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Member postings for Mike Hurley

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

Thread: High temp.-tolerant filler needed
25/03/2021 08:42:46

Would agree with JasonB. The traditional way has always proved virtually permanent for me, I would imagine any kind of 'filler' would come loose eventually. If one fitted as described comes a bit loose in time a quick tap on the end with a hammer soon puts things right.


Thread: Computer Update
23/03/2021 09:45:11

Hi Peter, Have a read through my recent thread titled 'Windows for the scrap bin' you'll find a lot of comment and observations already there which might be helpful.

regards Mike

Thread: That little elf under the workbench again
19/03/2021 09:38:58

If you love these sort of tales (as I do) try to get your hands on a copy of 'The book of heroic failures' by Stephen Pile. (it's also got some excellent cartoons by Bill Tidy). If you've just been irritated by dropping the last screw of a project and it not being seen again, just try this as one example from the above book. [Quote]

In Sept 1978 a paint scraper worth the equivalent of 30pence was accidently dropped into a torpedo launcher of the US nuclear submarine Swordfish. It jammed the loading mechanism and for weeks divers attempted to free it while waterborn without success. She eventually had to be dry-docked and repairs cost a vast amount!

Puts it all in perspective!

Thread: Windows for the scrap bin?
18/03/2021 11:17:34

Thanks for the observations chaps

Russell - funnily enough I resurrected an ancient laptop (Acer) that must be 10 years old and possibly steam powered which had Microsoft Vista on it. It worked ok but because of all the security issues due to lack of updates etc I decided to re use it and not worth paying £ to upgrade Windows on such an old m/c I installed Linux Mint (Cinnamon). I used UNIX many years ago on mainframes so was familiar, but well surprised how easy it was to install and use, so many easy-to-use GUI's etc. loads of 'help' and info available on the 'net if you need it.

Steve - I had the option of SSD's when I bought this laptop, but had read a few negative reports about life expectancy (wether or not they were valid or not I can't say in hindsight) so went for HDD instead.

18/03/2021 10:13:28

The other day, my wife asked me a straightforward question as a result of me trying to 'demonstrate' something on my Windows 10 laptop. This, by the way is a good spec fairly new piece of kit.

Q - "why is it so slow starting up, I could have looked at this on my 'phone (Android) staright away".

A - waffle on about complex O/S, technical iffs & buts etc, but no sensible answer that satisfied the query.

The thing is it's a perfectly valid question. Yes, I know techies will give 101 reasons why this is the case, I investigated things my self and found no problems anywhere. Day before yesterday I spent 2 hours waiting for it to finish the latest 'windows is configuring updates...' again. OK I could leave it running 24/7 so it will do background updates but that means it needs to be left plugged in etc. Not many people do that I think. Over the last couple of weeks it seems to be updating every 5 minutes and this is generally becoming a pain as its usually inconvenient when I switch back on or restart and find - again - I can't use it as 'windows is configuring updates...'.

I just wonder if this type of OS is just becoming outdated and too top heavy. I know phones cannot easily run all the more complex apps like CAD or graphics heavy stuff, but for general use is it perhaps getting past it's sell-by date?

Interested to just hear anybody else's overall opinion. I don't want suggestions for 'fixes' as I've guaranteed to have already tried / implemented them with no perceivable difference. I image the 'Apple' brigade will also have a bit of a bias also! Regards

Thread: Raglan 5 inch lathe
16/03/2021 13:05:17

Have a look at a veritable mecca of info and possibly spares for what you have acquired.


p.s. Welcome to the forum.

Edited By Mike Hurley on 16/03/2021 13:26:25

Thread: Excellent videos - Full size steam AND wireless
16/03/2021 13:02:08

Must suggest the videos on youtube by this museum if you haven't came across it yet -

In the USA, Really informative and interesting collection of vintage Steam and wireless equipment. Couple of 'how it works' videos and lots of other stuff. Well worth a look around. Even has a 4 hour video that is in place of their 2020 'gala' day which was cancelled due to obvious reasons.


Thread: Steam engine oiler conundrum
13/03/2021 20:41:27

Thanks for all the replies chaps, gives me some food for thought. If the pipe had been all there was - i.e. with an open end I might have suspected it may have been connected to some external feed or pipe the past However, as MichaelG noted - that cap really has the look and feel of well handled brass! It's also a very good fit, internally it is nicely flat to provide an excellent seal against the top of the pipe, which makes me feel it was a regular task of the operator to be using it. Theres not a lot of room around it so any kind of additional reservoir or device wouldn't fit I think.,difficult to see from the pics, but there's only just enough room for your fingers to unscrew the cap.

Still, I appreciate your time and trouble. If anything else comes to mind, I'll be more than happy to hear ideas!

Projects like this don't half help keep you mind active.

regards, Mike

13/03/2021 14:15:32

On the largish vintage engine I'm restoring, (see 'Work in progress' forum) there is a capped tube next to exhaust outlet on the steam chest. About 1 1/2" long and just under 1/2" OD with 1/8" BSP thread each end.
One end screws into the casting the other has a screwed hex brass cap tightly fitted. The bottom feeds a groove in the steam chest casting that leads to the mating surfaces for the slide valve. So obviously a lubricator of some kind.



My query is that as it only has a 1/4" hole drilled straight through, is it simply manual oiling point i.e. before running the engine, unscrew the caps and give them a good squirt from a can?
There is no provision for reservoirs or attachments to hold copper wires for suspending wicks etc and no obvious signs of any type of drip feed needle etc. it's just a straight hole!
If, as I strongly suspect, it's simply a manual oiling point, how long is one good squidge of oil going to last in a hot steam chest? (I suppose that's a bit of a 'how long is a piece of string' type question though).
It is a very early engine that, as far as I know, pre-dates 'fancy' displacement oilers or mechanical feed systems. Unfortunately all the 'ancilliary' bits were missing when I got the engine so I have been working in the dark somewhat.
Perhaps some of the loco building fraternity might be familiar with this sort of thing on early examples?
Any useful comments much appreciated. Regards Mike

Thread: Aldi Scheppach bandsaw
13/03/2021 13:36:34

Are we really surprised?

Thread: Plumbing Overflow - Help!
11/03/2021 09:42:17

As Jason says - simply screws into the elbow ot the rear. Have a look at Screwfix's website and search for sink overflow fitting and it will make it clearer.

Hope that helps


Journeyman beat me to it!

Edited By Mike Hurley on 11/03/2021 09:43:38

Thread: 3 x 5 twin Victorian workshop steam engine restoration
11/03/2021 09:36:37

Steve - I succesfully plated the shafts using the info in the video. Proved to be dead easy in fact and quite cheap, Suggest anyone to have a go. Only cost a couple of £ for some pure nickle anodes and white vinegar.

The important bit is to make sure the object to be plated is very clean and grease free first. Apart from that it's a breeze.


10/03/2021 12:29:33

Appreciate that Jim. Many happy hours of work so far - and quite a few tears at times!

Take care

10/03/2021 12:02:46

[Had to split posting as to many characters]

I shall eventually make something like these, but for the moment I've just created a couple of brass threaded plugs that have a through threaded hole for manual oiling (closed by a bolt afterwards), this will be adequate for a short testing phase. Have also knocked up various gaskets, brass straps for the wooden lagging on the cylinders and some initial 'stub' exhaust pipes.
It's now getting to the point of starting to re-assemble everything! Oh the excitement!! ( well at least until I find that nothing I've made fits properly). Will update on progress.

10/03/2021 12:01:50

4 main parts to deal with.

  • Eccentrics on main shaft
  • The D valves themtselves
  • The adjustable shafts
  • Connecting rods - Connects eccentrics to adjustable shafts.

As noted earlier, few original parts that remain were in a very bad state and these were off one side only, so a complete set will have to be made for the second cylinder anyway. The eccentric on main shaft had been damaged and MAY be repairable but that has to be seen. The connecting rod was a fairly basic forged unit, but was badly bent and corroded. The threaded shaft similar. The D valve is a single CI casting, worn and corroded.
Much earlier in the restoration process, I had been aware of these issues so took steps to look into getting things moving on bits I couldn't easily do myself. Struggled for ages to find a 'proper' blacksmith to forge the connecting rods but finally got someone who came up with the goods at a reasonable price, they are rough and ready so will need cleaning up and machining to size etc.

eccentric shaft.jpg

The D valves were sourced from Oak castings who were excellent to deal with and did a fine job.

new d valve casting.jpg

The adjustable shaft has a length of thread that fits through a hole slightly larger in the D Valve and each has 2 pairs of brass nuts holding it in position (so the D valve has a degree of free 'float'. The other end is a fork with an 5/16" pin (held by a small taper pin) that connects to the small end of the connecting rod.

new valve rods 02.jpg

The original would have been in one piece either forged then machined, or machined from solid. Due to equipment limitations, I made each in 2 parts making the forked end from square stock and the shaft from 3/8" bar, then silver soldering together. Appeared to work well, then completing the final machining after assembly to ensure correct alignment.

new valve rods 01.jpg
I had noticed that the original shaft had a coating of some kind, but suspect it was possibly there to inhibit corrosion, as the inside of the steam chest would be a pretty 'hostile' environment for steel? So am considering attempting home nickel electroplating - checked out a few 'YouTube' videos and it looks relatively straightforward - we shall see!


Since the weather warmed up a bit, and Xmas was out of the way. managed to get on with all the above. Everything pretty straightforward so I shan't detail it in text, just added a few photos.

D valve castings machined, shaft plated and assembled successfully

valve assy 01.jpg

Aligning link shaft for eccentric (Mill table only just long enough!)

aligning link shaft.jpg

Splitting the Eccentrics after turning / milling in one piece each
splitting eccentrics.jpg

Shafts + Eccentrics fixed together
shafts + eccentrics.jpg

Oilways were machined in the eccentrics and small drip feed oilers sourced and fitted
eccentric + oilers.jpg

Made a temporary fitting for the top of the cylinders - When I received the engine and did the check of what issues there were, one of the points I noted was that there was the broken remains of a threaded 'something' in the top of both cylinders. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, any valuable 'brass' parts seem to have been rather brutally robbed off the carcase many years ago! No idea originally what they were but subsequent investigation leads me to belive they are in fact the remains of manual oilers which were typical in very early engines. I (eventually) managed to get the remains out and determined they were a 1/2" x 12TPI Whit thread.

Here's an example from a model of an engine from the same era that I believe will be a suitable style.
example from a model.jpg

10/03/2021 11:40:55
Sorry for the delay in responding, I just hadn't looked at the posing until recently as I didn't have any updates for it.
I've been doing some work and was about to update it and realise there were one or two posts 'outstanding', so apologies again.
No makers name (one of the first things I looked for!) unfortunately, and I have tried (believe me I have tried!) to find an image or info anywhere that gives a clue to its exact age and birthplace without luck. It seems pretty basic in construct and limited features, which leads me to think that it is quite early. Anyway, hope you find the following update on progress of interest. regards, Mike
Thread: A Certain Age
10/03/2021 11:12:33

And most of the scruffy oiks on the BBC don't even wear dinner suits and bowties, what is the world coming to?

Thread: Low cost swarf guard/dovetalk protectors for Mini Mill?
07/03/2021 09:13:12

Unfortunately most plastic type guards just seem to get in the way no matter how cleverly desgigned or positioned. A magnetic swarf picker-upper tool is great for around the machine and on the floor. I made my own out of copper tubing in an hour or so, but you can buy them.

Obviously of little use for non-ferrous stuff though! That's a vacuum / brush job.

regards. Mike

Thread: Machining phosphor bronzes
04/03/2021 09:58:17

Have a look at Neil Wyatt's web site ( Stub Mandrel ), in the model engineering section there's an excellent overview of materials and their working properties - including PB. Hope that helps


Edited By Mike Hurley on 04/03/2021 09:58:57

04/03/2021 08:35:05

Fairly recently I had an issue with a piece of PB when using a brand new slitting saw. It was quite thin (about 1mm) and I ran it pretty much as I would for brass. It contstantly struggled, jammed ( tried with and without lubricant) but finally siezed and stripped several teeth off the saw.

In desperation I stuck it in a vise and attacked it with a hacksaw (32 tpi blade) and it cut like butter!

So if its heat or 'springiness' causing the seizures, slow and steady seems to be the byword.

regards Mike

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