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Member postings for Ian Abbott

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

Thread: Aircraft General Discussion
20/09/2018 17:14:14

The technical knowledge and attention span of the average TV viewer is so low, anything longer than a fifteen second clip means change the channel. Every sentence has to be cliff hanger. "Will the drill bit make it through the bit of metal thingie? After these messages. (Or for the BBC, program trailer)"
We don't watch any Canadian TV. It's not as bad as the awful Usaian crap, but pretty pointless. When we went to England for our long family visit, Commercial TV was unwatchable and the Beeb only at carefully chosen times.
Whatever used to be Radio 4, now on digital, was the only thing worth tuning into.

Interestingly, I hadn't been in England for over thirty years, but when I accidentally listened to "The Archers," on the steam radio, nothing had changed, I hadn't missed a thing.

Our library here has an excellent selection of technical and historical DVDs, and more Shakespeare than you can shake a stick at.

As a backup, Netflix if carefully trawled can turn up some reasonably decent technical stuff. Notably, anything worth watching is in the UK section.

Right, that's exhausted me, time for a lie down with CBC Radio daytime classical music. That doesn't turn to crap until 2:00 pm.

Take care everybody


Thread: Gazelle 2-2-2 Drawings
04/05/2018 15:32:20

So here's the latest state of the general elevations. I still have backhead fittings and a few other items, and the motion, when I decide how that will go. The prototype motion might be a bit in the tiny side, but we'll see.

The Stephens drawing, is pixelated, so I've tried to guess what is actually there.

The DXF file has added some odd lines to a few radiuses, dunno' why.


gazelle 2-2-2 m&sr side vie.jpg

21/03/2018 23:16:39


After looking at the rear quarter view, it seems quite likely that the rear door was there from the beginning. I doubt that it would have been added before the later modifications if it wasn't there from the start.

This view really shows how exposed the footplate was before the cab was fitted.


21/03/2018 23:06:19

Hi Phil,

Yes. I have the rear view with the door and canopy, but absolutely nothing from when she was new. I tried to imagine how she would have been used and thought that maybe passengers would have climbed on board from the platform. The entrance is back from the controls, so perhaps the crew wouldn't be in the way.

Either way, I still have to draw all the fittings and figure out the view from underneath. I'll put an alternative detail view of the rear, with the shelter and door, so we're covered whichever is correct. I also will add a detail for the 0-4-2 layout.

I have a few annoying little quirks from the DXF export, where radiuses on the chimney and dome have been given the segment lines, so ignore them. I'll figure it out in time.



21/03/2018 18:12:38

So, I've uploaded the unfinished CAD general drawing of Gazelle, I'll update things as they happen, 'cos I'm not sure how long things will take.

This is a JPG, but I have DXF and PDF files as well.


gazelle 2-2-2 m&sr side vie.jpg

26/02/2018 02:46:00

Worked on the general view a bit today. Projecting for the plan view brings more into focus and emphasises how narrow the firebox must be. The Stephens Museum photos are a great help for where the plans I pulled from on line are lacking.

For a model I might prefer to keep the cylinders forward 'cos the valve gear is going to be really cramped in 5" gauge.

On the plan I have, all the measurements are blurred out, so I've imported them into a layer under the draughting layer and set the scale from the gauge under the wheels. This way I can just work across the sheet and put dimensions directly on in 1:1 scale, which could be helpful for Joe.


25/02/2018 13:56:52

Hi Guys,

I think a quick look underneath would tell you an awful lot, but I didn't manage to get to the museum before they grounded me.

For the pre-rebuild shape, I followed the line of the frames to where they disappear behind the wheels and then drew what would be needed to hang a horn onto. I didn't really think the layout would be strong enough, but considering the weight, or lack of it, on a model there shouldn't be a lot of problems. It's been a while since I've looked at the photographs, but I don't think I saw any bracing between the sides.

It's possible that they could have added a piece to match the leading and trailing horns when they lowered the axle and perhaps added plate to the join. I tried to visualise an extended axlebox, but that, I think, wouldn't work. I'd certainly be interested if anyone come up with some pictures inside the frames, both before and after the re-build.

From what I can see in the photographs, the cylinders seem to be in line with the original axle centre. My problem there though is getting the valve motion to fit. I have no information at all and the photographs show nothing. It could be just a very simple layout, given that the loco wasn't intended for any serious work.

The new smaller wheel apparently is cast using one of the leading or trailing wheels as a pattern.

