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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: Tyrosemiophilia
09/06/2019 20:37:34

Anyone who can collect money from someone who has a lot of blunderbusses is good at their job and certainly brave 😀

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 09/06/2019 20:38:14

Thread: Reference books
09/06/2019 10:21:29

Model Engineers Handbook by Tubal Cain (Tom Walshaw)

Thread: Tyrosemiophilia
07/06/2019 17:18:59

Film cameras, old computers, Shelley Dripware (look it up cheeky) and coffee cans (ie cups) and saucers.

Thread: Jeanie Deans
06/06/2019 21:23:19
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 05/06/2019 10:56:02:

A personal opinion about LBSC; as he grew older he became grumpy and slapdash, and he developed an intense dislike of being challenged. I find his writings range from excellent to dubious.

I quite agree, however I try to read him with open eyes - but he is always very readable even when being a rude and self opinionated ****

I find Don Young easy to read but I sometimes feel there are issues in what he recommends - after Martin Evans in the mid sixties almost sneered at designers not using boiler bushes he still allowed Don to describe County Carlow's boiler with fittings tapped directly into the backhead in 1969 and let him publish the text to justify this. And his later designs are just too complicated - look at the frames on Jersey Lily for example. However his Doncaster works articles are still a joy to read.

Early and late Martin Evans is an interesting read but while editor he became boring (in my personal opinion) and was not fun to read.

Keith Wilson was always an interesting read although his designs were and still are way beyond me!!

Personally, in my opinion, the best to read was Ken Swann - read his description of Bridget from 1970 or so and see if you agree - and while his obituary in ME a few months ago says he was scathing of designers who allowed errors to creep into his drawings, speaking to people who have built his designs say that this was not a fault to be found in his locos.

Hopefully factual and not libellous! What do you think??

06/06/2019 21:01:42
Posted by John Rutzen on 06/06/2019 18:32:10:

hI Nick, I've got that book and read the chapter on compounds. Thanks for pointing it out. It's a sad reflection on British engine drivers that they weren't considered intelligent enough to drive a compound whereas the continental ones were. LBSC doesn't say this but the fact that the simpling valve was automatic rather that controlled by the driver implies it.

To be fair, in a recent article in ME on French Compounds it was stated that on some of them the driver could notch up the high and Low pressure cylinders independently and I can think of several friends now who would be totally spaced out by that! devil

06/06/2019 12:27:32

For details of some of the hardware LBSC designed for a 3 1/2” compound there are details of a NE compounds ‘twiddly bits’ in his Live Steam Book aka ‘Shops Shed and Road’


06/06/2019 12:21:11

For details of some of the hardware LBSC designed for a 3 1/2” compound there are details of a NE compounds ‘twiddly bits’ in his Live Steam Book aka ‘Shops Shed and Road’


Thread: Quicksilver
05/06/2019 07:51:31
Posted by Kiwi Bloke 1 on 04/06/2019 23:21:27:

John, that rings distant bells. I noticed bags of flowers of sulphur for sale in the animal care part of my local farm supply store. It seemed too good to ignore - a chance to procure something that seemed a bit 'naughty'. Apart from the obvious use (an ingredient necessary for historical attempts to blow up parliament buildings), I couldn't think of a sensible use for it, and what's it used for in/on animals? Anyway, thanks to your information, I can now deal with mercury spillages - a constant worry...

My Nan used to buy weaner pigs and raise them for the Kitchen. She used to rub the back of the pigs with flowers of sulphur if they got skin issues.

04/06/2019 17:42:53

In one school I worked at during the last 30 years or so (genuinely can't remember which) they still had mercury barometer troughs in the physics lab.

Imagine a porcelain dish about 4" long and 3/4" wide and the same tall except one end of the trough widened out to be circular - about 1" diameter - sort of a keyhole shape in plan view or a midget version of one of those baths you can have a shower in.

When I enquired what this strange dish was used for it was explained that you filled it half full with mercury, filled up a glass tube with one end sealed right to the top with mercury, put your finger over the end of the tube, inverted it an placed the tube under the surface in the dish in the circular end before removing your finger, leaving a basic barometer. The trough was shaped to accommodate your finger that could then be removed and the tube supported in a clamp stand.

I never had the courage to demonstrate it - but no doubt I would have been allowed to do so!

The best thing was that there were a class set of these things - Imagine how much mercury would have been needed, how much it would cost and even with a well organised class how much would end up on the floor.

Thread: Why a round bed?
03/06/2019 14:29:05
Posted by Bazyle on 03/06/2019 13:37:48:

At the same time as Drummond were selling the roundbed they were also selling 'conventional' flat bed lathes. Perhaps someone can find an old ME with both types advertised to compare the prices.

The manual on this site describes the 3 1/2" lathe as "being again modified in 1921" and the price is £21-10-00 for a bench lathe. A 1923 ME lists a roundbed as a bench lathe at £9-10-00 

I think it would be safe to assume these are from the same date.


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 03/06/2019 14:29:59

Thread: Making a tiny reamer
02/06/2019 18:57:31
Posted by John Reese on 02/06/2019 18:31:45:

Thanks John - With the larger reamers I have made I have just held them in fibre jaws in the vice and filed a single flat and I was wondering how to hold such a thin piece for filing without bending it.

