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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: Assembling laser cut cabs
04/06/2020 17:09:45

A chap from the club just down the road from me has built a superb version of Lion in 7 1/4" gauge. He used steel for the tender tank. When asked about corrosion, he said he would give it a coat of Hammerite to seal and protect it!!

Phil H

04/06/2020 13:16:02

By the way, I thought about buying the laser cut tank kits for Rob Roy but I am thinking of doing them using thicker brass with traditional angle and but joints. I will use the tinned parts and consider the oven tip (when my wife is out - tricky at the moment).

Phil H.

04/06/2020 13:10:15

I asked a similar question on a 3 1/2" gauge Betty locomotive tender because I was concerned about heat distortion of the platework.

These were the tips I received - by the way, I haven't tried any of them yet;

1. Try and get some lead solder with a low melt point because the newer lead free variety has a higher melting temperature. The higher the temperature, the greater the distortion risk. You can still get hold of it from some suppliers.

2. Tin the parts first and check that brass angle is truly 90 degrees - sometimes it isn't.

3. One tip included assembling the parts, painting it with solder paste and at least pre-warming the assembly in a domestic oven. Take the wrapped parts out of the oven and use an electric iron to run along the joints. Put it back in the oven between sections and return it to the cooling oven after you have finished so the whole assembly cools down at the same rate - hence preventing distortion.

I am also building Rob Roy and the cabs and tanks of the real don't appear to have lines of snap head rivets on the outside. The smokebox and buffer beams appear to be heavily riveted but the platework appears to be flush.

Another tip. Take care if you rivet the plates with the snap heads on the inside of the platework. My Betty tender was done like that in accordance with the so called words and music and a very neat job has been done of it. Unfortunately, even very careful riveting from the previous builder has left a very noticeable 'dimple' on the outside of the platework at every single rivet position. It can probably be put right with car body filler but it is something else to bear in mind.

Phil H

Thread: LBSC 3.5" "Maisie" - steam regulator valve assembly
02/06/2020 08:57:14


I've just checked my LBSC Betty regulator drawing and I sorry to say that it doesn't help. It looks completely different.

Phil H

Thread: LBSC 3.5" "Maisie"
02/06/2020 08:51:32

Oh I see. On the bright side, it looks like your boiler was soundly built (from what we can see). Do you know whether the boiler had any stamped lettering - indicating a pressure test? And or do you know its history?

01/06/2020 13:09:03

Why not check it over to make sure there are no botched, soft solder repairs and give it a pressure test?

Thread: Surface Plate & Height Gauge recommendations
31/05/2020 11:51:48

My main interest is steam engines and locomotives - so toolroom equipment doesn't appear to be necessary.

I have a granite chopping board from Wilkos (about A3 size) but I did splash out on a decent vernier height gauge. I use the small milling table to keep locomotive frames aligned.

Thread: LBSC 3.5" "Maisie"
30/05/2020 12:21:38

OK, so there is no usual risk of public running.

Going back to the boiler structure. Can you tell if I am correct i.e., has it all been silver soldered? The side stays look like they are copper snap head rivets silver soldered on both sides - or have they been threaded with high temperature soft solder?

Phil H

30/05/2020 10:19:29


Sorry, I assumed that you were in the UK.

Let us assume you do repair it and get it running. How and where do you plan to run it e.g., do you have a large enough garden for a track?

Phil H

Thread: Bird (feathered variety) expert(s) wanted.
30/05/2020 10:12:54

Sorry to veer off a bit but a bird of prey (a bird with a sharp beak) landed on the neighbours fence a few weeks ago and just sat there as if he or she owned the place. It was about 1 foot tall, dark brown wings and a dark brown breast. I am sure it wasn't a buzzard.

Was it a sparrow hawk?

I live in the middle of a typical housing estate with fields about 200m away.

Phil H

Thread: LBSC 3.5" "Maisie"
29/05/2020 14:32:20


Difficult to tell for certain but that looks like it is fully silver soldered because the side stays look like snap head rivets? I suspect you know this but it needs to be seen by your local inspector before you go any further (difficult at the moment I know).

The chassis in the background looks nice.

A soft soldered repair - if it is soft soldered repair might have a hard time with your inspector.

