A couple of months back I made contact with a bloke who had made a model steam engine and had offered it for sale. Normally I would not buy such an item but it had a huge flywheel and I cannot machine anything that size.
The engine design owes a lot to Stan Brays "Opus Proximum" but my engine is different enough for me to rename it "Opus Machina" (because it took me a long time to remake it!)
To cut a long story short, I paid the man for his engine but made a big mistake by not taking my reading specs with me. It was only later that day I was able to closely examine the engine with my proper specs on that I realised what a hopeless mess I had bought. It looked like it had been made by a blind chimpanzee. Some of the best finishes had been achieved with a hacksaw or a blunt parting of tool - yes, it was that bad! The sharp edges on the flywheel would have sliced bacon.
So, over the last few months I have ripped it apart and re-machined parts that could be machined and made new parts that could not be re-machined.
The only thing I have not touched is the cylinder assembly - I hardly dare imagine what it looks like inside. Just to give you an idea though, the valve chest is secured with 4BA screws. Trouble is - he'd stripped the threads on one of the holes - his solution? He super glued a 6BA screw in its place.
I have heard some horror stories about chaps buying others "works of art" but I never thought I would end up being a sucker as well.
Never mind though, it's kept me occupied over the last few months and doesn't look half bad now sitting on my desk.
This is a good example of the original finish before I started work.
This is my refurbed job.