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Member postings for Norman Barber

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

Thread: Smart & Brown Model A
17/05/2019 15:43:17

I have owned a Mk2 B&S Model A for over twenty years and cannot speak too highly of it. If you are buying one make sure that it has a comprehensive range of collets - they are not easy to find second hand if any are missing. My only criticism of the machine is the flat belt drive which (for my machine) is a limiting factor for metal removal rate.


Thread: Gunmetal castings
27/01/2015 15:47:11

Nigel says that he has often silver soldered leaded gunmetal with good results. In their publication "Joining of Copper and Copper Alloys" the Copper Development Association do not recommend brazing of copper alloys containing more than 1.5% lead. They state that there is a danger of parent metal cracking and the solution of lead into the brazing material resulting in the formation of a brittle joint. Obviously this is irrelevant as far as castings for cylinders, etc are concerned but is a consideration to be born in mind when making boiler fittings.

Thread: Sandown photos and thoughts on the show
16/12/2014 15:44:51

I refer to Neil Wyatt's post dated 13/12/14 concerning the colour of my "Terrier". I can reassure Neil that the entry was not marked down because it was a loan entry! It was awarded a bronze medal and the Charles Kennion Memorial Trophy at the 2010 MEX, so the judges must have thought the colour was about right then!


Thread: Fitting a Chuck to a Rotary Table
14/07/2010 18:01:51
If your chuck has a Myford backplate you can buy an adaptor which fits your rotary table and has a Myford threaded nose to accept the chuck.  Alternatively you can do what I have done and make an adaptor which fits the MT in the table and has a threaded nose to suit whatever is on the chuck backplate.  If you do this you must use a drawbar to secure the adaptor in the table taper - it is a very short taper.
Norman Barber
Thread: DRO for Myford ML7
06/01/2010 10:26:31
Meyrick - Many thanks for the info, but it does not work with my system!!  I have just been out into the (freezing cold) workshop and tried it.  Pressing 6 for any length of time has no effect.  The only way I can get into set up mode is as stated in (my) handbook, which is to press the decimal point key while the system is doing it's self check when first switched on.  It then goes into set up when self check is complete.  The self check does not take long - you have to be quick to press the decimal key before it finishes.
The only resolution setting which seems to be of practical use is the one you are using, but I have five decimal places in the display regardless of the resolution that is set.
I have the SINO SDS6 console, which is obviously different to the budget version.   
05/01/2010 14:22:43
The Allendale DRO handbook certainly leaves something to be desired.  They must have sold a good many systems - perhaps they should think about a translation into Queens English.
I use my system on a mill and have managed to sort out most of the functions.  As far as restoring to factory set conditions is concerned, I have not found the All Clr function (or key) refered to by Meyrick, where is it?  The only way I can see of doing this is to reset each parameter manualy by pressing the decimal point key during the self test period when the system is first switched on and going through the set up procedure.  The factory set values are shown in the handbook.  To get the correct distance read out the resolution must be set to 5 (the factory setting).  The use of the term"resolution" in the handbook is confusing - it would be more accurate to call it "scaling".  The read out on my system is to five decimal digits, not four as implied by other contributors.  The same for imperial or metric .  I would be happy with four digits but would like to get rid of the fifth.  It does not seem to be possible. Any suggestions?
Norman Barber
Thread: why cant you silver solder in the workshop?
05/01/2010 12:49:47
I only carry out relatively small silver soldering jobs in the workshop and have never experienced rust problems on any of my machines, although I have now fitted a fairly powerful extractor fan over the brazing hearth.  Large jobs like boiler making are best done in the open air.  I am alarmed at the idea of putting a hot job (of any size) into a sulphuric acid pickle bath.  This can be very dangerous.  I always allow the job to cool down completely to room (workshop!) temperature before putting it in the bath.  It is true that cleaning takes a little longer from cold, but not that long.  My pickle tank is in the workshop and I have ever had a problem from acid fumes.  I have, however, had problems when soft soldering using Bakers fluid.  I agree with Meyrick.
Norman Barber
Thread: Boiler regulations update
13/09/2009 22:35:57
Hi All,
I do not understand why everyone is harping on about material traceability.  If a boiler is made of copper and under 500 bar litre capacity the requirements of the British Model Engineering Liaison Group document "The Examination adn Testing of Miniature Steam Boilers" does not call for any material traceability unless the boiler is to be TIG welded rather than silver soldered. This for very good reason.  It does not seem necessary for ME magazine to publish the Code - it is readily available on the net and I am sure the boiler testers in all of our Club's have a copy.  Having said this, I do think the Code in its present form has some shortcomings - see my post under the heading "Boiler Test Code"
Norman Barber 
Thread: Boiler Test Codes
09/09/2009 17:38:04

