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Member postings for Ricky Walker

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

Thread: MEW 239 Boring Head FreePlan
20/04/2019 16:02:54

Thanks for those measurements. I've made a start today on machining the head, as I found a piece of round bar 2" dia by around 6" long, looks like it is cast iron, so I'm using that

I'kk post pictures as work progresses



17/04/2019 13:01:49

Hi Dave,

I agree with you on the aspect of building up of materials and tools by building instead of buying ready made, since I am really just starting out, and don't have much in the way of stocks of metal, or do I have a lot of experience in machining.

I do have some experience, as I have owned my Warco Mini Lathe, and Clarke micro mill/drill for around 10 years, but I had them in my shed, which is also the shed for my gardening stuff and my motorbike stuff, so I needed a good 20 minutes of clearing out before I could even get at my lathe! I have recently moved those tools into my spare bedroom, so I am starting to do all those projects I have been dreaming of doing for the last 10 years, LOL

Currently I am making improvements and accessories for my mini Lathe, and have also made a start on BAT, an O gauge steam loco, and started making L C Mason's small lathe - just because it looks cool, I'm planning on making C J Thorne's Clockmaker's throw, as well. So with all those projects, I should start building up a decent stock of metals, and get some valuable experience too.

As regards the boring head, I need it for a specific job, making a modified cross slide for my mini lathe, but I'm sure it will get a lot of use once I have one. I am inclined towards making it, because the experience will be good, and at the end of the day, I'll be able to point to it and say, "I made that".



17/04/2019 03:24:22


I downloaded these plans with a view to building one. First thing I did was priced up the materials and tools I'd need to buy, eg the 2" steel round bar, and a set of boring tools. Turns out it will cost in the region of £45 if buying cheap Chinese or possibly Indian carbide tipped boring tools. I compared this with what it would cost me to buy a boring head already made, and in a plastic case, including the boring tool set, around £60. So now I'm just debating on whether to build or to buy!

Another thing I noticed was that on the drawings, for both the body(figure 3) and the slide (figure 7), the height of those parts is not given. On the body, there is a 16mm dimension for the depth of the hole the arbor screws into, and the height of the dovetails is given as 7mm, but there is an undimensioned section between those 2 points, that looks about 5 or 6 mm. Again, on the slide, there is a dimension showing the depth of the holes for the boring tools(15mm), and a dimension from the opposite end to the threaded cross holes for the boring tool fixing screws at 24.5mm, but no overall height - I'm guessing it to be about 32mm or so.

I only noticed because I was trying to work out how much 2" bar I'd need to buy, but it didn't matter in the end as I'd just buy a 6" length of it quite cheaply.

Thread: Building as Hand Operated Shaper
11/03/2019 01:35:18

Really pleased with the one I bought, no maker's name on it, and it doesn't match any of the ones I looked at on the shapers archive site i found (lathes, or something like that) so I'll be trying to find out what make it is over the next few weeks

I just couldn't believe how much traffic there was around the M25, especially as it is Sunday! Got the shaper home now, I just need some more space to magically appear, so I have somewhere to keep it


Edited By Ricky Walker on 11/03/2019 01:36:06

11/03/2019 01:28:45

Hi Paul Lousick,

I'd not seen that one before, now it is part of my collection of plans



09/03/2019 21:11:11

Today I made the cross feed screw for the worktable on my shaper mock up. Tomorrow I'll be travelling from Hull to Dartford to collect the hand operated shaper I won on eBay I;ll still be building this design though, as it is smaller than the one I have bought.

Here is a pic of the one I have bought:


Should be interesting, and will help me to build the one I have started

Thread: Mechanisms in modern engineering design Artobolevsky
07/03/2019 15:52:18

Excellent resource! This is going to make fascinating reading, downloading now

Edited By Ricky Walker on 07/03/2019 15:52:42

Thread: Building as Hand Operated Shaper
07/03/2019 13:14:48

I have bought and downloaded the Acto 6 hand shaper plans from the Australian website Very impressive set of drawings, however, looks like it needs a fully equipped workshop to build this design. Firstly there is a lot of welding involved, and secondly, the components need a fully equipped machine shop to make, such as dovetail slide ways at 40cm long. Worth looking through to see what ideas are useable on my shaper, but not a design I can build as it is.

