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What Did You Do Today 2020

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JasonB01/01/2020 06:52:52
22579 forum posts
2637 photos
1 articles

Report what you have been upto here ( preferably engineering related) Actual workshop progress can be reported here

Previous 2019 posts can be found in this thread

Edited By JasonB on 01/01/2020 06:57:39

john carruthers01/01/2020 09:18:21
614 forum posts
180 photos

I ordered a set of mini saw blades (like slitting saws) from a Chinese supplier on xmas day, they arrived yesterday so I roughed out a 'scape wheel for the clock..

scape wheel.jpg

Michael Gilligan01/01/2020 09:26:46
20081 forum posts
1041 photos
Posted by john carruthers on 01/01/2020 09:18:21:

I ordered a set of mini saw blades (like slitting saws) from a Chinese supplier on xmas day, they arrived yesterday so I roughed out a 'scape wheel for the clock..


That’s impressive, John ... both the service and the result.

Could you provide a link to the supplier, please ?


john carruthers01/01/2020 09:54:03
614 forum posts
180 photos

mini saw blades

Michael Gilligan01/01/2020 09:59:00
20081 forum posts
1041 photos

Thanks, John ... Very reasonable price too yes


Martin King 201/01/2020 11:18:25
984 forum posts
439 photos

Just bought this, looks useful!

Happy New Year Everyone!


roy entwistle01/01/2020 11:31:38
1504 forum posts

Martin Bought what ?

Happy new year all


magpie01/01/2020 12:08:03
487 forum posts
98 photos

I made some PVC bushes for a standard lamp I am making. I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

Cheers, Dek.

Nicholas Wheeler 101/01/2020 13:09:23
909 forum posts
86 photos

Fitted the clapper I repaired in WDYDT 2019. The new bolt needed some fettling for it to slide into the slot in the headstock, which I did with a large file and the bolt clamped to the bell frame. We will probably have to adjust the twiddle pins for the bell to strike evenly, but that will have to wait until the Loctite has gone off.

While I was doing that, the second man did the annual basic safety inspection and changed a couple of tired ropes.

I think a beer with lunch is justified, the clapper is small but heavy!

Ian Johnson 101/01/2020 20:21:58
370 forum posts
102 photos

I've started 2020 with another poker! This is one for my daughter who has just moved house and installed a log burner.


Brass ferrules with a polished pine handle and I made the brass hook too.

They were using it today and liked it so much they have called it 'Pokey McPokeface' ha ha


Boiler Bri01/01/2020 20:57:18
842 forum posts
199 photos

Walked on the beach and chilled out with about 2000 other people after watching all the brave go in the sea for the lifeboat.


Nigel Graham 201/01/2020 23:05:26
2031 forum posts
28 photos

Visited Weston Zoyland Pumping Station Museum [near that village, on the Somerset Levels], with a group of fellow-engineering friends.

The Museum had an Open Day with engines in steam, and despite the cold, drizzly weather it attracted a lot of visitors.

Well worth an "Engineers' Day Out", to quote a well-known phrase, and one characteristic I like is that this mid-19C land-draining installation has not been pickled in gloss, as so many of the big professional museums have become. It also has good information boards.... other museums, please note. (Yes, NRM, I do mean you too!)

The central exhibit is its Easton, Amos & Sons pump, a balanced-flow centrifugal unit driven by a twin-cylinder vertical engine above the cylindrical tank holding the pump itself; and in its original position and building.

The engine's slide-valves have the complication of a forerunner to Meyer expansion-gear, with a separate main and cut-off valve each having its eccentric at 90º apart. The latter can be lifted away from the main valve by a lever on the end of the valve-chest - but I do not understand what that achieves. This is a surprising feature for an engine designed to work in one direction only, at more or less constant load so fairly self-governing. Still, it is a modern machine, built in the 1860s to replace the 1831 beam-engine original! I did ask but the volunteer staff admit being as puzzled by this apparently needless complexity as I was.

