By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

Member postings for PatJ

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

Thread: Engineered fuel prices
03/08/2022 17:37:26

It is a zero sum game for us.

I make "X" amount of money, and so X has to be divided by all of my expenses.

If gas goes way up (it has), then we drive very little, don't take trips, and walk when we can to the store.

Ditto with other items such as food, utilities, etc.

When expenses go up, we cut back on everything across the board, until all of our expenses meet "X" again.

Right now we pay the utility bill, buy food, and that is about it.

We don't drive the car unless we absolutely have to go somewhere.

Energy prices can't remain high if nobody can afford to buy anything.

What we really need are stable prices on everything, not runaway inflation due to excessive gov spending.


Thread: Will the lights stay on this winter?
30/07/2022 04:17:21

I have always liked to build/make my own stuff, even as a kid.

I could never play sports, and was the one they always told "go play somewhere by yourself while we play this baseball game".

If you can't play sports, then that sort of leaves a few other things to do, and so I passed the time by making things.

I do my almost all of my own home repairs because many of the local contractors are rip-off artists, and they assume that you don't know enough about what they are saying to object.

One HVAC guy many years ago charged me $350.00 for a "new relay".

I opened the air handling unit, and the old relay was missing.

I called him and asked if he had installed a new relay, and he assured me on a stack of bibles that he had.

I said "Then why is there no relay in the unit". He was a bit shocked, and finally said "Well the cost of the trip out makes it the same amount, and you really don't need a time-delay relay".  The unit is less efficient without the fan-off delay.

Diddo on auto repairs that are not done by a reputable dealer.

I took my car in to get two new tires on the front, and came back later to pick it up, and they handed me a bill for several thousand dollars of unnecessary engine work. They assumed I knew nothing about auto engines, but I use to help a buddy of mine rebuild his racing engines, and I knew everything about an auto engine.

It is a bluff game, and if you are dumb enough to sign the form, then they do thousands of dollars of unnecessary work. That was my first and last visit to that rip-off shop.  Needless to say I only paid for two tires, and they were very lucky that they did not do the engine work without getting my authorization first, else they would have done that for free.

I don't like people BS'ing me about stuff. It makes my blood boil, and it is an expensive scam too.

The general public gets scammed all the time around here. I guess it is a worldwide thing.

And all too often, a contractor will do a shoddy job, which also bothers me greatly, and he will assume that I don't know any better. I end up having to redo half of their work.

So I learned early on to just do it my self, and do it right the first time.

Knowledge is power as they say, and knowledge is also money.

As the US and UK lose their technological edge to other countries, the last thing in the world I want to do is give up any technical knowhow.

I basically want to know how to do anything and everything.


Edited By PatJ on 30/07/2022 04:21:44

29/07/2022 21:16:27

I quizzed my grandmother about how she and my grandfather survived the Great Depression.

She summed it up pretty easily as "Don't owe anyone any money".

She also told a story which I have never been able to verify, but she said that my grandfather, who owned his own lumber mill, was getting his shoes shined (this use to be a common thing), and the shoe shine boy said "I just shined the shoes of two bankers, and they said the stock market is getting ready to crash".

My grandfather supposedly immediately sold all of his stock holdings for cash.

I am not sure if the shoe shine boy story is true, but I have lived by the adage of not borrowing money, or if I borrow money, it is a 5 year or less situation.

My wife and I have only purchased one new piece of furniture in our 37 years of marriage, which was a new couch. The rest of our furniture is used and/or hand-me-downs.

I run my own consulting firm, and I survived 2008/2009 by selling my office building and moving my company into the 2nd floor of my house.

Working out of one's house is pretty recession-proof.

A guy who ran a local Chinese restaurant told me that the way to make it no matter what is to run a small grocery store. People have to buy food, and you will always have food.

We always keep our autos for at least 10 years, sometimes more.

I do almost all my own repairs around the house; electrical, plumbing, painting, siding, woodwork, floor refinishing, sheetrock, etc.  I do auto work too if it is not too complex.

I bought a commercial washing machine, which cost double what a residential unit cost, but it lasts perhaps 5 times longer.

I do all my own yard work, cut down my own trees, and cast gray iron in my backyard foundry.

I guess I am sort of a do-it-yourselfer, and a bit of a survivalist, but not a whack-job survivalist.

