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Member postings for julian atkins

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

Thread: 3 1/2" gauge Caledonian Dunalastair III.
02/01/2020 23:55:02

Hello Michael,

I did have access to a full set of ME's, but don't any longer, but your example is no doubt based on the E L Pearce loco described in ME in 1901 in what was the first 'sort of' construction series of a miniature loco.

Phelps of Treherbert doesn't ring any bells with me, despite having a long association with South Wales.



Thread: Speedy1500
20/12/2019 20:44:06

Hello Mike,

You should take very careful note of Phil's (Weary) advice.

If you have been told that the LBSC designed valve gear is not worth improving, then those who gave you that advice don't know what they are talking about. KN Harris had a 'go' at redesigning the valve gear, as did Don Young for Reeves; neither solved the problems. Only Don Ashton's redesign gets it right. You can run all 4 on a computer valve gear simulator which will prove what I state.

On the fullsize loco the short combination lever has for the top two 'pins' a 'pin within a pin' to get the required proportions correct with no drop link. The 2 top pins are contained within the valve gear crosshead and guide.

LBSC used a pin below a pin for the 2 top pins, and therefore the combination lever proportions are incorrect.

He also dispensed with the valve crosshead and guide, which causes undue wear on the piston valves. LBSC 'Speedys' are notorious for piston valves that 'blow' after a bit of use, resulting in steam going straight up the exhaust with a 'woof 'woof' rather than a smart 'chuff' 'chuff'.

Roger Froud's example on the forum site as linked by Phil also has super duper piston valves for bronze cylinders, a redesigned smokebox draughting, and an improved boiler design, and much else besides, plus of course the Don Ashton designed valve gear.

It has the correct curves to the rear of the bunker, and the correct type of rear buffer beam - all defects with the LBSC drawings when compared to fullsize.



Thread: PGK's 1" Minnie
14/11/2019 22:49:02

Hi pgk,

The front foundation ring section is milled and filled to be a jolly good fit between throatplate and inner firebox tubeplate, also as you note fitting the side curves of the inner firebox tubeplate, having determined where the inner firebox wrapper will be, to which it will end up abutting. The step on the ends is milled. It isn't a big step, but enough to intersect with a step on the foundation ring sides and avoid that problematic butt joint plus avoid the foundation ring sides moving latter on.

I make the flange depth quite generous.



14/11/2019 21:42:47

Hi pgk,

Quite the contrary.

The front (and latter rear foundation) ring bits are milled and filed to fit the inner plates namely the inner firebox tubeplate, and inner firebox doorplate up to where the inner firebox wrapper starts and later ends. You dont have to have the inner firebox made up to do this for the front piece of the foundation ring, but you would have to hand the already flanged plates for the inner firebox to hand.

Obviously, to do this you need wider section copper first than the simple width of the water space.

Many boiler makers have problems doing the foundation ring sections, and to my mind anything that makes this easier and less fraught ought to be adopted.

I hope this makes sense. A simple sketch would probably make this a lot clearer.



14/11/2019 21:42:45

Hi pgk,

Quite the contrary.

The front (and latter rear foundation) ring bits are milled and filed to fit the inner plates namely the inner firebox tubeplate, and inner firebox doorplate up to where the inner firebox wrapper starts and later ends. You dont have to have the inner firebox made up to do this for the front piece of the foundation ring, but you would have to hand the already flanged plates for the inner firebox to hand.

Obviously, to do this you need wider section copper first than the simple width of the water space.

Many boiler makers have problems doing the foundation ring sections, and to my mind anything that makes this easier and less fraught ought to be adopted.

I hope this makes sense. A simple sketch would probably make this a lot clearer.



Thread: A1x Smokebox?
13/11/2019 14:46:33

Hello Philip,

Don Young's 'Newport' 7.25"g design has an A1X smokebox. Reeves could supply you with the relevant drawings.

Alternatively, all you need is a piece of tube 4.312" OD, 2.910" long. My front and rear rings are from stuff I had in stock, and I rolled the tube and silver soldered it.

The 'drumhead' smokebox sits on a saddle with an elegant profile. There is no casting available for this, so I fabricated one.

The smokebox door is 3.218" diameter.

Note that Martin Evans drew the A1 smokebox and door too small in diameter.

The following is from one of my albums on here.




Thread: PGK's 1" Minnie
12/11/2019 23:34:19

Hello Jon,

As you have taken the considerable trouble to quote me plus provide a detailed post, you deserve a detailed response...


1. I do the front foundation ring to the throatplate first. I don't make the front and rear foundation ring out of square section copper but out of a slab of copper, which gets profiled further back and forward respectively around the inner and outer firebox wrappers with a step on the ends.

