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Member postings for Fowlers Fury

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

Thread: Valve timing a 5" Tich
15/11/2020 16:31:15

Kevin, you haven't witten which of LBSC's alternative valve gear you have made for Tich.
Assuming you've made it with Walschaerts, it might be helpful to look at some valve timing vids on YouTube. Though not for a Tich, there's one vid (of many) which explains clearly enough the process.

Thread: Newton's 3rd Law
30/10/2020 20:43:56

I should have made it clearer in the first post.
Instead of " The posted comments explain " I should have written, "Commenters on the YouTube page identified the electric skateboard".
I noticed his janitor's bucket when in motion had acquired suspension but only after reading the posted comments did I watch again and see the skateboard.

30/10/2020 15:01:01

Lockdown Distractions?

I yeald to none in my ignorance of basic physics but this short video, sent by a model engineering friend, even to me clearly contradicted Newton's 3rd Law:-

I was only sent the vid not the YouTube link so it took a little tracking down. The posted comments explain ...but perhaps amusing nevertheless?
(I tried following site guidance for embedding YouTube vids here. I couldn't get to " Scroll to the size boxes, go to "Customised" and type "450" into the width box " on my browser).

Another time-waster spotted on YouTube below. Perhaps I feel less concerned about my wasted workshop time now:-
Useless Machine

Thread: Bending small copper tube
29/10/2020 17:52:33

Have you ever looked at "David Carpenter's website"?
Some while back there was a short construction series by "Artisan" on making a tube bender.
03_pipe bender.jpg

As you'll see above, he made no claims for originality. I made one to the design and am very impressed with how well it works, producing tight bends without kinking or other unwanted distortions.

Artisan showed examples of bends his device had produced:-

artisans bends.jpg
David Carpenter has transferred most of his older articles to DVDs now which must be a bargain at GBP 7.90 each. Just check on his DVD section on the website.

I made a few alterations to the design such as a stronger baseplate and also discovered an easy and quick way to make the many rollers. I'm happy to provide details if you decide to go this route.

Thread: Whitening
07/10/2020 18:01:21

Emgee ~ thanks for posting that link, it is to the article I referred to above - but couldn't now locate its source.

My latest rings were made for the HP valve chamber and thus smaller in size than those for the main (5" scale) cylinders. As, NDIY comments, the rings take a set at the "right" temp. I over-heated the first batch and half snapped as they were gently spread over the valve bobbin. With the pyrometer, the 2nd batch were gently raised to about 500C and allowed to cool amongst the fire bricks. The pre-cut gaps of 2 thou were held apart in the clamp - as below before being covered with the 'fire bricks'. The 4 rings were then sprung over the bobbin without a problem.
b4 heat treatment.jpg

07/10/2020 15:44:18

Quote " According to Mr. Parker you clamp the rings in a stack, paint on the Whitening, Heat to cherry red allow to cool and remove whitening with a wire brush. "
Having just spent many hours making Meehanite rings for the loco and breaking 50% of them during fitting, may I offer a note of caution?
Clamp the rings but do not heat to cherry red; that's far too hot. It is above the critical temp and will cause metallurgical changes in the iron which are not wanted. After much online searching, I found an excellent article which reviewed (& criticised) some of the expert writings of Tubal Cain, Prof Chaddock etc. Therein it states the correct temp is "480 -520 degC " and not hotter.
I borrowed a pyrometer, followed the guidance and no more breakages fitting them over the piston.
Don't bother with whiting - at the correct temp there'll be little or no scaling.

Unfortunately, the url I have for the article seems to have expired
but if you PM me I'll gladly email you a copy - it's a wealth of information.

Thread: Cleaning metal for painting
04/10/2020 22:34:34

Someone queried the consituents of dishwasher tablets. There are agents to "bleach", surfactants, and oxidisers e.g. sodium carbonate, sodium tripolyphosphate, sodium percarbonate and alcohol ethoxylates. Much of their oil removing properties are due to enzymes such as subtiliisins. However the enzymes need cool water, being deactivated in boiling water.

Despite Duncan's advised precautions, I would advise against using "hot & strong" caustic soda. It is very corrosive.
As before, it's safer to use either Orange Swarfega or a couple of dishwasher tablets in an old container big enough for the parts. Start with warm water to preserve the enzymes then if you can, boil the solution - if that's not possible then just steep in very hot water. At risk of repetition, if you don't get old oil out of seams, rivets etc, it can ruin your subsequent painting.

03/10/2020 21:12:26

Roger B's advice is fully endorsed !
I would suggest rubbing the surfaces all over with Swarfega, the "Orange" version is maybe better as it contains plastic microspheres - then flushing with hot water.
THE best preparation on those components which can withstand it - and when SWMBO is out for half a day - is to put them into the (empty) dishwasher. If the risk of detection is too great or you don't have a dishwasher, then boiling those parts with a couple of dishwasher tablets in an old pan will be nearly as effective. I suggest that because the big problem is old oil trapped in seams and especially under rivet heads. Unless that is effectively removed, you'll end up with "fish eyes" and streaks when repainting/spraying.

