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Member postings for Ramon Wilson

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

Thread: A 'Monkey' triple expansion engine
04/01/2011 20:34:04
Hi John
Yes that's more or less our thinking but having drawn it out unless the flywheel is much wider relative to diameter compared to what it appears - something we can't ascertain as yet - it makes the crank pins set in the flywheel rather longer than you would  expect but the wider it is the more weight upon those bearings. We are hoping before too long to begin on a wooden mock up - in the hope that we can see the problems more clearly in 3D.. I suspect the flywheel is probably wider than what  we are assuming at the moment - i.e.10".
Because of the 180 cranks the engines evidently had to be barred frequently - the barring mech is that short lever sticking out at 45 degrees.
Phil is in contact with people who can remember them but not any specific details - indeed he remembers one standing in the corner of the same shop in that second image when he began his apprenticeship - it went for scrap! As he says if only he had been aware that sixty years ahead he would have wished he'd paid more attention!
Once we feel we have done the best we can I hope to fabricate as much as possible -
castings are just getting far too expensive !
Regards for now - Ramon
Thread: Chuck jaws
04/01/2011 20:06:41
I would think they are in all probability case hardened.  Unless you need to keep them as they are at present could you get the 'nose' of the jaws ground down to the level of the next step. That way you could then drill and tap the core and have a longer surface upon which to mount the soft jaw.
The big paradox is bring yourself to grind the jaws to find out.
I would be interested as I'm sure others would in hearing how you get on - I have a 'new' used chuck bought his year with no soft jaws either 
Regards  - Ramon
Thread: A 'Monkey' triple expansion engine
04/01/2011 17:55:25
Hullo Diane,
This engine was developed by E and G to power small fishing vessels. The idea was evidently to shorten the length of the engine in order to increase the fish hold length. Apparently it was very successful and was fitted to many vessels though whether that extended to beyond the fishing industry we are not sure.
Unfortunately despite a considerable fishing industry here in the area (Lowestoft/Gt. Yarmouth) there is very little information on it. I have emailed Anthony Mount via the editor in the hope his vast knowledge may be able to shed some light but not heard anything yet
The person who contacted me, now in his seventies, served his time with E and Gs but obviously well after these were produced. It is our intention if sufficient information can be gained that, with local interest in mind, a model will be made -  though Phil is considering making something larger to power his small steam boat. It is hoped that shortly we can meet someone who, now 96!,  remembers working on them.
So far we have collated four different images and the overall dimensions - they were made in three sizes apparently but the catalogue image we have only gives two the larger being 9 3/4 x 15 x 22 witha 16" stroke, however RH Clark in his book Steam Engines of Suffolk gives the largest as 9 1/4 X 15 x 26 by 16" stroke.
The valves are worked by a rocking lever moved by the link ie. the valve rods are isolated from the link and as you can see the link is at one end only. (The 'front' of the engine as stated previously refers to its position in the boat)
What makes this engine unusal is that the cranks are set at 180 degrees with the flywheel set between and evidentally acting as the central web - this at the moment is a big grey area as none of the images give any indication as to how the crankshaft was supported in the bedplate  - incidentally the flywheel diameter is one of the few known dimensions we have - 2'6" - but the width is unknown.
Phil is currently producing a set of basic layout drawings from which we hope to flesh out the design but at the moment we do not wish to compromise anything with our own ideas until we have exhausted all possiblities of available material.
This pic of the rear of the engine is from the catalogue and is, we believe, from a photograph taken in the workshop. It is the best of those we have so far

And this view - too dark to decipher much I'm afraid is in the workshop itself and is I think the very same engine from the front end.

I have put this on here rather than by PM just in case it rings any bells with anyone else. If you or others are interested in our progress as it develops we will be only too happy to share it.
Hope this is of further interest.  Obviously we would like to hear of anything even remotely connected so if anyone thinks they may have something we'd be very pleased to hear from them
Regards - Ramon