I am not an advocate of rules and regulations if they can be avoided and have serious doubts as to whether the formal testing and certification of our model boilers is actually avoiding any hazardous incidents.  We built, tested and managed our boilers for many years without any formal control and I am unaware of any accidents that would have been prevented had the boiler involved had a number stamped on it with an associated piece of paper. However, it was inevitable that we would be drawn into the Health and Safety culture which is engulfing our lives and the Code published by the British Model Engineering Liaison Group entitled “The Examination and Testing of Miniature Steam Boilers” has been designed to meet the recommendations of the HSE and the requirements of insurers.  Although the Code does not directly impose any legal requirements it would no doubt be invoked when deciding any insurance claim or settling litigation arising from a boiler incident and should therefore be clear and unequivocal in its statements and requirements.  I believe that in some respects the document leaves something to be desired and would value the comments of the authors of the Code.  One particular area of concern is the design, manufacture and testing of boiler fittings.  A problem has arisen recently in my own Club concerning the design of screw down steam valves (e.g. blower valves, injector steam valves and blow down valves).  The Code suggests that the inspector “should” check that the spindles of these valves are captive.  It does not say what should be done if they are not so – the inspector is only advised to check – “should” is advisory, “shall” is mandatory.  If the boiler is new it might seem reasonable for the inspector to require the valves to be modified or replaced.  If however the boiler is undergoing a re-test and was originally certified before the date on which the Code became effective (1st Jan 2006) is it reasonable to require modification before renewing the certification?  There must be thousands of boilers built to LBSC and Martin Evans designs to name but a few which do not satisfy this requirement (and some other requirements for that matter).  Should they be refused re-certification?  Should a conditional certificate be issued requiring modification before the next test?  Should the matter be left to the discretion of the boiler tester as is the case with the Australian Code, which is far more comprehensive and rigorous than ours and which states that it is not retrospective to boilers registered before the date on which the Code became effective? >>

Thread: Vulcan Beam Engine
03/08/2009 20:30:27

Hi Bob,

I built a Vulcan beam engine entirely from fabrications, including the flywheel and "A" frames.  The engine was awarded a bronze medal at the 2002 ME Exhibition and a photograph appeared on the cover of ME number 4190, 6th March 2003.  The only modifications that I made to the design was to correct a couple of dimensional errors on the drawings published in the magazine.  I only run the engine on compressed air because I fabricated the cyilnder assembly from steel and I am concerned that this will rust if the engiine is steamed.
Norman Barber
Thread: BA Threads or Metric Threads?
16/07/2009 11:50:59
In 1980 Model & Allied Publications Ltd. set up a working party to study the implications of a future change from BA and ME to metric threads on the practice of model engineering.  The report was finalised in 1981.  It was considered by the British Standards Institution and whilst it could not be issued as a British Standard it was published by BSI under the title "Guidance on Metric Threads and Fasteners for use by Model Engineers".  I do not have a copy of this document but the data is sumarised in The Model Engineers Handbook by Tubal Cain.  The existance of this document does not seem to be very widely known and it certainly does not seem to have had much influence on either model engineers or the trade.  I personaly consider BA fasteners far more suitable for model work than the small metric fasteners, the pitch of the thread being smaller for a given diameter and the hexagon heads much smaller, particularly if the "one size smaller" hexagons are used.
For what it is worth the BA series of threads is based on the relationships pitch P=0.9 to the power N where N is the BA number and the diameter of the thread D=6 x P to the power 1.2. (Sorry - I can't type the powers in a mathematicaly correct manner!!)
Thread: brazing/siversoldering
15/07/2009 10:34:10

Hi David,

I have used Sievert equipment for many years and although expensive it is very good.  You get what you pay for.  I now have a range of nozzels fromthe smallest to the largest.  If you are building boilers a cyclone burner is essential - the ordinary nozzels blow themselves out in confined spaces like the inside of fireboxes.  I agree with other contributors that an adjustable regulator is essential.  It is worth while buying a handle for the torch which incorporates an economy trigger.  More expensive but worth while in the long run.  Make sure that you buy a long neck tube - the job gets very hot!  In this connection, I have found the use of a ceamic blanket to minimise heat loss from the job is well worth the modest cost.
Weary mentions oxy-acetylene.  There is no doubt that the use of  an oxy-fuel gas system is ideal for stays inside fire boxes and other similar features (see Alec Farmers book "Model locomotive boiler making".  Be very careful however.  An oxy-aceylene flame is very hot (3000 degreed C) and in the hands of an inexperienced operator can do a lot of damage.  I use an oxy-propane torchfor this sort of work.  The flame temperature is lower than oxy-acetylene and less likely to cause local burning ofthe copper although care is still needed.  It will still melt the copper and, more important, damage the silver solder.  In any case, the oxy torch should only be used to add the final touvh of local heat once the whole boiler fabrication has been raised to almost siver soldering temperature with the Sievert burner.
Regards, Norman
Thread: boiler reg h.s.e
14/07/2009 18:37:55
Hello David,
If you type in THE EXAMINATION & TESTING OF MINIATURE STEAM BOILERS in your search engine (Google?) you will obtain a copy of the lates edition of the British code.
Thread: Gaskets
11/06/2009 11:56:31
Hello Michael,
I am building a "Boxhill".  The chassis is complete and run on air.  The boiler is finished and tested and the fittings are made.  I am currently making the tanks and superstructure.  I always use brown paper for the gaskets on my locomotives, occasionaly with a smear of Red Hermetite if the bolt holes are very close to the edge of the gasket.  I have never experienced any problems.
I have made a lot of modifications, too numerous to list here, to the Martin Evans drawings (which I assume you are using).  These drawings leave something to be desired and in the case of the boiler at least one modification is required in order to satisfy the current regulations - namely the location of the lower water gauge bush.
If you are interested in "Terriers" may I suggest that you obtain a copy of the book "Stoudley and his "Terriers"" by Tom Middlemass.
Norman Barber 
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