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ME beam engine

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Jager03/03/2021 18:28:22
24 forum posts

Good evening,

I am given to consideration to attempt building an ME beam engine and see that there are a number of firms producing casting kits. I am aware of Stuart Models producing a set of castings for a similar model, but find their prices would bring a tear to a glass eye.

I wonder if there are any members here who have recent experience of available kits and who are able to give constructive criticism of potential suppliers to help this rank amateur avoid making the wrong decision.

JasonB03/03/2021 18:50:14
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The Stuart offerings are either the "beam" which is a much simplified engine that is a little smaller than the ME Beam or the "Major beam" which is to a similar level of detail to the ME but considerably larger hence the high costs.

There are only two sources of castings for the "ME Beam" that I can think of which are Reeves and Brunell, If I were in the market for a set of these castings then I would go 100% with Reeves.

There is also the option to make it without castings or to buy just a few such as Flywheel and cylinder and then fabricate or cut the rest from solid which would be the way I would tend to go.

Ian Hewson03/03/2021 19:15:34
290 forum posts
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Bought my beam engine castings from Reeves in 2015, nice quality, would recommend them.Makes a nice engine.

Ianscreenshot 2020-12-31 at 12.25.31.jpg

Jager04/03/2021 09:41:37
24 forum posts

Bill & Jason,

Many thanks for your input.

I am convinced to go with Reeves.

Wish me luck!

David

Russell Eberhardt04/03/2021 09:54:09
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+1 for reeves. I bought the casting set for the beam engine "Mary" many years ago and found the castings to be good quality.

Russell

Jager06/03/2021 12:30:52
24 forum posts

Gents,

Many thanks for your advice.

I have obtained a set of castings for the ME beam engine and realise a build guide would greatly assist me.

Is there a means to obtain the series if articles which were published in MEW, Ibelieve in 2019?

David.

JasonB06/03/2021 13:04:11
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It was in ME.

Digital backissues can be bought from Pocketmags

Some paper back issues by clicking the link on the black line at the top of the page

Or it may work out cheaper to take out a years digital subscription and access the articles from the archive here.

E-bay etc will probably provide a volume or two that contain the older original build series

Edited By JasonB on 06/03/2021 13:05:10

Jager06/03/2021 13:41:39
24 forum posts

Thanks Jason,

Am I correct in thinking that a digital subscription to ME is what you mean? Or upping my paper subscription to MEW as your 4th para.?

David

JasonB06/03/2021 16:45:28
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No you would need a full digital subscription to ME rather than just paying the extra to include digital to your existing MEW print subs as you only get access to one mag's archive per digital subscrption.

Jager06/03/2021 16:55:20
24 forum posts
Posted by JasonB on 06/03/2021 16:45:28:

No you would need a full digital subscription to ME rather than just paying the extra to include digital to your existing MEW print subs as you only get access to one mag's archive per digital subscrption.

Thanks.

Michael Baloh10/03/2021 14:40:29
2 forum posts

Hello,

I have wanted to build a ME Beam for a number of years singe learning machining in school. I even went as far as buying the prints and getting photo copies of the EXACTUS articles from 1959.

Anyhow, I finally have a home shop and wanted to buy the castings. I am concerned about Reeves Casting quality based on some online comments (always dubious) It's even more of a concern since I live in the United States and dealing with replacements would be painful.

Jager, you mention getting the castings recently. Are they ok? Symmetrically cast?

What is the forum consensus on this point? My only alternative is to go with the Major Beam from stuart. That option is expensive, but also, I would need some help from my friend with the 19" lathe to finish the flywheel.

Any advice from the forum would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Michael.

JasonB12/03/2021 19:58:43
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Michael as nobody else has come back to you these are my thoughts. As mentioned above Reeves are a far safer bet than other sources of the castings and at least you will get the castings. I've not bought much in the way of castings from Reeves for a number of years as they don't do anything I want to build but have had a few flywheel castings in recent times that have been perfectly acceptable.

As I mentioned above there is a lot of the engine that could either be fabricated or cut from solid rather than use the available castings. Having had another look through the old articles I would say the beam and flywheel would present the most difficulty to make from scratch, the cylinder is not too difficult and the bed casting can simply be done from a sheet or two of aluminium adding the bolt hole bosses around the side from separate parts. So one option would be just to buy these two parts from reeves and at least then if they were unusable you would not be a lot out of pocket if replacements were uneconomic. I have not heard of problems with these two castings so fingers crossed.

Jager13/03/2021 10:10:08
24 forum posts

Michael, I apologise for my tardy response but this is my fourth attempt - each time I hit the button for ADD POSTING everything deletes.

I now have the castings and have begun work. Thus far I have machined the baseplate and the main column and all seem acceptable.

If you search on line BUILDING THE ME BEAM ENGINE you should find a vid by 'engineeringmodeller'. He has some good vid, lots of pics of his build and somewhere amongst his stuff is a narrative detailing errors he found in the drawings.

I hope this is of some help.

David

Michael Baloh14/03/2021 14:29:41
2 forum posts

Thanks everyone for your response. I contacted Reeves by email and they explained their policies for defective castings. They also explained their procedure for checking them one they arrive from the foundry. I also called and spoke with them. So, after hearing your responses and having heard from Reeves, I feel fairly comfortable ordering from them.

I also reviewed engineeringmodeller videos and his site with build notes and pictures. I found that quite interesting.

Now, the main question is weather to order the Major or the ME. Since, Stuart and Reeves are waiting for parts from the foundry I have some time to scratch my head about that which one to buy. It would be interesting to see the two side by side to get a feel for them. I have heard the Major is just to imposing an engine and too big for some.

Again, thanks for the feedback.

Michael.

duncan webster14/03/2021 14:34:54
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Posted by JasonB on 06/03/2021 13:04:11:

........

Or it may work out cheaper to take out a years digital subscription and access the articles from the archive here.

.......

Edited By JasonB on 06/03/2021 13:05:10

But you only get to see the ones you've paid for since Flash player died, unless I'm missing something

br14/03/2021 14:46:20
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Michael Balch - PM sent

Edited By br on 14/03/2021 14:46:57

JasonB14/03/2021 15:38:40
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Posted by duncan webster on 14/03/2021 14:34:54:
Posted by JasonB on 06/03/2021 13:04:11:

Or it may work out cheaper to take out a years digital subscription and access the articles from the archive here.

But you only get to see the ones you've paid for since Flash player died, unless I'm missing something

The ME Build is quite recent so will be in HTML and all issues since the change, wait a while and the old Flash ones will also be updated.

JasonB14/03/2021 15:43:12
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Michael, quite a good build thread of the Major beam here, I think a lot of people don't do it as the flywheel is too bug for their lathe.

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