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Member postings for S.D.L.

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

Thread: Different types of copper boiler tube
08/03/2014 12:12:29
Posted by Baz on 07/03/2014 08:56:11:

Julian, if your club is affiliated to Northern / Southern Federation it should only test boilers to the exact wording of those regulations. If the book says copper is to be a certain specification and receipts are needed, you need to provide them, I can assure you that there is no mention of grade of copper or silver solder in the Green book, it is just a case of your boiler tester being a prize "jobsworth". I feel that anyone imposing extra regulations should be reported to the Federation.

Fizzy, I agree with you absolutely.

So what part of

7.4 The inspector shall satisfy himself:-

a. That the materials used are of the correct thickness and specification.

b. That, where required by the build procedure, the relevant
material certificates are provided.

Indicate that the Boiler inspector is overstepping the mark in asking for material certs?

How else do you check the material is to specification as I guess not many clubs have got a spectrometer PMD (Positive material identification)

I think that many forget that boiler inspectors are personally liable if there club hasn't take out the specific insurance to cover the boiler inspectors.


Thread: Ball valves
21/02/2014 18:03:04
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 21/02/2014 17:55:14:

Hi John,

The ball stop valves I recently fitted to our plumbing do an excellent job as static flow regulators on the hot water.


The problem is rapid progression 10% movement on the handle gives about 90% flow. Most people who have worked in the process industries appreciate this. Its not that they wont work other types will work better unless you want a digital performance on/off.

Next time i can get on a rig at work with a flow meter i will record flow & against % handle turned and all will be obvious. Unless using valves with triangular valve as my post above Johns.


21/02/2014 11:05:36
Posted by fizzy on 19/02/2014 20:50:17:

You have to be a little careful on initial throttle opening as it can be a little fierce until you get used to it.!

The comment above is why Ball Valves are not the best valve for regulating with as a very high proportion of flow is admitted for a small part turn of the handle. They are by far the most reliable at sealing well and working after long periods of non use.

To give more control they are now made with triangular holes though the bore rather than just a cylindrical hole but I don't know if they go below 1/2"

When sourcing from places like Screwfix you do need to be sure that the seals are designed for high temperature as one failing and releasing steam whilst driving could be bit of an experience.

EPDM seals are common for water but you might prefer Viton for steam.


Thread: Multi fix tool post
13/01/2014 22:34:00
Posted by Dave C on 13/01/2014 12:13:46:

Hi again chaps.

Does anybody out there have any experience of either type or could offer some advice please. I appreciate they are expensive but like I say I intend to get a lifetimes use from it.

Any help or advice would be very welcome.

Regards to all



I got a multifix type from here for my Colchester student as I was unhappy with the genuine Dickson flexing and digging in when parting with a sandvik blade


when they advertised on ebay. I contacted them and asked for a price with extra holders. The service was first class and the product was ace. Parting is a breeze now even in 316 stst. Was so pleased I got a smaller set for my myford but that lathe isn't working yet.

I had to pay about £30 customs clearance when they arrived in uk.

No connections just very pleased


Thread: Calculating volume in metric
02/01/2014 13:11:50
Posted by JC Uknz 1 on 02/01/2014 07:44:32:

Been using metric for years but always fould up when calculating a volume.

Currently have a boiler 50mm diam and 150mm long

25x25x3.142 x150 gives me 2904562.5

Now the bit that trips me .... converting the cubic mm to litres

Is it 1000x1000x1000? That gives me 0.0029045 which seems awefully small. Judging from my one litre milk bottle it could be about a quarter to a third litre

The easy way is to remember 1000 litres = 1 cubic meter = 1 tonne of water =1000kg

This makes sizing tanks very easy

So if working by dimensions work in meters and multiple by a 1000

eg 0.025 x 0.025 x 3.142 * 0.150 = 0.000294562m^3

multiply by 1000 gives 0.294 liters

this saves worrying about no SI units or units that you don't use much.

