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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 ML4 change gear modification
16/05/2022 12:23:42

When I helped a chap to get his ML4 up and running, one of the things that was needed was another 60T gear.

The only one available was from a ML7.

One of the existing gears was mounted on a stud and drill through to act as a jig for drilling the 3/32" hole into the 60T gear, opposite the keyway..

Once this was done, by using 20T gears as drivers, it was possible to arrange a fine feed, 20:60 / 20:65 / 20:60

The 20:65 intermediate Idler ensured that there was no clash between the 20:60 compound meshes..

With the 8 tpi Leadscrew, this gave a mechanical feed rate of about 0.004" per rev. This provides quite a good surface finish on finishing cuts.


Thread: Screw Jack Casting
11/05/2022 11:59:05

One tip.

When machining cast iron, if possible, place a magnet under a sheet of paper, as close as safely possible to the machining point.

Plastic sheet is no good since the hot swarf melts a hole almost at once.

The magnet will attract a lot of the swarf. Sadly not all, it but will make cleaning up easier.


Thread: Code of Conduct
11/05/2022 11:53:29

Am fed up with the PC / "woke" brigade, who seem to search for things at which to take offence.

Wait until they read this!!.

Am presently in discussion with the school onto which we back (Built after we moved in in early in 1973. )

Our new security fence needs to be screened to give privacy to our house and the school.

My wife and I obviously are two paedophiles in their eyes!

Apparently it never occurs to anyone that any of the local residents can go upstairs to view the school grounds!

But the box has been ticked, so they will be happy..


Thread: Advice on Choosing A Mini Lathe
10/05/2022 15:01:37

Ian shows that with care and attention, a reasonable purse can be made from a sow's ear!

And how do you put a price on the satisfaction of having improved and fine tuned the machine?


Thread: Newb to ME and ....well... everything
10/05/2022 14:47:14

Welcome to the Forum.

With a lathe, all manner of projects, repairs and modifications become possible.

If you can find a local model engineering club, do join it, to meet with like minded individuals.

On here, in ME and MEW and at the club, you will find help, encouragement and inspiration.


Thread: Howdy
10/05/2022 14:42:52

Welcome to the Forum, and the VAST fund of knowledge that members possess and are willing to share.

What projects / interests involve you most?

Where are you located?

If not already a member, it may be advantageous to find a local model engineering society and to join.


Thread: Help identifying mystery steady rests - possibly Myford 4" Precision?
10/05/2022 14:27:01

Homer nodded!

It was in pre lockdown days that I helped a newbie to recommission the ML4 that he had bought. The distance added too much enchantment to the view!

But a 4" centre height is too great for one.

It sounds as if the answer is the 4" Myford MF74.

Again, the Forum provides an answer!


Thread: Cutting my first gear
08/05/2022 11:56:48

If it will help to keep the chuck tight on the spindle, rotating the blank for the next tooth in the direction that tightens the chuck, to take out any backlash, MAY help.

It is taken as read that everything else is locked whilst the cut is being taken.

You are doing the right thing by experimenting and gaining experience on spare material, rather than on an expensive, or irreplaceable part! Fortunately, when I found the errors, the material could be replaced, so all in all, it was a useful learning curve.


Thread: Socket set sizes
08/05/2022 11:37:23

Are the sockets too badly rusted for any identification marks to be visible?

Stating the painfully obvious, using the wrong socket to slacken a hexagon fastener, which is very tight, can result in the corners being damaged or removed. The socket might even split!

Depending up on the age of the sockets, if of recent vintage, they might be Metrinch or Flank Drive sockets, (identifiable by the "flats" not being, but curved ).

Metrinch sockets and ring spanners will drive, Whit, AF or Metric fasteners, sometimes where a conventional socket of that type and size will not.

Once you have identified each socket, accurately, it may be worth engraving each one to clarify the size and application


Thread: Help identifying mystery steady rests - possibly Myford 4" Precision?
07/05/2022 15:34:13

The Myford ML1 and 2 have a centre height of 3.125", while the ML3 and 4 are 3.5" centre height, all with solid dovetail beds.

So, at 4" centre height and clamping in the middle on a flat bed, not for not for them.

Try searching through potentials on the Lathes UK website. You might see a LOT of lathes, in the process.


Thread: Advice on Choosing A Mini Lathe
06/05/2022 19:16:19

For years, I hankerd after a lathe, and eventually bought a "Previously owned" Myford ML7.

Because it was lathe that I knew was used by lots of model engineers, and in some industrial tool;rooms.

I had NO idea of the use to which the lathe would be put. other than being confident that it would be a very useful machine.

As I started to use it, I found that more and more jobs could be done on it. But some exposed, in my view limitations, so as I retired I bought a larger Taiwanese lathe, which was even more versatile.

As a bit of an extravagance, I bought, secondhand, a mini lathe. It does not see a lot of use, but there are times that it is used for jobs to prevent breaking down a set up on the gig 'un.. On it's own, it would be an extremely useful machine.

Yes, some Far Eastern lathes need a bit of fine tuning to get the best out of them, but so will a worn old British, American or German machine!.

