By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

Member postings for tractionengine42

Here is a list of all the postings tractionengine42 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Filling holes
25/10/2012 01:52:34

As Michael says, because the thread pitch of M5 and 3/16 BSF are in essence the same, the M5 being 0.24mm larger in diameter, then you should be able to true it up to M5 if you guide the drill & tap perpendicular to the surface and get a good thread.

Personally I would tap M5 or M6 and use M5 or M6 bolts.

Another alternative is, if the design will accommodate a stud and nut arrangement rather than a bolt and threaded hole, then you can tap the hole M6 and make a stud M6 one side and M5 the other.


Thread: Piston Ring Material?
23/10/2012 01:59:52

Hi Don

Cast iron piston rings working with cast iron cylinders is probably the most commonly used combination for your type of application. I would recommend going for a good quality material like a grade 17 continually cast which has a very fine grain and uniform structure. I used this combination on my BR2 without any problem.

Because of it's free graphite content cast iron has the rare property of being a good bearing material with it's self, not so with most other materials.

Steel piston rings may be OK but I have no experience in this quarter.


Thread: Self adulation
17/10/2012 15:24:58

Reminds me of my own model engineering desires at 16 years, having just started work and decided a Myford would never be in my reach I suggested that, if I did not pay my board for a few weeks, I could afford to buy a Unimat lathe. lol. I would pay it back later. lol.

Taken to one side and given "when I were your age lad" treatment followed by the real facts of economic life, it wasn't to be, not for some time anyway.

Good luck to Alistair, he sounds very capable, not many his age dream of a career building and repairing steam engines.


Thread: Steel Tender Waterproofing
15/10/2012 01:57:36

I asked the same question to some guys with miniatures at a steam rally, I did as they recommended, light shot blast and then coated with isoflex liquid rubber. They said they had not had any problem over several years.


Thread: The Greatest Mechanical invention
10/10/2012 13:14:48

The crank shaft, without which your wonderful reciprocating engines would have limited use and the industrial revolution may not have happened.


Thread: Boiler Design
10/10/2012 06:01:56

Hi Phil

No offence taken, FEA is not really for the amateur environment. A simple method that can be used by the armature would be the way to go.

If a simple method could be devised then FEA could be used to help prove it, once verified no further FEA would be needed by the user. Just a thought.

When I was doing those FEA's in my photo's I did think about devising some simple formula myself and using the FEA to prove the ideas, I think, for me anyway, this would be an interesting exercise. Other interests and work make this a low priority though.

Looking forward to hearing your progress.


09/10/2012 14:46:35

Hi Phil

If it's acceptable to your boiler inspector I can do an FEA design check of your design, if it helps.

See my photo's

Don't wait to long as I won't have the facility indefinitely.


Thread: Tool and Cutter Grinder
09/10/2012 02:47:39

Unless your into building workshop equipment rather than models, I would not go down the route of anything sophisticated.

You can't go wrong with Harold's solution, simple, easy to build, quick and economical.


Thread: Needle flame gas torch
09/10/2012 02:00:13


The flame fast torch is 130 GBP +vat

The portaflame kit (regulator) is 88 GBP + Vat

By the time you add the postage and the vat it's 270.6 GBP. 45.10 GBP vat is a killer

I could get a needle flame propane oxy kit for less than 50 gbp + purchase of a 9L oxygen cylinder & gas for less than 100 GBP.

Thanks to Neil's post showing the old ME article I am inspired to have a go at building one.


08/10/2012 15:18:10


Some fascinating air brushes there.

Hmmm..... Now you've got me thinking.



07/10/2012 16:46:09

Michael, thanks for that resistance soldering link, looks a very useful and precise soldering technique.

For fine precision silver soldering I will try the suggestions above but I though I would play around a little with a propane / air design based on the info provided by Neil. This is what I came up with, any comment good or otherwise appreciated. Not all details worked out yet, just playing around with ideas.

Provisional Drg

3D view 1

3D veiw 2


Thread: delcam help
07/10/2012 09:38:38

Hi Ronan

Thanks for your reply. I think that Decam is a very flexible design tool if design is as far as you want to go but for a hobbyist wanting to take 3d models to G code it look not so convenient. There voucher scheme looks a good option for a commercial manufacturing outfit. It's a shame because I really like the look of it.

I have tried Alibre, as I am familiar with Auto Desk Inventor and Alibre is fairly similar in it's methods, I found it very good and easy to use, plus you can save stl files so for me this is an option worth considering.


Thanks for your links showing your demo video, very helpful indeed. My demo version of Viacad is somehow active again, after watching your videos a few times and replicating what you were doing I am starting to get the idea of it. I had not previously seen the Concept Explorer box which makes all the difference. So this is beginning to look an option also and maybe a refreshing change to what I am used to in my work.


06/10/2012 08:59:31

Hi Guys

Rowan, Thanks for your post, this Powershape looks a good 3D package and on first babble seems relatively easy to learn and very flexible.

I note your comments on vouchers above.

As a hobby user, is there a free or economical route to take a powershape model to G code maybe via an economical cam package. For example I don't see away of exporting as an stl file for example. If it can only be done by vouchers then the cost seems high, for me anyway.