Phil H

29/05/2020 12:44:19


Not sure about the cellulose bit - I can't spot that at the moment but yes, chipping the paint to reveal the brass lettering is one of his suggestions. All a bit crude but he built quite a few engines and got them running - and did quite a few drawings too.

Andrew, perhaps Bogus will be back to confirm but I am reading this the same way as Nick i.e., this thread is all referring to some thin brass cosmetic cladding that has been soldered over the top of the boiler.

Phil H

29/05/2020 11:10:09

Got there before me Nick.

29/05/2020 11:08:02


LBSC possibly did not intend either lagging or outer cladding to be used!!! Hence your issue with the smokebox and boiler diameter.

I have the drawings, description and parts for 'Betty'. Betty is also a 3 1/2" gauge LBSC designed locomotive. This is a short extract from the construction notes;

'No lagging is needed over the boiler barrel, but a sheet of very thin brass or copper can be put over the firebox to hide the stayheads'. The text continues - 'Boiler bands, which hold the lagging sheets on a full size engine, can be made from narrow spring steel'. The description also suggests that thin strips of brass could be used instead of the spring steel.

Obviously LBSC didn't always see the need for the outer sheeting and insulation apart from the cosmetic covering of the firebox area. Well at least that's what he thought for Betty and I have seen other quotes suggesting that he employed this method for quite a few of his other locomotive designs.

He also describes cleaning the engine down with petrol (outside the house of course) before painting it with green Valspar paint. I assume that meant paint directly onto the copper boiler shell!!

So it looks like you have a couple of options. If the outer boiler shell is clear of dings and prangs - you could take the LBSC approach, you could put the cosmetic outer sheeting directly onto the boiler with a very thin insulation sheet underneath or you could accept insulation that brings the boiler sheeting to a diameter greater than the smokebox.

I haven't done any sums to calculate the temperature reduction with or without insulation but his engines obviously worked quite well.

Phil H

Thread: Hello from Wirral Merseyside
28/05/2020 17:22:11

Hello Paul,

Also on the Wirral but probably the other end from you.

Phil H

Thread: Beginner's engine build. Simplex 5"g.
28/05/2020 14:09:43


Excellent thread. I prefer to see these threads where somebody is actually having a go at building something. I understand that building any locomotive will not be easy but nothing worth doing is ever easy is it?

Please keep going and please keep posting the pictures.

Phil H

Thread: Issue machining driving wheels
26/05/2020 20:43:54


Try mounting your face plate and clock it up. It might not need the skim. I would seriously consider boring the wheels also at the same setting.

This is my recent experience;

I have just machined a set of driving wheels (about 4 1/2" diameter) for a locomotive called Betty. I have previously learned not to rely on my 4 jaw chuck - not completely anyway.

You could also try this - clock the jaws up - mine were 0.002" out front to back!!!! And the chuck is a high quality version. The chuck body is fine but the jaws are slightly out.

The other error I had made with previous wheels is to bore the holes similar to your method. For whatever reason, the bores can wander (hard spots maybe?).

For Betty, I drilled the holes undersize then clocked the wheels up on my face plate (having checked the faceplate runout of course) and bored them to size with a stout boring tool. I never ever liked reamers - I now hate them.

I ended up machining the Betty wheels using methods that don't appear to be anywhere near the so called words and music.

Phil H

Thread: Stressing over numbers
26/05/2020 20:18:59


Forgive me if you have already tried this - I might have missed part of the thread. Are you experiencing the same variations with one of your traditional micrometers because manual types don't give anywhere near the kind of variation provided you apply the correct 'feel'.

I have experienced this kind of variation when using an expensive digital vernier (it was demoted to the scrap bin).

Phil H

Thread: Mild steel wheel blanks
23/05/2020 15:09:39

Have you considered some slices of steel bar - they are only 60mm diameter and most of the suppliers will cut 'slices' for you. Put the laser cut stuff in your scrap bin - they will be useful for something else - unless you have 100 of them of course.

Thread: Lathe Refurbishment
29/04/2020 08:48:10

Nice job. That looks like the exact model of Harrison lathe that I used at school back in the 70s. There were two other quite nice Boxford lathes but the Harrison was my favourite.

Phil H

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