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What Did You Do Today 2020

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Jan B05/06/2020 18:34:14
26 forum posts
10 photos

Lots of rain in the morning but clear sky and sun in the afternoon. So, I thought it was a good idea to bring out my little TICH and run her on my own private track. My youngest son joined me an we had lots of fun running around my small track. My locomotive is 42 years old but still performs very well. We kept her in steam for more then an hour without any problems. There are no clubs for 3.5” and 5” gauge here in Sweden and the hobby is almost unknown. The only club is one in 7.5” gauge where I run my BR Class2 locomotive, but there will be no public running this year so I`m happy to have my own track.

Keep safe.


Andrew Johnston05/06/2020 20:45:03
5517 forum posts
648 photos

I've got as far as I can with the piston and valve rod glands for my traction engines:


The piston rod glands (top) are finished. But the valve rod glands (bottom) are still rough on the inner faces. I haven't machined the cylinder yet so I don't know exactly what diameter the mating recesses will be. So finishing will have to wait a while. Here are the piston rod glands in situ, with a small clearance on the slidebars as per full size and exactly as the CAD model shows:



bricky06/06/2020 10:50:23
423 forum posts
48 photos

I ordered the metals for Brian Rupnows latest engine design from M-Machine metals and the bearings from bearing boys.The plans were bought from Brian for $25 and were sent to my computer as files his plans are well detailed and descriptive .I built his Rockerblock engine which runs a treat and thought I would have a go at this one.The cost of the metal for a small engine is suprising as I spent 200 pounds including the bearings and I had the brass ,bronze mild steel and silver steel in stock.The cost of building bigger is for me getting prohibitive since retirement .40 years ago I was able to buy brass from a firms scrap box to build clocks for a few quid,how times have changed.


John Hinkley06/06/2020 14:58:16
882 forum posts
293 photos

Just to round off my earlier posts re. balancing grinding wheels, I found some steel strip from machine delivery lurking in an old box of bits and used a couple of lengths of that, clamped to the original jig with offcuts of aluminium as shown. There is sufficient wriggle room to level the "blades" on the mill table to give an acceptable result:

blade balance

If I find it necessary, I will fit a larger base with three levelling screws, but the mill table appears to be satisfactorily level as it is, so far.

Once again, thanks to the many respondents who pitched in with ideas and suggestions.


Colin Heseltine06/06/2020 18:15:59
409 forum posts
110 photos

Finally got round to using the World of Ward Division Controller I recently finished. Found one minor issue in that if the worm gear in rotary table is pulled right over tight into the gear the stepper throws a wobbly. This was a bit odd at first as the division controller appeared to hang up and would not let any settings be altered or go back to menu and also would not drive the rotary table. I took division controller off stepper motor and it all worked okay and all menus and settings could be changed as required. I reconnected it all and put ink mark on back of stepper motor spindle and then could see it was not turning. Backed off worm completely and all worked okay. Re-engaged the worm gear just a gnats whisker off previous position and all okay.

I want to graduate the dial on the base of the spindle pillar on Stent Tool and Cutter Grinder. I am giving it the refurb it should have had when first obtained it. I have a Hemingway graduating tool and not having means of dividing on the lathe (at present) decided to set it up on the mill table and utilise the Division Controller. Spent some time trying to work out how to hold the graduating tool in such a way that could alter its height and horizontal position. Remembered I had a Myford Milling attachment that came with my lathe and had never used it. Had a quick think and machined up a 90 degree bracket to hold the graduating tool. Came to set it up and realised I had not thought the exercise through properly. Found I could mount the graduating tool but it would be 90 degrees out. Drilled few more holes in right angle bracket, tapped couple of extra 4BA holes in the rear of the graduating tool and eventually managed to get a solid set up. It may look a bit Heath Robinson but it worked.





Put 2 and 10 degree markings for 90 degrees either side of centre position.

I now need to make a carrier for the graduating tool to hold it stationary in the mill spindle and parallel to the X-axis so as to be able to graduate the table clamps on the Stent.

Started to paint the base and pillar of the Stent so can begin re-assembly.


Peter Spink06/06/2020 18:54:36
92 forum posts
37 photos

Good work Colin!

On my rotary table I found the worm engagement critical to prevent the stepper stalling but once set it's fine.

Did you 3D print the stepper motor termination boxes or is someone selling them?

Could use a couple if so.

Henry Brown06/06/2020 19:37:19
217 forum posts
68 photos

A bit low tech after the previous posts! Ever since I have had the GH1322 the exposed cross slide nut has been niggling me, it attracts swarf like nobodies business so I decided to knock a cover up to fit over it. As can be seen I threaded two M5 holes in the end of the slide to mount it and was going to weld the corners but its strong enough without.