BTW - white spirits is an oil, OK for most oil-based enamel paints but not cellulose or some acrylics.

Thread: White rock salt
03/10/2020 13:58:56

+1 (or more) for 240v dehumidifiers left running. Not experienced any rust problems since acquiring a fairly large dehumidifier some years ago.

Common belief that "you" are the major source of water vapour is not really the case compared to the ambient, weather conditions. The amount of water vapour we exhale depends on local air temp and humidity. Lower ambient temp & humidity means more water vapour exhaled. For example in conditions we wouldn't tolerate in the workshop of -10°C and 25% RH, water loss through breathing is at maximum of around 20 ml/hr. Under more comfortable conditions, it is less than 10 ml/hr.

(Added bonus of a sizeable dehumidifier is the volume of distilled water produced during autumn & winter. This is used by SWMBO in her steam iron, by me in the loco boiler and for car 'screen washer etc etc).

Thread: cateracts.
25/09/2020 18:05:53

It's many years since my bilateral cataract removals.
I only find one cautionary posting above - from "Versaboss". Maybe I might add another.
The purpose is to recount my ophthalmic surgeon's invaluable warning.
In essence it went:-
"Be very aware of seeing a spider's web-like image in an eye. It would signify a likely detaching retina and you MUST seek immediate attention if you do experience it".
I asked why and his answer was plausible - to summarise. "A lens which has become opaque - a cataract - will have swollen over the years of its development. This increases the pressure in the posteria chamber of the eye. The replacement plastic lens we insert is much thinner so the pressure drops and this can lead to the retina pulling away, the first sign of which is the 'spider's web' ".

A few years later, one night a distinct spider's web appeared in my left eye. First thing next morning the retina was lasered back in the hospital.
So FWIW, please take note if you weren't warned of that possibility.
Unfortunately the remarkable outcome of having 'perfect' vision again may not be permanent for everyone. The surgeon was clever enough to make the corneal incisions in such a way that my astigmatism was corrected & my distance specs. were discarded. Over the years though, the corneal changes in that left eye have been significant, astigmatism is quite bad but simply corrected with a contact lens. The other eye has remained exactly in its post-op state.

I remain amazed at ophthalmic surgeons' skill and continue to wonder how a couple of hundred years ago, aged watchmakers. engravers etc, undoubtedly with cataracts, could achieve such precision in dimly lit workshops.

It's fascinating to watch a video of cataract sugery (if you feel you can !); this is one of the most informative:-
Typical Surgery
(If the above link doesn't work it's

Thread: cutting upholstery foam
01/08/2020 12:08:08

Re: " As I understand it the foam ,as used in furniture, gives off cyanide fumes when set alight, "

It's a complex issue and drifts way off topic but in essence:-
Flexible PU foam (not rigid PU foam used for insulation) when used in furniture has to comply with the tight UK Regs for flame retardancy. Smouldering (reduced O2) is very different from combustion or flaming in the presence of O2. But all organic nitrogen containing substances can produce HCN whether "natural" (e.g. feathers, rubber, wool etc) or synthetic (e.g. PU, polystyrene) in reduced O2 concentration. A definitive paper, 35 years old, explains - **LINK**

Relevance to model engineering? Very little I guess unless you insulate the loco's firebox with flex PU or feathers !

31/07/2020 14:58:22

In the flexible polyurethane foam industry large blocks are cut with big factory-sized "band knives". And....the blade lubricant used is critical.
Hot wire cutting won't work and might well give rise to toxic fumes as well as the risk of igniting the foam.
Flex PU foam
dose not have a defined melting point. It is a thermoplastic and gradually softens at higher temperatures. The softening depends on the specific material, but is around 100 C.

As others above have suggested, buy new foam blocks.

Thread: Basic Electrics
13/07/2020 11:44:01

I'd like to better Peter Shaw's claim to fame viz " And there is the pistol drill at probably 35 to 40 years old (and which still makes the battery powered things look puny!) "
I'm now 76 and my parents gave me a Christmas present when I was 11. It was a mains Wolf Cub drill.
(I should add Santa also provided a lambswool polishing bonnet no doubt in response to my mother's letter to him because she used the my drill regularly for polishing the lino).
Altho' it has a 1/4" fairly crude chuck - it is still in regular use after 65 years.
I echo Peter's words - it makes the battery powered things look puny.
To my shame it has only been dismantled once to clean out sawdust and to oil the felt pad. I've also replaced the mains lead - again, once.

Thread: Machining cylinder from solid
13/06/2020 12:11:48

Of potentially more impact on your well-being than inhaling some elemental iron and carbon is washing your hands at night after machining cast iron. If married or under some similar constraint, then next morning SWMBO will discover the bottom of the sink/basin is covered with myriads of rust spots, acrylic sinks being the worst as the iron particles lodge in the surface to rust overnight. A rapid application of Jenolite or similar to the surface will be needed to placate her. A dedicated, plastic bowl for hand washing is probably the easier solution but of course, you’ll need to empty it outside every time !