Edited By Ramon Wilson on 04/01/2011 17:57:57

03/01/2011 18:10:29
Hi all,
A couple of months ago I was contacted by a local resident of my village with regard to a triple expansion engine built in the nearby town of Beccles in Suffolk (UK) at the turn of the 20th century - 1903 to be precise.
The firm was called Elliot and Garroods and they produced this engine which they termed 'Special Triple Expansion'. 'Monkey' was a local colloquialism.
This engine had two cranks and the HP cylinder was postioned above the IP both  appearing to have piston valves with a slide valve on the LP. These valves were driven by a rocker arm driven by Stephenson's link off a single set of eccentrics at the front of the engine
So far we have managed to find four differing photographs of this engine and the overall dimensions but little else.
We are aware of the Sovereign model engine sold by Reeves which has a similar layout but the 'Monkey' is rather unique in that the flywheel is between the cylinder centre lines and apparently acts as the intemediate crank web.
It is this feature, and the main bearing layout that we would like to obtain more information on
If anyone knows of any reference to this type of engine we would be very pleased to hear from them.
Yours hopefully - Ramon
Thread: 'Engineering' Magazine
03/01/2011 17:50:25

Does anyone one know if there is an archive of old copies of this British magazine held anywhere.
 'Engineering' has a website and I have contacted them by email but have recieved no response.
My interest is very specific - the issue required is Feb 1884 - a long shot I know but worth trying
Hopefully - Ramon
Thread: New Year's Resolutions
31/12/2010 18:15:03
Posted by JasonB on 31/12/2010 17:39:31:
My personal resolution is to spend less time infront of the 'puter and more in teh workshop
My sentiment exactly Jason but how to do so when this gives us such an opportunity to communicate with others of similar mind on a daily basis.
KWIL I'm working on it - David is aware

I would like to thank all those who have responded to my request for input over the last year and hope that in turn my own has been favourably received. This really is a great medium of which we should all be proud , contributers  or not.
Sorry about the double post but the enemy is here (MiL) and SWMBO is ticking about something to do with tea - total distraction I'm afraid
A truly happy New Year and 'as much time in your workshop as you can manage' to all
Regards - Ramon

Edited By Ramon Wilson on 31/12/2010 18:17:12

Edited By Ramon Wilson on 31/12/2010 18:17:31

Thread: Aircraft General Discussion
31/12/2010 18:01:04
I just looked for 'aircraft cutaways' to see if I could find the beautifully drawn ones I remember that were in a magazine of my youth - perhaps 'Flight' or 'Flying Review'. I always wondered where the artist actually began.
If you are interested in cutaways then a quick Google will probably surprise and certainly delight you
Bill(CJ), - a couple of years or so before my time but I would have a fair guess that that would have been Ex Solinus One!
Your memory of the wayward Hastings with the guy's 'stood up' reminds me of a tense night over Salisbury Plain in a very turbulent Beverley when - fully kitted up - we went round five times at action stations I was well toward the back of the stick in between two quite large mates. Each time the red came on the stick moved forward only to be moved back again by the dispatchers. With the aircraft heaving and lurching the stick gradually 'compressed' with those at the back chomping at the bit and not responding. Being a little chap you could say I felt the pressure come on as I was gradually squeezed between 'Nick' and 'Spud' - when the green finally came on it was like the proverbial cork or maybe even a boil  - it certainly didn't take long for the lot of us to clear the aircraft
Anyone else out there ex Regt or Brigade?
Best wishes for the New Year one and all
Regards - Ramon
Thread: Surface Rusting in Workshop
27/12/2010 15:03:47
Hi Anthony,
You don't say what your workshop fabric is which may have some relevance on your problem eg the ability to retain heat to a reasonably stable level and not fluctuate to extremes causing the situation as admirably described by Andrew above.
For what it's worth however I have a 14 x 14 ft wooden workshop (built 1984) for machining with an extension for a 'cleaner area' added later. It has a wooden floor that lays on paving labs to give an airflow beneath. The walls and ceiling - both pitched roof - are insulated with glass fibre bats between uprights and covered with oil bound hard board as is the floor. The windows were double glazed - I say were as when the extension was added (same length but 8ft wide with a walk through opening) one window was covered in to give wall space and the other lost by the opening. The extension has three windows covering 10 feet of the length again double glazed. This was insulated the same. 
Initially the 14 x 14 side was heated using two 150 watt greenhouse heaters kept on all the time (no thermostat)  throughout the day except the warmest months. On really cold days it would drop to 35-40 overnight sometimes lower and I would need to boost it with a fan heater - all quite expensive. After building the extension I bought two reasonably priced - under 30 quid - thermostatically controlled oil filled radiators. They can be set at 1, 2 or 3 KW. I have never, ever, had the need to use the 3KW and they are virtually always on the 1KW setting but they are on all the time. There is one in each part of the workshop and even throughout this winter the temperature has not gone below 59 overnight. I use it on a daily basis even on the coldest days.
To wit then regarding your question I can honestly say I have never had a rust problem on any of my machine parts - of course these always have an oil covering but nothing special applied as a rust preventative just the normal residue on oiling up. Perhaps a better indicator is the materials in store, some of which are quite oil free but they too show no signs of rusting. The only thing that does is some I" bar cut into various lengths to be used as packing for clamps on the mill. This is some 30 years old and has a very light trace not even enough to warrant removal.
Incidentally I don't know if you have tried to remove the rust from your chuck and other parts yet but something that is very good for this is what are called 'Garryflex' abrasive blocks. If you are not aware of them, they come in four grades and are an absolute boon to finishing most materials particularly when used with parafin as a lubricant. They will also make derusting a surface rust a very easy job without leaving scratch marks like emery does. If you haven't heard of them Google 'Garryflex' and you'll soon find them but shop around the price varies quite a bit.
Finding rust on your prized posession is soul destroying - I remember leaving my newly made rotary table in the model tent overnight at a steam rally - I was mortified the next day to find it orange.
Hope this helps in some way
Regards - Ramon