20.06.06 x slide cover 1.jpg

20.06.06 x slide cover 2.jpg

John Hinkley06/06/2020 20:03:11
882 forum posts
293 photos

Peter (Spink),

With apologies for jumping in on this thread, but I've been researching stepper motors for a new project and happened upon such covers on a UK site. Only problem is I didn't save the site and can't for the life of me remember where I saw it! That doesn't help you, I know, but an internet search came up with this site, among others, though it's in the USA, so postage would cost a couple of limbs. The search also produced a diy design on thingiverse.

Nema 23 end cover



Edited By John Hinkley on 06/06/2020 20:05:32

Peter Spink06/06/2020 20:21:15
92 forum posts
37 photos

Thanks John,

Been umming and ahhing about buying a 3D printer - maybe the time has come!

Colin Heseltine06/06/2020 20:36:57
409 forum posts
110 photos


Yes I did 3D print them. Found lots on Thingiverse and other odd sites but nothing that would suit my requirements. I then found a file someone had created with OpenSCAD which is parameter driven. I was able to alter length and all the sizes of the electrical connection box and lid. Worked brilliantly.

Andrew Johnston06/06/2020 22:11:41
5517 forum posts
648 photos

This afternoon I did the final fettling on my cylinder castings before starting rough machining to clean up the main faces and get them square. This morning I created a first pass design of the starting (singling) valve for my traction engines:

starting valve assembly.jpg

And a sectional view:

starting valve assembly section.jpg

The design will need some fine tuning and I might simplify it based on pictures of full size engines. Either the engines have been modified over the years or the original builders ignored the drawings coming out of the design office. Nothing new there then.


Limpet06/06/2020 23:07:53
134 forum posts
5 photos

Well finished today the Hemmingway crank handle, gradually improving but very slow, but it's usable so that's a good start, and a couple of chuck keys for the four jaw which were missing img_20200604_103859_185.jpgimg_20200528_110411_479.jpg

Peter Spink06/06/2020 23:13:41
92 forum posts
37 photos
Posted by Colin Heseltine on 06/06/2020 20:36:57:


Yes I did 3D print them. Found lots on Thingiverse and other odd sites but nothing that would suit my requirements. I then found a file someone had created with OpenSCAD which is parameter driven. I was able to alter length and all the sizes of the electrical connection box and lid. Worked brilliantly.

Excellent, ta yes

Nigel Graham 206/06/2020 23:51:13
655 forum posts
15 photos

I thought I'd have a go at using the sheet-metal jenny I bought a while ago....

Anyone here able to spot my not-so-deliberate mistakes in the saga? I'd certainly appreciate advice!


First thing was to find somewhere I could mount its a hefty column with integral clamp for the edge of a bench, but it would not clamp on my bench due to the latter's construction. A bit of ingenuity with some 50mm sq. steel tube clamped to the bench solved that, creating a sort of extension "bench".


Next, work out how to assemble the tool - I don't recall it coming with instructions but since it is a hand-tool made and sold by a company whose primary customers are in the trade, I don't suppose it would!

Anyway it all went together easily enough and it was pretty obvious how to mount the different profile-rollers. Now to practice, or more accurately, find out how much I don't know about these tools.

I chose to try to a real project part so that if it succeeded I would have gained both component and experience if it succeeded, whereas if I simply chopped metal blanks to practice on, I would have wasted that metal. So I thought I'd try making the cylindrical ash-pan for my steam-wagon, and duly cut a large disc from thin sheet-steel, actually a scrapped central-heating boiler panel, given to me by a friend who is a plumber.

By the time I was two-thirds of the way round I was getting quite good at steering a manual rotary shear round an 11-inch diameter circle. I cleaned the edge with a file, deburred it, flatted the odd raised bits.


Now, which rollers?

The machine was packed with two hefty, heavily-serrated cylindrical rollers already mounted, plus pairs of what are evidently grooving and beading profiles, and two chamfered rollers I realised are for rolling rims. If you know how...

I mounted both. May be that was my first mistake. Anyway I persevered until eventually I had something like a tin-ware dinner-plate that had had a brief encounter with a traction-engine, and come off worse.

Clearly there is more to using one of these tools than meets the eye - and gloved hand.

I could have been expecting it do what it's not designed to do - I thought it will roll a pan but I may be wrong.

I could have been expecting too much from 1mm thick steel (within the machine's limits), especially once it started to buckle randomly; or perhaps I was trying to raise a flange too deep for the process.

I could have been using the wrong rollers, or one correct roller with incorrect companion - what are those serrated ones for, for example? (I do know they are not for making imitation chequer-plate!)


World of its own, really, is sheet-metal work, and the field seems largely ignored in "ours" beyond relatively simple flat-plate and box work, and boiler cladding; and I have seen very little if anything on its deeper subtleties and rolled-work in the model-engineering literature. Nor have I seem much sheet-metal and profile tooling on the exhibition trade-stands, apart from small roller / folder combination machines and whatever turns up on the second-hand stalls. The latter dealers do stock sheet-metal equipment but this is generally far too bulky and heavy for exhibitions - or indeed most of our workshops.

