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Member postings for mick H

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

Thread: Lathe Cleaning
27/08/2017 12:57:18

I used to use paraffin to sluice down the lathe and swarf trays etc as and when necessary. I have now run out of paraffin and my local garage no longer stocks it. B&Q is not too far away and sells it at a not totally unreasonable £7+ for 4 litres but have I missed an alternative? What do others use?


Thread: Epoxy Resin
25/08/2017 16:00:51

I know that fast and slow curing varieties are available but aside from that, is there any real difference in the quality/performance of epoxy resin adhesives. Putting it bluntly, is the stuff from the pound shop significantly different from the often much more expensive branded varieties.


Thread: Micro Burner
23/08/2017 07:33:25

Could "abraded" mean to file the side wall of the needle to create an air inlet. It could also mean filing the point of the needle as hypodermics have slanted points.


Thread: Spiritburners
09/08/2017 20:43:54

Good point regarding the conductivity of copper. I only experimented with it briefly because of the reasons previously given. I have found another source of carbon fibre (Easy Composites) who do a woven tubular range which look ideal for wicks and not quite as wayward as the normal matting. I have ordered some and look forward to trying it out on my new build.


09/08/2017 08:26:23

Matthew......I have experimented with metal wicks, principally fine copper wire harvested from wiring looms and made into bundles. They do work but I was never really happy with them mainly because they tended to fall out of the burner tube if it was turned upside down for maintenance/adjustment etc. No big deal I suppose and I am sure that it could be overcome .....and they didn't burn away either. As for wire wool, I reckon that it might burn away an experiment put a bundle of wire wool in front of a gas burner and see what happens. If the wire wool is fine enough it will actually catch alight. Andrew is correct in saying that fibreglass wicks can melt at the ends and this means tiresome replacement at short intervals. As regards ceramic fibre, I have found that this also burns away after a short while. Since discovering carbon fibre wicks I have not looked back. The only supplier that I know of is Just the Ticket Model Engineering Supplies but doubtless there are others. Good luck with the shroud.....I think that you will find it makes a significant difference.


07/08/2017 09:06:30

A few further thoughts Matthew........far be it for me to criticise a design by LBSC, but I would like to see the firebox extended down to about 1/2" below the tops of the burner tubes. My reasoning is that there is quite a lot of space between the frames of your loco, both side to side and front to rear. This is why the flames are so susceptible to draughts and the vagaries of the wind. Even in Gauge 1 , where the frames are only 1 1/4" apart, I find it necessary to provide a shroud for the flames. If the shroud cannot be incorporated in the actual boiler or in your case the outer boiler tube design I would consider bending up a rectangular shroud from a piece of thin brass or whatever, which extends to about 1/2" above the bottoms of the burner tubes and about 1/2" above the tops of the burner tubes or until it extends into the firebox by about 1/2". Finding a means of attachment may be fiddly but not impossible. This will protect the flames and direct them to the base of the inner boiler tube instead of being wafted around in the breeze. Experiment also with the amount of air being sucked in past the burner by temporarily blocking with something like ceramic fibre or other non flam material. Again, fiddly but worthwhile getting the air/fuel ratio correct. Have another look at the burner assembly and experiment to see whether you can increase the distance between the top of the wicks and the bottom of the boiler. I would not be at all happy unless this was a minimum of 3/4". Preferably by bending the spirit supply pipework although drastically by removing some of the tops of the tubes by small increments. 


Edited By mick H on 07/08/2017 09:10:41

06/08/2017 21:16:12

A further thought....are you using a fan down the chimney to get steam up?


06/08/2017 15:01:01

I am very keen on spirit firing although no expert. I have some experience with a Smithies boiler fired with meths. Most points have already been mentioned by other contributors but I would recommend carbon fibre/fibreglass wicks packed quite loosely in the tubes with the top of the wicks about 1/2" above the top of the tubes and about 1"+ below the bottom of the inner boiler. That is a guide and some experimentation may be necessary. The flames must play on the bottom of the inner boiler tube and the flame route through to the smokebox must be clear. If there is a lot of insulation in there it will strangle the flames. Sometimes too much insulation has been packed in with a view to protecting the paintwork of the outer barrel. It does protect the paint but the loco will not steam. I use "ordinary" meths and find it well up to the job. Having said that, meths is hygroscopic and if old may have absorbed quite a lot of water from the atmosphere.....not good. Make sure also that the blastpipe is correctly positioned so that it conforms to the 1 in 6 rule. I have had no problems with soot. You may wish to experiment also with the amount of air being admitted from below and around the burner tubes. Too little air and you will have incomplete combustion and diabolical fumes which are nicknamed "poison gas". Too much cold air coming up beneath and around the burner tubes will have an adverse cooling effect.


