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Member postings for Henry Artist

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

Thread: Can low pressure steam boilers be soft soldered ?
04/05/2017 08:43:43

Up to a working pressure of around 2 bar-g, soft solder is OK. Look at toy steam engines. This method of soldering is still used by Wilesco and there are plenty of toy steam boilers made from very thin brass and soft soldered which are over 100 years old and still in working condition today.

If you are making your own boilers you have to decide on the odds of your boiler running out of water. Commercial steam toys are designed so the burner runs out of fuel before the boiler runs out of water. So long as there is sufficient water in the boiler no harm will come to it regardless of the method used to heat it. Just look at the Wilesco D455. face 1

This is because of the laws of physics. At 2 bar-g water cannot exceed a temperature of 135C. Most soft solders melt at 183C so there is a significant margin of error.

In fact by the time water has reached a temperature of 183C the pressure would be around 10 bar-g and mechanical failure of the soft soldered joint more likely than failure due to melting before you get to that point! surprise



Edited By Henry Artist on 04/05/2017 08:49:36

Thread: The diesel controversy
03/05/2017 09:12:51

Long, long ago (so the story goes) if a car manufacturer discovered a fault in the design of one of their vehicles which might potentially lead to death or injury they would do a costing exercise which would give two cost figures -

Cost A was how much it would cost to change the design and make new, safer components, possibly alter the production line, and possibly do a recall to retro-fit the new components to all the existing vehicles with the fault.

Cost B was how much they would have to pay out in compensation if they did not fix the fault.

If Cost B was lower than Cost A they would not fix the fault.

Of course, modern vehicle manufacturers will vigorously deny that such scurrilous and morally questionable practices continue today. wink 2

Edited By Henry Artist on 03/05/2017 09:19:00

Thread: Steam plant for a Graham Industries VR1A
03/05/2017 08:47:00

Comments, suggestions and questions are, of course, most welcome but try to keep them on topic. yes

03/05/2017 08:42:52

Now that I know the steam plant works it is time to make the other components - a water tank and a condenser. The condenser seen in the video on Page 1 is just a temporary device that I often use to prevent oily cack and steam spraying on to my work bench.

I have a PMR water tank kit. This is what comes in the box...

pmr water tank 1.jpg

I intend to make a slightly different 1/4" x 40tpi bush so I can have a valve on the water tank.

03/05/2017 08:30:45
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 02/05/2017 22:06:25:

Very Nice!


Thank you. face 1

03/05/2017 08:29:31
Posted by kevin beevers on 02/05/2017 21:30:46:

love it,exelent thread and vid is good.thanks for sharing

Thank you. I'm glad you are enjoying it. face 1

03/05/2017 08:27:59
Posted by Nick_G on 02/05/2017 21:19:49:


Well done that man.! smiley ......... Excellent. yes


Thank you face 1

02/05/2017 20:49:43

Progress continues...

With the burner intalled beneath the boiler and the boiler connected to the engine we have the basic elements of a functional steam plant ready for a test run.

A Mamod flywheel was fitted to the engine and connected to the line shaft with 2mm nitrile rubber drive band. This works waaay better than the springy metal drive bands. I affixed some Wilesco workshop tools to a board for the test run. So much more interesting to watch an engine driving something...

Edited By Henry Artist on 02/05/2017 20:52:33

Thread: Young ME's Workshop
01/05/2017 10:19:11
Posted by Hopper on 01/05/2017 09:24:36:

Yes, the "maker" movement is hip among hipsters at the moment but is not particularly widespread and is a part of that whole hipster movement of searching for coolness through retro authenticity, even if you have to manufacture that authenticity yourself, ie fake it. Not as inspiring to youngsters as real men working on real fire-breathing, limb-tearing, eardrum-shattering greasy machinery.

Perhaps plans could be published in Model Engineer magazine for a stirling engine powered gramophone? Such things really did exist and would appeal to the Hipsters out there with vinyl records being all popular again...

Some young people can be very creative and the "maker" movement should not be dismissed out of hand. Showing how the principles of model engineering can be applied to other hobbies can get people interested in engineering in general.

Thread: will 2mm do?
01/05/2017 09:18:05

I think making an ordinary bicycle would be a fascinating subject for a "build thread". yes

Are you going to make a standard one or one of those American contraptions with the small wheel at the front?

Thread: TAPS, spiral or std
01/05/2017 09:00:16

Breaking taps may be more down to technique rather than brand...

Using a slightly larger tapping drill can make a real difference e.g. for M2.5 I would use a 2.10mm - 2.15mm drill in preference to the recommended 2.05mm depending on the material. YMMV.

Using a lubricant like Trefolex can also help.

Thread: Precise filing
01/05/2017 03:30:08

Without a little more information it is difficult to give a meaningful answer...

What are the dimensions involved?

What is the material?

Can we see a picture?

Thread: Young ME's Workshop
01/05/2017 03:16:18

P.S. If you want to get young people interested in model engineering going down the live steam route may be more successful than running something on compressed air. There's fire involved and the (albeit remote) possibility that the thing might explode...

"Oh, but that's DANGEROUS!" surprise

Well most machine tools found in a workshop will maim or kill if you give them half a chance...

01/05/2017 02:23:55

Just remember not everyone who might have an interest in model engineering lives in a home with a garage... nor have room for a shed. Some people live in apartments and a lot of stairs may be involved.

