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Member postings for CotswoldsPhil

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

Thread: PGK's 1" Minnie
23/05/2016 09:24:44
Posted by pgk pgk on 23/05/2016 08:29:56:

Where I've laid a piece of solder along a seam prior to heating and left the flux wet then I've had the solder peice dislodged by the extra bubbling/steam. I'm not quite confident (yet) at judging matters for just applying by solder rod.

Hi pgk pgk,

For my limited experiments (so far) and taking on board what I have read elsewhere, I use a soft flame to first warm the work and dry the flux (driving off the water). Where I've placed bits of solder which get displaced, I just push them back with a pointed implement or, if it's just one, hold it in place whilst the steam escapes. Once the flux is dry, wind up the heat and get on with the soldering.



Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 23/05/2016 09:25:30

07/05/2016 10:18:58

Hi pgk pgk,

I'm following your progress with great interest.

Please keep up the narrative, there are probably dozens of boilers out there waiting to be completed.

The Minnie shown in my avatar, is built around a commercial boiler bought from Reeves in the early 70's when I was struggling just as you are. My intention, however, is to complete the boiler that was started way back.

I had managed to silver-solder the barrel, wrapper (C24), pump-pad and thickening pads with some help at night-school, but then failed miserably when I attempted the firebox on my own. I was following Mr Mason's instructions including a hearth made from an oil barrel using coke (the fuel derived from coal) for refractory material . I just kept exhausting the flux, which I think was Thessco F, because I was just too slow at getting heat into the components and not helped by the torch blowing out without warning. I remember that the instructions included turning the firebox over and doing both plates at one setting, more easily said than done.

Julian mentions an important point, in that the recommendation is for the firebox to be left open at the back so that that when the boiler is assembled it gives access to the stays for silver-soldering from inside with propane. I had enough trouble with the flame going out when just wafting it around in the hearth, let alone inside a closed firebox.

I've now completed a lot of test pieces, albeit small ones, so my next big event will be the firebox wrapper and tube-plate, when I can drum up the enthusiasm.



Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 07/05/2016 10:32:57

Thread: creating an album
05/04/2016 21:11:28

Hi Frank,

I'm pleased you got a result. Odd that Jason was able to upload a very large photo, perhaps it's to do with different Broadband connections - mine is not the fastest available.


05/04/2016 16:52:20

I've had similar problems which I think were caused by trying to upload files which were too big (data) . I reduced the quality of the images (jpg / 65% I think) to make them smaller and up they went.

I'm sure its been mentioned by Neil somewhere.


Thread: Blowtorches - bullfinch 1210 & 1240
31/03/2016 18:56:25

My attempts at a Minnie boiler some years ago, even just the firebox, following Mr Mason's instructions, failed miserably with a 38 dia. Bullfinch 1250 12.6kw torch. My next attempt will be with a Sievert 45kw power burner at a minimum.

Another problem I had was the flame going out at critical moments through lack of oxygen in the work area.

Phil H

Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 31/03/2016 18:58:34

Thread: Windows 10 - A Warning
28/03/2016 11:20:23

I will be trying Linux shortly but only after installing a new/clean Solid State Drive (SSD). That way I can go back (to Win 8.1 without complication) if I decide to, by swapping drives. This will also allow me to test the speed of an SSD and Linux.

Another spare drive (originally Win 7) was upgraded to Win 10 for initial test purposes, so I won't miss out when the "Free Offer" runs out.

My desktop still runs XP with my legacy programs and is not even connected to the Router / Internet.


Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 28/03/2016 11:25:23

28/03/2016 11:04:27

Windows 8.1 is nearly as bad - my laptop is often found running flat out - running Window Modules Helper Installer?

The laptop (Win 8.1) also seems to be getting slower - maybe MS's way of pushing me towards a Win 10 upgrade - no thanks.

Mozilla's Firefox and Thunderbird are also going the same way.

What beats me, is that non of the environmentalists have mentioned the amount of energy consumed around the world whilst all this updating is being distributed / installed.


Thread: Brian's 1" Minnie Traction Engine
18/01/2016 10:53:20

Hi Brian,

I apologise in advance if any of the following smacks of "teaching granny to suck eggs", it is just my experience of building a Minnie in my workshop . smiley

Glad you have found a solution to your boiler construction issues, can't do much to a TE without the boiler.