I'll try to find the photos and add some to the album.



25/02/2018 02:00:17

Darn thing dumped me. Now I have try and remember what I've just written.

So, I've changed most of the drawings in the album to up to date versions. It's a tedious business, Vectorworks to DXF, DXF into Illustrator to PDF, PDF into Photoshop for a JPG, which is all the album will accept.

Depending upon how much of my time the leeches take when I'm not asleep, I'll try to get some more done, particularly the outside views and valve gear. My doctor was muttering about stuff like dialysis if I don't behave, so I'm being easy on myself. I think Nurse Dracula at the lab has more of my blood than I do.

I don't think that I'll be able to produce a loco, but I'll carry on and share anything that comes out of the draughting.

If anyone thinks they might want to do any misguided thing like building a Gazelle, I'd be more than happy to send a DXF file or three by whatever means. They should go by email I think and they're only about 600K.


23/02/2018 14:16:45

Hey, I'm here.

So, thanks to a combination of several parts of my body giving up the ghost and a couple of long distance moves, back to Canada, I've had neither a workshop nor access to my CAD program. For a few years.

Anyway, I finally have my Big Mac up and running for CAD and when the weather warms up I reckon that I can maybe spend an hour or so a day in the workshop before needing a lie down and I'm slowly sorting through all of the files on the computer.

Joe, The Colonel Stephens museum apparently has a general drawing of Gazelle. I was going to take a ride over there to pick up a copy and take measurements, when the first kidney failure hit. Then while they were looking around after that, they found all sorts of other stuff that was on the point of collapse. Hoo-f******-ray I thought.

I had it in my mind to start building a 1/8th masonite mock up of the frames to get an idea of where I'm at after such a long time and test fit some parts.

I've done drawings for wheels, axles, preliminary cylinders, frames and some trial motion sketches. Can't remember what else, but I'll convert what I've done and put it in the album.

I should say here, that the NHS really looked after me, I was on first name terms with the doctors and anesthetist by the time we left. They even sent a file with me for the doctors here.

All I need to do now is stay alive long enough to clear the backlog of stuff in the workshop.


Thread: Motorcycle General Discussion
19/02/2018 17:58:46
Posted by ronan walsh on 19/02/2018 17:17:55:
Posted by daveb on 19/02/2018 16:54:38:
Posted by ronan walsh on 19/02/2018 16:42:55:

I got talking to an old boy at the local jumble years ago, it was a hilarious conversation. He like most had reached an age when the aches, pains and other health issues had put him off his classic bikes, so reluctantly he sold them off. After a while and missing motorcycling, he was advised to buy a "modern" royal oilfield single with electric start. All the looks and positives of classic motorcycles, with none of the negatives (ho ho ho).

So he went and bought a brand new out of the dealers showroom Bullet with leccy start. Then the calamity started, The miracle electric start packed up, the clutch fell off the end of the gearbox mainshaft, the wheel bearings went, the steering head bearings went, everything chromed started to rust, the big end went, and when it was replaced, the conrod was found to be bent, and all the aluminium castings took to corrode.

Well I'll be blowed! They made it just like a genuine British bike. I've been looking at these for a while, can't quite decide if I want one.

In all fairness, the British bikes were never that bad, they did heat treat components, the chrome plating was good, they did use bearings from good manufacturers. Also most british bikes makers were out of business by the early 1970's, thirty years later the indian makers should be able to do a far better job of them. Apparently heat treatment and tolerances are alien concepts in India.

On my frequent searches for parts, I discovered Hitchcocks (I think the name is) in Birmingham, who supply UK made parts for Indian Royal Enfields.

The theory is that you can replace pretty much everything on the bike with good quality (better than 1950s original) parts and have something under you that won't disintegrate as you ride.

I sat one day with the catalogue and a calculator, to find out how much it would cost....... I was only about ten pages in when I gave up.

18/02/2018 23:44:51

My last bike. 1998 Royal Enfield (they'd just acquired the "Royal" bit) 500 Bullet, Indian built.

Apparently bought by someone working in India and taken back to England when he'd finished the job.

My wife and I found it when we were walking along a quiet lane in Devon, while we were in England for an extended visit, visiting relatives before we all kick the bucket.

Anyway, as we passed a garage with the doors open we spotted the bike gently rusting away beside flowing water. Where the rust had taken over completely on the chrome mudguards, someone had just slapped a coat of black enamel, same with the festering alloy castings. But it had only done a few hundred miles.

