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Member postings for Jon Cameron

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

Thread: Fairground Gallopers
05/12/2021 12:44:00

Thanks Bill I'll check that out.



05/12/2021 10:54:45
Posted by Scrumpy on 04/12/2021 19:55:54:

As the person who originally asked the question my brother and myself went and viewed the gallopers at Carter’s steam fair we were told a full set of drawings were held at the Norfolk rural museum ( savage ) but despite sending emails we never had a reply then sadly we dropped the idea as we started to build a Marshall Roller but it’s a project that is something worth looking at again


Funny how things distract you lol. I'm the same. But having seen two examples of the 1/16" version , in the last two months. I am thinking a 1" version would be very nice. Albeit huge.

Thanks to the others who's commented. All helps.



04/12/2021 14:00:23

Did anything come of this request for information? I only ask as the info posted by the other members have been very helpful. I have for a couple of years wanted to build one and thought I'd browse for information on existing gallopers. I'd like to make a steam powered one if anyone has any good images of the savage power plant. Or dimensions of the full size plant. The lack of reversing gear is a bonus as they only rotate one direction.



Thread: 3.1/2" gauge Don Youngs George
27/05/2021 10:12:21

Hello Chris,

I'll post info here as well as on the MECH forum. I have found a completed and running model, I haven't shared pictures of it as I'm not sure if hes happy for me to do so. But I'll ask permission and share if he's happy for me to do so.

The main issue is the firebox forming a structural part of the frames. This means there is no allowance for expansion in the boiler, thus the front of the boiler expands forward, this then causes alignment issues with steam pipes, hence the curled pipes shown in the articles. Also with the blast nozzle that doesn't align with the chimney base.

The solution to all these is rather simple albeit a deviation from the prototype. Extend the steel frame plate that the boiler is suppose to bolt to. So it is wide enough to clear the sides of the firebox (5.1/4" wide). Then 3/16" frames bolted or brazed to support the firebox (copper or bronze angle riveted and brazed to sides of boiler) tied together at the rear with a 1/2x3/4" drag beam bolted up.

The boiler then has room to expand rearward, pipes don't need to be flexible, and can be fixed.

There is an issue with the valve spindle not aligning but there's again a simple fix. But making from scratch id be tempted to increase the valvechest size and move the spindle so it aligns.

Really it should have a proper lubricator on it rather than the hydrostatic one, which apparently runs out very quick so don't bother with this. A larger one of 2" dia can be fitted under the footplate, or an alternative for the lubricator to be fed from an eccentric somewhere onthe loco, (ie not sure yet).

These are all points to get you started.



26/05/2021 09:25:58

Hi Bill,

Yes I had meant to message you yesterday regarding making contact with a guy whos built one.

Wheels will be ordered Friday and then the fun begins.

Meanwhile I'm giving my ml4 a tune up, before they arrive so I can get to with machining them. Including aligning the tailstock properly which is a real pain!



24/05/2021 10:08:50

Hi Bill,

I've searched on the MECH forum and came up with nothing. Can you enlighten me as to what is flawed in the design please? Or where this is documented? As I've found very little info.

Ill put a post on the MECH forum and see what is said.



24/05/2021 08:55:28


Im hoping one of you may be able to help. Been a keen narrow gauge railway fan, I've been looking at George as a build, designed by Don Young in LLAS. I have all but drawing sheet four in the magazines. Though this has now been sorted and I have the remaining drawing.

My question, is there any of these locos ever been finished. As despite searching the Internet, I've yet to come across a running example. There are three or four partially built ones that I've found. (One of these is the example shown in the article text). But I've never seen one running, so it begs the question is it a flawed design somehow?

Now a lot of what I've read on Don Young suggests that he was an excellent designer, so I doubt my last statement can be true. So let's see a show of hands for anyone that has seen one running. Any other thoughts or ideas also welcome.



Thread: 5" Maid of Kent Build Log
05/02/2021 11:04:31

My apologies Julian, got your surname wrong.


