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Member postings for Siddley

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

Thread: Cannon patterns, and Barrell castings
05/12/2012 22:40:51

The key word isn't 'convertible' - it's the phrase 'readily convertible'
Like much of the UK's badly worded and poorly thought out firearms legislation there is no definition of what is and isn't 'readily convertible' . Usually it is taken to mean convertible by the tools contained in an average persons garden shed.

Anyway, I have a solution. Find a hardened steel ball from a bearing that is the right interference fit size for the bore, or bore the cannon to the dimensions of a suitable ball, whatever is easier.
Drill the touch hole as normal and then press the ball into the bore, right to the end. Voila - that's never coming out without destroying the barrel in some way.
Looking down the bore the cannon will appear loaded, which is a nice touch I think.

Thread: Joining two pieces of 10mm stainless steel bar at right angles.
04/12/2012 23:17:17

It'll bend 90 degrees just fine if you can get it red hot first, I sometimes forge pieces fron stainless.

Thread: Help for beginner
04/12/2012 14:13:42

Jarek - can you find a 'scientific and technical' dictionary in English and your own language ? That is what I had to do when I emigrated to Spain. It will help you a lot.
The modern technical dictionaries are very expensive, but older versions from the 1950's or 1960's are cheap and still contain all the engineering words you will need.

Thread: Cannon patterns, and Barrell castings
03/12/2012 19:47:35

Cannons are fairly popular amongst US model engineers, I would try searching on some forums from over the pond.

I did find some public domain plans for a cannon as I was trawling the web the other day ( from an old magazine ), but it was pretty crude and nothing you couldn't figure out for yourself. I'd quite like to make a model artillery piece ( probably not a cannon as such, something a little more modern )

A friend of mine did make model ships cannon but unfortunately we have lost touch over the years.

Thread: Bentley rotary. Rust removal.
03/12/2012 14:22:25
Posted by Terryd on 03/12/2012 11:07:22:

One of the best oils for rust protection is Camellia oil - used historically by the Japanese to preserve tools and swords (Also for Sumo Wrestlers hair dressing crook). It is expensive to buy for this purpose but is also sold for essential oils use more cheaply. eBay is a good source. I use it on my machine surfaces and can only report good results.

There were\are quite a few formulas used by the Japanese to preserve sword blades and the like. One western approximation is a mixture of light mineral oil and clove oil. It's got the advantage of being relatively cheap - but the smell of the cloves might not suit everyone, it's fairly pungent.

Thread: clarke cl500m
02/12/2012 18:08:10

Combination machines are a compromise at the best of times John. I feel that even if the CL500 had been made properly the design would still let it down.

I can't remember how to lock the mill head, sorry - was a long time ago...

Thread: Workshop tidyness
01/12/2012 18:00:39
Posted by Clive Hartland on 01/12/2012 17:12:02:

Siddley, does the name Len Bull ring any bells with you? A very good friend of mine who I last heard of in Denver in the US. A full time GunSmith and like you seems to be able to turn his hand to anything. In fact his latest is to make 2/3 scale WW1 airplanes. The last one was Fiesler Storch, a bit more modern. Unfortunately I have not had contact with him for a while.

He was good at re-barreling Winchester underlevers to more modern low pressure calibres. he also made replica Black Powder pistols and always put, 'Fecit. L G Bull' around the muzzle of his guns.


I'll ask some of my gunny mates in the US Clive. I've got an 1866 Winchester lever action ( not an original, made by Uberti )
I'd love to make a revolver, it's one hell of a task though. I'm not sure it would be possible without a shaper.
I take my hat off to the old school gunsmiths, really skilled guys. I just picked stuff up as I went along and was lucky enough to have a couple of mentors - one who worked for Purdey and another who was a foul mouthed rough as hell machinist who came from the old school ( back when you were expected to be able to file a flat surface before you were ever let anywhere near a machine tool )
They are the guys I respect. Brought up in a hard school when benchwork was the fundamental skill.

01/12/2012 16:27:10

I'm not sure what temperatures are in my workshop during summer - in August it's often 50C outside.
It's brass monkeys right now though, we live halfway up a mountain on a little farm and the climate follows it's own rules. And being Spanish rules, there aren't any

Thankfully my wife is a tolerant sort and I have an indoor gunsmithing area organised. I suppose it's a step up from me cleaning pre-unit Triumph crankcases in the sink and rebuilding Land Rover engines in the 'dining room'

01/12/2012 14:19:12

Are you a motorcycle engineer John ? your name rings a bell

Thread: pillar drill advice
01/12/2012 14:11:02

I looked at the website and it's the CDP401B I have. A bit out of your preferred price range, but I mention it to point out that even spending £270 on a Chinese Communist drill won't get you too much in the way of rigidity. Just so you know what to expect. It hasn't been a bad machine though and it's had some hammer.

