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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: Miniature metric spanners
24/05/2022 13:30:03

Anything from Cromwell Tools, in UK?


Thread: Chris Deith
24/05/2022 13:28:31

Without Chris, E I M would not have been born, and without his mother activities, the hobby would have the poorer.


Thread: Nostalgic moment
24/05/2022 13:21:12

Never owned an Austin 7, but had dealings with those of friend. Clutcg pedal tarvel must have been almost 2 inches; and the brakes, or lack of them!.

Passed my test on a 1934 Austin 10.

My first car was a Singer 9 Coupe. It leaked oil, almost everywhere. Going home from Shrewsbury to Hereford each weekeend, it used to climb the hill out of Ludlow at the same speed, whether in 2nd or top gear. The difference was the size of the cloud of oil from the bell housing when I lifted off at the top of the hill! Like the earlier Austin 7s, the crank was only 2 bearing and flexed!

But life was more thrilling, if slower, in those days.

Good folk are still keeping them on the road


Thread: Removing a retaining washer
23/05/2022 17:21:15

Some of the names that they've been called won't be printable!

If it is a thin black washer with radial slots, it is probably called a Salterfix washerl

Occasionally pulling while rotating around the shaft will eventually remove them. About a 50 / 50 chance of terminabl damage,


Thread: An ER32 MT5 collet holder
23/05/2022 17:17:04

Good work Callum.

Have you ever heard the song "There's a hole in my bucket, Dear Liza"?

As always, every apparently simple job spawns three others!


Thread: MEW Index updated to Issue 316 (June 2022)
23/05/2022 17:11:47


To add to the others,

Thank You


Thread: aluminium sticking to end mill
23/05/2022 16:58:33

Aluminium does tend to weld to the cutter.

As suggested, reduce the speed. That should reduce temperatures at the cutting edge. And for Aluminium, paraffin (kerosene) is the usual lubricant, with WD40 or its lookalikes as alternatives

For an end mill, the feed rate should be no more than 0.002"/ tooth, so at 1,000 rpm and a 4 flute cutter, so less than 8" per minute.

On then other hand, don't let the cutter idle over the work, to rub and generate heat.



Thread: Just A New Somebody
23/05/2022 16:51:00


Which Engineering discipline do you follow?

Lots of fellow Engineers on here, with all sorts of expertise and skills, so you should be in good company.

If you have not yet found and joined a M E club, do so for lots more new friends



Edited By Howard Lewis on 23/05/2022 16:51:42

Thread: Button / ball oilers
23/05/2022 16:47:51

Ball oilers are interference fit in a plain bore, Drip feed or cup oilers are likely to need a threaded hole, so you will need to make adaptors.. And will stand proud of the surface.

Will this mean that they get sheared off at extremes of travel?

I have had ball oilers on my Warco Mill/Drill for nearly 30 years, anon my Engineers ToolRoom lathe for almost 20 without problems.

And I tend to be fairly heavy handed.

Maybe the OEM fittings were built down to a price, rather than to a quality?

FWIW, my advice would be replace with ones bought from Arc Euro, or Warco. They might be more durable.

If you break those, it might be the treatment that they get.

What sort of oil gun are you using? and how vigorously?.


Thread: The perennial question...
23/05/2022 16:37:38

A new machine will not not have the wear that will be present in a machine that is 70, 80 or more years old.

I started with a used Myford ML7, but despite spending money and time on it, it did not always do what I wanted, so it was replaced by a new, larger, Chinese lathe. I have been happy with it for 20 years, but have never used it to its full capacity, nor never will, probably.

Smallest item, 10 BA bolts; largest cast iron just over 6" diameter. Threads 4 mm pitch down to tapping 5 x 0.5 mm

NOT portable, at 300 Kg.

Don't use my mini lathe that much, but have yet to break anything. Powered through a surge protected mains lead!..

There are now many mini lathes being used by model engineers, without problems. Properly treated they do what the owners require. Most are sold as "Only for Hobby Use"

Some very good work be done o Chinese machines. (I have seen at least bone wrecked by ignorant abuse! )

A 400 watt motor and the gears to match it are not meant for taking 1/4" deep cuts in steel, any more than a 850 cc Mini was never intended to pull a 15 ton load...

If you want Industrial durability, you pay for it, AND HOW compared to hobby machines.

A SC2 or 3 is portable, just, by one man at about 35 Kgs.

A SC4 is not at about 125 Kgs.

As always, the advice on "What lathe should I buy?" has to to be "Think carefully about what you want it to do", subject to space and budget available. And perhaps, "What are your capabilities?"

What is produced is very much dependent on the operator. Any fool can produce rubbish on an excellent machine. Making good work on a worn machine requires skill and knowledge, but it can be done.

