracie Fields...

Sung: She's the girl that makes the thing that drills the hole
that holds the spring that drives the rod that turns the knob
that works the thing-ummy-bob.
She's the girl that makes the thing that holds the oil
that oils the ring that takes the shank that moves the crank
that works the thing-ummy-bob.


Thread: Mystery Screws
30/01/2018 19:36:23


I vaguely remember taking apart an engine many years ago and I am sure there was a magnetised ball bearing to pick up swarf fitted in the sump plug ..


Thread: Bosch IoT pedal lathe
24/01/2018 19:21:03

Hi All..

just seen this sent to me by a friend, I can't seem to get to the bottom of it but it does look like the old pedal driven lathe is no longer safe from electronic control.


Thread: Telescope adapter
05/01/2018 12:19:42

Hi Stephen..

had a look for anything I could adapt but have nothing suitable... will keep an eye open for you..


04/01/2018 20:05:13

Hi Stephen...

I have cut similar threads for my binocular telescope ... see pic below..

It would have been much easier to have a single larger diameter reflector and the Binoviewer ... believe me its a better option than a binocular scope!

To make the adapter would require machining a piece from the solid or better still a circular pipe fitting... will have a scout round in me junk box...but I am not saying I will make it for you ...

Will let you know tomorrow.



04/01/2018 19:01:02

Hi Stephen..

I had a similar problem with focussers I bought from China and I know how frustrating it can be...

what I don't understand is that you say one end of a 10mm tube is 71mm internal diameter and the other is a 42 mm male external diameter...?

My suggestion is that if you can buy the tubes with the threads cut in them, could you not cut each tube up and somehow fit them together which is a lot easier than cutting threads.


Thread: Gas detectors
06/12/2017 22:04:56

Thanks again to all who have replied...

I don't mind being put right on this one ... thanks Allan W for spelling it out.. I really do appreciate the responses and will now be ordering a gas det asap.... will make a nice Xmas pressie for the Missus...!!


06/12/2017 16:57:57

Thanks to all for your replies..

I don't know why I didn't see the 'gas detectors' as some of you have listed but it was a while ago since I looked..probably forgotten.... links much appreciated.

As I understand it then... the carbon monoxide detector will detect household gas but it is best to have a gas detector as well.

By the way the free fitting service is something to do with the Fire Service, if you are over 65 you are an 'At Risk' person, the chap who turned up checked exit points and gas installations and gave some tips on safety issues and fitted two detectors, I thought it was really good.

Again thanks for your replies.....


06/12/2017 13:09:52

Ok.. its not related to model engineering but perhaps there are some of you out there who might throw some light as to why I can't seem to find anything for household use which states it is a Gas detector/sensor.

I had a knock on the door and a real nice guy...a British Gas engineer told me that I was eligible for free fitting of carbon monoxide detectors ... all paid for.. "well put them in" says I; after he had gone I began to think.... isn't carbon monoxide what you get when some volatile vapour such as petrol is burned..?

This don't make sense now... but I admit I don't know much about these things.. I would have thought that carbon monoxide is what you get when perhaps there has been a gas leak and perhaps a room full of gas is ignited...and then carbon monoxide would be present and the detectors would alert me to the fact that the house has just blown up...!!!

Is carbon monoxide the same stuff as household gas itself...? don't know..

I would have thought that sensing a build up of gas would be more appropriate...but I hope to be educated....


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