Hi All This section's been a bit quiet so I thought I'd post these comments; I'm well on the way with the Stuart No 9 I bought off Ebay a while back, most of the CI parts are complete and some of the gunmetal ones made. As this was a 1980s kit from Stuarts in Henley it has been interesting to compare it with modern Stuarts of Guernsey stuff. Much to my surprise and contrary to what I expected the modern castings I've used are better, there are less blowholes and the exterior of the castings are to a higher standard, not a great deal of difference but a difference nontheless. The quality of the CI and gunmetal is about the same. The older castings are a more generous size, some of the new ones don't leave much room for error. Only caveat is, I'm not comparing the same kits, the new ones were a 10V and a Victoria. Ron
Hello all, been lying pretty low for about a month, due to a virulent chest infection which took two courses of quite strong penicillin to begin to clear, an ''x'' ray showed all clear and all the bits were in the right place, ;D...I think that this all started with me not wearing a mask when machining cast iron parts for the ''james coombe'' , so be careful out there, cast iron dust is dodgy stuff... I find Rons comments very interesting as regards the quality of the old and new, with respect to castings. I myself only have built the ''10v'' and the ''score'' and now am in the process of building the ''james coombes'', now the castings for the former two engines were modern day. very well finished with quite tight tolerances, as opposed to the ''coombes'' castings which dated back to 1975 ish...they were very finely finished with good tolerances for machining and so far no hard spots, just must have been lucky...so I think we are talking along the same lines here. I am currently searching for another set of castings, hopefully ''stuart'' to build perhaps a ''beam''. ... not too sure if I would like to spend the money on any other make of untried castings, that is unless I go down the road of cutting from solid...not too sure if the mill would put up with that. Must try and get back into the ''SHED'' soon. All the best for now, John.
Hi John Glad you're getting back to health, thought you'd been a bit quiet recently, I think the cast iron dust doesn't do the respiratory system any favours, I'll be taking more care in future. One thing that has definitely improved with Stuarts is the drawings, they are much larger now, more suited to a middle aged audience in need of specs Ron
I have been a Stuart dealer in the US for some time, although that doesn't necessarily give me any more insight than anyone else it is my understanding that all Stuart patterns have been or are in the process of being remade by Jones & Bradburn for automated casting machinery. This contibutes considerably to the improved consistency and finish as well as minimizing the amount of metal poured per casting, but it also is the reason that many engines in the line have been slow returning to production. I've recently been notified that the #9 has now returned to full production.
Early-on in the new ownership spares were hard to come by because unlike the old Stuart foundry which poured one part at a time in large batches, under the new automated system one complete engine set is done all at one pour and in order to obtain spares they had to be taken from a set - I waited over a year for a spare beam for the Major Beam engine to come available. No doubt this has been remedied by now. Cheers, Harry