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Member postings for Dave Wootton

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

Thread: (again) buying new European made lathe
14/12/2021 10:13:59

I've used a Warco lathe a considerable amount in industry, and despite my initial horror at my company buying a Chinese machine ( I wanted a used Colchester) found it to be a very capable machine with no issues after considerable hard use. I visited a section of the company I was working for in Coburg ,Germany and they were using Optimum machines in the small batch production shops. Also Weiler lathes which are absolutely lovely!!, but obviously very expensive.

The Chinese machines come very well equipped which is a definite plus point, I used to be very anti imported machines, but after my experiences I would definitely consider one if my current lathe ( 254+) gets abducted by aliens.


Thread: Joy valve gear Jeannie Deans
09/12/2021 21:27:22

I'd second Nick's recommendation that the Model Engineering Clearing House ( Proboards) would perhaps be a little more loco orientated.

I do remember getting flummoxed that my first loco's valve gear did not open the ports fully ( Rob Roy) untill it was explained by a fellow club member that they did not open fully. Like nick I'm not sure if 1/16 is enough opening, but I'm sure someone on the MECH will be able to help.


Thread: Saxby Lion in 5 inch
26/11/2021 09:48:17

I've not built one but do remember there were some articles in ME in the 80's I think by the builder of a very fine example on some of the mod's he had made, I'm sure someone will point you in the right direction to them.

I saw the engine run at Guildford if memory serves and it ran very well, still had the gab gear but modified according to the articles he had written. He may even have entered it in IMLEC, racking my meagre brain to come up with a name. There was certainly an article on an improved lubricator drive, and one on the firebox cleading.

Lovely little engine that steamed and ran very nicely.


Just remembered the writers and buiders name David Neish ( or maybe Niesh)  and found the lubricator article was in Vol 145 pages 784-787 . This should help track down the other articles that were all around the same time.

I think that rather than IMLEC it was entered in the OLCO competition at Guidford.

Edited By Dave Wootton on 26/11/2021 09:53:45

Edited By Dave Wootton on 26/11/2021 09:56:48

Thread: show us your workshop.
24/11/2021 14:06:33

Personally I love to nose round other people's workshops, they always seem to have come up with clever ideas that I have not thought of. But please be careful about divulging any information about your location, I put some rare-ish classic bike parts on ebay once and the day after listing them on a 7 day auction came home from work to find someone sitting outside my house who wanted them badly, he was quite legitimate and actually a well known restorer. When I asked how on earth  he knew my address ( it doesn't appear from ebay until the purchase is completed)  he said " theres a box addressed to you on the shelf behind!" so you can't be too careful. It was not clearly visible in the pictures until zoomed in on, but shows you can unwittingly divulge information.



Edited By Dave Wootton on 24/11/2021 14:13:39

Thread: Plans and castings
19/11/2021 16:53:16

I've just machined some Kennions wheel castings (Rob Roy) for a friend and they were very good, nice and crisp and very sensible machining allowance. I built a R&B gas engine from Polly castings a few years ago and was also very pleased with them.

Like Dave Smith above I am building Don Youngs Aspinall and have to agree the castings are very poor, too little machining allowance in some places and lots of filing and cleaning up on the wheel spokes, the wheels could not be finished to size, too little machining allowance. The cast iron used seems to be recycled drain covers.

I've just had to silver solder blocks on the motion plate as that was undersize, as were the tender axleboxes. Don't say I should have returned them that opens up a whole new can of worms! A shame as I like the designs of Don Young and the castings are only available from one source.

Next loco will be incorporating more fabrications and hacking from solid.


Thread: Moving from M Type to ML7
13/11/2021 06:30:28

I would agree with David George one of my great regrets is that I had a very decent Drummond M type which I sold when I was left a ML7-R in a friends will. The ML7-R was a great lathe but for some reason I never got to enjoy using it as much as the M-type. I wish that I had kept it as well as the ML7-R and carried out some of the mods that David has outlined above.

Nothing wrong with either machine but the Drummond just felt right to use, obviously just a personal view.


One day I would like get another, just got to live long enough!

Thread: Model Paint Cancer warning on tin.
05/11/2021 07:13:33

I bought an Americam made X-Acto saw the other day which came with the same warning, Not sure if you have to inhale it or ingest it to cause harm!

I might sue them anyway as there was no warning about cutting yourself, which I did opening the packaging....


Thread: Synthetic paint thinners PT8 vs. white spirit
31/10/2021 15:34:21

I agree that old Paragon paint ( been opened a year or more) does not brush out as well as a new tin, I have used tins that were part used and about three years old. But I found if I used their paint additive,I think its called PPP which I suspect might be Linseed oil based (certainly smells like it), and a small amount of white spirit to thin it the paint brushes out as well as a new tin. Again its been on the machine for a few years and not fallen off yet.

The paint additive might have come from Craftmaster paint, it's tipping it down so I'm not going down the workshop to check!

With the additive I have rollered a lathe base with very pleasing results, which is much less messy than spraying in a confined space. I bought some cheap paint filter cones from ebay to remove any bits from the old paint which had skinned over. Unbelievably I had to use these on a new tin of very expensive model paint which was full of small dust like bits, not pleased.


31/10/2021 09:44:34

Hi Ajax

I've painted a few machines and other things with Paragon, mixture of brushing and spraying, I have only ever used white spirit for thinning, and it has come out fine. some have been done for years and still look good with no peeling or flaking.

Theres a picture in my album of a Colchester Bantam I sprayed a few years ago  ( I can't work out how to add it!) this was satin finish Paragon in the correct colours, using a cheapo spray gun and little skill!

I'm going to use Paragon for the chassis of my latest locomotive after disappointment with one of the specialist model paints.

The white spirit was just ordinary DIY store stuff, I do degrease very carefully before painting.Screwfix water base degreaser is very cheap and effective, followed by panel wipe.

Theres also a picture of my Kennet which was sprayed with paragon gloss over Halfrauds etch primer.


Do I hold the record for the most edits!!!!

Edited By Dave Wootton on 31/10/2021 09:46:43

Edited By Dave Wootton on 31/10/2021 09:48:09

Edited By Dave Wootton on 31/10/2021 09:50:01

Edited By Dave Wootton on 31/10/2021 09:53:52

Thread: What spray do you use to stop your tools from rusting?
27/10/2021 17:18:30

Hi John

I use a spray called ACF50 I get it from Demon Tweeks, it dries clear and seems to last for ages, originally used it to stop the alloy rims on my motorbike corroding, now use it on everything.

I live fairly close to the sea and without using it rust appears very quickly, this does the trick, got a dehumidifier but the salt air used to start corrosion quickly, this seems to stave it off.


Thread: Backlash on Warco GH1230 Carriage
02/10/2021 07:21:37

Hi Martin

Might be worth checking that the rack on the front of the bed is securely fixed, some imported lathes rely on the cap screws holding the rack to the bed for location, there are no dowel piins fitted. I worked where we had an Alpine lathe, basically quite similar, and that developed the same symptom. easily fixed by shimming the rack down into proper engagement, drilling and fitting dowel pins.

The lathe was used quite hard machining lumpy castings so I can understand why the rack would move under the hammering it received from unskilled operators. I have used a similar lathe a Warco 1340( I think ) similar but slightly larger industry, and found it to be a very good machine. It was a general use machine mainly used on horrible stainless and aluminium bronze, and had a hard life but stood up to it very well.


Thread: KNEW Piercing-Saw Frames
01/10/2021 07:45:20

Further to above post SWMBO tells me it was 2019, so that must be correct!


01/10/2021 06:48:05

I bought one of these back from a trip to Canada for my then neighbour who was a silversmith, he asked me as they were unavailable in this country at the time and he has seen good reviews of them.

He was very enthusiastic about it and liked it a lot, however after a few months he went back to his old saw, when asked him about it he just said he preferred it, but couldn't explain why. Said it just felt right.

I suppose that's the thing with hand tools, sometimes they just feel right in the hand.

This was I think 2017 and the price equated to around the forty quid mark then.


Thread: Galvanising small items
18/09/2021 13:13:10

Hi Simon

I used Medway Galvanisers in Kent about 10 years ago for exactly the same process on a 2A, quite expensive compared to another quote I got at the time. Very pleased with it, It wasn't claggy like some I've seen and they didn't lose anything, I was asked for a complete list and photo's of all items before they quoted.

Sold the vehicle once finished but it still looks good to this day (actually better as it's toned down nicely) . they are a big industrial concern and I couldn't broker a cash deal! They must still be in business as I frequently see their truck around.


