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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: The Case for Clocks
04/01/2011 17:27:04
The Just Bases guy is local to us.  The wife's met him socially, seems to be ok.
I think he should have been at the ME show, I thought that I saw him listed.  Or was it the other one, can't remember.
Thread: New Year's Resolutions
03/01/2011 14:05:48
Oh David. why did you tell them about the cardboard box?  First rule, always pass the buck up a level.......   I did though think that MyHobbyStore were further along than that.
From my point of view though, the cardboard box seems to work well enough; been like that since the 1800's ME's.
I must say though, about correcting drawings, our new Deputy Editor isn't trained in draughting, nor engineering, so it would be unreasonable to ask her to do it.  'Sides, there is apparently someone employed to fix drawings isn't there?
And having said all that.  Check out the competition,  Engineering in Miniature brags about the quality of their drawing, but generally, it's atrocious.  ME's is far better, and compared with working with newspapers and some other magazines, works superbly.  I've had stuff published in other places that was unrecognizable as my work.  Newspapers are particularly bad, with articles cut off mid way, when the column ended.
02/01/2011 16:09:25
I think that the problem where articles are "lost" and such, is not with David, but is inherent in a system where everything is uploaded to a server at head office.  Anyone used to this kind of arrangement knows the frustration of trying to keep track of things when a large number of people have access and minor glitches can create havoc.
This is endemic in an organization such as MyHobbyStore, where a relatively small staff try to run many magazines.  Unfortunately, that's life in the magazine publishing business, dominated by people like Morton (sp?) Media and the pressure of advertising revenue dictating the amount of content.
Thread: Using Butane
01/01/2011 17:58:10
This is sort of on topic.  Butane bottles.
I visited a chap the other week, who was in the process of converting old butane bottles into coal stoves.  Given an angle grinder and welding equipment it's a simple job.  Mind you, looking at the price of smokeless fuel outside the petrol station, they might not be that cheap to run.
01/01/2011 17:53:23
A styrene box with a low wattage bulb inside is more than adequate to keep a butane bottle happy in cold weather.  'Course, ventilation is necessary.
An 1800 btu caravan heater vented outside would work a treat, if you can afford to feed its gas habit.
I like solid fuel stoves, cheap enough from Machine Mart.  They keep your tea warm too.
Thread: Anything About Acetylene
31/12/2010 20:37:59
Anything about acetylene.  You mean like filling a balloon and tying it to a (cold) car exhaust manifold?
No,not me, I've just been told about it when I was an apprentice long ago. 
Sorry, it's the new year spirit, I get a tot of brandy in my milk before bed tonight.
Thread: Adding illustrations to an article
31/12/2010 20:29:08
From the point of view of one who creates images, photo and drawn, and text, here's my two pen'th.
Text.  You can quote a passage,  but it must be "Quoted".  As in 'Fred Bloggs says, "Blah, blah, blah.".'
An image.  If you do not have copyright for the image, you must have the permission of the person who has, and be able to prove it, usually in writing or similar such as Adobe Acrobat with an electronic signature.
If the copyrighted image is the basis for your image (copy, drawing or such), then usually you are safe, but good manners says that you credit the original.  A copy must be recognisable as such, or you could be looking at a forgery charge, or at least intellectual theft.
There are exemptions for educational/instructional use, but again permission is the safest way to go.  In your case, if the image is the property of a museum or preservation society, then often a credit is all that is required, but with permission.  Museums tend to be generous with writers, as it is as good as advertising for them.  They may ask to peruse the finished article before being published.
And.  There is nothing more galling and likely to start fisticuffs, than to see your intellectual property parading down the street on the front of someone else's  T shirt. Been there, didn't get the T shirt.
The safest way of working, unless you are in the text book trade, is to use only your own material.  I would pursue someone who used my work illegally, as should anyone.  The reason that we have copyright laws is because some people nick other people's stuff. 
Thread: gas filler valves
31/12/2010 19:54:21
Drove a Chevy pickup for a few years with a V8 on propane in Northern Alberta and down to the Salt Spring Island off Vancouver.   It had a fifty gallon tank taking up a chunk of the back and started every time, even down to minus forty if the block heater was left on.  There was no liquid fuel backup, so it had to.
