By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

Member postings for Mick B1

Here is a list of all the postings Mick B1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Testing Medieval Gunpowder
23/12/2021 19:10:33

Thanks for the pointer to the book, Dave.

Reduced-flash cordite was of course of significant value for RN cruisers engaging Scharnhorst at North Cape - ships stalking and shooting by radar in the Arctic night.

22/12/2021 16:24:59
Posted by Phil Whitley on 22/12/2021 15:43:06:

there is a very good method of mixing and grinding black powder by rubbing between two sheets of glass, of course, this practice can also ignite the mixture, ask me how I know..................



Some of the early pointed black powder filled shells used in 19th C rifled muzzle-loading guns didn't have fuzes. They relied on the friction between the powder granules on the sharp deceleration of impact to fire their bursting charge.

22/12/2021 14:16:34

Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 22/12/2021 11:26:06:


'Caponier' rather than 'Capuchin' I think.

On the subject of dense acrid smoke, I'm just finishing Vol 2 of Kuropatkin's 'The Russian Army and the Japanese War'.

The Russo-Japanese of 1904/1905 is interesting because it was the first modern war: steam transport, barbed wire, concrete, telecommunications, high explosives, QF artillery, machine guns, balloons and much other scientific nastiness.

Both sides used smokeless powder.



'Smokeless' is a bit of a relative term, like 'stainless' for steel.

Look at any photo or footage of a large 20th C warship firing its main armament, and there are always vast volumes of dense, dark smoke emitted - even though 'smokeless'propellants like nitrocellulose, cordite or their analogues were in use. In some notable sea battles, such as Falkland Islands in 1914 or the final Bismarck action in 1941, ships had to alter course in order to prevent their own gunsmoke clouding their gunnery direction.

I've never been able to find out why such copious smoke was emitted by heavy guns, when smallarms really do produce very little. One witness to the Gallipoli bombardments in WW1 blamed the silk bags in which the propellants were loaded to the guns. I even begged a bit of silk from my wife's weaving stock, and loaded it into a couple of .303 rifle cartridges to see if I got a puff of smoke when I fired them at the next range meeting, but got nowt. Anyway, the German guns, which had used big brass cases like oversized rifle rounds, smoked just as badly as the British.

Some have suggested that it's steel particles from the gun chambers and bores, washed out by the high pressures and temperatures. But the rifled liners for the big naval guns lasted about 300 - 400 rounds - say a third as many as an infantry rifle barrel at the time - so if that were so, the rifles should have still smoked a fair bit more than they did.

22/12/2021 12:24:26
Posted by Buffer on 22/12/2021 11:44:33:

There is a very nice gunpowder proving mortar on dartmoor. Just type in dartmoor proving mortar to see it. They checked the quality of the powder batches with it.

I think this is the beast, as it was in 2009 anyway - mounted on a 'coehorn' I believe. The powder mill a mile or so west of Postbridge was quite a nice craft pottery, and hopefully still is. The leaflet said alderwood charcoal was best for gunpowder, but what they made at the mill was for quarry blasting - not necessarily the same properties as a ballistic propellant.

dartmoor mortar.jpg


Edited By Mick B1 on 22/12/2021 12:40:19

Thread: Drilling brass.
14/12/2021 14:52:33

At the Government Training Centre they taught me to grind a zero-rake 'platform' about 0,5 - 1mm wide to defeat the rake at the cutting lip. It's much like JasonB's recommendation above, but - for me at least - quicker and easier to achieve. It resolves the snatching problem completely. Time spent learning to get the bench grinder to do what you want is never wasted.

Thread: Any Old Gun Experts out there?
13/12/2021 22:33:38

The 'double-clamp' item is undoubtedly an Alfred J. Parker foresight adjuster for a Lee-Enfield. If the '03' is a date, then it'll presumably be MLE or CLLE models, otherwise and maybe more likely the much more common SMLE used in WW1 and WW2 until superseded by the No.4. It shifts the dovetailed block incorporating the foresight blade sideways rather than bending it.

