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Member postings for Nick Clarke 3

Here is a list of all the postings Nick Clarke 3 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: LBSC's 1000 class in 3 1/2 gauge
04/01/2019 08:25:44

Talk to your club's boiler inspector - not only will they be experienced but also they are the one who will have to certify your completed boiler for insurance purposes.

In general most of LBSCs boiler designs can be certified with little modification, if any - However the contruction methods he suggested (eg the use of brazing alloys such as SifBronze or Silbralloy and the use of soft solder to caulk stays) in the magazine instructions are far more likely to need changing to meet todays boiler code. But it is your boiler inspector who is the guy to talk to.

If you are not yet in a club join one. It is worth it!

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 04/01/2019 08:26:22

Thread: Measurements from the past
02/01/2019 21:11:30
Posted by Mike Poole on 02/01/2019 21:06:12:

How about, gnats c**k, fly s**t, or for the Aussies a Mickey whisker,


Edited By Mike Poole on 02/01/2019 21:08:14

While the first two are familiar I have not heard of the third. Taking the others as examples what, for heavens sake is a mickey?????

Don't answer please!

Thread: An electric motor actuated vice
02/01/2019 20:48:21
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 02/01/2019 14:06:03:.

May not be quite the same as an electric window ...


Yes, Nick ... I realise that it may not be 'quite the same'

But the control principle [threshold load triggers stop and retract slightly] is still worth a look.

Hi Michael -

The point I was thinking about was that while an electric window works as you suggest a vice would surely need to stop at a threshold load but NOT retract slightly or it would not grip.

Dunno - Just thinking aloud online.

Take care


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 02/01/2019 20:51:03

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 02/01/2019 20:55:27

Thread: Model engineers - enlisted in war efforts?
02/01/2019 20:41:05
Posted by Swarf, Mostly! on 02/01/2019 20:18:04:

I seem to remember reading that Edgar T. designed a portable ('luggable? ) steam driven electrical generator used by the 'Chindits' to power their radios in the jungles of Burma (now Myanmar).

Precursor to Drax?!?!

I don't know who would have made them

Stuart Turner perhaps?

Thread: An electric motor actuated vice
02/01/2019 15:08:14
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 02/01/2019 14:06:03:

If you need to include a safety device [*] have a look at the way they stop electric windows in cars.

May not be quite the same as an electric window needs to stop at any resistance greater than the friction of the channels it slides up but an electric vice would need to stop at a predetermined pressure, but greater than nominal, to hold something tightly.

Thread: Help finding article
02/01/2019 14:08:39

There is Moderator Neil's article on MEW 204 that I have found very useful (Thanks Neil)

It is available here:

Thread: Old Lathe
02/01/2019 13:46:14
Posted by Ian Usmar on 02/01/2019 12:01:31:

So the one on Ebay is spare or repair £25 the main spindle has snapped at the chuck end! So is it worth the money just for the change gears and them possibly sell other bits if I can or get new main spindle ( No motor )

If that is the only damage, at that price it is a repairable lathe - working round beds are up for between £200 (OK) and £500 (silly)

So you could probably more than make your money on a spares/repair one. The change wheels seem to go on eBay for between £5 and £12 unless unusual (eg metric conversion)

Important reminder - The pins that link wheels together on a Drummond are tapered and while they will drive or press out, trying to do it from the wrong side the taper will split the gear in two!



Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 02/01/2019 13:49:33

Thread: Happy New Year
02/01/2019 13:39:29

Happy New Year to everyone - I would also like to be more productive this year but at present distracted by the sound of pigs flying by and the crackling noise of ice as Hell freezes over.

Ah well I can try.

Thread: Measurements from the past
31/12/2018 19:39:07

While the metric system has now taken over here in the US imperial still rules (can I say that after the trouble George III had with our American colonies? - who knows thinking)

But in my opinion the biggest innovation is not the change of units, but rather the unification of all units into one system - so we no longer have fluid ounces, pipkins, gills, tuns, hogsheads pints etc, but just litres and multiples thereof. Similarly it is grams etc not drachms, troyounce, ounces, pounds quarters, tons, long tons etc

Not so long ago (even in my parents time) every trade or profession had its own favourite units of which few now remain - points for type perhaps, although that is often wrongly applied and carats for gemstones spring to mind.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 31/12/2018 19:40:13

Thread: What Wonderful machinery was made back then!
31/12/2018 11:56:32

If you go to you will see information on many machines, but look at the page on Rolls Royce precision lathes.

I think you may find it to your taste!

Thread: USB memory sticks
31/12/2018 11:14:29

In the day job I buy and use 50 or so memory sticks every year, most of them Kingston, but I have never heard of any issues with Integral as has already been suggested - PROVIDED they are genuine!

The only fake stick I have ever had time to investigate was marked up as Sony (it wasn't). I bought it very cheaply to see what had been done to it. The controller chip had been re programmed to tell the host it was 64Gb but there was only 1Gb of memory present. It worked perfectly with small amounts of data but as soon as the chip was full everything became corrupted and the stick could not be used or reformatted.

