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Member postings for Malc

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

Thread: Testing a Beam Engine?
05/04/2019 22:18:37

Your remarks are a real help. I will certainly try introducing some sort of tank into the air supply. You have also made me suspect the size of the inlet pipes to the valve chamber, they are 4mm copper so the inside diameter is only 3mm. Now I know what is required I can have another play! Thanks for the help.

05/04/2019 17:05:26

Over the past few years (on & off) I have been making the Julius De Waal "Balanced beam engine with cylindrical valve". I have reached the stage where I would like to test run it before dismantling it to make it look "presentable". However, the only air supply I have is a cheapo mini air compressor for pumping up the car tyres. Having tried it the engine tries to work but will not run continuously. I have tried experimenting with the timing of the valve but to no avail. The mini compressor is capable of pressures up to 10 Bar but it's flow rate is only 35 Lts./min. and of course it has no tank. The beam engine has a 30mm dia. cylinder and a stroke of approx. 40mm. so it's not a big capacity. I had considered connecting it to one of my car tyres and using that as an air source, but I have no idea of the pressure / flow required to run it. Is there a simple way of testing this engine without having to resort to a compressor?

Thread: Drill chuck releasing drill bits.
23/01/2019 18:39:20

Well I’m glad to hear the problem is not restricted to just me! I had discovered that gently releasing the trigger cured the problem but was wondering whether there was a more permanent cure. Looks like I will have to discipline my trigger finger! Thanks for all the replies fellas.

22/01/2019 17:16:26

I have a cheapo 18v. Guild cordless drill, it has served me well for several years now but has the habit of releasing the bit if I stop and start during a drilling job. The drill has a brake which stops the motor very sharply when the trigger is released and I am convinced that this feature has the effect of loosening the chuck's grip on the bit. I am tempted to disable this feature but having looked inside have not found an obvious way of doing so. I wondered whether any of you chaps have had this problem?

Thread: Round (leather?) belts
16/04/2018 22:06:36

Spent most of my life working on sewing machinery. As a lad I remember the local reps asking the head mechanic whether he wanted “Plain or Hairy” leather belting and wondering what the difference was. Apparently the hairy belting comes from the back of the animal and is less prone to stretching than the plain which is from the belly. I am full of useless information!

Thread: Making an alloy gear knob, help needed
01/01/2018 13:32:16

I think I would be looking to drill and tap the blank first, mount it on a matching threaded shaft. You could then hold the shaft in the chuck and turn the shape of the knob.

Thread: Private Messages
31/12/2017 19:26:42

I had trouble with this the other day. The curser seems to have a mind of its own. I ended up typing the message with out being able to see it until I moved the message up. As soon as I started to type again the lower message box came up and I was typing blind again. I finished the message by having to scroll back up to my typing window and send it. I am still not sure whether it went or not but it was shown in my “sent” box.

Thread: Myford cross slide bearing mod
29/12/2017 19:42:11

Hi “Grotto”

I fitted the cross slide mod to my ML7. I replaced the cross slide end bracket with the top slide bracket as a temporary measure. To use the top slide bracket I made an adaptor plate which enabled me to fit it to the cross slide. This was simply a 6mm thick plate measuring 90 x 20mm. 2 holes were drilled in the plate to line up with the threaded holes on the end of the cross slide. Another 2 holes were drilled and threaded 2BA to accept the top slide bracket. I seem to remember that I had to space out the cross slide screw to compensate for the difference in the length of the 2 brackets. A bit of a “mackel up” but it was sufficient for the job. To steady the top slide (as it now had no end cap) I tightened one of the gib strip screws. I bored out the cross slide bracket by mounting it on a piece of flat stock held in the 4 jaw chuck, much the same as suggested by Arc Eurotrade. After doing the cross slide bracket and replacing it I also did the top slide bracket. Considering the cost the mod is well worth doing, the action is much smoother. True, it doesn’t reduce the end play, that is wear in the screw assembly. I have found that fitting a DRO takes the guesswork out of end play problems. Food for thought if you decide to have a go at it!


