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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: Workshop Flooring
08/06/2015 11:59:16


My originally painted my workshop floor, after a few years some areas were badly worn and getting very dusty.

I covered the entire floor with this vinyl flooring. Mine is a hard vinyl as opposed to a foam vinyl also advertised. It's not solid, the underside has a honeycomb hollow pattern,

My Elliott Junior mill stands on this without any problem, just some 3/4" ply to spread the load. It cleans very easily and so far, (3 years) is not showing much sign of wear.

There are circular and chequer patterns as well.

I am very happy with it and would use it again, it's not much trouble to lay other than having to move workshop stuff around to clear floor space.

Usual disclaimer - no connection with the advertiser linked above.


Edited By tractionengine42 on 08/06/2015 12:02:54

Edited By tractionengine42 on 08/06/2015 12:04:59

Thread: Electrical question re transformers
05/06/2015 13:49:54


I have only made a tentative look so far and found equivalent toroidal transformers @ 104 GBP from Maplin for 3 off. I thought that I could perhaps get away with a single transformer at a lower cost something like a 36v 0v 36v with would give 72vac but then it would have to be around 700va.

I was wondering if 60v ac would be OK as there seems to be a better choice of transformers, but the cost doesn't appear to work out any cheaper for a single large transformer. Ben does say 50vac should be workable i.e. 2 of his transformers instead of 3.

Anyway, I will be looking further and will let you know.



Edited By tractionengine42 on 05/06/2015 13:50:14

05/06/2015 11:14:34

Thanks everyone for your reassuring and informative responses.


04/06/2015 16:51:28


At the risk of showing how dumb I an at electrics, I have a question regarding ratings of transformers connected in series.

If I have 2 transformers 12v 1amp they are rated 12 x 1 =12 VA?

If I connect them in series I get 24v. Will the current rating be the same? so I end up with an ac power supply of 24 VA?

I expect the current rating cannot increase because the wire gauge on the winding can't change.

Reference the following diagram.

transformer va.jpg


The reason for my question is that I am looking at Ben Fleming's pulse EDM, he uses 3 off 24v 10 amp transformers in series to get 72v. I was wondering if I could replace these with say a single 75v 750VA transformer, or 2off x 36v 350va transformers? I don't at present know if this approach would be OK, available or cheaper, just an idea.


Thanks in advance.




Edited By tractionengine42 on 04/06/2015 16:52:56

Edited By tractionengine42 on 04/06/2015 16:54:03

Thread: Etching Brass and Photoresist
04/06/2015 16:12:58


I could not get a dense enough print from my laser printer, I ended up using 2 prints carefully superimposed on one another, this gave much better results.

It took me several tries to get an acceptable etch, I found the photoresist thickness, UV light exposure time and image blackness (+ a bit of luck) are all variables affecting a good result. when developing I found it helpful to carefully clean the surface with a soft brush.


Thread: gauge glass valve design
19/04/2015 10:29:06

Thanks Jason, that's great, by the looks of it not a great deal to it, I guess allot depends upon getting the right fit for the insert and spindle.

I steam tested my 3" Allchin for the first time last Friday and found the valves leaking a little. I had suspected this might happen and, although they don't leak much, I doubt they will pass a hydraulic test for boiler certification. I intend giving PTFE inserts a try.



18/04/2015 10:05:48

Many model designs show a tapered plug type valve design for gauge glass valves etc. However, many suppliers specify gauge glass valves having PTFE inserts, I was wondering if anyone could elaborate on the design of such valves with a view to making my own.



Thread: 3" Scale Allchin
17/04/2015 11:54:27

Hi Donald

Here's some pics of my engine, Once the blanking plugs are painted black I think they will not be very noticeable, as you said you could disguise then as a dummy mud lid instead of have them on the corner which would provide a better appearance.





Hope this helps.



Edited By tractionengine42 on 17/04/2015 11:57:25

16/04/2015 23:41:54

Hi Donald

I've just finished my 3" Allchin.

I made the dummy throat plate flush with the washout plug bushes, didn't find any problems as a consequence.

If you wish I can take a photo and up load it here.


Also Bonnie Scotland (Alford)

Thread: Simple way to control nema stepper motor
19/03/2015 07:51:49

Hi Ray

This might be of interest

I've not used it so can't provide any feed back.


