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Member postings for Mike Clarke

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

Thread: Mini pipe bending
19/02/2020 20:51:22

I have a set of mini bending springs like the ones mentioned above which work quite well for simpler pipe bends. I also made a mini bender which has proved a joy to use.....the plans were posted on Model Engineering Website a few years back.





Edited By Mike Clarke on 19/02/2020 20:52:12

Thread: Metric tap and die set
19/09/2019 16:11:15

In addition to the suppliers mentioned above, all of which I have used in the past and would use again.......I have been very pleased with the quality and price of taps/dies from "Avon Tap Die".



Thread: Help what is a fair price
05/09/2019 18:00:07

Does anyone read previous replies on this place!?

05/09/2019 13:47:27

It's worth massively more than that £250 for everything as a "job lot". Well over £1000.

You could spilt the items, guide prices (off the top of my head):

Lathe with 3-jaw and change gears = £350-£400 (you see some pristine lathes - they can go for £600 easily)

Milling attachment = £300

4 jaw chuck = £80

Milling table £50

Milling vice = £50-£75

Collet chuck and collets = £150-£200

Steadies = £50-£100


Just list the items separately on the well known auction site. Start everything at £1 and you'll get a fair, current price for everything as Emco items are extremely popular.

Hope that helps. Feel free to ask any Qs via PM if you want advice on any items.


EDIT: If going down the eBay route - clean everything up best you can, take lots of photos and wait for their frequent £1 max selling fee promotions. Obviously these promotions limit the final value fees to £1, which makes a huge difference when selling items of fairly high value.

Edited By Mike Clarke on 05/09/2019 13:48:45

Edited By Mike Clarke on 05/09/2019 13:54:15

Thread: Where is best to buy??
07/06/2019 12:14:21

I'm not suggesting it's the case here, but there have been many cases of sellers on the well known sites under-declaring postage weights and volumes.

One such firm was Babz Media - the same firm also flouted environmental rules regarding waste, shipping of batteries and handling of electrical items - essentially allowing them to trade at rates unsustainable by any respectable company.

I seem to remember Babz Media were fined around £50,000 for the environmental breaches - and sued by HMRC and Royal Mail for £15m - so it wasn't just a case of the odd extra package being slipped into the sack of outgoing mail (doubt they ever paid a penny though!).

Thread: Stainless Steel Metric Fasteners
21/04/2019 21:57:00

Posted by Ian P on 21/04/2019 20:44:16:

Do you know if they sell in smaller quantities than the webpage shows and is the pricing pro-rata?

Ian P

Hi Ian,

Which are you interested in? Many of the more specialist fasteners are listed at cost per 100 but in fact the pack sizes you add to your basket are 5, 25 yes, pro-rata. Usually I get the purchasing office to place my orders, but I have made purchases myself when in a hurry and the product and service is top notch.

I have bought many 100,000s of stainless fasteners and experience has taught me (i.e. being in the middle of nowhere with seized fasteners) to avoid certain suppliers. I personally can feel the difference "through the spanners".



21/04/2019 16:39:27


I have had problems with stainless fasteners from Screwfix galling - so would give them a miss.

As other companies have been recommended, it only seems fair to share my preferred source:

Precision Technology Supplies



Thread: Electrolux vacuum - Need to make a missing wheel
05/11/2018 12:28:45

Nice job Geoff - and looks smart. I think you should do the other side too!

I once had a little Sharp milling machine which had aluminium handles - and every time I used it my hands would be absolutely jet black. I guess this was mostly down to oil and grease on the skin, but I would be mindful of the potential of the bare aluminium leaving a mark on light coloured carpets.

Thread: sch 40 pvp pipe
06/09/2018 07:32:29
I get through quite a lot of pipe at work for various research projects and tend to use:

Always had great service. They have a good range (including white sch40).


Thread: Rotary table set up
27/06/2018 21:08:26

Hi Bob,

I use a large ball bearing (approx 30mm) - lower the quill and trap the ball bearing between the centre of the rotary table (presuming you have a hole there!) and your milling chuck, for example.

Works for me.



