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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: B.C.A Jig borer VS Warco WM12
17/02/2021 13:14:12

I agree with Clive, I was bought up on large mills such as Bridgeports ,Huron and Adcock and Shipley, I bought a BCA about 3 years ago and could never get on with it and sold it a little later ( didn't lose on it) , as Clive says didn't have the mindset for it. Brilliant little machine and will do everything you need, but if you are used to more conventional mills do try it out first.

It might only be me though, I bought and rebuilt a Cromwell lathe, it was lovely, but I never got used to the oddball control set up with all the handles in the wrong places, and that had to go too. nothing wrong with the lathe- just me!


Edited By Dave Wootton on 17/02/2021 13:14:52

Thread: Milling spindle from existing collet chuck extension.
16/02/2021 10:52:18

Hi Youra

I used a commercially available ER25 holder to make and end mill holding device for my Kennet grinder, it machined quite easily, I had to turn down one end for a retaining collar and drill it through, I didn't have to do any threading but in this case I don't think it would have been a problem.

Only problem I had was that the holder ran out by .005", Stupidly I didn't check it before modifying, so couldn't send it back, came from a UK supplier, I've had better luck from China! Had to carefully set it up and re- bore the taper.



Edited By Dave Wootton on 16/02/2021 10:52:45

Thread: Pratt Burnerd 100mm Chuck
13/02/2021 12:47:19

Its about five years ago, so things might have changed, but I bought a P-B chuck from a well known chuck specialist, integral thread for Myford, had to be returned, as did it's replacement. Ended up paying difference for a Bison which is excellent and has retained it's accuracy. From our conversation at the time normal accuracy P-B chucks are made by the same maker as TOS, Griptrue chucks were made in the UK. I've got a NOS Griptrue Myford chuck that I found unopened in a cupboard at work and was given, dates from 1973, which can be adjusted to repeat very accurately at a set size, but if used as a normal chuck runout varies at different jaw openings up to .004".


PS It may sound lucky to have been given a griptrue, but we were all losing our jobs as the works closed down, everything comes at a price!

Edited By Dave Wootton on 13/02/2021 12:50:44

Thread: Not the only president causing problems.
10/02/2021 21:44:46

Not much progress on the loco I'm afraid, been accused of giving up again, but been waiting on a large material order which arrived today, in the meantime I've not been idle.Made a mandrel handle for the Myford, small parting tool holders and screwcutting toolholders all to the GHT design from the book.

Today I fancied a change so decided to make the bell and bell frame for the loco, sat in front of a fan heater with a piercing saw and some needle files, surprisingly only broke one blade usually the attrition rate is huge! Nice bit of free hand turning to form the bell. Pleasant way to spend the day. See Terry I'm still working on it!img_3991.jpg

Thread: Hey you! What lathe? Why?
08/02/2021 09:55:12


I used to live in a nice little road with great neighbours, unfortunately five doors away lived an old couple who appear to hate everyone and everything. Complaining to the council about fence heights ,extensions- even if they couldn't see them from their house, just about everything. One day I had a visit from an official ,there having been a complaint that I was running a business from home, into the workshop with ML7, drilling machine, part finished loco on bench. After tea and a pleasant chat about his OO gauge layout, said official went away happy. Shortly after I received a visit from a man with a noise meter, there had been a complaint about the deafening noise from my machinery, he set up his meter a few metres outside the workshop, took an ambient noise reading and asked me to switch the lathe on, after I came out of the workshop he said," I need the machines to be running" to which I replied they are! so he went away happy the ML7 didn't even register on the machine. After that it was two very serious policemen who came round , asking about the workshop and what I did in it, I showed them round and immediately the atmosphere changed, " we had a complaint that you were making firearm parts for the IRA" ( it was the 80's) they also went away happy, but I understand had a word with said neighbour about wasting police time. After that i had no more problems, I believe they transferred their complaints to someone who was building an extension. From speaking to the first official you can have virtually any machinery or equiplment you want as long as there is no nuisance to others or breach of planning the authorities are quite ok and will leave you alone. He also said that the majority of complaints came from residents objecting to people carrying out car repairs at home as a sideline business, which he said was very common at the time.


