© 2017 CEDCS Ltd

Model engineering

If only I had more time!

My model engineering “career” got off to a great start at school. At 12, I made a single cylinder steam engine, and the following year a twin cylinder double acting engine. My interest in model aircraft encouraged me to design and build a single cylinder compression ignition(modellers call these “diesel” engines, but they are quite different to 4-stroke diesels) engine. This ran OK, but never flew in a model. Here it is in bits…. ….and here it is running…. I wanted to progress to a turbine, but my teacher felt something bigger for my A-Level metalwork project was better. He had seen papers on friction welding, So I drew up a machine to fit onto a workshop lathe, giving us a stiff base and integral power source. This was made and it successfully welded steel, aluminium and copper. We even managed dissimilar metal welds. Most welds were in rods about 6mm diameter. Here’s a general picture of it (sorry for the poor quality) The left unit near the headstock holds one piece to be welded and rotates it at high speed. The right unit near the tailstock holds the stationery piece t be welded, and pushes it against the rotating one to create enough friction to melt the metal. The belt drive powers a power shaft which runs to the right hand unit where it is geared down and drives a cog on a large screw thread on the shaft coaxial with the work. This shaft holds the stationary work and moves to the left, driven by the power from the power shaft and the screw thread. Once the work faces were white hot, the dog clutch was disengaged, causing the rotating piece to stop quickly. The pieces were held together by the tension in the vee belts and the work rapidly cooled to freeze the molten metal. Not very versatile, but it demonstrated the principle of friction welding. And it gave me an interesting project leading to a grade “A” A-Level. Here are the work pieces in their collet chucks, with the rotating one on the left and the stationary one on the right. The drive shaft can be seen in the background. This is a picture of the headstock unit from the top … You can see on the left the headstock end, with an upper shaft fitting into the lathe spindle, driving a large gear via a dog clutch. This gear drives the work shaft below it more quickly, and you can see the work pieces below, the one on the left being the rotating one, and the one on the right being stationary and pushed to the left  against the rotating one to produce the friction. Here are two side views of the tailstock end, showing the gear reduction from the power shaft, then a belt drive to the nut on the screwthread-driven stationery work shaft. After A-level I left school and went to university, so all metalwork had to cease. It was quite a few years later that I got my first lathe, a small Peatol lathe with minimal facilities, but it worked! Here is a general picture of it - It had no motors and I used a 12v DC motor from an electric lawn mower to drive it via a belt reduction unit. it worked OK, and I made a leadscrew to enable me to make a non-standard screw thread on it. Projects? Generally I just used it for making parts for model aircraft, but I did make a single cylinder 10cc 4-stroke engine from a published plan called “Matador”. I had to adapt some parts to suit the small lathe, but it ran quite well. Here is it in a model. Here is is in pieces - All parts were made on the Peatol apart from the ball bearings on the crankshaft and the gears to drive the camshaft. It flew several R/C models, but only had the power of a commercial engine around half its size. More lathes and future plans I sold the Peatol for what I hoped would be a better lathe. I bought a Clarke CL300M lathe, but was very disappointed by its detail. Its general mechanical design was reasonable, but it was let down in many ways by detail. Its motor controller failed, and a replacement would have cost about 35% of the price of a new lathe. I bodged a repair rather than pay the money, but the result was also unsatisfactory and it got little serious use. So I decided to scrap that machine and sold it for a song. I then bought a 9 x 20 lathe from Chester Machine Tools. This is a reasonable machine and should serve me well when I get round to deciding on a project. A bigger, better one woul be nice, but they are expensive and need a lot of workshop space. Presently I hope to make a model traction engine.

CEDCS Ltd

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Model engineering

If only I had more time!

My model engineering “career” got off to a great start at school. At 12, I made a single cylinder steam engine, and the following year a twin cylinder double acting engine. My interest in model aircraft encouraged me to design and build a single cylinder compression ignition(modellers call these “diesel” engines, but they are quite different to 4-stroke diesels) engine. This ran OK, but never flew in a model. Here it is in bits…. ….and here it is running…. I wanted to progress to a turbine, but my teacher felt something bigger for my A-Level metalwork project was better. He had seen papers on friction welding, So I drew up a machine to fit onto a workshop lathe, giving us a stiff base and integral power source. This was made and it successfully welded steel, aluminium and copper. We even managed dissimilar metal welds. Most welds were in rods about 6mm diameter. Here’s a general picture of it (sorry for the poor quality) The left unit near the headstock holds one piece to be welded and rotates it at high speed. The right unit near the tailstock holds the stationery piece t be welded, and pushes it against the rotating one to create enough friction to melt the metal. The belt drive powers a power shaft which runs to the right hand unit where it is geared down and drives a cog on a large screw thread on the shaft coaxial with the work. This shaft holds the stationary work and moves to the left, driven by the power from the power shaft and the screw thread. Once the work faces were white hot, the dog clutch was disengaged, causing the rotating piece to stop quickly. The pieces were held together by the tension in the vee belts and the work rapidly cooled to freeze the molten metal. Not very versatile, but it demonstrated the principle of friction welding. And it gave me an interesting project leading to a grade “A” A-Level. Here are the work pieces in their collet chucks, with the rotating one on the left and the stationary one on the right. The drive shaft can be seen in the background. This is a picture of the headstock unit from the top You can see on the left the headstock end, with an upper shaft fitting into the lathe spindle, driving a large gear via a dog clutch. This gear drives the work shaft below it more quickly, and you can see the work pieces below, the one on the left being the rotating one, and the one on the right being stationary and pushed to the left  against the rotating one to produce the friction. Here are two side views of the tailstock end, showing the gear reduction from the power shaft, then a belt drive to the nut on the screwthread- driven stationery work shaft. After A-level I left school and went to university, so all metalwork had to cease. It was quite a few years later that I got my first lathe, a small Peatol lathe with minimal facilities, but it worked! Here is a general picture of it - It had no motors and I used a 12v DC motor from an electric lawn mower to drive it via a belt reduction unit. it worked OK, and I made a leadscrew to enable me to make a non-standard screw thread on it. Projects? Generally I just used it for making parts for model aircraft, but I did make a single cylinder 10cc 4-stroke engine from a published plan called “Matador”. I had to adapt some parts to suit the small lathe, but it ran quite well. Here is it in a model. Here is is in pieces - All parts were made on the Peatol apart from the ball bearings on the crankshaft and the gears to drive the camshaft. It flew several R/C models, but only had the power of a commercial engine around half its size. More lathes and future plans I sold the Peatol for what I hoped would be a better lathe. I bought a Clarke CL300M lathe, but was very disappointed by its detail. Its general mechanical design was reasonable, but it was let down in many ways by detail. Its motor controller failed, and a replacement would have cost about 35% of the price of a new lathe. I bodged a repair rather than pay the money, but the result was also unsatisfactory and it got little serious use. So I decided to scrap that machine and sold it for a song. I then bought a 9 x 20 lathe from Chester Machine Tools. This is a reasonable machine and should serve me well when I get round to deciding on a project. A bigger, better one woul be nice, but they are expensive and need a lot of workshop space. Presently I hope to make a model traction engine.

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