Traveling  on the coastal ferries was no problem with that lot sloshing around, but one day I turned up at the Vancouver terminal with the oxy-acetylene and MIG with the argon bottle in the open on the back.  It was as if I were carrying a tub of nitro-glycerine, I had to sign waivers and declarations, and they had no idea what argon was, so they classified it as an explosive!
On the ferry, to Victoria, the truck was isolated with a two vehicle space and warning cones.
When I turned around to get on the smaller ferry to Salt Spring, I pulled a tarp over everything and just drove on...... 
30/12/2010 15:48:37
Acetylene is disolved in a carrier, the name of which for the life of me has left my head, to stabilise it, as it is unstable and will explode spontaniously at anything above about 15 ponds per square inch.  If the tank has been on its side, the carrier will be pulled into the valve.  Or words to that effect, It's been a long time since I had to teach it.
Propane.  In frigid North America, butane is almost unheard of, it just don't gas at low temperatures.  We heated our house and cooked on propane, kept in a thousand gallon tank beside the drive, when it gets too cold, everyone puts a heat lamp over the regulator to keep it working.  All trailers (caravans) and campers use propane.  The critical bit is in where the intake spout is in the tank.  On its side it will pick up liquid gas, with predictable results.  If you've ever tipped a propane torch too far forward, it will do flary kinda stuff, same thing.  
29/12/2010 20:57:56
Just thought, some welders in Canada used to use disposable lighters to ignite their torches ( and cigarettes ), then slip the lighter into their top pocket to be handy...........
29/12/2010 20:54:06
Propane dangerous.... Butane, chuck it about how yer' like....  Mmmm.
Ever seen a butane lighter go up?
And, how about oxy/propane and oxy/acetylene welding?  Or just a propane torch at that? 
And, what about hooking a propane tank up to one's caravan?
Questions, questions.....
Thread: Gazelle 2-2-2 Drawings
29/12/2010 20:29:01
Managed to get back to work on the Gazelle design, the 3D layout of the frames and cylinders look to be almost right.
More pictures in the album. 

Thread: Bead/shot blasting.
29/12/2010 20:03:46
After a local illegal drug manufacturer/pusher was sent off to spend time at Her Majesty's Pleasure, I nicked his safe box, with its glass window and heavy gloves.  A hole in the side for the shop vac and I had a great blast cabinet.
After a move, I used the pattern to build a bigger unit out of five quid's worth of surplus MDF and a piece of glass from an old window.  The hopper under the grille in the base was a five gallon plastic paint bucket with a spout in the bottom and the blast gun was a cheapo, a la Machine Mart.   After the last move, I now need to build another new one.
Thread: Footplate Experience Recommendations
27/12/2010 16:52:56
South Devon Railway does them, and they're within walking distance of Exeter, well almost, Buckfastleigh on the A38.
Thread: Aircraft General Discussion
25/12/2010 15:18:40
I've uploaded some photos to an album.  The quality isn't that great, but they are all scans from old slides.
The three "models" were in some kind of aircraft scrapyard near Belvoir Castle in Lincolnshire in about 1975.  I was told that they were from the Battle of Britain film, but the Spitfire has "Invasion Stripes".  Does this count as Model Engineering?
Most of the others were from the Rolls Royce  airfield at Hucknall during air displays.  The Wallace and the Zlins are at Tollerton airfield in about 1969.  Before the show, they actually let me fly the top Zlin, under strict supervision of course.  Incredibly responsive, breathing made it move around.
Standing under the Lightning when it stood on its tail was awsome.  This summer, I stood under a Tornado doing the same thing.... Yes, it is louder. 
Thread: Merry Christmas from Model Engineer Magazine
24/12/2010 17:15:23
Bah Humbug!!
Ouch!  Just got hit from behind.
Merry Christmas everyone from a snow covered Dartmoor.