Thread: Looking to upgrade my lathe advice please
04/02/2021 12:31:12

Hi Jon

Bede machinery have a very tidy ML7 on their website, they are in the north east, no connection with them, but I did buy quite a lot of tooling from them and was well pleased, very knowledgeable and straightforward company.

 I've got an ML7R now which was bequeathed to me, but had an ML7 for many years that performed well and did everything asked of it.



Edited for spelling and I'm still not sure its right!

Edited By Dave Wootton on 04/02/2021 12:39:27

Edited By Dave Wootton on 04/02/2021 12:40:35

Thread: Bassett-Lowke A1 restoration as a static - help / advice needed
04/02/2021 08:38:15

Hi Tony

This looks to be a good project, there are a surprising number of these B-L engines that turn up part finished or needing restoration, in fact there are lots of 2 1/2" gauge part finished's around, presumably started in the earlier years of the hobby, and abandoned when the larger gauges became more popular.

I'm rebuilding a part finished 2 1/2" gauge loco at present, and posted on here under " another president causing problems" , I can't help with the rebuild I'm afraid, but I have done some work on one of these in the past for a friend, so quite happy to give any advice i can if you PM me. Best recommendation I can give is to join the 2 1/2" gauge association, theres a wealth of knowledge and they are a friendly helpful bunch.

I think part of the criticism of the design comes about because they were not designed as passenger haulers, and were derided by model loco designer LBSC because of this,at the time he was building coal fired more powerful engines, but these make up into very good looking models with the right look.

The engine looks fairly complete and appears well built, if you do restore it yourself, take copious notes and photographs as you dismantle it, I put everything in such as screws and tiny parts in small envelopes and label them. Working on small sections at a time, say front bogie, or cylinders as assemblies helps to keep the work orderly. I have seen loco's where everything has been dismantled and chucked in a box, by the well intentioned restorer, tragically it found its way to the dustbin next. Good luck with it, it is a very worthwhile project.


Thread: Resurrecting a Stuart 10V
02/02/2021 07:32:00

Nice work Colin, always interesting to see how others overcome these sort of problems with previous builders work, thanks for posting. I've been sorting out a part built locomotive chassis and posting on here,don't know about you, but I find it stimulates the brain no end trying to work out how to put it right. Like the little fixture for holding the soleplate casting, right up my street!. Keep up the good work and please keep posting.


Thread: Safety Valve
01/02/2021 17:31:57


I made a mistake in my earlier post re Speedy safety valves, it was my Simplex valves to Martin Evans drawings that wouldn't re close consistently, The problem with the Speedy valve, after modification was that it wouldn't clear the steam on the steam test, the pressure rose above the limit and the boiler tester wasn't happy. I think Speedy only has the one safety valve, sorry for any confusion, it was in 1985!.

As I said we didn't experiment further, it was quicker to make new valves to the proven, Jim Ewins design.


01/02/2021 16:19:18

Hi speedy builder

Jeff is exactly right, I made these to the drawing for a friend, same problem, if you extend the pointy bit down past the contact line they do work, but we did find the re closing was hit and miss. I made some pop valves to replace them, and some for my Simplex to Jim Ewins design which work perfectly, but the pop action is so sudden it makes everyone jump and small children cry!

The Gordon Smith valves are really excellent, Polly models sells the drawings and springs and they are easy to make.

I must admit we didn't persevere or experiment much with the LBSC valve, so could probably have been made to work better if we tried harder.


Thread: Not the only president causing problems.
29/01/2021 17:38:07

img_3986.jpgBit of a milestone today, I think this is the first time the chassis has ever been together and been rolling freely in its chequered history. still a few slight problems to sort out, as the cylinder block is now at the correct height the bogie, which mounts and pivots on the base of the cylinder casting, is now too far down and needs the pivot block trimming, the bogie wheels also foul the frame and needs relieving, the drawing shows this but I missed it so back on the mill!.