The horn-plates should be bolted to the completed boiler before marking out the horn-plates. So this may give you an enforced break.

When I did the setting-out on the horn-plates, I did use the book's description (facing pg. 48) of a gear depthing tool, (not much else available to ME's at the time - DRO's 1970's?). The alternative being toolmakers buttons.

Once I had the crank-centre marked on both plates, I removed the horn-plates, aligned them and riveted them together using rivets in the waste area before marking out the rest. The pair of plates were then treated as a single item for marking-out / machining.

Make sure that the centre-points on the pins of your depthing tool are as accurate as possible (a job for the collet chuck?), and that the holes for the pins are perpendicular to the arms and that the pins are as short as practically possible, one pin projecting more that the other to compensate for the thickness of one arm. They do look a little long in the illustration.

You will need a spacer, to bring the pair of gears being meshed onto the same plane. It does test your marking out skills. I first drilled / reamed 1/4" holes to test the mesh of the gears on the actual horn-plates. You can then dial-in each 1/4" hole and finally drill / ream to size. Tool-makers buttons or DRO's make much of this procedure unnecessary of course.


Phil H

Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 18/01/2016 10:54:59

Thread: Web Browsers
15/01/2016 11:38:17

+1 Firefox all day and every day

In settings turn off "allow third party cookies" and set it to "clear cookies" when you close it.

You may get the odd web-site that protests - especially links from Google Ads.

You could also install Ghostery - shows you all the tracking stuff in websites, this site has just 2 - Facebook and Google Analytics


Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 15/01/2016 11:57:18

Thread: What Did You Do Today (2016)
14/01/2016 19:57:55

Hi Steve,

Problem is with washing piling up from a young family, priority is skewed to getting access to a working machine.



Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 14/01/2016 19:58:20

Thread: drying out of flux / prefluxing of silver solder.
14/01/2016 16:15:01

Hi Julian,

The shell - barrel, throat-plate and wrapper were silver soldered with C4 the best part of 40 years ago, with some help at night-school. The shell has remained in the cupboard since then, having failed to get any farther with a firebox. I managed to buy a boiler from Reeves (in Moseley, remember them) at the time, to continue construction of my Minnie.

I hope with some new found knowledge to complete the boiler, so that I can say I built the complete engine. I will be joining the local club for moral and practical support. Not least of which is how to implement the requirement for two boiler feeds on this engine with just a single pump.



14/01/2016 14:10:36

i know of at least 3 3.5"g Britannia LBSC boilers that have had cracked throatplate to barrel seams because the joint has been silver soldered as opposed to sifbronzed as per the original design. an extremely disheartening and costly experience for those involved

Hi Julian,

This has become a very interesting thread...

The throat-plate to bottom-of-barrel joint on the Minnie TE boiler is just a silver-soldered butt joint as designed by Mr Mason. Could this be considered as a weak point especially as there will be some stress here in a TE boiler?



Thread: What Did You Do Today (2016)
14/01/2016 13:36:53


I think I'm trying to make a general point:

Our suppliers generally do a good job of replacing faulty items found on receipt, as shown by the numerous posts on here.

Not sure how any guarantee might work, as in your case. I once had a washing machine (premium brand) that died in month 13 - supplier/manufacturer - not interested at all.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated case for me, within the last 2 weeks; I've had, from different suppliers, a damaged centre in a RT tail-stock (poor packing), a faulty Indexing Kit for the ubiquitous 4" Rotary table and now 8 "Dixon" type QCTH's which don't seem to relate to any specification at all, even within the same supplier, see other post "QCTH a Couple of Questions".

The tail-stock was replaced without question and I decided to investigate the faulty Indexing kit:

Once assembled on the RT, the plunger would not reach the plate, the plunger is held in the arm with a grub-screw but the plunger was stuck-fast part way into its location hole and it was clear to see that the end of the plunger had been beaten with a hammer, most likely to "help" the plunger into some sort of position.


Thinking that I'm likely to get the same if replaced; I set to and reduced the diameter of the plunger housing so that it was a slip-fit in the hole. Success and no need to wait in again for a replacement.

Neil, you suggest that prices would rise if better quality control was implemented. Manufacturing inspection (in-process and final) still costs much the same.

If manufacturing staff had the authority / training to reject faulty parts at the earliest opportunity, savings could be made at next to no cost.

