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Member postings for vic francis

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

27/09/2020 22:25:59

Hi Noel you say that the engine is 25 years old, would that be-the original boiler? If so is there sufficient life in the boiler to merit tube removal? ? When was the last test/cert issued?

Thread: Taking Leave
18/09/2020 21:01:09

Hi Andrew, I do hope you reconsider; your knowledge, skills, are of the highest order; as well your explanations. It would be a sad loss to the forum if you did not contribute anymore. You are right to feel upset, and perhaps lockdown has made people more caustic with their comments. I had it on fb, but The Forum is very valuable to the hobby.If you only got one thing wrong , well that is a tiny percentage of your total output on here! Which is remarkable considering the different topics you have knowledge on.

I quite like looking at Professor Simon on utube; he had a Engineering problem on threads ( lathework his new hobby) I was pleased to give him a helping hand ; I had found one thing he did not know! Compared to his deep knowledge and abilities which I can only guess; but shared knowledge is very valuable , even more to The Forum...

kind regards


Thread: New member saying hello
17/09/2020 08:04:29

Hi Jason, welcome to the forum; just thought I would mention that if ever you get the urge to make a miniature model of one of your motorcycles , then I can help out with information; for there have been some super models made especially in 1/4 and1/3 scales of originals... such as Bert Whites acme blackburn,les Worthington's bsa gold star , honda cbx, gs550 Suzuki,Douglas dragonfly engine, bill connors ajs famous engines, Jim Gough’s Vincent nero drag bike ....or rc variants like Mr Bridges 1/4 scale Lambretta...


Thread: Which Milling machine and what is its footprint?
16/09/2020 08:57:14

Hi Roger, Well I thought I would mention that yes that is a slight failing of the south-bend lathe of no slotted crosslide, however i remember seeing a casting and drawings marketed some years ago to correct this. However The boxford slotted cross slide would be a close fit.... besides you have a mill coming which is superior to lathe milling ops.... even so, i would still dispose of it; simply as sheet metal work needs alot of room to process from 1/2 or 1/4 sheet stock size both from the front and to the rear, not to mention cranking the handle! I have found that they need to be permanently fixed down or move horribly under cranking the handle. Most likely your one would need to be 90 to the wall for access...they are no good on castors...!

Its true the drummond in capable hands can produce good work eg lbsc/ David Curwen but the area it takes ? Versus how much use argument. Locos have a fair amount of sheet metal work...

Another factor to consider is future needs... one chap( in a me article)had declining health and modified his workshop for wheelchair access... the first machine to be sold was by the door entrance...I see you have had covid and are feeling weak, I have seen this before with illness and recovery can be in years or other symptoms of tiredness now being reported after covid unfortunately so it maybe seating is factored in while working...Whatever you do good luck!

15/09/2020 07:22:00

Hi Roger, The trouble with home workshops is that it needs to match what you intend to build, with your loco interest, I see that sheet metal fabrication or metal heating is not catered for. My thought would be to dump the Drummond! And use the valuable space for the above!besides the Southbend is far superior machine tool and can do everything and more than the drummond... noting its rather unsupported lathe mandrel , which surely is for ornamental turning work? .are two lathes really necessary? sometimes a ruthless approach is best! Rather than collective...To change things later with access limitations would be very difficult. Just my thoughts and observations.

Thread: PYRTE Traction engine build nearing completion, but basic question
15/08/2020 13:57:44

Hi Ken , look at Keith Appletons superb videos on boiler testing , much easier than words! On utube ;

pm sent!

kind regards


Edited By vic francis on 15/08/2020 13:59:08

Thread: Plastic and Paper Models
30/07/2020 20:47:58

Great work and thanks for the sharing of ideas , love the carbon fibre work decals!

Paper modelling ; Eric Best’s traction engine about 1.5 inch scale, 1/8 full size of a Wallis and Stevens road loco was of such quality that no one knew it was card by looking at the model visually. I remember seeing on the web a card modeller on formula 1 collection ... wow stunning...

keep the good work up👍

30/07/2020 20:45:08

Great work and thanks for the sharing of ideas , love the carbon fibre work decals!

Paper modelling ; Eric Best’s traction engine about 1.5 inch scale, 1/8 full size of a Wallis and Stevens road loco was of such quality that no one knew it was card by looking at the model visually. I remember seeing on the web a card modeller on formula 1 collection ... wow stunning...

keep the good work up👍

Thread: Science Museum needs help identifying mystery objects
25/07/2020 09:33:07

Hi I accept that, however I think that perhaps if it had been scanned first and posted online first the original author would have preferred the idea! rather than as a exhibit or stored one. Unfortunately with google scanning procedures involves cutting into singular pages... however its value lies in what it contains , and its free access; so even if it just ended up on display exhibit with covers... it might be a small place to pay.

Personally Henry Maudsley’s lathe should be on Display; or even Mr Robert’s Planer.... as Important Early machine tools; unfortunately they are not but in store.

During the school holidays I stayed with my Grandparents who lived near the sea; on one of my outings I walked out on a concrete causeway which extended out the sea and was for small boat landings ect; At the end i looked over its edge and saw a perfectly preserved Prehistoric axe head , with its distinctive outline in the grey mud! I was delighted by the find!! Treasure almost.😮 I took it to Junior School and did a “project” on it, however a Teacher expressed doubt about its purpose and thought it might be a natural Rock shard ; My Mother then carted me upto the Natural History Museum , and duly found the Curator who took delight in saying Yes it is genuine! From the pressure flaking of the edges ... it was man made.He also said it was a fine example and they would like it for the Museum; Thus my Axe head was proudly displayed in the School display cabinet ( Locked) with my Project doodles! At the end my project was returned; but unfortunately minus the Axe doubt a rotten Teacher has it “mothballed “somewhere! The Museum cheated out of it!

