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Member postings for Phil H1

Here is a list of all the postings Phil H1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Stephensons Valve Gear
28/10/2019 16:47:09


Yes I am also puzzled because I see the same information about black mild steel being so stable on this site over and over again but it is not my experience.

Typically, it has happened when the edge of a rectangular bar has been skimmed (along its edge) or the face of a plate has been skimmed - almost exactly what you might expect of BMS. Another case was when I was trying to get 'clean' bright steel by filing a face of a 1" wide by 1/8" thick piece of black steel about 6" long. I achieved a nice clean shiny surface but it was banana shaped by about 1/16".

My point is that distortion can occur - it is not completely stable.

Phil H

28/10/2019 14:24:05


Great input and very helpful but I must issue a warning about distortion on steel.

Black mild steel very definitely distorts when machined. It might be less likely to distort than BMS but it sure does suffer depending on the geometry. However, I have never found an issue with restraightening black or bright mild steel.

Phil H

Thread: I am a metal sculptor and happy to be here!
07/10/2019 16:38:18


Welcome. Your English is fine and your sculptures are superb.

I'd be really interested to learn about the techniques you are currently using please?

Phil H

Thread: Cylinder Cladding
30/09/2019 21:21:39

Thanks for the information Geoff/ Baz.

The wood fixed with epoxy looks like a good plan. Also, I have just thought that I could also try a few trial bends with some narrow strips of brass first of all. That might help to position the sharp folds at both ends of the curved bit before I risk wasting the full width strips.

I will try to post the results over the next week or two.


Phil H

30/09/2019 18:49:27


I am about to make some cladding for the cylinders shown in this shot. The outer diameter of the cylinder is 1 1/2" and I plan to use 25 thousands of an inch thick brass. I have 2 questions for the people with all the knowledge as follows;

1. What material can be used to fill the central 'void' to help support the finished brass sheeting?

2. I plan to make a simple wooden former to bend the sheet around. Do I need to reduce the diameter of the former slightly so that the finished sheet is a nice tight fit around the cylinder. If so, what 'spring back' allowance should I try?

Thanks in advance,

Phil H


Thread: Boiler build abandoned !
27/09/2019 14:39:29


I would do as you have suggested and go and see your inspector/other club members before you scrap it. They might agree that you have a real problem but I have read quite a few articles on this site and others where first time boiler builders have a similar leak chasing problem. The few that I have read usually succeed in the end with a bit of help and encouragement.

Also, perhaps put the boiler down for a day or two and think about all the work you have put in so far before you sign your cheque (probably for about £1000ish++++?). A bit of help, propane and plenty of flux might fix it.

I have a similar Rob Roy boiler issue (see my pictures). My snag is that I built mine 20 odd years ago to the early book and drawing set and some features have changed. I need to fit some extra bushes etc - so that might be fun.

Phil H

Thread: Stephensons Valve Gear
26/09/2019 18:39:42

Thanks Nick,

The rest of the motion (pivots on the eccentric rods etc) recommends steel to steel contact with case hardened ends and simple steel pivots. How does that hold up? For example, a bit of watch making would be required but small bearings could be fitted.

Phil H

26/09/2019 17:00:44

I am currently building a 3 1/2" locomotive with Stephenson's valve gear and I am just a bit curious about the weighshaft and more specifically its bearings.

The bearings seem to be very well engineered (bronze bearings fitted into the 1/8" steel frames etc). I can understand the need to keep the mechanism nice and snug but do these bearings really see much wear?

Phil H

Thread: Chester Champion 16V Milling Machine head 'dropping'
14/09/2019 17:05:35

An update on the juddering during the lowering of my Champion 16V milling head;

I lowered the head gently onto a block of wood with the spindle quill fully retracted and locked. Note that I hardly tightened the lead screw - I was very gentle with it. However, this allowed me to tighten the gib strip screw - about 1/4 of a full rotation.

The gib screw was previously very tight so I assume the lowering of the head onto the wood twisted the head by a few thousands of an inch upwards - as Dave suggested above. The dropping/ juddering behaviour has completely disappeared and the slide is nice and smooth (for now).

Phil H

Thread: Protecting mild steel
18/08/2019 14:21:13

I have just removed the tarnish off a small steam engine and coated the parts in metalguard as Bill has done. One of steel parts is flame blued for a nice contrast.

