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Member postings for Brian O'Connor

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

Thread: The Workshop Progress Thread 2019
07/06/2019 08:15:27
Posted by JasonB on 06/06/2019 18:45:13:

. . .Enjoy the ignitor they are always "interesting" to make

Well it won't be the only component of this engine that has been 'interesting' to make!

From what I've read I understand that hit & miss engines can be quite tricky to get to run reliably, or at least to miss reliably, so I might come knocking on your door for some advice when the time comes.


07/06/2019 08:08:29
Posted by Roderick Jenkins on 06/06/2019 17:12:52:

. . . . Looking forward to a video of it going.


Not as much as I am! But, don't hold your breath, I'm a slow worker.


06/06/2019 14:37:52

Just finished making the carburettor for my Star Hit & Miss engine, a tricky little jobby. Remaining tasks are the ball governor, igniter, a few bits and pieces then stripdown and painting.

Bstar engine june 2019.jpg

Thread: Interesting??
19/05/2019 18:57:52

To slightly misquote H L Mencken, "There is always an easy solution to every human problem - neat, plausible and wrong".


Thread: New member, Buckinghamshire
09/01/2019 09:46:43

Hello Robert,

If you would like to run your loco somewhere nearer to you than Bracknell, the High Wycombe club would make you very welcome. We have a three-gauge raised track at Holmer Green and a very friendly bunch of guys.


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
18/09/2018 23:05:31

Thank you all for your kind comments. I think that this was the most stressful bit of machining that I have ever done. I didn't have an image of the finished piece, only (American) drawings so I spent a lot of time thinking about what it would look like and how I was going to tackle making it. I was terrified of screwing up at every stage, it's so easy to turn the wrong wheel ot turn it the wrong way. I do have DROs on mill and lathe and don't know how I would have managed without them. I also made extensive use of my centring microscope (Hemingway kit - well worth making).


For the top feature (the support for the governor) I turned the top bit on the lathe with it held in the 4-jaw but had to file the lower part.

18/09/2018 15:38:52


Just finished the Cam Gear Bracket for my Star hit&miss engine. It started out as a 3in x 3in x 1.5in block of cast iron. It now weighs less than 10% of its original weight. Bucket of swarf, anyone?


01/03/2018 20:08:04

Many thanks, Jason, for sorting the picture. B

01/03/2018 16:51:40

Thanks, Jason. You could probably built two of these by now.

When viewing the photo I realised that in reducing the size I had got the aspect ratio wrong. The image in my album has been corrected and although it has the same name as before, my post above cannot find it and I can not find any way of editing my post. Can you help restore the picture please?


01/03/2018 11:23:36

Just finished honing and lapping the cylinder and piston of my Star Hit & Miss engine to get a nice sliding fit. A first assembly and it's starting to look like an engine. The iron castings were a delight to machine, no blow holes, no chilled margins and all the lumps and bumps very accurately placed. Still a long way to go though.


Edited By JasonB on 01/03/2018 17:48:35

Thread: Sun Dogs in Mississauga
07/01/2018 09:02:45

Another one here:


Thread: Why Column gear shift
28/11/2017 09:19:27

Column gear change went along with a bench front seat so that you could get three people in the front (pre-safety belt days!).


Thread: A bit of humour
28/09/2017 09:12:19

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 28/09/2017 09:33:20

Thread: Between centres boring bar bit grinding
27/09/2017 18:39:30


My rotating centre is much fatter than yours. I don't like using plain centres as they inevitably tighten up as they get warm.


See the photo. The 40tpi screw advances the bit by 25 thou per revolution so judging one thou is not too difficult. I'm not too bothered about the odd thou or three, I shall just make the piston and cylinder head spigot to match.boring bar.jpg

27/09/2017 16:26:09


Oh dear, I've just discovered that my boring bar is too short! I thought that it was a foot long but is actually only 11", which means that with a driving dog on one end it won't clear both ends of the 5¼ inch casting. DOH!!

I have just ordered a foot of 1¼ inch bar as per yours but will still have the bit (which can now be a more substantial 6mm dia) going straight across. The reason is that Jason's drawings are for that arrangement and I don't trust myself to shuffle things around by 45º and get it right. But still many thanks for taking an interest in my problem..

27/09/2017 09:05:29


You are right, I should have a more subatantial boring bar but I thought that I would give this one a go before going to the trouble (and expense) of making a larger one that I would probably use only once. I actually don't have a great amount of metal to remove. Unusually the casting was not cored and most of the metal has been removed by successively larger drills and use of a boring head in the mill. Unfortunately the mill does not have sufficient headroom to bore it in one go so I had to attack it from both ends, with the inevitable result of a mismatch in the centre in spite of very careful setting up.. I'm just waiting for the delivery of a diamond wheel so that I can grind the bit to Jason's drawings and give it a go.

26/09/2017 09:34:20

Many thanks for the replies chaps, plus thanks to Jason for the drawings.

Martin: A good suggestion, I shall make one immediately.

FF: The cylinder I am machining will end up with a 1.5" bore. My boring bar is 3/4" dia, the bit is at right angles to the bar so the bit will end up projecting by 3/8" and hence not very rigid. I will have to make a number of passes at the same setting to ger rid of the spring. With the bit at 45 degrees as in the Geo Thomas design the bit would be 41% longer and hence even less rigid..

25/09/2017 12:28:57

I'm about to bore out a cyliinder using a between centres boring bar that uses a 3/16" circular bit. I've never been sure of the correct way of grinding these bits, can anyone offer me some advice please, preferebly with a sketch?


Thread: Aircraft General Discussion
22/06/2017 09:51:46

If you have a smartphone get the app Flightradar24. It shows all details of all aircraft in the area, including height, speed etc. It even shows what the ground looks like underneath the selected aircraft.


Thread: Did we go to the moon in 1969
27/05/2017 08:32:06

What everyone seems to forget is that the transmissions from the lunar modules were picked up all over the world by radio societies and amateurs and that when the USA was on the other side of the world from the moon, transmissions to and from the modules were relayed via stations in Europe and Australia. Plus of course the Russians would have been tracking the modules to ,from and on the moon. If you can only receive the transmissions by pointing your high-gain aeriel at a point in space somewhere between earth and the moon, then you can be pretty sure that there's something there. If the Russians were convinced that they occurred, which don't forget represented a huge loss of face for them, then how can any intelligent person claim that they didn't.

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