The vital thing is "Will it do what is required of it"?

If the answer is "Yes", it is fit for purpose.

Especially when yo recall that "Many a good tune can be played on an old fiddle"

A skilled operator can produce good work off an old machine where a novice may fail so to do on a new machine.


Thread: Locomotive threading
06/05/2022 18:59:44

The purpose of a thread is either to provide a load to clamp components together, or a fine adjustment.

So, as close an approximation as you can get in another thread system will do the job just as well.

The easiest is M6 instead of 0BA, since then only difference is thread form.

UNF and UNF are easy equivalents for BSF and BSW.

NPT tpi usually differ by one from BSP, as well as the thread form, but are intended to perform the same function.

ANC and ANF threads should provide suitable alternatives for some of the smaller BA sizes, as would some fine pitch Metric threads.

For the latter you might have to import Taps and Dies from UK traders like Tracy Tools, or The Tap and Die Company



Thread: Thread gears for Warco GH-1322 lathe.
06/05/2022 18:40:40

According to the information in Ivan Law's book "Gears and Gear Cutting", (No 17 in the Workshop Practice Series )

You can find the Module number of your gears by counting the teeth, and measuring the OD. A simple formula will give the Mod number.

(OD in mm ) / (tooth count + 2 ) = Module.

A 1.25 Mod a 120T gear should be (122 x 1.25 ) mm diameter = 152.5 mm

A 1.25 Mod 127T gear should be (129 x 1.25 ) mm diameter = 161.25 mm .

Most probably, such gears can be bought from companies, such as Davall Gears, HPC Gears, Reliance Gears, etc, (At what price, I know not ) and fastened together, to be modified to fit onto your lathe.

Similarly, any other unavailable gears could be sourced from any of the above companies, in a material of your choice.

Unless you can find someone either to make or 3D print them m for you, (being a member of a Model Engineering Club, you may find such a helpful soul!


Thread: Screw Jack Casting
05/05/2022 13:29:53

The thought of making the base for the jack via a bit of taper turning, in addition to facing and drilling and tapping immediately springs to mind.

Once you have a lathe, many things that were once imposible become possible in a comparratively short timespan.


Thread: newbie to M.E.
05/05/2022 13:27:00


Everyone is free to ask for or to give advice.

Helping each other is what the Forum is all about


Thread: Thread gears for Warco GH-1322 lathe.
05/05/2022 13:23:04

Hi Tristan!

What gears do the manuals say should be with the lathe?

Could Warco, or any of the other importers of the same machine in another guise, be able to supply replacements?

At a push, with a Mill available, together with a Rotary Table, and suitable gear cutters, you could even make your own.

(I halved the feed rate for my lathe by cutting a 80T gear to replace the 40T gear for the input to the gearbox )..


05/05/2022 11:53:15

Reverting to the original query.

Since the lathe appears to have a gearbox in the drive between thye spindle and the Leadscrew, fewer changewheels will be required to cover a range of threads, or feed rates.

Is the 127 - 120 gear a compound one?

If so it is intended as an Idler to provide an easy means of changing to screwcutting an Imperal thread on a lathe with a Metric Leadscrew, or vice versa.

Assuming that your machine has a Leadscrew with a Mteric pitch, using the gear as a simple Idler will allow you to produce a thread with a Metric pitch.

If the drive is taken to the 127 T side of the gear and onwards via the 120T section, that should allow an Imperial thread to be cut.

The pitch of the thread can be arranged by the settings of the 2 knobs and 2 levers on the lower part of the control panel, (As by now you have learned from the Warco and Grizzly manuals. )My own lathe, not a Warco GH1322, has a 3 mm pitch Leadscrew, and uses this method, between the spindle and the gearbox.

Because it has a gearbox giving a large number of ratios, only two change gears are required to cut most of the standard Metric thread pitches, (0.25 to 7.5 mm pitch ) and the 127 / 120 Idler allows an even greater variety of Imperial threads to be cut. (From 4 tpi to 112 tpi with just one change wheel )

By suitable arrangement of the knobs and levers the GH1322 will provide an even wider range of threads, and feed rates to be produced.

What you are doing is setting up a suitable ratio between the Spindle and the Leadscrew to move the Saddle a given distance for each revolution of the spindle.

So, IF the lathe had a 3 mm pitch Leadscrew, and you wish to cut a 1.5 mm pitch thread, you would set a ratio of 1:2 between the spindle and the Leadscrew. In this way the Saddle would rotate more slowly than the spindle., and move 1.5 mm for each revolution of the spindle .

You would do well to buy and read Martin Cleeve's booik, No 3 in the Workshop Practice Series, "Screwcutting in the :Lathe". Another good book, on the subject is Brian Wood's "Gearing of Lathes for Scxrewcutting"

If you are new to using a lathe, it would be worth buying some of the books available on using a lath, to learn the basics..

Suitable authors would include, Former editors and the current editor of Model Engineers Workshop, such as Stan Bray, Harold Hall and Neil Wyatt. L H Sparey "The Amateurs Lathe" and Ian Bradley "The Amateurs Workshop" although older, will provide some enlightenment.