Edited By Ramon Wilson on 27/12/2010 15:04:44

Thread: Guidance on turning in a vertical mill
27/12/2010 09:39:59
Now that Jason is what you can call a setup. What originality.
A Cincinnati - ooh I wish
Regards - Ramon
Thread: Aircraft General Discussion
25/12/2010 22:39:03

Aaah! Respite at last  anyone else manage to getaway?
Sky Master - thanks Ian.
Now that big exercise in Cyprus you remember wouldn't be in 1963 would it CJ?
We actually flew out to the island for it by Beverley - four stops if I remember right - Orange in France, El Adem, Luqa and Nicosia. I can't recall  the camp we were at but the airfield we drew chutes at had loads of Javelins.
Exercise Solinus 2 in November was very big indeed. A brigade execrcise and including the TA we were told the biggest drop since the war but how true that was remains unknown. There were an awful lot of people in the air at the same time though - quite visible even at two in the morning. I can still see the Hastings from the next wave that cleared me by what looked like a couple of hundred feet above. Oh dear that was a long time ago - I was just eighteen. BTW I think it's the same exercise that Billy Connolly used to relate about on his earlier shows - he was TA too. Small beer though compared to those doing it for real not that much earlier eh?
It sounds as if you are of the same time and worked later on S&R - does the name Ray Hodge-Neal mean anything - just some one I worked with who did the same. Would I be correct in thinking the S&R  world was a fairly small one?
Thanks for the memory jolt - can't remember what I was doing this morning but that time is as clear as a bell. Definitely an age thing
Regards - Ramon
Thread: Merry Christmas from Model Engineer Magazine
24/12/2010 11:03:14
Yes indeed, the same to you and the staff too David
All the very best for the New Year.
Thread: Aircraft General Discussion
23/12/2010 23:32:32
All this nostalgia is quite infectious.
A lifetime of peripheral interest in full size aviation as opposed to the modelling obsession has left quite a few significant points in time - a sample then ......
The earliest was having a photo taken aged 12 sitting in a Meteor at an airshow at Horsham St Faiths and seeing control line model aircraft with engines there too for the first time - I was hooked
Most unnerving - five years later in the army and my first flight in a Handley Page Hastings and catching a glimpse of the ground crew doing checks as we emplaned moving the tail plane tip (not the elevator) through a vertical movement . Then, ten days or so later leaving it at 800ft for the first time too! Watching the Hawker P1127, prototype Harrier give a display to military chiefs during that training was special too.
Most memorable was watching an English Electric Lightning at a 'Burma Star Association' day in the late sixties. A really hot day with a very low heat haze. I was actually about to leave and sitting on the double decker bus used as car park transport when it was stopped just before crossing the runway - this was not a military airfield but one left over from US bomber bases. A police car was just in front of us and  the driver must have been in gear with his foot on the clutch. From nowhere the Lightning came past at what seemed zero feet - the pressure wave really rocking the bus and the police car leaping forward into a large stone block. Leaping off the bus to see more I can remember the policemen standing looking at the damage like a scene from Last of the Summer wine and hearing the commentator on the tannoy saying that due to the haze the pilot would have to do a low level display which he certainly then did. What sticks in my mind was on his last return pass I was left with no illusion I'm sure that as he pulled back and put his aircraft in a vertical climb to disappear the aircraft was still moving right to left but now in a vertical position before the thrust took over - the surface of the concrete cracking and spitting as the heat hit it . This was literally just yards away - 200 hundred at most. Absolutely deafening and body shaking in the extreme - never seen anything thing like that since - ever.
Most pleasurable was many years later flying from Angola to Cabinda in a Cessna Sky -Lane ? - the twin boom and twin push-pull engined aircraft. Three of us were on board and I was next to the pilot. After settling into the flight he casually asked if I'd like to have a go. Well would you refuse an opportunity like that. It wasn't for long but what a thrill.
Like many others contributing to this thread or just enjoying reading it I'm sure you have many more tales to relate - I know I do 
What a good idea of John Olsen - light relief all round - well done John
Kind Regards - Ramon
Thread: Text under Ads
22/12/2010 23:15:44
Posted by Ramon Wilson on 21/11/2010 10:37:24:
Hi David
Would it be possible for you to get the problem on the thread 'Steel Cylinders' sorted out.
The text is under the ads again caused no doubt by the long URL links.
Is it not time this problem of URL links was sorted out once and for all? After all its effect rather negates the postings when only half the text can be seen and consquently the meaning or context lost.
I think others have asked before. Is it not time there was a sticky on how to post URLs etc at the beginning of each sub title for those new to the forum to follow?
Hope you are able to fix this soon
Hate to be a pain David but here we go again - Aircraft General Discussion - all the early posts are under the ads - long URL the culprit again I guess.
Please - I know I'm not alone on this but is it really not possible to get this particular problem resolved.

