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Member postings for Hopper

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

Thread: Cleaning a tacho glass
12/04/2021 12:19:44

If the instrument has been full of water, its insides are toast and its not worth messing with. Putting more soapy water in there will do the same damage. But if it is still working, the damage you see is more likely from condensation and maybe some silicone lubricant from the instrument or sometimes that little disc in the middle of the needle is full of silicone oil to act as a fluctuation damper and they spring a leak.

And don't put solvent in there. Those plastic lenses don't do well with solvent. I still remember trying to use methylated spirits to remove the "Do not exceed 50mph for first 500 miles" sticker from the lense of my brand new 1977 Harley that had a very similar instrument and being heartbroken with the resulting half melted mess.

There is a ton of that old Honda stuff still available so a new secondhand unit might be the best way to go.

Otherwise you might find out on a classic Honda forum if there is a trick to opening those instruments up.

I know the late 1970s Harleys used very similar unbadged Nippon Denso speedos and tachos with the same plastic lense. Harley aftermarket suppliers such as JP Cycles sell a lense kit that you cut the old lense off and glue the new one on in its place. It might fit yours but not sure of the exact size being the same and all. And I imagine the glued joint would be noticeable unless you were very lucky.

PS and are you sure the mess is on the inside? Often they craze on the outside with age and get a dull matt surface that can be restored with Solvol Autosol metal polish.

Edited By Hopper on 12/04/2021 12:21:09

Edited By Hopper on 12/04/2021 12:23:31

Thread: Face Knurling...
12/04/2021 11:56:33

Oily Rag was talking about the dangers of stainless axles, not nuts.

And the data can be deceptive. Stainless bolts can have same or even higher tensile strength than carbon and alloy steel fasteners. But it is stainless's tendency to work harden and fracture under repeated severe load cycles that causes the problems. So things that get a repeated hammering like axles or caliper mounting bolts can fail. Nuts, not so much. And stainless fasteners used for things like holding an oil tank or seat in place are fine.


Edited By Hopper on 12/04/2021 12:07:07

Thread: My version of Potty Mill engine
12/04/2021 10:59:06
Posted by David George 1 on 11/04/2021 20:13:29:


Love the high-performance con-rod. You'll be able to flog the daylights out of the engine with no fear of that letting go!

12/04/2021 10:57:39
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 12/04/2021 10:48:20:...

...Curiously my rather rough number 1 runs noticeably better than engine number 2. I suspect it's because №2 is a tighter fit all round, and needs running in! I'm still slightly miffed the extra-effort version wasn't as good as the trainee bodge!


As Mr Harley said to Mr Davidson, a little extra clearance never got in the way.

I have the same problem: using toolmaker's clearances and tolerances and ending up with things too damn tight for real world conditions..

Thread: Honda SL125 timing - SANITY CHECK.
12/04/2021 10:52:50

LOng time since I worked on a Honda single-banger but I believe the T mark is Top dead centre and the F mark is the Fully retarded timing mark that you use for static timing with the auto advance unit sitting in its natural fully retarded position. Then when you start it up and strobe it, the two marks without letters should swing around as you increase the revs and lie either side of the pointer. At idle I would expect the F mark to be in line with the pointer. You should see those two unlettered lines move back and forth as you rev the engine up and down.

Easy check would be poke a wire down the plug hole and set piston on top dead centre and see if the T mark lines up with the pointer.

But it sounds like you have it right.

Thread: Loctite or Draper? Much difference?
12/04/2021 08:58:48
Posted by pgrbff on 11/04/2021 21:27:41:
Posted by Mark Rand on 11/04/2021 20:31:34:

There are sellers on fleabay who will ship 50ml of loctite 542 to italy for £25. I would have thought there would be local sellers who could match/beat that price.

No, remember I live in Italy. Many suppliers still have a min. charge and most don't have websites. Easier to buy from UK or Germany, even Japan.

Surely the local car parts stores in Italy carry threadlockers and sealants etc in various brands same as anywhere else? Or are you in lockdown?

Thread: (bicycle) thread identification?
12/04/2021 08:55:35
Posted by CHAS LIPSCOMBE on 11/04/2021 23:28:44:

A really interesting set of replies and very helpful. as usual Hopper and S.O.D have come up with common sense answers. Clearly it really doesn't matter a hoot for the miscellaneous small fittings on motorcycles which is what I had in mind. If the application was more demanding e.g. timing shaft nut to secure the timing pinion, then I would be sure to use matching thread forms, just as a precaution.

I really wonder just how accurate thread angles would be on el-cheapo handyman screws from Thailand or China would be anyway?