Turns out it was nearly 15 years, where does time go???

Thread: Injectors of Peter Cauley
15/09/2021 21:52:48


I've got a copy of the drawings and instructions now thanks to Stew, will have a good look , I'll have a go at some when next I get bogged down on my loco.

Out of interest I was doing some googling today and found a short series of articles of tips on making injectors on the Maidstone Model engineering societies website, in their newsletters archive starting in spring 1975. They were written by Fred LaRoche who was a fellow club member some years ago, Fred made injectors on a semi commercial basis,using cast bodies, I've got a few of his and they work very well. All done on a ancient Little John lathe with a top speed of about 750 RPM!

Good luck with the injectors.


15/09/2021 10:58:45

Speedy Builder 5 thank you for the above link, I hadn't seen that - very interesting, Stew has kindly been in touch, always good to see another approach to something.


14/09/2021 16:29:19

I too would be interested in Peter Cauley's injector design information, as I'd like to have a go at making injectors. I did make some to Laurie Lawrences design years ago, but I'm afraid they didn't work very well untill the late Jim Ewins took them away and breathed life into them. Well three out of the six were saveable! I won't even mention the one I tried to the LBSC design, known as old reliable- you could rely on it never to work!

I'm also interested in a vertical injector, so any leads would be much appreciated.



I am aware of the injector book mentioned above.

Edited By Dave Wootton on 14/09/2021 16:30:19

Thread: Lorch LAS Lathe
10/09/2021 07:16:14

Hi Tony

I've got a new bearing for these sitting in my toolbox, I used to work where we had quite a few of these and I used to look after the maintenance of them, if you PM me I'll post it to you.

Quite easy to remove the spindle for belt change, but never dismantle the epicyclic back gear unless you have to, horrible fiddly job to put back together, our very upright foreman fitter used words I never knew he knew whilst grappling with one.


Thread: How long does it take to make things?
21/06/2021 10:54:36

img_4162.jpgI found this a very interesting thread, partly as I used to work in an environment where everything was needed yesterday, and none of the requestors had any idea of how to make anything or how long it took! As I was about to embark on making some particularly horrible little bits, 12 off spring hangers for my 5" Aspinall loco tenderimg_4161.jpg, this was supposed to be light relief from the problems of my part built american pacific, which i'm currently bogged down on, I thought I would keep a rough tally on how long it took to make them. I actually made 14 to allow for a few mishaps, miraculously they all made it to adulthood. From unfolding the drawing to heaving a sigh of relief on their completion the total was 34 hours total workshop time, including finding tools and materials, making simple fixtures, setting up and thinking time.

The picture shows the drawing and a completed hanger, thinking how best to make them,finding the material, cutting to length, milling all surfaces to size and length ( in pairs) took 4 hours total. All the drilling was done in the machine vice using a stop using an edge finder to set and the mills DRO to can be seen from the picture they were made in pairs with a sacrificial piece in the centre to aid holding in the vice and on the fixture. All the drilling and milling was carried out relying on the DRO, the only marking out was the end of the slot which had to be filed.

The tooling used is shown in another of the pictures, the Geo Thomas rotary table with stops is so useful for much of this smaller work and all the radiusing was carried out using this. The other plate in the picture was used for milling the slot and the 5/32 internal radius each side of the hanger. A small ball ended mill was used to radius the lower boss. All the machining was done on the mill with just some hand filing on the slot ends and cleaning up the machining marks, fortunately these have to be painted so that hides a multitude of sins.

I was quite surprised at the total length of time to produce this little batch, much of the time was in setting up, and being 14 of them some of the operations had to be performed 28 times, In all an interesting but a little mind numbing excercise. I do remember a post on this site some years ago regarding the Aspinall tender, the gist of it was how do you keep your sanity while making the 12 spring hangers, I'd have to say i'm not sure if you do!



Thread: George Thomas retractable slide for the myford.
17/06/2021 16:45:18

Hi Brian

There are drawings and instructions in G.H.T's Model engineers workshop manual which is still in print and full of information and drawings for much else besides.

I think Hemingway do a kit for it.

There's an easier to make one in Graham Meek's book Projects for your workshop.



Edited By Dave Wootton on 17/06/2021 16:50:34

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