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Member postings for Steve Withnell

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

Thread: A bit of a puzzle on eBay
29/04/2021 17:34:18

I think its just the boiler and water tank that's missing.

Personally, I would not give it house room.

Thread: James Coombes
24/04/2021 12:15:08

After too many years languishing under the bench, I finally pulled out my James Coombes build.

I had intended to build "to plan", unlike my Victoria, which I made substantial modifications to.


I was pleased to find I'd made much more progress than I remembered, but I hadn't stuck to plan! I'd never liked the table columns, it didn't seem right to transition the round columns to a square platform. Just me being a bit OCD, so I turned them from square bar, so I could create a square plinth top and bottom. I'm pleased with how they look, but it has created a fitting problem - the valve gear bearing blocks screw directly on to the threaded posts that secure the columns. Any misalignment in the thread axis is corrected by rotating the column.

I need to fix that first, before I progress.

Any ideas welcome!


Thread: Soldering Electrical Connections to NASA standard
22/04/2021 17:16:34

Perhaps I'm out of touch, but isn't lead free solder only mandated for potable water supplies? I'm still buying and using tin/lead solder for electronics. If so, then boilers for model engines should be fine with tin/lead solder (Where silver brazing isn't mandated).

Thread: Brazil Nuts [the dynamic behaviour of]
21/04/2021 20:18:16

The best example of this I saw was at an factory that made adhesive tapes (masking tape, insulation tape). They had a new 5,000 Gallon storage tank installed in the factory yard and then re-laid tarmac over the top to re-instate the yard.

The tank rose up like a whale having 'floated' in the sand ballast and burst through the tarmac like a surfacing whale. I wish I'd had a camera.

Thread: Stuart - James Coombes (Re: Stuart Victoria Plan Errors)
20/04/2021 16:00:21

Thanks Jason. Didn't appear to be anything in Nick's thread called out, looks like I can plough on,

19/04/2021 14:37:58

Given the recent thread on errors in the Stuart Victoria plans, has anyone spotted anything materially wrong with the James Coombes?


Thread: What Engine is this?
19/04/2021 08:42:28

Thanks folks!


Thread: Stuart Victoria Query
19/04/2021 08:38:57

Mine certainly has! It's not getting rebuilt now...


You can hear the big end knocking, that I will fix one day Usual shortage of 'roundtuits'.


Thread: What Engine is this?
18/04/2021 14:14:00

Bit of a "barn find" except it was outside under a tarp.


What is it? Suspect it is a Lister or Petter diesel, but no expert. Is it scrap?



Thread: Finish
11/04/2021 10:28:38

Personally, I would machine the valves from solid. The valves I made for the Nemett engine just needed a super sharp HSS tool. It does need to be the correct grade of free cutting stainless.

The Nemett was my first engine, Malcolm Strides highly detailed articles make it ideal for a beginner. (I won't talk about scrap...but it gets less with experience )

Mine is a bit smoky but it does run well otherwise!

Edited By Steve Withnell on 11/04/2021 10:29:35

Thread: New car - or is it a wheeled computer?
08/04/2021 09:11:31
Posted by Jeff Dayman on 26/03/2021 15:00:00:

My toaster does that now, and it wasn't advertised as digital........

Dyson digital motor is marketing verbage. Digital motor control, sure. Digital motor is BS.

In my opinion Dyson = cheap junk from Asia + marketing BS

I would agree 100% with that. 100% marketing 0% Engineering!

Thread: IUS Mount - Lathe Chucks
01/04/2021 09:48:36

Thanks Dave. Unfortunately MSC have done it again. They send out a sales flyer with these chucks at a deep discount and no matter how quick you jump on it, they have zero stock!

That link also exposed a further issue in that there are two types of IUS mount and the MSC spec doesn't differentiate.



31/03/2021 18:42:16

Is the IUS mount on TOS chucks, just a plain recessed back? I can't find any drawings.



Thread: Stuart Twin Victoria (Princess Royal) Mill Engine
09/03/2021 14:41:58

I've a ton of pictures I took whilst building my Victoria. I took it quite away beyond the 'kit' Stuart supplied in the end.


