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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: Hollow Stays
15/11/2018 18:52:43

Looking at a boiler drawing (7 1/4 Tich) I was wondering why model loco boilers have a hollow stay for the blower. Is this a feature of full size boilers? as a simple pipe from the turret seems a far simpler solution.

or am I missing something vital??


Thread: Win 10 updates (again)
06/11/2018 22:18:07

Like many other people here my experience with desktop computers goes back to the very early 1980s and mainframes for 10 years before that. As someone who has been involved with computer/IT education for most of that time I have come to the conclusion that Windows PCs will work well when regularly updated running programs that are similarly kept up to date. Windows 10, as pointed out by a previous poster, works best when kept online so updates are downloaded when they become available. Yes things go wrong with updates and things get broken - but it is usually the up to date ones that get fixed first. What it is not easy to do reliably is to maintain a Windows PC in the past with an old operating system or one not updated to run old software. Things like antivirus or drivers can very quickly become issues.

My experience with macs is that they are far more able to be preserved in the past with a previous version of hardware, running a previous version of the operating system with previous software than a Windows PC. I have here a totally reliable PPC mac mini with Microsoft Office that runs well - and my Macintosh SE/30 would be similar if I powered it up more often. Modern iMacs at work are similar running their own software reliably, but having issues with updated versions as Apple updates can cause problems that are very difficult to resolve as they can make demands on hardware that cannot be met.

As a Linux user since 1995 (Slackware on 23 floppy disks!) It seems to be the most reliable system but it is very definitely not quite a consumer level one yet, and if your program is not available for it then you may be out of luck, although some of the emulators like WINE are quite reliable. I have a Linux based webserver at work that has been running fro more than three years, updated and upgraded when I remember to do it. It just keeps going.

My suggestion based on experience with many many computers is that if you run Windows keep it and your programs updated - it will break from time to time but be fixed quite quickly. If you take the Mac route you cam preserve your machine as it was when you bought it, but if you do update it, it can be broken beyond repair and that Linux works the most reliably - if it works for you at all.

Incidentally my abacus has never given a moments trouble and will still add up accurately and the drawing board that I used at university in the 1973 still works - is there a moral there? 






Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 06/11/2018 22:23:42

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 06/11/2018 22:32:00

Thread: Old Printer Parts
02/11/2018 08:20:48

Posted by Rod Ashton on 01/11/2018 18:20:10:

Excuse the aside but - Any of you printer guru`s know of a driver source, for an old pen plotter please? Parallel port type

Try here they seem to support most HP plotters, but not tried it myself - my last plotter is still in the attic gathering dust!

This is a quite expensive paid driver, but I have been told that it works well - there are other free drivers on the web, but these all seem to come with 'update all your drives in one go' software that I don't want on any of my systems.

The HP site still lists a driver but for Windows XP only.


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 02/11/2018 08:28:54

Thread: injector drawings
20/10/2018 21:09:55

Two other sources are LBSC 'Live Steam Book' - an idiosyncratic description as you might expect, but early LBSC so less so than later perhaps and also Lawrie Lawrence produced a series on articles in ME in 1975 if you have access to the back issues.

Lawrie said he always had to open up LBSC's cones to get them to feed - but he doubted that Surrey water was thicker than Purley Oaks water, so that may influence your choice of reading!


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 20/10/2018 21:10:55

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 20/10/2018 21:12:09

Thread: Replacement bellows needed
10/10/2018 15:40:30

What about in Birmingham UK??

Thread: Forged & Filed
10/10/2018 15:37:43
Posted by Trevor Crossman 1 on 10/10/2018 10:07:01:

A fantastic piece of work - - in all senses of the word! Artistry in metal and I almost expected one of Terry Pratchett's wizards to be lurking in the corner of the forge.


Or even four feet to spring out of the bottom of the chest !

