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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: Tailstock pressure
14/05/2021 08:05:40

One thing to watch out for is heavy cutting on long parts heats them up, makes them expand and thus makes the dead centre a tighter fit against its hole, which is how they can overheat and get burnt. Check for heat and smoke during operation. Back off the tailstock pressure if the centre gets tighter as you go. Keep dripping a bit of oil on the centre as you go. And as Ady1 says, the best way to use a dead centre is by replacing it with a revolving centre for most work.

Thread: Inherited ML7 in need of some love - where to start?
14/05/2021 07:56:08

Sounds like your clutch is an add-on so the original cover does not fit. If you look at pics of Super 7 Myfords with clutch they have an extra bulge on the large end to accommodate the clutch. No big deal to run without it, as the motor belt is far away from the operator and unlikely to catch cuffs etc in the way the main headstock spindle belt can. Or you could cut a circle out of the old cover and add a puddin' bowl etc as a clutch cover.

Good score on the oil! That will keep you going for life.

The screw cutting change gears cover should fit on without dramas. The "banjo" that the gear spindles fit into can be rotated to engage the gears with the spindle and then locked up with two nuts at the base where it rotates. In that position the cover should fit, unless you have some collection of oversized gears in place. For regular fine feed while turning, you want the small 20 tooth headstock spindle to drive the largest gear - about a 65 or 70 -- coupled to the smallest gear available, which in turn drives the biggest gear left in your set, again coupled with the smallest you have left, finally driving the largest gear left on the lead screw. The Myford ML7 Users Manual PDF is available free all over the net and gives details and pics. Othewise, post pics of the gear train here if the cover won't fit on, plus pics of the cover and we will soon figure something out.

Thread: Can one buy pliers with parallel jaws that lock like mol
14/05/2021 07:25:05
Posted by ChrisB on 14/05/2021 05:50:17:

The op makes me laugh out loud! Apparently what he needs has not been produced yet and knocks off all ideas given to help him out of his tight spot (what ever it may be as no specific application was mentioned)

Now he appears to want to redesign an existing design fearing he's too strong for the tool and is worried he might break it! That really made me laugh out loud! smile p

I don't know what kind of training regime one must undertake to develop a wrist strong enough to snap a 10" chrome vanadium shifting spanner, but it must take day and night dedication to get to that level. cheeky


Edited By Hopper on 14/05/2021 07:32:50

Thread: Tinplate locomotive identification
13/05/2021 12:08:27

No idea but those are just lovely. I wonder if they came with a track they ran on? I too would be interested to learn more about them. Looks like they would make an interesting project to build a replica of sorts and have it chuffing in circles around the dinner table. Would certainly provide a talking point at soirees.

Thread: Can one buy pliers with parallel jaws that lock like mol
13/05/2021 11:59:18

After all that, a simple Google search for "parallel pliers locking" reveals several pages of choices like the below.

The black ones are even made with flat sided handles specifically for clamping in a larger bench vice while holding small delicate parts to work on.

But of course they might not be as tough as the Stanley shifter for undoing rusty nuts on car chassis etc. It's almost like you need two different tools for those two different jobs.



I like the look of the black ones and can see a pair in my toolbox in the not distant future. Then again, I like the look of the Facom posted above a lot too.

Edited By Hopper on 13/05/2021 12:00:12

Thread: Lathe run out
13/05/2021 11:42:10
Posted by Robin on 13/05/2021 10:56:05:
Posted by Hopper on 13/05/2021 03:15:13:Good start. I would first get it bolted down firmly to the floor. Then set it "level" (or at least the same bubble position) at both ends of the bed proper, not the removable gap piece. U-shaped shims slid in under the mounting bolts will do the job. Usually only takes a few thou here and there of shim. You will soon get a feel of how much shim causes how much movement of the bubble.

I might get away with glue but drilling holes in her garage floor is not really on the cards, we have to keep this credible. She has X-ray vision and knows instinctively if I am hiding something.