Fact: It costs more to produce scrap than fit-for-purpose items:-

1) Wasted raw material
2) Wasted machine time
3) Wasted energy
4) Wasted packaging and time
5) Wasted storage and transport
6) Wasted picking and packing for sale
7) Wasted delivery costs
8) Lost of confidence by customer receiving faulty goods (very hard to recover, if at all, as in John's case with the chuck)
9) Potential loss of Life-Time-Value of Customer (total in John's case)
10) Cost of Customer Service time sorting out the problem
11) Cost of return to supplier
12) Cost of rejection inspection
13) Cost of replacement item
14) Cost of hiring a skip for waste disposal

Yes, I know I'm hi$$ing in the wind; but I'm off to the workshop now its had chance to warm up.

I've got one more QCTH to linish so that it fits my tool-post - the process might be a candidate for Bodger's Lodge!

Then I can sort the RT fixings for my new shiny chuck.



Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 14/01/2016 13:40:09

13/01/2016 22:19:42


I'm not saying that suppliers should carry out an inspection, they select manufacturers according to their criteria for acceptable quality levels. The problem (in this case) lies with the manufacturer. Basic manufacturing quality control should not have allowed this chuck (part) to even get to finishing/packing. The chuck is from a perceived premium brand who make a point of quality control as an attribute of the company.

I accept that some faults will filter through the supply chain and our suppliers generally sort them out; in this case very well, but this fault was so obvious it was almost beyond a joke.





Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 13/01/2016 22:22:00

13/01/2016 20:53:52
Posted by Roger Provins 2 on 13/01/2016 20:49:44:

Did you have to pay the return postage for the faulty chuck?

No the supplier provided a return label.


Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 13/01/2016 20:57:10

13/01/2016 20:47:08

I spent the day on here waiting for the delivery of a replacement chuck from one of our suppliers. I'm not going to mention any names (they know who they are if they monitor the Forum). The faulty chuck should never have passed even a casual visual inspection, never mind a final inspection after manufacture/assembly, which must have been done by hand.

There was no argument about the fault and a replacement was swiftly sent by return, following return of the faulty one, carriage paid. But, how do I cost up the inconvenience of taking the faulty one to the post-office for return and then having to wait in again for another delivery?

This just reinforces my belief that we, the end users, are being used as final quality inspectors. Some will accept the quality offered, others will not.

I appreciate that margins are tight in our marketplace but obvious visible faults should have no place.


Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 13/01/2016 20:56:29

Thread: drying out of flux / prefluxing of silver solder.
13/01/2016 20:19:25

Hi Julian,

All very encouraging, I think I need to obtain a Sievert 2943; the largest I have at the moment is a 2942 at 26kw. Would you recommend a long neck tube?

It was Bill who mentioned keeping the flame off the flux. I was looking to obtain an informed response which you supplied, thank you. I have Keith's articles (from EIM) which are very informative.



13/01/2016 19:32:18

Posted by Bill Dawes on 13/01/2016 18:45:31:.

.........I seem to struggle with is complying with the 'rule' of keeping the flame away from the flux/solder,

Bill D.

Is it really possible, or necessary, to keep the flame away from the flux? Keith's mantra (Cup-Alloys) about letting the work melt the silver solder once the flux has gone clear worked very well for me on my test pieces, moving the flame away to apply the silver solder. In Julian's photo of the fluxed up back-head nestling in the Thermalite blocks, keeping the flame off the flux would be impossible.


Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 13/01/2016 19:42:55

Thread: Brian's 1" Minnie Traction Engine
13/01/2016 19:11:43

Hi Brian,

My engine, for what it's worth, took the best part of 40 years to complete (it still needs painting) between work and family commitments, slow-downs in the manner which you describe and other diversions. The last slow-down was caused by commercially available steering chains which kept on breaking, until I bit the bullet and came up with a method to manufacture and silver solder each link of the 18 inches of steering chain required for the engine.

Keep smiling it is just a hobby after all.




Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 13/01/2016 19:12:51

Thread: drying out of flux / prefluxing of silver solder.
13/01/2016 13:03:56

Hi Julian,

Thanks for your reply - your album does tell a story.

The Sievert 2943 at 43.5 kw is, according to my research, <> 3.5 times the output of the Bullfinch 1250 that I used in my first failed efforts on a Minnie firebox, perhaps I am getting nearer to understanding what will be required to complete the boiler.



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