Regards - Ramon


Thread: Personal messages on the forums
22/12/2010 23:02:46
Posted by Stub Mandrel on 22/12/2010 20:59:18:
'What I think is really important is making sure a thread that starts with a beginner's question doesn't lose track of that question.'
I'm not sure that has happened too often Neil but I totally agree with the sentiment.
As you rightly say it is easy to wander in conversation and it happens in every day life all the time even just between two people. So on here, when we have so many potential inputs, it's only natural that at some stage we'll find ourself disappearing off on tangents. I did it the other day.. Somebody mentioned something on here that I hadn't heard since a lad and I was off - posted then thought hmm 'that's well OT' but it was relevant to the previous poster.
What is that phrase? someting about  - " Stopping to smell the roses on the way"?  Well perhaps we have to accept that this will happen at times and excercise a little more tolerance. I can see the other side too but should we allow ourselves to get upset about it? I'm afraid that's not for me. We have such a useful tool here - far more beneficial on a daily basis than perhaps some give thought too. I'd much rather talk about something being made or solving someones problem than controversy - in which case therefore it's best I stop there. I think you know where I'm coming from guy's (and gals?)
Merry Christmas to you all and have a 'bloody good New Year'
Regards - Ramon 



Thread: Comments on the Exhibition
20/12/2010 21:51:37

I didn't go to the exhibition but have been to many since my first way back around 1969-'70 held then at Seymour Hall so feel it's reasonably justifiable to make a comment on this 'type of exhibits' discussion.
That first show was one where the aircraft were whizzing around, slot cars too on an enormous purpose built four lan track. The main hall and side rooms were truly packed with an incredible amount of 'model making'. It was the first time I had seen anything like it and it left me with an impression that has lasted to this day as far as exhibitions go and one I have tried to implement when it has been required. That is - try to cater for as many interests as possible. Someone will like those small figures - I know I did - or the skill of the plastic modeller too - just as well as to stand in awe at a magnificent steam loco or traction engine.
Model ships have always played a big part in ME shows and indeed were covered quite often in the ME mag. I well remember at that first exhibition an absolutely beautiful model boat - Patricia of Pulroon - the build of which was covered in ME.
The gradual advent of many scale working model ship kits where much is done for the builder in moulded hulls and cast fittings has done much to include those with less skills and equipment than some 'model engineers' and long so it should remain - would we really not want to include these models or builders? I don't think we would.
Despite my resurgence of interest in machining I still love making plastic models on occasion and built a working power model boat last year. Both have 'engineered parts' though to be fair the plastic models could hardly be called 'model engineering' but the time and effort and different skills that those that participate in other branches should  not be readilly dismissed
Though I would like to see it I don't suppose we will ever see the likes of the Seymour Hall and early Wembley shows again. Remember some of them ran for some eight days  - think of the cost of that - but the move to Wembley seemed to herald the very slow decline particularly of traders - more cost - less profit - less inclination to attend - less visitors etc. Several previous posts have summed it up - travel - distance - cost (both to the trader and the public) the main factors and to exhibit?  well that's a holiday in the area for the period or a double visit - economics again?
Seeing it from different sides of modelling I agree it could be construed as a biased opinion but for me it's very much 'live and let live' and take the time to enjoy what others have to offer - who knows you might have a life changine experience