Ricky Walker

07/03/2019 13:02:44
Posted by Wout Moerman 1 on 06/03/2019 22:13:11:

Do you know this plan?


Doesn't need a lot of machining.

Yes, I was considering building this one, until I remembered the FT Leightwood design i had read, and dug out the relevant article.

I am pretty much decided now on building a modified F T Leightwood design, as i seems so compact, and the machining procedures have less problems than any of the other designs. I just have to decide whether to build it using metric or imperial materials - I will be using metric fasteners.

I am already thinking about how I would convert this design to a powered model, and my first idea is that a countershaft, mounted slightly above and behind the machine could hold a bull wheel and linkage to the ram.This countershaft would then allow me to add an auto feed mechanism for the worktable and a flywheel with a crank handle, which could in turn be driven by a motor using a belt drive. But first things first, I have to get a working shaper built

Ricky Walker

06/03/2019 15:54:12

Hi Dias,

I have already been looking at your posts regarding the Gingery Shaper (As I said, I've been reading a lot about shapers just lately, LOL), excellent work!


Ricky Walker

06/03/2019 15:39:53

Hi John,

I have the set of Gingery books, and have got as far as building a furnace, not used it in anger yet, I am hoping to do so this summer Building the Gingery shaper is one of the options I looked at, and I may still do that - I'll probably want a powered shaper at some point

I've managed to get the pictures uploaded into an album, so here they are, hopefully:


First picturre showing the thing assembled.


From a different angle, showing the ram more clearly.


The parts separated, clockwise from top left: Ram (not complete), worktable - still needs holes drilling on side, worktable slide, and main base.

The ram still needs the head and clapper box making, and I haven't started on the slide screws yet. Also, I still have to make the operating arm and linkages. Then I have to start again doing it all in metal

Making this version in wood has really helped me in working out any design changes I want to make on the metal version, and it looks cool too! First step I'll be ordering some 1/2" thick alloy for the main base plates. I have decided to make this from a mixture of aluminium and steel - steel where the dovetail ways are involved, alloy for most of the rest of it.

The machine tools I will be using are a Warco mini lathe, and a Clarke CMD10 micro mill/drill. I'll post pictures as my build progresses. And who knows, we may end up with a working shaper at the end of it all !


06/03/2019 14:45:49

Hello all,

I've been reading a lot about shapers recently, and it re-kindled my on and off desire to own one for myself. I don't have room for a normal size powered version, so a hand operated one is the option I am going for. I remembered reading an article in the Best of Model Engineer Volume 3, a reprint from June 9, 1949, entitled "A hand bench shaper" by F T Leightwood.

I had dismissed this article when I first read it, as being unsuitable due to the materials needed (6" x 5" x 1/2" steel angle), techniques (welding), and equipment needed to build (The author used a full sized shaper owned by a friend for some of the machining).

However, recently I have been rethinking, and I wondered if it would be possible - or reasonable - to build it using aluminium and/or steel plate, screwing or bolting parts together instead of welding, etc.

So I decided to build a mock-up using plywood and MDF, screwed and glued together, with M8 threaded rod for the slide controls. It is coming along nicely, and has proved the concept that it would be possible to make one of these shapers by built-up methods. I've not finished the mock-up yet, but have made the main components, and will be finishing it off over the next week or so, before starting to build one for real. Making the mock-up version has shown me a few things, one being helping visualise how to make and assemble the shaper, another being just how small this shaper is, considering it has around a 6" ram travel!

As soon as I figure out how to add pictures, I'll upload some pictures of what I have achieved so far


Ricky Walker

edit: Sorry, thread title should be "build a.". not "build as "

Edited By Ricky Walker on 06/03/2019 14:47:43

Thread: Big Boy in 2-1/2" and O gauge
23/04/2015 19:00:12

Hi all,

I have been spending my time drawing up the driving wheels in both O and 2-1/2" guages for this loco (and learning how to use the CAD program I have, as well), and been thinking about how to cast the wheels.

I think, especially for the O guage wheels, that a lost wax, or investment, casting process would be suitable. I have been reading up about the process, and bought a book on the subject from Camden. However, most of what I have read deals with lower melting point metals such as aluminium and bronze, and uses plaster of paris as the "investment" or mould material. Obviously this would not be suitable for cast iron, so I need to find a source of investment material suitable for casting in cast iron.

