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Member postings for Paul Lousick

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

Thread: Thread locking inside boilers
25/01/2022 12:16:14

I used graphite sealant on the studs that screw into the barrel on my boiler. Graphite based compound is the traditional sealant for threaded and flanged connections on steam engines.

Thread: Wire wicks
23/01/2022 07:27:57

I did a couple of other experiments to test some of the theories that were posted.

Lifting by capillary action and syphoning.

I suspect the syphon is broken because the two wire examples touch the container lip. It isn't broken in the multi-strand wicks because the outer threads are lifted over the edge. If so, the single wires might work if they were held by a firm base that hooked them clean over the lip.

Possibly the viscosity, weight and how well the oil sticks to the wire matter too. Could be a lighter oil on a different surface would be OK

My test does not use a tube on the inside of the oil pot and I don't believe it is a syphon action that lifts the oil. On some large engines the tube is 1/8"-1/4" diameter and 2"-3" high and open to air at the top. Somehow, the oil has to be raised by the wick on the outside of the tube

The test below has the wicks held at the base and hooked over the lip without touching the cup. The 1st is solid copper wire, the second plain steel with no coating on its surface and the 3rd is multi strand copper wire (from electrical cable).

Lighter (hydraulic) oil was used this time for the test and each wire coated with it to wet its surface.

Sfter 12 hours nothing happened.

oiler 1 (1).jpg

In this test the first wick used a solid steel wire wrapped tightly with wool yarn..

We don't have worsted wool in Australia and I used a local lambs wool knitting yarn. ( Worsted is a high-quality type of wool yarn. It is named after the small English village of Worstead, in the county of Norfolk)

The second wick is one strand of the copper electrical wire, bent in half to make a small loop and twisted together. The wool passed thru the loop and roughly wound around the twisted copper wire. (this is how I make wicks for our full size traction engines)

Both of these transfered a similar amount of oil.

oiler 1 (2).jpg

Thread: Need to cut long thin strips of steel (& plastic) - e.g. with an angle grinder?
21/01/2022 00:38:41

Ryobi sell a 18V Cordless Multi-Material Plunge Saw which accepts 3 3/8" dia blade blades for cutting wood up to 1" thick, ceramic tiles and thin sheet metal.

I recently used one for cutting 20mm MDF and 3mm plywood and is recommended. Comes with an adjustable width edge guide. Often on sale for the tool only (if you already have a battery) from Aus $79.00. It needs the larger battery for bigger jobs.

ryobi saw.jpg

Thread: Wire wicks
20/01/2022 09:41:25

I've played with old machines, portable steam engines and traction engines for 20 years and have never seen plain wire oilers (not to say that they don't exist) but they have mostly been twisted copper wire and lanbs wool.

If oil will flow uo the side of a piece if plain wire, why would it not flow up the side of a piece of flat plate. If it could, why does'nt a can of oil empty itself if you leave the cap off ?

Are the wire wicks hollow ?

Edited By Paul Lousick on 20/01/2022 09:43:26

20/01/2022 07:56:28

The results of my experiment with oiler wicks..

A bottle cap was filled with motor oil and wicks laid over the side and left for 12 hours

The 1st wick on the left is plain gal wire.

The 2nd plain gal wire but coated with a film of oil.

The 3rd is multistrand wire (bike brake cable) dipped in oil and excess wiped off.

The 4th is wire with a strand of natural sheep wool wrapped around it, dipped in oil and the excess wiped off.

Neither of the plain wire wicks worked.

Both the multi strand wire and wool wrapped wicks transfered oil.


Thread: Deep and narrow tool storage
19/01/2022 21:28:33

The drawers that I used on the stand for my mill are a similar size to those that you want and use telescopic slides to allow full access to the back of the drawer.

mill 2.jpg

Thread: steam fittings
18/01/2022 08:35:19

If copper washers are hard, soften them by heating to a dull red and quench in water (different to steel which hardens)

18/01/2022 03:52:44

What type of boiler fitting ? Bolted flange, Taper thread, Parallel thread with flange, ?? (photo always helps)

Thread: Wire wicks
17/01/2022 21:46:34

Does a bare wire work as a wick ???? I have my doubts.

