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Anglo Traction

Bits for my next Project

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Wasn't sure where to locate this, so as it will be 95% Metal, here's as good 'a' place as any.

Wanted to use the spare Villiers Mk2 Midget Engine I am rebuilding to power something stationary?, but will also need to have additional cooling.


I've been thinking about what I already have laying around in parts n materials I may need and started digging them out from various storage places.


Blowing the Cobwebs from my memory, I recalled back in the early 90s salvaging some parts from a 1948 Ransomes Simms & Jeffries Lawnmower, namely 2 hefty brass bearings in Plates that carry a heavy lump of (rusty) cast iron that acted as a PTO Clutch, rpm increase Gear Box and stored a lot of inertia.

The Mower itself was way past fixing up. Shame, as it had a large Starter Hand Crank, the likes of which I have never seen anywhere since. Anyway, I managed to recall where they were. 


There's 2 remote Screw Capped Oilers, an old Line Shaft Bearing block (5/8" bore) with Brass Screw Down Greasers. Length of Box section Steel and 15/16" AF high Carbon Steel.

 Also dug out some stubs of 1" and 5/8" AF Brass from my Garage Door Counter weights which turned out to carry several other useful bits.

Previous owner/resident of my property (60s/70s) must have been a Turner judging by the very dusty tarnished evidence-




The inside of this PTO Clutch is similar to a Diff which spins freely when drive is not engaged. A large Brake Band clamps the outer surface and the planet gears inside transfer the drive to the opposite shaft at a 5:1 increase in RPM. I plan for it to act as a speed reduction unit and PTO Clutch.

Condition inside is fairly good, considering there was water amongst the old grease.

I need to make new heavy bushings, fit new bolts and machine the outer friction face which is pitted, but still has the 'Witness' and number marks Stamped in by the guy who first assembled/finished it-


post-94-0-05832300-1442951113_thumb.jpg .


My main intention on this project is to refresh my limited familiarity with Lathe and metalwork practices on a fair amount of old Brass, Copper, Bronze and Steel parts. I'll be using BSF, Whitworth and BSP thread forms , and I won't be in any particular hurry to finish it, so please bear with me, as even I don't know what it is to look like yet! :huh:  :wacko: .   






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Thanks Gents, I'll try and maintain the standard you guys set. Here's a few pics, in between some waffle, 'cause I know you like pics.  

Spent some time over the weekend sorting the PTO 'Lump'. Need to take out the wear and as much slack in the meshing bits as possible. 

Have given it a clean up and inspection, ordered 1/4" x 2. 1/2" HT BSF bolts (New old stock) and a Plain Oilite bushing.

Had a battle to remove the large bushing without a press, so had to improvise with a long bolt, various spacers and elbow grease- 


post-94-0-70433600-1443463891_thumb.jpg... got there in the end-




Fortunately I had a big enough lump to machine the Flanged Bushing from. The other side was a bit easier to remove being a Plain Bronze bushing- 




First operation was boring and turn the press fit diameter, then reverse to machine the Flange and thrust end to size- 




Managed to finish the bushing to a good fit in both axial and radial sizes to remove the wear, so should last a while- 




Also cleaned up the Line Shaft Bearing mounting ready for paint. Had to machine the base flat after a clean up. A 5/8" reamer went through ok with slight resistance,

so has little wear (un bushed), but not a well machined bore . May bore it out to 3/4" and press some bushes in.

Grease Cups were washed out and had a pickle session in White Wine Vinegar. Polished up nice inside and out- 




Lastly for now, These 2 identical items are going to be the Fuel Tank(s) in tandem with Balance pipes and Fuel Level Tube- 




These have a bit of history and are from my 'Late' Father's career and so I'll put them to use.

Anyone know or care to offer their idea of what they were used for/on ?. Dimensions are- 72mm dia at the open end, and 167mm in height. 


Bye for now.

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You're correct of course!.

These were used to start the testing of Avon Engines fitted to a Hawker Hunter pre production Prototype F1 at Dunsfold in the year Date Stamped in the base of the Cartridges.

I also have 2 shell cases from the testing of the 4 x 30mm Aden Cannon Packs fitted to them. I'll try and find a similar use for them on this project as well.


Received a lump of hollow Phosphor Bronze today, 2" dia x 4" so I can machine/refurbish the Big Brass bearings using an insert-




Pressed the new bushes into the PTO Lump and made one up to fit where there wasn't one originally to improve the running clearance limits.

A quick assembly to test it showed much smoother drive transfer. Still a bit more machining to do on the PTO before it is ready. 


Having trouble sourcing some materials still, need some Cast Iron to make 2 Flexible Drive Yokes (Engine to PTO).

Don't want to import some readymade (nearly) from U.S. if I can help it.

