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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: BSW Fasteners
24/05/2021 11:17:58

UNC will work and are more readily available. Same pitch as BSW in the smaller diameters. The difference in thread angle in mass produced fasteners between BSW and UNC is unimportant.

Thread: 935 bronze
24/05/2021 11:10:01

LG2 would probably do the job too, and is commonly available. Not quite as much lead as 935 but has tin and zinc also and is pretty standard for making bearings and bushings from for general use. Many bearing factors sell it as bushing material.

Thread: screwcutting in a ML7
24/05/2021 02:18:04

PS You can check your carriage movement with a dial indicator while rotating the chuck exactly one turn. Carriage should move .125" for an 8 tpi thread.

Thread: The worst 'upcycling' tragedy ever?
24/05/2021 01:45:16

Looks like a real dimbulb project. Literally and figuratively.

Do tell us the price if you find out. Could use a good larf.

Edited By Hopper on 24/05/2021 01:46:49

Thread: screwcutting in a ML7
24/05/2021 01:43:28

Something is amiss there. You should be able to cut an 8tpi thread without even using the thread chaser dial. Just engage anywhere and it should work. Ditto for any thread with tpi a multiple of 8, eg 16, 24, 32, 40 etc.

As Pete says above check the tooth count on your gears. Should be a 20 tooth on both the output stud of the reversing mechanism and the leadscrew, with idlers of your choice in between.

Myford did make a 21 tooth gear that can easily be mistaken for a 20 without careful counting.

Otherwise, you must have something loose somewhere that is moving. Either in the gear train or the toolpost etc.

Thread: Distilled water for anodising
21/05/2021 09:37:51

My local grocery store sells 5 litre bottles of demineralised water for use in steam irons etc. Cheap as chips.

Dehumidifier water is going to have minerals/pollutants from airborne dust etc. Probably not much, but the demin water is so cheap to buy you might as well use it if available.

Thread: The Senior - The Engineersí Emporium
21/05/2021 06:58:25

No experience. But the spec says 7" flywheels and 8" overall length so should be doable in a Myford with the faceplate. In a pinch you could bolt the bed to the cross slide and machine it with a flycutter.

Thread: Machining castings in the 4-jaw - knocking?
21/05/2021 06:42:42
Posted by JasonB on 20/05/2021 13:37:28:

Same here, this one for example would be about 9" across the corners so a good interrupted cut, also a long way from the chuck and a lot of tailstock extension but an acceptable finish. Probably equal to about 400rpm on that small stuart casting.



Although, that is with carbide insert tooling, not HSS that the OP used. So you can use triple the cutting speed right there. And carbide stands up much better to the hard skin on cast iron where it will tear the edge off HSS if run too fast. And somewhat counterintuitively, smaller castings can have a harder skin because they chill off faster out of the mould.

I've used higher rpm on bigger jobs in the Myford with interrupted cuts too, but on plain mild steel not hard casting skins. Another trick is to use a block of wood against the chuck to help even out the shock loadings from the interrupted cut, most helpful on old lathes like the Drummond that have a bit of slack in the back gear drive pin/dog. (I haven't needed it since i got dragged kicking and screaming into the modern era with the ML7.)






Probably would not pass modern WHS standards so use your own common sense before trying to imitate my bad habits. (Well, LH Sparey's bad habits imitated by me.)

Edited By Hopper on 21/05/2021 06:47:36

Edited By Hopper on 21/05/2021 06:49:07

Thread: Clarke CL500M half nut conversion
21/05/2021 06:31:30

You might as well use steel for the backplate. Many of those Chinese chucks have a steel body anyway.

Cast iron might be marginally better for a backplate because it tends to dampen vibration/resonance better than steel and resists deformation better. (Young's Modulus notwithstanding, it resists deformation under compression more than steel does.) But for the small advantage probably not worth the dirty abrasive mess when machining it.

So at the end of the day, personal choice really.

Thread: Spiral adjustable reamers
21/05/2021 06:22:14
Posted by Oily Rag on 20/05/2021 11:41:35:


My experience of import adjustable reamers is that these do not have a lead on their blades, at least not on the ones I have seen.

I can't imagine how they would work at all without the usual taper on the first third of the blade. Perhaps that is why IanH has found them unsuitable. All my adjustable reamers are ancient, made by (now) dead white males and thus totally lacking in post-modernism.

And yes, a pic of said broaches would be of great interest. Their provenance being of equal interest too. Piece of history that.

Edited By Hopper on 21/05/2021 06:23:19

Thread: I honestly canít think of an suitable title
21/05/2021 06:08:29
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 18/12/2020 09:40:48:...


Those who criticise their publication merely for being not personally interesting, forget two things.

Firstly that without advertising the magazines and newspapers would cost far more;

No. Without advertising, newspapers and magazines would not exist.

