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Member postings for Jim Nic

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

Thread: The Workshop Progress Thread (2017)
23/07/2017 20:54:55

Nice result George.

On my version of this engine I stood the top plate on edge against an angle plate and cut around all the edges with a 5mm slot drill to make it look a little less slabby.



23/07/2017 14:06:57

Making slow progress on the Stew Hart Popcorn engine. Here are a couple of pictures of the first trial assembly of the major bits.

Next up is the valve operating mechanism after which I can get it running with a temporary air supply and then on to the air manifold with it's throttle valve, governor and whistle.

first assembly 3.jpg

first assembly 2.jpg

Thread: What Did You Do Today (2017)
19/07/2017 10:13:01

An impressive range of skills Martin!


08/07/2017 21:26:44

It seems that electrical matters are the subject of the moment. My day went to pot at around lunchtime when my computer gave up the ghost with a blank screen and a strong smell of expensively overheated electronics. crying 2

I spent the rest of the day resurrecting a very slow 17 year old laptop so that I could get on t'internetty, which rules our lives these days, and make this post.


Thread: Cheddar Valley Steam - is there a problem?
04/07/2017 20:20:33

The Small Claims division of the County Court is indeed easy to bring a case in. However getting judgement in your favour, whether by default or by the weight of your case, doesn't mean a thing if the defendant doesn't settle. You still have to fight for your money and the costs you have incurred on top, the only difference being you have a County Court Judgement on your side.

I would suggest that if you are considering the legal route you warn CVS what you intend before you actually spend the £35.00 in the hope that he will understand the potential implications and engage with you.


Thread: Congratulations
16/06/2017 14:21:49

Here, here! yes


Thread: Ebay chuckle
14/06/2017 20:58:22

Today I collected my new pillar drill, the subject of this thread. It turned out not to be as bad as the seller made out (although the vice he included is an abomination and is headed for my scrap bin).

After a bit of cleaning adjusting and lubrication it looks better and runs smoothly

It is not a precision machine by any means but I bought it to put an engine turned finish on the baseplate of my Popcorn engine and avoid the risk of spraying abrasive muck all over my mill/drill.

I need to rework the quill locating pin as Ian Skeldon 2 has shown above and it will then do me nicely.

I doubt I will keep it after it has served the purpose for which I bought it so if anyone wants a cheap wood drill, keep an eye on the bay in a week or so for a bargain. wink


Thread: The Workshop Progress Thread (2017)
14/06/2017 20:38:50

More progress (but slow) on the Popcorn. I turned this piece of bar:

via this:


and this:

into this:

I combined the crosshead guide, for that is what it is, with this, the crosshead:

To get this (attached to the previously made cylinder):

I'm not too happy with the finish on the crosshead guide but frankly there is so much headscratching and work in it I can't bring myself to scrap it. Probably the more I look at it the more it will grate on me and I'll end up making another one having learned a couple of lessons from the first.


17/05/2017 15:26:17

Looking good George. I especially like the connecting rod, beautifully finished.


16/05/2017 20:43:09

A little more progress on the Popcorn.

The cylinder with its end covers, piston and piston rod

A cylinder family shot, note the extended steam chest to cater for my error in making the cylinder incorrectly with not enough meat on the valve face. I fabricated the steam chest as I didn't have a milling cutter that was long enough to carve out the middle from one side and also small enough to form small radius corners. It is just possible to see the silver solder joins.

And finally the cylinder assembly mounted on a gash bit of aluminium on which I intend to practice engine turning when I get a round tuitt.

I will be making provision for the air/steam inlet to the steam chest a little later in the build when I come to make the inlet manifold.



Edited By Jim Nic on 16/05/2017 20:46:12

Thread: Replacement Lathe Motor
11/04/2017 10:06:32

Alan w - thank you for posting your story and the conclusions. I recently burnt out the motor on my similar Warco lathe by working what is a light hobby machine far too hard to the point of overheating it to failure. Luckily in my case the controller survived and Warco were able to supply me with a replacement motor from stock. Let this be a lesson to all of us with lightweight hobby machines.

John Rudd - as an interested spectator to this tale may I take this opportunity to offer my thanks for your input here and in other threads which while helping with a particular problem add to my understanding of my machines workings.


Thread: The Workshop Progress Thread (2017)
04/04/2017 19:38:00

Slow progress on the Popcorn engine but I've got the cylinder done:

Popcorn Cylinder

It was only when I was taking the picture that I realised that it didn't look right and I had done a upcock; the valve face is 4mm too close to the bore. crying 2 I didn't want to waste a good piece of brass or the time spent in making it so I think I can rescue it with a deeper valve chest and a modified slide valve.

It was then a quick (for me) job to make the cylinder base and here are the 2 pieces together:

Popcorn Cylinder on base

Cylinder ends and valve chest up next


28/03/2017 17:01:08

My latest project is the Popcorn Engine designed by Stew Hart. One of the reasons I was attracted to it was that it lends itself to a bit of "bling" and part of that is the curly spokes in the flywheel. They looked a bit tricky, so that was where I started. After a couple of failed attempts I devised a way of making the spokes to a consistent shape and the result is:

Just remains to add a bit of filler round the spoke ends at the rim, a coat of bright red paint and polish a shiny finish on the rim and it's onto the next bit, the cylinder block.


Edited By Jim Nic on 28/03/2017 17:02:04

26/03/2017 17:13:23

I like the Thompstone Engine, beautifully done. Your engines always run a lot quieter than mine Jason, I must have further to go than I thought to get to your standard of building. crying

Did you fabricate the flywheel?


Thread: Silver Soldering Cast Iron
26/03/2017 11:50:48

Hi Stew

A couple of years ago I needed to silver solder some cast iron cylinders and the timing of the job coincided with my annual visit to the Midland show. While there I spoke to Keith from Cup Alloys about how to go about it and he advised heating the cast iron to red heat to burn off any contamination and allowing the parts to cool before the actual soldering process which could then go ahead as normal. (He also sold me some silver solder foil to sandwich between the parts which worked well.)


01/03/2017 10:53:48

Have you looked at the brilliant site? Lots of info there and it would seem that a screwcutting chart is available from him.


Thread: Brass cylinder block correction question
28/02/2017 09:33:53

Oops! Sorry I didn't read the question properly and missed that it was PYRTE we are talking of here. My suggestions are of no use in this case.


27/02/2017 21:06:01

If the engine is to be run on air rather than steam I would be tempted to try filling the hole in the web with JB Weld epoxy filler, simple and comparitively quick. Should that not work then your flat bottomed hole and a plug would be my next choice, I would use Loctite 638 on the plug which would then not need to be a press fit. Give the Loctite 24 to 48 hours to cure before machining.


Thread: What Did You Do Today (2017)
27/02/2017 20:55:08


Nice looking job on Sophie, she's a good runner too. Well done.


Thread: How to cut a tapered shoulder?
27/02/2017 17:39:01

I'm with JS. I used the bent shaft method to mount Spitfire and Hurricane models on a single base and gave an appearance of a close formation banked turn. The bend was close to the top.

I also made a small top hat plug to fit in the aircraft fuselage to add strength where the shaft fitted. Sorry no pictures, it was a few years ago.


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