St.Albans and District Model Engineering Society

September Club Night Report

Guy Keen talks about Materials

Starting the evening at seven pm or thereabouts is proving popular, it allows for more chat time and dealing with club items.  For instance, we had a nice fishing boat donated to us, another new member kindly helped with the transmitter screen programming. A further new member got interested and I asked him if he would like to look after the boat for the club and the deal was done.

I also had a nice marine interest which was with club member Brian.  He had bought a very nice schooner model built as a decoration.  We discussed how to get her on the water.  A nice project.

We also welcomed a previous club member, Derek, back into the club and then we were called to order by the Chairman, and the evening began.  The forthcoming exhibition was the main subject and asking for extra help. 

The microphone then came to me, and before introducing our speaker, I asked the membership about an idea for a subject for a future club evening we had been discussing.  It met with general approval, so that will be planned and should appear early next year.

Now onto our speaker, none other than our Secretary, who came to us at no expense, and his subject was The Properties of Materials. 

Now I really did not know quite what to expect and we started off with everyday items and their properties.  I decided to wait and see what transpired. 

Guy proceeded by asking questions and revealing answers and I promise you nobody slept at the back!  Suddenly you see the gap in your knowledge about mundane things like water.  I now know about the 3 phases and triple point of water, well explained by Guy and useful to understand before launching into solid materials.

We went through all the materials used in model engineering plus some of the interesting properties of others, questions were asked and answered.  Over the years I know what to listen for in an audience and Guy was doing very well having the attention of all.  Guy had said that many of us would know some of it but not all of it.  And he was right, I was interested in the common items, like steel and copper and brass and learnt a lot along the way.

Part way through the evening we had a break for tea and coffee and then all back for more.  Guy’s talking was intermixed with some well-chosen short videos of industrial processes.  There were a few complex diagrams which were daunting at first sight but under guidance revealed their content and understanding followed.

Another question time, and then our Chairman thanked Guy for an interesting and informative evening and he received a well-deserved round of applause. 

We would all like to thank those who made the evening work, from David taking our hall money when we arrived, to the putter-outers of chairs and the converse at the evening’s end. Thanks as always to Jack and Neil our tea makers.

What might go unnoticed is that several members bring in other members who might otherwise be unable to attend due to late night driving, your thoughtfulness is appreciated.

From me, I hope you all enjoyed the evening, and it was another talk from one of our own members.  I am permanently amazed at all the knowledge we have, almost on tap!  I will appreciate any offers about expertise gained when working.  Especially about attaching and securing things together and preparing surfaces for further use, and also painting difficult items maybe ones that get hot?

Roy Verden 15th Sept 2023