Not very.And distort the first time they are tightened up.

Thread: Face Knurling...
12/04/2021 08:51:31
Posted by CHAS LIPSCOMBE on 11/04/2021 23:43:52:

Oily Rag:

Thanks for a most interesting post. What are your views on stainless steel spokes? These seem to be popular on motorcycle restorations these days. My motorcycles are all pre-1930 and not massively powered but I still use non-stainless spokes. I don't know what type of steel they are.


Stainless steel spokes seem to work just fine and are readily available from reputable suppliers such as Buchanans in the USA. Plenty of big horsepower Harleys using them. I have used them on Harleys and on a Rocket 3 (over-) restoration without problems. You can polish them to look like chrome or leave them natural or if you bead blast them they look closer to the old cadmium plated spokes than modern zinc plating does.

Make sure to use anti-seize on the threads if using stainless nipples too, or they can gall and lock up if you ever want to tighten them up down the road sometime.

Thread: Bandsaw - wood and metal ?
12/04/2021 06:42:12

Might you be better to get a common metal cutting horizontal bandsaw and a handheld electric jigsaw for cutting wood curves etc?

Thread: Spindle thread wont engage ml10...
11/04/2021 09:27:51

Or maybe just a chamfer on the edge of the register counterbore in the backplate would be enough to guide things in? Could be done with a three-sided scraper or three-sided file with the end ground to a sharp edge.

Thread: (bicycle) thread identification?
11/04/2021 08:58:30
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 10/04/2021 19:01:12:

I was wryly amused by those revelations of so-called "professional " mechanics using fastenings from one series on near-fits from others; but glad I don't use their garages.

If I pay to have my vehicle serviced professionally, I damn' well do not to be later driving up the M6 at 70mph in a ton of steel held together with any rough old nuts that vaguely wobbled their ways along the studs!

Mis-matched threads are not mating by flank area, but by very thin lines - what other short-cuts has the "professional " taken?.

Bad practice does not become good by being common.


Come on, we're not those can't-be-bothered-mechanics. We like to think of ourselves as model-engineers who do our best to get it right.

A Cycle Thread is NOT Whitworth!


Nobody said it was recommended best practice. Just that out there in the real world, it works.

Major fastener suppliers in Australia these days supply UNC fasteners as "BSW" when diameter and TPI match, so as to minimize their stock of genuine BSW. No law suits so far from them falling apart in use. On commercial grade mass produced threads, the exact angle simply is not that critical and manufacturing tolerances are so loose they they fit together and stay together without any problems at all. And on old bolts and studs that have been well used, the threads will be distorted anyway and bear only a passing resemblance to any original standard.

Putting a brand new 3/8" UNC nut on a 3/8" BSW bolt or stud on a motorbike or car is better than putting back a 75-year-old flogged out BSW nut that is one step away from stripping. And better than waiting three weeks for the genuine (premium priced) BSW nut to arrive from Ol' Blighty if the machine needs to be used.

It is however something I avoid because working on bikes with two sets of spanners required for the mixture of nuts and bolts drives me up the wall. But I have seen plenty of it done over the years, on just about every old bike ever and in industry where American and British machinery mix and matched fasteners over the years.  Never seen it be a problem other than the spanner size nuisance.


Edited By Hopper on 11/04/2021 09:24:34

Thread: Spindle thread wont engage ml10...
11/04/2021 04:21:32

Well if it fitted ok once but does not fit now, there must be something on the thread preventing it screwing together. Most likely rust, dirt, swarf or a small dent or burr. Careful examination of both threads and cleaning up as appropriate should fix it.

Thread: Myford Super 7 spanner sizes
10/04/2021 15:59:22
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 10/04/2021 10:56:48:
Posted by Hopper on 10/04/2021 03:11:13:
Posted by Robert Butler on 09/04/2021 23:08:47:

PS the ex Myford fitter who serviced my lathe advised Myford used the cheapest spanner sets available


Yes but in those days the cheapest spanners were still made in Britain and still quite reasonable quality for home use. They must have churned out millions of Snail brand and King Dick, Vincent etc spanners over the years so costs were low. But they used good steel and good dies to make them. Different story with today's cheapest cheese-metal spanners.

I round up handfuls of good old BS spanners for peanuts whenever I am at garage sales and flea markets etc. The supply will run out one day so I figure I might as well keep them out of the hands of the hoarders. So I have a full set for each Brit motorbike and lathe in the shed.

Isn't it odd Model Engineers are the only people in the world who believe steel made 60 years ago is better than anything produced today?

I wasn't speaking as a Model Engineer but as a time-served tradesman who used handtools day in day out for decades to make a living.

