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Member postings for richardandtracy

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

Thread: Making brass and bronze
23/02/2018 14:44:42
Posted by Hopper on 23/02/2018 07:06:12:

You'll spend more on a furnace, gas burners, gas, crucibles, ladles, protective gloves, apron, goggles etc etc than the cost of a couple of bars of brass from a metals supplier. Sell your copper cable and brass fittings to a scrappie and spend the change on the brass bar.

There is no need to spend a fortune on a furnace. To replace my entire furnace, fuel, sand & casting stuff would cost anything up to £5 depending on how much scrap there is locally to clear up. I could cast bronze & pewter, but have not. I do cast aluminium. The fuel I use is pallets or an old hardwood conservatory. I have used house coal and charcoal, but have to pay for them so avoid it except in extremis. A welding apron, welding gauntlets and steel toecap boots are adequate for small quantities of aluminium and similar, and how many of us don't have them? If you don't, you should...



Thread: A Mounts drawings .. Hi-res Figures 21, 22, 23
22/02/2018 15:55:03

There is a Ferrabee 23 here: **LINK**


Thread: Bergen Dies and Taps
22/02/2018 14:50:10

For low usage in of Bergen Taps in MS/aluminium/brass they are OK. Reasonable quality, price that's affordable. Carbon steel, works well for the less used sizes. I have M9x1.0, M10x1.0, M12 x 2 twin start from them. For these odd sizes I'd never have been able to afford them at the price of good HSS taps, and they still exist in adequate condition after my need for those sizes has passed.

I would not advocate them for regular/semi-industrial use.




Edited By richardandtracy on 22/02/2018 14:50:52

Thread: New Member intro - with a bowed ME beam aluminum bedplate question
22/02/2018 13:35:48

Agree about heating. The most commonly used aluminium casting material 45 years ago for this type of little casting was LM4 to BS 1490. It has about 1% strain to failure, so is a very brittle material, and if the casting has the curvature you suggest, it'll fracture long before deforming enough.

Another fun idea might be to cast your own. It isn't all that hard to do with aluminium & can be done very cheaply. I was inspired to do my own casting by a fellow countryman of yours: **LINK**

I ended up with a tiny furnace that I wrote up here: **LINK** The article is quite old, but I last used it 21 days ago, and the concrete lining is just about shot after 15 years or so.



Thread: Jock Miller's Taper Turning Attachment.
15/02/2018 16:07:44

No. Quite the opposite. The GA without the piece parts would be quite difficult to use, much more to the benefit of those who did buy the magazine. Just thinking that the web site could be used as an extension to the magazine for bits where there wasn't room to include them. I did, as others have said, think it'd have been useful to see a GA in the magazine, but could see there was no room.

Ah well, idea successfully squished.



15/02/2018 13:30:30

The GA seems an ideal thing to put as a download on this site, single page PDF, meaningless to someone who's not read the article in MEW.



Thread: Steam locomotive more technologically advanced than modern airliners for its time?
15/02/2018 09:41:58

Was the steam loco as cutting edge technology in the 1920's as an aircraft is now?


By the 1920's steam engines were old hat and had significantly failed to improve efficiency, running costs and improve design life. Look at Chapelon's and Porta's work on developing steam technology. They did nothing that was not possible in the 1920's using 1920's knowledge, theory and equipment. Porta in particular took a 1920's steam loco and made it more efficient and cheaper to run than a diesel for 10 years in the 1980's, keeping a coal mine in Argentina viable. The fact that the work was not done in the 1920's speaks volumes of how far back locos were from the cutting edge. Porta's work really emphasised the inefficiencies and poor design in steam locos that were there all the time.

In the 1920's an aeroplane was the cutting edge technology. Aircraft still are cutting edge technology because of the pressure of the fact an aircraft is such a phenomenally expensive bit of kit to run and in a hugely competitive industry. If 1% can be shaved off the fuel consumption or manufacturing cost, it's a major cost saving. If a part can be made lighter, it can contribute to fuel saving. If a bit can be made more reliable and lighter, even better. If it can be made lighter, cheaper & more reliable everyone wins. That's what's driving 3D printing in aircraft bits, and is as 'forefront of technology' as you can get. In the 1920's there was the same drive to get bigger aircraft, increase range, more passengers, fewer deaths. The forefront of technology at the time was in petrol engines and the conversion from wood to the new wonder material, aluminium. All happened in aircraft, not locos. The developments in locos in the 1920's were brute force & ignorance developments, more power, more fuel & more pressure. There was no finesse in the understanding & application of the engineering.



