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Member postings for Simon Collier

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

Thread: Tools needed to build a 3 1/2in gauge Tich
08/05/2022 06:09:21

Few tracks are dead level and flange friction on curves is a consideration too. I would be sceptical of claims of how many people little engines can pull. My working assumption would be that Tich could pull the driver and Juliet might pull the driver and one or two others. My club track is far from level and it is difficult to get Tich around and keep up steam with just the driver.
what you can build will depend on lathe size, but the first question is what size lathe can you buy/access? A bigger lathe gives you more options but amazing work has been done on small lathes. And of course, big and small are relative terms. To me Myford 7s are small.

There is no such thing as too many questions, especially from a young enthusiast.

Thread: Rolling a 5" gauge copper boiler barrel
28/03/2022 20:43:12

I’ve rolled 3 mm copper using large rolls donated to the club. I had to keep annealing it with my 2944 burner. Rolled to 6-1/4” with slight taper. The member who donated them moved away and some time later they vanished. He undonated them! Hardly anyone is going to have rolls big enough. I suggest making a former from stacked plywood disks. With multiple annealings and using hands, hammers and band clamps, it can be done. Buying 5” tube would be so much easier.

Thread: Poppet valve regulator (LBSC Britannia)
23/03/2022 06:48:14

Jon there is no point asking loco questions on this forum. If you look at, say, the last 50 latest posts you will see what I mean. MECH Forum is the place for loco people. And the search function there works. Downside is that you can’t directly post images as you can here. That’s a real pain.
A mate has a 3-1/2” Brit and it has a ball valve regulator in the smokebox, I’m almost certain. Ball valve regulators, whether dome or smokebox are very popular in my club.

Thread: Original Tich
20/03/2022 20:11:33

That’s interesting, I didn’t know that. Try asking on MECH. Forum where the loco people post these days. Julian Atkins might know or John Baguley.

Thread: ML7 oiling advice
18/03/2022 11:03:47

Simple oiler I made with o-ring that seals over standard Myford nipples. Works perfectly, cost almost nothing. myford oil can.jpg

Thread: Songs about Engineering
23/02/2022 20:05:59

Engine 143.

Thread: Spectacles
19/02/2022 09:30:32

I often think young people, constantly at their phones, are a short step away from the Borg.

Thread: 5" Gauge Loco Project
17/01/2022 08:30:15

Quite right br, it is a personal bias and unhelpful to the OP.

16/01/2022 20:37:46

I also suggest a Simplex. A capable, good looking loco, powerful but easy to handle, with good valve gear design. Lots of information available and builders groups online. It has a proper locomotive boiler, not that horrible thing on Sweet Pea. Do look on MECH, as suggested above as there is a Simplex thread and much more loco stuff.

Thread: AMBSC code
07/01/2022 08:39:33

There have been repeated urging of the AALS by prominent persons to make the code free online. They refuse, reckoning they need the money.
I’m surprised the AALS Treasurer did not reply. As Paul said, many people go away for summer holidays over the Christmas period. I’m surprised also that scanned copies don’t find their way online.
The mail is in disarray also due to the latest COVID massive surge.

Thread: Springbok completed
02/01/2022 02:03:22

Once again, thank you gentlemen for the generous compliments. Although fully lined LNER green is a lot more work, I figured that once it is done, you enjoy the benefits for years after. The Fox transfers for the tender lining alone took two weeks. I had the foresight to buy twice as many lines and corners (and they are not cheap) as I needed, reasoning that I would stuff a lot up until I got the hang of it. Just as well as I used almost all my spares.
A mate is finishing a much more impressive loco, also his first, but in all black, so it doesn’t have the visual impact.

01/01/2022 10:39:39

Thanks gents for the kind words. It took 15 years to build. I first set up a workshop buying a Hafco Chinese 300 swing by 900 geared head lathe with 6” 3 jaw, 8” 4 jaw, 10” faceplate, QCTP, tail stock chuck, live centre etc, and DRO. It was a package deal and cost $A4000 in 11/2006. I bought a Sieg SX3 mill drill. I got ER 32 collets and 5C collets for the lathe. An 8” bench grinder. For heating equipment, a Sievert 2944 big burner, a 2943 burner and an oxy-propane set with a heating tip. I was not going to be short of heat, the cause of so many problems. If that sounds like a lot of money, I have no children, so imagine how much I have saved there.

01/01/2022 05:38:28


01/01/2022 05:38:06


01/01/2022 05:36:42

I’ve been working hard for the last two weeks determined to get my engine finished for a club run on New Years Eve. When I decided to build a loco, I knew nothing of metal working or steam locomotives. I learned as I went and there was a lot to learn. I found the machining straight forward, I enjoyed making the boiler, I hated the sheet metal work, I didn't much like the painting and lining- lots of headaches here- and the last job was to make the builders and nameplates using the laser printer toner method of etching. I ran the engine in an unfinished and unpainted state, without tender, for several months before stripping for painting and finishing. I therefore knew that it runs extremely well. Thanks to Julian Atkinson for drafting calculations which I followed to excellent effect.
Along the way I built 3/5 of a Blowfly loco, including boiler, for a young enthusiast, and a couple of gauge 1 locomotives. Also tooling and jigs as needed, of course.
The most urgent job now is to make some extension controls. Yesterday I simply could not reach the regulator over the tender. My back is very problematic and inflexible, and I had no hope. Hitting the regulator with the shovel got old very quickly and I did only a few laps.

Thread: Endless Repeats
26/12/2021 21:20:50

We used to have television licences when I was a kid but they were abolished in the 60s or early 70s.
the ABC here has become ever bolder in its Left wing activism/ social engineering. The news is censored and the “diversity” casting and promotion have become a joke. I can imagine meetings at the ABC where executives try to out politically correct each other with their suggestions. The BBC is as bad or worse.

Thread: Silver soldering stainless steel
24/12/2021 08:47:59

That is the type of result I was hoping for, thanks Dave. I use borax flux, presumably the “pink stuff” as it is pink, for bronze brazing. I abrade the stainless with wet&dry and immediately flux. If silver soldering I abrade and use HT5 equivalent flux.

24/12/2021 02:19:26

I am curious Peter. Do you mean in the firebox, ie radiant superheaters, or within the flue at the firebox end? If within the flue, I think copper would be better. In that case I would bronze braze.
I want to replace the copper elements in my Simplex with radiant stainless but I don’t want to bother to have them TIG welded. I want to bronze braze them and perhaps protect the block or spear points with a stainless cup over the joint area simply slipped over the last inch as the elements are pushed home to the back of the firebox. Does anyone have experience of bronze brazed joints within the firebox, ie, do they last?

Thread: What’s the best way of fitting the chimney
13/12/2021 19:43:26

I did mine with 8 x 8 BA small hex head screws. I drilled 1.5 mm first with battery drill, trying to drill at a tangent to the flange in each position. Then drill 1.8 and tapped smokebox, which in my case is about 1/8 steel. Went well.

Thread: Super Simplex
10/12/2021 06:26:24

Better to ask on the MECH Forum for loco stuff. There is a Simplex thread.

It would be helpful if you could get a copy of the Simplex articles in ME, and the subsequent Super articles. I photocopied them from my club’s library. As always make yourself aware of the mistakes in the design before starting.

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