Thread: Tailstock turret
05/02/2021 10:07:04

Personally I think doing the flat face boring, drilling and tapping of that side that will eventually face the chuck, is a better way of doing it. To give yourself the most surface area for holding, to then drill and tap/bore for the tailstock arbour. It also means that the part is already in position to maintain the centre tapped hole in line with the axis of the lathe. Also the plunger hole can be drilled at the same angle by simply setting over the cross slide.

The top part then can be made, and indexed and drilled for the plunger indent, bolted together then the sockets drilled and reamed for the tooling. Using the fully assembled part mounted in the tailstock and the drill and reamer mounted in the spindle. Perfect alignment is then ensured with the indexed position and the spindle axis.

Plenty of different ways to do it.


Edited By Jon Cameron on 05/02/2021 10:25:33

04/02/2021 23:23:00

Actually, engage brain.... do that in reverse. Mount raw casting on faceplate to bore and drill through the rotating piece first. Use plenty of packing. Once all these operations are done mount the angleplate loosely on the cross slide, put a piece of paper between the machined surface and the angle plate. Then poke a long bolt that you pre made into the casting to secure it to the angleplate. Make sure the angleplate is nipped fixer tight on the teenuts. Rotate the chuck so that the arbour spigot is on centreheight of the lathe. Then fully tighten the bolt through into the casting. The faceplate can now be turned on the cross slide, and clocked into the required angle. Then a simple matter of drilling and tapping for the arbour. Or you could transfer the angle plate to the faceplate, if the spigot is directed facing directly up so when mounted to the faceplate the spigot is in line with the axis of the lathe. An engineers square on the cross slide may help this setup.


04/02/2021 23:06:49

Get your angleplate out, bolt the casting to the angle plate securely. Set the angle plate on the cross slide at the correct angle. Clock it in with a DTI mounted to the bed over a set distance or angle gauges and set the angleplate up against the faceplate with the gauge between the faces, before clamping down. Use a boring tool in the spindle. Drill and tap the hole with a drill chuck in the spindle. For next operation if you set it up right you'll simply need to turn and clock the angle plate in line with the axis of the lathe. Then drill and tap the hole for the arbour. If I'm looking at it correctly that is??

Just seen a fully built one of these for sale, is it a hemmingway kit?


Thread: 5" Maid of Kent Build Log
04/02/2021 22:00:56


Would love to follow your build log either here or on MECH forum. MOK is a loco id love to build one day. The Minx might be made first. as I quite like its simplicity. If you were itching to get started on MOK then start with the tender while you can get the valve gear figured out.

From what I recall when I asked some questions either here or on MECH, the Stephenson's valve gear was terrible, the loco would run but it would struggle and be down half of full pressure when running round a track the loco didn't vent steam from the cylinders correctly and it would be a bit wheezy when it finally came into the station to swap passengers. (So I'm told). Link valve gear was better, simpler to build too, but on MOK it still wasn't 100%.

I'd message Julian Atkinson I think he's on both forums, he has a far better understanding of the valvegear, but is modest to say the least. They are online simulators that will allow you to run simulations of valve gears. These can determine how good the valve gear actually is. The key is getting equal openings for valve events, to both sides of the cylinder.

Will be following your progress even if I don't comment much.


Thread: Looking to upgrade my lathe advice please
04/02/2021 21:45:39

Thats more than I thought they would be listed as, and out of any potential budget of mine.

I had a reply from Bede also the one listed on their website is sold. Still thanks for the heads up



04/02/2021 14:11:03

Dave the tooling I've listed in my post does fit the ML4 and ML7 as it bolts to the cross slide, the amolco milling attachment has the foot for an ML7, but I had an adaptor plate made up to enable its use on the ML4 bed. Centres ect from my lathe won't fit an ML7 as the MT sockets are different. Chucks will fit with a different backplate. The fixed steady from the ML4 will fit the ML7 but is small capacity, the travelling steady is nearly the same as the ML7 one and I believe bolts the same too. Also yes thanks for the Covid 19 reminder, I've worked through both lockdowns manufacturing plastics for the protective screens, and PPE, such as face visors. Im fully aware what is and isn't essential.