Another option would be to maybe cast the wheels in aluminium or gunmetal and add tyres machined from steel, more like the prototype

Anyway, that is where I am so far, I have the machining drawings done for 2 of the 3 differeent driving wheels, and have drawn up casting patterns for cast iron wheels in 2-1/2" guage (although I still have to play around with the dimensions, trying to get them big enough to read, but not so big they overwhelm the drawing)



24/03/2015 09:57:10

Thanks for that link, John, I have downloaded the files, and will have a look later today. Should be very useful.

Neil, sounds about right, lol



22/03/2015 00:54:05

HI all,

Well I have a set of works drawings now, and I have been having a good look. the main engine chassis (what is the plural for chassis?) seems to be a huge hollow steel casting on the original, and the drawing is so covered in dimension lines, hidden detail lines, etc, that it is difficult to make out the overall shape of it, but I'm getting there. I made a little start today, drawing the wheel layout of the O guage version, and immediately saw that there may be a problem with the driving wheel spacing. Since the flanges on a model are over scale, on the model at scale wheel spacing, there is just 1mm clearance between adjacent wheel flanges. I just have to decide whether to reduce the wheel dialmeters, or to increase the spacing between axle centres. All part of the fun of own design I'll post again when I have some more done.



Thread: Josie
12/02/2015 23:54:11

HI Bob,

I know what you mean about the drawings, there are a few things I noticed myself, especially in the boiler drawings, The firetube positions are not dimensioned, and there is no view of the smokebox tubeplate, for starters. I also noticed that my drawings are printed slightly larger than full size, so can't easily measure off the drawing for missing dimensions I see what you mean about the contradictory measurements of the fromt of the pilot beam too, the side view of the main frame and pilot beam gives the pilot beam as 3/4" tall, but the measurements on the front view of the piolot beam are 9/16" + 1/8", making 11/16" height in total, 1/16" less (see, I CAN work in Imperial, lol). Your idea of making a 3D CAD model is a good idea, may help to sort out discrepancies before you "cut metal". In this instance, I would say, try to change the 1/8" for the top section of the pilot beam to 3/16" and see how it looks.

I can't figure out what those slots in the pilot beam front actually do, or are they just copying the shape of the full size original?

GLR still seem to be alive - now trading as GLR Kennions Ltd, - and they have several Josie castings advertised on their website, as well as some suitable wheels. I have them bookmarked for when I start my Josie

John, really like the pic of the 2-1/2" Josie.


01/02/2015 07:15:45

I managed to get a bound copy of Vol 69, so have all the Josie construction articles. So I'll probably start construction of Josie later this year, after finishing my toolpost, and after my visit to the Harrogate show.

The volume makes very interesting reading, especially seeing the latest tech of 1933, and much discussion of large versus small cylinders in model locos.



26/01/2015 10:06:09

Thanks John,

I don't have that volume in my collection, so I am going to upgrade my subscription to allow me to browse the archives, hopefully the articles will be in there.



Juat checked, and the archives only go back to 2001, so no point in upgrading my subscription.  I'll have to keep an eye out on eBay for the relevent volume.

Edited By Ricky Walker on 26/01/2015 10:29:50

24/01/2015 16:48:27



How are you getting on with that Josie, Bob? I have just bought the plans from Kennions GLR, and after a quick perusal, I wondered if construction was ever written up in ME, and if the construction articles are available anywhere? I could do with a bit more detail on the boiler construction. Mind you, I am also mulling over whether to build Josie with a water-tube boiler for gas or spirit firing, shouldn't be too hard to design.

I see that the trailing bogie sides are available as castings from GLR, shich would be easier than trying to make them from scratch with all that detail. I'll also be making use of the laser cut parts available for Josie, those main frames look quite tricky to do by hand!




Edited By Ricky Walker on 24/01/2015 16:48:49

Thread: Big Boy in 2-1/2" and O gauge
20/01/2015 14:44:00

Hi all, thanks for the replies.

Ray, I will certainly have a look for those books, will be usefull to have in my library

jeff, thanks for the info, and helping me avoid what could have been an expensive mistake, and thanks for the link. Those prices certainly look within my price range

And Steve, I have replied to your PM, makes more sense now I have read the messages since my last post

Thanks fro all the help.



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