To use it on the SMLE required removal of the rifle's nosecap in order for the adjusting screws to be able to get at the foresight in its dovetail. This was fiddly to do in the field or on the range, and risked losing bits like the nosecap muzzle bedding pad and/or spring, and/or securing screw in the long grass! Later rifle models had windows cut in the foresight protector so you could do it without that fuss, but it was still something done by the unit armourer, not Tommy.

Edited By Mick B1 on 13/12/2021 22:36:32

Thread: Shortening Screws
13/12/2021 15:23:56

Tapped bit of hex brass (A/F > head size of course) slit lengthwise with junior hacksaw. Make sure the slit is between jaws on the 3-jaw, and clamp tight. Part off or face the length - light cutting forces, don't be greedy.

Thread: Tricky Work Holding Problem
11/12/2021 11:01:24
Posted by Martin King 2 on 11/12/2021 10:16:28:

Hi All,

I will try Jason.s method for squaring up the handle ends. Have got a nice beefy angle plate.

I only have a very small pillar drill with no room for something this size.

Even if I can get the handle in the 4 jaw on my Myford I cannot hold the outboard end safely? Certainly no room in the spindle.

Cheers, Martin

If you're going to drill the handles for a knob on the end, why not centre-drill the outboard ends for tailstock support? Then you can turn the handles however you might wish.

Thread: Digital Caliper - again, sorry
09/12/2021 16:13:55

I use Moore & Wright valueline - normally around £25, smooth operating, pretty reliable within their 0,01mm/half-thou resolution and a battery can last many months or more of regular use. I'm on my third one in about 7 years of use - they don't stand being dropped or struck very well - but as a general workshop gauge I think they're at least good enough.

The Aldi and Lidl types do seem to have much heavier battery consumption and are much more prone to the 200 thou/5,08mm reading jump that seems to be a sporadic fault of the genre.

Edited By Mick B1 on 09/12/2021 16:14:44

Thread: How to profile a bum shaped depression in a 5"G drivers tip-up seat
06/12/2021 18:48:55

The traditional tool is a travisher. You can get them in various sizes but I shouldn't think that small - assuming it's a scale seat rather than one for a full-size driver.

Could you use Miliput or suchlike putty with a thumb-pressed depression?

Thread: pantomime sword
30/11/2021 21:55:16
Posted by old mart on 30/11/2021 17:53:56:

Toledo steel, actors are expendible. laugh

Ladder Damascus for a Saracen, surely! surprisewink

30/11/2021 14:10:31
Posted by Phil H1 on 30/11/2021 13:07:02:

Can't you also ditch the Saracen bit and replace with a Viking or Anglo Saxon character. Nice straight swords???

The saexes on the Essex flag are at least as difficult... laugh

Thread: Stuart Beam Con Rod
27/11/2021 10:34:21

Long time ago for me too, but mine measures about 13/16" to the bottom of the radius.

Maybe I was just leaving myself a load of room, and it looks as if I made the fork as a separate component - but I can't see that it has any negative effect.

Thread: show us your workshop.
25/11/2021 17:21:05

I thought about photographing and posting mine, but some of the above makes me hesitate even though I keep Location turned off on my phone.

Not that I've got anything especially valuable - and anyway, what comes out yer workshop is 100 times more important than what you got in there.

Thread: Best way to make valve guides
22/11/2021 21:54:21

I've come to the view that wandering often occurs if you drive the drill hard and don't peck often enough. If swarf gets trapped between the cylindrical land and the wall of the hole it'll deflect the drill point and one lip will cut deeper, diverting the hole slightly, and going deeper will only exaggerate the effect.

Thread: US Army : Infantry Squad Vehicle
15/11/2021 11:03:28
Posted by Clive Hartland on 14/11/2021 22:17:41:

The Yanks dont like, 'Yomping', that is marching from one place to another.

They like to be carried to a place , do what they do, and then be carried back.

These battle vehs. are fast and all terrain allowing hit and run a speciality. They would have a heavy calibre machine gun fitted as well.

Hmmm... Currently these are probably mainly used to provide dramatic footage, discourage/outrange local civilian dissent, or otherwise engage targets incapable of effective reply.

Maybe not the sort of things an army presenting itself as the civilised good guys should want to be doing...?

