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Member postings for Charles

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

Thread: Spontaneous Combustion
17/02/2014 00:28:14

This is not about spontaneous combustion either, but I had a little adventure with a bath heater many years ago while living in the Eastern Goldfields that I am reminded of now. The bath heater was a tall sheet metal cone with a little round door at the front. The type was almost universally used in Western Australia in the distant past. These water heaters were just known as `Chip heaters', because they were meant to be fuelled with small chips of wood. It stood at the end of the bath and once the fire was going well, hot water that contained little black sooty bits, would bubble from the overflow pipe that led to the bath.

Starting up the fire and feeding it with its diet of chips was too onerous a task for me and I discovered an easier way. Since I was always fiddling about with engines and so forth, there was an unending supply of oily rags about the place. I found that if I liberally doused one of these rags with kerosene, tossed it through the little round door and followed it up with a lighted match, it would usually generate enough hot water for a bath. It was fast to heat, and while burning, there was an impressively loud pulsing and vibration emitted by the fire. Like a rocket preparing for take off.

On one of these high speed firing sessions, the fire went out before there was enough hot water for a proper bath. I was wandering about the bathroom, naked and ready for a bath, but there was only about 2 inches of water in the bottom of the old, white enamelled bathtub. I soaked another rag in kero, swiftly opened the little round door, and chucked it in to the fire and slammed the door. I figured that would make enough heat to finish the job. What actually happened was that the rag extinguished the remnants of the fire and all went quiet. I peered carefully through the doorway and could see wreaths of white kero vapour swirling in the hot combustion chamber. Bringing my great mental powers into action, I decided that a means of ignition was all that was needed to get the fire back in action again. I was right.

I struck a match and tossed it into the vapour filled hole. It lit up with a mighty whoosh and a 3 foot long tongue of flame shot from the heater and licked me from knees to eyebrows. I thought that my hair was on fire, so I took a header into the bath to put it out. That was when I found out that although there wasn't too much water in the bath, what was there, was almost boiling. I rose vertically from the tub, half scalded and smelling strongly of singed hair. I didn't enjoy that, but it taught me a new respect for the combined powers of fire and water.


Thread: DTI Elephants foot
28/01/2013 10:33:15

Thanks very much gentlemen, that is exactly what I wanted to know.


28/01/2013 08:04:31

I have seen several descriptions of setting up workpieces where the use of an `Elephants foot' attachment has been used on a dial gauge. Are these things commercially available and if so where do you get them? Or is it something that you make for yourself?

I have never seen one or an actual description or picture either. I can guess what it is like, but can someone give me some definite information on the subject?


Thread: Filing Machine
16/09/2010 04:30:56
Here are photos of the pattern

Here is the pattern split apart

14/12/2009 11:15:02
The die filer on the cover OF MEW 155 was made by me.  It was made from a set of castings in aluminium which is the preferred material as one has been made locally in cast iron and the extra reciprocating weight had it leaping about like a kangaroo.  If anyone wants I can supply a crude sketch showing the essential dimensions and photos of the patterns used. 
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