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Member postings for Brian John

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

Thread: Problem setting up stationary engine.
27/04/2014 05:15:46

There are no model engineering clubs in my area. I have already checked this because I was hoping to get somebody to teach me how to use a lathe. It looks like youtube for now when it comes to the lathe !

UPDATE : I assembled the engine and tried to run it off a small air pump but it would not work. I suspected that this air pump was not quite strong enough so I tried my air compressor which I use for the airbrush : SUCCESS ! The engine runs like a top and there is no ''clunk'' noise when it runs so it looks like that free play at TDC is not affecting anything at all. It really seemed like a problem when turning things by hand.

The nut holding the connecting rod to the crank does work it self loose after a few minutes so some Loctite 222 will be required ; it should arrive in the mail on Monday. I might also put a drop on the nut holding the piston rod to the piston as I would not want that to come off while it was running !

I managed to get the engine to run at less than 5 PSI ; sometimes it will even start without touching the flywheel. I have not yet sealed the grub screws in the port holes with thread sealant (Loctite 567) as per the instructions. I can feel air coming out of there so that should improve things a lot when I do that.

Thanks for all the advice.




Edited By Brian John on 27/04/2014 05:18:34

Edited By Brian John on 27/04/2014 05:47:47

26/04/2014 13:11:51

Neither the flywheel or eccentric is yet connected. There is too much play in the connecting rod/crank area at TDC. At TDC I can wiggle the crank and connecting rod back and forward a few degrees with no movement of the crosshead or piston. I do not think that this is correct but to be honest I am not sure. The loud ''clunk'' at this point is definitely not right !.



Edited By Brian John on 26/04/2014 13:57:04

26/04/2014 09:57:16

You are right, there is about 1mm of clearance at the end of each stroke. But no more than that, so there is not much room for further adjustments. I am certain that the problem is not with the piston anyway.

Tomorow I am going to try setting the valves and run it on air. I may as well see how bad the problem is when it is actually running.

Edited By Brian John on 26/04/2014 10:38:20

26/04/2014 05:07:07

I have tried turning the crosshead over and it made no difference. The clunk is caused by too much play in the crank/connecting rod area at TDC ; that is all I can think of and I have no idea how to remedy this. There is also quite a bit of play (but not as much) at BDC but no clunk noise. I switched cranks with an unmade 7BIM engine I am also building but it did not help.

I also tried shortening the piston rod by screwing it further into the cross head but there is little room to manoeuvre there. Only an adjustment of about 0.5 mm is possible and it did not remedy the problem. Any shorter and it will strike the bottom cylinder cover , any longer and it will strike the top cylinder cover.

25/04/2014 17:51:37

The cross head is not hitting the end of the slide.

The valve is okay ; it still makes this clunking noise when the valve and the eccentric is disconnected from the axle.

I do not have a video camera so I cannot post a video of the problem.

Yes, the crank can be turned a few degrees forward and backwards at TDC with no movement of the piston. This is where the clunking noise occurrs. They have made hundreds, if not thousands of these engines, so I am a bit reluctant to blame the machining. The problem must be in how I have set up the connecting rod ie. I must not have centred the piston correctly.

25/04/2014 13:08:37

No, the crosshead is nowehere near the gland nut.

25/04/2014 10:54:26

1. No, the piston is not knocking against the piston cover ; I have not put the piston cover on yet so as I can see TDC.

2. Jason : the nut holding the piston rod to the piston is not coming loose ; that is not the problem. It is the nut passing through the connecting rod to the crank which works itself loose.

3. I wil try to screw the connecting rod further into the cross head but last time I did this it made it too short and it would not reach BDC.

25/04/2014 05:48:39

I am building the 3BIM stationary engine by PM research ; this is my first attempt at building a steam engine. I thought I had set everything up correctly (including the valve) but I am still having problems setting the piston.

1. When it reaches TDC there is a loud clunk when turning by hand. There is also a lot of play in the crank at this point. At BDC, the change in direction is very smooth with no play in the crank. What do I need to do here ?

2. The nut that passes through the connecting rod into the crank also keeps coming loose. If anybody else has built this engine can you tell me if you had this problem too. I was thinking of putting some Loctite 222 on the nut to stop it coming loose but PM research have advised that Loctite should not be necessary.

Thread: How much steam oil in the cylinders when running on air ?
23/04/2014 14:12:53

Yes, I see some of those in-line oilers for air tools on ebay ; they are 1/4'' BSP. Could these not be used for live steam too ? They would be a cheaper alternative to displacement lubricators if the clear plastic can take the heat.

