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Beginners models

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richard markham07/12/2019 19:06:06
27 forum posts
11 photos

Looking for some suggestions for beginners stationary steam models.

Ideally somethnig that is not tiny, my mill and lathe are not 'model engineer' size, and ideally something that doesn't require hundreds of £££'s of castings.

Is the Tubal Cain book worth starting with...

Cheers!

Packmule07/12/2019 19:49:58
97 forum posts
5 photos

Both books are fine .Nice easy way in to machining,making formers and forming parts and of course silver soldering.

You could also look at some of the small hot air engine kits which wont cost the earth.

Bob

Lainchy07/12/2019 20:20:37
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240 forum posts
88 photos

I started with a couple of Chiltern Model Steam models... their Beam Engine, and a Marine Single. The don't require machining, but plenty of polishing and fitting... some painting etc. Very reasonably priced too if bought direct. Their single cylinder models are around £140, and the beam about 400, but they do make nice models that steam well, or run on air of course.

Enjoy whatever route you take

Edited By Lainchy on 07/12/2019 20:22:17

not done it yet07/12/2019 21:00:20
4509 forum posts
16 photos

Stick ‘suggestions’ or ‘first’ or ‘beginners’- or something similar - into the search box as a keyword. There might be something to catch your attention in one of the threads.

Bazyle07/12/2019 23:39:27
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5142 forum posts
199 photos

Look up 'helping dad' It's a series of several different engines aimed at the beginner.

Norman Billingham08/12/2019 09:28:46
32 forum posts

I think a lot depends on what kind of model you have in mind. On our training course at SMEE, for beginners to the hobby, we build “Polly” the first of Tubal Cain’s models. In many ways this is an ideal beginner’s model because it involves a huge range of techniques, sheet metal work, forming and flanging, brazing and soft soldering, turning, milling, spring winding etc, leaving students well set up for whatever they may want to do next. It’s also built more or less completely from stock materials so that mistakes are cheap – and when finished you have a fully working engine and boiler to show off. On the other hand many modellers only build stationary engines, which may never be run on steam, so that they don’t need, or want, to learn the sheet metal techniques. Many people start with something like the Stuart 10V which is a nice model. Its disadvantage for a beginner is that mistakes are expensive – if you make a mistake with a casting you have to order a new one and wait for delivery before you can move on.

I wouldn’t worry too much about scale. It’s easy enough to build small things with big machines – we’ve seen Pollys built with everything from Cowells to Colchester lathes, and from micro to Bridgeport mills,

SillyOldDuffer08/12/2019 09:39:55
5642 forum posts
1159 photos

I always recommend Stewart Hart's Potty Mill engine : no castings, simple, but challenging enough to make you think!

Stewart is active on the forum and his engine is discussed in a number of threads, for example this one.

Plans available without bother: I used this found on the web without finding any mistakes. As technical drawings go it's rather cramped, and I believe Stewart provides better laid out drawings?

Possible negative for some, it's a metric design.

As a training exercise, I built one in Fusion 360, this image being when I was struggling to learn moving joints!

assembly v27.jpg

Dave

 

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 08/12/2019 09:44:49

richard markham08/12/2019 10:09:03
27 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by Lainchy on 07/12/2019 20:20:37:

I started with a couple of Chiltern Model Steam models... their Beam Engine, and a Marine Single. The don't require machining, but plenty of polishing and fitting... some painting etc. Very reasonably priced too if bought direct. Their single cylinder models are around £140, and the beam about 400, but they do make nice models that steam well, or run on air of course.

Enjoy whatever route you take

Edited By Lainchy on 07/12/2019 20:22:17

Thanks for all the suggestions!

I really fancy a beam engine and I found the Chiltern one. Great as a bolt together kit.

I've been on HMEM and found Gerry's Beam engine too with looks like a great model and loads of people have made it, so there's lots of experience and photos showing the machining ops.

I am metric, so metric plans help too. Also found the cad drawings for it so I can get back into Fusion360, which I started learning a while ago and have probably forgotten now!

I have a gantry style CNC mill as well as an old Elliott 00 omni mill and a Harrison M300 lathe. The Elliott has DRO but the lathe doesn't.

I have a dividing head for the Elliott, so that will come in handy.

One thing I have noticed is that most people use collets on the lathe, especially for small shafts, rods etc. I only have a big old 3 jaw and 4 jaw. A set of Burnerd Collets is pricey. Are collets essential or is there a slightly cheaper way to go? The CNC has an ER20 collet chuck, so maybe I can find an adaptor for the M300 to take ER20 or go to an ER32.

Russell Eberhardt08/12/2019 10:24:26
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2574 forum posts
85 photos

Collets are certainly not necessary although they do help.

I built Tubal Cain's beam engine Mary as my first model. Following Tubal Cain's book made it very easy with just a lathe (and no collets).

mary.jpg

Russell

Andrew Johnston08/12/2019 10:46:48
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5417 forum posts
627 photos
Posted by richard markham on 08/12/2019 10:09:03:

One thing I have noticed is that most people use collets on the lathe, especially for small shafts, rods etc. I only have a big old 3 jaw and 4 jaw. A set of Burnerd Collets is pricey. Are collets essential or is there a slightly cheaper way to go?

I use the Burnerd collet chuck on my M300 about 80% of the time. The other 20% is almost all 4-jaw or small and large faceplates. I rarely use the 3-jaw chuck; whilst a quality make it is old and worn. I see little point in using a collet set that didn't allow one to make full use of the spindle bore.

I have a 2-axis DRO on my vertical mill and regard it as pretty much essential. I don't have a DRO on the M300 and have no plans to fit one. I simply don't need it.