The easy way is to weigh boiler empty fill then weigh again difference is weight of water 1 litre = 1kg = 1000 grms so if the difference was 294g would be 0.294lts


Thread: lathe turning taper toward headstock
31/12/2013 22:02:53
Posted by mike mcdermid on 31/12/2013 19:40:02:

hi chaps its a boxford 280

i get runout on diameter of the chuck is less than 1/2 a thou

worst on face less than 1/2 a thou and if i put a

piece of bar in the chuck is 2 thou concentricity anything tighter i switch to the 4 jaw

if i shift the tailstock i can get ban on diameter over the length of 3"

even if i pu the old chuck on i get similar taper towards headstock

What make chuck is it?

if you put a true cylinder in the chuck (bit of silver steel) what is the runout along the bar to that you know is true?

ie are the jaws eccentric to the body of the chuck?


Thread: Warwickshire Show.
19/10/2013 18:31:44

I thought it was a great show, went with two friends, went in as it opened at 10:00 and left at about 16:00. Lots of models worth looking at and got some more tooling. We managed to get seats for morning coffee and bacon roll, lunch of coffee and sandwiches and afternoon drink with cake. And the sun was out when we went outside.

You do have to look at the tooling but there was good deals. Uk slitting saw blades for a pound, ball end fc3 cutters £3 etc.


Thread: Is Abwood English or American
19/10/2013 18:25:25
Posted by Graham Wharton on 19/10/2013 18:14:49:

Just trying to work out whether the threads on an old Abwood 4inch milling vice are likely to be UNC or BSW.



A wood is / was British but if from 60s could be either as unified threads were adopted me tween whit worth and metric. My Colchester student Mkll is UNC.


Thread: Casting Preperation
11/10/2013 08:36:25
Posted by JasonB on 11/10/2013 07:39:44:

Unless there is a major problem with the casting I won't fill it on a live steamer like a traction engine but on some of the stationary engines then its out with the U-pol.

Thanks for the detail, Nice illustration, much appreciated.

Is U-pol a filler from the car paint factors?


10/10/2013 22:46:21
Posted by Geoff Rogers on 10/10/2013 22:20:19:

Per Andrew, except I then give the not-to-be-machined regions a coat of paint. Makes then nicer to handle and easier to clean



Is the paint red-oxide type primer?

Does it take topcoat ok after the cutting oil/ tapping fluid etc that gets on it ?

10/10/2013 22:43:20
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 10/10/2013 22:10:44:

It's the first thing I do. I go over the whole casting with a wire brush to get rid of casting sand, grit and the like. Then I go over all surfaces that will be unmachined with files to remove flash and any casting imperfections. I don't bother with emery. On surfaces that will be machined I only remove flash and suchlike if needed to ensure that the casting will seat properly during machining.



Are you painting directly over the filed surface of adding stopper / filler on your traction engine?


10/10/2013 21:53:34

I am just starting on some castings I have for a universal pillar tool, and wonder at what stage most model engineers clean the castings up?

I have decided to go all over them with a file and emry on the non machined faces before machining as I am concerned, that I will slip and damage a face if done after machining. How do you do it?

When doing things like traction engines and stationary engines do you clean the castings up all over? I find the finish very coarse on some castings but superb on others even though all sand castings.

Steve Larner

Thread: making a 3.5 inch boiler
20/09/2013 22:41:05
Posted by John Alexander Stewart on 19/09/2013 17:35:49:

What sort of size copper silver soldered Boiler do you believe is feasable with just two Siveret propane torches with a good selection of burners ijncluding cyclones available. I pressume some sort of size is possible as in the old days they mainley had parrafin blowlamps

Steve (I'm not Keith, but I'll butt in here)

- My first 2 boilers made with just a propane torch. (Sievert, one large burner - I can look up the # if you wish) Two Tich boilers - first one was "I've never worked with copper" and decided after it was complete that I could do better, so kit from Reeves ordered and 11 HOURS of work produced a Tich boiler still working fine.

All 3 successful boilers done without any help. I would like to make two Q1 boilers fairly soon, and do not expect to require any outside help. I do have a larger 7-1/4 boiler to complete (model like Aegnoria in the York museum) and I think I'll get some help there. We'll see.

The worst part of building a boiler yourself is the contemplation!

Another JohnS.

Thanks for the comments John. I felt that propane should be fine and no need for oxy-Aceteleyne. I have dreams of a 5" sweet pear or 71/2" narrow gauge so have started collecting various sievert burners. Glad I am on the right track.