I like Mark's M12 adjustable feet, but how does that square with your "few thou here and there"? How about three m12 feet and one fine thread foot at the lighter end? I have a set of M17x1.0 taps and die which need trying out. smiley

Someone in New Delhi is selling MT5 alignment test bars for £70 including carriage on fleabay. Worth taking a chance?

Crikey, you need to get 'er better trained. But that's a longterm project and beyond our remit here. laugh

Four adjustable feet, the type with large round rubber or urethane etc pad at the bottom of each would do the job. Search for "machine feet adjustable" or "Machine Levelling Feet" and you have plenty to choose from. They come in different diamter mounting threaded studs to suit whatever holes are already in your cabinet base. They have two nuts on each threaded stud so can be adjusted to suit your needs. No need for ultra fine threads etc. Whatever they come with will do the job. Not as good as bolted down but better than perched on lumps of wood for sure.

I would not buy the test bar from India. Unknown quality -- some are very poorly made -- and not at all necessary to set up your lathe. The two turning tests I described earlier will do the job to a better standard.

Others here can probably recommend where to buy suitable machine feet in the UK and that should get you going.

Thread: Recommended Beginners Measuring Tool Set
13/05/2021 03:28:51

A digital caliper and a 1" or 25mm micrometer are a must in addition to the linked set. If you can only afford one, get the caliper first and the mike later when more precision is required.

Thread: Lathe run out
13/05/2021 03:15:13
Posted by Robin on 12/05/2021 20:25:06:

Wasn't sure if I wanted to admit it, but I do have a level, does that make me weird? nerd

It is making me think I may want a floor mount I can adjust while looking at the bubble.



Good start. I would first get it bolted down firmly to the floor. Then set it "level" (or at least the same bubble position) at both ends of the bed proper, not the removable gap piece. U-shaped shims slid in under the mounting bolts will do the job. Usually only takes a few thou here and there of shim. You will soon get a feel of how much shim causes how much movement of the bubble.

Once you have got it level, you can then repeat your turning test and see how it compares. Any further shimming to bring it to turn dead parallel can then be done.

Setting it level does not always absolutely guarantee parallel turning because as noted above, it is unknown if the tops of the inverted V ways are dead true to the angled load bearing surfaces at the front or the flat surface the carriage rides on  at the back. Plus these cheaper hobby lathes are often made from "green" castings that have not been aged to relieve casting stresses, so can move and distort a bit after being machined in the factory. Plus there can be the movemet of the carriage under the load of cutting forces. Also there is the factor of the removable gap piece being properly made and installed.

So your turning test will be the last double check just in case. Then, on with the tailstock but that is a different job.


Edited By Hopper on 13/05/2021 03:18:45

Thread: Diesel fuel
12/05/2021 08:18:57
Posted by duncan webster on 11/05/2021 20:31:36:

Many moons ago I had an ED Bee 1cc engine. The chaps at the model flying club could start it no problem, I put blisters on my fingers trying. The fuel brew was 1/3 ether, 1/3 RedEx, 1/3 diesel

Even as a young teenager the local Boots would sell me 1/2 litre bottles of ether, the rest I cadged from the local garage. It was quite impressive when my Dad decided to light the coke stove, already warm from the night before, by filling it with coke, pouring in some ether and applying a match. Stove lid nearly hit the ceiling, and coke flew round the kitchen

Those were the days when 12 year old boys could buy ether over the counter. We used to mix in something called amyl nitrate as well for our diesel model plane engines. Plus you could buy all the concentrated nitric and sulfuric acid you wanted for various "experiments". Made a change from working totally unsupervised on 240 volt radios and TVs salvaged from the tip. Then there was the homemade gunpowder...

Thread: BA sizes
12/05/2021 07:51:30
Posted by Dr. MC Black on 11/05/2021 13:44:06:

Very many thanks to everybody for their comments

I will manage with a 1/4" Screwdriver Bit handle for the time being.

The cost of postage often makes buying things from Ebay uneconomic - apart from NOT knowing if any descriptions are fair and accurate.

