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Member postings for AndyA

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

Thread: BSF fixings
22/02/2019 21:04:34

Thread: One off castings
11/02/2019 10:01:06
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 09/02/2019 21:22:09:

If someone uses a good foundry that will do one-off castings for a reasonable (but not unrealistic) price for hobbyists, it would be great if they could (1) check with them that they are happy to be more widely known (it's not unusual for places to help hobbyists but be reluctant to get swamped) and if so (2) share their details here.

Even better, suggest they advertise in MEW!


When dealing with suppliers I always find I get a better response by expalaining that I'm not looking for a cheap job or something for nothing. Once they know you want a fair job for a fair price I don't have any issues.

Model engineers can be famous for knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. I remember standing at a suppliers stand one year where someone wanted a gauge glass. The response to the asking price was "How much, I can make one for less than that...' The person was told to go away and make one then. With attitudes like that are we surprised commercial companies don't want to know?

08/02/2019 20:49:01

Swan foundry cast the front and rear rolls for my steam roller. I have also used Wagstaff's at Colnbrook for castings. Both are great people to deal and will do you a quality job.

Thread: Are Model Engineering Exhibitions The Same
15/08/2018 16:17:19

From experience building a large model needs large lumps of material and a shopping bag isn't going to cut it! I saved a fortune in postage collecting material from the shows all of it large and heavy.

Playing devils advocate, the other side of the argument is to respect someone elses personal space and not get so close their rucksack is a problem to you. Just saying...

Thread: Draft Site G code generator
30/05/2018 19:48:51

Thanks Russell, I will investigate further.

29/05/2018 09:49:11

Is there a free version of Fusion 360 still available? I thought it had gone to a free for 30days trial period.

Thread: 'Free-Wheeling' a Steam Loco?
30/12/2017 23:19:08

Without steam it is not possible to reliably lubricate the cylinders on a steam engine as there is nothing to atomise the cylinder oil and carry it around the steam circuit. For this reason a 'dead' steam loco is generally towed without the connecting rods in place. You can remove the pistons but it is a lot more work and still leaves a bearing on the end of the Con rod with the risk of it running hot. Valves can be disconnected from the radius rod and the gear positioned so that any derived motion will not interfere. Bearings on the motion are generally wick fed so will continue feed oil without the need for steam and hence can generally be left in place.

Thread: John Stevenson
23/10/2017 15:34:03

RIP John, rest in peace.

08/08/2017 20:34:32

The answer may depend upon what you want to cast and its size. Working on the basis that you are competent with one of the 3D CAD packages you could go the route Neil suggests and get a pattern made in PLA and then either investment cast or burn it out as part of the process with sand casting. You need to speak to the foundry if you go the PLA route as they will have to be happy with the process and confident they will be able to get rid of any gas produced as the pattern is burnt out. The limit with this process is going to be the size of the item you want to produce and the ability to get the patten 3D printed.

You could go the ExOne route and get the sand directly printed. When I was looking to get the forks and headstock cast for my 6" scale steam roller the quotes were eye wateringly expensive.

The other method, which was the one I went for, was to use Polystyrene patterns. I emailed of an STL file and 4 weeks later collected some very big heavy castings. In this process the pattern is CNC machined from lumps of poly which are glued together to make the final item. Undercuts can be accommodated as can other features which would have traditionally needed a core box. Use one of the specialist companies as the process has its challenges and not all foundries will cast from poly patterns. Again getting rid of the gas as the pattern is burnt out can be a challenge and lead to porosity if not done properly. Finish could also be issue, if you need a good finish on as cast surfaces be prepared to put some effort in to cleaning the casting up.

Thread: Deep Cycle 12V Batteries
04/07/2017 10:30:46

I looked at batteries recently for powering my trailer winch, the thing that struck me was the discrepancies in weight for batteries which were supposed to be of a similar capacity. The supplier eventually admitted to me that most deep cycle batteries where no more than high quality car batteries.

