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Member postings for steamdave

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

Thread: Plastic Ban
19/04/2018 13:44:45

Posted by Trevorh on 19/04/2018 12:22:31:

and remember that to recycle paper has a massive carbon foot print almost as bad as Plastic recycling power wise

Years ago, all our old newspapers were given to the Cats & Dogs Home because they could sell it, but then one day they stopped accepting it. Could it have been because of the above statement, I wonder?

The Emerald Isle

Thread: Do you accept rave tool reviews as gospel?
17/04/2018 10:47:45

I wrote a short review on my new West German milling machine comparing it to a faithful Emco FB2 which it replaced and submitted it to MEW. 5 years on I still haven't changed my opinion.

It wasn't really complimentary to the new machine, which had been bought unseen but based on advertising and supposed West German super quality engineering.

Needless to say the article/letter was rejected and I thought at the time that it was a case of biting the hand that fed the dog, as the supplier was still an advertiser in MEW.

The Emerald Isle

Thread: Wind turbines get bigger and bigger
05/04/2018 17:54:01
Posted by colin wilkinson on 05/04/2018 09:05:35:

When the Saudis have their solar panels generating perhaps they could modify all the redundant oil tankers, filling them with battery banks, charge them up and sail to wherever needs power? Fanciful ? Maybe, Who knows where battery technology will be in a few years time. Dogsbody

In my15 years in Saudi Eastern Province, I never saw any form of solar or wind energy generation. There were two desalination plants, the newer one built by Hyundai and the by-product from both of them was electricity. With fresh water being scarce, the desalination plants were working full time so very little need for alternative forms of power generation.
The alternative - bore water - tasted vile because of all the minerals - almost brackish at times - and I don't think anyone used it for drinking, or even washing.

I've been retired 6 years now, so things may have changed in the meantime.

The Emerald Isle

Thread: Hot air engine displacer material
01/04/2018 10:26:02

Following on from JB's suggestion, I turned up a new displacer piston from 316 stainless steel. I was aiming for 10 thou wall thickness, but it turned out to be more like 8 thou when finished and the top even less.

displacer new 5 (medium).jpg

displacer new lid 1 (medium).jpg

displacer new and old (medium).jpg

The original displacer weighed 93 gms and the new one was down to 34 gms - quite a saving, and hopefully the heat transfer will be a lot slower, enabling the Robinson to run for a while without external cooling.

In the end, I decided against a regenerative displacer, as this one seems to be a great improvement on the original brass one.

The Emerald Isle


Edited By steamdave on 01/04/2018 10:28:23

Thread: Cut knurling
18/03/2018 16:05:05

Over on HMEM there was a discussion about cut knurling tools a while back which you may care to read.

The Emerald Isle

Thread: First Milling Machine
11/03/2018 20:50:18
Posted by not done it yet on 11/03/2018 20:20:44:
Posted by Samsaranda on 11/03/2018 19:54:46:

As regards height requirements, read the machine specs carefully and then calculate how much you will need.

Dave W

But don’t forget you might need to change the drawbar in the vertical head - without un-tramming it - if the machine has a knee.

...Changing the drawbar. My mill has one of those drawbars that use differential threads. What a pain in the a... I'm screwing the darn thing for ages to release the tool and if the new tool has a slightly different MT length, I have to be very careful that there is enough thread in the new tool because next time the drawbar unscrews from it, the tool might not be ejected but the drawbar is separated from the tool.
A simple top hat captive drawbar is far superior.
Apologies if this has drifted off topic, but might be a consideration in choice of machine. Maybe R8 is a good choice of tool-holding, depending on size of machine contemplated.

The Emerald Isle

Thread: Hot air engine displacer material
08/03/2018 20:30:39

Thanks for the replies, gents.

The engine in question is the Polly version of the Robinson hot air engine; they supply a brass spinning for the displacer piston. I have bored this out to give about 10 thou wall thickness but as you say JB, brass conducts too much heat, hence the search for a better solution. I may give the stainless a go using your suggestion. If I can't get success that way, I'll revert to the mild steel.

Being a member of HMEM, I don't visit MEM except in leap years. (Can't see many pics of projects there and there's no point in joining just to repeat the few posts I put on the other site.)

The Emerald Isle

08/03/2018 15:01:24

I want to make a regenerative displacer for a hot air engine, size approx 1-1/2" dia x 1-1/2" high. Heat source will hopefully be a tea light, but probably end up being a mini gas ring to make the engine work.

Materials available are:
1. Mild steel pipe which can be machined to size. Top and bottom caps - easy to silver solder in place.
2. 316 Stainless steel bar easy to silver solder top and bottom caps, but apart from the waste, can I machine a solid lump to leave about 10 thou wall thickness, I ask myself.
3. Brass shimstock which would have to be rolled and silver soldered, hoping I would not burn away the joint area when soldering it all together.
4. Aluminium which would have to have the top and bottom pieces JB Welded. Would the heat source, assuming the gas ring be too much for the JB Weld?
There could be a combination of materials for side and top/bottom pieces if advantageous.

So, the question is: which of the materials available to me would the knowledgeable use?