Thread: Self tapping sheet metal screws
14/02/2018 14:04:20

BZP screws when hardened have a strength of 1200 N/mm^2 minimum. Stainless, if A2 or A4 type has a strength of 800N/mm^2 at best, and possibly down to the 450 N/mm^2 mark depending on the amount of work hardening and temp at which it was work hardened (some are done at high temp to soften the steel, which reduces the amount of work hardening possible). Thus they are considerably weaker and more likely to strip the thread.

The other problem is the wretched material has a habit of micro welding (galling) under pressure which produces a very effective weld just where & when you don't want it. Having welded itself to the substrate, something else breaks. And frequently, under sod's law, so does the strong weld that caused the 'something else' to break.

So, yes I have experienced it & always try to use BZP. Then slather with paint/goo to stop rusting if outside.



Thread: Unusual reamer
14/02/2018 13:43:19


I wonder if it was a reamer that could be 'adjusted' by putting bits of paper against the un-machined side. Would open the hole out a little if needed.



Thread: What quality vs cost considerations drives your buying?
13/02/2018 15:14:09

I reckon Hopper had a point about the inconvenience of a cheap tool being out of service for a while, but where is the line drawn? In my case with the cheap power tools, I've had 3 fail (with plenty of warning) in 30 years. That's an hour wasted every 10 years... However, there are lots of tools in a workshop.

I like the idea of tool categories, how critical they are and therefore how important it is to have either good tools or spares. Must admit I have been thinking about what may need spares for a while after the insert retention screw on my RH lathe tool seized and the insert wore out. Ended up having to drill out a screw I could barely see, and if I'd bodged it up, RH shoulder turning would be somewhat more difficult, and words would have been spoken. At length, with feeling.

I do agree, with battery powered tools, the more expensive ones are usually better. To avoid waste on a very cheap 12v drill driver, I was fortunate that our car battery died at roughly the same time as the screwdriver cells. The battery's no good for the car, but has plenty of oomph for a screwdriver. OK, it meant turning a cordless driver into a corded one with a big, heavy lump attached, but It now works better than it did when new.

Definitely food for thought.



13/02/2018 09:06:32

One of the responses in a recent thread brought it home to me that quite a few people have totally different cost-quality assessments from me, and I was wondering what yours are.

I have often seen it said 'Buy the best you can afford'. Over the last 30 years I have been, accidentally, conducting an experiment to test this assertion with electric corded drills. In 1988 I bought a fairly expensive Bosch drill, and it was the best I could afford at the time. A year later, I came across a job where I was going to need to mask up, and effectively use the drill as a mortar rake in conditions that would seriously shorten the life of my expensive drill. So, I bought a cheap drill, as cheap as I could find. After that job, I used the two interchangeably, and when the cheap one wore out, I replaced it. When there was a horrible job, the cheap one always got used to protect the Bosch.

Now, 30 years on, my Bosch drill is just about worn out, as is my fourth cheap drill. So, I thought I'd look at the running costs over those 30 years, taking inflation into account. Over that time, taking inflation into account, the current value of my Bosch is £150. The current value of the 4 cheap drills is £100. And they had a harder life, always being chosen for the difficult, dusty jobs with large side loads etc.

So, is it worth buying the best you can afford? In the case of hand held electric drills, my experience would suggest that it's a foolish assertion. I know it's a limited sample, but is one where people have decided opinions.

Now, there are other cases. I have seen, and that is what prompted me to start this thread, the assertion that milling cutters should be bought to last a lifetime.


On the face of it, it seems sensible advice, but look more closely & the foundations to the assertion seem shaky. I'd like to explain:

  1. As time goes on, cutter geometry improves, feeds & speeds can be increased. How many cutters from the 1930's are viable now? That's a lifetime ago, so would fall into the category of 'Buy tools for a lifetime'.
  2. Inherent in the assertion is that more expensive = better. That is a fallacy as more expensive just means you have less money in your wallet. If you have had any experience of marketing people, you understand that they will always charge as much as they can, and value is not directly related to cost
  3. If a factory in a far eastern country churns out 50,000 tools using cnc machines at £5 each, does that inherently make them of lower quality than the same tool made as a one-off tool in the UK with a manual machine at £75? No, quite obviously the far eastern country is benefiting from investment that enables them to get huge production savings, and the UK company has squandered its competitive advantage by not investing in machinery.
  4. In 20 years time, will the hugely expensive tool do the job you want? Or would it have been better to invest in a tool at a lower price so you can afford another tool to do the job you need to do now?

When doing an assessment of cost-vs-quality, I look for the cheapest tool that will do the job well enough. Well enough means +/- 0.02mm for most of the work I do (for cost reasons at work we try to keep machinings to +/-0.5mm as any tighter tolerances is not often needed if the design is adequately thought through). If the tool looks as if it'll only last the one job, that is a weighting on the cost side, making the tool less attractive. Basically, looking at the tools ArcEurotrade sell, I reckon they have the quality about right, but if I can get the stuff cheaper, I'll be a happy bunny.

Where does your cost - quality dividing line sit? And do you have other considerations that come to play in most of your purchases? Do you go for a tool per job at one extreme, or a tool per lifetime at the other?



Thread: R8 ER32 collet chuck
11/02/2018 10:00:16

I have bought collet chucks from e-bay seller 'cskwin2015'. A DTI registers a slight movement, but well under 0.01mm.

Currently cskwin is selling MT3 + 9 collets for under £34 inc post. Cannot complain at that. Have to confess I'm finding Chinese stuff increasing good quality, with duff bits the exception rather than the rule. The only bit of rubbish I've had in the last 2 years was a 0.05mm resolution vernier calliper made from stainless for £3.02, and with that the price was too good to be true.



Thread: Clarke CL430 or CL500 - help needed
09/02/2018 20:42:59

Sorry, forgot until just now.

Largest idler diameter is 130mm. It's flush with the outer surface of the belt when used.

Hope that helps


Thread: Iscar face mill
07/02/2018 15:20:22
Posted by richardandtracy on 06/02/2018 21:28:00:

... I am likely to order a BAP400R 50 22 with MT3 mandrel and 10 inserts,...

Have just ordered... Cost £28.82p, the exchange rate is fractionally worse today than yesterday.

As a comparator pricewise, the face mill it'll replace is currently sold by Clarke (Part No. 7610322) and costs from £54.



Thread: Tooling to buy with Warco WM250 and WM16?
06/02/2018 22:13:52

Question is, what are you more likely to do?

I make pens and find an ER32/MT4 collet chuck perfect on the lathe. I have another ER32/MT3 for tool holding in the milling head and a third ER32/MT2 for the rotary table and precision drilling in the drill press. What you do may push you down entirely different directions.

My suggestion is to keep a pot of money for tooling and raid it when you need a particular tool.



Thread: Iscar face mill
06/02/2018 21:28:00

I suspect you'll be really surprised at the price of the type of cutter Muzzer is suggesting. I am likely to order a BAP300R 50 22 with MT3 mandrel and 10 inserts, I don't expect to have to pay more than £28 inc postage from China. It makes looking for replacement, poor shape, inserts for my Warco face mill seem utterly pointless. Replacement inserts can be as low as £6.50 for 10. And, no, they are not a pile of horse manure - who do you think makes 90% of inserts worldwide? Same people as makes the iPhone, the Chinese.



Thread: Clarke CL430 or CL500 - help needed
06/02/2018 21:05:07

I have a Clarke 430 and the Warco version of the CL500. They use the same belts and have the same speeds.

The Clarke is in an unlit workshop. I will try to measure the Warco tomorrow evening. Can't go out again this evening.



Thread: What did you do Today 2018
05/02/2018 16:36:07
Posted by Martin Kyte on 05/02/2018 15:10:04:

So why can't we have a decimal week? We could get a whole 3 extra days !!!! and surely we should standardise the month.

regards Martin

The Romans used an 8 day week, so it must have been a bit of a dislocation throughout the Empire when they moved to the 7 day week when Christianity was adopted as the official religion.



05/02/2018 13:46:03
Posted by Mike on 05/02/2018 12:21:56:

Was it A4 or American Fools..cap? Just thought I'd throw in another measurement...

Wonderful naming of that size of US paper.

I have worked on aeroplanes & in general engineering & find that I can drop from one unit system into the other, but find a certain amount of difficulty relating between the two. For me, it's metric in millimetres to use at home. But I will refer to inches (by which I mean 25mm), feet (300mm), yards (900mm), pounds (500g) and pints (500cc) in my own form of metricated imperial when making rough adjustments for people stuck in the past who use superseded units.



04/02/2018 08:27:01

An MPa is a Newton/mm^2. Most stress engineers work in N/mm^2 rather than MPa because the numbers are too big.

There are 144.9885 psi in every N/mm^2

Standard 'grade 43' structural steel, S275, yields at 275 N/mm^2.

Anyway, some of those mental hooks may be useful.



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