Currently I am using Meshcam which can take stl files and works very well.

If this is not possible on a small budget then there is not much point me learning to use the program.

I tried Viacad, but the 2 week trial period was not long enough for me to get to grips with it so I was not confident to purchase. Plus it did not seem to have a design tree so,in the short time I had it, I found editing confusing.



Thread: Mach 3 Training
01/10/2012 02:10:52

Hi John

I find the Art Software forum helpful but when searching and reading posts generally a bit over my head and time consuming to find that answer your looking for.

As a new user for cnc milling I would certainly be interested in a forum dedicated to entry level mach3 and G code for both mill and lathe.

Also of interest at entry level are:-

1. Economical 3D milling regarding Cad and Cam.

2. Digitising




Thread: Needle flame gas torch
24/09/2012 06:34:46

Hi Neil

very much appreciate the info you posted. Looks quite simple to make and it would be easy to experiment with different nozzle sizes and gas pressure.

Some commercial units use an aquarium air pump to provide air supply, maybe one could also be used here and experimentation with varying air flow.

maybe i will give this a try, it will be an interesting exercise.



Thread: Digitising Probe.
22/09/2012 15:07:54

John, Thanks, that's clear to me now.



22/09/2012 14:11:04

Hi Clive/John

Clive, I don't mean to hyjack your thread but if I may, can I direct a question to John. I am interested in this probe for cnc probing with Mach Cloud software..

John, From what your saying, this probe is only really suitable when the contacts break in the Z travel (having previously moved to an X/Y position) so would not be suitable for edge finding in the X, Y, axis only? (So should only be used for 3D digitising?)



Thread: Needle flame gas torch
22/09/2012 13:50:45

Hi Michael

Thanks for the link, USA is still the place to get that less than usual item.

I think Resistance soldering will not be known by many in model engineering but I understand it's used a fair amount in electronics. I only discovered it reading Gerald Wingroves book, The complete car modeller', he build his own and had it professionally tested.

Actually, I looked at these while visiting the USA a few weeks ago with a view to buying one and cutting carriage costs etc. Just at that time a unit came up on ebay in the UK, (a rare event I think), although not particularly cheap for an oldish piece of equipment much cheaper that a new one though, maybe a bit out of date as compared to those shown on your link. It was in 'buy it now' so I took the plunge.

I have not tried it yet as I am still on my travels and now in Asia. Won't be home till xmass sad.

I would still like a gas torch, I think these 2 methods will compliment each other and give greater flexibility in building miniature replica cars. experience will tell.

Building a resistance soldering machine would make a great MEW article for someone with the knowledge to do it. There is information on the web where people use car batteries in quite a crude way, I discounted this approach in favour of a proper unit with variable power setting levels.



22/09/2012 12:46:02

Thanks again for your posts.

Niel, yes typically body shells and chassis in brass or copper. As your suggestion is so cheap I will try out a 'cooks torch' and get some experience and see how it goes. From the sound of it my idea towards a propane/air torch may be over skill. I think only experimentation with lead the way to what is right for me.

MichealG, thanks for the info. It would be nice to be able to build a torch but any good knowledge re. propane/air seems thin on the ground, best left alone until something can be found.

I will let the forum know how I get on.


19/09/2012 13:57:59

Hi Everyone and thanks for the quick responses.

Having considered everything I think it boils down to whether or not a softer comp.air/propane needle flame torch will be better than a higher temperature oxy/propane torch, when silver soldering thin sheet brass/copper and small brass parts onto much larger brass parts .

What ever I use it's a skill I will have to learn and experiment with, but what's the best equipment.


My main concern is that maybe an Oxy Propane could have to high a temperature just for silver soldering such parts as mentioned below however, maybe this idea, with reference to AndyP's reply, is misplaced.

I am thinking of fine scale model cars 1/15th scale, so parts from say 3mm to 10mm cubic size would need silver soldering onto much larger pieces without heating the whole piece and upsetting previous work.If you know the work of Gerald Wingrove then you will have the idea of what I am aiming at. In his book he uses comp.air/propane.

In addition very small diameter tube down to 0.5mm and thin brass/copper sheet/strip down to 0.15mm could need silver soldering in longish lengths.

I have no real objection to the oxy cylinder if that's the best way to go and at reasonable cost. Living in a remote area mail order would be needed and may suppliers won't dispatch to my post code, arranging a courier can be expensive. But then again I guess a 9L oxy cylinder will last a good while.


Michael, Andy - Thanks for the website's, some interesting option to look at there and at more competitive price.

I had forgotten about H S Walsh, an obvious supplier to look at but, for some reason, I seem to be locked out of their website, maybe because currently I am in Asia.

Dias, thanks for your search, I should have thought of that. I think maybe adding micro, micro flame, miniature, needle flame may improve search focus. Now that you have mentioned it I can do this my self no problem. Thanks again.

Andy, Smiths do list a comp. air/propane tip for a softer flame so that's interesting.

Looking forward to hearing any further suggestions and/or experience.




Edited By tractionengine42 on 19/09/2012 13:58:27

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
Allendale Electronics
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest