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What Did You Do Today 2020

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Mick B131/01/2020 10:00:13
1435 forum posts
77 photos

Well, not today but the last couple of days.

A valve spool 'Bleed Off Bobbin' for the railway:


I made this one in fossy bronze 'cos the railway weren't too clear what was used for the last one. It'd cracked and broken across the valve cap, so I superglued it back to keep it in one piece as reference - and they did say they wanted the new one in one piece rather than two (wink). Still not sure what the original material was - it had cracked and snapped in a snappy kind of way that I don't think I've really seen in any copper alloy before, 'cept maybe Bronze Age daggers in museums. It's also been lapped in within an inch of its life, which is maybe why it bruk anyway. So I gave an extra 1/32" cap depth.

No mill or divvy head, so I did the 3x120 degree flats/vents with a 1/4" slot drill in the vice in the vertical slide on the Warco 250V, using a Vernier protractor to set the rotation angle, eyed-up against the flat top of the vice - doesn't really need anything like 5 MoA accuracy anyway.

Then there's a pecking crow silhouette, scrollsawn in 0,9mm brass sheet and sprayed with exhaust paint:


Might need to give it another coat to cover up the spot I repaired with Humbrol enamel...

Martin King 231/01/2020 18:05:07
650 forum posts
242 photos

Hi All,

With all this crappy weather I spent some time indoors drawing this Dial Gauge holder in Fusion 360 and had a go at printing on the Ender Pro.

3dstuff 3.jpg

3dstuff 5.jpg

The first one was done using supports but they were not really needed as the second one without them came out OK in half the time. I had misaligned the fixing clamp hole in the drawing and also found out that the dial gauges I have are all different sizes and back lug positions. Came up with the idea of fixing them in place with hot melt glue which works a treat, if not exactly elegant!

Doing a second "universal" version without the clamp which should take any diameter gauge and lug configuration and drew it using parameters to make alteration easy.

Cheers, Martin

mgnbuk01/02/2020 16:27:39
653 forum posts
28 photos


After 14 years in storage, finally go the last bit of my Denford Triac 200 back home. A bit lighter to move this time, as I had stripped off the machine carcass & the old, rear mounted, electrical cabinet. Going to have to stay on the trailer for now, as I need to have a serious sort out in the garage / workshop to get it in, so the trailer is on blocks to unload the tyres and suspension and it is now sheeted up - fun (not) on my own in the current stiff breeze !

Nigel B

Iain Downs09/02/2020 20:07:45
559 forum posts
444 photos

Yesterday was the 'York and District Mode Engineering Society' Auction.

Apparently I was clearly a new boy owing to the amount of stuff I bid on. The 15mm Carbide endmill (11 quid) was nice, but my star purchase was a Clarke Turbo 150EN MIG welder at £30.

A mig welder has been on my wish list for some time, but other things have been higher up. The Clarke ones seem to be almost universally regarded as the best in the hobby price range.

When I got home, I discovered 3 things. a) the welder (machine) is quite good. b) the welder (person) is not. c) don't try and weld with the fan heater on. It seems that a 2kW fan heater and a Mig welder don't play nicely with a 13A fuse...


Derek Lane13/02/2020 14:27:35
307 forum posts
70 photos

A little while ago I asked about handles for this vice. Anyway I started this over a week ago before the winds took the roof off my woodshed anyway while waiting for materials for that I took the opportunity to complete the handles, I decided to go for a much easier solution, the little grey handles spin on the handles.

20200212_134754 (1024x768).jpg

Jim Nic13/02/2020 14:59:51
234 forum posts
145 photos

Nice little grey handles Derek, what are they made of?


Jon Lawes13/02/2020 15:26:29
352 forum posts

I started setting the valve timing of my William Prairie.

Derek Lane13/02/2020 15:48:20
307 forum posts
70 photos
Posted by Jim Nic on 13/02/2020 14:59:51:

Nice little grey handles Derek, what are they made of?


They are from kitchen worktop material called Corian

Steviegtr13/02/2020 18:29:07
792 forum posts
180 photos

Started making a coin punch.

Steve.coin punch parts.jpgcoin punch part 3.jpgcoin punch part 2.jpg

Colin Heseltine13/02/2020 19:25:52
371 forum posts
90 photos

Managed to get my Alyn Foundry Flame Gulper CHUK2 to run. Just finished building this and its my first engine other than a couple of Elmers No.19 engines a few years ago.

Quite pleased with how it come out. There is a build log on MEM site.



Edited By Colin Heseltine on 13/02/2020 19:27:37

Edited By JasonB on 13/02/2020 19:49:40

Henry Brown13/02/2020 19:47:28
149 forum posts
27 photos

Today was the first run of the motor from my new lathe with a new inverter, it worked first time once I got the codes right for working it from the inverter control panel. Spent the rest of the day making a cable to control the inverter from the lathe and getting some suitable cable glands.

I'm familiar with household wiring but three phase is new to me so I was very grateful for the excellent technical advise from Peter Symonds at Inverter Drive Supermarket.

Tomorrow I hope to get the spindle turning and I can then place the lathe where I want it.

Bazyle13/02/2020 22:27:01
4994 forum posts
198 photos

One of those weird unexpected meetings. Went to our London office and at lunchtime we went to a pub two miles away I have never been to before and will never go to again. Two minutes after walking in the door I was accosted by one of the exhibitors from Ally Pally who was working in the area. What are the chances?

Andrew Johnston16/02/2020 22:05:00
5191 forum posts
599 photos

It's been an omnishambles of a weekend involving making scrap and terminal harm being done to cutters in pursuit of making parts. However I have produced two spectacle plate rod bushes, or at least that's what I call them. They sit on the spectacle plate on my traction engines and provide support for the rods running to the regulator and 'starting' valves on the cylinder. Here are the parts, based on castings used on the full size engines:


And in situ on the spectacle plate with home made bolts and nuts:


And the rear view, also showing the front plate complete with cutouts for the water pump rod and the steam distribution block:


Tomorrow's job is to make another part; one of those shown in the first picture is scrap. sad


Emgee16/02/2020 22:10:35
1401 forum posts
212 photos

Nice machining Andrew, crisp looking parts.


Andrew Johnston17/02/2020 09:27:23
5191 forum posts
599 photos
Posted by Emgee on 16/02/2020 22:10:35:

Nice machining Andrew, crisp looking parts.

Thanks, I'm quite pleased with the finish, which is straight off the mill.


Henry Brown18/02/2020 13:29:32
149 forum posts
27 photos

The lathe works!

After some frustrating times trying to fault find why it wouldn't work through the controls (having got it working direct from the inverter) I finally found a faulty micro switch controlled by the forward/reverse lever, this was Saturday morning. The lathe is a new Warco GH1322 so I couldn't request a replacement until first thing Monday, Peter in Warco spares department put one in the post and it came today.

I now have to relocate it to where I want it and carry out the usual checks for accuracy.

Mark Rand18/02/2020 21:38:08
856 forum posts

I was forced to do quite a bit of angle grinding of concrete in the shed on Saturday and Monday. I didn't take the time to spend a few hours coccooning everything in dust cloths or industrial cling-film. I spent today finding the shed again, but will probably be picking up grit covered things for the next several years. embarrassed

Nigel Graham 218/02/2020 21:54:18
511 forum posts

Today - three us on an expedition to collect a Warco milling-machine one of the others had bought from t'other's brother.

As we were securing it to the trailer, we spotted a distinctive, large fork-tailed hawk fly over the neighbouring houses. The sister-in-law told us it was a Red Kite, recently introduced (or re-introduced?) to the UK and now common in some areas.

Yesterday - some Urban Engineering....

The front roof down-spout of my Edwardian end-of-terrace discharges into a concrete invert to the gate-post, thence a rectangular-section, concrete duct sunk into the pavement, to the road gutter.

Or thence, if not choked solidly with earth. I resolved to un-choke it.

The three cast-iron cover sections were each held with a central M8 hex-headed mild-steel set-screw that, predictably, had rusted into whatever it engaged beneath. Despite optimistic Plus-Gassing, the first screw simply sheared, but that allowed me to lift the lid to reveal a simple but ingenious arrangement.

The "nut" was a tapping through a pressed-steel channel cross-bar resting in two plastic pockets in the duct walls. One end of the pocket is square, the other arcuate, further, the pockets are in diagonal opposition; so the engaged screws turns the cross-bar turns clockwise until it stops at the square ends, then allowing the screw to be tightened.

Needless to say, the remaining two screws and cross-bars were corroded palimpsests, but I salvaged enough to measure.

A little band-sawing, bench-drilling and hand-tapping turned a bit of hot-rolled m.s. bar (some scrap bar-rail) into three new cross-bars.

Ferreting in the unsorted come-in-handy deposits found three M8 hex-headed screws, and in stainless-steel.

With the duct all nice and clean, it was easy to complete the work with lashings of anti-seize grease on the new cross-bars and screws.

The finishing-touch was a simple strainer on the inlet - cut from a piece of Packaging, Plastic Plate, Perforated, Pliers for the Presentation of, from Aldi or Lidl

Can I claim a Council Tax rebate - or will They query my lack of hard-hat, shiny jacket and project-managerial meetings?

not done it yet18/02/2020 22:38:54
4164 forum posts
15 photos

Red Kites? Not an entirely recent re-introduction. First introduction was in 1989. They have become really very common in the skies around here, having expanded rapidly from a site in Northants, over the last decade or so. We see them every day we are out of town and often over the town.

Beyond the other end of Northants, one cannot leave dead game unattended or they will be down for a meal in quite a short time....

Steviegtr18/02/2020 23:19:51
792 forum posts
180 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 18/02/2020 22:38:54:

Red Kites? Not an entirely recent re-introduction. First introduction was in 1989. They have become really very common in the skies around here, having expanded rapidly from a site in Northants, over the last decade or so. We see them every day we are out of town and often over the town.

Beyond the other end of Northants, one cannot leave dead game unattended or they will be down for a meal in quite a short time....

We have a lot over Leeds. They were let free from Harewood house bird sanctuary some years ago. A beautiful sight to see. They say you can tell the male from the female by there flight pattern. Anyway what have I done today. Cleaned up a large birds nest from my lathe. No-one told me about 6 ton of swarfe from 1/2 lb of metal. 


Edited By Steviegtr on 18/02/2020 23:21:44

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