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Category Archives: Model Engineering

Change Wheel Calculator for Warco 918 Lathe

Here is a spreadsheet to calculate all the thread pitches possible on a Warco 918 lathe using the change wheel set provided with the machine :  XLSX (newer versions of Excel) and XLS (Excel 97 and 2003, also works in LibreOffice/OpenOffice). The cells are all locked except D4, which should be set to “y” or […]

Making a Trepanning Tool – Notes and Plans

I’m planning on cutting some gear wheels and, having struggled with using a hole-saw to cut blanks, decided a trepanning tool was probably the answer. The tool is only meant for cutting 1/8″ thick stock. Tested on brass and aluminium (may not be up to the job with steel). Use low speeds and if you […]

Model Engineers Depth Gauge

Having recently faced some cylinder drilling, I finally got around to making a depth gauge. It took about a morning. The sizing is very-much determined by available parts, starting from the springs and having some 3/8″ OD brass tube with nice thick walls (ID approx 1/4″) to hand. Two springs gave me about the 1 […]

Liking LibreCAD – Free cross-platform 2D CAD

I’d been using DraftIT for a number of years when I wanted to be able to work on plans using both my home computer (Win XP) and work laptop (Ubuntu Linux) while the family uses the home PC. After some searching, I came across what is now called LibreCAD. It takes a little while to […]

Making Elmer’s “Tall Vertical Open Column”

The late Elmer Verburg designed quite a few relatively-easy-to-build model engines. All are made from bar stock. The second one I have made is #32, the “Tall Vertical Open Column”. As many people do, I made a number of minor changes. These are described here, along with some construction notes I wrote to help myself, […]

Making Dice in Brass (or other metal)

Here are some notes on making dice (or just one die) in brass (etc) in the metalwork shop, suitable for a total beginner. I did it with my 10-year old. I used some half-inch square brass stock. Set the stock in the lathe using a 4 jaw chuck. Get it close to centred by sighting […]

Wallace & Gromit Inspired Arms in Brass/Steel

Here is the product of a fancy, something less demanding than making something that really works. It was made relatively quickly from a page of sketches I made over a cup of coffee so it isn’t perfect. I’d probably change some details if I made another. I’ve written some construction notes and transcribed my pencil […]

Model Watt Governor – CAD Plans and Construction Notes

Having had a hankering to make a Watt-style governor but having failed to find any plans to my taste, I decided to design my own. Here it is, with 2D CAD plans produced with Draft-IT (and GIF images of the same) and my construction notes for download. The design is hand-cranked and lacking a valve […]

Orrery and Gear Spreadsheets from Mike Shuter

Thanks to Mike Shuter, who commented on the previous entry, for sending me his two spreadsheets with Orrery gear ratios and the “continuous fractions” method of determining wheel/pinion pairs. He has permitted me to post them here but please contact “m [dot] shuter [at] ntlworld [dot] com” if you find them useful. Please do not […]

Windows Program for Compound Gear and Orrery Calculations

This is a first public release of a Windows program for calculating compound gears (2 pair of gears) in “normal” or epicyclic arrangement. It also fully or partially automates Orrery calculations and has presets for various solar system periods, which can be modified and added to by editing the PeriodData.xml file. It allows the tolerance […]