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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: The Repair Shop is getting to me...
09/01/2021 16:46:09

I broke a tap off in a nearly completed bronze axlebox this afternoon, there was some blubbing,and now even more machining!

I wasn't happy with that!

Edited By Dave Wootton on 09/01/2021 16:47:28

Thread: Workshop Clearance - Advice
09/01/2021 13:44:13

A friend had to do a similar thing with his fathers workshop a few years ago, he wanted everything gone as a job lot because the workshop was in the midlands several hundred miles from his home. He tried several dealers and received a couple of paltry offers. He contacted David Anchell of Quillstar who made a reasonable offer and collected promptly, I have no connection with the business, but I did buy a lathe from him years ago and was very pleased with the whole thing. Might be worth a phone call, I just checked and he still has a website so still trading.

Hope this helps i know how difficult clearing a workshop can be, and how unreasonable some buyers are. Hopefully others on the site who have had reasonable offers from dealers will share their experiences.


Tony from Lathes UK will draft an advert and value things (at a cost) it's a good service that i have used, but maybe not the best in the current situation, or for a collection of machines.


Edited By Dave Wootton on 09/01/2021 13:46:57

Thread: Oil Blackening and other Oil Issues
09/01/2021 11:52:36

I use the Birchwood Casey gun blue a lot for small parts, and if parts are thoroughly degreased before application it lasts well and looks good. Not as hard wearing as proper chemical blacking but a lot less faff for parts not subjected to constant handling.

I apply it with very fine wire wool and treat it with ACF50 after application which seems to prevent corrosion.


Thread: A finished project - at last!
07/01/2021 11:11:46


Lovely work, a pleasure to see, thank you for posting this, an inspiration to get out into the workshop.


Thread: Re-grinding 2 MT Socket
05/01/2021 16:44:54

Re Spindle services, Coventry I had the spindle assembly from a Hayes Diemaster mill reconditioned by them a few years ago, The spindle was bent, the bearings shot and the taper damaged. They completely rebuilt it with new bearings, recut keyway for the quill drive, reground taper ( 2MT) it was superb afterwards.

As I was a private individual they kindly went gently with the cost as long as I was prepared to be a little patient so they could fit it in between other jobs, i think it was a couple of weeks turnaround. Around seven or eight years ago the cost was in the region of £350, which included the bearings which seemed very reasonable considering the amount of work required, and the fact it came back as good as new.

Given the cost of a Tom senior vertical head it's probably worth consideration.


I recommended them to a friend who had the horizontal spindle from a Centec taper ground by them, I believe he just sent them the bare spindle, I know he was pleased with the result.


Edited By Dave Wootton on 05/01/2021 16:49:07

Thread: Good Old British Weather?
16/12/2020 08:49:40

Don't know if it would help with the styrene fumes, but I live very close to the sea and everything rusts if it can, costs me a fortune in brake discs and pads. in the workshop I have a cheap B&Q dehumidifier that does keep rust at bay from the machines and materials, which are kept well oiled ,I also use ACF50 on the machines, about four applications a year seem to do the trick.

The dehumidifier cuts in and out on it's humidity sensor and doesn't seem to make much difference to the electricity bill.


Martin is much quicker at typing than me!

Edited By Dave Wootton on 16/12/2020 08:51:05

Thread: Agressive Geese on a right of way
15/12/2020 13:28:28

You could scare them off with a packet of Paxo!

Thread: New 3 Jaw Chuck
07/12/2020 13:09:53


There's a brand new 125mm burnerd 3 jaw for sale over on the Homeworkshop site for £200, still in it's packing, you have to scroll down the pages a bit.

I've bought things from the seller before and was very pleased with both the items and packaging ect. thought it might be of interest.


03/12/2020 15:52:09


If you remove the armature from a BTH magneto it will definitely lose it's magnetism unless you use a keeper, Lucas mags have a different magnetic material that holds it's magnetism.

Best source online for magneto information is as stated above the Brightspark magneto's site which has loads of information and how-to's on magneto repair and they also do remagnetising. I've used them in the past for parts and rewinds and there service is very good.




Edited By Dave Wootton on 03/12/2020 15:56:10

Thread: "restoring" a Colchester student, anything to consider?
26/11/2020 12:22:39

Totally agree with Hopper, clean it up, get it going and use it, I had one of these years ago, it was absolutely knackered really, but it could still do good work with care.