(Very probably, not by me! )


Thread: Is a 3" Cornish coal fire possible?
23/05/2022 16:04:13

The boilers for Cornish Beam Engines tended to use what Richard Trevitick called Strong steam" i.e at 40 psi compared to the low pressures favoured by James Watt

Often, the single flue was corrugated, to increase heating area.

As a model, possibly you could use the 3" copper tube as the outer shell, and a piece of 15 mm corrugated copper tube as the flue. I think that such tube should be available as a "flexible" pipe for plumbing in water taps.

It would be even better if available in 22 mm.

At a push, you could make up a set of rolls and corrugate 22 mm yourself..

Since the copper pipe available for domestic plumbing has a bursting pressure of several hundred PSI, you should be fairly safe working at a prototypical 40 PSI, given good brazing!


Thread: Fkesxispeed...what is the back gear for and how to use it
21/05/2022 19:34:13

As NDIY says, single phase motors are not as good as three phase, when it comes to smoothness of rotation..

My lathe has VFD. Back gear is used, infrequently, not for the increased torque that it makes available, but purely for the speed reduction. Compensates for my slow reactions.

(Definitely needed when cutting a 4 mm pitch thread up to an end stop! )

20/05/2022 12:17:11

As Nigel says "horses for Courses"

A lot of the time, I use a Tangential Turning tool with a HSS toolbit. But for anything hard, carbide comes into its own.

given the right speeds and feeds, both will deliver good finish.

A lightweight machine will not give of its best if overloaded. At least will not function well, at worst sustain permanent wear / damage.

Even with a machine with VFD, back gear can be very buseful. for a variety of reasons, even if only slow operator reactions!


Thread: Fix my (new) Lathe
20/05/2022 12:11:17

You cannot remove all clearance, or things will be immovable. There must be some clearance, even if only 0.025 mm to allow movement.

You are starting to fettle a hobby machine to improve the quality that you have bought.

Hobby machines are designed and manufactured to a low cost and affordable price..

They will not produce, certainly long term, to the leval of precision and longevity of an industrial machine. You will not be working the machine for 40 or more hours a week, week in and week out, close to its limits, that an industrial machine is made and expected to withstand.

Quality takes time to produce and control, which is why industrial quality machines are so much more costly.

By all means fine tune the machine, Lots of us make / add improvements. (The number of modifications made to machines make this obvious ), but keep a sense of proportion.


Thread: This trolley/cart could be useful
20/05/2022 11:58:08

In anticipation of (Hopefully the far off day ) when the machines have to be moved out of the workshop, which will, involve climbing a small step and turning corners, bought a sturdy trolley, with castors, from LIDL to supplement my Machine Mart one. Together, they will more than cope with the weight of the Mill and then the lathe when the dreaded time comes.,

Keep an eye open for when the offer comes round again.


Thread: New-style cover finish
20/05/2022 11:50:31

Noticed the high gloss finish.

Won't know just how much more slippy until I start piling late issues on top of the pile.

If they slip, shall have to find some means of restraint.

(That's the least on my problems with Mortons, at the moment. Hopefully things will get sorted soon )


Edited By Howard Lewis on 20/05/2022 11:52:19

Thread: Fkesxispeed...what is the back gear for and how to use it
19/05/2022 12:24:49

As already said, you must disengage the pulley from the Spindle when Back gear is engaged. Otherwise it will lock up, because, effectively, you have two different ratio gears engaged at the same time.

If the Back gear does succeed in overriding the pulley / Shaft, the chances are that both will be damaged..

Since the pulley will be rotating at a different speed from the Spindle, if back Gear is used for any length of time, it may be worth adding a spot of oil to Spindle / Pulley. Just enough to prevent any tendency to siezure.

When back Gear is not in use, the grubscrew will lock the pulley to the Spindle to provide the drive.


Thread: slipping chuck
19/05/2022 12:11:27

Faced with this problem, I would feel inclined to lap the two tapers together, and then follow up with dab of anaerobic, rotating the two against each other to ensure that it is evenly distributed.


Thread: Oil can (again)
19/05/2022 12:08:01

In my experience, the normal Enots oil cans work well, especially ones with "nylon" spouts, but best of all is the Reilang. It is expensive, does not leak, works at almost any angle and forces oil to where it is needed.

Ones supplied with a machine tend to leak, putting it mildly.

As always, you get what you pay for!


Thread: Do they exist?
17/05/2022 09:46:05

YES they do, or at least hybrids.

My Soba wiggler turned out to have a cylindrical probe, 0.100" diameter but a 6 mm ball! (Obviously a cock up )

Until I realised this, errors aplenty. Now, just have to remember whether to allow 0.050" or 0.118"


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