I will probably make a similar holder, but I'm waiting for the silver steel to arrive as I said, so not done it yet (apologies to the member NDIY)

Thanks again,


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 02/06/2019 19:01:08

Thread: Why a round bed?
02/06/2019 18:43:40

Clive - I must firstly declare an interest and say that I have roundbed under the bench as a long term project, but I can't accept that it as bad as you have written.

When put back together it will do as much as it ever could (I hope) and yes all of those weaknesses you describe are there, and always were there. What you can't do is wind in so many divisions on a dial and expect a workpiece to be to size. You have to measure and check. However despite all of the issues the older lathe can be set up accurately while the advice for some cheaper lathes today is, to quote a poster in a different thread, to treat them as a set of parts and set them up after purchase. If you haven't the adjustment left to do that then it needs to go back to the supplier.

Modern machinery is easier to use and has more features but unlike an older lathe may not be in a position to be put back into service 100 years after manufacture - as accurate and capable as it ever was - but no more.

Interestingly in my opinion as an addition to the imported machinery; the reason why so much excellent professional equipment is available to the amateur today is down to manual machines not being so prominently used in industry as before, and the lack of engineering taught in schools and colleges. This has brought to the market a large number of lathes and other machines. In 20 years time I suspect the machines coming from these sources will be far fewer in number and probably CAM based using incompatible out of date software or damaged electronics. Possibly even unusable.


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 02/06/2019 18:47:01

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2019
02/06/2019 17:01:35
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 28/05/2019 22:58:41:

I got a text an hour ago to say that after extensive tests my brother has not got prostate cancer 🙂 he's one of the few people in the world who is glad to have prostatitis.

I texted him back "I bet you're glad the doctor put his finger on it" with a suitable medical diagram...

But seriously - forum members over fifty (there must be one or two) don't be shy - grit your teeth and ask your doctor to give you a check, it could save your life.Told


Had a PSA test about a year ago (I am several years into your target group Neil!).

Told us it could be atypically raised if we had been, how should I put it?, lets say - recently active socially in that department!

Mine was 1.25. The story of my life really!!

Glad I had the test done though.

Thread: Super 7 - Best way to use ER25 Collets
02/06/2019 16:49:17

Why not both?? My own choice is a chuck and a holder that enables collets to be shared with the milling machine, as the chucks and MT2 holders are less expensive than a selection of reasonable er25 collets.

Why both??

I use the chuck carefully lined up where accuracy is important and the mt collet holder where I wish to hold small diameters but time is more important than absolute accuracy or the need to handle long lengths- when producing a set of loco spring pins for example. An even quicker set-up could be a hex collet block held in the 3jaw and you could deal with long objects as well.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 02/06/2019 16:50:13

Thread: Making a tiny reamer
02/06/2019 10:50:32
Posted by Phil P on 02/06/2019 10:14:49:

Hi Nick

I know it might not be in the spirit of doing everything yourself, but you can buy a 2mm chucking reamer in the UK for less than £2 post free on Ebay, even if the quality is not perfect I think at that price I would be tempted to buy one and try a test hole before making one.


Thanks Phil - I saw those - my thinking was as a 2mm silver steel shaft has to run in the hole making a reamer from the same steel might mean the size was more accurate.

This is all tiny stuff for me!

02/06/2019 10:04:30

At some point in the near future I will need a 2mm reamer for a one off job.

I have made 'toolmakers' reamers in the past by filing silver steel down at an angle - but not often, and in larger sizes only.

Any hints/suggestions on making such a tiny reamer, particularly the best way to hold it while making and what speed to run it at

No hurry as only just ordered the 2mm silver steel.



Thread: What is this tool?
30/05/2019 19:13:14
Posted by AdrianR on 30/05/2019 18:42:54:

Thanks Tim, I have another one of those that is twice as big but is not identical, the numbers go up twice as high.

I have one that is different again - holding it up to the computer screen the numbers are closer together.

Thread: Do you wear a mask grinding HSS tool bits?
28/05/2019 10:52:24
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 28/05/2019 10:21:52:

Good news - coroners haven't identified Model Engineering as a cause of premature death and GP's aren't writing worried letters to the Lancet about us. (As far as I know!)


Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 28/05/2019 10:23:14

I don't know about that - saying "Darling, Look at the lovely new lathe I've just bought" might lead to a fatal encounter!

Thread: What's this tool?
28/05/2019 10:13:17

Is it the right way up in the photo?

If you are fitting cups under castors on furniture or spreading a carpet underneath you could stand the wooden stick on the floor and press down on the handle, lifting the metal pad up to singlehandedly fit a cup or carpet under the leg on a sofa or chair?

Just a guess at what it looks like - I know nothing!!.

Thread: Restoring a Myford ML1
26/05/2019 18:24:46

It may seem an odd request, but go to the Drummond Round Bed pages on

Look at the pictures.

The later machines had cast headstock bearings like yours has (had??) but the earlier ones had separate bolt on bronze bearings, either single piece or two piece.

Have a look and see if it gives a practical insight into your idea.


PS Tell me when you decide to make some progress and I'll tell you how little further forward my own project lathe, a 4" Drummond has progressed. I suspect it might not take too long! crying

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 26/05/2019 18:25:16

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