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: Needle flame gas torch
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

19/09/2012 05:25:40

Hi everyone

I have a couple of questions concerning needle flame torches

I am looking for a needle flame torch that uses propane and compressed air for precision silver soldering of small parts. I want to avoiding having to heat a large area to get sufficient heat, I want to try and keep the required heat localised, so I believe I need a flame temperature higher than that obtained from a normal propane/atmospheric air torch.

There seems to be plenty choice for needle flame propane/oxygen torches at reasonable cost however, I want to avoid having to use oxygen cylinders. Is it possible to convert these to operate with compressed air rather than oxygen?

Is there any information or plans for building a needle flame propane/compressed air torch?

One UK supplier does supply what I am looking for but at over 200 GBP for a torch, micro compressor and gas regulator the cost is quite high. A propane/oxygen needle flame torch is available at around 50 GBP but of course an oxygen cylinder is required.

Thanks in advance for sharing your own experience and/or suggestion.


Thread: You know you are an engineer when...
11/07/2012 14:33:42

When you finally get the correct diagnosis for your suffering.

But there is no cure.


Edited By tractionengine42 on 11/07/2012 14:35:49

Thread: Hot rolled steel vs Cold rolled steel which is better?
04/07/2012 04:41:02

Hi Steve

Annealing temperature is around 700 deg C, dull cherry red as stated previously and will need to be held for a period to soak depending upon size/volume.

So domestic appliances are not suitable. Maybe a gas ring will do for very small pieces?

Chunky pieces will require a good size propane torch or a furnace.


Thread: Milling Copper
04/07/2012 04:31:24


Here is an opportunity to add to your workshop.

Explain to your good lady that this job needs slow careful cutting to be successful and therefore requires the purchase of a good quality fret saw.

That will do the job fine.

Personally I would be hesitant to use a router but sandwiching between 2 pieces of MFD as suggested I think is essential.


Thread: Material finishing
26/06/2012 18:36:18

Frost have some


Thread: Unknown Machine ?
24/06/2012 07:13:31

Also, normally the business end of the spindle has a powered slide for facing as well as boring.


23/06/2012 23:22:50

A lovely little horizontal borer, as mentioned by Mick above.

Very useful for boring, milling and drilling.

Usually they have an optional adjustable support at the right hand side to support a long boring bar, similar to how you would use a boring bar between centres on a lathe with the work on the cross slide or vertical slide.

The table has the usual x & y axis, the horizontal spindle moves up and down on a vertical guides.


PS I want one

Edited By tractionengine42 on 23/06/2012 23:23:19

Thread: The Cambridge Turning Trials
03/06/2012 01:09:56


I have suffered from this banding phenomenon for as long as I have used my lathe and it can be frustrating when trying to get a really good finish. I have noticed it on most materials.

I have not investigated it in any depth, I assume the following may be contributing to the problem.

1. I am using a cheap Chinese lathe, so nothing is going to be perfect, poorly fitting surfaces/slides will be more effected by vibration than on a good quality machine.

2. The lathe is of light construction so has less vibration dampening effect.

3. There are various sinusoidal frequencies taking place from the motor, pulleys, gears in the feed train etc. each with there own frequency, these vibration frequencies periodically coincide and then separate.

4. Acting as such these frequencies create a pattern of vibration, the light construction and low quality slides/bearings makes the machine more susceptible to being effected which shows up in the work piece.

I have thought about re-mounting the motor separate from the lathe to reduce one source of vibration. Slightly eccentric pulleys, out of balance rotating parts, poor quality drive belts could all be contributing to sinusoidal frequencies in the machine.

So good quality comes down to hand finishing skills more than then machining quality, not a bad thing.


PS. This spell checker is a great improvement.

Thread: Lead screw nuts
22/04/2012 12:51:18

Hi Dias

Thanks for the link, actually that's what I was referring to, it's the same link given by Paul above, sorry I did not explain myself fully.

Looks a very easy method, reading through that thread it seems the Acetal is surprisingly durable.

I would be interested in how your Delrin nut performs.



22/04/2012 04:32:49


This method looks great, would it be a good compromise for a cnc conversion? Provided you can accept a very small amount of backlash. Save allot of time and expense changing to ball screws. Maybe friction would be the issue though so more cost on bigger steppers and drivers.


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

Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
TRANSWAVE Converters
Eccentric Engineering
Meridienne Dec 4th 2019
Allendale Electronics
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