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Member postings for Russell Eberhardt

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

Thread: sulphuric acid
16/06/2019 19:50:59

If your sulphuric acid is clean, neutralising with washing soda will convert it to sodium sulphate (glaubers salts). It is non toxic, used to be used as a laxative but is now used to treat overdose of paracetamol and added to food colourings (E514).

If your acid has been used to pickle copper it will contain copper sulphate which is somewhat poisonous but is sprayed on grape vines here to prevent fungal infections!


14/06/2019 16:40:24

Adding calcium to the acid might cause a violent reaction. However adding calcium carbonate will not provided you add it carefully rather than chucking the whole lot in in one go. I've used washing soda for the same purpose with no problem.


Thread: Which varnish?
12/06/2019 09:52:01
Posted by Bob Stevenson on 11/06/2019 20:30:24:

One of the best lacquers for brass is 'L'tonkinois' which is advertised in the modeling press. It's a thick natural shellac and gives a superb finish if applied correctly with the following warnings in mind.....

Le Tokinois is not, according to their website, a shellac varnish. It is an oil based varnish, linseed and tung oil. A traditional varnish for boats. I wouldn't want to use it on clock plates where it will be difficult to remove from pivot holes - OK for purely decorative parts though.


11/06/2019 19:38:37

For clocks I've always used shellac dissolved in alcohol, applied thinly with a cotton makeup wipe. Best to warm the brass slightly before hand to stop blooming if it is at all humid. It has the advantage that it can be wiped off with meths if you ever need to remove it.


Thread: Electricity Supply
11/06/2019 15:47:39

Isn't the real source of the problem leading to global warming not the source of the energy used by each person, but the rapid growth in world population since the beginning of the 20th century?


09/06/2019 15:34:22

Anyone who is interested in the facts around energy production and use and their effects on the climate should read the ebook by Sir David MacKay FRS, former professor in the engineering department at Cambridge University.


Unfortunately the author has died and the book is a little out of date now but the science still works.


Thread: Newnes publications
07/06/2019 19:42:00

I have Newnes "Motor Repair and Overhauling" (seventh edition) - no date but it covers most cars up to 1939.

Also Newnes "Motorists' Touring Guide - The Open Road" - circa 1920s from the cars pictured.


Thread: Super 7 - Best way to use ER25 Collets
05/06/2019 11:09:29

In MEW March 2007 issue 123 Harold Hall described how to make an ER32 collet chuck to screw onto the Myford nose. I made a similar one to fit the Atlas nose and it was an easy task using the lathe only.

The advantages are that the taper can be turned with the collet holder screwed into place thus ensuring accuracy and, if you are short of money, it's the cheapest way to go. It would be easy to make one for ER25 collets but I would recommend ER32 for the extra capacity.


Thread: Motorcycle 'blipping'...
03/06/2019 15:21:34

I used to have to blip the throttle while changing down and double declutching on vintage cars without synchromesh. Blipping while stationary might be necessary on a racing bike with "cold" plugs to prevent oiling.

I suspect most riders just like the noise!


Thread: It's not engineering but
01/06/2019 11:08:17

Well done to Mrs Cox. You'll have to make some 1/12 scale woodworking tools for her!


Thread: Colchester Lathe Factory
31/05/2019 11:37:23

Interesting to compare with modern Chinese factories like this. The most noticeable difference is the cleanliness of the modern factory.

I wonder if Ketan can find a video of the Seig factory.


Thread: Wentworth woodhouse clock
24/05/2019 19:39:40

Reconditioner Wiki entry here


Thread: Nickel Plating Brass
19/05/2019 11:46:08
Posted by Fowlers Fury on 18/05/2019 11:34:33:

It'd be interesting to read about how you did the plating.

I'm afraid it was done in the late 1970s and I don't have my notes. I used an electrolyte recipe from an old chemistry handbook that was being thrown out by a university library as being out of date. I was able to buy all the chemicals, including concentrated acids, direct from a laboratory chemical supplier. I doubt that they would deal with a member of the public now!

I used guttering to plate the long pieces of the windscreen frame. Other parts were done in a bucket. Current came from a car battery and resistor to control the current. The radiator surround was made from german silver (nickel copper alloy) so didn't need plating. Anodes were pure nickel.


Thread: Adhesive Storage?
18/05/2019 11:20:15
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 17/05/2019 16:17:24:

As a broad generalisation:

Most things that undergo a chemical reaction will do it more slowly at lower temperatures.



The theory is too hard for me blush

But the relationship is exponential [on the Kelvin scale]


Edited By Michael Gilligan on 17/05/2019 16:24:16

I seem to remember from school chemistry that reaction time is halved for every 10 degrees rise in temperature so superglue should last about four times as long in the fridge than in my workshop in winter and eight times as long in summer.


Exothermic reactions can run away dangerously - ever mixed up too much epoxy resin in one go?surprise

Edited By Russell Eberhardt on 18/05/2019 11:21:46

Edited By Russell Eberhardt on 18/05/2019 11:25:42

Thread: Nickel Plating Brass
18/05/2019 11:12:25

When I was plating parts for a vintage car I was restoring some years ago I purchased high purity nickel from Johnson Mathey. EPNS is no good. Nickel silver is an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc, mostly copper I think.

Nickel plating on brass can be done directly. On steel or cast iron you might get a good finish but it is not weather resistant unless you plate with copper first.

I did the nickel plating on this car myself and it lasted for the twenty years I owned it:



15/05/2019 11:55:32

There's an interesting book available on line published by the Nickel Institute with all the information you need, including plating solutions:

Nickel Plating Handbook


Thread: New Member interested in Clocks
13/05/2019 19:00:47

Welcome Derek.

I discovered that my grandfather, great grandfather, and great great grandfather were all clockmakers so I decided to try to emulate them and have now made two clocks. I wouldn't describe myself as a clockmaker yet though! I have restored a couple of old clocks to working condition and am presently trying to persuade a Vienna Regulator to strike reliably.


Thread: A dynamo question: rotation direction?
13/05/2019 18:54:32
Posted by Tim Stevens on 13/05/2019 17:23:28:I still wonder why it motored the wrong way with field coils alternately the right, and the wrong way, round. Ho hum.

Residual magnetism?

Anyway, well done!


Thread: Silvering brass
12/05/2019 11:46:59

It's a two stage process. You can find the powders on Ebay.

I have used this type of product for silvering a brass clock dial and bezel which can be seen in my album. The most important part of the process is cleaning.


Thread: A dynamo question: rotation direction?
12/05/2019 11:20:40

Hi Tim,

It's a long time since I worked on my Austin Sevens but:-

I guess that, as there is no third brush, the dynamo is an early one with the field windings earthed to the case at one end and coming out to a terminal from the other end. The commutator also has one brush earthed and the other coming out to a second terminal. The field connection went to a dashboard switch to give a choice of high or low charge rate there being no regulator. Reversing the field windings must reverse the direction all other things being the same so I can't understand what could be happening in your case.

The correct procedure for flashing the field residual magnetism is to disconnect the commutator connection (D on the wiring diagram) and then momentarily close the cut-out contacts - with the dynamo in the car of course.


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