I think your premise of wanting a seperate drill press to supplement your mill is very sound, I hope you find something that works well for you

Thread: clarke cl500m
01/12/2012 13:49:55

I have to admit I used the CL500 for a job, not a hobby - but then again I was doing prototyping work so it didn't get a lot of hammer. I soon found out that the motor lasted about a month after the warranty expired ( I got through two of them ) it was badly made and the ergonomics were awful.

I wouldn't buy anything more from Machine Mart if I had a gun put to my head.

I honestly think that converting a CL500 to CNC would be like hitching your wagon to a falling star.

Thread: Workshop tidyness
01/12/2012 13:36:55

When I was in the UK I kept a couple of buckets of rock salt around the workshop to absorb moisture from the air. It helped noticeably but wasn't a complete solution. You should site them away from your machines.

In the end I resorted to Duck Oil, which brings it's own set of problems.

I'm shivering now, thinking about that damp cold workshop first thing in a morning...hands going numb as soon as you touch a handwheel on a machine...

Thread: Tool Post for Myford ML7
01/12/2012 11:32:39

I'm sure I have seen Dickson type toolposts advertised as being suitable height for Myfords, but can't remember where

Thread: clarke cl500m
30/11/2012 23:45:41

I owned a CL500 once ( back when I hadn't got a clue ) and it is possibly the worst lathe that Communist China has inflicted on us round eyed Capitalist Running Dogs ( which is saying something )

Combined with Machine Marts amazing customer service ( we've had your money, now f--- off, delivered by some fat lazy spotty moron who looks like a failed nightclub bouncer ) it's a total loss.

I'd be tempted to sell it to someone who is equally clueless and start over again with a machine that isn't a pile of junk.

Thread: pillar drill advice
30/11/2012 18:50:02

I think Colin Hawes has hit the nail on the head - as heavy as possible and with the lowest speed.

My own pillar drill is a Clarke ( spit ) that is a weird size. It's only floorstanding if you are a midget and only bench sized if you are a 8ft tall basketball player who owns a workshop with a very high roof

Machine Mart is just about the last place I'd buy a machine tool from normally but I bought it in a rush to do one specific job some years ago and didn't mind if it broke afterwards. It hasn't broken and turned out OK. For once. Despite looking robust it has a lot of flex in it when drilling steel at over 1\2" diameter.

Thread: Tool Post for Myford ML7
30/11/2012 18:12:33

I also agree with doing away with the ratchet, I have never found them useful either. My favourite toolpost was the Dickson as well.

There is also something fundamentally wrong if the whole toolpost is moving under cutting pressure. It shouldn't need a great deal of clamping force. Nobby makes a good point about that - is the surface of the topslide burred or out of true ?

Thread: Crated Spitfires to be returned to the UK
29/11/2012 22:15:34

I hope one of the Spits goes astray in the post and gets delivered to our PO box in Spain instead

It's true that the Spit got all the glory, but to be fair it's development potential was only really cut short by the jet age - the Hurri was all developed out by around 1942.

Thread: Blued Steel Sheet
29/11/2012 21:10:04

Blueing is a traditional method of finishing firearm parts so I feel qualified to stick my oar in...

I think heat blueing will be the way to go, I have used the oven method and the sand bath.

Once you have your oven 'calibrated' like TerryD it's probably the better way to go.

A lot of people quench the part in used motor oil, but I use extra virgin olive oil ( we have 91 olive trees, so we aren't exactly short of the stuff ) - it gives off a pleasant cooking smell is my excuse...
If you simply go for the temper colour without the oil then the part will tend towards a bright blue rather than a 'blacker' blue. Both look good but only you can decide which finish you like best.

Corrosion resistance isn't great with either process, but the oil quench definitely has the edge in that respect.

Thorough degreasing is REALLY important for an even finish whichever method you decide on. Don't handle the part with bare hands afterwards !

I think you'll have a lot of fun experimenting.

Thread: Rocket man Brown
28/11/2012 13:16:46

Good luck to him, I'm all for going fast on motorcycles...

Some other good news from the UK is that the air\LOX breathing Sabre engine for the Skylon space plane has undergone a successful test.

I expect they'll be testing a radio controlled version of the airframe - just for the model engineering relevancy  

Edited By Siddley on 28/11/2012 13:17:59

Thread: What was your best buy
27/11/2012 23:21:38

Possibly the best bargain ever was the contents of my workshop, which I had to sell before I emigrated

The lucky bloke got a B model Boxford in superb condition, Chester mill, both with DRO's - comprehensive tooling including a Hofmann dividing head, machine vices, parts washer and oxy-acetylene ( full sized and portapack ) for £600

But then he was my best friend, constant workshop companion and £600 was all the money he could scrape together ( being only able to work part time due to disabling injuries from a bike crash )

Still, I took him for every penny he'd got

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