Very small capacity sticks are now relatively expensive but I would not recommend the largest ones as solid state memory has a limited life and I have seen sticks 'wear out' as the directory or equivalent gets constantly rewritten. I suggest 8-32GB is the size to go for at present where the cost/capacity balance is about right and if a stick fails you do not lose everything in one go. But even so please back it up often.

One final thing, if you hold personal data (eg address book, club membership info or similar) Data Protection legislation requires you to keep this secure and a hardware encrypted memory stick, though expensive, is a good way to do this.

Oh and finally, finally, if you are using a stick away from 'home' remember to take it with you. I often fit cheap keyrings or tags from the stationers to them to make them more visible.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 31/12/2018 11:18:53

Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
30/12/2018 10:17:57
Posted by JasonB on 29/12/2018 06:56:49:

What use is a tripod when you want to move the camera about to show different views of the engine? The actual square on shots are quite steady. Mark is more on the right track with his GT giro balanced gimble but even then would still be moving the camera to various positions.

Phones and ipads etc are inherently difficult to hold steady IMHO

If you are using a camera monopods are a good idea as is also a length of cord with a fitting for the tripod bush on the camera on one end and loop for your toes at the other. Tension the string and the camera is suddenly a lot steadier. (Works best when the camera has a central tripod bush)

Thread: What did you do Today 2018
30/12/2018 10:00:31

Began the day by picking up off the floor and sorting a box of nearly 500 stainless washers and another of about 200 20mm glass fuses.

Had to pile everything up on one end of the workbench in a heap to clear space to temporarily move a tumble dryer and install a new washing machine after removing the dead one.

Laundry reorganisation done and I retire to kitchen for cup of tea when I hear a crash. Cat has decided this is new I must climb on top to investigate - so I am picking up off the floor and sorting a box of nearly 500 stainless washers etc etc… See above sad

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 30/12/2018 10:01:34

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 30/12/2018 10:04:45

Thread: Centaur compression ratio
30/12/2018 09:53:23

Jason - While it doesn't affect your argument I can't get your figures to add up to your second total??

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 30/12/2018 09:53:48

Thread: Leaking camera batteries
28/12/2018 19:32:19

I collect old cameras and lemon juice or citric acid applies with a cotton bud is what I use after having seen it recommended on camera collecting forums elsewhere.

Meths and WD40 will both leave a deposit and the latter is frowned upon by camera repairers. Switch cleaner may be ok if it is designed to leave nothing, however some contain lubricants to keep the contacts clean. This can migrate inside the camera. Personally after the citric acid I always spray it onto a cotton bud or use petrol lighter fuel instead. This will normally clean the contacts of chemical, however if there is corrosion or rust this can be removed by gentle application of a glass fibre pencil.

Sometimes you may need to bring a contact up to size and here a small section of the metal covering the cork of a prosecco or cava bottle can work - I haven't tried it with champagne as with model engineering and camera collecting as hobbies I can't afford the good stuff!

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 28/12/2018 19:37:01

Thread: 9" junior hacksaw...?
28/12/2018 14:51:47

Just had a blinding flash of inspiration!!!

What about other things than Junior hacksaw blades that might fit this frame? - like Abrafiles!

Look at this (ended) listing on eBay:

Abrafiles are 9" long and need special clips to fit a 10" hacksaw frame!

The things some companies do to keep business to themselves.

Thread: Changes in heating equipment - and what else?
26/12/2018 10:07:15

Predictions for the next 50 years???

Domestic laser cutting - we already have the CNC routers so it is only the cutter we need

A process combining metal spraying with 3D printing to enable metal products to be printed - will be essential if small scale castings become unavailable

Thread: Forum under constant siege
25/12/2018 20:32:34

As a moderator in a different, far less busy context, all I can say is thankyou and I don't envy you your responsibility.

Thanks again,


Thread: Changes in heating equipment - and what else?
25/12/2018 20:21:45

A recent poster was asking about Oxy Propane and It struck a chord with me as When I was a member of the Nottingham SMEE in the 1970's Martin Evans gave us a talk and one question was regarding the suitability of Oxy Propane for boiler work. Martin said he had no experience there and recommended Oxy Acetylene or Air Town Gas.

What has struck me is that while most workshop equipment has stayed more or less the same, with the exception of CNC and laser cutting, heating has changed considerably over the last 45 years or so. (not that I was a model engineer for all that time just the 1970s and resumed a couple of years ago)

When I was young there were still users of 5 pint paraffin blowlamps, most used air town gas and a few rich people used oxy acetylene. propane was available, but not yet used much.

Nowadays propane is used, air town gas has gone, as have fearsome paraffin blowlamps and oxy acetylene is just too expensive for many.

Unless anyone can suggest anything else I would suggest this is the biggest change in workshop equipment in model engineering in the last 50 years.

Do you think anything else has changed more?????

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 25/12/2018 20:23:04 to correct typo

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 25/12/2018 20:24:00

Thread: Merry Christmas
25/12/2018 10:14:16
Posted by John Paton 1 on 25/12/2018 09:18:49:

Merry Xmas one and all - and don't use your machinery until you have sobered up!

A merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful new year to everyone.

Of course I won't use machinery until sober! I never do, it's just the end result that LOOKS like I was drunk when I made it sometimes. 😂😂😂

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