Thread: Aircraft General Discussion
23/12/2010 18:48:10
Just watched the Duxford clip.  The hairs are still standing up on my neck.....
Reminds me, I was flying over Lincolnshire with an RAF instructor one day and we spotted a lot of camouflaged aircraft standing on an unused airfield so we went down to have a look.
My friend in the uniform talked his way past the rent-a-dog, who told us that the collection was (at that time) every flying Spitfire, Hurricane and Me 109 in the world, all wearing the "make up" from the film "Battle of Britain".  We had a great hour or so messing around with priceless machinery.
One problem was that the grass field was waterlogged.... we just made it over the trees at the perimeter.
'Course, that was the one day that I didn't take a camera. 
Thread: Personal messages on the forums
23/12/2010 18:07:02
My attention span is so short now, I need to check the headers to find what I'm reading about, but usually the shift in focus is more interesting than the original thread.
My wife tells me what to do too, but I pretend that I'm deaf as well having no memory.
Now if I could just remember why I started this post.
Thread: Aircraft General Discussion
23/12/2010 17:57:53
I grew up living under the approach flight path to the Rolls Royce test airfield at Hucknall, just outside Nottingham;  that's the place where the Vulcan cartwheeled in during an airshow in the sixties.
Everything flew overhead, saw a lot of the office runabout, the Griphon Spitfire, can't remember which mark, around XVI perhaps, which I think they are still flying.   The Vulcan with a Concord (yes, Concord, that was before the French whined until it became Concorde) engine strapped under one side was impressive.
 The air displays there were always the best, imagine flights for five bob in a Dragon Rapide.  Spitfires beating the airfield up, before the elfins deemed it unsafe for the aeroplanes to fly low at the crowd.  Yeah, I know people got roasted, but that just ads to the thrill.  My kids were brought up blowing holes in the garden with home made explosive, fortunately, we were living out in the wilds on Canada with no neighbours by that time.  The twin Merlins in a Mosquito banking hard in a climbing turn can turn my legs to jelly......
I remember seeing the Princess flying boats when we caught the paddle steamer to Ryde, for holidays in the IoW.   Not many paddle steamers now either.
Speaking of Canada, the quickest way around the West Coast when we lived there, is by air, usually in the old DeHaviland Beavers, none of which is less than fifty years old, but boy what a way to travel.  Float planes with a massive radial strapped to the front are a major rush.
I leaned to fly in the late sixties, then I married my first wife, but that's another story, along with the convertible.  I made up for it by traveling by air and building model aircraft whenever I could.  Can't think of one build that didn't end up in a pile of balsa strewn across a field.  I do still have a package of "Whitewings" paper aircraft on standby in case I need a fix anytime, though kites do act as a sort of Methadone when necessary.
Well, now I need to go and look at a few pictures to slow my pulse down a bit.
Thread: Simpler the Better -what do you use?
21/12/2010 20:30:00
I've got "Classic" running on both G3 and G5 for all the old Mac stuff, but the Intel won't handle that.  I also have "Virtual PC" for the G's and "Parallels" for the Intel.
I thought that  I'd try running AutoCad on Parallels, but Windows is more of a pain in that than on a dedicated machine.  It really was a waste of money.
I do have a Microbloat lap top that runs my boat design CAD, (which was only available for Windows) but the headaches that I've had trying to export files from that to print on a plotter just about drove me to drink (more).  I ended up printing the whole panels out to an A4 sheet, then scanning into the Mac and printing from a scaled up sheet in Illustrator.  Guess how many sheets of A4 it takes for a twelve foot plywood dinghy.   Even the PC tower that we had in Canada was no better.
The Macs aren't bad for compatibility pre-Intel, Classic will open just about anything from year dot, then a save to a modern program, which usually is a better deal anyway.  From the Mac/PC point of view, I've learned to accept the frustration inherent in Windows and the expence inherent in Macs.  Vectorworks has been a great program to work with, the learning curve was pretty shallow with starting from the old MiniCad years ago, but they've always been a nuisance with new versions not handling older stuff.  
I think that I'm starting to ramble, must be time for the medication. 
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