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Member postings for Nigel Bennett

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

Thread: Swindon Wheel Castings
06/05/2021 19:31:53

Why not shrink on some steel tyres? Getting blanks flame or laser cut isn’t expensive, and easier than making and fitting new wheels.

Thread: Clayton 2" Scale Steam Lorry - Drawings
27/04/2021 15:31:58


Help you?

Thread: Eueka! - Has music been redefined?
27/04/2021 15:28:24

Bunch of clowns...

I wonder what the German for "Eureka form relieving device" is?

Thread: Boiler barrel
27/04/2021 12:05:56

Yes, you can do that. Likely to be a bit more expensive than the equivalent sheet material though. However, if you anneal the sheet first you can easily persuade it round a wooden former. Irrespective of which method you use, you will need a butt strap fitting along the joint.

Thread: What to do when you lose something
24/04/2021 09:06:26

I lost a small tap wrench - one of those little Eclipse ones. The gremlins were keeping a really tight hold of it. Some weeks on, I finally got round to the task I had not been wanting to do, which was searching in a huge bucket of steel swarf. Like an idiot, I had parked the swarf bucket within range of the bench.

I cannot describe the utter joy of finding it amongst the swarf, wresting it from the disappointed gremlins, and parking it back on the wall on the two nails where it's supposed to live.

Thread: Do these tools still exist?
19/04/2021 15:45:12

Simply Googling "Counterbore" gave a lot of options!

Thread: Details of modifications to the Burgess BK3 Bandsaw
12/04/2021 19:05:52

Thanks for that, Alan, much appreciated. On mine I did the upper blade guide mod that appeared in ME many moons ago, but I always thought that the lower one could do with a coat of looking-at. It's spurred me on to do something!

Thread: Think you have trouble losing your chuck key?
01/04/2021 16:21:49

I take it you're going to make it a working Griptru one as well...

It looks really good, William - and if you've got to do the pinions somehow! Keep us posted on how you did them...

Thread: Southworth Pump Lubrication
31/03/2021 13:42:32
Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 30/03/2021 09:06:15:

in general I suggest lubrication is kept to the minimum you can get away with as all of the oil will end up in your boiler.

Surely not; if you're daft enough to pipe the lubricant into the water side of the pump, yes, but if it's only being used to lubricate the steam side as intended, then you won't get oil into the water side and hence none into the boiler.

Thread: Low head Cap Screws
27/03/2021 18:06:13

We used them occasionally at work. They had smaller and shallower sockets than the standard ones and were also only available in grade 8.8 as opposed to 12.9 for standard.

Thread: Don Young Adams O2
18/03/2021 12:41:28

The design I used for the cylinder drains was found here:

18/03/2021 11:08:16

You are quite correct in your findings; they do clash horribly. I came to the conclusion that the O2's mechanical linkage to the draincocks was dreadful; I think Don Young mentions somewhere (I can't find it in his ME articles) that the full-sized linkages were a nightmare, so reducing the size of it by a factor of 12 looks like sheer stupidity! Same goes for the sanding; I've just made the visible bit over the front splashers. Not a good idea to have sand on small locos in my opinion.

To that end I've made some automatic Bill van Brocklin type drain cocks for mine. In which respect I pondered for some time whether the business part of the draincocks should be level or be made parallel to the inclined cylinders. Level won, so that's how I made them, but whether they work or not is still a question for the future.

Another option would be steam-operated drains; there have been several ideas published on designs of this in ME. It can be a lot easier to route bits of pipe than mechanical linkages.

I've also made my bunker into an extra water tank, with suitable balance pipes under the footplate. This obviates the need for that strange cross-pipe affair just behind the backhead.

Thread: Home Made Rear Toolpost Issue
02/03/2021 11:20:23

There was a bit of correspondence in ME back in the 1980s if I recall, where some chap made a rear toolpost out of a length of 2" square RHS with a central stud. Somebody made one like it and after a bit of a dig-in was looking somewhat askance at the smashed pieces of Tee slot that used to be part of his cross-slide.