Traditionally 85 per cent of their revenue came from advertising. The cover price makes up the other 15 per cent of revenue, not even enough to pay for the cost of production, printing and distribution. The reason countless thousands of newspapers and magazines have closed down worldwide in the past 10 years has been the relentless migration of advertising out of newspapers and magazines to the internet.

And forums like this would likewise shut down if there were no advertising on them. Ditto YouTube channels being run as a business or as a small earner on the side to fund the poster's workshop habit.

Thread: Spiral adjustable reamers
20/05/2021 09:07:51

Now that sounds like an interesting project. Cast iron guides should be a doddle to ream with a straight adjustable reamer if its in good condition. Bronze can be a bit trickier. New reamers tend to catch on the material unless the cutting edges are dulled off. You could always set the guides up in the lathe and size them before installation.

Or for removing that few thou on just a couple of jobs you could make a toolmaker's reamer by turning a piece of silver steel to size then cutting the end at a long oblique angle and then harden and temper it.

20/05/2021 08:19:20
Posted by Chris Evans 6 on 20/05/2021 08:12:11:

The formula Ford engine builders now tend to use "K Line" ( memory for the name ?) Valve guides, these are pressed into the head and sizes achieved by pushing a hard ball bearing through the guide.

I have not used these myself because the engines I work on are pre war and tend to be agricultural in nature.

Taylor Jones as a reamer supplier comes to mind for the odd sizes required but at a cost.

Not just them. K-Liners are pretty much industry standard for engine reconditioning shops these days. Quicker and easier than changing the whole guide. Ream the old one out, in line with the existing seat, and press in a liner than swage it with a steel ball to lock it in and size it all in one go. Works well on motorbikes too. Although, I stick with cast iron guides on the real vintage stuff that runs hot and lubrication system is not the best. And I ream them with adjustable straight reamers.

20/05/2021 08:14:33
Posted by not done it yet on 20/05/2021 06:54:57:

I have never come across oversized valve stems. Certainly not a common method of dealing with valve guide wear. Guides are cheaper to replace than valves, so why would you? And the guides wear much quicker than the valves.

Perhaps you are too young, have a poor memory or was not involved in that sort of thing? I am talking here of the 1960s. Specifically, a 1500 Cortina head hotted up by a well known and respected engineer. Guides were bored directly in the head as I recall.

Car went like the proverbial off a shovel but the head was soon moved on when a 1650 block was fitted (the compression ratio was just a lot too high, at the time for even the top grades of fuel🙂 ).

Maybe your experience of parts available, in that era, is a little limited?


Correct. My experience of 1960s UK Ford Cortinas is zero. Thankfully. Dealing with the madcap engineering of British motorcycles of the 1960s is plenty enough for me these days. But even they had replaceable valve guides.

Edited By Hopper on 20/05/2021 08:23:53

19/05/2021 23:18:58

I have never come across oversized valve stems. Certainly not a common method of dealing with valve guide wear. Guides are cheaper to replace than valves, so why would you? And the guides wear much quicker than the valves.

I have used ordinary straight flute adjustable reamers on valve guides all my life. Never really a problem. Usually these days you are only taking out a thou or two where the guide has shrunk a tiny bit under press fit, or the end has deformed slightly from using a hammer and drift to fit guides cold into a cast iron head.

It's a matter of fine adjustment of the reamer to take small cuts to get to size. You can measure the setting of the blades with a mike as you go and take it in small increments. The first third of the blade is tapered so you set the reamer so the tapered part sits inside the valve guide and cuts just on the last bit of the taper as it blends to the straight section.

And if a new reamer grabs on bronze guides, you can make it less grabby by running a small abrasive rubbing stone down the cutting edge to dull it off a bit.

Those spiral adjustable reamers were a bit of a motor mechanics tool and seem to be a thing of the past. You might find them for sale out of the USA though. They seemed to like them a lot in the day. Plus you can get straight or spiral flute fixed reamers that are the couple thou oversize required. Usually a special tool that costs a lot more though.

And an adjustable spiral reamer is going to be no less "hit and miss" than an adjustable straight reamer. It all comes down to how you adjust it.

Edited By Hopper on 19/05/2021 23:24:53

Edited By Hopper on 19/05/2021 23:27:41

Thread: Machining castings in the 4-jaw - knocking?
19/05/2021 12:49:43

My clamping bolts are all BSW, common hardware store fare. (Bizarrely, Australia went metric 40 years ago and BSW etc are almost unobtainable, except at the nation's largest hardware chain who seem to sell them as standard builders' and renovators items.) Works fine.

And if drilling and tapping aluminium T strip, BSW will work better than BSF in the softer material.

The vice hold-down bolts from Myford are stepped down to 1/4" BSF so the nuts do not get in the way of the job held in the vice. You might need to buy or make something similar there.

