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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
11/03/2018 11:19:50

Bricks, for sure.


09/03/2018 12:11:01

Indeed looking like summat now George.

Can't offer any advice re polishing the ali top plate, for my Popcorn I engine turned the base and then laquered it for protection. Seems to be working to keep it shiny and easy to wipe away dust and oil so I would certainly recommend a coat of laquer.

How are you going to connect the air (or steam) to it? It appears you have a hollow wood base so a connection in the side of the wood and then up through the MDF to the inlet valve would look neat.

Popcorn finished 5.jpg

This is just a brass turning with an M6 threaded hole for the connector glued in to a hole in the brown stuff and piped to the connector in the ali base.


Thread: Broaching press
08/03/2018 16:38:53

The thickness of the component being broached will also have an influence on whether you can fit the whole shebang, component plus the broach sticking out the top, in to an arbour press.

There is currently a 6 ton hydraulic press available from a seller on the Bay of EEs for £64.95 all in (Item 351730934471) if you have the funds, the workshop space and the ongoing need for such a tool.


Thread: One Hand Operated Depth Gauge
21/02/2018 21:28:41

Today I managed to cross something off my "To-do" list when I turned this:

one hand depth gauge 1.jpg

into this:

one hand depth gauge 2.jpg

Happy days.

Thanks for the drawing Stew.


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
20/02/2018 16:15:58


I went with that conversion for 2 reasons:

1. I happened to have a flywheel about 3/5 of the original design size.

2. I wanted to convert the imperial dimensions I had on the drawing to metric so I made a spreadsheet and 15 was a convenient number to end up where I wanted to be and seemed the logical way to do it.

3. I never thought of working the other way (which now you mention it would have been a heck of a lot simpler)

I wish now I had asked for advice on here, but next time ..........


20/02/2018 10:21:52

My current project is Ray Hasbrouk's No 3 Rocking Valve Engine. This is a fairly simple engine with not a lot of moving features so I decided to reduce it's size. I did this by converting the imperial dimensions on the drawing to metric using a 15mm to the inch conversion factor.

After a set back involving a small BA tap and a ruined cylinder I have made a couple of design changes to allow the use of larger threads than the reduction in size called for and now have a completed cylinder assembly.

Hasbrouck cylinder assy 1.jpg

Hasbrouck cylinder assy 2.jpg


18/02/2018 10:57:54

Swing arms look good George. yes I think that's probably the trickiest bit.


Thread: First project
12/02/2018 19:13:06


I can recommend Steve's wobbler design as a first project, it was the one I started on.

First Attempt 1

First Attempt 2

There is a lot of good guidance with the drawings if your skills are a bit rusty and if you are up to speed already it will be good practice to get familiar with your new lathe. As no castings are involved, if you make a mistake there is no delay in making a new part and it will be cheaper than replacing a casting. Plus you will hopefully end up with some bits of stock materials which always come in handy.

My second engine was a Stuart 10V which I did with no problems because I had a fair knowledge of my machines and how various metals behaved by then. I also had a few more bits of tooling having completed a couple of other small projects.


Edited By Jim Nic on 12/02/2018 19:14:37

Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
02/02/2018 14:11:12

Know just how you feel George. The cylinder block pictured in my last post is now in the scrap bin after I broke a 10BA tap in it. crying 2 All part of life's rich pattern


Thread: Knee or Head
28/01/2018 11:31:50

I have a WM16 which is very similar to the WM18 under discussion. When taking a milling cut I don't lower the head to increase the depth of cut. I set the initial position of the head and lock it then use the quill fine feed mechanism and digital readout to lower the cutting tool.


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
28/01/2018 11:21:05

With Stew Hart's Popcorn engine finished -

Popcorn finished 2.jpg

it was time to make a start on Ray HasBrouck's No3 Rocking Valve engine. I purchased the book containing the drawings a while ago and yesterday I gathered the main materials to make a start (there may be a few bits left over at the end).

Hasbrouck materials.jpg

It is a small, fairly straightforward design and shouldn't pose any difficulty (famous last words!), I've even bought in a flywheel. I chose this engine because I dont have such a valve mechanism in my collection.

Today I've made a start on the cylinder block.

Hasbrouck cylinder 1.jpg


Thread: Simple Mill Engine - Stewart Hart ME.4460 - Part CP11
27/01/2018 20:56:46

That's looking very tidy Jim. Do she run yet?


Thread: Spot the fake
16/01/2018 10:41:05

In these days of convincing cheaply made copies of expensive products, it would seem that if owning a Mitutoyo caliper is important to you, it would be wise not to try and get it on the cheap but to deal with a reputable supplier. You will undoubtedly have to pay more than if you took a chance with a "bargain" but that, surely, is the cost of having high grade equipment. wink (I make no judgement on whether Mitutoyo calipers are better enough than Aldi specials to be worth the extra.)


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
12/01/2018 17:37:51

At long last the Stew Hart's Popcorn engine is complete.

I ran into a couple of difficulties when reassembling it after stripping and painting; I discovered that somehow I had managed to bend the piston rod, which is a short piece of 4mm dia steel, and when I remade it the M4 thread I put on the end using a brand new thread die was seriously horrible and barely engaged with the crosshead. The bronze ball whistle valve which previously held air very well now leaks and will need to be sorted, hopefully with the simple replacement with a nitrile ball.

Anyway, here's the evidence:

popcorn finished 1.jpg

popcorn finished 2.jpg

popcorn finished 6.jpg

And for those of you not too bored yet, a video:


05/01/2018 19:42:54

That turned out well Jason. As always an impressive result in double quick time.


Thread: What did you do Today 2018
04/01/2018 16:24:00

As happened with the motor on my mill, you seem to have one completely worn brush and one less so. You should be able to measure the size you need and resort to good old e-bay where you will find many sizes of carbon brush for cheap money. Watch out that the springy end is the correct size and shape for your motor and then the brush itself can be easily and gently filed to size if necessary.


04/01/2018 12:23:30


Crikey! I didn't imagine Sinclair sold enough of the things tokeep a factory going for more than an hour or 2. Still, at least it was made in UK and every little helped.


04/01/2018 10:34:58

I understood that C5 motors were Electrolux components from their washing machine range.

I resisted buying one despite the hype; as well as being slow, positively dangerous in traffic, limited in range and having little weather protection, you needed to be "Billy No Mates" to drive one. (And if you weren't at the start you soon would be.) sad


Edited By Jim Nic on 04/01/2018 10:35:32

Thread: Cutting oil -
04/01/2018 10:20:25

I believe Duck Oil is similar to WD40 in being a carrier fluid with a grease component which I use as a quick spray on the working parts of my machines after use to keep corrosion at bay in my damp garage workshop. It has been successful at this for 6 years.

For tapping I use CT 90 tapping fluid available from EKP Supplies in the UK (amongst other suppliers, I expect). After breaking numerous small and expensive taps, usually while turning backwards to clear the swarf, while using the cheap and readily to hand oils I tried CT90 and have had no breakages since. I use it in all metals as apart from easing the thread cutting it sticks the swarf to the tap making it easier to clean.  Although it looks expensive, a drop goes a long way and  I expect the bottle I have will see me out.



Edited By Jim Nic on 04/01/2018 10:23:41

Thread: Centre Finder Query
02/01/2018 16:56:38

I find accurately picking up scribed marking easy enough especially using a magnifying glass. However, unless you are already at the correct location dropping the needle point into a centre pop mark can move the needle and require re-centering it before you can have another go.


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