Kind regards


Thread: Boiler
24/07/2020 14:11:29

Yes Fine boilers! You was lucky! I had a boiler ( and looking for history) as inspected by Brandon smee; but after a very long correspondence; it seems the records were destroyed by a fire!! Maybe their fire safety is the same as their testing! 🤪



24/07/2020 14:10:28

Yes Fine boilers! You was lucky! I had a boiler ( and looking for history) as inspected by Brandon smee; but after a very long correspondence; it seems the records were destroyed by a fire!! Maybe their fire safety is the same as their testing! 🤪



Thread: Fortis lathe rebuild-at long last
24/07/2020 14:03:34

Hi soaking in paraffin or oil is good but you need the application of heat! This cycle needs to be repeated 2 or three times! In fact last week I had two! a seized wheels on axles (2 inch clayton ) , not moved for maybe 20 years... wd plus heat , then leave for a day ; took three attempts both now free!



Thread: Science Museum needs help identifying mystery objects
24/07/2020 13:36:01
Posted by Martin Connelly on 21/07/2020 17:58:27:

Peter, I have donated an item to the Science Museum when it was no longer wanted. It is in one of the galleries now with my name as the donor. It was used after 1995 so not just an old find from the loft.

Martin C

Hi, I am not sure it is worth donating anything to the Science Museum; from what I have seen they have only a fraction on display, the rest is blythe house, and wroughton storage. What the point of just mothballing? It is hard to get access if not on display.... True it is a great place. Just the Academics who run it so poorly in my opinion.There is more gallery space for entertainment than exhibits unfortunately.



Thread: 7 1/4 BR Brake Van Drawings Wanted
19/06/2020 23:21:16

hi its vol 186/ 187 of Me, ok its not a Br one but the basic structure could be used.. I made one; regards vic

19/06/2020 23:16:55
Posted by Brian Baker 1 on 19/06/2020 07:41:07:

Greetings, I think Doug Hewson did detailed drawings for a 5 inch gauge brake van, which were published a while ago.



Hi , Keith Wilson Did a series in the Model Engineer on building the gwr Toad brake van in 7 1/4 g... i think i have it somewhere.



Thread: Wooden Gears
14/06/2020 16:26:30

Wow great project! Well when he returns to school see the Design Technology technician; most likely the school should have a laser cutter or possibly cnc router... if so explain your project and take a drawing to get them interested! As laser cutter will cut lite ply to 5mm , if you draw your gears ( search the web for a gear catalogue) and use their line cad drawing of suitable gear( thanks Jason))... it should be possible to enlarge or reduce the dxf drawing on school Techsoft software or the laser cam software : then laminate together after cutting and preferably do the central bore for the shafts to the centre and perhaps a small hole offset for a dowel pin so that the gears sandwich together and teeth arrange in rows! Which helps on assembly

The whole gear assembly could be given a coat of cellulose dope to toughen the fibres!

No need for lignum or hornbeam ( I have used it; too hard to work) and feel it would be to hard to use for a young person unless supervised and access to equipment.

Incidentally I have seen 3d printed gears which may work... but think wood best. Same for Flywheel!

It depends upon what scale the model is being made at? But the thread suggestion above is possible ie air running! Or electric motor...

Great Project.



Thread: Transport for Live Steaming
06/06/2020 09:33:41

Wow! Fantastic, on the back of the crane driver it says over 35 years experience! And it shows... great work Werner👍Another observation ; let your garden return to nature = productive work on your engine!

Thread: Yorkshire Steam Wagon Drawings ???
03/06/2020 21:24:20

Hi yes that is the 3 inch Suffolk Dredging tractor boiler by John Haining... I think Darren is making in a bigger scale and instead of copper as the John Haining design is using steel fabricaton... Darren has all of my info from Bob ect.

Certainly the boiler is a impressive part of this wagon design. The Yorkshire wagon was adapted to many uses ... from Gulley cleaners, crane jib lifting, cylindrical tank container, brewery platform, box removal type too many to list!

Thread: Using large dies
03/06/2020 20:05:08

Hi interesting answers. a couple of weeks ago I had to make a 6tpi 60 degree worm for a model traction engine which had unfortunately dropped off in transit... after a few trials to determine the size ect changewheel setting I cut it:however I out of all if the machine die chasers I did not have a 6tpi so ordered a unc set of four off off ebay for 10 quid ex coventry type most likely for pipe... if you use one of these in a spring tool holder that will give you the correct form after sc roughing out...( grind some of the teeth off) no need for die nuts and 3 shredded wheats... however screwcutting is hard on motors and switch gear... err anyone got a spare brooks motor!? Good luck!

Thread: Yorkshire Steam Wagon Drawings ???
03/06/2020 19:41:44
Posted by duncan webster on 28/05/2020 12:03:15:
Posted by Darren Conway on 28/05/2020 03:16:58:



I am producing files to a 4" scale but with CAD it is easy to scale the drawings.

I hadn't considered selling the drawings.


I'd have a word with whoever you got them from before you do, there might be copyright issues, even giving them away.

This comment above needs to be ignored for who has enforced copyright infringement for original drawings which are 100 years old!! especially as the Company is not in existence. Darren’s new cad drawings are his own work; and a new scaled version... the economic loss argument does not apply to infringement.I think The Hunslet Company would be pleased to see their design honoured in miniature form.

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