June 2015 news

I have to admit that I haven’t completely fixed my Scott yet after my low side off at Anglesey. The radiator is fixed and looks beautiful. Thanks go to Graham Moag, who is ‘the’ Scott radiator man for sorting it out so quickly. I’ve still got to sort the front guard, the left hand footrest and just give it a good check over. Engine-wise, I’m going to lift the block to check the top end out and clean things up a little.
I’ve also been trying to get some of the other things done that I need to. The workshop has to have time spent on it from time to time and with a few good weather opportunities, I needed to take advantage of shelf making opportunities. I’ve also been spending quite a lot of time re-scraping the slideways on my Smart and Brown Model M Mk2 toolroom centre lathe. I bought the lathe blind from E-bay last year and although I thought it was a beautiful peace of equipment, it had certainly had a life beyond its initial toolroom existance. The front slideway had almost 0.010″ vertical wear, which I have now reduced to around 0.002″. It’s rough scraping at the moment and now I’m going to start on the rear slideway, just to get close before the more precise fun starts. Roger has machined the saddle up for turcite, which is a very low friction material used commonly in this kind of work. It comes in all kinds of thicknesses and you use a two pack epoxy to glue it on. It’s easy to machine and easy to scrape…apparently.
I suppose re-appraised it a few weeks ago when I saw a Hardinge TL lathe come up on ebay quite close to me. I had been thinking that the Smart and Brown was more of a project than I needed at the moment, so I did a bit of reading on ‘lathes.co.uk’ and thought I’d check it out. It was a lovely little lathe but the more I looked the more issues I saw. The hardened slideways were still worn and the feed shaft had been removed meaning that the only feed was on the main slide axis using the screwcutting lead screw, which was worn. These lathes seem to have been designed specifically to facilitate screwcutting and they have a clever operation which certainly would enable you to do it far quicker than on most lathes but.. I don’t do that much screwcutting, and certainly not enough to merit a lathe only set up for that function. I started to think about what I needed… and came to the conclusion that it was already in my workshop!
I’d already managed to buy a replacement back gear, rack, and feed screws for the cross slide, compound and also half nuts for the lead screw last year. The lead screw can turn around to use the least worn end.. with a little modification. It’s still going to take time but it should be pretty good when I’ve finished.

I also have welcomed a new member of the workshop family, although this will be based at my friends farm: a Thiel 158S duplex universal milling machine. Picked up on a trailer last week, it took me almost three hours to construct a frame to transport it safely, but we made it all the way back to Devon without a problem.

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Featherston workshop

Roger had a recent email exchange with a gentleman in New Zealand, John Stewart, who has had a long history around Scotts. His grandfather was a photographer and captured a wonderful photograph of his father in his workshop in Featherston, New Zealand. John’s son, Scott, repaired the plate glass image and apart from Yowl (the journal of the Scott Owners club), it’s not been published before. He has kindly allowed me to do so. The copyright belongs to John Stewart and I use the image here with his consent.


The attached photograph of my father’s workshop in Featherston may be of interest. This was almost certainly taken by my grandfather, GT Stewart on his glass plate camera (which we still have), sometime during WW1. The garage was established in 1906 as Stewart and Son, Later Stewarts Imperial Garage. The garage provided a wide range of services including maintenance of steam traction engines, motor cars and motor cycles and during the war, repair and servicing of army vehicles for the nearby Featherston army camp.. Two vehicles in the background are almost certainly army truck chassis.

The man at the back is Dick Rowe who was workshop foreman. The lass sitting on the chassis is Miss Freed secretary and the other figures apprentices and tradesmen a couple of whom appear to be working on Model T Ford engines.

The interesting bit is of course the Scott on the right. This I believe is a 1914 model and was the machine that my father, H.H.Stewart raced on the grass track in Featherston with some success. The family left Featherston in the mid 1920’s and dad kept the engine and two speed gear out of the Scott along with the remains of an 1898 De Dion Tricycle and a 1900 Locomobile steam car. He carted these parts round the country during a number of moves until finally settling in Auckland in 1926. The two speed gear was used as a change speed gear on a turret lathe after WW2. The engine I gave to a friend many years ago who had unearthed the remains of his late brother’s 1914 Scott with no engine and the De Dion has been subjected to full restoration over the last 3 years which I finished in Dec. last. It runs superbly.

Featherston Workshop