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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: Mystery discs - what are they?
22/03/2022 20:05:05

I suppose a restrictor is a good idea. The boiler did actually supply steam to a Turkish Bath. Wouldn’t want to scald the clients. Still not sure weather the grease monkeys were that bothered though, although they did entertain a very small boy 👦

Edited By Bob Wild on 22/03/2022 20:05:55

19/03/2022 17:03:45

I inherited these discs from the boiler house work bench where my dad worked about seventy years ago. Curious to know what they were used for. The holes seem to be accurately made in quarter of an inch steps from 1 1//5 down to 1/4 and the last one at 1/8 in dia. They were in a small tin labelled "Quikies" - my wife knows what they were, but my understanding of a quikie was somewhat different!


Thread: Merryweather Fire King
19/03/2022 15:51:18

Finally got the wheels finished, including some gold striping. Quite pleased with the results. The lines could have been wider, but that was the maximum my pen would open.

four wheels.jpg

Added minor details to be more like the real thing. The rear wheels have an extra (strengthening?) ring. The chain wheel was solid when I got it, so I machined some spokes for authenticity. Also each hub has a funny fitting in the centre. Not sure what they are; grease boxes perhaps ?

rear wheel.jpg

And finally it is starting to look like a fire engine:

fk on wheels.jpg

01/03/2022 11:52:07

Hi Werner,

I haven't seen your radio controlled fire engine. Are there any posts about it? You certainly seem to have had fun with your tyres. That's a good idea about UHU. I was thinking of using some similar type of contact adhesive. Maybe the kind used to bond car windscreen rubber in place or an impact adhesive like Evo-stick.. I'll do a few experiments.


28/02/2022 11:11:13

Good progress with the wheels. I thought I'd show some of my machining operations as I was using a faceplate for the first time. Any comments from the experts would be post appreciated. My idea was to build the whole assembly on a disc of aluminium which could be moved between the faceplate and the mill rotary table without moving any parts. This way I would (hopefully) maintain concentricity.

The outer rim was made from four strips of brass pinned and glued together:

rim frame.jpg

Mounted on the faceplate I machined the outer diameter:

machining outer rim.jpg

Then the inner diameter:

machining inner rim.jpg

Because of the size of the rim I couldn't figure out how to machine the tyre groove on the OD, so I transferred to the rotary table and slowly milled the groove:

milling tyre groove.jpg

I also drilled the holed for the axles with the same setup. Then on the bench I could assemble the axles and the hub:

fitting spokes.jpg

I was disappointed to realise that when I machined the tyre groove most of the pins I had put in to hold it all together had been nearly machined away and the whole assembly looked a bit flimsy. So I decided to add a brass tyre at the bottom of the groove and screw that in place. That seemed to work well, but it did reduce the depth of the groove from 8mm to 6 mm. Fortunately I already had the neoprene square section for the tyres and with a bit if experimenting found I could mill 2mm off the thickness - disaster averted. So here is one of the finished wheels. Not sure how to bond the neoprene tyre to the rim though. Any suggestions?

finished wheel.jpg


11/02/2022 22:38:42

Who said model engineering was interesting and challenging ? Got to make fifty six of theses little blighters to locate the wheel spokes !

spoke sleeves.jpg

And then there's the little matter of fifty six spokes.



Edited By Bob Wild on 11/02/2022 22:42:13

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

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