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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: How much gear do you need to start Model Engineering ????
26/02/2013 20:13:31

A wife/girlfriend/missus/boss/er-indoors who doesnt mind you dissapearing for hours on end or even enjoys you not being around !!!

I started off buying a loco that was already built and running.. then bought a mini lathe to keep it running and do little jobs to learn.. then eventually bought a bigger lathe and got hold of a mill, and gradually built up tooling.. this way I could enjoy using a loco whilst building one. If I'd gone straight into building one I'd have probably given up due to the amount of time it takes, especially as I'm learning the whole time (I'm not a mechanical engineer).


Thread: Paint
26/02/2013 08:53:49

Wilkinson do a very good spray enamel, in a variety of colours. The matt black is very good for model engineering (and used on the hugger of my motorbike).


Thread: What did you do today? (2013)
25/02/2013 06:55:29

Last night I finished plumbing the injector on my Simplex.. now to make the whistle then strip it down and reassemble steam tight for its maiden test.

Today I shall be rewriting my CV as I'm being laid off !!

Thread: Choice of mechanical lubricator
25/02/2013 06:53:38

My 3.5" Netta had a commercial lubricator fitted which used up the whole lot in under an hour (and deposited it all over me), this had a 1/8 ram, so I sleeved it and inserted a 3/32 piston which works very well. It still seals with a top nut and packing as it did previously, without having had to do much changing.


Thread: The biggest time-wasters in your workshop?
28/01/2013 12:30:57

I put a QCTP on my chester and it saves me an awful lot of time with tool changing, and I knocked up a centre height post out of some scraps of metal to quickly check the tools are at centre height accurately.. this saves time when I have to change tool bits in the holders (never enough holders!!).

Hate wasting time searching for those little things that have fallen on the floor and bounced under the bench.. typically they're never magnetic are they !?!?!?

Thread: The first steam engine you built
22/01/2013 18:10:39

I went about this differently.. I bought an already built and running loco, and learnt alot by keeping this going, then, whilst enjoying using my working loco started building my first loco (a Simplex). If I hadnt gone down this route I know that I'd have lost patience and become dispondent due to the time it can take to build. I did learn alot in maintaining an already working loco as they always need something fixing !!

Thread: Clarkson L1
11/01/2013 17:11:41

For anyone interested, I've just received an email from BlackGates, who confirm that THEY now have the plans and patterns for all of Clarksons old stuff !!!

Bloody marvellous !!

Thread: GLR?
26/12/2012 21:30:21

Bugger !!! I used them regularly, especially for stock material. They had by far the best general range of bits & bobs for model engineering. I'll miss them !

Thread: LBSC's Netta in 3-1/2" gauge
26/12/2012 21:26:30

I have a Netta in storage since last summer, so I cant comment on the above questions, but I would suggest NOT plumbing the axle pump in the tender as shown by LBSC. The gauze pickup is shown standing vertically, but once the water level drops to the top of the gauze all it sucks in is air.. plumb it laying horizontally on the bottom of the tender and you have ample water supply.

NEtta's a great loco.. very capable puller (although not the fastest).. mine runs best on smaller coal.

Thread: Choice of lathe
24/12/2012 12:12:25

Well I bought a Chester 920 over a year ago (very used), and with some of the well publicised modifications its turned out to be a very good machine for general model engineering. I know it has some limitations but for the price I paid I cant complain. There are plenty of spares and lots of suggestions on modifications. As its not an electronically controlled vari-speed model, there's very little to go wrong (my workshop isnt heated), and I've managed to d osome pretty accurate work once I'd figured out the best ways of using it.

There was one of these on Fleabay last month which went unsold, starting at £200 !!

Warco also did the same machine (but no longer do it), theirs was called the 918.

well, thats my input on worthwhile "affordable" lathes.

Thread: Clarkson L1
18/12/2012 17:21:16

Hi Brian.

I'm familiar with the Jubilee, but wanted to go 5 inch, which write-ups are you referring, the ME ones or is there a book on building it (like with Simplex), which details going 5" ???



14/12/2012 13:19:46
Hello there.

