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Member postings for richard markham

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

Thread: Ally Pally Exhibition
18/01/2020 15:00:59

Just returned from Ally Pally.

It's been many many years since I last went to the model engineering exhibition.

I must admit, I was rather un-impressed. It's a pain to get to unless you live near. 2 and a half hours drive each way for me, which was, fortunately a great run, no traffic problems, but I wonder if putting it outside London might make it easier to get to and maybe cheaper for exhibitors to attend?

It seems to be a LOT smaller than I remember. Has it been gradually shrinking? I was done and dusted in an hour and a half!

Lots of punters though. It was getting very busy by 11am.

Didn't see much in the way of CNC or 3d printing.

Models on the SMEE stand were outstanding.

Shame so little was running. I didn't see any stationary engines going.

Good if you are looking for odd bits of material or odd bits of tooling, but not sure if bargains could be had.

Thread: Suppliers of brass, aluminium, bronze etc
10/12/2019 23:16:12
Posted by Rockingdodge on 10/12/2019 22:24:05:

M-Machine have a good range at reasonable prices and comes well packed, I get most of my needs from there.

Usual disclaimer as it seems that's required these days. wink


Thanks Roger! That's quite a list!

10/12/2019 22:14:27

Any recommendations for buying small quantities of bar/plate/tube etc for my first build. (Don't have much of a stockpile yet)

Usually I just get bits and bobs from ebay or metals4u or the metal store.

Back in the day I used to get stuff from Whistons, but they seem to have vanished many moons ago.

Aluminium warehouse seems to have a reasonable selection.

Anywhere else I should look?

I'm in Dorset UK.

Thread: Beginners models
10/12/2019 11:38:14
Posted by Stuart Smith 5 on 10/12/2019 10:22:40:

I have just started my first engine. I decided to build the Muncaster from Jason's recent series in ME magazine.

The only casting is the flywheel which I bought from Lee on eBay as per Jason's link.

I have only made a few parts so far, but I am learning a lot. Progress so dar:


Looking good Stuart, the Muncater is a fine looking engine.

I'm going to start with Gerry's Beam Engine. I have had a good look at the drawings and 3d cad model. Read a few constuction posts. Sadly the photobucket fiasco has ruined a lot of the photos... (I'd love to have been a fly on the wall at that business planning meeting)

09/12/2019 22:47:10
Posted by JasonB on 09/12/2019 18:12:49:

If you fancy something mostly from barstock to keep the cost down then The Jowitt that I described in this thread is not too complicated for a beginner.

Or there is the Muncaster that has just been serialised in ME, details here

The Jowitt is a nice little engine! 8 evenings and 4 weekends to make? That's good going!

Both links seem to point to the same article... will search for the Muncaster. Found it! Really lovely looking engine. Love the columns.

09/12/2019 22:28:15
Posted by CHARLES lipscombe on 09/12/2019 21:56:09:

Following on from SOD's posting, there is a"Hybrid" way of holding work using collets that I learned from another thread some time ago. If you buy a Stevensons' collet block from ARC Trading, you can mount this in a 4-Jaw chuck and use collets to hold the work. This dodge has saved me hours when mounting repetitive jobs to run true.

Just one of the many things I have learned from the forum

Usual disclaimer re Arc Trading, Chas

Just ordered a hex and a square one of these.... I found them while googling ER32 collet holders. Simple idea and economical.

09/12/2019 16:55:50
Posted by Jez on 09/12/2019 16:46:00:

I built "Tina" from GLR Kennions. Decent sized model, and was serialised in Model Engineer by Stan Bray. Castings aren't too expensive in the grand scheme of things (IMHO) at £180 for the set including drawings.

Link to information: Tina

There's also a vertical boiler to match which was also in ME I think.


Thanks Jez, nice looking engine. Thier boiler is really nice too.

08/12/2019 11:16:22
Posted by Russell Eberhardt on 08/12/2019 10:24:26:

Collets are certainly not necessary although they do help.

I built Tubal Cain's beam engine Mary as my first model. Following Tubal Cain's book made it very easy with just a lathe (and no collets).



That is very impressive, especially for a first model!

I'm not sure I'm ready to commit to £430 worth of castings just yet!

08/12/2019 10:09:03
Posted by Lainchy on 07/12/2019 20:20:37:

I started with a couple of Chiltern Model Steam models... their Beam Engine, and a Marine Single. The don't require machining, but plenty of polishing and fitting... some painting etc. Very reasonably priced too if bought direct. Their single cylinder models are around £140, and the beam about 400, but they do make nice models that steam well, or run on air of course.

Enjoy whatever route you take

Edited By Lainchy on 07/12/2019 20:22:17

Thanks for all the suggestions!

I really fancy a beam engine and I found the Chiltern one. Great as a bolt together kit.

I've been on HMEM and found Gerry's Beam engine too with looks like a great model and loads of people have made it, so there's lots of experience and photos showing the machining ops.

I am metric, so metric plans help too. Also found the cad drawings for it so I can get back into Fusion360, which I started learning a while ago and have probably forgotten now!

I have a gantry style CNC mill as well as an old Elliott 00 omni mill and a Harrison M300 lathe. The Elliott has DRO but the lathe doesn't.

I have a dividing head for the Elliott, so that will come in handy.

One thing I have noticed is that most people use collets on the lathe, especially for small shafts, rods etc. I only have a big old 3 jaw and 4 jaw. A set of Burnerd Collets is pricey. Are collets essential or is there a slightly cheaper way to go? The CNC has an ER20 collet chuck, so maybe I can find an adaptor for the M300 to take ER20 or go to an ER32.