Whilst drilling the mounting holes for the cylinder there was a crunch and the drill broke, and there was yet another broken off tap hidden in the cylinder casting, thats three so far previous builder must have spent a fortune on taps!, thank heavens for Mr Dremels invention and cheap diamond burrs. this is about the stage I wanted to get to, got to do a materials order before going further, think I deserve a rest.img_3985.jpg

Edited By Dave Wootton on 29/01/2021 17:42:15

28/01/2021 18:33:26

img_3978.jpgDoesn't look like a lot to show as far as progress, but the cylinders are now together with the cylinder bores and piston valve bores parallel and the correct distance apart, also machined to fit over the frames properly. It took an unbelievably long time to work out where the cylinders had gone wrong, it looks to me as if the cylinders were the point the original builder gave up and the next one took over, the threads change from whitworth to B.A and the workmanship deteriorates drastically. The faces of the block that join together were machined very out of true in all ways, the only reference I could get was the main bores, so I turned up two close fitting arbours and measured everything from there, I had to use a dial gauge and stand like a comparator to measure the out of square, set up on the mill using machinist jacks and shim to skim over the joint faces, also took the opportunity of getting the bores the correct distance apart, for some reason they were .050" too far apart.

The bottom face of the block was built up with brass silver soldered in them, then machined so the block sits in the frames at the correct height and parallel to the centre line of the chassis. the smokebox flange was also miles out, so this was machined off to the smokebox radius using a boring head as a flycutter, the steam ports were cleaned up, as a result of the heating while silver soldering a small piece of broken drill fell out into the hearth, so that was a result. Oil feed ports were drilled into the steam inlet to the piston valves, the steam inlets are at slightly the wrong angle, but decided to leave as they are, the lagging will cover it up. I'm going to use sight feed displacement lubricators on this, following sucess with one on my Rob Roy, on that the glass is reduced to 16mm dia, going to try a 12mm twin set up on this using what would be one of the air tanks as a oil tank, slowly getting somewhere!


Thread: New Hampshire member
27/01/2021 08:10:26

Hi Clay

Welcome to the forum, nothing wrong with buying a lathe on a whim! . I'm sure your background will be a help, after all measuring skills are transferrable, be ideal if you need to make patterns!

There's plenty of expertise on this forum to help you if you get stuck with anything, you might get about fifty different answers to the same question, worth looking through some of the albums on here particularly Jason B for stationary engines, good to have some inspiration. Don't forget to post some pictures.


Thread: Not the only president causing problems.
26/01/2021 17:00:19

img_3977.jpgimg_3975.jpgimg_3974.jpgimg_3973.jpgFew more pictures and a little progress, the pony truck has been a bit of a nightmare, the casting for the rear frame of the engine and the pony truck casting are both a bit off, this has caused much head scratching, the upshot of it all is that the differences have had to be averaged out meaning the pony truck pivot has had to be moved forward slightly, the pony truck axle centres are 1/8" forward from where they should be, but now everything clears, I suppose this is part of the fun of taking on someone elses problems! the rear frame was also twisted slightly so that had to be straighetened and the pads for the truck rollers faced off, never mind all sorted, painted and ready to fit, painting is not my strong point! I built my first engine, steamed it and then had to strip and paint it, never again, so now I paint as I go wherever possible.

I usually use Birchwood Casey gun black for small steel items, but had run out so the little bits are oil blacked, the roller supports are brass and I thought I would try the same makers brass blacking chemical, despite following the instructions to the letter was dissapointed with the result, best I could get was patchy brown.