Andrew

richard markham08/12/2019 11:16:22
27 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by Russell Eberhardt on 08/12/2019 10:24:26:

Collets are certainly not necessary although they do help.

I built Tubal Cain's beam engine Mary as my first model. Following Tubal Cain's book made it very easy with just a lathe (and no collets).

mary.jpg

Russell

That is very impressive, especially for a first model!

I'm not sure I'm ready to commit to £430 worth of castings just yet!

Phil H108/12/2019 14:51:11
258 forum posts
25 photos

Richard,

I built 'Trojan' - a small vertical marine engine 5/8" bore x 5/8" stroke. The single drawing is available from Reeves. Castings are also available but they are not necessary - I built mine from scrap box bits of brass, bronze and steel.

I note that your lathe and mill might be larger capacity than mine and some of the Trojan parts can get fiddly but you could easily build it 1 1/2X or even double the size?

Whatever you choose, having a much larger capacity mill will be a great advantage if you want to machine some of the parts from solid rather than using castings.

Phil H

SillyOldDuffer08/12/2019 15:44:21
5642 forum posts
1159 photos
Posted by richard markham on 08/12/2019 10:09:03:
Posted by Lainchy on 07/12/2019 20:20:37:
...
...

One thing I have noticed is that most people use collets on the lathe, especially for small shafts, rods etc. I only have a big old 3 jaw and 4 jaw. A set of Burnerd Collets is pricey. Are collets essential or is there a slightly cheaper way to go? The CNC has an ER20 collet chuck, so maybe I can find an adaptor for the M300 to take ER20 or go to an ER32.

Not sure most people use collets on the lathe, though they can be very useful I don't use mine much.

If the work can be turned in one go, three jaw chucks are quick and easy to use. But, it's difficult to reset work in them with any accuracy, for example when you start a job in the lathe, move to a mill or vice, and then return to finish off on the lathe. With a 3-jaw, it's highly unlikely the second axis will align with the first.

Four jaw chucks are slower to set up but, ideally with a DTI, can be adjusted to restore the original axis. Bit fiddly, takes practice, and slow. But not a problem unless speed is of the essence.

Collets allow work to be moved between machines with speed and accuracy. For general use they have a few disadvantages: cost of chuck and individual collets, limited range grip range per collet means many have to be bought, and they aren't handy for jobs involving several different diameters.

My guess is most of us use three and four jaw chucks most of time because they're well-suited to most work. Apart from being resettable, collets are also good for delicate accurate work like clock making because the absence of jaws means the cutter and operator can get much closer to the job, and run-out is much reduced. For general purpose work, chucks have the edge.

Your big old 3- and 4-jaw may need to be complemented with smaller newer chucks if they're too big to grip the items you want to turn. Chucks would be more use to me than collets.

Dave

not done it yet08/12/2019 16:04:18
4509 forum posts
16 photos

I suspect that back in the days before collets were common (or cheap) much highly accurate lathe-work was carried out between centres. No problem, then, of removing the part and refitting for further working. One driving plate (could even be a chuck) and a selection of lugs is all that is needed for most working between centres.

Jez09/12/2019 16:46:00
47 forum posts
1 photos

I built "Tina" from GLR Kennions. Decent sized model, and was serialised in Model Engineer by Stan Bray. Castings aren't too expensive in the grand scheme of things (IMHO) at £180 for the set including drawings.

Link to information: Tina

There's also a vertical boiler to match which was also in ME I think.

Jez.

richard markham09/12/2019 16:55:50
27 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by Jez on 09/12/2019 16:46:00:

I built "Tina" from GLR Kennions. Decent sized model, and was serialised in Model Engineer by Stan Bray. Castings aren't too expensive in the grand scheme of things (IMHO) at £180 for the set including drawings.

Link to information: Tina

There's also a vertical boiler to match which was also in ME I think.

Jez.

Thanks Jez, nice looking engine. Thier boiler is really nice too.

JasonB09/12/2019 18:12:49
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Moderator
17870 forum posts
1954 photos
1 articles

If you fancy something mostly from barstock to keep the cost down then The Jowitt that I described in this thread is not too complicated for a beginner.

Or there is the Muncaster that has just been serialised in ME, details here

CHARLES lipscombe09/12/2019 21:56:09
116 forum posts
8 photos

Following on from SOD's posting, there is a"Hybrid" way of holding work using collets that I learned from another thread some time ago. If you buy a Stevensons' collet block from ARC Trading, you can mount this in a 4-Jaw chuck and use collets to hold the work. This dodge has saved me hours when mounting repetitive jobs to run true.

Just one of the many things I have learned from the forum

Usual disclaimer re Arc Trading, Chas

richard markham09/12/2019 22:28:15
27 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by CHARLES lipscombe on 09/12/2019 21:56:09:

Following on from SOD's posting, there is a"Hybrid" way of holding work using collets that I learned from another thread some time ago. If you buy a Stevensons' collet block from ARC Trading, you can mount this in a 4-Jaw chuck and use collets to hold the work. This dodge has saved me hours when mounting repetitive jobs to run true.

Just one of the many things I have learned from the forum

Usual disclaimer re Arc Trading, Chas

Just ordered a hex and a square one of these.... I found them while googling ER32 collet holders. Simple idea and economical.

richard markham09/12/2019 22:47:10
27 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by JasonB on 09/12/2019 18:12:49:

If you fancy something mostly from barstock to keep the cost down then The Jowitt that I described in this thread is not too complicated for a beginner.

Or there is the Muncaster that has just been serialised in ME, details here

The Jowitt is a nice little engine! 8 evenings and 4 weekends to make? That's good going!

Both links seem to point to the same article... will search for the Muncaster. Found it! Really lovely looking engine. Love the columns.

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