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Member postings for Derek Drover

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

Thread: Complete Beginner Requiring Lathe Info
05/10/2013 10:10:09

Perhaps it might be worth while looking to see if there are any model engineering clubs in your area. Go along and have a chat and see what sort of things others are into making.. not everyone makes locomotives/traction engines. You can also get a good idea on what people like/dislike on any particular machine.. also advice on good tuition material. Some clubs have quite good libraries too.

I'd suggest research carefully on equipment. Some things may look like a bargain, but in the long run are not true value for money.. some things you pay a premium for the brand name when there are alternatives of equal measure.

Also.. understand that this is not a cheap pastime.. tooling and material cost money.. which I'm sure the "better half" would much rather invest in handbags !!!!!!!!!!!!


Thread: Machining what am I doing wrong?
11/09/2013 22:03:11

Whilst reading the threads, my first thought was the clamping of the tool post... as Martin has mentioned above, go to the Bedaire website and read his ideas on improving the 920.

I have one of these.. its pretty good for general work, the clamp was the first thing I did to improve stability. I did it on the lathe using the 4-jaw chuck, so you wont need any special equipment.

I'm now reworking the bearing plate for the compound screw, and making a replacement "imperial" leadscrew for it too as mine is not accurate (metric leadscrew with imperial markings).

Tumbler reverse will be on the list of future improvements.



Thread: Peterborough Society of Model Engineering
07/09/2013 17:00:16

There will be photos uploaded sometime soon of the exhibition, on the club's website:-




05/09/2013 19:10:47

Thats so funny to watch. I'll see if we can get that linked to our club's website.

If they'd have filmed it an hour later, I'd be there pulling passengers on the portable track with my Simplex.

Am very upset that they didnt show my 3.5 Netta which was on static show in the hall !!!!!


Thread: May be worth watching?
30/08/2013 12:36:37

I saw that last night. It was interesting to see how they moved these big lumps (as that's all they are now). I didnt like the way the Americans had painted all the bare metal parts silver on their A4.. it looked awful, but then I guess thats all the attention its ever received in over 40 years.

Thread: Kit locomotives
25/08/2013 07:35:33

Simplex doesnt come as a "kit". You need to purchase plans and castings. These castings need machining, all other parts have to be fabricated from raw materials.

If you're looking for a "kit", which requires no tooling, skills or knowledge to assemble bits, I'd suggest looking towards Polly. They have been going for many years and are recognised as building quality kits which actually work.


Thread: LED arrays
13/08/2013 19:26:46

I have to say how good these have proven to be! I've bought 4 and have fitted two above my lathe, and will be fixing a pair over my mill. They're not light-bulb bright, but give off a very warm, well diffused light which is very useable.

Thread: Workshop Space
30/07/2013 11:29:04

Keep the wife out of the garage/workshop and resist "put it there for now" !!!!

Thread: Nuclear Bomb (model)
30/07/2013 11:27:49

Have you thrown it out of an upstairs window to ensure the flat nose remains sub-sonic?

Thread: Re-Building a Simplex Loco
25/07/2013 09:44:36

Another update to my Simplex.... one of the drop links (which I didnt make I hasen to add), snapped. Compared it to the drawings and its far too thin and feeble. Made a new one to replace the broken one and found that there was insufficient clearence on the valve fork and the radius rod (which was 100thou too wide).. hence the stresses. Alot of filing and the new one fits nicely and doesnt foul. The new one looks good, but will have to make a new one for the other side and recheck everything against the drawings. Never assume someone has done things correctly.

Thread: Weir Pump Design
19/07/2013 19:18:24

Does anyone have a series of plans for a steam operated weir pump, typically 3 or 4 inches tall. I want it to go on the running board of my Simplex (had enough of trying to get injectors to work). I gather that Engineering in Miniature did a design some years ago, but I've not been able to find.

Thread: What did you do today? (2013)
06/05/2013 06:56:33

Spent yesterday public hauling with my little 3 1/2 Netta. She's a girl with pulling power!

Thread: Banned from workshop.
02/05/2013 09:27:15

Are kids allowed to do paper rounds any more??????? If so, as soon as my one reached 7, he's out delivering and saving up !!! If not, he's going down the pits !!

Thread: What did you do today? (2013)
17/04/2013 17:19:21

Started banding the cladding for my Simplex boiler.

Thread: Re-Building a Simplex Loco
17/04/2013 17:16:43

4x Merlins in harmony on the Lancaster is difficult to beat. My Kawasaki ZX636 peaking at 18krpm with a performance exhaust made a pretty distinctive howl too ! The Vulcan .... now there's a roar !!

15/04/2013 08:52:07

I too bought a part built Simplex in 2011 which I thought would take me 6 months to finish off and get running.. First thing I did was strip it down, which is when I realised the hornblocks were mounted wrongly (1/8 too high), which caused several headaches.. & not enough clearance in the valvegear and radius rods... piston shaft rods too long... boiler leaking & needing repair.. steam glands needed remaking.. etc.. etc.. etc... I am now finaly getting there and currently working on the cladding and shall have her ready for her first run late spring. BUT I have to say that its helped me learn how NOT to build a model loco and has been considerably cheaper than starting from scratch and buying all of the bits individually.

Thread: Lathe reliability
06/03/2013 07:50:07

I started out with the Clarke mini lathe, and was very pleased with it (once it was setup). It was surprisingly accurate and easy to use. I used it alot for making small bits and pieces, but found the tool post not rigid enough for larger work. Also the motor wasnt powerful enough for screwcutting, therefore I upgraded to a bigger (Chineese) lathe which allows me to do alot more.

I now have a Chester 920, which although isnt vari-speed is a more capable bit of kit.


Thread: Cleaning up
04/03/2013 18:39:17

I tend to clean mine when I get to a convenient point doing a job (which can last weeks)... so the swarf can build up to a fair old pile.. doesnt take very long to brush away.

I remember we alwasy used to say a clean desk is a sign of a dirty mind !!!!!

Thread: What did you do today? (2013)
03/03/2013 09:31:00

Yesterday got my Netta through its steam test, today curld up infront of the telly (watching Scrapheap Challenge), and full of a flippin cold (man flue!!!)

Thread: Paint my LOCO Raffle
02/03/2013 19:55:44

I got a roller I can use !!

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