The Emerald Isle

Thread: Myford Super 7 Lathe Instruction Manual
05/03/2018 11:52:33

There are many Yahoo groups for particular machine tools and there may well be a download of the required manual in the files section. There certainly are for the Myford and Harrison lathes.

Groups will require joining to access the files.

The Emerald Isle

Edited By steamdave on 05/03/2018 11:53:24

Thread: Do I have too many ideas and interests?
05/03/2018 11:46:25
Posted by IanT on 05/03/2018 08:42:30:

I have far too many projects under way Simon - so it's not just a problem with choosing just one from all those interests, it's also managing to stay focused on just a few and completing them. I tend to work on something for a while and then there is either an "interruption" or a "distraction".

Interruptions are where I have a problem with something, such as not being able to make it to my satisfaction, having the right tool or material available - or often just not being able to decide how to proceed next... So 'it' gets put to one side until the right part, tool or inspiration comes to me...some years might pass before I will return to it.

Distractions are where something really interesting pops up and I'm tempted to "just have a quick look at it" - several very pleasant hours, days or months may pass until (once again) I am "interrupted"....

And so it goes. Somewhere in my families past, we must have been involved with Butterflys - as it seems I have a Butterfly gene hiding within me somewhere.

To be aware of the problem does help keep one a little more focused but I have also managed to rationalise the problem too. After all, if I am generally happy (and enjoy) fliting here, there and everywhere - then perhaps that is the whole point of a hobby. Fortunately, I'm not making my living at it...

But another factor is beginning to help me stay a little more focused and that is the increasing knowledge that many of my more ambitious projects may never get finished in the time left to me - so some hard choices will have to be made I'm afraid...if only to tidy things up a bit

All a bit depressing I'm afraid - but then gain - there was that very interesting article about a low-cost CNC machine the other day that I must have another look at....



My sentiments exactly!

The Emerald Isle

Thread: Chucks 3 or 4 jaw for general use.
03/03/2018 11:44:28

3 jaw Gri-Tru chuck for me for general work, then in order of preference depending on the work:
4 jaw self centring chuck
4 Jaw independent chuck
ER32 collets

The Emerald Isle

Thread: Solder masking
26/02/2018 21:32:28

Thanks for the replies to my question.

It's good to know that solvent based Tippex is still available, but 'peelable solder mask' sounds an interesting suggestion.

The Emerald Isle

26/02/2018 16:24:32

It is well known that solvent based Tippex (is it still available?) or ordinary pencil lead provide a good mask to prevent silver solder from going where it is not wanted. There may well be other masking agents that I'm not aware of.

Is there any similar mask that can be applied to a job using ordinary tin/lead or electrical solder?

The Emerald Isle

Thread: Myford ml7 lathe problems
15/02/2018 22:06:53

Are you a member of the Yahoo group for Myford lathes? If not, you should consider joining; there are lots of knowledgeable folk there who would be bale to help you (not saying they aren't knowledgeable here, also).

The Emerald Isle

Thread: What quality vs cost considerations drives your buying?
13/02/2018 12:40:59

My experience of buying an expensive 'made in West Germany' milling machine has taut me that cost is not always synonymous with quality.

The Sieg type copies of my machine were about 1/3 the cost but are probably just as good, maybe even better in some respects to what I have. Problem for me is that I couldn't go down to a local tool retailer and 'twiddle the knobs', but relied on advertising hype (If W.German, it must be best) to select my purchase.

The Emerald Isle

Thread: Myford M type half nut Thread form?
13/02/2018 12:08:32


Have you thought about about a plastic set of half nuts? There is a good write up in the following link:

Not tried it myself, but may give you food for thought and comments from others.

The Emerald Isle

Edited By steamdave on 13/02/2018 12:08:46

10/02/2018 11:13:13

With regard to Tangential tooling, I came across a picture some time ago of a Carboloy tangential tool that used round carbide bits.

carboloy tangential tool round bit.jpg

My copy of this is my most used general purpose tool. It has all the same benefits as the usual square HSS designs , but requires less sharpening. The carbide I use is the shank of a broken 3mm end mill.

So, which section do I cast my vote?

The Emerald Isle

09/02/2018 11:06:32

Carrying on from SOD Dave:

Some years ago, statistics showed that 10% of all road accidents occurred at speeds greater than 70 mph. That would mean it is safer to drive at speeds of more than 70 mph, because only 10% of accidents happen then.

Statistics can prove anything you want.

The Emerald Isle

Thread: replacement for Dewhurst switch
31/01/2018 11:44:16


For the cost of postage I can give you two Dewhurst switches, from which you should be able to make one good one. I went down the 1 - 3phase VFD route some time ago without any regrets.

Just send me a private message if you would like them.

The Emerald Isle

Thread: jointing sheet
31/01/2018 11:39:23

Just as an aside, really: the pig iron polishers (ships' engineers) used to use old navigation charts, wiped in oil for gaskets, mostly for pumps and the like, 'tis true but also for the steam auxiliaries when nothing else was to hand.

The reference to the engineers was purely in jest, in case any former ones take exception. I learned lots from them.

The Emerald Isle

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