14/11/2021 19:14:03
Posted by JasonB on 14/11/2021 18:15:00:
Posted by Mick B1 on 14/11/2021 17:30:55:

Well, I was thinking of it more as a logistics vehicle to get troops and kit into the battle area rather than an actual combat vehicle.

In this day and it is just as likely to come under attack getting to a battle zone what with IEDs, RPG fire or suicide bombers which it has little protection against

True enough, but there are 2 possible replies:-

i) the next action might be very different, and not conducted in an environment with a significant indifferent or hostile hinterland population component, and

ii) wasn't the recent success of light irregular forces in Afghanistan as much down to the unarmoured pickup loaded with fighters and smallarms, as it was to those other guerilla techniques? This vehicle could be just a better version of that.

Edited By Mick B1 on 14/11/2021 19:15:22

14/11/2021 17:30:55
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 14/11/2021 11:29:53:
Posted by Mick B1 on 14/11/2021 10:10:38:
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 14/11/2021 09:57:12:

Despite the lukewarm reception by forum members … I still think it’s an exceptional piece of Engineering, in the sense of using Commercial off-the-shelf Components.



Yes, it looks a pretty good piece of work.

That raised rear roof - wonder if you could mount a little turret with a Vickers gun, a la WW1 Rolls-Royce armoured car..? wink

Extraordinarily difficult to say whether or not this sort of vehicle will be a success or not. Low cost, easy to maintain, fast, and good off-road capability are all desirable. Unfortunately, military vehicles are targets!


For example, very dangerous to pit HMS Hood against the Bismark, and the result was tragic. HMS Hood was a Battlecruiser, a ship fitted with big guns but thinly armoured for speed - essential to keep the weight down. Battlecruisers were designed specifically to catch and outgun commerce raiding cruisers; unfortunately having big guns and high-speed made it tempting to use battlecruisers to pin down heavily armoured battleships while the rest of the fleet caught up.



Well, I was thinking of it more as a logistics vehicle to get troops and kit into the battle area rather than an actual combat vehicle. The Vickers gun turret idea was just whimsy, noting that some of the WW1 and inter-war armoured cars used a high rear deck to carry the turret.

Now, not wanting to to hijack this thread, but HMS Hood. The battlecruiser concept was already under criticism after Jutland and before Hood's keel was laid. In the light of such criticism, another 500 tons of armour was worked in - but much speculation since has centred more on the RN ready-use storage of bagged propellant charges in less protected spaces during the Jutland action than the actual armour scheme. Battlecruiser losses at Jutland were more from opposing battlecruisers than battleships.

The second enquiry into the loss of Hood suggested that Bismarck had to hit a region of Hood 40 feet long and 18 inches deep to achieve the result that occurred, and suggested further that it was indeed a very unlucky hit for Hood. It possibly had its roots in confused enemy course reports from the shadowing cruisers during the night, which had lost Hood the abrupt 'crossing-T' approach Adm Holland had hoped for, and forced the tricky and oblique closing manoeuvre of the actual battle.

The later torpedo hit on Bismarck that sealed its fate was hardly less improbable - at least one survivor had played a 'casualty' in an earlier exercise simulating such a hit, and had been told that its estimated probability was in the hundred-thousand-to-one against range.The facts revealed critical design weaknesses in the ship's stern construction.

Edited By Mick B1 on 14/11/2021 17:33:37

14/11/2021 10:10:38
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 14/11/2021 09:57:12:

Despite the lukewarm reception by forum members … I still think it’s an exceptional piece of Engineering, in the sense of using Commercial off-the-shelf Components.



Yes, it looks a pretty good piece of work.

That raised rear roof - wonder if you could mount a little turret with a Vickers gun, a la WW1 Rolls-Royce armoured car..? wink

14/11/2021 09:36:18
Posted by Journeyman on 13/11/2021 09:48:56:

OK for places where it doesn't rain much, seems to be missing doors and rooffrown Probably not road legal in UK.



I imagine those will be accessories provisioned separately, made of whatever is deemed suitable to resist local deployment conditions... surprise

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
Rapid RC
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest