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Member postings for Hopper

Here is a list of all the postings Hopper has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Are we Luddites?
26/05/2018 10:51:57
Posted by Mike Poole on 25/05/2018 21:38:11:

I feel it is a tragedy that skills are lost but I am also sure that they can be relearned even if there is no one left to teach them.

True, that. One only has to look at the phenomenally rapid rise of China into a manufacturing superpower. They learned modern tool and die making and other mass production skills in double quick time. Much of that would have been from books on the subject, as well as shared-technology joint ventures.

I like to think that I use a lot of esoteric skills and "dodges" learned on the shop floor from old boys who learned them as lads from even older boys who had been around when the industrial revolution was still revolutionary. But really, in today's world, all those skills and dodges are out there somewhere in any number of books and websites. From the likes of Sparey, GH Thomas, ET Westbury etc through to today's MEW contributors and Youtube channels, there are not many stones left unturned.

And really, modern technology and thinking probably would come up with better solutions than many of the old dodges. Just think if for some reason we had to go back to using horses and carts again today. Would we go back to handcarving wooden wheels like they did in 1890? Hell no. We'd be 3D printing them. And so on. 21st century horse carts would bear little resemblance to and use few of the same manufacturing skills that 19th C ones did. (They'd have USB port chargers built in for starters smiley .)

Edited By Hopper on 26/05/2018 10:52:45

Edited By Hopper on 26/05/2018 10:54:39

Thread: Wobbler Pivot
26/05/2018 10:34:23

The further you place the pivot from the steam ports, the more room you have to play around with size and position of the steam ports. You have to make sure there is enough movement of the single steam port in the cylinder so that the two ports in the fixed body are far enough apart to prevent any overlap when the cylinder port is in the mid position. If there is not enough room there, steam will bridge straight from the inlet port to the exhaust port via the cylinder port without going into the cylinder.

Thread: Clean hands?
26/05/2018 10:28:16

Solvol soap, which like Lava contains ground pumice. Then finish off with common handpump bottle handcleaner from the supermarket.

I also keep a bucket of water and washing-up detergent mixture in the workshop for quick clean up during proceedings or prior to going indoors. Probably more suited to our tropical climate than Ol' Blighty's though!

Thread: WM14 Mods
25/05/2018 02:20:02

Good mods and well done. I've done the same thing with my lathe, bolted a bracket to the wall. Do you have fine control on the wiper motor for fine z positioning? Or do you rely on the quill for fine depth of cut adjustment etc?

Thread: What's the best alternative to 'loctited'
23/05/2018 12:10:23

Googling the term "Loctited" brings up almost 50,000 hits. Its use is ubiquitous.

Googling "Chemically bonded" brings this as the first reference: "Fix the rift between two girls' hearts as you unwittingly form new bonds to help bring their dreams into fruition."

So if you are seeking clarity in a technical article, go with the former. If it's something else you seek, go with the latter.

Edited By Hopper on 23/05/2018 12:19:52

22/05/2018 23:59:55

Let clarity be thy guide. If you say something is to be glued, bonded or anaerobically retained, many readers will be left unsure what is meant. Rubber cement? Welded? Drain cleaner?

Whereas if you say something is to be Loctited (or loctited), it is clear that one should use the almost universally known product.

Let's give people credit for being able to decide for themselves which grade to choose, or an alternative brand of the same stuff, based on the information on the packaging. (Most often it comes down to what grade is available sitting in the workshop already!)

But, it would add even greater clarity if article writers included the grade of Loctite they used. If we can trust them to design or build the whole shebang, we have to have faith in their choice of Loctite grade.

As for nouns becoming verbs, endless verbs in the English language come from nouns, not just the trade-name derived ones either. EG, paint, frame, lather, drill, drive, cover, eye, and on and on.

It seems that in spoken English -- which is the "real" language of which the written is merely a representation -- Loctite is already a widely accepted and used verb along the lines of kleenex, hoover etc. It will probably take a bit longer to get into the dictionary because it is a specialist technical term with nowhere near the widespread usage of tissues and vaccum cleaners.

Thread: Machine painting
22/05/2018 00:20:59

Very nice job indeed. And a very handy machine for the home shop.

I found our local hardware store sells tiny little "cutting in" paint rollers for getting into corners etc when painting. About 50mm long and 25mm diameter roller. One worked perfectly for the raised lettering on our Myford.

Thread: WT2527 15cc Glow Engine
21/05/2018 02:18:32

Very nice work. Amazing what you find hiding inside blocks of metal isn't it.

Thread: Proxxon lathe PD 400
21/05/2018 02:14:13

Glad you got a result (and new-found expert status!). I might have misread before. If your problem is getting the bearing off the spindle, with the assembly already removed from the ally headstock, then heating the bearing race with oxy-acet should get it off. Just don't overdo it with red heat or anything like that. About 200 to 400 degrees C should do it. (Spit-sizzlin' hot).

Thread: How to adjust the alignment of the head-stock on a BG1224 lathe
21/05/2018 02:01:06

Good you got it dialed closer than it was.

What you need to do now is hold a piece of 1" diameter bar in the chuck so it sticks out about 4 to 6 inches. Take a cut along it to true it up, then take a very light cut, say one or two thou, along the full length. Measure the taper actually turned on the job. This tells you the true story of your lathe's performance under real-world working conditions. If there is more than half a thou taper along that distance, you should be able to get it spot on by placing thin shims under either the front or rear lathe bed mounting foot at the tailstock end. The Myford ML7 manual available freely on the net gives the specific procedure for this.

To save a bit of time, you can relieve the middle section of the abovementioned test piece so its smaller diameter than the two ends, so you only have to turn a narrow band at each end rather than the full length.

Thread: Compressor - stand on end?
18/05/2018 22:08:13
Posted by Jon on 18/05/2018 21:48:26:

Tanks a tank it dont know whether its standing up or lying down, its purely pressure about 4 times higher than car tyres 145 psi. Used to working with 6000+ psi.

There's been more than one worker killed by exploding truck tires/rims over the years when proper safety cages have not been used during inflation. Nothing to be sneezed at. And yes a tanks a tank, but a drain is a drain and if its not at the bottom of the tank its not doing you any good.

The OP might look at mounting a compresser in the normal horizontal mode, but up toward ceiling level somewhere so it does not take up floor space. Or mount the compresser lower and the tank higher etc.Or a small lean-to shelter outside the workshop up against its wall?

Thread: Bent leadscrew?
18/05/2018 09:44:02

Joseph, If you look at the photo, the peaks are in line with the thread tips, the valley with the thread roots, so 180 degrees variation, in line with slight bend in the lead screw, exacerbated by the apron being fitted considerably out of line so the leadscrew was under tension from being moved sideways when the half nuts were clamped shut. With the leadscrew under tension, the slight bend in it varies the tension, which moves the carriage slightly as it varies, due to clearance in the gibs,, wear in the bed etc creating clearance.

With the halfnuts correctly aligned by having the apron correctly aligned by the method outlined earlier, the leadscrew is in its natural position with no tension on it, so a little bit of bend or runout in it does not move the carriage: the long thin leadscrew flexes enough to remain in line with the supporting halfnuts.

Thread: Proxxon lathe PD 400
18/05/2018 09:33:47

I think I'd be tryng new bearings before I sprung for a new headstock. If you are still having trouble getting the old race out, heat the surrounding casting with a propane torch or heat gun. I would not put oxy acetylene near aluminium machine tool components. Too easy to warp things. You might have to make some kind of puller using a lenght of threaded rod and suitable washers and spacers etc to pull the race out.

Ditto getting those allen bolts out of the headstock to remove it from the bed if you decide to go that way.

Thread: Where to buy imperial taper pins (11/64 x 1.25")
18/05/2018 09:25:47

I turn my own. Set the topslide angle using a dial indicator bearing on a piece of stock turned parallel held in the chuck. Adjust topslide until you get the desired number of thou reading over an inch of travel as measured on the topslide handwheel dial. (For such a small angle I don't even bother to work out how many extra thou to wind on the handwheel to compensate for it being on the triangle's hypotenuse etc. So close it makes no measureable difference. )Machinery's handbook etc gives the correct taper for those pins, and the sizes at each end etc.

Thread: Myford Super 7 Motor Pulley
17/05/2018 12:14:47

It can be replaced using a standard pulley from engineering supply shop etc. If you cant get the small original Z-profile pulley, a more common A-section pulley can be used, with an A-section belt. It is a little bit wider than the original but will work ok on the original countershaft pulley. It just rides a bit high, but still grips ok. Our ML7 has run like that for years.

Thread: Proxxon lathe PD 400
16/05/2018 23:48:56
Posted by martin ranson 2 on 16/05/2018 12:56:11:

... I have NOW used a test bar and it is pointed nicely at a centre held in the tailstock ...

Leave the tailstock out of the equation for right now, it means nothing until after the headstock is aligned to the bed.

If you put the test bar in the spindle, and check it with a dial indicator while rotating the spindle to ensure there is no runout, you should then mount a dial indicator to the carriage with the plunger on the test bar. Run the carriage back and forth along the bed. The dial indicator will then give you a reading on the relative alignment of the spindle to the bed ways. Do this in the horizontal and vertical planes. It should be within a thou if all is well.

16/05/2018 23:35:42
Posted by martin ranson 2 on 16/05/2018 12:56:11:

HOPPER ... the error is 0. 003 ( or 3 thou. ) diameter for about 1 inch length ... not very easy to get a piston to fit a cylinder bore !!

Wow. That's massive. That's 36 thou per foot of taper! Did it just suddenly start doing this, or has it come on gradually over the years?

Which direction is the taper? Larger at the tailstock end? Or smaller?

With that much error, it seems like more than just a tad of bearing adjustment or bed levelling needed. Could it be the aluminium headstock distorted over the years? Or the bed itself?

If so, you might have to resort to setting the top slide to turn parallel and use that for critical jobs.


Edited By Hopper on 16/05/2018 23:39:58

Thread: Bent leadscrew?
16/05/2018 23:15:51

If the apron on the ML10 is like that on the ML7 you should be able to loosen off the screws holding the apron to the saddle, then close the half nuts onto the leadscrew, then tighten up the screws holding the apron to saddle. This usually sets the halfnut in the right position relative to the leadscrew.

I've seen leadscrews flapping about all over the place but never one causing ridges like that. A Myford leadscrew is very long and very thin; the root diameter of the thread is only about 3/8", so the leadscrew can be grasped in the middle and flexed up and down A LOT. Usually once the halfnuts are closed on the leadscrew, this is sufficient to hold the leadscrew in place.

To get grooves like you are getting, either the saddle to bed fit or the headstock bearings is very loose and needs attention.

Check that leadscrew cover that you say crashed into the headstock. Make sure it is not fouling the leadscrew thread.

Try slowing your spindle speed down from 840 to about 400rpm.

Try turning a completely different piece of material. Just to see if the condition is universal and not just a freak combination of factors.

Thread: Proxxon lathe PD 400
16/05/2018 07:07:17
Posted by martin ranson 2 on 15/05/2018 19:14:24:

... ... now it needs the headstock lining back up with the bed and tailstock ...

... another thing that could be causing the taper problem are the 2 taper roller bearings ...


Before you go moving the headstock around and upsetting the factory alignment, a few things should be clarified and/or checked:

What exactly is "the taper problem"? How much over what distance? With the tailstock supporting the work, or without? (There are two distinctly different alignment issues between the two).

1. Have you correctly set the headstock bearings to the correct pre-load and ensured there is no spindle movement up and down or side to side?

2. Have you checked the lathe bed for "level" (which is really twist but is sometimes determined using a level)? If not, the Myford ML7 users manual available free all over the net contains the best description of how to level your lathe bed and how to add a small amount of twist to it if necessary to make it turn parallel. Consists of putting a small amount of shim under one foot or other on the tailstock end of the bed.

3: Regarding lining spindle with "bed and tailstock", aligning the tailstock is a separate operation, done last, by adjusting the tailstock body on its base to line it up with the spindle. Nowt to do with headstock mountings etc.

All these should be thoroughly checked and eliminated before you disturb the headstock mounting.

Re wear on the taper bearing races, yes they can wear. They should not be too expensive to buy (buy races and bearings, no point in replacing one without the other) and after 14 years could possibly be a little worn. I regard roller bearings as "consumables" like clutch plates and brake pads and like to replace them when I have something apart.


Edited By Hopper on 16/05/2018 07:17:19

Thread: What is this for? Mystery object
15/05/2018 10:46:30

Yes, more pics would be helpful.

My best guess so far is a post-bolting stable door latch.

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