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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 2018
27/09/2018 17:13:27

For my pickle, George, I just start with the amount of water I need and then keep adding citric acid crystals until the solution is saturated. The initial excess crystals fall to the bottom of the container and dissolve over a couple of days. It seems to work OK, as did yours.

When you say you used solder paste, was that soft solder paste or a form of silver solder?


18/09/2018 21:08:38

Whatever that started out as Brian, and whatever it has ended up as, it is a very good looking piece of hardware which clearly took a lot of skill and care to make.


Thread: Anyone Got a Warco WM240B?
14/09/2018 10:18:49

I've had a 240 since 2011 and find it a good lathe for my model building needs. Mine is the variable speed model which I like because of the ability to alter the speed on the fly if I'm not getting the results I want. I'll also tempt fate and say the variable speed has been no trouble.

I sometimes wish I had spent a little more and bought the 250 as others are suggesting here but to do that now is more than a little more, it's the difference between £1000 and £1700!


Thread: hobbymat
13/09/2018 10:23:23

I use a Tangential Tool from Eccentric Engineering (advertisement to the right of this page) for the vast majority of my lathework and have done since the very early days of my modelling "career". No shims required and sharpening HSS bits is easy using the jig supplied.

For my small boring bar I made an aluminium carrier which is kept with the bar ready for use.

Ali Shim1.jpg


Ali Shim 2.jpg

On the odd occasion I need shims I use metal packaging strapping and, for fine adjustments, cut up drink cans.


Edited By Jim Nic on 13/09/2018 10:24:45

Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
12/09/2018 21:02:49

By eck Jason that's a flywheel and a half and no mistake. Once you get that spinning it'll carry on for ever.


12/09/2018 19:05:07

Thanks Geoff

The 7BA studs are 10.5mm long and the holes, which are 5mm deep, would probably just break through the outside cylinder wall if they went much deeper.



12/09/2018 14:07:12

My current project of Stew Hart’s Overcrank engine is proving to be a little more of a challenge than I thought. However, if everything was easy life would be awfully boring so on we go.

Having opened out the cylinder bores, I got confused over the steam passages and made a bit of an upcock which required a couple more blanking plugs. I also decided on the spur of the moment to alter the design for the exhaust outlet to allow me to fit a pipe in place of the open port in the block. Here is the block with the blanks Loctited in place ready to be smoothed off.

cylinder block 12.jpg

The enlarged exhaust port is also clear but what is not apparent is that it lies in the way of one of the valve chest fixing studs so my “improvement” has caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

To give me time to recover and work out a solution I made the cylinder end caps.

cylinder block 13.jpg

cylinder block 14.jpg

Now for the steam chest and valves.


Thread: Erratic edge finder
23/08/2018 13:53:17

Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs!

I've just read this and checked my edge finder:

edge finder.jpg

and it too was slightly magnetised. I've noticed lately that it was getting a tad inconsistent but of course blamed myself for poor technique. Now degaussed so all should return to normal except with me looking for different excuses for my poor workmanship.

Thanks for raising the subject Ifoggy.


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
15/08/2018 13:59:49

My little hearth is purpose made and bought from CuP Alloys so I don't think that is the problem. Although for the large chunks of brass shown here something a bit bigger to hold more heat in the job may have helped. The bricks are just used to hold the insulators in place.


15/08/2018 10:22:40

Some progress on the Overcrank engine.

The cylinder assembly looked the most challenging so that's where I started.

The cylinder block centre section:

cylinder block 2.jpg

The centre section with the cylinders. The bores have been left undersize until after silver soldering:

cylinder block 4.jpg

cylinder block 5.jpg

Set up for silver soldering. For some reason although I know the theory and have some good gear (a Seivert torch), I do not have the knack of making good quick clean joints.

cylinder block 6.jpg

And here is the soldered cylinder block after pickling:

cylinder block 7.jpg

It still needs fettling and cleaning up but I reckon it'll do.

Next is to finish the bores to correct size and drill the steam passages.