Thread: What did you do today (2015)
25/01/2015 06:20:25

Concerning CAD, as an experienced user of Autodesk Inventor and Solid Works IMHO Cubify Design excels in ease of use, functionality and price.

After looking at several packages for home use, I have bought Cubify Design which allows 3D part design, assemblies and drawings, it operates similar to the afore mentioned high end packages.

I much prefer 3D design software that allow editing of original sketches used to create the 3d model, this presents all the data when editing. With some packages you don't have the original sketch and edit the 3D part directly which IMO is much less convenient than it would appear.

If you have an interest in 3D cnc or 3D printing and only need 3D part design (i.e. don't need assembly or drawings) then Cubify Invent is available at a very low price.


Thread: 3D printing seems to have gone quiet. Where are we all at?
18/01/2015 16:48:22

I tend to agree with Bazyle above, I have been offered a RepRap kit of parts with PBC etc., I've had a look at it as an alternative to buying a low cost 3d printer. I was thinking of perhaps building the RepRap but design in improvements right from the start. It's designed to be built with little tooling and low cost, with a workshop full of gear there must be some scope for me to make improvements in the build.

The frame is bolt together threaded studding so replace this with a more suitable and rigid frame.

The extruder build looks crude, is it a source of problems?, perhaps replace it with one used on the low cost Chinese machines, these seem to be available on ebay.

What other improvements could be made?

Perhaps an interesting exercise but is it worth the effort?

My use will likely be intermittent.


18/01/2015 07:21:22

Further to my post a above, thanks for the very helpful feedback re De Vinci 3D printer. Jason's MEM link was particularly helpful which includes links to some informative you tube video reviews.

Negative comments about the firmware and cartridges rather put me off the Di Vinci machine. While I don't mind a bit of mechanical hacking to improve a machine I don't feel confident hacking the firmware, the supplied firmware looks particularly lacking in flexibility and functionality.

I am also put off buying a cheap machine from ebay (due to -ve feed back concerning machines and suppliers.

So still pondering.



08/01/2015 21:52:07


I am thinking of buying a Da Vinci 3D printer.

Anyone able to share there experience using one of these?

They look to be very well supported regarding replacement parts as compared to the usual Chinese imports seen on ebay though a little more expensive.

Appreciate any feedback.



Thread: Outstanding Service
07/01/2015 17:05:49


I would like to add Emkay Screw Supplies to the list of outstanding service.

I've just received some BSW csk screws at very reasonable price and postage cost, I'm very happy to recommend them.

Very smooth and quick transaction conducted by email.


Thread: Free Plastic
29/12/2014 21:34:17

Hi Graham

I also sent PM recently.

Very best wishes for the New Year.


Thread: Where to buy conical washers.
18/12/2014 22:31:28

From google search

Concave and convex M5 washers



Edited By tractionengine42 on 18/12/2014 22:33:58

Thread: I'm Stuck
16/12/2014 16:59:12


I agree with your explanation of an cooler arbour becoming stuck when inserted into a warmer spindle socket and the spindle subsequently cools.

But once stuck and subsequently running the machine to warm the spindle, the arbour will also warm and both expand equally, so the arbour will remain stuck. This is what I think John was referring to when he said he was not sure about the warming argument.


Thread: Should you really get the biggest lathe possible?
05/12/2014 08:55:44
Posted by David Colwill on 05/12/2014 08:33:10:

I often hear people say buy the biggest machine that you can possibly fit in your workshop

I think it's a statement made with respect to hobby machines, industrial sized machines are rather over kill in a model engineering context, for the vast majority at least.

My Worco 12x 24 lathe and VMC mill have good capacity and would be considered large capacity machines so much so I do also have a Sherline lathe and mill for tiny work. In a model engineering context these are the 2 extremes.


Edited By tractionengine42 on 05/12/2014 08:56:53

Thread: Armstrong-Siddeley Lynx IV radial
04/12/2014 10:10:56

Hi Stephen

I have an interest in Rotary and Radial engines, after reading your very interesting article in ME I was hoping to here more news of progress and here we have it. Very glad to here your model is now running, unfortunately the MEX exhibition to far for me as I am in Aberdeenshire, I would love to see it in the flesh. Be good if you could make the Harrogate show in 2015.

I will be looking for a new project next summer, I think this radial may be a timely contender, I do prefer the larger scale and there looks to be some interesting machining challenges.

Beautiful model, very well done indeed.


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