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Member postings for robjon44

Here is a list of all the postings robjon44 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Need a pen to draw the "finest possible" lines?
18/04/2022 10:19:16

Just drew what appeared to my failing eyesight to be quite a fine line with a pentel techniclic G automatic pencil but it still says its a 0.4 lead so I'll throw my hand in.


Thread: Engineering tuition recommendations
20/03/2022 11:40:11

Please sir, a very long time ago I was in a school metalwork classroom ( yes that long ago! ) engaged in horizontally milling a block of steel to a particular size at the request of the teacher, lo & behold we were blessed by a visit from both the principal & vice principal of the technical college that I attended in those days, the principal a small rotund man wearing very thick glasses came to me & said "now you do know that you must never wear a tie in the workshop don't you?" now at this point I must confess I have hated neckties since schooldays when they were part of the uniform, it was a rite of passage at my secondary school that on the last day there one would tie the tie & impale the cap on the school railings, so I peered round the workshop in an exaggerated manner & said " and do you know that of the 40 odd people in this room you are the only one wearing a tie?" he did not have response to my query, these days I only own one tie & that's a clip on reserved for weddings & funerals. Hence the expression, I used to be a top gun but now I'm just a loose cannon.

Bob H

Thread: Screw cutting problem
17/03/2022 13:55:35

I have to agree with Andrew Johnston's comment above about people who insist on living in the past where slavishly adhering to ancient practices on the off chance someone might award you some brownie points is a complete loser, there is no real way to shift some peoples mind set out of the single furrow they insist on ploughing. Having served an apprenticeship as a skilled manual turner from 1960 I moved up through the ranks of automatic lathe setter & eventually Programmer Setter Operator of CNC lathes the size of a Transit van, all along the way this mind set was evident, even though change gears, flat belt drives & putting chalk marks on the moving parts had been consigned to the dustbin of history. One day, not long before he retired my dear old dad who had served his apprenticeship as a Fitter/ Turner prior to WW2 & was now the Chief Planning Engineer of the company where we both worked was in the machine shop, he looked through the armoured glass window where it was all happening & said "bloody hell boy, I wish we'd had all this in 1938" So I can keep internal & external CCTV cameras, 3D graphics when running simulations of new programs & my own personal favourite Iris Recognition then, if that doesn't keep meddlers out nothing else will.

Bob H

Thread: Hermes and couriers
16/03/2022 15:18:19

I apologise as I have mentioned this before but once upon a time I needed a 2 jaw chuck as I was tasked with doing a large batch of very flimsy round items of aluminium & steel about 4" in diameter, so obviously needed an all enveloping grip & they don't come much more all enveloping than a 2 jaw with soft jaws clamped on a piece of 0.030" packing & bored to suit, I came upon such a thing on Ebay for sale from a gentleman who was a woodworker & had no use for it, long story short we agreed a price & he sent it off by Hermes, on the day it turned up the courier threw it up my drive, I was at home, the doorbell was working, I shudder to think what would have happened had the sender not built a custom crafted box around it fastened together with very large woodscrews, so no I wouldn't employ Mr Hermes ( & yes I know he has changed his name this very week ) even if I was able to pay him in bright steel washers as my dad was prone to say, or am I being judgemental?

Bob H

Thread: Resurrecting an old model
10/12/2021 10:34:23

Hi all, removing gunge, model aircraft engines with baked on castrol R was removed back in the day with biological washing powder like magic, larger aluminium motorcycle castings came up like new when heated up in a bucket of water with some rhubarb leaves (Oxalic Acid) the red part left over may be made into a pastry covered pie colloquially known as Hydrochloric Acid Pie for good reason. ( if cookery of any kind is not within your grasp ask your mother or wife for assistance ) Motorcycle Exhaust Pipes & Silencers also respond well, after plugging one end & standing upright, to the boiling washing powder solution, you would not believe the sheer amount of gunge that pours out!

Bob H

Thread: Hermes in action - Lost parcel ?
03/09/2021 10:15:05

Hi all, I have told this tale many times, I had a requirement for a 2 jaw chuck & found one advertised by a woodworker who got it in a job lot of woodworking equipment so I purchased it from him, when it arrived by Hermes I was at home, my car was parked outside, my doorbell was working & yet the courier threw it up the drive with such force that the elaborate box that woodworker man had constructed around the chuck was broken open, however being a man after my own heart he had fastened it together with very long woodscrews & maintained its integrity, so no, I wouldn't pay them in washers, not even if you gave me the washers.