Edited By Brian John on 23/04/2014 14:14:39

Thread: How do I set up a Sieg C2 lathe ?
20/04/2014 09:55:55

Yes, there is a bolt passing right through the bottom of the pallet up into the lathe : no wonder I could not lift it out ! I will turn the whole thing on its side tomorrow and see what can be done.

Edited By Brian John on 20/04/2014 09:56:31

Thread: BA, ME, Metric Coarse or Imperial : which taps and dies to buy ?
20/04/2014 04:12:21

How about using light machine oil as the cutting compound ? I have been told that even butter will do in an emergency !

Thread: How do I set up a Sieg C2 lathe ?
19/04/2014 10:40:08

I suspect that it is bolted to the wooden pallet on which it sits. I still cannot budge it.

Perhaps I might go back to my original idea of placing the lathe on thick plywood or timber which is bolted across two good quality saw horses. I will sit when I use it.

Thread: BA, ME, Metric Coarse or Imperial : which taps and dies to buy ?
19/04/2014 10:32:26

I do like the idea of the taps being marked with circles to denote first and second tap with no circles on the bottom tap. Can somebody give me a specific brand name of HSS taps that are stamped like this ?

I still have not ruled out the idea of buying sets. If you can get a set from which you know for certain that you will use at least four or five sizes, then that will often work out cheaper than buying them individually.



Edited By Brian John on 19/04/2014 10:36:10

Thread: How much steam oil in the cylinders when running on air ?
19/04/2014 04:08:09

Both engines have two rings on the pistons.

Edited By Brian John on 19/04/2014 04:08:40

18/04/2014 14:19:03

After weeks of filing, drilling, tapping, sanding, priming and painting, I am finally ready to begin full assembly of the PM Research 3BIM and 7BIM stationary steam engines. All the parts were fitted to each other before painting so I know everything fits together.

1. When placing the pistons into the cylinders, should I put some steam oil in there ? When eventually running under steam I will be using displacement lubricators but I intend to run them in on air for now. I was thinking that a few drops into each cylinder would suffice.

2. Can steam oil also be used to lubricate the other moving parts or should I use a light machine oil for that ?


Edited By Brian John on 18/04/2014 14:21:29

Thread: How do I set up a Sieg C2 lathe ?
18/04/2014 05:20:23

The mini lathe website is great. My lathe is still in its box on the floor but I have now cleaned off most of the heavy grease. The lathe is enclosed in two pieces of foam ; the top half of the foam box lifts off and the machine rests very snugly in the bottom half. How can I lift this machine out ie. what can I safely grab hold of on the lathe ?

It may sound like a silly question but the lathe is very heavy (The consignment note says 50 kg) and I do not want to damage anything by using the wrong part of the machine as a lifting point. I also do not want to drop it on my foot !

Thread: Who has built the Sophie beam engine from Bengs (Germany) ?
18/04/2014 05:10:02

When I get the lathe set up, my first job will be to make a spindle handle. I thought all lathes came with such a thing but it looks like you have to make them yourself. It is such a useful thing for drilling and tapping etc.

I really want to build a beam engine but of course I will start with some scrap bar stock to get the feel of the lathe. There are also some pulleys and flywheels from PM Research in the US which are quite cheap.

Edited By Brian John on 18/04/2014 05:14:18

Thread: BA, ME, Metric Coarse or Imperial : which taps and dies to buy ?
18/04/2014 04:58:57

My carbon steel taps and dies have arrived from Tracy Tools : set of three in each of 1/8-40, 3/16-40 and 1/4-40. These will be used for plumbing/pipe work so carbon steel should be okay for brass and copper.

I thought the taper, second and bottom tap would be stamped as such but they are not. I also thought the bottom tap should have a flat bottom, not a point ? Have I been sent three of each of the same thing by mistake ?

(I did buy a 1/8-40 bottom tap from a local supplier last month and it is clearly marked on the box as a bottom tap ; it has a flat end, not a pointed end.)


Edited By Brian John on 18/04/2014 05:00:35

Thread: How do I set up a Sieg C2 lathe ?
16/04/2014 13:49:34

I have already cleaned off most of the heavy grease. I intend to purchase this folding workbench :


It is rated to hold 180 KG so it should do the job safely. Plus it should fit in the back of my two door Starlet !

I still canot find anybody near me who knows how to use a lathe. There are no model engineering groups in the area but is a great website. Thank you for that.

Edited By Brian John on 16/04/2014 13:50:56

Thread: Who has built the Sophie beam engine from Bengs (Germany) ?
16/04/2014 10:54:32

I often buy from the UK or the US anyway as it is often cheaper, even when postage costs are included.

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