Most full size steam engines use the same arrangement but the wire is wound with sheeps wool. The wool is what is used as the wicking material and the wire as a support and used to push the wick down the hole.

When oiling a steam engine, it is good practice to remove the wick each time and dip in the oil to ensure that it is completely wet and replace it in the oiler hole.

The wick works like a syphon hose to lift the oil over the top of the pipe in the oiler and drain it to bottom. If the wick is dry, it may not work. (a hose will not syphen water (or other) if you don't remove all of the air and place the discharge end at a lower level)

Synthetic wool does not have the capilliary properties of real wool.



Edited By Paul Lousick on 17/01/2022 21:49:37

Thread: Slip gauge question.
17/01/2022 00:16:30

What level of precision do you work to ? Do you measure with a vernier caliper or micrometer ?

They are probably OK for most hobby applications where you do not need toolroom accuracy.

Thread: Filing finish on castings.
15/01/2022 01:00:03

It depends on what type of surface finish that you are after. Rough casting or Smooth painted.

Sand blasting with a big grit size will roughen smooth areas to look like a casting.

Use a Dremel type grinder with different shaped wheels to get into complex places. Fill cavities with a suitable filler. (I use JB Weld or a 2 pack filler that contains fibreglass strands). Spray on putty is good as an undercoat if you want to smooth a rough surface for painting. (Available in pressure cans and easy to sand)

Thread: Catastrophic Failure of Pressure Vessels
14/01/2022 12:11:44

All pressure vessels / compressor tanks, etc containing gas are potentially dangerous and could explode which is why hydrostatic pressure tests are done with water. Water does not compress like a gas and the pressure is quickly reduced if the tank ruptures.

14/01/2022 06:07:54

Pressure has to be respected, especially when it is hot and why boiler safety and inspections are so important.

One of my previous jobs was designing equipment for underground coal mines, using hydraulics at 5000 psi. One of the dangers was being hit if a hose burst. A flying hose can break bones and at that pressure the fluid it will pass thru your skin into your body and can cause a lot of serious health problems.

Another danger is if there is a very fine leak. The spray can be so fine that it cannot be seen (especially in an underground mine) and can sever your arm.

Thread: Royal Fail
12/01/2022 21:34:45

It's a lucky dip at the momement. Some deliveries are quick and some take forever. (I have been waiting for almost 3 weeks now for a delivery by Aust Post which is normally a day or 2)

A caller on the radio said that he worked in a warehouse that loaded supermarket trucks with 100 plus employers and today they had less than 60 and could'nt load them quick enough. We will just have to be patient.

11/01/2022 22:14:35

The UK is not the only country with postal delivery problems. We have a similar problem with Australia Post because of a shortage of courier drivers who have cortracted Covid. Some supermarket shelves are empty because they can't get supplies.

I have been waiting for a delivery which I orderred 2 weeks ago. I know of goods which took 6 weeks to be delivered.

This is a photo of one of the many distribution warehouses with a backlog of un delivered goods.


Thread: Pocketmags issues
11/01/2022 10:40:23

Thanks, will contact Pocketmags

11/01/2022 09:59:45

Pocketmags is the prefered site for viewing the magazines.

Copies of ME are up to date but why is the latest copy of MEW only the August edition ????

Thread: Slowing lathe RPM
10/01/2022 03:32:48

4415 RPM surprise My old 9" Southbend has a 1/2 hp motor and has 6 speeds (using back gear) and only has a speed range of 80 - 1270 rpm.

The speed of some motors can be reduced but there is also a reduction in output torque. Better to use different size pulleys on the belt drive.

Thread: Steam raising blower
10/01/2022 00:29:34

Making your own blower is not difficult as shown below:

Model Engineer,  Vol 187, No 4163 describes the making of an electric steam raising blower.

And a Youtube video called "Make a Simple & Effective Miniature Locomotive Steam Raising Blower"


Edited By Paul Lousick on 10/01/2022 00:31:06

Thread: Milling collet choices
08/01/2022 22:43:18

Do a search here on MEW.

Lots of previous posts about collets.

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