Thread: Model Engineering Threads
09/10/2018 17:34:07
Posted by Brian G on 09/10/2018 14:29:35:
Posted by JasonB on 09/10/2018 12:17:38:

Spark plugs and glow plugs are 14 x 32 UNEF 60deg not ME which is 55deg though you may get away with mixing the two.

I suspect the same happens with 26tpi, as I have seen a number of sets of taps and dies sold as Cycle Thread/British Standard Brass, despite the difference in angle.

in addition to 26, 32 and 40, there appears to be another whitform series at 60tpi, referred to by C. A. Amesbury in a 1973 Model Engineer, and still available from Tracy Tools (who fittingly list 26 diameters of BSB). Are there any other series?


I think that should probably be C. R. (Roy) Amesbury but apart from that LBSC mentioned 1/8" x 60 ME Taps & Dies as being available in the early 1930's in an article about building a Weir Pump.

Thread: Does anyone know what this is please?
07/10/2018 16:18:14

Only guessing but perhaps a manometer to help balance carbs on a car or bike??

Thread: Ethernet question
06/10/2018 17:46:05

While CAT6 junction boxes are easily available, best practice frowns upon joins, especially in CAT6 Gigabit links.

Your tester only tests continuity not attenuation.

I suspect that too much signal attenuation may well be the reason because, as the specification says, the maximum connection length is 90m of solid core cable with an additional 5m of flexible patch lead at each end. Pairs should not be untwisted and no more than 12.7mm (1/2" taken out of the overall cover to make a connection. If this has not been complied with, and some of the connection boxes I have seen will not allow it to be, or alternately excessive bends are present, then the signal may be attenuated too much to work.

If you are trying to make a 10Gb connection the maximum cable length of 55m may have already been exceeded.

I have even seen long cable runs done in flexible cable that did not work because they could not be punched down in the connectors properly.

I would be asking your sparks why he made the join and try to ask him to re do it in one length as it is not to CAT6 specification.

Assuming all of the above is complied with check terminations at each end as if the ground potential at the barn end is different to that at the home end (the largest I have seen is 70V!) a current can flow along the CAT6 cable further degrading the link.

Thread: How much do Colchester spares cost ?
02/10/2018 20:15:47

While I also wince at the spares prices charged today - but about 40 odd years ago I was caught in the opposite direction.

I was working at a motor factors that sold everything except engine parts - an independent firm with branches in Nottingham and Derby that had been taken over by a big group. Overnight we changed from being the place everyone in the trade went to to a world of budgets and targets.

Our stock budget was fixed and we could only spend on new stock what was left after the current stock value was subtracted from our notional budget.

Every year we had our existing stock revalued upwards (eg multiple jeep track rod ends, Ford Consul exhausts, whitworth tooling etc - in the seventies???) and so we could purchase less and less new stock that sold.

Eventually we had too little new stock to function and not long after I left the business it closed.


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 02/10/2018 20:16:15

Thread: Cleaning castings by hand
17/09/2018 18:09:35

Is there a club nearby that might have a workshop you could use if you joined??

Thread: New Workshop
14/09/2018 18:01:45

If you have access to the back issues (club or local library??) Tubal Cain (Tom Walshaw) described the dream workshop he built for his retirement in ME 1971 Vol 137 3425, 3426 and 3427.

Green with envy is not the word, but the one thing I have tried to emulate is his separating the blacksmithing/welding/hot stuff from the machine tools.


Thread: Canon Printer in Aldi
13/09/2018 20:59:11

Posted by Jon on 13/09/2018 19:58:16:

HP's and Cannons bled me dry in the past as did Brother MFC laser.

The worst I ever came across were Texas Laser printers (also badges as QMS I think) that had time expiry devices so after so many weeks a drum or a waste toner bottle or a toner tank had to be replaced whether you had done 1 or a thousand prints. They soon went in the skip!

Thread: Beer and Grapefruit
13/09/2018 20:51:25

Growing up in Nottingham a long time ago (back when Queen Victoria was a lad) Shipstone's bitter was very highly hopped and those unaccustomed to the bitterness found it upset their stomachs hence the nick name ****stones.