Seasonal greetings to all my fellow forum members and a really great modelling New Year too, whatever your interests.
Regards - Ramon
Thread: HSS tool inserts
20/12/2010 18:25:02
No Len I don't remember this technique but I do remember HARDEX!
As a young apprentice welder on a ship yard we used to have an 'outside job' job hard surfacing  'blades' for the big EARAT road planing machines. That was in the days when the road surface was heated and all the old tar was literally planed off. (Do they still do that?)  The blades were 3/4" thick about 7 feet long by 8" and the surfacing covered about  a 2 1/2" width over the full length - that was a lot of surface and a lot of Hardex - a most awful fume producing rod. Half inch flat beads and overlapping, not much was covered with one rod - two and half blades a day if you really went at it and could stand the fumes You are the first person I've heard refer to them since leaving the yard.I can still smell those fumes today if I think about it.
The surface was indeed very hard but I think I'd still prefer the FC3 way for tooling - If Ian has a nearby jobbing workshop they'll probably have loads of spent FC3s for the asking.
Forgive the transgression for going off topic but that was a real blast from the past.
Regards - Ramon
20/12/2010 13:32:10
I've never brazed HSS to steel for tooling but I have for years used the shanks of used FC3 'Throw away' cutters as tool bits. Held in steel holders they are easily and quickly ground to all sorts of shapes - screw cutting, very small  parting off and boring tools, radiusing, chamfering etc etc.
Each holder has a hole drilled in the end at one end and a cross hole drilled in the other. The bits are held with 4BA caphead screws.
Because of the holder there are limits when working up close to a shoulder but overall I have found them extremely versatile and most of all cheap. 'Wouldn't be without them'
Hope that's useful
Regards - Ramon
Thread: Do you know a good foundry?
19/12/2010 22:58:56
Hi Bill,
Guess this is Paul eh.
I know its a way from where he lives but have you tried East Coast Castings just down the road at Watton? - Just a thought
Thread: Gardner hot tube gas engine
19/12/2010 10:58:47
Nice set of pics Richard and some interesting set ups. Far to big for me but I do envy the versatility of your Elliot. Will this be a 'true' hot tube ignition system? I look forward to seeing more on it's build and eventual running.
Regards - Ramon
Thread: New I/C diesel project - ETA15d-x2
19/12/2010 00:07:59
Following on from the Racers built early in the year thoughts turned to trying to
produce something similar but this time based on the ETA 15d diesel.
This was an engine - like so many others - that was much desired in my younger days but the expenditure was beyond justification at the time. A good project perhaps but a more complex crankcase than the Racers.
A short (planned) foray into furthering the progress on a stationary (steam) engine which began far too long ago and a longer (totally unplanned  foray into those cylinder heads mentioned elsewhere has put starting these off for some time.
However pleased to tell that the last fortnight has seen a considerable amount of swarf made and I thought some might like to see a couple of pics.
Heres the start...three blocks - two for the job and one spare - just in case.....

And today they were finished. The blocks weighed 410gms each to begin, the cases finishing at 61gms with no variation
One will be made as a Mk1, the second a MK2 - a similar engine but with a longer front housing and slightly different head. I have ideas for the third but not  a Mk3 at this time They are not exact replicas of the original due to the limits of machining but I think they will be close enough when they're done to look convincing.
Pics of all the ops are on here if anyone is interested
And now a big clean up is in order.
Regards - Ramon
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