As a fairly new "model engineer", currently finishing off my first build simplex, my thoughts have been turning to my next project.. and I'd like to build a loco which interests me, unfortunately I'm unable to find plans/castings for these. My preferences would be either the Thompson L1 or Fowler 4P (both parallel boilered 2-6-4 twin cylinder tank engines), in 5" gauge.

Whilst browsing through a bunch of old ME magazies which I'd been handed, I came across an IMLEC article from 2000 (magazine August 2000), and there was a picture of Mr Chris Summersall with an LNER L1.. reading the article it was created from Clarkson drawings and castings. I'm aware that Clarkson no longer trade, but does anyone know if its possible to still obtain information of their drawings.. or does anyone have a set they'd be able to copy??? and would anyone happen to have these castings sitting under a bench somewhere?

Failing the Clarkson L1 route.. would anyone know if someone has ever created plans for a 5" Fowler 4P ?

If anyone has any information, i'd be very grateful to hear from them.
Thread: workshop heating
09/12/2012 07:00:03

Be very careful using any type of combustion to generate heat, as, to generate enough heat to be effective will consume alot of oxygen, therefore you need to ensure that there is adequate fresh supply of oxygen to permit complete combustion, the alternative is a thumping headache due to the start of CO poisoning... which leads to something alot more permanent !!! Suggest using an electric heater.

Thread: Lathe reviews?
25/11/2012 18:01:23

Best thing.. if you have a lathe in particular you want info on from actual users, look at previous threads or post the question.

Thread: My equipment
25/11/2012 17:59:26

I've been meaning to clean down my lathe for months now.. but I keep getting distracted and continuing on project Simplex.. its now got a molehill of swarf under the bed.. but everything is well oiled up.

Thread: First 5" loco
02/10/2012 12:25:30

If we're going a little off-topic and mentioning 3.5" loco's, theres a miriad of designs which are not too complicated... I have a 3.5" Netta which does a stirling job on the club track.. is easy to transport and very satisfying to run. Its a simple enough design (many of LBSC's are). I gather that Maisy is a good one too.

Personally I wouldnt go any smaller. Rob-Roy, Tich & Juliette are good for building exercises, but are frustratingly difficult to run and aren't very powerful.. so within a short time you'd want something with a bit more beef !

01/10/2012 12:34:59

Hiya Bob

I'm currently in the process of building a Simplex. The useful thing with this engine is that there is always someone around who's got or built one, so you can have a look and see how they've done things.. also generally always one on sale somewhere to have a look at the pictures for ideas... they're all slightly different.

I'm no engineering expert... Have a chester 9x20 lathe and small mill, thats all.. the boilers can be made by any number of boiler makers (this way you know it wont leak!!!).. recommend getting the clack valves setup along the boiler rather than just on the back-head.

The castings are all freely available from many stockists, and there's a website on the North London SME regarding some errors on the drawings and how to get around the odd design glitch i.e. waterpump clearance.

Its alot down to personal taste... both Simplex (and Super Simplex), and Sweat Pea will do great work on track, but it depends what you like the look of...

Oh - another handy thing is that you can buy the Simplex tank plating in a kit form... that saves a HUGE amount of effort and frustration !!


Thread: Tich vs. Juliet
29/08/2012 21:25:21

I do agree with you about 3 1/2 inch stuff. I have a 3 1/2 inch NETTA. It regularly pulls passengers, is very powerful and I find it a real pleasure to drive (5 inch stuff is actually boring in comparison)... but I have tried a Juliet and found it frustrating to get a good run with. If you want a good 3 1/2 inch loco to build, there are some superb designs out there. I'm seriously considering the Jubilee once I finish my Simplex (yeh I know.. 5 inch !!!)


Thread: simplex 5" guage loco
29/08/2012 21:19:39

I havent got that far with mine as yet, but looking at the pictures it doesnt look too complex. What do you see as being the problem? You'll only need to cut a series of plates and hold them around a former whilst silver soldering (using suitable flux for stainless).

Thread: [OFF-TOPIC] Self Assembly Furniture - Warning!
28/08/2012 13:39:12

Next dishwasher we get will be self emptying !!

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