07/12/2019 19:06:06

Looking for some suggestions for beginners stationary steam models.

Ideally somethnig that is not tiny, my mill and lathe are not 'model engineer' size, and ideally something that doesn't require hundreds of £££'s of castings.

Is the Tubal Cain book worth starting with...


Thread: Harrison M300 half nut adjustment
18/03/2019 09:59:34
Posted by Hopper on 18/03/2019 09:45:48:

I would assume that when thread cutting, the backlash should be low enough to allow you to run the tool back up while still engaged with the thread? Or is that expecting too much?

Oh goodness no. One should always withdraw the tool before returning the carriage . A certain amount of backlash in the gears is inevitable -- in fact essential -- and will damage your neophyte thread if the tool is not withdrawn.

Thought so, but wasn't sure if a new nut/lead screw would mean it wasn't necessary.

18/03/2019 08:10:28

Hi David,

Thanks for the info.

Not sure the year, I'd have to check, but probably 1980's. I bought it used in the 90's.

Surprising that theres adjustment on the cross-slide and not the saddle, but hey ho.

I read about making half nuts in delrin by molding the nut onto the leadscrew which you heat up!

I would assume that when thread cutting, the backlash should be low enough to allow you to run the tool back up while still engaged with the thread? Or is that expecting too much?

17/03/2019 23:47:20

Does anyone know if there is any adjustment in the halfnut on a Harrison M300?

Nothing shown in the rather thin manual...

I have noticed quite a lot of backlash when thread cutting. When I reverse the machine, it takes a while to take up the slack.

Thread: Adding a DRO to my mill
07/12/2017 18:01:49

Finally fitted all the chip guards.

Question for anyone reading this, who has a Chinese DRO: What does the RI button do?

Manual says:

RI: Find RI

Function: prompt set the size of Zero and RI

Example: for x

1. clear the x as ABS, press Xo RI -> X

3.move the machine tool when it come by the RI

I have no idea what this is supposed to do!

05/12/2017 18:50:07
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 05/12/2017 18:13:34:
Posted by richard markham on 05/12/2017 17:16:19:


The display box seems to need setting to default every so often for some reason. HXX gave me a series of button presses to try but it still fails to start up sometimes. Works fine after resetting to defaults.

That sounds like the DRO's losing backup power for internal memory when the mains is switched off. When mains power is available again a Reset restores sanity by overwriting the internal memory with factory defaults. You're unlikely to end up owning a brick because of the problem. Annoying though. Couple of things to try:

  • There may be a battery providing backup power that's either faulty or come loose in transit. As the whole unit may be faulty you probably shouldn't take it apart, but sometimes batteries can be replaced via a cover on the back of the case. Worth checking.
  • Computer based units occasionally lose their marbles due to loose connectors. Also worth checking that all the plugs and sockets are seated correctly and the cabling can't flap about.

Some equipments use a big capacitor rather than a battery to provide standby power. Fixing them is usually a solder job. I wouldn't mess with it unless the unit was out of warranty.


Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 05/12/2017 18:14:04

My thoughts too, but HXX told me there is no battery.

It probably has flash memory or eeprom which don't need any backup power.

I did wonder if there was mains noise corrupting the memory, but the earth is good and there's no dodgy earth potential.

It's possible the psu inside is not powering up cleanly and the processor isn't coming out of reset properly.

I will see if HXX have any other ideas. They are the actual manufacturer of the DRO, so they should know what's going on.

It's annoying as once it's going, it works fine.

05/12/2017 17:29:27

Still need to add chip shields, but here are some pics:





05/12/2017 17:16:19

Just finished fitting the scales.

Fairly easy to do, X was easy as the table is nice and flat and has a handy T slot along the front.

Y was not too bad, I used the Y leadscrew nut holder bolts to hold the slider bracket.

Z was more awkward as the side of the machine is not flat. I put two studs in and mounted onto those. The top stud went into the oil reservoir but it stopped leaking once I got the stud in and tightened up!

The display box seems to need setting to default every so often for some reason. HXX gave me a series of button presses to try but it still fails to start up sometimes. Works fine after resetting to defaults.

15/11/2017 17:29:37

Story so far:

X and Y fitted and working. The sliding part of the scale is very sensitive to flex in the brackets, but in use these have no load on them, so they should never flex in use.

The DRO display unit did nothing out of the box, the display came up but no buttons and no readout. I found the secret setup button and entered the password and found the set default command.

Once I did this, it started working fine.

Next day, same thing happened, no action initially until I reset the default...

No idea why.

I'm waiting to see what HXX say about this.

I slightly misjudged the Y travel by about 8mm, so I will have to stagger the bracket by 8 mm.

10/11/2017 17:18:03

I am assuming that when fitting, it's best to keep the 'open' side of the scale down and in the z axis, pointing backwards to avoid getting crap inside.

The scales have rubber seals, but better to be safe than sorry.

I think I will put the Z scale on the knee rather than the quill as I would only move the quill for drilling.

I will probably strip off the original cross feed stuff to make some room for the X scale at the front of the table.

I did wonder about using some rare earth magnets to hold the scales on, instead of drilling and tapping but to much risk of moving something out of alignment.

Careful adjustment needed to ensure that the scale is square to the moving axis.

Any pointers would be welcome!

10/11/2017 16:39:13
Posted by mark smith 20 on 10/11/2017 12:09:34:

Hi Richard can i ask how you paid for them?? Paypal? As it never seems to be offered in listings on aliexpress.

Credit card.

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