I think the same worry could be expressed about John Baron's toolpost; I don't think it would need much of a dig-in to rip it out of the tee-slot.

The one I made has three fastenings; two like David George's at the front through a fixed sub-base into a single long Tee nut, and one going through the rotational point of the "Wole Thing" (as Fred Dibnah used to say) into a substantial tee nut on another tee slot. Definitely need the long cross-slide to fit mine.

Thread: Steam brakes
02/03/2021 10:56:06

Steam is applied to the brake cylinder to put the brakes on. No steam = no steam brake. It would be a bit of a pain if the brakes were on with no steam, as you couldn't push the loco along the steaming bays when loading and unloading it from the car!

You need to have a suitable valve fitted so that when you release the steam brake, the exhaust can go somewhere.

Thread: Why self aligning bearing?
28/02/2021 17:15:23

You probably can, but on my bandsaw the wheels can be adjusted angularly so the blade tracks correctly. I presume they need to be self-aligning so as to obtain this adjustment. If they're rigid you may be unable to get the blade to run well and it might keep coming off.

Thread: Piston Valves - much ado about nothing?
23/02/2021 16:53:32

Many piston valves have been made as solid bobbins, with or without "oil grooves". (The theory is that leaking steam passes into the first groove, expands, and then leaks into the next groove at a much lower pressure. By the time it reaches the fourth groove it's got fed up, and the valve has now reversed direction and steam is on the other side now anyway...)

To maintain steam-tightness with such things requires that the bobbins are turned to such a dimension that at working temperature steam does not leak through to any significant extent. To that end, people have used O rings and (more usually) cast iron rings to provide a seal. It is not easy to provide the necessary porting in a piston valve bore so that the O ring isn't chewed up the first time it moves.

Material choice for the bobbins, liners and/or cylinder block is also a minefield due to dissimilar expansion rates. Non-metallic piston valve bobbins have been made from solid Fluorosint, or cunningly-designed composite arrangements whereby the sealing element can be expanded into tight contact by opposing tapers. I tried solid PEEK in my last loco but I ended up making solid stainless ones in the end. They still leak a bit more than I would like.

It only needs a small amount of detritus (ash, swarf, grit or whatever) to chew lumps out of a piston valve bobbin and/or the liner and start it leaking. Restoring such damage inevitably means renewing the bobbins, whereas with a slide valve you may get away with a quick rub of the damaged faces on an oilstone or whatever to restore the sealing surfaces.

LBSC always maintained that piston valves were easy - read up about it in for example the Speedy book...

Thread: Wahya construction series
20/02/2021 18:31:20

Well I for one have greatly enjoyed your articles in ME! It's good to see fresh eyes looking at problems and coming up with some very innovative solutions, using modern analytical methods.

Keep up the good work!

Thread: Doncaster Show.
16/02/2021 13:19:41

There was a fascinating snippet on the radio the other day about Covid 19. What volume would it take up, some chap was asked, if you could scoop up the entire Planet Earth supply of the virus? A swimming pool or two? A thimble? It turns out (after some nifty work with a calculator) that the answer is about the average coffee mug.

Would that it were possible to scoop it up and fire it off into space or somewhere... Hope to meet up at Doncaster in 2022!

Thread: Radio Interference
15/02/2021 16:43:30

I have similar problems with the DRO on my lathe and the adjacent mini HiFi; when the DRO is on, I can't get any kind of DAB radio signal. Whether FM is affected I know not as I've only ever used the DAB. No effect with CDs or playing from the USB.

Thread: Pipe bending
13/02/2021 09:18:59

Hmmmm.... If you think up a way of making a device that can easily adjust to different tube diameters like that, the world would beat a path to your door! And if you can adjust the bend radius as well...

You need really good support in my experience to avoid kinking the pipe, and that can only be achieved as far as I am aware by having bespoke formers that cuddle the tube really closely.

I cannot conceive of any method of doing what you want, and even if it were possible, I doubt if you or anybody other than Elon Musk could afford one.

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