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Member postings for Howard Lewis

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

Thread: Myford Gearbox drain seal washer
08/11/2018 21:56:09

A Dowty seal (washer) is a steel washer with a double sided elastomeric rubber seal bonded to the I D. Rather like a lip seal on both sides of the washer.

Should be available from all sorts of sources. (Agricultural, hydraulic hose suppliers etc)


Thread: Solution found to the World's biggest problem . . .
08/11/2018 21:44:42

Not sure that HSE would approve of damaged/worn items being repaired or modified and repurposed.

Plus think of the effect on refuse tip employees!

But it would be kinder to the environment if we all did.


Thread: DTI Glass replacement
08/11/2018 21:33:00

I have a Mercer Type 212-1 where the "crystal" is missing. It seems to be retained by a snap ring..

The "crystal" cannot be replaced by a flat piece of acrylic since that would foul the pointer, so it must be domed to clear.

Gaugetech Ltd seem to be the Mercer spares and repair people.

Must find out how much a replacement crystal will cost.


Thread: Replacing ball-bearing in 3/4" drive ratchet
08/11/2018 18:47:45

Silly suggestion!

If the pin is soft enough to drill, could it be drilled out, although you will then have to take a few measurements to arrive at the correct length for its replacement.

Probably a tapping of that size would not be strong enough to pull the pin out so as to keep the original length measureable.


Thread: MEW Issue 178 Lathe Oiler Project
08/11/2018 16:41:39


Thanks for forwarding John's message. Have now sent him what he requested, so he may now contact Ketan for parts.


Thread: Noisey MEM switch
08/11/2018 16:38:19

To me it sounds like the laminations are vibrating because of the alternating magnetic field. Maybe a copious coating of varnish or paint would "glue" them together again, and solve the problem.


Thread: Lead Bearing Solder is Banned
08/11/2018 16:34:19

More likely that Russell will have the start of a thriving export business! (But hope that he is not based in Brussels!)


Thread: what Christmas present
07/11/2018 18:49:35

+1 for more space. Although that would result in more shelves and flat surfaces to load even more stuff!

Oh to dream!


07/11/2018 18:45:26

FWIW, 20 years on, my Warco Economy is a RF25, so Warco were buying from Rong Fu then.

You may be lucky and still be able to obtain spares, possibly after a delay for shipping to UK.

If not then the parts are easy to make.


07/11/2018 14:44:12

Martin, Thanks!

You have illustrated exactly what I was attempting to describe.

Ray Jones 1

Now you can see just how easy it would be to make a clamp assembly for the Quill, if you cannot source one from one of the UK Importers, such as Warco, Chester, or possibly Axminster.

One is a simple bit of turning and drill and tap, the other one is simple turning and drilling; Both needing (Catch 22) a bit of milling; or filing. And the Handle would be merely a simple turning and Die job, followed by a bit of brutality to bend the Handle. (Sod's law says it will end up at the wrong angle for you! )

Likely to be quicker and cheaper to make than buy? (About three hours in the shop, vs possibly 6 weeks to obtain from China?) When I mangled my lathe the quote was "Ex stock but with carriage and VAT" nearly £70. A gear cutter £22 and a length of Silver Steel £14. What took the time was finding that whilst I could count, the Division chart was inaccurate. And the resulting shaft was stronger than the original )

Do let us know how you get on.


Thread: Machine light
07/11/2018 13:50:41

Running a filament lamp on overvoltage will decrease its life, disproportionately, (exponentially? ).

So a 24 volt lamp on 30 volts will have a considerably shorter life especially as the initial No Load voltage may well be higher. If you could run the 24 volt lamp in series with something that drops 6 volts when taking the same current as the 24 volt bulb, you would be home and dry. (If you could find one, a 6 volt lamp of the same wattage, or maybe a 12 volt of double the wattage, as the 24 volt worklight?). A resistor dropping 6 volts at the current consumption of the main lamp is likely to become quite hot. Useful as additional heating in the winter, but not so good in the summer!

Hhad the supply been Dc, it might have been possible to find a couple of solid state 12 volt regulators, capable of withstanding the current draw, and connected in series with each other (on a suitable heatsink ), and the 24 volt lamp.

Just a few thoughts


An extreme case was that of Photoflood bulbs, BRIGHT but shortlived. They were actually 110 volt, but run on 230/240 volts had a life of a very few hours. The current surge on start up was what did the damage. Soft starting on a lower voltage to heat the filament extended life considerably.


Thread: ME taps and dies
07/11/2018 13:31:33

If you want to hold taps in the Tailstock, the quick and nasty way is in a Drill chuck, but this is not advisable with ME 40 taps; the threads are likely to strip rather than drag the Tailstock along the lathe bed.

I made a Tap Holder, using ER25 Collets, to slide on the same arbor as my Tailstock Die holder. In this way the load on the tap is mostly that of thread cutting, rather than dragging a weight along as well

The collets needed to be surprisingly tight to grip the tap. But this has the advantage that if it hangs up, it slips rather than breaking. And having once started the tap , the job can be removed from the lathe and the tapping completed by hand, where you have a feel for how much torque is being applied.


Thread: MEW Issue 178 Lathe Oiler Project
07/11/2018 12:35:45

PM with your E mail address, and I'll send the pictures


Thread: Total Noob
07/11/2018 12:04:51


LOTS and LOTS of info available on here. As Neil says, do ask, someone will have hit the same problem and found a solution.

