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Member postings for Bob Wild

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

Thread: Merryweather Fire King
26/01/2022 16:53:37

Hi (also Bob)

I used Hammerite smooth gloss (not the old hammer finish). On the tin it said that primer was not required. So that is what I did. I did rub it down after four coats and then treat it with car polish. I'm quite happy with the result, but we shall see what it's like in the long term. Unfortunately, I'm no expert in these matters, so it is very much a matter of learning from experience!


24/01/2022 14:11:41

Hi Bob,

I used Nitromors applied several time for stripping the bulk of the paint. I did finish off with 1000 grit wet and dry to remove the stubborn bits.

I think you are right about where to do the painting as Werner said earlier. My workshop (garage) is outside and cold. I'd like to do the painting inside, but I'm not sure SWMBO would approve.


Thread: M E Beam engine
23/01/2022 23:14:47

Hi Adrian. I got a set of castings from Reeves for Lady Stephanie. The entablature casting was distorted all over the place. So I sent it back to the address on the drawings. When it didn’t arrive they told me that they had moved from that address years ago!!! They would not do anything until I returned the faulty casting which I said was impossible since I had sent it to the address on their drawings. Very disappointed with their service and ended up prefabricating the part which turned out fine. Not a great fan of Reeves now.


Thread: Merryweather Fire King
23/01/2022 23:03:10

Werner, I’m glad I’m not the only one with paint problems. I’ve heard about temperature problems and took the precaution of bringing the paint and model from my (cold) workshop into the house to warm them up. But I hadn’t thought about humidity. That is something I will have to think about.

Noel, thanks for your encouraging comments. When I did Technical Drawing at school many years ago, I spent a lot of time using a drawing pen and Indian Ink. And I still have the drawing equipment! I was going to have a go like that but using gold acrylic paint. Done a few tests with reasonable success. The main problem was avoiding a big blob of paint at the start of the line. I might avoid this with a bit of practice. I will keep you posted.


22/01/2022 12:12:33

A Nightmare Painting Job

When I finally got to paint the water tank assembly I discovered to my horror that there was absolutely no colour match with the front parts. This was despite the fact that I used the same tin of paint.

bad paint job.jpg


I contacted the supplier who suggested it was something to do with the primer I had used. He very kindly sent me some isolating primer and some more paint (at a very nice discount). But this was not much better. He then suggested I brushed on more coats. This ended up with an awful finish, so I spent ages with paint stripper to get back to bare metal. In desperation I went to my local paint shop and a very helpful guy found me some spray paint that was almost the same colour as Fire Engine Red. So finally I got a good finish, and assembled all the fittings. I added a few more, such as the spotlights and filler mountings. These were not on the Julius drawings but I copied them from Cherry Hill's model, just to add a bit of detail and also because I like machining little bits of brass!

good paint job.jpg


good paint job #2.jpg

Next up the wheels, which look a challenge. Not to mention 60 tapered spokes! I nearly forgot. I was thinking about pinstriping on the tanks. Never done that before, so any suggestions would be most welcome.



Edited By Bob Wild on 22/01/2022 12:19:53

Edited By Bob Wild on 22/01/2022 12:26:36

Thread: How do you stop brass tarnishing
18/11/2021 22:45:19

Thanks chaps for all your useful and interesting comments. At least I won’t have the problem that Werner has since I am running on air.

It looks to me as if Renaissance Wax is the most popular, so I think I will have a go with that. Thanks again.


Thread: Merryweather Fire King
18/11/2021 20:21:59

Hi Martin. Thanks for your generous comments. But, I certainly am still very much a novice. There are many members of this forum, like Werner, who have far more skill and experience than me. I do have a lot of patience, and will always reject a part if I’m not happy with it. One day I might publish a photo of my scrap bin to make the point.

Like you I like to follow the build progress of other modellers both for interest and to learn the techniques of the experts. I’m a bit disappointed however that such threads are such a small proportion of threads here. I wonder why that is. I don’t know if it is because the software is a bit old and clunky - for example a “like” feature would let you know that people are actually reading your threads. Also it is a nightmare uploading photos; why not a “cut and paste” feature rather than messing around with albums? But I must come down from my hobby horse and let the thread continue back on track!


Thread: How do you stop brass tarnishing
17/11/2021 22:54:31

Spent many hours polishing the brass bits on my FK Fire Engine. But after a while they tarnish and lose their lustre. This must be a common problem, so I was wondering what other members do, if there is a solution.


Thread: Merryweather Fire King
17/11/2021 18:59:02

Thanks Roger.

So we are progressing with the water tanks. Quite fun metal bashing. Here is one after soldering and the other after a bit of filling with JB weld and then cleaning up:

water tanks.jpg

Next up is the rear platform, and then some painting.

29/10/2021 11:29:18

Still plodding on slowly thanks to the demands of Mrs W and her other hairbrain projects. But anyway, I have finished the boiler and mounted it in the chassis. Bit of a problem because I used the boiler tube which was 110 mm diameter rather than the 4 in as specified, being the nearest I could find. The upshot was that the rear cross brace and axle fouled. So I had to move them both which was a nuisance. Anyway I got it all to fit and am quite pleased with the results. Here are a few shots of the installation. Next up are the water tanks which will be interesting.


boiler in place.jpg

Sorry about the orientation. Blame Steve Jobs.