Mine had such a noisy headstock I filled it with thicker oil, I passed it on to a friend who is still using it regularly nearly thirty years later, it wasn't and still isn't worth restoring, but still a useful machine, currently turning (!) out parts for a 4" Foster T.E. This one doesn't look too molested, got a useful 4 jaw chuck, I'd definitely go for it. These are tough old things. If it does turn out to be in good condition you can always polish it up later if that's your thing.


Thread: 3 x 5 twin Victorian workshop steam engine restoration
25/11/2020 11:55:49

Excellent stuff Michael, a really interesting and worthwhile project that you are obviously doing to a high standard. Thanks for posting this I'll follow your progress with great interest.


Thread: Lickham Hall / Lifford Hall
18/11/2020 09:25:15

Hi Stephen

If I remember correctly ( and if I'm not I'm sure somebody will correct me!) the design was briefly published in M.E as Ivy Hall with an oversize boiler and was a bit of a caricature. But then offered by the old A.J Reeves as Lifford Hall with a much more scale appearance.

Not sure about any problems with the design, it would be worth setting out the valve gear as per the late Don Ashton's book and website, but there was one to the Reeves design used to visit the Welling club some years ago that seemed to go well, it certainly looked good. I think the owner was a member of the North London club.

Always nice to see these older designs running.

Just looked at Brian hollingsworth's LBSC book and Ivy Hall was published in 1955 as a modernised Hall at the request of the then editor of M.E, and is stated to be one of the things that led to LBSC's resignation. The more to scale design was marketed by Reeves as Lickham Hall originally.





Edited By Dave Wootton on 18/11/2020 09:27:03

Edited By Dave Wootton on 18/11/2020 09:28:58

Edited By Dave Wootton on 18/11/2020 09:34:19

Edited By Dave Wootton on 18/11/2020 09:35:17

Thread: Tender locos for a beginner?
11/11/2020 17:55:07

Nigel is quite right about building the tender first, from bitter experience i built a 5" Brit that never got a tender, by the time I'd finished to the steaming chassis stage I was so fed up with it all it ever got was a Walls ice cream container and a length of rubber pipe to the injectors! Fortunately a friend loved it and bought it. My current project is a 5" gauge Aspinall A class, I'm sure there's as much work in the tender ( which is known to be a pig to build) as a small tank loco.

The Ayesha design is a good one, wide firebox, slip eccentric valve gear, the couple I've driven have been great fun, and castings are reasonably priced from the 2 1/2" gauge association, Yes I'm a member so very biased.

Theres also the 2 1/2" Crab design by the association, mines pictured in my album, just waiting for the end of covid to run the boiler drawings past the inspectors, not too big or complex. this time i finished the tender first!


11/11/2020 13:01:02


It is quite possible to build a large 5" gauge loco on an ML7 and vertical slide, plenty have done it in the past and are probably still doing so, but it is a slow and tedious way of building. I built Rob Roy entirely on one, and most of a 5" Simplex ( the hornblocks and axleboxes were done on a friends mill) but it was painful at times. Before you embark on something like that you have to do a bit of honest heart searching, and work out if you have the patience to complete it, I'm not sure if I could do it now, having been spoiled!

Good luck with your choice it's something you will have to live with for a long time.


07/11/2020 06:16:45

I do know that the Locomotive Asia on your list has a reputation for many errors in the drawings, I belonged to a club that had an experienced builder constructing one and he had many problems. I don't think it ever got finished as a result. David Scott who posts here occasionally is I think using CAD to try and sort out the one he is constructing. You are doing the right thing in asking for opinions, building a loco is a long and sometimes frustrating process, and mistakes on drawings don't help, I think it's appalling that there are well known errors on many of the popular drawings that the suppliers are aware of, but they have never been addressed . Some of these designs have been around since the 1940's.

I would agree with Ian T that 2 1/2" gauge is worth a look, but I am biased as well! These smaller loco's are very easy to transport too, I know from experience that a large 5" gauge engine can be awkward to move about on your own.

The range of loco's by Polly engineering always seem good to me, and having done some machining on a few of the larger parts for a friend I thought the casting quality was excellent, something that can't be said for all suppliers. I don't believe he found any significant errors in the drawings.

I'm not sure if there is a supplier of castings still but LBSC's Princess Marina in 3 1/2 always seems a good runner and is a fairly compact tender engine and not too complex. I've seen a few around at rallies over the years, there is a black one around with lot's of added detail that looks good and goes well.

