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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: Australian Bush Fires
06/01/2020 09:48:14

I am unable to operate my traction engine because of the total fire bans across Australia. I don' know how much has been posted in the news about the bush fires, they are the worst ever recorded. Recently, one of the suburbs west of Sydney recorded a temperature of 49 degrees celcius (120 F).

The news tonight said that more than 60 million hectares (600,000 sq km) has been burnt across Australia.

Reports in excess of 2 million head of cattle and 8 million sheep have been lost. Esimates of more that 400 million birds and animals lost. The total length of all the fire fronts was more than 6000 km. The fire is still burning and will continue unless we get a lot of rain which is not likely.

Kangaroo Island at the south of Australia, a pristine tourist location has had half of the island burnt. As an island, they had many animals which are free of many viruses because of their isolation and quatantine restrictions including a colony of 50,000 koalas. Half of these have been lost to the fires.


Edited By Paul Lousick on 06/01/2020 09:49:11

Edited By Paul Lousick on 06/01/2020 10:12:18

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2020
04/01/2020 06:03:51

I recently saw an article that said that it was a good time for the greenies to go and chain themselves to a tree.


Thread: First mill
03/01/2020 21:44:23


Tapping is probably less that 1% of the work the that you will do on a mill. Rigidity is a far more important feature. I used to own an SX3 and only used the tapping feature on thinner material, prefering to thread deeper holes by hand for fear of breaking a tap. Especialy in a blind hole.

The variable speed on the SX3 was a nice feature until I started having problems with the electronics (expensive to replace) and found that the column flexed under heavy loads.

I now have an RF-45 clone which is a more rigid machine. It has a single speed AC motor without any fancy electonics to go wrong and a geared head. No tapping feature but a more reliable mill.


Thread: What Did You Do Today 2019
30/12/2019 11:59:15

Bending the flanges was quick and easy. The front spectacle plate was 2mm under size over the flanges after bending and was packed out with a 1mm shim on both sides. The rear plate was exactly to size. The biggest job was designing and making the press brake and form tools to match the inside radius of the flanges.

Good luck with your build Andrew,


29/12/2019 22:13:43


I made the spectacle plates on my engine by bending the 3 sides around a suitable former in a press and then welding in a segment of a pipe elbow (the flange radii bent to match the pipe elbow). Then a bit of grinding to smooth out the welds.


I also made the rounded corners on the tender in a similar way. (see below)

Achieving an accurate finished size to the outside of the flanged sides is the trickiest part as bending is one of the least accurate fabrication methods. I used Solidworks to model the plates in 3D which is able to prodice a drawing in the flattened state and show an exact position of the bend line for positioning under the press.


press brake with front plate.jpgtender corner.jpg

Edited By Paul Lousick on 29/12/2019 22:14:49

Thread: Satellites going over Kent Sussex
29/12/2019 21:11:43

I have been watching old episodes of the X-Files. Mulder would know what the un-identified objects in the sky are.


Thread: 5" gauge boiler rod stays
29/12/2019 04:07:01

My engine has a steel boiler and is built to the AMBSC code with girder stays above the firebox.

I dont have a copy of the code for copper boilers but was told by my boiler inspector that girder stays can be used in a copper boiler provided that they meet all of the requirements in the code. And I believe that they have to be full height (from top of crown to inside of the outer wrapper) and the UK version allows partial height (someone in UK please advise if this is correct).    However, there is a preference to use rod type stays.

The AMBSC code for Australian boilers can be ordered from the Scale Model EXchange SMEX


Edited By Paul Lousick on 29/12/2019 04:56:53

Thread: Making a miniature leaf spring.
28/12/2019 01:44:51

"Band-it" strapping is a good source of thin spring steel. Also useful for shimming lathe cutters


Thread: A question of colour...
27/12/2019 22:06:43

Crimson colour using 2 pack polyurethane car paint.  (I have used used 2 pack on full sized engines before ane it stood up to years of abuse and not affected by the heat.  Time will tell with this one. Fingers crossed !)



Edited By Paul Lousick on 27/12/2019 22:10:01

Edited By Paul Lousick on 27/12/2019 22:11:38

27/12/2019 21:40:09


It's your engine and you can do whatever you decide to do. The original colour of my Ruston Proctor engine was a dull green colour which I did not like and I painted it in Crimson.


Thread: What Did You Do Today 2019
27/12/2019 21:28:51

More work on my traction engine, making lagging covers for the boiler.

Temporary templates cut out of cardboard first to get an exact fit around the steam chest and boiler fittings, then cut out of steel sheet. The flange for the manhole made by bashing the metal sheet around a former attached to a piece of left over boiler tube with a bronze bar and hammer.

lagging 2.jpg

lagging 1.jpg

Manhole flange attached by screws will be replaced with rivets.


Thread: Info required
27/12/2019 02:23:03

Lots of articles on the internet, Youtube, etc about adding a power feed to the Z-axis screw. Mostly using a stepper motor for CNC conversion but no reason a standard gearmotor could not be used instead just to raise and lower the head.


Thread: A Question on Bench Blocks
26/12/2019 12:45:11

I have made similar blocks, not for knocking out pins or for use on guns but as a guide when hand drilling or tapping holes. When held flat on a flat surface the drill bit or tap is guided perpendicular to the surface. Not as accurate as using a drill press but does a reasonable job for those less inportant holes. The guide blocks are not hollow and slightly shorter than the thread tap.


Thread: Warco WM18 lead screws upgrade
26/12/2019 12:15:55

Ball screws are a common upgrade when converting a mill to CNC. They are available with anti-backlash nuts.


Thread: Eccentrics
24/12/2019 20:46:46

The valve eccentrics on my Ruston Proctor SD traction engine are set at 32 degrees (as shown on the supplied drawings) and the engine is running OK but I would be interested in knowing what angle other engines are using.



Thread: Grinding wheel arbour
23/12/2019 02:07:12

Thanks for your response.

Just to clarify a few points:

Yes, I do know that the wheels are clamped between 2 pieces of paper and that they have to be dressed to make them concentric as the wheel hole is not that accurate and that the spindle on a standard grinder is also not that accurate. Which is why the wheels are mounted on a metal adaptor and then only need a slight dressing of the wheel.

A separate adaptor/arbour is required for each wheel and is located by a taper onto the motor shaft. The parallel shaft would have to be ground for a mating taper. I believe that a short morse taper is used on some grinders.

The Deckel grinder also has a jacking screw arrangement in the wheel adaptor for removing the wheels, which is the type of information I am seeking. (why re-invent the wheel).

Thanks Keith for suggesting Sopko wheel adaptors. **LINK**

Cheers, Paul

22/12/2019 08:52:13

I would like to easily change the wheels on a grinder without having to balance and dress them each time and would like to mount the wheel on a steel arbour with a taper bore. Similar to that used on a Deckel D-bit grinder.

Does anyone have a drawing of the arbour ?


Thread: Keyway Broaching
16/12/2019 05:20:05

I broke a small drill press trying to broach a 3mm keyway. So proceed with caution.


Thread: Weldon Shank in collet?
14/12/2019 22:23:15


The end mills with a flat should not be a problem. I have a couple and use them in an ER collet without any problem.


Thread: Soldering with tin
13/12/2019 21:16:17

Do a search for "Tin metal granules" (or similar) on ebay. I recently purchased some that was 99% pure tin which I used to make fusible plugs for a boiler.


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