Perhaps it reflects the more common model themes not having very much sheet-metal on them, and what there is, mainly replicates structures of flat plates and angles. Yet the Victorian and Edwardian engineers of our prototypes did use pressed, folded and rolled sheet work; and there are plenty of places for it in replicas of more modern machines, as well as non-models like workshop equipment and passenger-trucks.


Anyway, I packed the tool in its gleaming red paint back in its box, and concentrated on setting the smoke-box brackets so the chimney has a sporting chance of standing perpendicularly to the chassis, especially laterally. More head-scratching until I realised the tools needed:

- Milling-machine.

- Spirit-level (builders but accurate enough), Spanner, 17mm - for setting the milling-machine level.*

- Clamp, stud and appropriate nuts for holding the smoke-box to the machine table via the blast-pipe hole.

- Spirit-level, Spanner, 17mm - for adjusting the box until the chimney stood vertically from the level table.

- Vee-block + adjustable parallel (forming a 4.3 inch "slip gauge", 1/4-inch BSF Spanner - for setting the bracket heights from the table so the smoke-box centre-line height is correct.

* I found one of the four levelling-screws was not actually touching the floor.

JasonB07/06/2020 06:58:48
18151 forum posts
1998 photos
1 articles
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 06/06/2020 22:11:41:

And a sectional view:

starting valve assembly section.jpg.


That centre hollow section will be interesting to machine, look forward to seeing how you tackle that. Though without knowing the size it may be easy to get a tool in there to do the undercut


This may be an easier option, reduce the valve stem diameter for a longer length behind the head for more clearance and then just have the hollowed out area the same diameter as the valve seat hole which could be larger than shown given the dia of the valve head.

starting valve.jpg


Edited By JasonB on 07/06/2020 07:26:34

Mick Henshall07/06/2020 12:49:06
534 forum posts
34 photos

Finished off a sliding jack saw on Doubleboost's (John Mills) channel on YT Mick 🇫🇴20200607_104716.jpg20200607_104717.jpg

Mick Henshall07/06/2020 12:56:16
534 forum posts
34 photos

Sorry the other pic that should havebeen on last post Mick 🇫🇴20200607_105303.jpg

Andrew Johnston07/06/2020 21:03:34
5517 forum posts
648 photos
Posted by JasonB on 07/06/2020 06:58:48:

That centre hollow section will be interesting to machine, look forward to seeing how you tackle that.

The answer is:


The access hole is 1/4" diameter.


Nigel Graham 207/06/2020 22:09:13
655 forum posts
15 photos

Ungunged the kitchen sink waste. I am careful not to tip fat down it but some is inevitable. Loverley!!

I wonder if it would be a good tapping-compound?

Then to the real stuff. Assembling the steam-wagon's boiler and smoke-box to the chassis revealed the firebox side lugs were binding in the sub-frame. I don't know what went wrong there. I must have marked out the wrong radius on the frame parts.

Working with the wagon in the workshop is a pain because it forms a sizeable obstacle, so despite having just built a nice shiny new travelling-crane I erected a frame outside in the sunshine and rigged the lifting-tackle to that. The scaffolding incidentally, had been left in my first house and I made sure I kept it.

HLDV boiler fitting 07-06-20 a.jpg Ready for the lift. Note the vital equipment standing on the chassis rail. The boiler was built by Western Steam: I gave them the outline drawing and left all the shell and tube design to their professional knowledge. I was going to build the boiler and still have the parts with a lot of the machining done, but after seeing how things can go wrong (forlorn wrecks at the exhibitions, showing just that), decided the better of it! I might yet finish it to see if I can.

HLDV boiler fitting 07-06-20 c.jpg

The "stoking short" (Hindley's own name for it) is in the top so I could make a lifting-attachment using M12 studding screwed into a steel plate on the underside of the woodwork on which the shell stands. The eye-bolt is off-centre for better balance. The pale blue device on the rope between the blocks and frame give a ratchet-action to grip the rope. it is actually an "ascender" borrowed from my caving-kit, where it is part of a system for climbing a static rope belayed down vertical drops. The marine equivalent is the jam-cleat. No, that is not a 4-inch scale barbeque oven in the background...!

Below - boiler out, chassis wheeled back so the boiler can stand safely on the staging. The parts to be modified are the grey brackets under the rule. Pause to refill that tea-mug and listen to The Listening Service, then out with the marking-blue, odd-leg calipers, hacksaw and files... The thin stretcher for'ard of the brackets, with a hardwood cradle, supports the boiler against toppling forwards or unfairly straining its mounting-lugs when the smoke-box is slid forwards. The brass shims go between the boiler's copper lugs and the steel frame. The lugs are held by hollowed-out plates bolted through those holes, outside of the lugs, which remain as Western Steam made them.

hldv boiler fitting 07-06-20 d -mtgs.jpg

SillyOldDuffer08/06/2020 16:47:39
5798 forum posts
1235 photos

Today I broke the internet:




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