So, back home, I turned to my copy of Hutton, 1911. He describes with two drawings on p290-291, Expansion-valves; of adjustable, and fixed, cut-off. The former uses screw-adjusters on the valve-spindles. The latter's cut-off is adjusted by altering the eccentric's position on the shaft. Aha! That latter matches so far. This engine's eccentrics clearly have angle-adjustment slots. Now, why? An expansion-valve can give shorter cut-off than with just the lap, where required. Another - I quote:

An expansion-valve prevents expeditious starting or reversing of an engine.

Expeditious starting seems unlikely here, unless perhaps the valve-lifters allow greater safety if an engine in steam in its working days needed unexpected attention. Can a twin-simple engine with ordinary slide-valves driven by plain eccentrics, start in reverse? That seems against all I have learnt about steam-engines, but I defer to Messrs Eaton and Amos; and an engine driving a centrifugal pump must always run in only one direction.

The connecting-rods are linked by parallel-motion rather than crossheads, to the crankshaft whose flywheel I judged about 8ft diameter, is also a bevel-gear whose apple-wood "cogs" (to borrow mill terminology) engage the cast-iron pinion on the top end of the pump shaft. This combination, used in flour-mills to reduce fire risk, gives smooth, very quiet running.

By "balanced flow" I mean the pump has a twin-sided impellor, in the horizontal plane, with inlets above and below. This reduces axial load on the vertical shaft to its own weight, apparently as plain thrust-bearings were still problematical at the time.

Believed the oldest pumping-engine still in working order and original location, the water it pumps is simply circulated as subsequent civil-engineering on the river has raised the levees several feet above the machine's original outlet.

The Museum also has a display of various small plant steam-engines, most in a separate building; and a short narrow-gauge railway giving free rides on open carriages behind a Simplex diesel.

The boiler is not the early-20C Lancashire shown in representative form in the pump-house, but a large Robey portable in a semi-open shed, and fuelled with scrap timber. It cannot supply all the engines at once so the Eaton & Amos takes turns with the others, being run for perhaps quarter of an hour at hourly intervals while the small exhibits rest. The Robey itself is set to run gently and continuously, for its own feed-pump.

£8 standard admission when the engines are in steam, free on non-steam days. The modern tea-shop was selling only hot drinks and cakes but on a cold, drizzly New Years' Day it is a welcome oasis! Tea taking its natural course.... Two up-to-date loos, single-sex and fitted for disability use and with baby-changing shelves.

The modern brother to the pumping-station is alongside, not open to the public, with diesel-driven machines.


We had every sympathy for one of today's visitors, now having an UN-Happy New Year thanks to reversing a VW Transporter into a branch stump on a heavily-pruned tree next to the car-park. It had badly dented the tail-gate and shattered the window.

Andrew Johnston02/01/2020 21:12:17
6575 forum posts
701 photos

As well as faffing about with 3D printing experiments I also finished a batch of ~40 bolts and ~75 nuts (all 1/4" BSF) for my traction engine spectacle and front plates:

more bsf nuts and bolts.jpg

I made extra nuts as you can never have enough 1/4" BSF nuts. smile


Danny M2Z03/01/2020 09:36:33
962 forum posts
1 photos

Today I got my fire plan ready. All important docos and stuff packed and ready to go.

Visited neighbours and we decided on a course of action. Luckily we are next to the lake so smoke is the biggest worry. House and workshop are replaceable, so we got pumps and hoses tested and selected cotton clothing and decent boots and gloves laid out.. Surrounding grass/stubble mowed to the bare earth. gutters cleaned and generators tested.

Tomorrow is forecast 46°C/115°F and windy so it's going to be a bad day for this part of Australia.

I included a map, X marks our little town.

screenshot_2020-01-03 incidents and warnings - vicemergency.jpg

* Danny M *

Michael Cox 103/01/2020 09:58:20
549 forum posts
27 photos

Hi Danny,

Having seen the videos of the situation in Oz I wish you, your neighbours and all Australians success in combating the fires. I feel for you.