We keep about 10 cases of can goods on the shelf, a 25 lb bag or rice in an airtight container, water filters (from the backpacking days), propane, cook stove. We buy food from a bulk store, since that is a lot cheaper.

I have two generators, a 1.5kW and a 5kW, and since I run my business out of the house, they are both inverter-equipped.


Edited By PatJ on 29/07/2022 21:19:30

29/07/2022 20:35:41

As I understand it, the political members responsible for the last regime change in the US have put the screws to the US oil companies via limiting their access to money/loans/financing.

The green folks here have declared war on coal, oil, and even nuclear and natural gas.

It is insanity on a massive scale. Sort of like setting fire to the bottom of a tree, when you are at the top.

We were exporting energy right up until the regime change.

And duffer is right, who wants to spend a lot of money on capacity that probably won't be needed once the recession kicks into high gear.

I must say I am not too keen on nuclear energy ("Nucular" as George Bush use to say).

But I would not cut my own throat to spite nuclear. I would rather have nuclear than freeze to death, or roast alive in the summertime.

We can have four weeks or more above 100 F in the summer, with 70% (+) humidity.

They added all sorts of scrubbers in the local coal plant, but it was shut down for political reasons.

They built a natural gas fired plant right next to the coal plant, but of course the greenies will shut that down too.

I recall an old refrigerator that had a dumbell looking contraption, which was two spherical tanks joined by a pipe.

One pipe went out though a hole in the wall, and a fire was made under it.

The other sphere went in the refrigerator.  We may have to get back to such simple devices.

I have also seen natural gas refrigerators that work on the same principle.

It is getting rather pricey to travel these days, and filling up the gas tank feels like taking out a loan for a house.

We have basically stopped buying anything that is not immediately necessary, and critically necessary.

We were considering purchasing a new car, but will now be doing the Cuban thing with our 10 year old car, so that it will last 50 years.

Our spending now is basically tailored as if another Great Depression is coming.

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst, as they say.

If we only have a mild recession, then we are ahead of the game.


Edited By PatJ on 29/07/2022 20:39:08

29/07/2022 18:37:16

We have had two severe ice storms here in the midsouth (US) in the last 30 years, and one was in deep snow, and lasted 2 weeks for us, and 3 weeks for many in this city.

I was lucky to quickly find a generator for my invalid father in law, but it I had to drive through 30" of snow, and many fallen trees partially blocking the road, plus downed power lines.

I did not have a generator for my house, and so we had to get creative.

We did have a fireplace, and so cut up wood and built a fire.

We lived in front of the fireplace for two weeks.

We cooked on a dual burner propane gas stove.

Oddly enough, by the time it was over, we were rather sad to see the quiet life go away, and all the hustle and bustle of the city come back.

It was a very pleasant and relaxing two weeks, apart from the wood chopping I guess.

Photos of the frontier folk's shacks showed a wood stove with a compartment on the side which held hot water.

Food was preserved in salt, as well as goods that had been canned, and grains.

Lights were oil lamps. I think we actually used candles in each room, which were put in glass containers so as not to burn down the house.

The temperature inside the house was about 32 degrees in the rooms besides the one with the fireplace, and so one had to use multiple blankets on the beds.

Our water did not go out, but if it had, we would have melted snow and boiled it.

Some folks used the white gas powered Coleman stoves, and those work well too, but are not as simple as the propane ones.

Some grilled out every day on the BBQ grille, using either propane or charcoal.

The perishable food could be stored outside in a cooler, since it was cold outside.

Canned food is very handy, and generally can be eaten without cooking or heating if it comes to that.

You can always boil water on the stove and wash clothes.

An insulated work suit (coveralls) is handy to have if you have to go outside on cold days, to chop wood or whatever.

But like they say in the Boyscouts, "Be Prepared".

Go through the mental exercise of getting ready.

Better yet, go out and open the main breaker to your house, and then figure out how to live for a week.

It can be done. Nobody use to have electricity, gas, etc.

We purchased a tiny pop-up camper a few years ago, and we had a week-long power outage during the summer about a year ago. We used a 1KW generator to power the small A/C unit in the camper, and spent a lot of time in it, including sleeping in it all week.  It is well insulated, and has a propane heater.  A 600W electric heater is sufficient to keep it at 70F in the winter.

I went backpacking in the moutains of New Mexico for 10 days, and I wore quick-dry synthetic clothes, and just rolled in streams that we passed to clean up.

We had to carry and cook all of our own food, and carry water filters for drinking water.