3. I tried this once with J-M silverflo 24 but the tubeplate got far too hot for my liking, and was stopped partly silver soldered, so the answer to your 3. is LT not HT.

4. LT J-M silverflo 55, not HT J-M silverflo 24.

6. No need for any fixings between front foundation ring and firebox tubeplate. Your 7. done at same time.

8. I do special phos bronze stays for the inner firebox doorplate to backhead at the same time in HT.

Between your 8. and 9. I silver solder up the firebox side stays, and do the foundation ring sides (your 10.) all LT. The throatplate stays have been silver soldered at your stage 6.

11. Backhead bushes are HT done before the backhead is silver soldered to the outer firebox etc as the final stage, the previous stage which was silver soldering the front smokebox tubeplate to the boiler, which would also have it's bushes done beforehand with HT.

I silver solder in the longitudinal stays. Dome bush is done early on in the the last 2 cases with HT. Safety valve bushes done the same time as silver soldering the crownstays to the outer firebox wrapper, LT.

I hope this makes sense. I did a detailed 'build log' of my last boiler on, and a lot of the pics of same are in some of my albums on here.



Edited By julian atkins on 12/11/2019 23:40:19

Edited By julian atkins on 12/11/2019 23:41:18

Thread: Stephensons Valve Gear
27/10/2019 21:36:02

Hello Phil H,

The weighshaft bearings do wear. In Stephensons valve gear they get quite a 'kick', which can be transmitted back to the reverser, and all the bearings etc need to be jolly good fits and with good alignment

I 'beef up' the weighshaft bearings.



Thread: Coke for brazing purposes
23/10/2019 20:24:28

Hello Nick,

Go down to your local builders merchants and buy some Thermalite blocks or equivalent. Very cheap, and can be cut up if required with an old wood saw.

The 5 pint paraffin blow lamp used by Don Young on the only 2 boilers he ever made is a fearsome beast! I doubt if Don did use coke as a surround for his 2 boilers. I used a 5 pint paraffin blow lamp on the first joints on my first miniature locomotive boiler until I bought my Sievert set (propane). The heat output from a 5 pint paraffin blow lamp is quite something.

You would not want raw coke igniting when silver soldering a boiler. You want clean joints and heat that is controlled where you want it to be.

You need to take some of what Don Young wrote with a pinch of salt (hefty doses in places)! Don's 5"g LNER K1/1 boiler was probably silver soldered up in the works of J Samuel White. Don's 5"g IW O2 "Fishbourne" boiler was probably done by him with the old 5 pint blow lamp, but the loco never had a steam up on a track when completed, and was sold in the late 1960s (to Canada) and has never been seen since. Neither boiler ever had a club boiler certificate.

Don's only other loco was his 5"g Railmotor No.1 and Alec Farmer of Reeves made the boiler for Don.



Thread: Anyone know about buying freehold to a house in the north
16/10/2019 22:36:27

The 'furore' over NEW leaseholds has nothing to do with Ian's case which will be an old probably Victorian long lease with a minimal ground rent and no other charges.

Please note the facts relevant to Ian's case, and not go 'off thread'.



16/10/2019 21:57:12

Hello Ian,

I have purchased the freehold for 2 previous houses/homes I have owned. It simplifies things if you sell.

My first house was on a long lease dating back to around 1890. Minimal ground rent. As I was then an Articled Clerk/Trainee Solicitor, I cheekily asked the leaseholder's Solicitor if the £150 charge to buy the freehold could be waived, which it was, and I was sent a bill for the legal costs of £50 (This was 1990).

My second house had title deeds that were 13" high when stacked on my desk. The house was subject to 2 long leases with nominal ground rent going back to the 1800s (2 different parcels of land that constituted part of the property; there was additionally a 3rd parcel that was freehold). I was then a qualified Solicitor. I knew the Solicitor for the freeholder of the 2 leases, and I think it cost me £250 in total to buy the 2 freeholds. I submitted to the Land Registry what a colleague of 40 years experience described as the most complex application he had ever encountered. The 13" stack of deeds was reduced to a simple 1 page Land Registration A4 sheet. A subsequent sale was very quick and easy as a result.

With old long leases (typically building leases) of houses with a nominal ground rent, the owner of the freehold often has a liability on their hands, and I would consider the £2500 sale price to be very high and unjustified; so some considerable room for haggling!



Thread: A cord of Ash
10/10/2019 23:46:26

Straight grained Ash of UK origin rather than American Ash, is quite sought after for making the wooden 'stays' for bellringing installations in most UK Churches that have 'full circle ringing' and 'rings' of bells.

So I would refrain from burning the Ash log!



Thread: Piston Rings
23/08/2019 22:24:53

Hello Graham,

Bit of a can of worms here.