I quite like bare or blued steels. A huge number of sins can be covered up with filler and paint.

Phil H

Thread: Black Oxide coating
12/08/2019 16:52:09

Ill try a few test components with a flame because last time I did this, I used new engine oil and the result is a lovely dark blue colour - but then I must admit to being a bit colour blind.

Ill will also check to see what happens with brass and steel mixed because nobody has reported back. Lets see what happens.

Phil H

12/08/2019 09:55:50

Slightly different question but on the same theme..... I have flame blued steel successfully (dunked in clean engine oil by the way) but I have never tried to 'blue' a mixed steel and brass assembly. Has anybody tried it? Does the brass just go dull?

Phil H

Thread: Boiler testers and material verification
07/08/2019 21:31:28

1. You try your best to buy the right copper and the right bronze - usually from a model suppliers.

2. Bronze definitely looks different to brass. I don't wish to bring sexism into this or be dismissive but my wife has zero technical training and she can tell the difference.

3. Quality assurance ISO 9000? - what bo****s!! Don't bother going there because the questions never stop e.g., how do you know the model supplier received the right stuff, have they sold the right stuff from the right pile and did you pick up the right bar when you did the machining? If you have the certificates - well done frame them but I have no idea how they will help.

Phil H

Thread: Any uses for an old tired lathe bed
03/08/2019 19:47:11

David/ Peter,

Do you have an idea (perhaps from measurements with straight edges and feelers etc) how much wear is on the bed you have? Peter, how much wear was on your S7 bed scraping exercise before you started?

Phil H

Thread: Angle grinders - Dangerous or not
18/07/2019 10:15:35

Well something isn't quite right with the angle grinder demonstration at the start of this thread.

About 6 years ago, a chap was unfortunately killed on a construction site associated with the company I was working for. I don't know the exact accident sequence but it was an angle grinder and a cutting disc. He was unfortunately killed when the cutting disc disintegrated. They are dangerous.

Phil H

Thread: Myford Super 7 Spindle Lock
10/07/2019 09:39:23

Howard/ David, The lathe is from about 1975 but has hardly ever been used. The genuine Bernard chucks supplied with the machine seem to be very stiff on the spindle nose. Perhaps a few more hundred chuck changes and it will be fine just gripping the belt.

Bill Ellis/ Soundgrounder, Thanks. Ill have a look at the manual. I honestly didn't realise it already had one.

John, thanks I wasn't aware of the google search thing. Ill use that in future.

Bill Pudney, Yep you have misunderstood - Myford really do seem to be far superior. They've thought of everything. Spindle lock located!!!!

Thanks Martin. I'm pretty good but I don't know everything.

Phil H

09/07/2019 18:30:03

I suspect this has been done to death but I can't get anything useful from a search.

The Suggested way to remove a screwed chuck is to grip the belt and unscrew. No chance - not on my Super 7!! Are there any good, simple designs out there for a spindle lock without resorting to the backgear?

Phil H

Thread: Do you clean your workshop at the end of the day?
28/06/2019 17:47:06

I try to do about a weeks work - say 40 hours (which could be over several days or even a couple of weeks), then put all the tools away and sweep up etc.

Thread: Superheaters in the Firebox
28/06/2019 13:01:28


Of course you are right but I like to see Julian's contributions. Yes they can be a bit blunt at times but it is absolutely clear that he has more than a rough idea how to build and operate live steam locomotives. I have not yet completed 1 steam locomotive and I would be more than happy to receive comments from him.

As for the designers you have listed, I know myself (as an ex designer) that any designer who can't take a bit of criticism isn't worth much. They would probably agree with half the comments made against their designs.

Phil H

Thread: Beginners question (sorry) - why I am breaking my small centre drills?
23/05/2019 17:42:43


A couple of possibilities;

The end of a new piece of silver steel is often hard and either needs to be heated and slowly cooled or the first 10mm cut off with a hacksaw before machining. You might already know that because you say that your larger centre drills are fine?

I once bought a couple of duff small centre drills that wouldn't cut - so are yours ok? You could check by using one on something like aluminium or brass - just to check it cuts ok.

Yep, very often, small centre drills are run too slow and they struggle - so you could as you suggest look at the speed. Lubrication helps but a quick dip with a centre drill shouldn't need that much - i.e., a quick squirt of oil of coolant if you have it.

Phil H

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