The Chinese make excellent steel today. But they choose not to use it to make their cheap spanners as a matter of cost saving.


Edited By Hopper on 10/04/2021 16:00:42

Thread: "TINKER" tool & cutter grinder
10/04/2021 15:39:00

Some people do not really want the extra money because it would just interfere with their government pension.  No idea about Canada or this particular case but that's the way it works here in Australia. The rigamarole for a pensioner to report any extra small income or single payment appearing in his bank account makes it not worth dealing with. And then the government cuts your pension payment that week for making the effort. So cash or unreported random Western Union cash payments could be a lot easier.

I had thought about putting some of my magazine articles together into an ebook but decided against it for this reason.


Edited By Hopper on 10/04/2021 15:45:40

Thread: (bicycle) thread identification?
10/04/2021 03:29:53
Posted by CHAS LIPSCOMBE on 09/04/2021 22:58:16:

Does it make any significant difference in practice (as opposed to theoretical considerations) if a thread is 55 or 60 degrees?

If I mate a 55 degree brass thread nut with a 60 degree CEI bolt, does it really matter?

I'm thinking here of motorcycle type applications, not extreme performance situations.


Generally speaking, in practice, it is common for 55 degree nuts to be used on 60 degree bolts etc and vice versa by home and professional mechanics. UNC and BSW fasteners have been intermingled for years in Australia with both being available and used, depending on which side of the pond stuff was imported from. Ordinary fasteners and fittings are made to loose enough specs they will screw together and work ok. I've seen plenty of Harleys with BSW nuts and bolts mated to the original UNC fasteners and Myford lathes somehow seem to end up with UNC fasteners coupled to BSW. It works.

But precision threads such as the spindle nose threads and chuck threads on UK made Boxford clones of the US made South Bend lathes seem to be reluctant to fit UN chucks on BS spindles and vice versa, according to various owners in past posts on here.

Thread: How do I remove this small bearing? And the one behind it.
10/04/2021 03:19:52

If you heat that aluminium housing to 200 C those bearings should fall out with a firm banging of the housing on the bench. Either use an oven or a propane torch, using the old "spit sizzling hot = 100 C" method then carry on heating for about as long again. Or 100 C may well be hot enough to drop them out if you give it a try.

Those expanding commercial pullers will work in a blind hole with two bearings. The puller centre boss has a very small lip on the end and the bearing inner races have a large radius on the ID that the lip fits into.

Heating is the less destructive method as cold pressing/pulling can loosen up the hole in aluminium by pushing a pressure wave of aluminium down the bore ahead of the steel bearing outer race. But usually takes a few bearing changes to do this. You can get away with it once.

Thread: Myford Super 7 spanner sizes
10/04/2021 03:11:13
Posted by Robert Butler on 09/04/2021 23:08:47:

PS the ex Myford fitter who serviced my lathe advised Myford used the cheapest spanner sets available

Yes but in those days the cheapest spanners were still made in Britain and still quite reasonable quality for home use. They must have churned out millions of Snail brand and King Dick, Vincent etc spanners over the years so costs were low. But they used good steel and good dies to make them. Different story with today's cheapest cheese-metal spanners.

I round up handfuls of good old BS spanners for peanuts whenever I am at garage sales and flea markets etc. The supply will run out one day so I figure I might as well keep them out of the hands of the hoarders. So I have a full set for each Brit motorbike and lathe in the shed.

Thread: "TINKER" tool & cutter grinder
10/04/2021 03:01:12

Send the money by Western Union. It's easy, cheap, reliable and secure.

If the Lautards won't give you their bank details, you can have Western Union send the money to thier local WU office or agent, of which there are myriad, and Lautard can collect it in Canadian cash right there.

You can do it from home on your computer with credit card, or go to your local Western Union office or agent, which you can look up online. They don't charge a transfer fee like banks do for cheques etc, but make their money on the exchange rate, which is still quite reasonable, especially on a small amount like $50 or whatever.

It's the main way that millions of foreign workers worldwide send money home to their families and bank accounts so nothing exotic or risky. And WU have been in the business since cowboys on ponies delivered the goods.

Thread: Java 0-4-2 O+K De Maas Sugar Mill Locomotive
06/04/2021 12:37:00

She's looking good already! Keep us posted.

Thread: Searching for old specific model steam engines
06/04/2021 12:34:54

You never know. It can be an amazingly small world and model engineering is a smaller world within it.

You could post pics of grandpa's engines and grandpa himself in the era, along with a name and approximate location on this and various other model engine sites etc and ask people to pass it along to others from the same era who may remember grandpa.

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