When you are setting up a feed rate for turning, you are effectively setting up the lathe to cut a thread with a fine pitch, but using a cutting tool which should provide a smoother finish. The object is still for the Saddle to advance at a rate related to the rotation of the spindle. So a feed rate of 0.05 mm per rev would requires a reduction ratio of 60:1 between the spindle and the 3 mm pitch Leadscrew..

One of the best ways to learn, is to get some mild steel, grind suitable tools, set them to centre height, and start cutting metal. You will make mistakes, but you will learn from them. (We have all trodden that path! )


Thread: Which beginners lathe is best
05/05/2022 10:47:45

How long is a piece of string?

What do want to make?

How big is your budget? (You will need almost immediately to buy some cutting tools, and measuring equipment. And later as you gain experience and confidence, you will find a need for other accessories. )

Find and join a local Model Engineering Club.

You may be able to see various lathes, possibly even allowed to use one, to help your decision making.

Learn about the various parts of a lathe and what they do, the information will be a help..

S O D's advice is all good, particularly to study the Lathes UK webs.. It contains a LOT of information on a large variety of machines. Some of that info will help to clarify your thoughts.

Note the advice about buying a machine that appears to be larger than you need. Your horizons will expand as you gain experience and confidence.

Before buying a machine, it may well be worth buying one or more books about lathes and how to use them.

It can answer a lot of questions, and explain a lot of things before they become a problem or a puzzle.

The "bible" used to be L H Sparey "The Amateur's Lathe"

Possibly a good companion would be Ian Bradley "The Amateur's Workshop"

But there are others, (Some devoted to the mini lathe ) by such as Stan Bray, Harold Hall, Dave Fenner, David Clarke and Neil Wyatt, former editors, and the current editor of Model Engineers Workshop.



Thread: new member
05/05/2022 10:27:30


The lathe that you choose will be decided by a variety of factors.

Budget (Should include provision for measuring equipment, and tooling and before too long some Taps and Dies.. And as time goes on, you will want to buy extras. Not necessarily all at once, but as the need arises

Space, (A garage should provide sufficient . But insulate it well. varying and low temperatures encourages the rust fairy to visit often, and for long periods! )

What you want to make. (FWIW, my advice would be that having come to a decision, buy something a little larger, ready for when you become more experienced,and confident )

Don't rush things.

Consider carefully, and seek advice by finding and joining a local Model Engineering Club, as well as seeking opinions on here.

Whereabouts are you located? You might find that one or more of us are close to you



Thread: Recommend a small lathe(and mill)
30/04/2022 08:05:22

UK (and USA ) produced machines, up to the 70s, are most likely to be Imperial (Obviously you would expect machines produced on the continent will be Metric )

Modern, and new machines will almost certainly be Metric.

Don't dismiss an older machine. It may be lack some of the features present on a modern machine, but excellent work can be produced on machines that are a lot older than you or I,

There may be fewer speeds available, and will mean changing belts rather than just pressing a button. Feed rates, or thread pitches may be fewer and less easily changed.

The asking price will reflect this.

The problems likely to be found with a secondhand machine are:

Wear (Especially if it has been earning its keep in an industrial environment. Myford ML7s have been used in Toolrooms, as well as a hobby machine. ).

Ex School or College machines will be less worn, but more likely to show damage from Saddles having been run into the chuck.

The machine may have been modified away from original spec. This may be good, or a disadvantage, depending on your viewpoint and needs.

Accessories, supplied from new, such as changewheels, or or only one set of jaws for 3 jaw chuck may be there, or damaged. And may be difficult to replace, in some cases. But can be made.

The toolkit which usually came with a new machine may be missing or incomplete.

Chuck backplates may not be available "off the shelf" for some machines, and so would have to made.

The Chester Craftsman is still available from new.

If having power feeds in both planes is important, the Sieg SC4 provides this facility, in a smaller machine than the Craftsman.. .

Buying new provide should provide support should a problem arise, and accessories should be available.Some importers will sell you a fairly basic machine, at a lower price, and supply accessories which you can buy as you feel the need. Some off a "Starter kit" as an extra. Other Importers sell a complete package.

(My lathe came complete with 3 and 4 jaw chucks, Faceplate, and Steadies. )

Buying secondhand, reduces the price, although 7 Series Myfords tend to more costly than Boxfords or Raglans, but spares are more readily available, either used or, in some cases, new..

Buyers were often able to specify certain features on a new machine ( One 7 Series Myford might have a Norton gearbox, while another might not, but have power cross feed. Another might have have both!

It pays to check the machine very carefully )

What you want to make, location, space available, and your budget, will all have a bearing on what you buy.

You can carry a Myford ML10 upstairs, a 300 Kg Craftsman or its lookalikes will be MUCH more difficult.

And do make provision in the budget for tooling and measuring equipment.

As your horizons expand, you may want to move to a larger or more versatile machine. It might be worth allowing for this from the outset..

Hope that all this rambling is of some help


Edited By Howard Lewis on 30/04/2022 08:07:12

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