Most are here in the blog I ran at the time:

Victoria BLog  First Page

Some the posts on this site too - ME Forum Post

I did mean to serialise all of this for Model Engineer, but never got round to it.




I met a guy way back, he had built the Stuart Twin Victoria as a clockwinder for a client...

Edited By Steve Withnell on 09/03/2021 14:43:22

Edited By Steve Withnell on 09/03/2021 14:44:09

Edited By Steve Withnell on 09/03/2021 14:48:38

Edited By Steve Withnell on 09/03/2021 14:58:15

Thread: Is a CNC the right solution for me?
08/03/2021 15:34:28

I doubt anything 'hobby' will do 50 a day 100mm diameter and 20mm depth to be honest. Hole cutter and some sort of lathe fixture to tidy up the edges would be my starting point.

I cut some large gear wheels for a friend in 6mm MDF in sets of three sizes, the largest being 100mm. 15 wheels was 5 set ups and really tedious. I would have struggled with 20mm thick MDF, the machining time would have gone up 3x or so. I used a Sieg KX1, which was fine for the small quantity of thin wheels, if a bit tedious. I have the 3018T engraver from Amazon and it's certainly not got the guts to do that sort of work (it struggles to remove copper cladding from PCB with a 3mm cutter) even though the table size is a bit more amenable. I paid about £180 for the 3018.

Thread: Whats this Tool? Workshop find.
27/01/2021 19:48:38

Obviously for slicing something into smaller strips - the name on the side appears to be "GASO"

Anyone recognise this?


gaso 2.jpggaso 1.jpg

Thread: Workshop Clearance - Advice
10/01/2021 15:39:46

Posted by peak4 on 09/01/2021 13:18:34:

Sorry to hear that Steve, I have vague memories of visiting your Dad's company many years ago.

Hi Bill,

A long while ago now! Dad sold up about 30 years ago, can't believe he's been retired that long. Sadly, his stash of vintage car parts doesn't appear to have any commercial value either - I had a word with Matthewsons and the stuff he has appeals to a particular generation, those folks now in their 80s.

Hope you are keeping well.


10/01/2021 15:28:52

Posted by JasonB on 09/01/2021 13:21:55:

Given the current situation I should think a trader is about the only option as they can travel for work purposes.

I think that's a key point Jason thanks.

10/01/2021 15:27:33
Posted by Dave Wootton on 09/01/2021 13:44:13:

A friend had to do a similar thing with his fathers workshop a few years ago, he wanted everything gone as a job lot because the workshop was in the midlands several hundred miles from his home. He tried several dealers and received a couple of paltry offers. He contacted David Anchell of Quillstar who made a reasonable offer and collected promptly, I have no connection with the business, but I did buy a lathe from him years ago and was very pleased with the whole thing. Might be worth a phone call, I just checked and he still has a website so still trading.

Thanks Dave. I'll take a look, I may need to wait until we get down from this Tier 5 if the dealers are looking at scrap prices.


09/01/2021 12:18:50

Sadly, I need to clear my Dad's small workshop. I need this done as a job lot and within the Tier 5 guidelines. The other issue is that I need to maximise the cash value to contribute to carer costs.

What is the best way to get this done? Looking for good advice.

Key contents:
Brittania gap bed lathe from c1905 with change wheels
Myford ML10 little use, with change wheels
Clarke CL300 with 3 + 4 jaw chucks and vertical slide
Axminster (Sorry Ketan!) branded Sieg X1 (short bed) some collets, drill chuck
Two bench drill presses one is a B&Q brand and the other an Aldi brand I think.

The Brittania has a single phase 1HP motor think GEC and there is an English Electric 1HP spare motor too.

There are the usual biscuit tins with odds and ends, I don't think there is any volume of tools or cutters, just the odd one or two.

It's all installed and working but between Covid and other issues, I'm not prepared to unpick the bundle.

If you have had to do this, then any lessons learned would be helpful.

Location is in the North West.



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