It is quite hard to find a traditionally hopped bitter today, but living in the West Midlands now I can recommend Banks's Bitter, or even better their mild.

The best traditional brews nowadays seem to come from micro breweries, but if you ever get to Tipton in the Black Country (just round the corner from the Black Country Museum) try the Lumphammer beers in Mad O'Rourke's Pie Factory. The Desperate Dan Cow Pie is an experience too!

Thread: Canon Printer in Aldi
12/09/2018 19:01:45
Posted by HOWARDT on 12/09/2018 16:07:21:

Ady1, try using thicker paper. I've found using 90gm paper reduces the problems of incorrect feed, 70gm seems like tissue paper these days.

Totally agree. I buy paper and printers for our school and some brands of 80g paper just will not feed in any printer others will feed in some printers and not others. Some mono and colour laser printers are worse than inkjets.

The big issue is that inkjets need to be used. I have scrapped Canon, HP and Epson printers that have had gunged up heads. Apart from printers where the head is in the cartridge (which are prohibitively expensive to run), all have replaceable heads, but at about £90 for an head for a £50 printer I don't bother.

Canons are not especially bad for slipping rollers - they can always be cleaned if necessary and they are not the only ones - HP were supplying roller cleaning kits for deskjet printers already in the 1990s.

If the waste ink bottle is full on an inkjet it is probably not worth stripping the printer down to replace it. Those in Lasers are easier to get at, but take care as the toner dust itself is carcinogenic.

If you want to print photos, particularly on photo paper, then the inkjet, providing you use decent paper and keep using it, is a good choice - otherwise put up with the lower image quality from a colour laser. If you only use mono then a mono laser is a no brainer.

Thread: Serial Taps
12/09/2018 18:25:14

Posted by Howard Lewis on 02/08/2016 22:57:31:

There is a physical law which says that if you do break it, it will be in the last hole on the final operation of the workpiece.

Believed to be Newton's Fourth Law (of the eternal cussedness of things; sometimes attributed to Sod)


As a teacher I prefer the version of the law that states :-

A piece of toast, when dropped, will always land butter side down - UNLESS you are trying to demonstrate this to someone else!

Thread: Mosaic Mini lathe
10/09/2018 17:50:03

The spec on the front of the lathe pictured in the Amazon link above does not match the spec described by the seller and both of these are different from the spec described by at least one of the reviewers. Although both reviewers gave high scores, reading their comments they have been very generous to say the least.

One more vote for sticking with the established sellers.

Thread: Warco Super mini lathe tool post
04/09/2018 20:32:48
Posted by andrew lyner on 04/09/2018 19:20:33:
Posted by not done it yet on 04/09/2018 17:04:54:

An alternative could have been to use tubing, rather than bar. I really need a cupboard full of off-cuts; I haven't located a suitable scrap metal merchant near my new home. There was a brilliant place in Brighton that would sell useful stuff at really good prices. eBay is not a cheap source of bits and bobs,

With all due regard to your personal privacy, what general area of the country are you in? Perhaps someone could make a suggestion?

My personal experience is that metal merchants (as against model engineering suppliers) keep offcuts and usually, if you have bought something, will sell these to you at scrap prices as that is all they will get for them.

Thread: Understanding plans.
01/09/2018 18:55:27

If in doubt ask here. There are a lot of very experienced people here (not me!!) who seem happy to help.

Remember that sometimes there is the odd piece of information left to 'experience' and not clearly drawn on a plan so ask if you are not clear.

No 13 in the 'Workshop Practice' books is 'Workshop Drawing' by Tubal Cain (Google for availability online) which is clear and comprehensive.


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 01/09/2018 18:59:35

Thread: marking / layout blue
01/09/2018 18:51:28
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 01/09/2018 18:11:06:

Got a recipe somewhere involving ground up chalk and Gum Arabic. I'll see if I can find it.

Some recipe! These TV cookery programmes are really getting a bit weird - bring back Delia I say!

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