Michael Gilligan03/01/2020 10:09:18
20081 forum posts
1041 photos
Posted by Michael Cox 1 on 03/01/2020 09:58:20:

[… ]

I wish you, your neighbours and all Australians success in combating the fires. I feel for you.


+1 for that ^^^

The News reports look horrendous !!


Cornish Jack03/01/2020 12:25:37
1219 forum posts
171 photos

Danny - Fingers firmly crossed on your behalf. Been looking at the Google Earth view of your area - in 'normal' times it must be pretty special. Hope all goes well and 'normality' returns soon!

Re recent 'doings' - too cold for much but, inspired by one of our members' recent bird figurines, I tried a little 'curry favouring' with SWMBO ... she was extremely interested/active in Flamenco.


Not avery good pic but the effects are better 'for real' and, more importantly, much 'goodwill' has been gathered!

Not particularly hopeful, but Happy New Year to all!



I.M. OUTAHERE03/01/2020 13:52:34
1468 forum posts
3 photos

There was a guy called Jim from blue heelers youtube channel that used to post on here , haven’t heard from him in a while but he was from lake conjola in nsw which recently copped it really bad with the fires and i do hope he is ok .

Containing or stopping the fires is not humanly possible they are simply just too big ,there has been too many years of political parties pampering the greens for their votes which has allowed them to ban burn offs or creating containment lines which is now killing people - only problem is they are now using the climate changes agenda to excuse themselves from any blame .

Anyhow i have been doing a clean out and have had a serious think about my model engineering exploits . I have closed a few doors now i have turned 50 and have been seriously thinking about what i want to do with the next stage of my life in regards to my workshop . I am hoping a more streamlined approach will make my workshop activities flow a bit more and i will spend less time rebuilding machinery.
Another thing that i have been thinking about is do i need the big and heavy machines I currently have - i only rent so i am at the mercy of the rental market and availability of properties with a garage which in Australia are getting harder to find as the Granny flat empire is ever expanding.

I have been considering downsizing my machines and building a self contained workshop trailer that can be placed on any property with a driveway - the jury is still out on this one !

I have in the pipeline a few engines :

ME beam engine that i have a casting kit for ,

Building a Mastiff engine .

Always wanted to build a twin counter rotating crank V8 two stroke engine based on the V 4 Honda NSR500 GP bike engine but twice as many cylinders.

A few days ago i dug out some 0.5mm brass sheet / shim I picked up a while back and cropped it up to approximately 20 x 300mm sq pieces, more than I will ever need so if you are in Australia and could use some let me know - cost is postage - free if you live near western suburbs of Sydney and can pick it up.

There is a change coming in 2020 - i just don’t know how big a change yet !

martin perman03/01/2020 15:22:33
2042 forum posts
86 photos

I recently bought and acquired a couple of angle poise lamps with low watt bulbs fitted, today I bought a pair of 60 watt equivilant LED bulbs, a little dear but the light they give out is excellent particulary as one is used on my lathe, the other is on my bench.

Martin P

Edited By martin perman on 03/01/2020 15:23:14

SillyOldDuffer03/01/2020 16:03:41
8491 forum posts
1891 photos
Posted by XD 351 on 03/01/2020 13:52:34:


Containing or stopping the fires is not humanly possible they are simply just too big ,there has been too many years of political parties pampering the greens for their votes which has allowed them to ban burn offs or creating containment lines which is now killing people - only problem is they are now using the climate changes agenda to excuse themselves from any blame .


Phew, thank goodness these problems are only caused by political parties pampering the Greens. We can soon fix them! It's a good job XD351 really understands what's going on - for an awful moment I thought climate change might be a serious problem. Delighted to hear it's nothing to do with the 35 billion tons of Carbon Dioxide mankind added to the atmosphere last year...

dont know


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