I made the effort at the weekend to drive the 80 odd miles to Leamington Spa to attend the Midlands Model Engineering exhibition. There were a good number of trade stands there and my wallet was a bit lighter on the way home. I did take a few photos but I only had my phone with me and the quality of most shots was fairly poor.  It is also difficult to line up good shots, when like most exhibitions, the stands are fairly crowded although it seemed to thin out a bit in the afternoon.

tractiion engine

Burrel Traction Engine

Got a reasonable shot of a Burrell traction engine and also of it’s smaller sibling a 3″ scale model, being one of the good turnout provided by the National Traction Engine Trust who were visiting the show for the first time.

3" Scale Burrell Traction Engine

3″ Scale Burrell Traction Engine

Model Engineering clubs were well represented there being some 40  club stands showing a fine selection of work. One that caught my eye was the Knightcote Model Boat Club who had an excellent display which the photo does not do justice.

model stand

Knightcote Model Boat Cub

All in all a good day and well worth a visit, definitely on the calendar for next year.

2014 Show Guide

engraved scale

Engraved Topslide Clamp Plate

Maurice Duckworth contacted me from Cumbria with an interesting modification to the four bolt clamp plate for the WM250 lathe. The main benefit of which is an easily readable protractor scale for setting over the topslide. Maurice engraved the scale on the lathe without using a rotary table or dividing plate and his method could readily be used in the production of any type of dial or scale.

Also included in Maurice’s e-mail was an ingenious method to disengage and thereby silence the leadscrew change gear train. Included in this project was a description of how to make professional looking labels.

Without further ado I contacted Maurice and he sent me the necessary photos,  text and permission to publish .

Maurice’s Mods.

Toolmakers Clamp

75mm Toolmakers Clamp

I wanted a smaller toolmakers clamp so made a couple. Not so much a project more of a “projette”. I thought I would document the making and add it to the site. I think it took longer to write the web page than it did to make the clamps.

Anyway these clamps are always useful and easy to make. I made some at school – about 50 years ago – and they are still going strong.

Toolmakers Clamps

Should you happen to be in Budapest with a few hours to spare then it is worth taking a look at the Közlekedési Múzeum  Budapest Transport Museum. Set at one corner of City Park it has some interesting exhibits ranging from full size locomotives to model ships.

Clayton Steam Engine

Clayton & Shuttleworth Portable Engine

One of the museum attendants was explaining the portable engine to me and I mentioned it was made in England, “Ah!” he said, “But the horse is Hungarian.”

Some of the larger exhibits including a rather good paddle steamer engine complete with paddles are set in the grounds where there is a small cafe should you be in need of refreshment.

There are many large scale locomotive models in cases which are great to look at but difficult to photograph. There is however no restriction on photography. There are a few working model railway layouts and plenty of interesting railway related items. Most of the information labels are in Hungarian with a few english translations here and there.
A few more photos of mine here – Nautical Ramblings.

Tailstock

Lever & Cam Tailstock

This is a modification I should have made years ago. At long last I have relegated the spanner to the drawer with it’s companions.

I have detailed how to modify the lathe tailstock to get rid of the old nut and bolt and replace it with a lever and cam – much better. This mod involves milling a pocket and drilling holes in the tailstock, so probably not something to do if the lathe is still under warranty. Of course lucky owners of the latest model WM250 already have this as standard. I have included some drawings which of are based on my lathe but could be easily adapted to other similar Chinese lathes, probably even the multitude of mini-lathes out there.
Lever Tailstock Construction Page

Whilst tidying up I moved the computer and managed to break the wireless dongle for the keyboard and mouse. I only have a small fold down desk in the workshop and a full size keyboard covers nearly all of it. I found a replacement mini keyboard and mouse set from Maplins – Cerulian Mini Deskset  ref:N69JX.

Keyboard

Cerulian Mini deskset

This deskset comes with a mini dongle that only sticks out about 6mm so I shouldn’t be able to snap it off like the old one! The keyboard has quite a nice action and takes up very little desk space so should be fine for the small amount of use it will get in the workshop. As an added benefit it comes with a thin moulded silicone plastic cover, which I assume is packing, but will serve very nicely as an oil proof membrane as it is sufficiently transparent to see the keys through and very flexible. The mouse has a power saving feature and powers down after a few minutes of being idle, just click to wake it up.