This thing had all the disadvantages of a 1955 British bike, with a whole load of Indian problems added on.

Not having any facilities, it lived under a cover and I cleaned, scraped and oiled until it looked as though it just had fifty years of UK usage on it. I did manage to stop some leaks, but others were impossible without machine tools.

Casings crumbled and the wheels were just about rusted through. The engine breather pumped oil out onto the chain, which was good, but the quantity was not. Threads in the casings were stripped out and the carb flatly refused to stay connected to the engine.

The gearbox started out with four sort of functioning ratios, but in the short time I owned it, it gained three or four neutrals as well, apparently a common thing.

This was about the time my legs were finally giving way and apart from dropping the bike, I couldn't get my foot up onto the kickstart, so I parked it.

Then one day I received a phone call from someone who knew someone who restored bikes as a sort of business cum hobby. I hadn't paid much for the bike and he offered me about the same, so I "reluctantly" parted company with the bike and helped him load it into his van. I had thought of bringing it back to Canada with us, but reason prevailed.

Shortly after, we headed back home to Canada safe in the knowledge that my time with motorcycles was over.

However. It began to cross my mind that even if I don't ride one, I could still have a project bike ongoing in the workshop that would keep my mind occupied, along with the thirty odd other little projects on the go.

Nothing has shown up yet, but you never know what's out there. Maybe a nice Brough Superior that's been parked in a barn and no one knows it's there.

This is a photograph of the RE at an machinery working meet in Devon. When I arrived and tried to go to the car park, the marshals said the bike looked so old, it should be displayed with the antique motorcycles.


royal enfield.jpg

18/02/2018 22:45:38

Last but one bike before I gave up, on account of not being able to hold the damn thing up when I stopped. Yamaha XS 750 Special.

I always thought that there was a Japanese designer sitting at his drawing board, laughing like a drain, thinking about some poor bugger trying to do a simple repair in his garage.

Leak though, it did not. Well, after I pulled the cylinders off to fit a base gasket that had a gap in it, it didn't.

I think that some amateur had been at it, judging by a few other things that I found, like the mackled up centre stand.

I could pull the barrel off a Velocette or Royal Enfield single and fit a new gasket in about an hour without stressing myself. This thing took three days.

However, riding it on wide straight roads in Western Canada, was a delight. 9,000 rpm in every gear (bar 5th) and 0-60 in something stupid. And the sound from the three into one, rattling off the side of a minivan, brought out every ounce of senile delinquent in me.

screen shot 2018-02-14 at 10.08.47 am copy.jpg

Thread: Aircraft General Discussion
16/01/2018 05:45:41

Did anyone see mention of flying in in any of the blurb ? We're bit out of the way here so information is scarce. Is six million what they have for the restoration, or that's what the expected cost will be?

Something that I noticed in various publications, with aircraft that have been gate guardians and the like, is the replacement with a 1:1 Airfix and the original taken away to be restored to flying. Particularly Hurricanes I thought.


15/01/2018 23:24:37

I take it that this isn't going to be a flying restoration. I've always thought that they look sad, stuffed and mounted, so to speak.

Mind you, the cost difference between flying and non-flying would probably be eye watering.


04/09/2017 23:25:03

When we were in England for a while a few years ago, we lived on a farm just south of Dartmoor, built on high ground where we could look out over the valleys onto the moor. We were apparently right underneath a regular training route. Just about everything went over, twin (rear) engine jets with munitions pods, Chinooks, Merlins, Hawks, Typhoons and especially low, the C130s (and maybe an A400, I think), which came over us at treetop height before going down and across the field into the valley. We looked down onto them until they dipped right below the horizon. After half a minute or so, they'd climb out, following the contours up on to the high moor. According to the ordnance survey there is a bombing range on the north side of the moor right in line with where we were. There were more, particularly prop driven stuff that I didn't recognise.

The most "fun" was when a dark grey helicopter, couldn't tell what it was, we were otherwise occupied. Literally. That hovered directly over the roof with black clad people hanging out of the doors with heavy artillery, while other black clad individuals with automatic weapons surrounded us. Apparently, someone had broken into a farm a couple of miles away and among the stolen items was a shotgun. Just a shotgun. They were very polite and after they'd ascertained that we were ordinary people who had just climbed out of bed and wearing very little, they apologised and buggered off. The wife was quite smitten by the "very handsome and cute young men", while my attention was more focused on whether the safety's on the automatics were on or off.....