Thread: Drinking and Driving.
03/05/2018 13:47:36

Agree completely about increasing issues with driving standards. As for drink driving, that is just beyond disgusting and those guilty should indeed never drive again. My commute is 2 hours per day, so I get to see a few antics. On the motorway it's not speed alone that presents problems, although absolutely illegal and in my mind should be clamped down on, but the ever-increasing selfish and aggressive styles of driving - usually coupled with excess speed of course. The Police didn't really help matters a few years ago by suggesting that 80mph is now tolerated as the norm.

An example would be joining a motorway. The rules are perfectly clear on the subject (some seem to think the highway code is just a collection of casual suggestions), you should adjust to the speed before overtaking - yet every time you get the Audis and Mercs pushing their way down the slip-road, often forming a non-existent second lane of their own) and straight into the third lane of the motorway - many times crossing the solid white line to do so. I actually have no idea how people get away with such routine speeding. Then we have people tail-gating - which I find the most irritating act on the roads. It's not just roads either, our local supermarket car park is like a Grand Prix.

A major road near us has just installed average speed cameras and this has made a huge difference for the better. However, I think the time has come to have speeds and distances from vehicles in front automatically controlled.

It's actually quite sad as I am passionate about cars, but like everything else, it just takes a few to spoil things for everyone else.


PS: Barely see a motorway police car (yes some are unmarked).......don't quite see the reasoning behind cutting motorway patrols because if that was my job Lancashire Constabulary would be making a tidy profit out of me.

Thread: Shortening screws
13/03/2018 13:19:35

I shorten screws/bolts with a "nut plate". Just a random bit of MS plate, drilled and tapped to suit screw. You can set required length with washers or spacers under head of screw. Cut off the excess with a hacksaw and then file flush with nut plate.

Thread: aluminium track for 5" scale loco display board
22/10/2017 19:46:05
Hi Alan,

I get mine from here:

Comes with wooden sleepers, cast chairs and ballast.


Thread: USB oscilloscopes - are they any good?
12/08/2017 05:28:35
I'm a huge fan of Picoscopes. The software makes it for me.......some great serial decoders for example. The software is also continually upgraded.

If you keep an eye on eBay they sometimes do some really good deals via their official store.

Thread: 'Chinese finger-trap' in steel wire?
11/12/2016 18:51:15
Posted by Mike E. on 11/12/2016 18:48:56:

Not sure what they are called here in the UK,


11/12/2016 18:22:50


I have used cable grips (Chinese fingers) for a product I developed at work:

Not sure if they will sell one offs (or if it's what you're after!) - but you can try.



Thread: Oscilloscope
30/10/2016 18:31:39


I am a fan of Picoscope USB scopes. The software is very good and continually improved across the entire range.

Quite expensive to buy normally but they often have flash sales via their eBay if you're interested save a search on eBay and keep your eyes peeled.

I had a Velleman at uni and it was great, but the Picoscope offers so much. The print feature alone is worth the £££ for me.



Thread: What Did You Do Today (2016)
02/10/2016 18:10:14

Made some holders for commonly used cutter and tools to sit on my milling table. They are 3D printed and the base incorporates lugs to sit in the T slots. Really handy having somewhere to keep things - always used to have trouble remembering where I'd put my chuck keys!







Thread: I need help choosing correct machine vice.
15/09/2016 20:23:06

Hi Michael - I used to have an identical Sharp mill and used an Emco machine vice. Bought it new from Pro Machine Tools.

I also used a "precision" vice I got from Chronos. Quality is quite nice, something like this:

Lovely mill apart from the aluminium handwheels! I used to get filthy using mine.

Great light workshop - 100% agree about the fire comments though. Nothing worse than seeing your ways covered in surface rust.



Thread: BOXFORD lathe part
30/07/2016 19:13:55

Do as Boxford do and ignore the prices on the Boxford website. I wanted a tailstock eccentric shaft - it was listed about £35 on their website at the time, only last year I think it was. But when I made direct contact the price rose to  £133 + delivery + VAT.

I ended up making one.



Edited By Mike Clarke on 30/07/2016 19:14:50

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