Howard, your correct on the beds, see above reply. SC4 would be nice, but I've looked and Arc say they have discontinued that model. A warco or SC3 would be another alternative, and the warco WM180 comes in at under £1000. But has a smaller centre to centre distance than what I have now. 300mm compared to 21". If I have the money then a separate milling machine would be nice. Seig do the SX1LP for under £600. Warco WM 12 for just over £750. Having a guarantee and new machine is of benefit as tooling is readily available. Will have to do some more searching tonight and compare, but I welcome the thoughts posted above thank you.


04/02/2021 12:41:17

Hi Dave,

Yes I've seen that and have sent an enquiry off to them as there is not much said about it. I await their reply.


Ps your the second person to say they have had good dealing with them.

Edited By Jon Cameron on 04/02/2021 12:42:29

04/02/2021 12:10:04

Hello David, I would say my turning style is quite gentle, I don't take more than 20thou dia cuts, the ML4 would struggle with anything more than 40thou dia cut. I wouldn't say I've pushed the ML4 hard on any operation I've done.

Hello Buffer, I do have an Amolco milling attachment which is in immaculate condition, and has three collets and collet closer for holding Milling cutters, and an MT2 spindle and drawbar. An S7 with cabinet and tooling, with the milling attachment and tooling I have would be ideal I think but prices seem to have gone silly in the last 12months for a half decent machine. This is why I'm posing the question as it seems I have two options available to me.


04/02/2021 10:27:26


I'm looking at upgrading my myford ML4 to an ML7. Having had a look around prices and spec seem to vary wildly at the moment. I have a host of myford tooling, vertical slide, vice, rotary table and an Alomco milling attachment, so upgrading to an ML7 seems logical.

Trouble is I can't help thinking that if I sold the lot off I would make enough money to contribute to buying a decent brand new Lathe, such as a sieg and a new mill. I might be opening a rabbit hole of opinions here but do I keep a look out for a good ML7, or do I go ahead and look to go down the new Chinese lathe route? I have seen an ML7 locally to me but at £1500 just for the lathe with limited tooling I'm wondering is this too much? The lathe looks in good condition, but without going and doing some tests on it, its an unknown whereas a new lathe and mill wouldn't be.

Advice please. Im located in the North East if that is of any help.


Thread: 2" Durham and North Yorkshire
09/10/2020 16:23:42

Hi Rog,

I'm not sure about small and manageable lol. Its still a big lump to move around. Managing a lot of time in the workshop and there is steady progress even if it doesn't appear so. Wheels are getting stripped of the old paint. I took the chimney saddle off, and the smokebox door, as neither were a good fit. Which would have lead to poor performance sucking in cold air through the smokebox door.

Funny how one step forward, one step back seems appropriate for this build. I took the smokebox into work for the tooling guy to skim the door face flat, it wasn't anything like. I didn't relish the prospect of drilling out x20 rivets, and re-riveting it back up so I could swing it on my lathe. Also to skim the back so it was parallel. This was in the hope id have a perfect smokebox ready to proceed forward.

When it was mounted in the lathe another issue has reared its head. The smokebox cleaned up well despite the limited grip that could be applied from the Jaws, (i didn't want it deforming). When it was first offered up to the jaws, it became very apparent the perch bracket bearing wasn't parallel with the base of the smokebox. this in effect will mean my engine will look like its has a bump with a low wall. Im going to leave it for now and see if it bugs me when mounted on its wheels, and if its noticeable. Its been deduced that the perch bracket wasn't made with good bends in the corners which have made it at a slight angle to the rear, instead of centreline of the smokebox.