For what my advice is worth, before you buy any machines think about what you want to do. Then for the final decision buy a machine a little larger than you think. Your horizons will expand, and although fabulous work has been done on machines that appear to be too small, You can do small work on a big machine, but not the other way round. I am not suggesting that you go looking for a 21 inch Dean Smith and Grace, but try to avoid the frustration of finding that later jobs make your first machine struggle.

Good Luck, and Enjoy!


Thread: Myford ML4 question.
06/11/2018 18:40:34

Hello Nick!

I would be interested in any of your experiences with the ML4. Am trying to help someone who has bought a ML4 but with bits missing! He won't want to use the machine to its full capacity, but I want to help him to make it as versatile as possible, for minimum effort and cost. As he finds what can be done on it, he will gain confidence

The Lathes UK website has answered one or two questions already, by showing what this casting with a steel pin sticking out was for. It should be bolted on to carry the missing cover for the Changewheels!

One of the problems is going to be obtaining the BSW and BSF fixings that will be required, and then getting them to him from 140 miles away!

Hopefully, between us we will make some of the parts needed so that he can do more work on it.

Just to complicate conversations, he works in Metric, whilst I am a Luddite in Imperial!

So any tips or information will be most welcome.

The technique shown in MEW 274 for the ML7 was to drill/tap the Bull Wheel and fit a short capscrew. To remove the chuck, The capscrew is brought to bear against a steel bar extending to the mandrel. In this way the mandrel is locked without risking gear teeth, whilst torque is applied to the chuck. On the ML4, the risk is then to the grubscrew, but suitable relatively minor "fettling" can reduce the risk.

Typical! You solve one problem and create another! But overcoming challenges is what makes the hobby so absorbing.


Thread: Electrolux vacuum - Need to make a missing wheel
06/11/2018 17:55:53

Good Work Geoff!

You have the satisfaction of having made something that may not be available: Will work as well, if not better , than the original: will probably survive far longer than the original.

Oh the Job Satisfaction!

Especially after being told "You won't get one of them. Haven't been available for years"

Years ago, the local Austin agent told an ex colleague "You won't get a replacement for that broken clutch slave cylinder push rod for your A35" I wonder if he went back and showed the one that we made up? Only a bit of welding and filing involved.

The downside? Probably the better wheel will result in something else failing. At least you know what to do when the one on the other side breaks!

People like us are no good for today's "Kleenex" Society. We like Trigger's broom, three new heads and only two handles.


Fat fingers again!

Edited By Howard Lewis on 06/11/2018 17:58:38

Thread: laying up an engine
06/11/2018 17:35:41

As a non steam man, my suggestions would be.

Spray oil into the steam chest and cylinder, and then fill the boiler the top with 50/50 antifreeze solution., to benefit from the inhibitors, and the risk of frost damage. Drain and flush out before steaming next season!

Oil/grease all bright metal work, cover, but leave the bottom open so that any moist air can fall out.

Through lack of space my bandsaw lives outside. The bare metal is oiled from time to time, and the "box" cover is made of the same material used for curtainsider trailers, with the bottom open. Rust is not a problem.


Thread: Deburing holes
06/11/2018 17:24:35

Some deburring tools have an additional cutting tool which is intended for deburring the "far" side of a hole, so may be effective for deburring the hole on the inside of a tube.

If you skim the inside of a tube, Sod's law says that you will throw a burr into the cross drilled hole. You never win 'em all.


Thread: Myford ML4 question.
06/11/2018 17:18:06

The Change Gears on ML4s and their predecessors are pinned (3/32 pins) and are easily damaged by trying to use them to lock the Spindle for removal of the chuck I made a few replacements for a friend who used to use this technique on his ML4.

Take a look at lathes UK website for ML2, 3, and 4 info. There is a specific warning about engaging Back Gear without loosening the Grubscrew, forecasting damaged gears if you do this to lock the spindle to remove a chuck.

This months M E W (274 ) has an article on a simple tool and way of locking the spindle on a the ML7 for chuck removal, without risk to the gears, and this could probably be applied in a similar manner to the earlier ML lathes.

Gripping a piece of timber or steel bar between the chuck jaws, and administering a sharp downward whack on the end of the timber often works as a fairly low risk means of slackening a chuck.

Another way is to grip a fair sized hexagon in the 3 jaw chuck, and apply a socket and a long bar, to slacken a sticking chuck. Again, a suddenly applied torque, via a mallet will be effective.

My 8 inch 4 jaw chuck has a 5/16 hole in the rear flange into which a bit of 5/16" silver steel, clamped to a piece of 1" x 5/16" x 12" flat bar is placed, ready for the impact of a copper/hide mallet. Has worked every time for the last 15 years!

Prevention is better than cure: make sure the threads, male and female are clean and undamaged, and don't spin the chuck on under power , or even fast by hand. Light lubrication may prevent rusting, if that is a concern.


Thread: Small Hex Fastenings
06/11/2018 16:55:23

If all else fails, and you can source "correct" size A/F bar, how about making the Nuts and Bolts that you need?

PITA if you have hundreds to do, but not so bad if you only need half a dozen of a size.

During WW2, to save material, Whitworth and BSF hexagons were changed to the next size down, so a 5/16 BSF spanner then operated on a 3/8 BSW fixing, and so on.


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