Assume "Pistons" as per your thread title, which previously had graphite asbestos packing instead of far superior square braided graphite asbestos packing.

You can still get square braided graphite asbestos packing on ebay - it crops up from time to time, and if properly selected and fitted ought to last 10 years hard use on regular passenger hauling. There is a bit of an art how to fit this type of packing.

I would recommend you investigate this route rather than having to make new pistons and rods etc and all the fuss required with PTFE, and consequent greater expense and time involved.

PEEK is an unknown quantity so far as piston rings are concerned on a miniature locomotive, and in any event how are you going to get them going onto the LBSC piston dimensions?

Of far more concern would be the piston valves and their bores on an old 'Speedy', if the piston packing in the cylinder bores is already 'shot'.



Thread: Kingscale 5" models
18/08/2019 23:32:20

Nice bit of grained wood on the right hand side of the box - I could make a ukulele out of that!



Thread: Dam Solution?
06/08/2019 23:51:46

What is this reservoir for?

The canal.

The Marple locks were closed earlier this year for repairs, so the level in the reservoir built up, unlike last year.

I would suggest that had the Marple locks not been closed this year, none of this would have occurred.

I don't know why the canal system hasn't been used to drain the reservoir.

A simple online search indicates the reservoir has been causing problems for many decades.



Thread: Pansy Valve Gear
04/08/2019 10:31:10

If you would both like to send me a PM I will email you my 'blurb'.



Thread: 3.5 NG Conway or Lilla
25/07/2019 21:59:52

I would second the Don Young 'Hunslette' design, and I don't know why 'Durhambuilder' dismisses it.

It is a huge lump in 5"g, and still quite a huge lump in 3.5", and I speak as someone who did 'Linda' FR 2-4-0TT in 3.5"g.

Another possibility is 'Charles' brother of 'Linda' and 'Blanche' which is I think marketed by Blackgates.

Martin Evans' 'Conway' is a freelance design with lots of errors, and the valve gear is deficient, and it neither something or nothing.

Don Young's 'Hunslette' is a prototypical example of the Quarry Hunslets.



Thread: Regulator improvements
17/07/2019 20:10:41

Hello P84R,

The first thing I would do is to take off the water gauge fittings and check that their passageways and the areas around inside the boiler are free of obstructions that might give a false water gauge reading.(Check also that the bottom fitting and bush does not protrude too far into the water space).

You might also be getting priming when the loco is being worked hard, as others have suggested. Also you do not state whether the safety valves are lifting as you go up your incline. You can get a localised pressure drop in a boiler that can promote priming, as opposed to priming being caused by dirty water or water with some oil in it.

Water carry over to the cylinders is quite a serious problem and can cause damage to the cylinders and motion, if not increased wear, and ought to be properly investigated.

If there is a water carry over, you need to shut the regulator and open the cylinder drain cocks.

Do a search online for LNER pacific 'Blue Peter' and the disaster at Durham.



Thread: Superheaters in the Firebox
25/06/2019 23:27:35

Hi Martin,

You deserve a fuller reply from me in response to Jeff Dayman's post.

My own 3.5"g GWR King to the Jackson design required new superheaters, and the LBSC type will be replaced with stainless elements extending the full length of the firebox. It will also have a redesigned smokebox draughting kindly done for me by Jos Koopmans.

(If the Perrier drawings follow the GWR drawings for the original single chimney design they will be deficient, or at least not ideal).

The GWR King boiler is an elegant thing and very nuanced and complicated.

A simple butt welded joint to the throatplate and barrel will IMHO reduce water circulation at quite a vital point, and the butt welded joints elsewhere will rob the boiler of it's external appearance, unless well covered up by the cleading.

I am assuming the tubes, being TIG welded on your boiler, are thicker than normal? A recent Commercial boiler on the modeleng proboards site (for Don Young's 'Doncaster' ) has some TIG welded joints but the tubes are silver soldered in. It looks the part, and is clearly extremely well made.

If you have cast iron cylinders etc and piston valve liners and piston valves with cast iron rings, you won't have any problem with full length radiant superheaters in the firebox, and I have no hesitation in fitting them as such to my own 3.5"g example with cast gunmetal cylinders and slide valves.

Quite a few club boiler inspectors haven't a clue how to deal with a TIG welded copper boiler, or for that matter steel welded boilers. Quite a few haven't a clue how to deal with all silver soldered copper boilers.




Edited By julian atkins on 25/06/2019 23:29:15

Edited By julian atkins on 25/06/2019 23:29:54

24/06/2019 23:38:57

Simon is quite correct with stainless radiant elements. Though you provide no mention of cylinder and piston valve material, and design.

Seems to me your 5"g GWR King boiler is of rather novel construction. I hope your club boiler inspector is happy with it all. It is a very complicated boiler to make.



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