Good luck with whatever you decide on.


Thread: Parcelforce or DPD
29/10/2020 09:44:54

I had an experience with Parcelforce last year which made me vow never to use them again,I sent a classic motorcycle crankshaft, rods, pistons etc, not priceless but of significant value, to the engine balancers, who are on an industrial estate in an easy to find location, and are there long hours day in day out.

It didn't arrive, tracking showed it delivered and signed for ( pre covid) with an unidentifiable squiggle as signature, Parcelforce were hopeless both online and on the phone. they must be trained to repeat " it has been delivered and signed for". I wasted hours on the phone trying to raise a claim on the insurance.

Eventually the package turned up, but only because it was found in the loading bay of another company nearby, who had the sense to call the balancers to tell them it was left there. Turns out that the Parcelforce driver had to hunt through his load for a parcel and in turfing things out looking had left it in their loading bay. To cover his mistake he just signed for it I presume.

Never heard anything back from parcelforce, absolutely useless. Rant over ,ooh I've got all cross again!!!

I like the parcels I get from Arc they give a time window which is very useful, but as it's parcelforce I always worry they will mess it up somehow.

Dave ( calm again now!)


Edited By Dave Wootton on 29/10/2020 09:45:43

Edited By Dave Wootton on 29/10/2020 09:46:30

Edited By Dave Wootton on 29/10/2020 09:49:49

Thread: Oil Leak on Colchester Bantam
27/10/2020 22:32:32

Hi David

I've got a Bantam 2000 which used to do the same when run fast or for very long periods, Following a posting by Gray Meek about his mill gearbox leaking caused by it pressurising itself as the oil warms. I carried out the same experiment as outlined in his post, namely putting the finger cut from a nitrile glove over the filler with the plug removed, and it did inflate before it popped off, so I drilled a 4mm hole in the headstock filler plug and it has not done it since.

According to the manual for mine there are only labyrinth seals on the spindle, not garter type seals.


Thread: ML7 cross-slide and compound slide bearing upgrades
24/10/2020 09:03:44

My friend did this to his ML7, on the cross slide, top slide and vertical slide,as far as I know using the bearings from Arc for them all. I know he was extremely pleased with the results. He either jury rigged a bracket to replace the cross slide bracket or used the vertical slide one, I can't remember, and as he sadly passed away a couple of years ago so I can't ask him. I remember offering him the use of my lathe to carry out the machining, but overcoming obstacles and being independent were all part of the fun for him.

It seems a very worthwhile mod which I intend to do to my ML7R which has the same cross and top slide to the ML7.


Thread: Optimum products?
22/10/2020 17:17:04

I didn't really want to get involved in any arguments, but, as a long time user of Colchester and similar industrial sized lathes, both at home and at work, I thought I would add just a few comments based on experience of using a Warco GH1322 lathe in an industrial setting over a period of over five years. probably 15-25 hours a week on all manner of work, most of which would equate in model terms to that involved in a large scale traction engine.

I reacted in horror when told that I was to be put in a satellite workshop newly equipped and on turning up found a Warco lathe and Bridgeportish clone mill. Despite my protestations I found after a couple of weeks I liked both machines, they were capable, accurate and rigid. Lots of screwcutting, press fits, intermittent cuts on fairly lumpy castings and fabrications the Warco coped with it all. the three jaw chuck was as accurate as any and was still good when the place closed down in April. So despite not being as well finished as some, it did the job under difficult conditions, always someone asking how soon can we have.....

Not wanting to start any rows but I did want to point out that these imported machines, may be lighter built and not as well finished, in my experience of this machine it actually did the job, which in industry is what matters.

I worked at a firm in the early 1980's that took my war finish big old Holbrook lathe and replaced it with a new Colchester Triumph, The Colchester could never achieve the finish of the Holbrook, I missed that lathe terribly.

I think I'm reasonably unbiased I've got a Bantam 2000 at home.

I'll go and put me tin hat on!


Edited By Dave Wootton on 22/10/2020 17:20:08

Edited By Dave Wootton on 22/10/2020 17:20:42

Thread: Griptru wil not ad just
21/10/2020 07:22:15


Not going to comment on the griptrue, but please post a link to the video of the Jaguar when you've done it, I'll look forward to that, love the sound of a V8. Or any other engine really!

Sorry to go off topic.


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