Thread: Central heating query
24/12/2017 22:11:58

Hi Les,

Thanks again, you are a real font of knowledge. Now go and enjoy your Christmas and don’t worry about old farts with dodgy heating!

All the best,


24/12/2017 18:50:35

Hi All,

Many thanks for the interest. Yes, I have connected it to be supplied from the controller, which is why I was surprised when the indicator came on with the controller off. Thanks Les, I will follow your suggestions after the turkey etc., have checked my shed stocks but, as usual, everything but the thing you want! Thanks again all, and a happy Xmas and new year to you.


24/12/2017 14:52:07

Hi all,

A little off subject here, but knowing the range of experience between you all I thought it was worth a punt:

I have just fitted a Drayton RTS9 room stat, 4 wire connection, (L,N COM & CALL) with an indicator light. When fitted the indicator light was on when the room was calling for heat whether the system was programmed on or off. I preferred to have the indicator light lit only when the heating was programmed ON and calling for heat. I removed the permanent live and replaced it with a link from the COM as this is only live when the programmer switches on the heating. This is working OK but I have noticed that the indicator light glows dimly when the heating is programmed off and not calling for heat, does anyone know, is this to be expected?

Thread: Rear parting off tool
14/12/2017 18:39:47

Hi Bob,

**LINK** I bought one of these and attached it to a holder I made from a piece of 75mm “ [ “ section channel. Just cut off one of the webs and drilled it to accept clamping bolts. Tried to send pictures but no luck here. If you send me your E-mail address I’ll send them.


Thread: A bit of humour
25/09/2017 17:33:19

The Body of Opinion?

Three graduate engineers were discussing who might have been responsible for the design of the human body. The first one said "Think of all the joints etc. it must have been a mechanical engineer". The second one said "No no, what about all the electrical impulses and nerves etc? It must have been an electrical engineer". The third graduate was shaking his head, "You are both wrong, the human body was designed by a civil engineer - who else would run a waste pipe through a recreational area"?

25/09/2017 12:24:19

A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed: "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!" The doctor chimed in: "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!" The pastor said: "Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with him."

"Hi, George. Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?"

The greens keeper replied: "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind firefighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime." The group was silent for a moment.

The pastor said: "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight."
The doctor said: "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist friend and see if there's anything he can do for them."

The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"

Thread: Beam engine piston ?
29/08/2017 20:05:33

Hi all, many thanks for the replies. You have confirmed my suspicions about using Nylon. I only plan to run the engine on air (assuming it runs at all of course)! I rather like the idea of an Aluminium piston. Thanks again.

29/08/2017 10:08:59

Is Nylon a suitable material for the piston in a beam engine? The piston is approx. 30 mm dia. and 6mm thick. PTFE is the reccomended material but not so available locally.

Thread: What's this?
28/08/2017 14:23:20

img_0844.jpgDoes anyone know what this is? Seems to be home made, the threads on the thumbscrew are very fine, I would estimate 42 ish TPI. Initially thought it was a handle for a scraper blade, maybe? A few pence from the car boot, I thought it was worth that if only for the interest.

Edited By Malc on 28/08/2017 14:24:16

Thread: Cylinder bore surface?
27/02/2017 20:37:04

Hi folks,

Many thanks for the advice.


27/02/2017 17:44:18

Hi folks,

I am in the process of building my first engine ( the Julian De Waal beam engine) and am about to start the cylinder and valve chamber. I am wondering how to finish the bores of the cylinder and valve chambers. I suspect that internal boring will not leave the surface smooth enough. Will I need to buy a “Cylinder Hone” to get a decent finish, and if so how much metal do I leave for the Hone to remove? Any info. would be appreciated.

Thanks, Malc.

Thread: Beam engine flywheel
20/06/2016 20:31:27

Hi Jason, Thanks for that, after weeks of looking at the drawing it has just dawned on me that the outer rim is in fact 5mm thick. I really must learn how to count! 5mm will certainly be easier to handle.

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