Next job is the cylinders, initial measurements show the main bores are to size and parallel, however the bores splay apart from each other by .030" ( nearly a V twin!) and the piston valve bores are not parallel with the cylinder bores in any plane!. I'm going to have to do some measuring and thinking about this, the piston valve liners came out with some heating, and the workmanship on those is not inspiring to say the least.img_3971.jpg

Edited By Dave Wootton on 26/01/2021 17:02:24

Thread: Tether car
25/01/2021 07:23:56

Very impressive work Old School, did I imagine it or was there a tether car track in Maidstone, Kent? I remember seeing one when I was quite small in the early sixties and being impressed and quite scared, the speed attained seemed amazing. In one sunday afternoon walk while visiting an aunt I was introduced to noisy model cars and live steam locomotives, funny how things seen as a very young child influence us for the rest of our lives.

Tony, very versatile- live steam, boats and aircraft, keep up the good work.


Thread: Not the only president causing problems.
23/01/2021 17:13:44

Bit more work done on the old thing, not many photo's I'm afraid, but someone emailed and asked if I'd given up!, so thought it was time for a quick update, pony truck being painted at present, will post more pictures as soon as it's reassembled.

Been experimenting with leaf springs which is a frustrating business, after trying leather between the leaves as stated on the drawings, which seems ok on the already made main springs, the leather on those must be around 70 years old and still seems sound, this seemed to stiffen up the spring too much for the pony truck. I remembered some .020" thick PTFE sheet used for some gaskets, and tried using that between the springs, gives a nice smooth action so I'm going to see how that works out in practice. Picture shows finished springs, will have to wait until loco is complete to experiment further, made lot's of spare leaves so can set by trial and much error.


Edited By Dave Wootton on 23/01/2021 17:14:51

Thread: Model boiler safety calculations
20/01/2021 11:44:23

Thank you John for posting the link to the spreadsheet, i'm bumbling my way through re- working the boiler for my 2 1/2" gauge President Washington B&O pacific that I've been posting about. It was designed in 1928 using cast gunmetal throatplate and foundation ring, so needs a little updating. spreadsheet will be a great help.


Thread: Chemically cleaning brass - gently
20/01/2021 08:43:12


I used to run until recently a couple of classic bikes and was plagued with fuel problems caused by the ethanol in petrol attracting moisture. A friend recommended Sta-Bil fuel stabiliser and it does work really well I could leave a bike over the winter and it would start no problem. I did used to run the float chambers empty before putting them away, but still found green corrosion and white deposits in the carbs, the Sta-Bil stopped all that. I got mine via ebay, but i think it's readily available.


Thread: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher
19/01/2021 17:49:11

Lovely work Mark, a pleasure to see, going to be a lovely engine, please keep us up to date on your progress.


Thread: Not the only president causing problems.
18/01/2021 16:50:08

img_3964.jpgThanks Ian, progress slowed up a bit as I had a bit of experimenting to do with making leaf springs, I think I said in the last posting it would be a learning curve, and it certainly was. After lots of messing about with blowlamps, sand baths, tiny tin snips and needle files we finally have a set of leaf springs. I had to anneal my reclaimed spring steel and found the best way was to clamp a little stack of embryo leaves between two bits of 6mm steel, soak at dullish red and leave to cool in the hearth, steel could be drilled, filed and formed quite easily. Hardened and then let down to blue in a little sand bed before quenching in oil. Took a few goes to get right but seems ok and springy. Have made a number of different length spares to enable closer setting when the loco is nearer it's final weight.

Marking out and drilling the lower spring hanger pivot holes took ages as the casting is not symmetrical, The main pivot for the truck has had to be drilled off centre, as the axlebox slots are slightly off, it won't be seen on the finished engine, but if i hadn't done it I had visions of the pony truck crabbing down the track like a B-L Mini with a dodgy rear subframe ( remember those?). Pictures show the first trial assembly , apologies for the bits of welding rods as temporary pins, the little spring retainers were a really fiddly bit of sawing and filing. Still got to make the little straps to go around the springs, next puzzle is to work out the height for the rollers that bear the engines weight on the pony truck, something doesn't add up so a bit of investigation needed there.img_3963.jpg

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