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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: 5BA Threads
28/09/2020 18:27:11

The chances are that the 5BA screws are undersize by a couple of thou because they have been truncated to avoid interference between toot and crests.

Most fasteners are made in this way, for just that reason.

Somewhere I still have the Apprentice Training handout giving the formulae to truncate UNF threads..


Thread: Ways to use your calipers
28/09/2020 18:21:22

If it needs saying, sometimes a digital calliper, or scale, that has gone haywire can be restored by stripping off the read head and gently cleaning everything in sight. But don't lose the tiny screws, or put the strips back in the wrong place or the wrong way round.

Now how would I know that?


Thread: Warco Major Mill
28/09/2020 18:11:41

Have not got power feed because, from memory, are only supplied in 110 Volt form and the unit and the 240 / 110 volt transformer are quite a costly combination.


Thread: Removing bang in self tappers
28/09/2020 18:07:28

Hammer drive screws are HARD, and will fracture if the blow is sideways on

If it does not break when hammered sideways, it will enlarge the hole, reducing grip when replaced..

Being dome headed, they are difficult to grip, but with a good ole Grip, (Vise Grip etc ) they can, eventually be unscrewed. Patience and some strength is needed.

Can you manage to bend the "window" upwards a little, rather than remove?


Thread: ER 32 Collet Tightening Torque.
28/09/2020 18:01:54

A spanner (Home made in my case ) to fit the flats on the holder, and a hearty blow with the other hand on the C spanner supplied usually suffices.

Ditto for slackening


Thread: Hello - coming out of the shadows!
28/09/2020 17:58:17


Your "new" lathe is very versatile bit of kit.

I modified my look-a-like machine by making and fitting a 80T gear to the input of the Norton box, to halve the feed rate. Mine is Metric with dual dials. Yours could be Imperial or Metric, Warco offered both versions..

On mine, the setscrews clamping the Top Slide were pretty soft and were soon replaced.

17 years on, the original belts are still in good condition.

If the secondary belt does need replacing, Roger Warren advised against stripping the Headstock, but to cut off the old belt and replace with link belting, to avoid disturbing the pre-load on the bearings and the oil seals..

The chucks, especially the 8", 4 Jaw are heavy, so a wooden chuck board is an early accessory to make.

FWIW, avoid clashing the saddle with anything, when under power feed. The shaft and the integral pinion engaging the rack is adequate for normal use, but not of high grade material. It bends easily, as I know to my cost!

At one time, I thought that the belts were slipping. The problem was too shallow a dimple in the shaft that carries the belt tensioner. Soon cured, but not a lot of room to refit the bolt between the lever and the link.

The bolt clamping the Fixed Steady needs to be the made captive, to avoid frustration..

But, overall, not a bad machine


Thread: Myford set up.Time to get it right.
26/09/2020 20:02:46

Agree with Tony Pratt.

To check the Mandrel, the test bar has to be seated in the clean 2 MT taper of the Mandrel. Using a chuck introduces another two possible sources of error, so that the result says nothing about the Mandrel.

Holding an absolutely parallel bar in a three jaw chuck could result in any reading of run out, from Zero to 0.036", depending on how good the Mandrel and the chuck happen to be, based on the ones that I have seen


Thread: Warco Rotary Table - Can anybody give feedback please?
26/09/2020 19:40:50

The Vertex HV6 used to be supplied under a number of different marques. The one supplied by Myford looked just like mine, with a Myford badge instead of Vertex.

The spreadsheet was made up to cover the errors and omissions in the Vertex HV6, with a 90:1 ratio.

The HV 6 chart could be used to check that supplied with any other 90:1 ratio table, as long as the Division Plates are the same, in terms of numbers of holes.

If your table has a ratio other than 90:1, amending one of the formulae from 90 to the ratio of your table should result in a set of readings for yours.

I am not a mathematical genius, far from it, so it should be easy for anyone else, as long as you can use EXCEL.


Thread: Reminiscences
19/09/2020 20:50:20

Great scot!

Some of you must be as old as me!

My father was firewatching in Birmingham on the night that Coventry was bombed. he said that they could see the glow in sky. He was in the Ministry of War was allowed petrol for our car. One only two in the road!

Being carried min my Grandfather's arms down into the Anderson shelter, to sit on upturned flowerpots, by the light of candles, and seeing a bomber flying down the next road, just above the roof of the houses!

One night in the winter of 1947 it dropped a foot of snow outside our backdoor. Thankfully, it stayed in place when we opened the door! Schools stayed open until the pipes froze. One teacher used to come in from a village outside town.

What a contrast with today, where they seem to close if the sky clouds over!

An uncle was a corn merchant, living in a watermill five miles out of town. Auntie cooked on a paraffin stove, even baking with a paraffin heated oven! A high powere paraffin lamp was an Aladdin with a mantle. Almost as good as a modern 60 watt bulb.

I rode on what must have been one of the last trams in Birmingham. Hereford had what must have been the last Midlkand Red double decker where the bell was rung, on both decks, by a long leather thong hung from the ceiling.. (Just like the single deckers, with their cast iron route number boards. The new ones with roller screens were amazing!

We used to have fogs that were so bad that you could scarcely see the lit gas mantle when you stood at the base of the post. And you could not see across the road!

Saturday cinema, 6d , or 9d to sit upstairs, to watch the Lone ranger, Robin Hood, the Ghost Riders!

Rooms lit by gas mantles, with little bits drifting down on to.

Our old radio had a 2 volt accumulator, but the High Tension battery Eliminator charge it when the set was switched off. The "switch" control was a small bridge that you moved from one socket to another, and got quite a belt if your hands were wet. And the noises that you could make by turning the Reaction control too far!