Bob H

Thread: Aircraft General Discussion
03/08/2021 08:35:30

Hi all, Sunday 1st August, sitting on a bench at Grafham Water, as I am the son of a WW2 Merlin Engine Fitter it is programmed into my DNA to be alerted by the sound of V12 aero engines, a quick scan of the sky revealed a Spitfire & a Hurricane some distance away, climbing, diving, circling & being treated to the sound of that engine taking the load off the propeller in a shallow dive, this carried on for about half an hour, definitely was not expecting an air display out of the blue!


Thread: Ward Capstan Lathes
31/05/2021 15:29:27

Hi all, not long before I retired, about 5 years ago, as the programmer setter operator of a Colchester Tornado CNC machine ( their only lathe ) I became a little disenchanted with people demanding that I break down a volume job on the auto to make some 1 off, it would in fact have been quicker for me to walk home 3 miles, do the job in my workshop & walk back again! However I did talk them into buying a Ward 3DB for this sort of thing, having found 1 on Fleabay that appeared to be in good nick,(£900) upon arrival its only fault was a small hole in the tray which I repaired with 2 tap washers 2 penny washers & a nut & screw, BUT imagine my astonishment to find that it was also fitted with a copying attachment! Of all the Ward 2,2A,3,3A &3DB models I have seen & or operated that was the only one. Eventually however I was called upon to tread the primrose path of CNC machining which I continued to do for the remaining 45 years of my working life, them campervans don't pay for themselves you know!


Thread: Holders to use the obtuse corners of C* inserts.
29/04/2021 08:29:54

Back in the day we campaigned 80 degree rhombic turning tools using 12 16 & 19mm tips, we also had holders to use up the obtuse angled corners as well, these murdered things like square or other irregular shaped components in both steel & cast iron & saved the company vast amounts of money! If you are as tight fisted as I am it is perfectly feasible to make your own, don't ask me how I know, set out from positive rake tips in the home workshop.


Thread: Which type/brand of razor blades stay sharp longest? (cutting card/greyboard)
28/04/2021 15:18:39

Hi all, firstly my grandfather, a butcher by trade never picked a knife up without sharpening with a steel it in a ritual resembling a sword fight, moving on, during our aeromodelling days we stayed on top of scalpel & single edge razor blades by honing with a piece of wood with wet & dry paper (silicon carbide grit) stuck to it, a wizard wheeze I learned was used by bookbinders to keep their home made cutters up to snuff, these days I have certain blades such as deburring 'twirly' tool blades that I frighten with few stokes of a fine diamond file, sets of which are dirt cheap, it is a good idea to black the cutting edge with a felt pen so that you can see that you are aiming at the right place!


Thread: Old Engine Ads from a bygone era
09/04/2021 09:47:34

Hi all, a very long time ago my friend Jeff was given a Mamod steam engine by a workmate, as his son was pretty mechanically minded we set about giving the little engine a job of work, cue large wooden box to give it some height when standing on the dining table, followed by constructing a crane from Meccano before securing engine & crane on top of the box giving about 4 feet of lift from floor level, drive train by the beautifully crafted Meccano chain sprockets & chain, the little engine gave the young lad many happy hours & a lifetime later he still harks back to it even though he is approaching retiring age & I of course am older than dirt, happy times.


Thread: Electric Smart Meters
01/04/2021 09:04:27

Hi all, in my last job before retirement there was a very large & old fangled electricity meter bolted to the wall behind my machine, on the adjacent exterior wall was a small bracket with an aerial just a few inches high, I enquired what it was for & was told it was so that the meter could be read from outside the building, a few days later a man turned up wearing the electricity company's uniform & proceeded to read the meter, upon asked why he was not using the remote facility he said "I would if the expletive thing worked!" Boom Boom as Basil Brush would have said.


Thread: Little nuts.......big fingers.
29/03/2021 09:34:13

Hi all, +1 for clutch pencil collet for this problem, from schooldays onwards always had them to hand, leads for their original purpose ie writing & drawing available in various colours & if you can believe this back in the day the planning, design & drawing offices where I worked used the leads in such enormous quantities that the pencils came free! If you remove the pushbutton there is a cutter inside for reforming the point & to bring it bang up to date, 60 years later I just consulted the large mug next to me on the desk & yes theres still one in there, made by Staedler Mars & of course leads for all the instruments in drawing sets fit.