Also need 60cm x 30mm x 0.5mm (0.020") Spring Steel for the Brake Band. All of this stuff I had years ago :banghead: .

Sure you all know the 'Moral' to that story !.


Anybody done Metal Spinning on a Myford ?. Look's like I'll need to have a go ;) . 

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The mention of cartridge cases, reminds me of the radial steam engine my grandfather built. He used cartridge cases for the cylinders. The engine is now in Australia with my sister and family. I have somewhere, a copy of Model Engineer with it in.

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I've watched a few vids on metal spinning but never had a go. It will be interesting to see how you get on with it Richard.. Knowing you it will come perfect :)

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The mention of cartridge cases, reminds me of the radial steam engine my grandfather built. He used cartridge cases for the cylinders. The engine is now in Australia with my sister and family. I have somewhere, a copy of Model Engineer with it in.

If you find a picture or the M.E. Magazine, would like to see it Norm. Must have been in a copy before 1984, which was when I started reading the Mag.



I've watched a few vids on metal spinning but never had a go. It will be interesting to see how you get on with it Richard.. Knowing you it will come perfect :)


I'll have a go at it Ian . Have to visit a Wood Turner I know to obtain some hardwood blocks when I'm ready.


Got some Lathe time in recently. PTO work is still in progress.

Decided to change the Brake/Strap set up design and not employing a Spring Steel Strap like the Brake layout on some Garden Tractors.

Instead, I'm opting for a rigid Clam Shell type or external version of a Brake Shoe set up.

Have obtained some 6" (152.7mm) ERW Steel Tube which will cover 2 jobs. Bit of a challenge Cutting slices off with only a manual Hacksaw -




First slice in the lathe for finishing the cut end to size-




Will have 4 more of these slices to cut and they will used to make Truck Wheels, as original Cast Iron ones are rare and expensive. 


The steel ring is perfect in dimension to accommodate the 3/16" thick Friction Lining and the PTO diameter-




The bearing faces of the PTO are having their faces skimmed and have been 'Spot Faced' where the Bolts pass through-




Phosphor Bronze Bearing Insert finished to outer diameter being 'Parted Off' from the Cored Billet-




Used a 1.1/2" diameter Live Centre in the Tailstock to support the work.


'Parted Off' and a light fit in the Bearing so it can be Soldered (200c) in-




Internal bore will be finished last before mounting back onto the Carrier Plate. They were retained by 1/4" Iron Rivets originally and the stress of 'Closing' the Rivets originally had cracked the Bearing flange edge at it's thinnest point. I will use specially made Countersunk Screws in reamed holes.

Have the other bearing to remove next and repeat :) . 

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Small amount of progress. More Lathe time recently and still working on the PTO Reduction unit. Finished making the 8 special bolts for the Bearings-




Refurbishing of the Big Brass Bearings with new inserts is done and ready to bolt onto the Carrier Plates (working on those)-




Checking for imbalance, as it is a heavy piece and I want spot-on. Just the 1/8 BSP Plug to sort and skim the Outer face-




Carrier Plates had the first coat of black gloss, but slow to dry and harden.


Next job is making/Screw Cutting the 1/2" dia Tie Rod shafts, Spacers and 1/2" BSF Brass Nuts which will hold the engine and PTO in line. 

I have to draw up the design so I can refer to it for dimensions of parts etc, rather than fabricate and trial fit. More to do on that.  


Edit on 13th Nov........ Additional Pic during the skimming of the friction face. Very tight fit on the Lathe with only 1/4" travel spare each end -



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It's been a long time since I was able to spend time on this. Only now just starting to revisit the project. Plan to make this a priority and finish this year while I still can.

I've been putting details down on paper for it's design and progress, so hopefully will be posting updates soon.


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I finally decided that this project will be a 2 stroke powered Water Pump.

I rescued this old slurry pump with pickup strainer after laying derelict outside for 30 years-




I fully rebuilt this back to new internally and improved the appearance with a bit of cleaning etc. Early 1960s 1" BSP Jabsco model of considerable durability-




Still being manufactured and this version/size will set anyone back £250 + without fittings !.

Low running speed of about 500 rpm will shift 80 ltrs per min and can pump/self prime comfortably from 5 metres head of water.

All this pump work was done several years ago.

Not wanting to use belting for drive(s), my options are :- inline flexible coupling,  chain drive, or combination of both.

Will be mounting this on a wheeled truck of some kind to tie in with the general style theme.

Just starting on the engine mounts.









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Drawn up engine mounting plate design and need to obtain steel sheet to make 4.