No toilets, no showers, no phones, no TV, no magazines, it often rained hard, sometimes with sleet and snow, with elevations varying between 8,000 and 12,500 feet.

We did cook hot food and coffee on tiny propane or white gas stoves, and that was a luxury.

One really apreciates the good life after spending ten days in the stark wilderness.


Edited By PatJ on 29/07/2022 18:48:15

29/07/2022 15:54:27

My total utility bill has hovered around an average of about $180/month for as long as I can remember.

The last two months, my utility bills were $500 and $600.

My local utility company has gotten into the add-on game, where they keep coming up with new things to add to the bill, such as a rodent-control fee, a storm water fee, a solid waste fee, sewer fee, and street light fee.

These fees are in addition to the gas, electric and water fees.

The sewer fee I think is based on water usage, and so if you water your lawn, you still pay the sewer fee.

I am starting to think about a large rainwater storage tank, and installing separate potable and non-potable water systems, but unfortunately the bulk of the fees are electric and gas.

At the rate that the fees are increasing, I will end up having to section off part of my house, and only heat/cool about 1/3 of it.

Inflation is out of control for sure.

For the record, I voted for those who had the US as an energy independent nation, because that is just common sense. Now we are begging 3rd world countries for energy, which makes us I guess a 4th world country?


28/07/2022 13:44:42

Our city recently phased out its coal burning electrical plant, and installed a natural gas generating station.

The government, in their infinite wisdumb, said that the new plant must be as efficient as possible, so they drilled a well into the aquafier for cooling water.

They drew contaminates from the adjacent ground under the coal-fired station, and began contaminating the drinking water for a city of 600,000.

The midsouth US where I live is frequented by tornadoes and bad weather during the summer, and this city is full of large trees, so power outages happen a lot, and can last for up to two weeks depending on the severity of the storm.

Ice storms are the worst because the trees shed limbs, and knock down random power lines all over the city.

My house does have natural gas heat, and so far, the gas service has never been interrupted.

I can run my fan/coil unit on a small generator, and use the natural gas to heat the house.

My next door neighbor has an all electric house, and when her power goes out in the winter, she has no good way to heat her house.

After the last ice storm here, which I think was about a year ago, we were out of power for about a week, and so I purchased a 7.5KW gasoline genset. I work at home, and so it is critical that I be able to keep working regardless.

I use a 120/240 volt, 3-wire connection, and I use a large cord and twistlock plug to connect my house electrical panel to the genset.

I have a main breaker on my electrical panel, and so I manually open the main, plug in the genset, and then close the genset breaker. This allows me to operate my entire house on the genset, as long as I don't exceed 5.0 kw continuous.

The biggest thing to avoid is having a refrigerator/freezer full of food go bad.

For me, I have to keep working and remain on the internet at all times, and so that is also critical.

I have camped out in the winter in 18F weather, and that is no big deal, but there is nothing like having a nice warm house when the power is out during the winter.

The Honda genset I bought is super quite, and uses an inverter for clean power.

I can hardly hear the genset running from inside the house.

I despise loud generators, especially when trying to sleep at night.



Edited By PatJ on 28/07/2022 13:46:27

Thread: Exactly
27/07/2022 18:31:18

I read an article that a British engineer visited industrial facilities in the US in the 1800's, and was astounded that virtually the entire US industry used leather belts, and not ropes.

This made me wonder about leather belts, since a cow is not a very long animal, and a belt is a very long thing.

I found a little bit of information about how leather belts were made, using some sort of built-up layering process, apparently using some very flexible and durable glue. It amazes me that belts work, but they do work well, they can transmit a lot of load, and can be used at relatively high speeds too.

The belt industry in the 1800's in the US was pretty high tech in my opinion.

And Charles Porter brought the first modern high speed stationary steam engine to England and displayed it at the London International Exhibit in 1862. His engine design was pretty much dismissed by the leading engineers all over the world at the time, some of which had to do with the lack of a condenser.

Charles Porter was a lawyer by trade, and so certainly there would have been a reluctance in the engineering community to accept what was considered a somewhat radical design for the time period.

The head of the London Exposition forbid Charles Porter from running his engine faster than 100 rpm, and luckily Porter ignored him and ran it at 150 rpm, and the rest is history.

It just goes to show that genius in the techical world is not necessarily limited to engineers or specific countries.