13/08/2018 16:02:11

Looks great George, particularly like the paint job. wink (You have at least made a start)


Thread: Engine plans
07/08/2018 09:58:24

I did buiild my version of this engine in Jason's link using metric units but while converting I reduced the size because to my eye the engine was a bit long with not a lot of moving bits going on . I used a photocopier, a calculator and some Snopake to arrive at my working drawings, no CAD to share I'm afraid.


Thread: What did you do Today 2018
06/08/2018 09:52:25

A very good looking piece of tooling. I have used a commercial tangential tool for most of my work almost from the day I started model engineering; I'm sure yours will prove equally useful.


03/08/2018 22:33:01

Ever since I got my Unimat 3 I've thought that the spindle was running a bit faster than the belt arrangement table claimed. Recently there have been a couple of threads on here regarding cheap e-bay digital tachometers so I decided I would use the information given to others and fit one for myself.

unimat tacho 1.jpg

unimat tacho 3.jpg

I toyed with fitting mains power to the indicator but taking into account the amount of time it would be used and the issue of arranging suitable voltage and cabling I ended up with a switched 9v battery. The sensor is held in place with a dollop of hot melt glue and the magnet is just placed on the spindle and both seem to be secure up to 4000 RPM so I reckon that'll do for me.

The indicator was £7.12, the project box was £3.70 and the battery clip and switch were £0.99 each. Probably a luxury but a good little project which kept me amused for an hour or 2.


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
30/07/2018 22:30:17

About half of 'em and the other half is spent responding to queries on most of the modelling forums. wink (For which I for one have cause to be grateful.)


Thread: Friction Turning a Smoke Box Door
29/07/2018 11:35:52

A good result Stew. Another technique filed away for the future.


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
28/07/2018 22:56:27

As always Jason a beautiful looking model and a good runner with an interesting "beat" to the rhythm.

The standard of your models gives me something to aim at even if I may never match what you produce.


Thread: What did you do Today 2018
27/07/2018 19:32:34

Yesterday I was boring a couple of holes 45mm deep in brass.

boring 1.jpg

To get around the problem of my boring tool grabbing in the brass I elected to use the fine feed feature of my WM 16 mill, which is a wheel with a straight knurl. This worked well to give me a consistent smooth finish in the bore but my ancient arthritic hands were protesting a bit. To make life a little more comfortable I lashed up a toolmaker's clamp to give me something to get hold of.

boring 2.jpg

Today I made a permanent solution in the form of a tommy bar

boring 3.jpg

to be screwed into the fine feed wheel, or not, as required and give a bit of leverage.

boring 4.jpg

Not an original idea I'm sure but a worthwhile way to spend half an hour.


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
21/07/2018 20:37:50

That's a good looking "wobbler" Geoff, good work and a good runner too. I like the upside down look like which is a long way from the run of the mill oscillator design that I did for my first engine. Well done.


19/07/2018 21:23:10

After completing my version of Ray Hasbrouck’s No 3 Rocking Valve engine I was at a bit of a loose end because that engine seemed to finish all of a sudden and I hadn’t seriously considered “What next.” I gave a lot of thought to Julius de Waal's drawings of the Monitor engine from Model Engine Maker site. I have never been keen on his drawing layouts, I find them difficult to follow (probably due to my advancing years and retreating brain power), but downloaded them and gave them a good looking at while I spent some time cleaning my workshop and attending to machine maimtenance. I had got to the point of deciding to give it a go when I happened upon a ME forum query regarding Stew Hart’s Over Crank engine. I remembered following Stew’s build 7 or so years ago and thinking it was well beyond me, but that was then and this is now so I messaged Stew to ask for a copy of the drawings and he very kindly sent them to me.

The result:

1 materials.jpg

Somewhere amongst this pile is an Overcrank Engine (I hope). It’s a fairly complicated twin cylinder beast so should keep me occupied for a while. I’ll do my best to do the design justice and may post random thoughts on my progress when anything significant occurs.


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