Thread: supercharged V12 2 stroke
31/07/2017 17:03:23

Just had a random thought. Have you looked at a compressed air starter? An air driven die grinder might have enough torque and can spin up to over 22k. All you'd need is to turn up an adapter that would fit the 1/4" collet.

Bonus is that it would sound really cool.....


Thread: Aircraft General Discussion
11/06/2017 01:54:39

Ah, but ponce is an artists term. Ponce powder is used in a ponce bag in conjunction with a ponce wheel, which is also used on fabric patterns. I guess one of the most famous ponce users was da Vinci, who ponced through a paper cartoon onto the wet plaster in the Sistine Chapel. In case one hasn't seen a ponce wheel, it's a spiked wheel on the end of a handle, which is rolled over the paper pattern to leave holes. The fabric ponce bag is then tapped against the paper so that the ponce powder (basically chalk) leaks through the weave and into the holes in the paper. When the paper is removed, the design is left, ready for the artist to colour inside the lines, essentially the Sistine Chapel was a paint by numbers project.

And CAD. I still always draught out my designs on the draughting table, before I transfer them to the CAD program. I get a much better idea of what I'm creating. CAD though is much better when it comes to modifying drawings later and I can print out full size sheets to transfer to whatever material I'm using. Sometimes using ponce powder.


12/02/2017 21:10:40

I do like the implication that only the US Navy has the technology and skill to launch and recover aircraft from a floating platform, y'know like an aircraft carrier.

That said, something that caught my attention was that unless the moving object just happens to be traveling along a path that might coincide with some stationary structure, all this technology 'aint worth spit, as they apparently say out west. It's like the fielder standing six feet to one side of where the ball's traveling; the thing is heading straight for the boundary.


Thread: Motorcycle General Discussion
04/01/2017 01:03:30

One of the reasons that British bikes lost out to the under 250cc Japanese models.

In 1963, I sold an old Vespa and bought a 197cc James for £8 to take my test on and use for work. It could manage 60mph with a good tail wind, but vibrated one's feet off the footrests and after a mile the piston would seize. After a leisurely smoke, the engine would have cooled enough to start again and we were good for another mile. The engine vibration eventually destroyed the wiring in the mag, so one day after it failed yet again, I parked it in a shop doorway for the owner there to look after. When I came back with a friend and a tow rope, it had gone. We searched for a while and found nothing, so we went home. A little later the police called to say that a red bike had been found down on the railway embankment about fifty yards from the shop, could I look to see if it was mine? I hopped on the Velo and went to look. I could identify it only by the mangled number plate, 'cos the rest of it was in tiny pieces. Nothing resembling an engine existed and a mangled pile of tubes would have been the frame. The police theorized that whoever nicked it had become so frustrated trying to make it go, that they'd used a railway sleeper to pound it into tiny pieces. The story has a happy ending though, the insurance paid me ten quid, because it "was uneconomical to repair."

I resisted the impulse to buy a Japanese bike until here in Canada in 1998, when I bought a 1978 3cyl. Yamaha XS750 Special. Wheeeeee….. 9,000 in every gear, 0-60 in something stupid. Never did find out how fast it would go. 560 lbs, shaft drive and absolutely no ability to go around corners. On the straight roads here though, it was a perfect cruising bike. The wife loved sitting on the back and watching the world flash by. Soooo comfortable. Sold it when we went traveling and ended up with the Indian Royal Enfield in England, which was perfect for the winding country roads. The RE was one of the first after they acquired the "Royal" bit but before they began importing to the UK. Someone bought it in India and took it home. It was fun to ride the big single again, but the bike was rubbish, Indian crap castings, peeling chrome and flaking paint. I sold it to a guy who restored bikes when we left to come home. He was going to strip to down and start from scratch.

In terms of the design, the RE was essentially a 1955 British bike. Slow, unreliable, maintenance heavy, just what the Japanese imports wanted. Of course, nowadays, it's all nostalgia.

As for getting a garage queen, I'll probably look in vain for a cheap Brough or Vincent to do up, which will solve the problem…….


03/01/2017 17:34:01

They won't let me ride now, 'cos when I stop I fall over, but I keep thinking that it would be fun to pick up an old bike and, after renovation, keep it as a Garage Queen, to polish and start up on Sunday mornings. My worry is that it doesn't stop there…..


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