Edited By PatJ on 27/07/2022 18:34:48

Thread: Stuart Twin Victoria (Princess Royal) Mill Engine
26/07/2022 05:03:17

I think the reason that the thin nut on top works is that the thick bolt is torqued to some value, pushing the nut threads against the bolt threads on one side.

Then when the thin nut is added, it is not torqued to the same value as the thick nut, rather it is only torqued enough to prevent rotation of the two nuts.

If the thin nut were torqued as high as the thick one, then the thin nut would assume all of the load.

I think that is why the thin nut on top works; because it is not overtorqued.


Edited By PatJ on 26/07/2022 05:04:57

Thread: Do you "still" enjoy driving?
24/07/2022 02:50:09

I have to climb up on a milk crate in order to get on my CR500.

I don't know what this world is coming to.


Thread: Jumbo Dake
23/07/2022 03:48:36

I have the base about 3/4 sanded out.

I need to go take a few more photos of it.

I use a sanding screen, which is used to smooth sheetrock joins.

The open mesh on the sanding screen prevents clogging, and makes the sanding work go quickly.

I could use a power sander, but for a piece this small, hand sanding is the only way to maintain good control.

I have used the filler to create the fillets that I should have had in the 3D model, and to add a little draft angle here and there.



Edited By PatJ on 23/07/2022 03:49:53

23/07/2022 03:45:21

Much as I love the banter of the tea room topics, I can only use those to avoid shop work for so long.

It is rather hot this time of year, with temps hovering around 100F every day, and about 70% humidity, so really no excuse is too flimsy to avoid shop work.

The only way to finish an engine is to start on an engine, and so I have started working on the base pattern for the Dake.

When I created the drawings for my Dake, I was not into backyard casting, and so everything was set up for a barstock build.

This is coming back to haunt me a bit, and so I am having to fill the base pattern with wall patch compound.

I could go back and reprint the base pattern, but I think at this point I will forge ahead, and just salvage the 3D prints that I have.

As I got into foundry work and pattern making, I realized the importance of things like draft angle, fillets, overhangs, machining allowances, etc.

What I do now is complete my 3D engine models without many fillets (perhaps no fillets), and with no machining allowances.

Then I create the 2D drawings, which reflect as-machined dimensions.

Then it is back to the 3D model to add fillets (using too many fillets initially really clutters up the 2D drawings), and add machining allowances. The fillets and machining allowances can be toggled on and off in the 3D program.

And finally, in the 3D slicer program, I add a shrinkage multiplier of about 1.015, just prior to 3D printing the patterns or pattern pieces.

My Prusa is too small to print the entire base pattern, so I printed it in four pieces.

I had some slight bed lifting issues with one piece, and so I epoxied my base pieces together with them all being on a flat surface, and I will work out the warpage issues with filler.

Since this pattern will be fragile, I think I will cast a permanent pattern in 356 aluminum.

The filler is a mix-on-demand powder, used for patching wallboard.

If I had set up my 3D model correctly, and if the 3D printed patterns all been perfect, then I would need very little filler.

Alas this is not a perfect world, and so I am using a rather gloppy approach with the filler.

Most of the filler will get sanded off, and luckily this filler sands relatively easily.

The Durham's wood putty does as advertised, ie: it dries "hard as a rock", and so I don't use Durhams, since trying to sand it ruins the nearby wood or plastic pattern.










Edited By PatJ on 23/07/2022 03:46:33

Edited By PatJ on 23/07/2022 03:51:23

Thread: British Homes Have Air Conditioning ?
23/07/2022 01:30:27

I think we have pretty much exhausted this topic.

Time to get back to some serious topics, like engine building.


22/07/2022 20:18:41

Case in point, we get told every day to cut back on our electrical usage, so as to preserve the delicate power network, and then simultaneously told "go buy electric cars".

Its a clown world. Anyone can see it.

(Stevie Wonder could clearly see it).

I don't have to imagine things; the reality is all too apparent.

One does not have to be a mental giant to see the hypocrisy of the propoganda that we are being fed.



Edited By PatJ on 22/07/2022 20:46:15

22/07/2022 20:06:26

Half of my family watches the propoganda channels on TV, and then when I quiz them, they say "Well it must be true because I heard it on CNN".

So sad that the sheep are so willingly brainwashed; they gleefully get herded in any desired direction, all the while parroting today's narrative, even if it completely contradicts yesterday's narrative. Puppets on a string, completely incapable of objective thinking of any kind.