The 2 stanchions from 60 x 40 mild steel box are taking shape ready for welding up -




Had been searching for a genuine Villiers vintage exhaust, but realised they want too much money for not much style. I decided to make my own to suit the design I wanted

An empty disposable propane cylinder became the victim after getting the picture in my mind of how I want it. Constituent parts after much searching of materials, measuring, cutting & machining-




Ready to weld the 3 tubes for the outlet to the body and the test fit of the brass banding which seals and registers the butt joint end cap prior to riveting up-




The brass banding was cut from sheet, rolled and silver soldered the ends to form a close fitting ring.

The brass outlet pipe is from a 1954 mower front wooden roller insert, and the fishtail outlet is from a redundant 1960s Ronson Blow torch kit.

All finished and a coat of VHT paint cooked at Gas Mk6 for an hour-




I've got a finned exhaust clamp from a Triumph T120 which fits perfectly to fix it onto the engine.



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Thanks Alan,

                      Trying to make progress while I have a reprieve from the dreaded R/Arthritis in the wrists. Just to give you an idea of this setup, here is a pic of the rough plan/layout of the working bits-




So left - right there is the water pump - speed reduction unit, then the engine. A 1954 Villiers Midget Mk2 98cc. Fully overhauled with a rebore +0.030" and new rings etc.

Being static, the engine will need additional cooling, which will require a cowling and cooling fan. The Mk3 Midget has this built in, but blows the air from the flywheel side.

I want it the other way, so have to make the shrouds , fan and drive etc.

Keeping the sort of Victorian 'Jules Verne' style, I'm using copper sheet from an old hot water cylinder for the shrouds, riveting where necessary and maybe some embelishment?

The first pattern from my drawings marked out/cut from the sheet and began rolling to the diameter of 4.5 inches (114mm approx) -




Fortunately, I have a piece of thick steel tube of the same diameter which allowed me to tightly form the intake area and rivet/solder the joint-




This is now ready for shaping (bossing) to fit the contours of the cylinder etc. A first time challenge for me.

I obtained an old Lignum Vitae Bossing Hammer in need of some considerable attention, so I refurbished it back to good condition and purchased a large 15" dia H/duty leather cushion-




Will have several jobs for these tools on this project and the washed Silver Sand is currently being dried, ready for filling the cushion.....meanwhile-

I had to redesign the engine mounting plates to position the engine inline so I can use direct couplings. I spent the last 3 days marking out, hacksawing and filing the 4 plates after drilling/reaming the holes.

Also made the reduction unit mounts ready for welding up, along with the engine ones at the same time-




With these parts all assembled in place, the shafts will line up and I can make the direct drive couplings with an allowance for any small misalignment, rather than use chains and sprockets etc. 









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On 2/16/2023 at 9:14 AM, Stormin said:

Nice set of little rollers, Richard. :thumbs:


Yes Norm, very handy and will have a fair bit of work for them on this.


Not made great progress, but have machine cut/threads on several short rods and finshed the 8 brass nuts from the 1inch A/F (25.4mm) Hex stubs which are shown in the very first image on this.

Threaded 1/2" BSF and single chamfer . These represent pre-war A/F (across flats) dimension of the  9/16' Whitworth fixings-




Starting on the copper beating now the cushion is filled with sand.



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Bashing copper seems to be going ok so far. Part way through doming the top to fit the cylinder head. This is to utilise the 1/4"bsf threaded hole in the top to secure it-




There will also be a fixing that uses the flange of the crankcase at the shaft bearing output side -




Fuel tank caps will be more difficult to form



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I used to do a bit of copper bashing using old hot water cylinders as source material, I made a few buckets and bits and bobs, it’s not as easy as it looks but once again your work is top notch 👍

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Hi Nigel, Good to hear from you and hope all's well. Quite enjoy doing the beating of copper. Just about ready to stitch the cowl/plates together with rivets now that I've nearly sorted the Plug access hole-




Meanwhile, I had to come up with a fixing point I'd mentioned to secure the lower part of the cowl.

Decided on a split housing so that it can be easily assembled/removed. Machined 2 blocks of Duralumin to identical size, then drilled/tapped to bolt them together.

Excellent machining qualities of this metal made it a rather enjoyable job-




I was then able to machine the inner diameters to fit the flange it clamps to and clears the crank bearing and shaft by a few thousands of an inch (0.05mm).

 It will also have a greased felt wiper washer inside to prevent dirt/water ingress-




This now gives me a platform to fix the cowl and hold it securely-




Have lots of swarf to clean off the machines now!.




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Just about finished the copperwork on the Cowling now which should now provide more efficient removal of heat and keep the intake side cooler-






Carb side additional shroud will be riveted on, as the full shroud can be fitted and removed ok. The plate on the exhaust side will have to be detachable.

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Thanks guys,

                      Enjoyed making the shroud and working it out as I went along. Done with that now and the engine sports a N.O.S Lodge C3 Plug-




Be a while before nexrt update,  have to plan for the chassis layout etc.



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