For parallels in that tiny Myford vice I use exclusively pieces of HSS lathe toolbit blanks in 3/16 and 1/8" sizes. Also some various bits of small key steel. And even round bolt shanks can be used in a pinch. Or strips of flat bar.

@ Andrew J yes an 18" faceplate plus large wheel like that is a bit much of a lift for sure. No such problems on the baby Myford fortunately. Often a good idea to rig a swinging arm from the wall etc with chain block etc for lifting heavy larger chucks into place. A heavy job can then be hung from the chain block while being attached to the faceplate as it sits in place on the lathe.

Thread: horizontal boiler stays
19/05/2021 11:28:12

Around here water pressure can be 80 PSI. I have seen a steam boiler in a lumber yard used for steaming timber at low to moderate pressure that was hooked to the mains water supply, directly through a check valve, so feed water relied solely on mains water pressure. The operator had a valve on the feed line he adjusted to match flow to water level in the boiler. Probably not strictly legal I should think. The boiler ran at a lower pressure than the water mains so it worked though.

I've even seen two-story houses fitted with a disability lift powered by water pressure from the mains. The water operated a large ram like a hydraulic ram set into a deep hole in the ground. Enough power to lift a steel platform and cage carrying two people and a wheelchair up to the upstairs floor. Also no longer legal but still a few in operation out the back of old timers' high-set houses in small towns. Horrendously dangerous with no safety interlocks etc in the hands of ageing operators and resulted in at least one death I know of. They used to be installed by local charity service clubs like Lions and Rotary etc.

Edited By Hopper on 19/05/2021 11:32:36

Edited By Hopper on 19/05/2021 11:34:58

Thread: Machining castings in the 4-jaw - knocking?
19/05/2021 10:51:26

And keep your fingers well away from the faceplate/toolpost area when it's in motion. The ends of those clamping bolts stick out a long way and are invisible in motion. A real trap. If you need to clear swarf or feel the sharpness of your tool cutting edge, stop the lathe first. Don't put your hands anywhere near that mangle.

A tip for mounting things on the faceplate initially: Lie the faceplate down on the bench and mount up your job and position the clamps and bolts etc and nip it all up before standing the faceplate up vertical and screwing it on to the lathe spindle. This saves having to fight the job and clamps all wanting to fall off the faceplate if you do it in situ on the lathe. Final adjustments can be made easily once the faceplate is on the lathe as long clamp bolts are just loosened off enough to allow movement and that's all.

18/05/2021 04:46:59

Good result!. Well done. Looks like chalk and cheese on the finish there.

I use a box of 5/16 and 3/8 BSW bolts, nuts and washers of varying lengths from the local hardware store for all clamping to faceplate and vertical slide. Plus some T nuts for the vertical slide. These take either 5/16 or 8mm studs.  No need for T nuts on the faceplate. Just nuts and washers work ok. Also some bits and pieces of flat bar with various holes drilled in them to suit the need of the day and act as clamps.

Handiest thing I have is a few pieces of flat bar with two holes drilled in each. One hole is tapped to take a 5/16 bolt that becomes the adjustable packing piece. The other hole is 3/8 clearance for the clamping bolt. Can be seen in this pic, albeit using longer than normal bolts for a special job. I like not having loose packing pieces that could fly out if the clamp comes loose, so the bolt screwed into the clamping piece is nice and secure.


But you will often have to make special clamps and jigs to suit the job in hand, such as this piece of aluminium plate with the job screwed to it then the plate bolted to the faceplate. Works a treat for fiddly little stuff.



I have also resorted to using 3/8" coach bolts on the vertical slide. Had to grind two flats on the heads on the bench grinder and thin the dome of thehead down on the lathe to fit the T slots. Also coach bolts work well on the faceplate as the square shank part holds them while being tightened. Do not overtighten 3/8 bolts or they WILL distort your flimsy Myford slides etc. Hold your spanner up close to the nut being tightened and use restraint.

5/16" is plenty big enough if you are buying a formal set of clamps and bolts. Mostly it depends on what T nuts you can get to fit the Myford slots. I think you have to buy them from Myford as nothing else fits. Not sure what size studs their T nuts are made for these days.



Never mind the Heath Robinson contraption to mount the lathe's fixed steady to itself for machining! Needs must.

Edited By Hopper on 18/05/2021 05:07:40

Thread: Tribological query re shafts and bushings!
17/05/2021 11:33:23

Extruded would be the "low cost hobby market" option most likely. Are they then aluminium or Mazak etc and not steel? Would explain why they wore out already.

SOD: I dont think there would be enough wall thickness to cut a keyway unless it was made very shallow, say 1mm. Might get away with it for change gears in low power situation. I dont think you could mill it and get a smooth diameter without making a million passes at tiny increments etc.

Edited By Hopper on 17/05/2021 11:36:21

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