Yuri Bezmenov (alias Tomas Schuman), a Soviet KGB defector, explains in detail his scheme for the KGB process of subversion and takeover of target societies at a lecture in Los Angeles, 1983.

“Marxist-Leninism ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students without being challenged, or counter balanced by the basic values of Americanism.”

Bezmenov said:

“They are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern [alluding to Pavlov]. You can not change their mind even if you expose them to authentic information. Even if you prove that white is white and black is black, you still can not change the basic perception and the logic of behavior.”


Edited By PatJ on 22/07/2022 20:08:06

22/07/2022 19:59:35
Posted by duncan webster on 22/07/2022 10:33:48:

PatJ. Have you thought of joining Qanon?

“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
Arthur Conan Doyle

“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”
Arthur Conan Doyle

“You see, but you do not observe.”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.”
Arthur Conan Doyle


22/07/2022 02:21:48

I am going to start a new trend.........Global Drinking !

I will go first.


21/07/2022 23:42:38

LOL, yes pub, not hub.

First it was "global warming", and when that did not pan out, they spun it into "climate change".

Today's gimmick phrase is "Climate Emergency" declaration, via an executive order.

The end result is that unelected bureaucrats can bypass the rule of law, and impose all sorts of draconian laws and more importantly taxes, and funnel tax dollars to their pet industries, no doubt garnering a nice kickback in the process.

It is a blantant and naked overreach of executive power, but par for the course in todays exploitation of feel-good virtue signaling by the elites who jet around the world.

If there is such a thing as global warming, it is surely caused by these jet setters larking around and santimoniously lecturing the rest of us on how to cut back, while single-handedly causing global warming themselves.

It reminds me of the mega-church preachers who so ardently and feverishly preach about how the rest of us must live a virtuous life, while the sneak around and live the life of sewer rats.

The brainwashed minions pour millions into these mega-churches, all too certain that their salvation is secure.

It is laughable to think that the people in this world, out of the goodness of their heart, will change their ways, and stop polluting the world. What really happens is that advanced countries transfer the dirty industries to 3rd tier countries, and then everyone pats themselves on the back for "cleaning up the environment".

What has actually happened is that you have transferred the incredibly toxic byproducts from the battery technology to some place other than our backyard.

It is a zero sum game, with no winner.

I have to go build some engines or something, or find a pub (we call them bars).

I think the best solution to global warming is to drink more, and drink more often.




Edited By PatJ on 21/07/2022 23:44:48

21/07/2022 21:28:09

My daughter got to go on a tour of Europe a few years ago.

GB, Netherlands, Germany, France, etc.

I get to work, and she gets to have a life and tour the world.

If I had a free ticket to anywhere in the world, I would make a beeline to the nearest GB museum of technology, and they would have to drag me out with ropes.

I don't think we really have anything analogous to the technology museums in the UK.

I know of one gentleman who runs the Soule museum in Meridian Mississippi, and he did tour the museums in the UK, and was inspired to start his own museum here.

The Soule facility is where the Speedy Twin steam engine was manufactured, and luckily the factory and foundry were pretty much saved intact when they stopped operation.

In the engine assembly area, the tables are full of Speedy Twin parts.

The assembly process just stopped one day, as if some sort of Vesuvius event happend.

I have dreams of sitting in quaint GB hub in some little village, having a rousing discussion about climate change with a bunch of chaps, and then in the end, hoisting the beer mug, toasting "to climate change", and then drinking ourselves under the table.

That is my idea of the "Good Life".


Edited By PatJ on 21/07/2022 21:29:20

21/07/2022 11:49:45
Posted by Bill Phinn on 21/07/2022 11:26:29:
Posted by PatJ on 21/07/2022 01:52:24:

There is far from a concensus on this topic, in spite of what you may hear in the media.


On the contrary, there is overwhelming consensus where consensus matters, i.e. among climate scientists:




I guess it boils down to who you trust.

Trust in any goverment entity over here is rather lacking these days.

Usually the opposite of what they exclaim is the truth.

The concensus is among those whose viewpoint is not being censored.

We live in Orwellian times for sure.

They are creating "Ministries of Truth" over here, so that they can tell us the "correct think".

I wish I were making this up.


Edited By PatJ on 21/07/2022 11:50:13

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Sign up to our Newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter and get a free digital issue.

You can unsubscribe at anytime. View our privacy policy at

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
Rapid RC
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest