News and Views from the
TYNESIDE SOCIETY of MODEL and EXPERIMENTAL ENGINEERS
Preamble – an announcement from the Committee
Another post-lockdown month has passed with many members remaining happy to pursue their social or running activities in the great outdoors. Sundays in particular have been very popular, and the weather has been (mostly) kind. As we slide into Autumn, however, it remains to be seen how much longer this will be sustainable.
Work continues steadily with alterations to the locomotive shed. The double steel doors are fitted and now have closing bolts and a lock – an improvement on the temporary tack-welding used to secure them previously.
A new length of dual-gauge track has been laid inside beside the original. The trackbed of the approach has been broken out over a short distance to allow re-profiling of this so as to align correctly with the traverser.
Adrian Morley, who only joined us fairly recently, has been earning his spurs by taking on the job of re-painting the steaming bays. He started with the scissor-lift and is steadily working northwards.
Steve Lowe, Workshop Manager, has also been busy. He reports “Since the easing of restrictions, and now that we are back at the club, it has been possible to progress further on the workshop reorganisation. However, this is under the guidance of the current distancing rules which clearly, in the immediate future, will hinder any return to normality.
The current priority is to install the two machines acquired from the late Peter Federoff’s workshop. The Myford lathe was already in its basic position before lockdown and by the time you read this the Warco milling machine should be in place in its corner. This requires relocation of the surface grinder which follows a reorganisation of the wooden racking on the back wall. The availability of a crystal ball when we built the workshop would clearly have saved some work !!
These installations will see things completed on the machinery front, although if anyone has a redundant Dean Smith and Grace they wish to dispose of I could just see it down the middle of the shop !!!! Do I hear cries of anguish in my ear?
As previously discussed, we have looked at the logistics for moving storage items from the workshop to the tin hut and the new carriage shed, and we now know where what to do. This will leave the workshop solely for engineering work (I hope), a pipe dream possibly some may ponder, but I will get there in the end.
Having said all of this and wanting to see the tools being used we are, like everyone now awaiting developments to see how this pandemic shapes the future, how many if any we can safely accommodate especially in the winter months will be anyone’s guess at the moment but the workshop will be there for members to use once we can move forward, I do have a glass half empty approach to this I’m afraid, the news doesn’t give much confidence really but we will have to wait and see.
In the meantime can I ask for donations of NON ferrous scrap if you wish to dispose of it. Our last trip to the scrapyard gave us a very welcome boost – our income has been seriously diminished without the public running this year, and will be so for the foreseeable future. Any donations will be very welcome.
Southworth 6″ Duplex Steam Pump …
This design originated from a pump produced by Robey’s of Lincoln. The tie bars overcame the problems of the complicated castings which combined the steam and water cylinders in one.
The valve gear is driven from both piston rods and operates two slide valves. It has a crossover steam passage system where each slide valve operates both pistons in opposite directions.
The crossover steam passages are milled into separate plates to eliminate complex angle drilling.
I think the main issue with the smooth running of this pump depends on the accuracy of the bore pitches on water and steam cylinders.
I have also included an image of the drilling set-up for drilling the compound angles for passages from cylinder bore to slide valve as I often hear of others having problems with this.
These images relate to repairing a porous casting by boring oversize and pressing sleeves in, then “clocking in” to re-bore.
A Pilgrim’s Tale – [Part 2]
In the 1970’s the world was a different place. I was allowed to get on a bus on a Sunday afternoon by myself to visit TSMEE. I was only allowed once to visit the headquarters at Montague, I now know why. The area at the time was a bit rough.
But zipping back, the visits to Manors were like arriving into an Aladdin’s cave. Not only was I in a railway station but also a haven of modelling and engineering.
My most vivid memories of the place were the massive lock on the front door, probably thanks to BR and the absolutely wonderful slot car track. I never saw it working but it fired my imagination that people could build such things.
Not long after I joined, TSMEE had to move out of Manors and re-homed in the basement of the old Baths at Montague. It was a large space but came with the added bonus of huge concrete plinths that the old washing machines had been attached to.
So the membership set to to remove said with power hammers. It very quickly became apparent that both from a security point of view (we had to have people watching the cars outside) and also the amount of work involved that Montague was now a non-starter.
TSMEE moved to the Clubhouse at Exhibition Park. A lot of things had to be got rid of, we always had a small workshop at the park but several lathes and other equipment were disposed of because of space. So TSMEE’s new headquarters were now Exhibition Park. This was great, the number 10 bus would pick me up at home and set me down on the Great North Road, just a stone’s throw away from TSMEE.
While all this was happening I decided to build a steam loco. I didn’t have a workshop or any funds but my father decided to give me the benefit of the doubt.
Plans for Simplex were bought and frame steel was obtained from one of my dad’s suppliers and I set to to mark it out. The frames were cut out and drilled at school (when there was such a thing as metalwork classes) and so
many bits were begged and borrowed. My teachers must have been saints as they put up with my requests.
Then came the day that Andy Robson announced that there was a lathe for sale due to a bereavement. My father and myself went to see said machine and it was bought for the princely sum of £40. It was then transported back home using the flat bed truck of Express Lifts and installed in the back lobby of our home.
Still no workshop! I worked in that lobby for several years until mum took umbrage and insisted on a workshop. A shed was bought and equipped with electricity and the lathe moved. I then discovered what I had bought (well dad had) and my machining learning curve started.
Thanks as ever to those who contributed to this issue. With Autumn and then Winter ahead of us, we may not be going back into lock-down (fingers firmly crossed) but certainly into slow-down. More reason, then, to keep sending stuff in for others to enjoy at home. Keep busy and keep safe.
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Headquarters and Multi-gauge Track – Exhibition Park, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4PZ