PS people say I never throw anything away


Thread: CNC - Easy as pressing a button - Not
23/03/2021 12:14:58

At our local technical college where the workshop was overseen by a man I knew who had worked in my dads office, I could see the attraction as the college paid him £29.75 an hour!, when I had to attend night school there he set me on as his chargehand in a bid to curb the worst excesses of folk who believe you can turn metal with the spindle rotating in reverse, anyroad up they had a small CNC lathe & milling machine to teach the black art on, almost immediately the head of the computer department decreed that he would be the one to do the programming on them, the next time I was there I enquired how the fledgeling CNC department was faring he said that as the 'expert' believed that all movements would be done in rapid traverse he had decreed that the only material it would ever machine would be that nice plastic that is made for beginners to to practice on that turns to powder. In a similar vein another young man just out of his apprenticeship was given to to me to train in the dark arts with a view to becoming my shift partner regaled me with a similar tale, another 'expert' while speaking to him as if he was mentally subnormal demonstrated setting up the aforesaid mill, vice in centre of table holding a square of white nylon, your mission Mr Phelps (cue original theme tune of Mission Impossible by Lalo Shiffrin) rapid traverse from park position in rear right hand corner to start position in 3 axis + spindle start, select fine feed, machine slot with slot drill & return to park position by safe detour, not rocket science then? Well tippy tippy tap tap, press green button & with spindle standing still rapid traverse from RH rear corner to LH rear corner & stop because you have run out places to go, my granny could do better ( she was a turner in an armament factory in 1917 )


Thread: Mail Scam
23/03/2021 11:00:12

I got one yesterday from the president of the USA advising me that the FBI had discovered a scam had been perpetrated against me & that I was entitled to a refund of 5.5 million dollars for pushing a few buttons, I thought that sounded a bit suspicious.


Thread: keyless chuck dismantling
21/03/2021 10:49:18

Please sir (unrelated question) what is the lathe visible in the second picture? I have a Pools '38 Special that is very similar in appearance that someone gave me a lifetime ago (in pieces) which I rebuilt on the firms time & capable of punching well above its weight to this day (read many years later) came with faceplate,4" 4 jaw & all its change gears, I only learned recently that it was the only one supplied with a countershaft by them


Thread: CNC - Easy as pressing a button - Not
21/03/2021 10:31:39

I would say that I have witnessed more than my share of devastating pile ups in the 45 years of CNC machining I racked up, thankfully not of my own creation, all caused by folk who will not prove out new programs, especially those written by people who might easily be replaced by a pencil with a rubber on the end! Back in the days of progams loaded by punched paper tapes (yes that long ago) any tape proven by me had my signature at the beginning of it & in the immortal words of the the Young Giant trained by me who worked on the machine in front of mine "If it ain't got your signature on it I treat it with suspicion". My definition of a short period of time was how long from pressing the green button to having a finger in each ear. The most devastating & costly one I ever witnessed occurred when someone asked our foreman for some advice about the program of a rather large component (read dustbin lid but bigger) written & proven by me, he took a big snatch on his pipe & proceeded to scribble on a piece of paper & handed it over before walking away, as this was before Noise Cancelling Headphones for fighter pilots were invented I was relying on everyday ear defenders, tappy tappy tap tap press green button, launch turning tool turret in rapid traverse (unusual as it was supposed to be an alteration to a boring pass) which smashes into component ejecting it where there was no place for it to go, machine stops dead but not before the two foot wide (vertical) slide that the turret was mounted on breaks in two down the middle causing £10,000 of damage plus cost of machine being out of action for 2 weeks, probably around the time my mantra became "no wonder my nerves are bad"


Thread: That little elf under the workbench again
20/03/2021 09:32:08

I never used to have fingers like sausages!

Thread: Avoiding marking / scoring while using fixed steady.
01/03/2021 09:52:17

Hi all seen this method in several textbooks & have tried it out, wrap shim stock in the same way as recommended for greased cardboard, works like a charm & is reuseable so put in small plastic bag & attach it to the steady with a rubber band, then you might be able to find it the next time you need it (I,m just saying because I could lose my own head if it wasn't fastened on)


Thread: 2-Part Covid Vaccinations
15/02/2021 09:39:27

Hi all, with regard to all the drivel posted on "social" media I think Doctor Jonathan Van Tam hit the nail squarely on the head when he said "when my boiler breaks down I send for a gas fitter", horses for courses then.


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