Stuff to "get you started"...

  • Safety glasses.
  • A robust table or workbench. A Black & Decker Workmate can be very useful in the absence of other suitable work surfaces.
  • Drill press - in UK the "Silverline" brand machines are inexpensive and good quality.
  • Drill vice.
  • A compound drill vice is not expensive and will help with accurate hole drilling.
  • 100mm bench vice. If it swivels that can be a bonus. Inexpensive jaw protectors can be made from aluminium angle bought from B&Q.
  • Small and medium size engineer's square.
  • Scriber and some BIG felt pens for marking out. A Sharpie pen is also useful.
  • Automatic centre punch.
  • Small adjustable spanner. (The best you can lay your hands on.)
  • Hacksaw and junior hacksaw.
  • Steel rule and digital calliper. If you can afford a small digital height gauge you will find it super useful.
  • Set of needle files.
  • (Soft) Soldering equipment - butane plumber's torch, pen torch, electrical solder, flux, Vermiculite tile at least 250mm x 250mm x 30mm.
  • Various hand files, spanners, screwdrivers, drill bits, centre drills, taps and dies, clamps, wet 'n' dry paper, etc. as needed.

"Building Simple Model Steam Engines" Books 1 & 2 by Tubal Cain and "Making Simple Model Steam Engines" by Stan Bray contain lots of super helpful "How to" information for novices.

Sooner or later a lathe will be required though you'd be amazed how far you can get before you feel the need to invest in one. A mini-lathe (e.g. C3, CJ18, etc.) is ideal. If you do not have the room for a mini-lathe something smaller like a Sieg C0, Unimat 3, Taig, etc. will do just fine. ALL of the designs in Stan Bray's book can be made with a drill press and a Sieg C0.

So how much does it cost to set up a workshop? Without a lathe you can do it for around £500 or less at today's (2017) prices even if you had to buy everything new. With a lathe £1000 - £1500 is a realistic estimate. But of course very few people set up a complete workshop all in one go. Workshops grow and evolve over time which helps to spread the cost.

opitec 420 13.jpg

The above steam engine was constructed from the Opitec 420 kit (with a few modifications). The Opitec 420 can be built with hand tools and a drill press, no lathe is required. It is designed to be built by schoolchildren.


Thread: Help a noob
28/04/2017 08:10:59

Something else to think about...

Most budget hobby lathes (including the C3/CJ18A, etc.) turn too fast for thread cutting even on their lowest speeds. To cut threads many owners find it easier to use taps and dies held in the tailstock and turn the chuck or workpiece by hand with the power off.

Of course there is always more than one way of doing things and half the fun of learning to use a new machine is finding which methods work best for you. face 1

27/04/2017 21:39:58
Posted by Christian Sprog�27/04/2017 10:35:41:
Ohhhhh , completely ran over the Sieg c0 lathe. Have Been lurking for months now, and what i have learned so far, is that it looks like the majority og the lathes avalible , Are All made in China. Im having a craving for buying the used Emco 5, the 8 is too big for my workspace, dont know if the c0 is too small, and the c1 clones here, Are allmost as expensive as the Optimum. But for half the price of the Optimum, i can get a Sieg c0 + the top slide + drill Chuck + some tooling and delivery. But the c0 lacks auto fred.
Boy oh boy, This is Harder than i thought,

Most of the parts I make on my C0 are less than 25mm diameter and less than 50mm long. I do not think the lack of auto-feed is a handicap. ArcEuroTrade do sell an auto-feed for the C0 but I have never felt the need to use it.

If you do choose to buy a C0 I would recommend you buy the tailstock adapter sold by Arc to solve any tailstock alignment issues you may encounter.

It is an excellent little lathe for hobbyist use. Because it is so small it is very rigid and I get a really good finish on the parts I machine with it. For the money, it is surprisingly accurate. However, if you intend to use a small lathe to earn a living you may like to consider something more "up-market" like a Cowells, Taig or Sherline.

Proxxon also make very small lathes but I have never seen a review from an owner...

27/04/2017 08:30:51

I have a Sieg C0 and it's an absolute joy to use especially when making small parts in brass, aluminium and mild steel. I added an Emco QCTP which allows me to use 8mm indexable tools. For some jobs it is quicker and easier to use than my C3.

Like any tool if you can work within its limitations you will be happy. Trying to go beyond the limits of a machine leads to frustration so think carefully about what you want to achieve.

pmr table saw (18).jpg

Thread: Cutting Speed Table
24/04/2017 08:59:27

Using a lathe or a milling machine is a bit like making love. Best results are obtained if you pay attention to the feedback. wink 2

Thread: How (not) to machine a cylinder
18/04/2017 01:47:34

Ooops! crook

Are the glasses filled with beer or vodka?

Thread: O-Gauge first loco suggestions
17/04/2017 15:16:28

If you want something like a Victorian steam toy you could always build a Birmingham Dribbler - no need for any track!

Meths (or if you don't mind the smell, Esbit) would be safer than paraffin and simpler than gas.

32mm track is cheaper than 45mm track to buy new though you stand a better chance of finding second-hand LGB track on eBay.

You may like to look at Mamod locomotives for inspiration though, as I said earlier, a Kraftlok would be the easiest to build.

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