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The sneering detractors

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Alan Waddington 224/05/2020 00:36:24
501 forum posts
87 photos
Posted by Jon Lawes on 23/05/2020 21:51:53:

At the end of the day this is supposed to be fun....

Say that to myself every time i chuck another lump of metal in the bin..........

Andrew Johnston24/05/2020 11:16:24
5495 forum posts
647 photos
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 23/05/2020 12:41:49

The photo doesn't reveal the general engine type but I know various forms of steam admission were fitted by different makers.

I'm building two 4" Burrell single crank compound engines. Wow, designing from scratch is certainly a labour of love. I sure wouldn't want to do it without the aid of 3D CAD.

My engines are based on fullsize, they're never going to be exact replicas. There are some major differences which I can't correct without starting a new design from scratch, such as the brake being on the wrong side. Now that is interesting; I thought I'd better just check that statement. The SCC in the Burrell museum has the brake on the left. But in pictures of another engine supplied by a member of the TT forum the brake is on the right, as it is on my drawings. So it looks like anything goes!

Naturally there are some compromises (and even socket head cap screws) internally but externally I'm trying to stick to at least the spirit of the design, staying mostly with imperial fasteners, many of which I'm making myself.


Bill Phinn24/05/2020 13:05:27
316 forum posts
63 photos

Posted by Andrew Johnston on 23/05/2020 07:01:00:

Whatever else I may be good at I have zero ability for languages.


Surprised to hear you say that that when your English is unusually competent. [Unusually again, perhaps, I make a study of these things.]

On the other hand, foreign languages were famously a closed book to Philip Larkin too, and yet what can we say about his use of English, except that it was masterly?

Journeyman24/05/2020 13:21:17
801 forum posts
141 photos

One must ask... Is a "Sneering Detractor" akin to a " Vermicious Knid" ?


Bandersnatch24/05/2020 15:12:41
1633 forum posts
59 photos

Dilbert for Sunday May 24 2020

Vic24/05/2020 15:48:07
2500 forum posts
14 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 21/05/2020 14:55:24:

This is a tricky one!

Surely we know that the Internet has serious quality problems? A fair percentage of material published on the web is unbalanced. Well-meaning or not, it's littered with mistakes, misunderstandings, naiveties, incompetence, Payola, faulty logic, safety hazards, and fake news. Some youtube videos containing good advice are unwatchable due to poor presentation, whilst others are convincingly slick but plain wrong. It's often hard to tell the difference between beginners blundering along as they learn from whizz-kids who really knows their stuff.

So what should forum members do about flawed information on the web? Personally I think it wrong to pretend all is well. An engineering hobby is about best practice and truth, not covering up because we like people, or admire their enthusiasm. No reason not to be polite though.

In that spirit I try to be clear it's the engineering I criticise, not the individuals! Personally I positively welcome being corrected because I get stuff wrong and misspeak rather more than I like. An important advantage of the forum is peer review. If I stick a carp video on the web, innocents will fall for it. If I post poor stuff here, there are several capable of putting me right and willing to do so. Well done them, because forum quality is all the better for it! Sad my ego is so badly bruised I often cry myself to sleep, but the end justifies the means.

Can't comment on Steve Jordan's work - never watched any of his videos.


You’re going to surprise me one day Dave by being wrong. Today is not the day - again! smiley

Harry Wilkes24/05/2020 16:11:05
892 forum posts
61 photos

I posted a comment to a YouTube video and up pops this person said English was his third language then began to correct my grammar. I simply replied that English was not my first language 'black country' was wink


Bob Stevenson24/05/2020 16:17:51
394 forum posts
6 photos

Vic & Dave........Of course we should comment on poor or dangerous practices...indeed, there is a duty of knowledge to prevent injury, and also to help people who are trying their best etc...

But, there is a right and a wrong way of making comments. PLEASE read my last paragraph again! Most people here are, as I said, very helpful and friendly but the sneering detractors are not here to help......There have been sites on the web that have folded due to the attitudes of a few who were not confronted or put in thier place, it's just pure bully boy tactics and these people thrive on bullying.

Howard Lewis24/05/2020 16:55:11
3258 forum posts
2 photos

Bullies will give up after they either get a good thumping, or find that they are ignored, and get no feedback.

Often, a bitten tongue is more effective that giving a metaphorical black eye.

If they are really bad enough, the Moderators can always ban them! (And some must sail close to that wind )


Bandersnatch24/05/2020 16:59:10
1633 forum posts
59 photos
Posted by Howard Lewis on 24/05/2020 16:55:11:

If they are really bad enough, the Moderators can .....

Ah, finally the voice of reason.

Vic24/05/2020 17:21:01
2500 forum posts
14 photos

I very rarely comment on YouTube videos even if I see something amiss. I should do really I suppose but it’s not worth arguing over. Same on social media. The thing I will pull folks up on is rudeness.

Mike Joseph24/05/2020 18:29:23
24 forum posts
9 photos

Safe working practice also includes the electrics: a number of times I have been tempted to write to the ME to point out some dodgy wiring in the background of a photo but the trouble is that I usually get my MEs secondhand from a friend some months after publication...

Incidentally, some time ago I had a motor go flash-bang on me. This was written up at the time in MEW. Anyone with an older machine (like mine) might find it worthwhile having a Portable Appliance Test on the motor. The internal leads ('tails' on my old Hoover motor were rubber and had perished - a potential fire.

Mike Joseph24/05/2020 18:30:52
24 forum posts
9 photos

That should have read: ( ' tails ' )

Smiley was auto!

Andy Carruthers24/05/2020 18:44:04
279 forum posts
23 photos

Thanks for posting this thread Bob

I read this forum with interest, always something to pique my interest. I certainly don’t get everything right even with excellent advise given here - mostly I don’t have enough experience or foundation in the basics. But I do try and sometimes surprise myself, I’d rather try and fail than not try at all, at least I get into the workshop when opportunity permits and make some swarf

There are many whose posts I prefer, and a few I skip over, life is too short to get caught up on trivia

Andrew Johnston25/05/2020 10:56:14
5495 forum posts
647 photos
Posted by Bill Phinn on 24/05/2020 13:05:27:

Surprised to hear you say that that when your English is unusually competent.

Thank you for the compliment. It's the result of hard work. When I create a post I read through at least twice to ensure that the flow is logical. I often check facts or recalculate numbers before posting. I also aim to catch most spelling mistakes. Before hitting the post button I usually ask myself a number of questions:

Have I done what I'm describing, or if an opinion is it based on experience?

Is the post technically accurate?

Have I read the complete thread? Not always needed but it helps avoid putting one's foot in it.

Am I adding anything to the thread? No point in just repeating what others have already said.

If I'm challenging a previous poster, or pointing out an error, is it fair and am I confident that I'm correct?

I don't claim to get it right all the time. And I'm well aware that I don't know everything. There are some categories of thread that I rarely post in as I either have no interest, no knowledge or they're sterile subjects that repeat time and again. It's not unknown for me to delete my typing upon reflection and not post at all.

I passed English language and literature at O-level, albeit with mediocre grades. But I failed O-level French with the lowest grade possible.


Ketan Swali25/05/2020 11:20:16
1262 forum posts
105 photos
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 25/05/2020 10:56:14:

If I'm challenging a previous poster, or pointing out an error, is it fair and am I confident that I'm correct?


Now the only thing we need to work on Andrew is 'the delivery', or perhaps a bit of diplomacy without sticking the challenges back up devil and I wasn't referring to me.smiley

Meant as a joke. Sorry I couldn't resist teeth 2

Ketan at ARC.

Edited By Ketan Swali on 25/05/2020 11:22:04

Peter G. Shaw25/05/2020 11:56:29
1094 forum posts
44 photos

Well Andrew, just to give you a boost:

I am the (not so) proud holder of:

Latin - started off poor, and got worse so dropped after 2 years

French - started off very good, but deteriorated until I gained an resounding failure at 'O' level

English - never very good, couldn't be bothered about the past participle or whatever so another resounding failure

English Literature - Shakespeare held no interest, neither did Thomas Hardy so this time it was an even worse resounding failure.

I suppose I should finish with :"There's always someone worse than you!"

Peter G. Shaw

Edited By Peter G. Shaw on 25/05/2020 11:59:51

SillyOldDuffer25/05/2020 13:42:31
5746 forum posts
1211 photos
Posted by Bill Phinn on 24/05/2020 13:05:27:

Posted by Andrew Johnston on 23/05/2020 07:01:00:



On the other hand, foreign languages were famously a closed book to Philip Larkin too, and yet what can we say about his use of English, except that it was masterly?

Larkin, wonderful. But am I alone in remembering only one line from any famous poem, whatever it's about?

  • Naughty Larkin example censored
  • At Flores in the Azores, Sir Richard Grenville lay
  • I wandered lonely as a cloud
  • Half a league, half a league, half a league onward, into the valley of death rode the 600
  • Come into the garden Maud
  • Drake is in his hammock until the great Armadas come
  • Shall I compare thee to a summer's day
  • The best laid plans of mice and men

Thereafter the cream of British literacy is a blur, except for rude limericks, which I recall perfectly.


Bill Phinn26/05/2020 00:41:23
316 forum posts
63 photos
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 25/05/2020 10:56:14:

Thank you for the compliment. It's the result of hard work.

I think being prepared to do that kind of hard work before posting a comment is in itself a kind of compliment to the audience you're writing for.

Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 25/05/2020 13:42:31:

| But am I alone in remembering only one line from any famous poem, whatever it's about?

| Dave

You've done it now, Dave. You've actually started to talk about poetry, the mere mention of which can "disperse a crowd more quickly than a fire-hose" (Arnold Bennett). Only you, me and a bunch of tumbleweed want to haunt this thread from now on.

You're not alone; fragments of poetry are all I carry round with me too these days.

But that's fine. I met an American once who had spent his retirement memorizing the whole of Homer's Iliad in Greek. I think the effort may have been too much for him as he died not long after he'd got the final book off by heart.

To be frank, sitting in an audience one evening politely listening to him recite long passages of Homer in his metronome way nearly finished me off before him.

I suppose that makes me one of the crowd that can be dispersed by poetry as quickly as by a fire-hose - sometimes, at least.

Mark Rand26/05/2020 02:41:37
887 forum posts
5 photos

To be fair, Alfred, Lord Tennyson's missive concerning the Light brigade during the battle of Balaclava was more than a bit of doggerel, it was the only acceptable way for him to report the monumental clusterf*ck that had occurred.


In the meantime, in English Literature (grade 5 O level 1974), I read the part of Caliban, a savage and deformed Slave. when we studied the Tempest. cheeky

Edited By Mark Rand on 26/05/2020 02:46:48

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