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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: Rotary table set up
27/06/2018 23:45:31

I use a 2MT mandrel in the centre of the rotary table as per Maurice, albeit with a 10mm rod.

I loosely position the rotary table on the mill table with the rod inserted in the mandrel then tighten it down.


Thread: Changing Avatar/photo
27/06/2018 23:38:16

Tis I, I think.

I used to have a perfectly good avatar but tried to update to a picture of my latest successful model completion as I have done several times in the past.

Unfortunately I'm having more success with machining than updating my picture so I have decided to stick with the small ant for now and let the matter rest for a day or 2.


Thread: Filing Cast Iron
27/06/2018 23:28:48

+1 for a Dremel


Thread: Popcorn engine
23/06/2018 16:13:41

I can thoroughly recommend Stew Hart's version; although it is not a true scale model I believe it is based on a Dunbar original. Stew very kindly sent me his drawings in response to a request via a Personal Message on here.

Popcorn finished 2.jpg


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
22/06/2018 15:46:41

"A twirl or two on the rotary table". I really must read up and practice twirling if that's the kind of result possible. wink


22/06/2018 14:06:34


To achieve the distinctly non prototypical polished rim on cast iron flywheels, after machining them to size and painting them, I mount them on a mandrel the same diameter as the crankshaft and chuck them up in a 3 jaw chuck on the lathe. Then it's a matter of turning it at a slowish speed (250 - 300 RPM ) and using a file and then progressively finer grades of abrasive paper until a smooth finish is obtained and finally finishing off on a buffing wheel.

Before I made my buffing wheel I left them on the lathe and used Solvol Autosol automotive metal polish. This is not recommended, being a bit risky in the event the polishing cloth catches in the chuck.


Edited By Jim Nic on 22/06/2018 14:07:19

21/06/2018 19:37:52

Although my latest engine is fairly straightforward it seems to have been taking a long time to get it finished. However, I have now managed to turn this:

Hasbrouck materials.jpg

and a few other bits into this:

Hasbrouck rocking valve finished 1.jpg

Hasbrouck rocking valve finished 2.jpg

Hasbrouck rocking valve finished 3.jpg

Plus of course a medium size pile of swarf and scrap parts. frown

It's an Oscillating Rotary Valve engine designed by Ray HasBrouck taken from his book "The Steam Engines of Ray HaSBrouck" and I've done it with a reduced bore and stroke of 15mm by 20mm . It's a lovely little runner as can be seen here: **LINK**


Thread: Mogens Kilde's Double Diagonal Engine
20/06/2018 20:24:16

Nice job Chris, a lovely runner to boot.


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
20/06/2018 20:19:06

The light blue looks a bit pale for my taste George but plenty of engines were grey so it doesn't look out of place. The finish looks too good to remove and sometimes overthinking something makes the dilemma worse. wink

Keep it as is, mount the dark flywheel for a good contrast and call it done.


Edited By Jim Nic on 20/06/2018 20:19:36

Thread: 3 in 1 Oil
13/06/2018 09:55:29

I used 3 in 1 oil in my first couple of models and found that it does indeed go gummy after a fairly short time. I ended up stripping a couple of engines that were only a year or so old to get rid of all the residue. I only run my engines on compressed air.

I have no idea what is in the oil to make it gum up, I only know I don't use it now.


Thread: Governor pulley belt
12/06/2018 15:57:50

It appears to my old eyes that the drive pulley is made for a flat belt while the governor pulley is made for a round belt. How about remaking the drive pulley with a round groove similar in size to the pulley groove on the governor. If you use the existing drive pulley as a basis you would keep the hole you made to fit the crankshaft and the threaded hole for the grubscrew so it would then be smaller and result in a slower turning governor.

Your Mamod spring belt may then work.


Thread: Potty overcrank
11/06/2018 13:03:47

Nicely done Eric, love the floor.

Another fine advert for Stew's Vertical Cross design. wink 2


Thread: Which type of pin
08/06/2018 20:00:16

A roll pin will be visible, of course. If you never want to get the arbor out then cross drill and use a steel pin Loctited in. A couple of strokes with a fine file and it'll be invisible.


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
06/06/2018 17:17:05

Thanks for sorting out the link Jason.

The engine was straightforward to make and the valve operation was simple to work out as I could see it through the air inlet. The only puzzle for me was when I came to the first run, it didn't. The air just leaked right through the engine and out of the exhaust. After a bit of head scratching I fixed it by fitting the piston O ring which I had left off for the trial run.


06/06/2018 17:03:27

Plumbing done on the Rocking Valve engine:

Hasbrouk final family shot.jpg

And, hopefully, a bit of video of the first run:



Edited By Jim Nic on 06/06/2018 17:05:52

Edited By JasonB on 06/06/2018 17:07:21

29/05/2018 16:48:18


You may have to do a bit of head scratching to combine the exhaust ports on your Vertical Cross because looking back I see you have done them to plan and put them on the side of the valve chest. I had planned to combine them from the off and so put mine in the face of the chest so that a simple cover plate and some longer studs made it easy.

vertical exhaust.jpg

The additional cover plate has a shallow groove in the back covering the 2 ports and then a hole through from the groove to the front with a connector flange silver soldered in.


28/05/2018 10:15:38

That looks good George (but then, I would say that wouldn't I?)

How is it running now?


Thread: What's the best alternative to 'loctited'
22/05/2018 16:08:26

Who, other than Neil, thinks that using "Loctite" as a generic term is, or has caused, a problem in the building of a model.

There is plenty of on-line information for the guidance of those unsure of the right adhesive for a particular application and surely part of the hobby is using one's own judgement and learning new things in making mechanical devices.


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
22/05/2018 11:39:51

After the passing of much time it seems I have the semblance of a rocking valve engine.

Hasbrouk family shot 4.jpg

Hasbrouk family shot 5.jpg

My cosmetic "improvements" from Ray HasBrouk's original design such as visible crankshaft bearings, a different eccentric arrangement and a different connecting rod end ganged up on me.  The cumulative result is that the valve operating rod end is some 5mm outside the valve operating arm.  One solution would have been to bend the rod back into line but I don't normally like to see push rods with bends in them so I made an extended link.  It may stay, it may not.  

What I really need to do is either stick to designer's drawings or properly think through what I'm "improving".  A lesson learned.  frown 

Next steps are to arrange the plumbing and the wooden  base, decide on a colour and paint it.





Edited By Jim Nic on 22/05/2018 11:53:40

Edited By Jim Nic on 22/05/2018 11:55:47

Thread: Macc Models Update
18/05/2018 11:23:43


So sorry to hear your very sad news. Best wishes to you and your wife.


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