Swinging the handle to start tractors, and a binder towed behind was high tech, instead of a gang of men with Scythes.

Distance lends enchantment to the view???????????


Thread: interest renewed
19/09/2020 12:33:46

I tried using a Vertical Slide in my ML7. maybe I was too heavy handed, but it was not rigid enough for me.

Bought a Rodney milling attachment, which was better, but that showed up a lack of rigidity in the lathe itself.

So I bought a Warco Economy (RF25) as the largest that fit into then workshop at that time.

I have used a larger Vertical Slide (Intended for a Seig SC6 but adapted for my larger 12" swing lathe ) This sufficed for the few jobs for which it has been needed. (Jobs too long to fit into the Mill )

FWIW, buy the heaviest and most rigid Vertical Slide that you can find and fit / adapt to your lathe.

Like others, for milling in the lathe, I prefer an ER chuck on a backplate, so that any long work needing to be turned can pass through into the Mandrel, if required.


Thread: Hello to the forum
19/09/2020 12:18:53


Someone will have the answer to your questions!


Thread: Which lathe
19/09/2020 12:17:36

As Chris says, include mandrel bore in your considerations. It can be VERY frustrating to have job that needs a mandrel just the next MT size up.

The odd job will crop up needing a 4MT and you have a 3MT; and then you grit your teeth and say "Oh dear me" or something like that!

If it's big, you don't have to use all of it, but if it's small it won't fit at all!


Thread: Hi
19/09/2020 12:10:48


Already to pick up the threads., where you left off.

As S O D says, far eastern mills are that bad. I've had and used a RF25 for over 20 years, without problems, other than those of my own making.

Your ML7 will be Imperial, but most, if not all new machines will be Metric, so dig out that calculator! many a good tune and all that!

If you have any queries, ask on here.i There will always be differences in opinion over machines. But each to his own. You makes your choice and pays your money!


Thread: Best way to remember Mill movements when turning hand wheels
18/09/2020 18:19:41

It will all depend on the construction of the particular machine.

If the Handwheel is attached to the Table, and is at the Right Hand end of the machine, clockwise rotation will move the table to the Left. (As if you were screwing a bolt into a fixed nut. )

To achieve the same effect if the nut is fixed to the Table, and the Handwjheel to the machine base, you need a Left Hand thread on the Leadscrew to move then table to the Left.

My mill has the Handwheel attached to the Table, so uses a Right Hand thread Leadscrew. for the X axis.

Then cross Slide on my Lathe has the Handwheel fixed to the Saddle, and the nut fixed to the Cross Slide so uses a Left Hand thread on the Leadscrew to produce forward movement (AWAY from me ) for Clockwise rotation of the Handwheel. As does the Handwheel for the Y axis on the Mill.

Confusing aint'it?


Thread: Rotary Table 3 or 4 slot?
18/09/2020 18:00:36

My Vertex HV6 has 4 slots giving an extra 33% of choice if needed.

I tend to use a small 4 jaw chuck on a Myford/2MT adaptor when the face of the table is vertical, but bolt to the table when the face is horizontal..

To my way of thinking, the most important feature is the ratio. The higher the ratio, the greater accuracy that can be achieved i e any error in moving the Handle is decreased to a 90th as opposed to a 40th or a 36th..

Others may feel free to differ. Purely my choice.


Thread: Diamond wheel dressing - MEW 297
18/09/2020 12:21:08

Ah! So you are looking to use a Diamond to dress a Carborundum type wheel, rather than dressing a Diamond wheel?

There should be several companies able to supply such a tool. They can be single diamond, or a cluster point.


Thread: Which lathe
18/09/2020 12:16:13

Yes, some suppliers quote power but only Input, where others quote Output, which is more important,, because that is where the metal gets cut Caveat Emptor and all that! Do your homework thoroughly first.


18/09/2020 10:16:23

Which lathe you choose is governed by a variety of factors, particular to the individual concerned.

(Not necessarily in this order of importance to every purchaser )

1 What is it going to used to make?

2 How much space is available?

3 The budget

4 "Must have" features, as opposed to "Nice to have"

5 Not to mention transporting from delivery point to final installation.

(Moving a 300Kg machine, some distance over soft, possibly sloping, ground, and installing it, can be quite an undertaking.)

My already at least secondhand Myford ML7 eventually went because of the frustration with the small bore of the 2MT Headstock.

Its larger new Chinese successor had features that the Myford ML7 lacked. ( Larger bore Headstock, VFD, PCF., Power feed shaft separate from the Leadscrew,.

I had been going to buy the latest Myford Super 7 Sigma, but for the same specification ( Chucks, Steadies, Norton gearbox etc) it would cost at least four times as much as the eventual purchase, and could not have PCF which I was keen to have.

Effectively, although dual dialled, it was a Metric machine;, but is capable of cutting a greater variety of Imperial threads than Metric!



Thread: "The Unique"
17/09/2020 14:28:04

My grandparents never used the gas fired copper in the kitchen/scullery. Water was heated by the back boiler behind the range in the dining room. This was replaced by a normal fireplace with tiled surround, but was as ineffective as the range in heating water, but lacked the oven by its side, which had been used to keep dishes warm.

The sitting room was only rarely used, because the fire in there had to lit and tended.

Ah! The days before central heating, TV and power points in each room, when three speed gear meant a De Luxe bike!


Thread: Marking out blueing or pens?
17/09/2020 13:27:38

Prussian blue (Mine is Micrometer Brand   is DIFFICULT to remove from fingers, but ideal for scraping surfaces.

For marking out, Spirit blue is the one to use. Again hard to remove from fingers!

A Sharpie or a blue felt tip (Chisel point) can be used for marking out, but, is not as durable, in my experience, as spirit blue.



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