06/08/2017 06:36:37

What are you heating?


Thread: Expansion LInks
30/07/2017 14:03:02

I have always found expansion links difficult, even with a rotary table so well done. As far as the die blocks are concerned, I have given up on trying to make the traditional shape a good fit throughout the length of the link and now make them cylindrical so that they roll along the link. They can then turned to an exact fit in the expansion link slot and they work extremely well.


Thread: Liquified Poison Gas
22/07/2017 13:26:28

As a precaution against poisoning myself I have rigged up a ventilation system which "sucks up" the emissions from the locos chimney and disposes of it outside the workshop. Together with open door and windows I reckon this should keep me fairly safe. But I have still experienced most obnoxious smells from gas firing ....obviously not CO....but other products of the (incomplete?) combustion. What other gases could be produced? In theory and complete combustion H2O and CO2.... but what produces those eye watering fumes?


22/07/2017 09:25:38

Further to the above, you can get a similar result from the incomplete combustion of LPG if the air/gas ratios are wrong.


22/07/2017 09:22:54

I also like the smell of meths both before and after burning but if only partial combustion takes place the gas given off is acrid , stinks to high heaven and pretty much guarantees to bring on a splitting headache. Under these circumstances, "poison gas" is a pretty good description.


Thread: Corrosive liquids. ...................................
17/07/2017 06:28:03
Posted by Hopper on 17/07/2017 03:18:33:
Posted by Mike on 16/07/2017 21:04:29:

- and remember that prison is meant to be a very unpleasant experience, not a holiday camp!

I thought it was supposed to rehabilitate people and make them fit for the time when they return to society so they were no longer a threat to it?

The concept of rehabilitation is constantly trotted out by well meaning people but as far as I know, no penal authority in the world has ever achieved rehabilitation on any signiificant scale. There have been cases of individuals who have seen the light and not reoffended but this appears to be an individual choice.


Thread: Retaining washers?
10/07/2017 14:30:09

Starlocks are the ones. Thank you very much gents.


10/07/2017 13:33:51

What are those washers called that one pushes on to a shaft and which will retain their position? I think that there are two types. The first have two or more sprung tabs and the second type is a bit like an inside out star washer. This is a bit of a clumsy description but hopefully someone will recognise what I am after.

I need them to fit a 3/32" shaft.

Thank you in anticipation


Thread: Appreciation of Contributors
30/06/2017 12:00:06

In this age of the "consultant" and the staggering remunerations one reads about, I wonder what the value of the advice given out daily on this site would amount to if given by some of those mercenaries?


Thread: Transformer temperature
30/06/2017 11:54:47

I received an e-mail from Interpet/Blagdon today stating that their display models have a transformer operating temperature of between 30 and 40 degrees. They have asked me to record temperatures over this weekend and get back to them.

Russell ......Thank you for your interesting contribution to this thread.


28/06/2017 09:33:40

Just an update on the subject of this transformer. You will recall that it has a nominal output of 20 watts and that the pump requires 10Watts. The transformer still heats up even when the pump is disconnected, reaching a temperature of 38 deg C. It reaches about 50 deg C when the pump is connected. Unfortunately I do not have a meter that measures AC current. Anyway, given these rough and ready figures my grandson has calculated that the transformer is dissipating about 8+ Watts of heat. Not a great deal in the grand scheme of things but still adding £10+ to the electricity bill. I suspect that if £10 extra was spent on making a more efficient transformer everyone would be a winner. Typically, Interpet/Blagdon have not replied to my query. Finis.


23/06/2017 21:48:45

Thank you for your interest and comments gents. The outfit that I have is a " Blagdon 3000 Inpond 5 in 1". So quite a reputable make but I would guess having origins in China. The outfit performs well and does what it says it will do, keeping the pond crystal clear and apparently well oxygenated. It is about 10 months old and the transformer has always run very warm from day 1. As previously mentioned, the original transformer failed after about 7 months. I will be giving it a routine clean out over the weekend and will obviously check for obstructions etc.

I had a look at the charger unit for my Bosch drill and the power output is much the same as the pond transformer 14.4V at 1.5 amps and this unit is barely warm if left on all night. Strange. Something just does not feel right although as one can deduce, my knowledge of these things is scant and I may be comparing apples with pears. I have a feeling that I will probably end up with a transformer with a greater output but I find this problem intriguing.

I emailed the manufacturer this morning but their replies are within 7 days.


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