I was going to ask the Tooling guy to turn a slight taper in the rear of the smokebox so that the two would mate together, this is when we realised the smokebox isn't actually round. When offered up light gaps (or air gaps) could be seen in some places but not others, on measuring the smokebox ID and the boiler barrel OD, I have upto 55thou to file away in places to get a decent air tight fit, and the smokebox needs to insert on the boiler another 1/4".

The boiler and smokebox will receive fire cement paste squirted around the inside to get a good airtight fit, when finished off and mounted to the boiler, but first I have 20 odd holes to drill in the boiler barrel end, and a lot of bluing and filing to get a snug fit on the boiler barrel end. Also the saddle to remachine before I can finally mount that on the smokebox. That'll keep me busy for a few nights over the weekend. lol


07/10/2020 10:51:24

Hello again,

I have tried to get the boiler tested, however ended up having a falling out with the boiler tester/secretary instead. So I am looking for a new club in the north east that will actually look at the boiler for testing. In their own words "wouldn't have time to perform the test".

So pushing onward, I have set myself a target of having the engine on its wheels, (bolted together, not balanced) by the end of the year, any additional works completed is a bonus.

The "wet test" that id mentioned previously, and also pics of the stays and tube plates on the boiler. I was worried about the front tube plate since it has been deformed. I believe this is an attempt to fit the smokebox that wasn't the right ID for the boiler barrel. measuring the smokebox, it is bang on 5" and as can be seen from the photos needs to be slightly bigger for fitting to the boiler end. So this will have to be bored out. After taking a lot of measurements the offside of the boilers firebox tapers out towards the foundation ring, this isn't a large amount, and wont interfere with the hornplates, I do however have to machine or file back the hollow stays so that the hornplates will stand vertically. Need to order some 2.5mm steel plates to replace the horns.


boiler rear nearside quarter.jpg

inside firebox 1.jpg

inside firebox 2.jpg

front tubeplate 2

front tubeplate 1

front tubeplate 4

front tubeplate 3

front tubeplate 5inside firebox 3.jpg

17/09/2020 12:27:52


Dispite little interest, i'll continue my postings and hopefully as it progress it may be useful or of interest to someone else. I got myself a large metal bench the other day, and this has increased space to be able to work. So With the lump of box section, angle, and sheet that is my bench, I dragged it into position and laid all the parts out. Although this will be a long haul, I need to do some bits until I get my ML4 up and running how I want it. So trying to muster up some motivation, I set about with the wheels. clearing all the gunk off the rim with a mixture of files, emery cloth, and scotch brite to get rid of the rubber, metal set, and epoxy glue that the previous owner had applied.

durham 1.jpg



Once its cleaned up ill get them in primer, so they don't corrode, then its onto making some tyres. I think its 1/16" less for every 1" circumference, for a tight fit, the rubber can then be profiled to a nice round corner shape, and hopefully will look like a vulcanised tyre, and also stay put when in use. The rears below will also have the same treatment.




The front axle is a bit of a no brainer, it wasn't set up between centres for machining so its a bit lopsided, also two flats where there should be a nice round profile is no good, so a new lump of steel acquired from the scrap bin at work, and ill be turning and milling a new axle happily soon, for free



Need to buy some ME taps and dies for the boiler, then also mill the stays parallel with the boiler. I also need to get round to finish assembly of my ML4, so I can actually turn something.


Set about the rear wheels, removing the timing belts that had been used as tyres. These had been stuck on with what looks like some kind of epoxy glue. However it's brittle in places, so I suspect that it would have fallen off on first use, anyhow I didn't like the exposed threads of the belts, so stripped them back.



After a lot of hard work, the glue was gone leaving just the surface of the rim.


Two wheels free from their timing belts.
Next job is to strip the paint off the rear wheels. Then get them in primer and make some new tyres for them all.


Edited By Jon Cameron on 17/09/2020 12:29:33

Edited By Jon Cameron on 17/09/2020 13:11:27

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