Between centres boring bars.
The subject has been aired several times on here. After I made the simple version with vertical cutter, its shortcomings were soon evident. The main irritant being accurate measurement when advancing the tool tip. I then made one to the Geo. Thomas design and had no further problems.
(There were several postings on here in early November 2018 about b-c boring bars)
There are 2 sources of his design:-

1. GHT's original article in Model Engineer. Model Engineer, 3rd June 1977 p. 615 (Vol 143, No. 3562)

2. That most valuable compendium of GHT's articles - "The Model Engineers Workshop Manual (vol 1)" 1992. Pub: Tee Publishing, ISBN 1-85761-000-8. It's on page 92.

Copyright of course, but herewith GHT's introductory paragraph. His comment about the normal, 90 deg tool resulting in flexure of a boring bar was well made IMHO. By putting the tool in the bar at an angle, that effect is very much reduced as well as resulting in very much easier ability to measure the swing with a micrometer. Geo. Thomas wrote “….the boring bar in its usual form leaves a lot to be desired. My main objection to it is the absence of any controlled means of advancing the cutter and all my design attempts to provide a suitable means ended in severe weakening of the bar at the point of maximum bending moment.”

IMHO it would time well spent to make one to the GHT design at the maximum diameter commensurate with your cylinder bores.

This was my GHT b-c bar boring out a 5" CI cylinder casting.


That brass item on the casting, under the boring bar, contains several small Neodymium magnets. It should have been within a plastic bag so that thecollected iron bits could have been emptied straight in the bin !

12/06/2020 15:21:44

I would have thought that purchasing a CI cylinder casting from one of the ME suppliers was the preferred start but respect your decision to machine from a chunk of CI. Your "raw block" seems to have plenty of machining excess which sadly, many commercial castings do not.
Suggest that first priority is to generate a flat datum surface (one that will be in contact with a frame side?) and do your marking out from that. Many critical dimensions and need for parallel surfaces so maybe generate next surface at a true 90 degrees to your datum.
Next I would then FIX the block exactly on the cross slide with that "90 deg" surface truly parallel to the face plate and bore out the main cylinders.
Almost certainly others will advise on a completely different sequence !

Have you looked at Minx postings here?: **LINK**

If you're going to c/s the tapped holes, do it before you tap them, not after.

Thread: DRO kit for Myford S7 from Machine DRO
11/06/2020 11:23:06

As Jason recollects above, there were articles describing in full the installation of the M-DRO kit on a S7.

The first article appeared in MEW No. 267, May 2018.
The whole process is quite straightforward but the articles do point out a few potential problems.

Thread: Annoying milling cutter diving into the work
19/05/2020 15:20:30
Much wisdom above, if you're using a cutter with a threaded shank e.g. for Clarkson collet, then turn down diameter of appropriate nut to fit down, inside collet. If screwed down tight to bottom of cutter & cutter is pulled down collet before tightening up, cutter won't run out of collet but as above, clamp each axis.
Thread: 2" Clayton Wagon
19/05/2020 14:58:27
"Hopefully someone may come along with"
Are you hoping someone will scan them all for you or hoping you'll receive a list of references? If the former, there's copyright infringement to consider. If the latter, you might use one of the online indices. As you probably know, there's always back nos of ME on Fleabay.
The hand pump in the water tank will provide adequate boiler water when stationary.
IMHO what spoils many model Claytons is that builders have not put the compound curvature on the front apron. Fairly easy if you get a large lump of soft wood & shape it as per design. Cut in holes for clamps, anneal the brass sheet and bend to wood former. Then with piercing saw keep cutting 'darts' (Vs) and with more annealing, tap down to form compound curve. Soft solder into joints & after wet & dry it's ready for paint.
19/05/2020 10:46:25

Jon, checking a couple of your "later articles" I assume they're all by Bernard Lundberg. I'm not aware his impressive articles were ever published as a collection.

The original construction series by Robin Dyer was easy to follow (must have been as I made one) but Bernard's research adds markedly to the authenticity of the model. For example ME vol 170 (3946) repeats Dyer's confession that he had no information on the front axle; Lundberg's article corrects that.

I'd recommend obtaining a copy of ME 170 (3944) as this contains an informative but very short article by Lundberg "Clayton Wagon General Notes". In the same issue, there's an article about building a Clayton with twin rear axles - though never produced by the works.

There are a few significant shortcomings in the original design. Main one being that the main drive gearing is too fast. My failing memory is that at least one remedy for this was published in ME, but it wasn't elegant or of course, prototypical.

Thread: Startrite Mercury drill
22/04/2020 00:45:33
My apologies for creating any additional confusion. Dennis R is correct, the thread is 5/8 BSF. I had no BSF taps & dies >1/2" & obviously no nuts of that thread. I had to place the rule on top of the threaded rod on the scanner and thought there'd be no parallax yet the set up "lost" half a tooth.
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