19/09/2013 12:27:30
Posted by CuP Alloys 1 on 19/09/2013 07:38:58:

Hi Terry

Have you considered oxy-mapp gas?

The kit has bottles that you own and exchange when empty.

No rental charges, no admin charges




What sort of size copper silver soldered Boiler do you believe is feasable with just two Siveret propane torches with a good selection of burners ijncluding cyclones available. I pressume some sort of size is possible as in the old days they mainley had parrafin blowlamps.


Thread: nuts hex bolts and other
11/09/2013 09:08:59
Posted by rebekah anderson on 10/09/2013 16:56:39:

hiya all,

I was wondering if any one is interested in M3, M2 and M1.6 hex bolts and pozipan screws.

I ask because I am intending to bulk buy primarily for my self but the minimum order is some what huge. I therefore am thinking of selling the surplus as I will not be using all of them in a reasonable time period.

they will be stainless but the length at this moment i am setting at 20mm.

there are also eye bolts on offer if required.

the price is yet unknown for deffinate but will be reasonable.

please let me know if you are interested and a little of what you were looking for.

many thanks



I am interested in nuts and bolts / hex head setscrewsand plain washers.

I am assuming that these will be in 100s?

I think you will need to post an idea of price to get interest, I have just obtaind EN1a leaded steel in 5,6,8,10,12,16,20 & 25mm diameterr and chopped it into 500mm lengths when I determined that I could do this for £20 a set the uptake trebled from the initial interest


Thread: Which collets to buy, never had my own before
06/09/2013 08:49:28
Posted by Jerry Wray on 04/09/2013 20:44:11:

Hi All,

I am hoping to get my new lathe at the end of this month and wil be needing to do some work on smallish (up to 10 mm diameter and below) turning for seating bearings. I really want to challenge myself and the machine, after settingup, feeling that collets may be the best means of work holdoing.


Which collets should i buy, ER type perhaps ER25, seem commonly available but what about others,

Opinions most welcome.


I would start with ER25 as the smaller ones take less force to do up and you want to start at 10mm. Then you can add ER40 later for bigger sizes if you like them.

If you start with a Plate mounted collet chuck you can get it true.

Get a nut with rotating inner as it takes less force to get things tight.

You can them add a morse taper holder to use in tailstock to hold drills etc, much less prone to slipping than a Jacobs type chuck.

WNT do nice collets at a reasonable price

Steve Larner

Thread: Overloading a Chester Champion V20 Mill
16/08/2013 22:25:45
Posted by Peter de Groot on 16/08/2013 22:07:06:

Thank you all gentlemen, based on your feed-back I am going to first measure the temperatures inside the motor enclosure and control box over time, then see if passive venitlation (vents!) keeps them down sufficiently (I am guessing below 50 C) and add thermal cut outs to both for added protection.

What is a good cut out temperature ? 50 C ?

40 C is a good limit for std cheap components. Every 10C rise halves the lives of electronic components. military spec components have higher ratings but don't expect them in budget priced machinery.


Thread: Ffestiniog
01/08/2013 11:27:10
Posted by Rik Shaw on 31/07/2013 18:29:29:

Looking forward to our trip to Ffestiniog railway Bets-y-Coed next week. I have never been before and don't want to miss anything. Would appreciate any tips as to what to look out for. I quite like the idea of building a garden railway based on narrow gauge loco's, hence the interest. (They say the scenery is nice to). teeth 2 ------- Rik

If you have time also go on the welsh Highland from Porthmadog to Caernarfon the views are stunning and the garrets superb. time to have lunch in the market square at Caernarfon as well


Thread: Distance between 71/4" Tracks
03/07/2013 16:43:12
Posted by Eric Cox on 03/07/2013 08:42:32:

From a safety point of view they probably need to be far enough apart so passing passengers can't touch with outstretched arms. Your probably looking at a minimum distance of six feet.

That sounds a good startin point will have a set out with some string.



02/07/2013 23:08:20

Anyone have practical experiance of the distance required between parallel tracks running in opposite directions.

Will need to be more than scale due to passanger trolley widths.


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