21/08/2021 23:23:29

I said that I was a novice ! Made a lovely hardwood former to shape the lower tapered part of the boiler. Sawed off the excess overlap after bending and silver soldered the join after a fashion. Drilled two sets of 36 rivet holes at a 6 degree angle by tilting the head. Being a novice I completely forgot that the burrs from the drilled holes would dig into the wood. No amount of (gentle) tapping or prising would persuade the ring to separate from the former !!!

boiler 1.jpg

So as a last resort I decided to (hack) machine away as much wood from the former as I could to expose one set of rivet holes

boiler 2.jpg

The former is actually made from two pieces of 25 mm beach screwed together. So I figured that if I drilled four clearance holes in one piece and bashed four screws it was worth giving it a try to separate the two pieces to improve my chance of getting the ring off the other piece of wood.

boiler 3.jpg

And bingo, it worked. And finally the ring came off the former in one piece. Got to fettle it up and figure a way of riveting it to its mounting plate. That will be in a while since SWMBO wants to go off in our caravan for a while.

But it gives me an opportunity to think about how to fix those rivets. My inclination is to glue the lower ones in place since they are purely cosmetic and don’t hold anything. Especially as the annealed copper scratches even when you look at it.

When it comes to the upper mounting plate I thought about tapping the end of the rivet and bolting the ring to its mounting plate. The rivets are 3/32 dia which is only a nat’s whisker over 8ba. So a little skim on the end of the rivet would make this possible which would avoid any bashing to form a proper rivet. Any thoughts from you experts would be most appreciated.


23/07/2021 22:43:41

51ec6b77-bee8-4b68-90d0-6e3c8b4b29c3.jpegAt last. Can start to get moving on from that blooming engine. So started on the boiler. Some new techniques for me on this part, but very pleased with the result:

29/06/2021 22:30:29

Thanks Werner - I’ve added more oil to the valve chamber.
Noel - done some tests at low pressure. Giving a nudge at dead centre I notice that it goes with a much bigger thump at the top compared with the bottom. That suggests to me that the slide valve is slightly offset and needs centralising. I’ll try and improve this, not sure how. Unfortunately not for a while since Mrs W wants me to take her for a break in our caravan. Grrrrr


27/06/2021 22:49:27
At long last we have success. After so many attempts at getting the crankshaft made it runs. And to think that I was seriously thinking of abandoning the project and throwing it in the bin. 
It is still a little tight and doesn’t turn as freely as I would like, but I can put up with it for now and it may improve with running. I have noticed however that the air coming from the exhaust seems to come out stronger from one cylinder than the other. I tried to set the timing so that the valves opened just before tdc. Perhaps one of you experts can advise which is better.

Edited By Bob Wild on 27/06/2021 22:55:01

Edited By Bob Wild on 27/06/2021 23:01:27

Thread: Merryweather Steam Fire King self propelled
02/06/2021 20:19:43

Good fun to watch too 👍

Thread: Merryweather Fire King
26/05/2021 20:23:41

059acea8-460e-4837-a530-b679feedb730.jpegFound this on my travels, but a bit older than mine:

23/05/2021 23:06:02

Hi Werner. Thanks for your reply - it’s always interesting to hear of other people’s experiences. As I mentioned it took me ages to get everything lined up. I did make all the clearance holes wherever I could to be much larger than they should have been and I tightened them up progressively to get the smoothest fit. So, I am going to have another go at prefabricating the crankshaft and will hope for the best. Anyway, I will have a little time to ponder as my dear wife wants me to take her in our caravan for a few weeks on one of our rare visits to the south of England!!!!


Edited By Bob Wild on 23/05/2021 23:07:19

22/05/2021 00:05:21

Still struggling on. Finally got the engine assembled and after ages finding the tight spots (I now have a new meaning to the term “Quantitative Easing) it now turned over relatively smoothly. First run on air would not rotate, but there was a significant downward thrust at times. I had followed the dimensions in the book for the valve mechanism, which occurred to me was a metric conversion from the original imperial drawings. Upon reflection it occurred to me that there may be minor differences. So I reduced the width of the slide valve by ten thou each side. After a lot of fiddling with the timing - bingo, it run. It needed twenty psi to get it started, but it ran like the clappers and nearly shook itself off the bench! And then disaster. The crankshaft had come loose. I had prefabricated it, cross pinned it and loctited it, but two of the joints had come loose. So off to make another. I don’t think I can retrieve it so it’s a matter of staring from scratch. I’m wondering whether to persevere with loctite or to try and silver solder it or even soft solder it. I’m a bit concerned that if I use solder that it will distort. Help please, this is driving me mad!!!!!


Thread: Recommended suppliers and services
11/05/2021 17:12:24

Can thoroughly recommend Derek Harper Foundries in Bradford (UK). They cast non-ferrous metals. I gave them a couple of patterns for my Fire King, and they were ready in three days. Quality looks fine; no apparent blowholes or inclusions. Reasonable price (to me) and a most helpful guy, who even replied to my email on a Sunday afternoon. Very impressed.!


Thread: How on earth do I build this boiler for my Fire King ?
02/05/2021 22:45:54

Thanks chaps for all your useful comments, and sorry about the delay in replying. SWMBO insisted on using the relaxing of lockdown to use the opportunity to go off in our caravan for a much needed break. Anyway, I have made a strategic decision which may not meet with the approval of some. This model will only run on air. Firstly, it makes the construction simpler and secondly, it means that I can show it in my display cabinet along with my other models. As I said earlier, if it was good enough for Cherry Hill then it’s good enough for me.


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