Thread: Boiler Welding
29/06/2017 20:33:47

Not that unusual to have so few stays on a steel boiler in the UK Jason. My 6" engine with a firebox side plate 16" x 12" only has 16 stays.

Thread: 3" Burrell agricultural engine
04/05/2017 09:01:02

Live Steam Models used to supply the castings and drawings for the Foster style lubricator. The more prototypical lubricator may be the Manzel lubricator and Little Samson models have drawing for those in 6" scale which you could use as a guide.

Thread: Traction engine tyres
04/04/2017 22:53:41
Posted by John Lintorn on 04/04/2017 13:31:23:
Is there anywhere to procure just square/rectangle rubber sock? The price traction engine suppliers charge for a set of rubbers is in my mind outrageous!

If you think stick on tyres are expensive don't even bother thinking about Vulcanised tyres!

Thread: Help with lost wax casting
20/03/2017 11:31:51

The biggest problem your going to have is with the contraction allowances. You need to find a way of allowing for both contraction in the wax and of the cast part. I would investigate replicating the part with 3D printing first and enlarging it to allow for the above contraction. From memory this is somewhere around 1.5-2%

Thread: disappointed - feel I have been cheated
06/03/2017 12:59:57

So does that mean you need accounts with both MTM and Pocketmags?

Thread: Lost wax casting advice needed
08/02/2017 11:40:18

For two off it may be worth the small extra cost of having them printed in wax which is then burnt out in the traditional way. There is a supplier of steam fitting who uses this method and may be able to help you with these.

Thread: PGK's 1" Minnie
10/01/2017 10:30:29

Hi Pgk, Here is the advice I gave someone else building a boiler a few years ago. It's a tried and tested method

I start with the barrel, then solder the dome bush and front feed bushes followed by front tube plate with any attendant bushes. Soldering in this order allows me to see the reverse side of the join and check for full penetration.
Next up is the front throat plate and firebox wrapper. This is done as a single heat with the boiler stood upright. Packing the surrounding area with fire brick starts to make a big difference here.
I make the inner firebox with tube plate and tubes as an assembly and then insert that into the boiler outer shell. Next up is the front and side foundation rings along with throat plate rivets. This holds the inner firebox in place whilst drilling for the stays.
The next three heats are big ones, its the stays. I use solder rings under the rivet heads, doing one outside side first. You can watch the stays drop as the solder melts and runs through the join. Once cooled and cleaned, turn over and do the opposite side, but at the same heat I do the inside of the first side. Hope that makes sense? Don't forget the throat plate stays, these can be done at the same time. Roof stays next up and done as two heats, by leaving the back head off it is much easier to get the torch inside the firebox to heat the stays. Don't forget to leave the stays LONG. The extra length acts as heat sinks ensuring the stay itself in the plate area gets hot and also makes the jobs of repairing any leaks easy for the same reason.

I don't know what your stage inspections are but at this point I take it to my inspector who can clearly see penetration of the solder around all stays and foundation ring.

Next up is the inner back head with the fire hole ring pre soldered in place along with the foundation ring, followed by outer back head once again with all bushes pre soldered into place.
Final heat is to solder the tubes into the front tube plate.

Using this assembly order it is easy to flux both sides of the joints at all times and minimise the reheating cycles with all soldering operations in an area being done at the same time. It also minimises any stress due to expansion and contraction issues.

Thread: Xmas in the workshop/shed
22/12/2016 23:01:41

I've got a set of rolls which need turning and a front fork to finish.

Thread: Model Engine Maker
24/11/2016 17:49:03

Its not working for me Jason. I get an error message reporting 'too many processes'.

Thread: Gosh trying to line a Loco is so hard any tips
20/10/2016 10:28:31

Craftmaster Paints - - carry a range of lining tape. Stick it on, peal off the cover, paint between the lines and then remove.

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