I recently bought a book from an overseas bookseller - although he described it as "Acceptable" many of the pages had been scribbled on and I told him that a fair description would be "Poor". The stress of doing this has convinced me to be VERY cautious about buying anything by Mail Order from anywhere, especially from overseas.

That seems a bit overly cautious perhaps. Millions of people worldwide buy millions of things online every day with relatively few problems. If you buy from one of the reputable UK suppliers that advertise on this site or in ME magazine etc, you should be pretty safe. Most have eBay shops too. And if you have an unsatisfactory purchase eBay will organise a refund etc, as will Paypal. Pretty much no risk these days.

Postage costs within UK surely are not that much are they? I get most of my ME supplies from the UK and I live in Australia. Postage costs are not prohibitive. And if you are prepared to take a punt on some of the cheap as chips stuff on Aliexpress etc, postage from our highly esteemed trading partners in the Orient is mostly free.

Just seems like it should not be that hard to get a 1/4" nut driver, or a full set of BA drivers for that matter.

Thread: Machining a female MT1 taper
12/05/2021 07:43:19
Posted by not done it yet on 12/05/2021 07:22:15:

Cutting a reamed taper is only slightly more demanding than a parallel reamed hole for anyone with reasonable ability - I can do it!

The trickier part is making sure the cone is exactly along the desired axis. Trial and error can become expensive, even when using reamers - materials and cutters (in carbon steel).

For this reason, you are probably better off boring the hole tapered as best you can before using the reamer to finish the job. As with reaming parallel holes, drilling is the roughing operation but is not necessarily concentric, then boring the hole establishes concentricity and location, then reaming finishes the hole off to final size and surface finish.

And a lot of spindles don't use the full length of the MT1 reamer but stop a bit short, so a slightly larger diameter at the small end makes life a bit easier for boring bars etc. Take a look at some MT1 drill bits and centres etc and see how small they actually go down and maybe aim for just a bit under that?

Thread: Lathe run out
12/05/2021 00:18:33
Posted by Robin on 11/05/2021 14:18:15:

This listening to good advice trick really works, I must do it more often.

I removed all twist from the bed by replacing the oak block with a steel roller.

I turned 6" of steel down without the tailstock and measured the ends 25.14 and 24.975

It tapers 0.165mm, 0.0065 inches.

Pretty crappy BUT it's going the other way.

Somewhere between what I had and what I have now lies perfection.

I think I feel a quest coming on face 22

Very good!

It looks like you might be best to replace the two wooden riser blocks with a couple bits of 4" square steel tubing, thick walled etc. Bolt them to the floor and then bolt the lathe cabinet to the square tube, after inserting suitable shims to stop any rocking if the lathe is not sitting flat on the tubes at all 4 points. Then you can start your turning tests and shim either the cabinet base or the lathe base accordingly to get a nice straight cut.

Some of these larger Chinese lathes I have seen have some very thin cross sectional areas along the bed just below the ways, so can be quite flexible. They are nowhere near as rigid as they appear at first glance. I was recently looking at a bed repair done to one that fell off the back of a truck -- literally -- and the casting below the front way was only 9mm thick, so weak under load or twisting forces etc. This one had snapped clean off.

Another thing you should check on yours: It looks in the pics like you have a removable gap piece in the bed at the left hand end. These can cause trouble if the securing bolts and dowels come loose. There are two tapered dowel pins that locate it. Each has a threaded section on top with a nut for extraction. I can see one of them in your first pic. You need to loosen the nut and gently tap the threaded section with a brass drift to make sure the tapered dowel is "home". Then check tightness on the allen bolts holding the gap piece down. And check the removeable piece is not obviously misaligned at the join on the bed ways etc.

It's best not to remove the gap piece unnecessarily as they can be a pain to get seated correctly again. If you do, make sure all burrs and grit and swarf are meticulously removed before reassembly.

Thread: The 'WM' lathe series headstock lubrication
11/05/2021 10:53:17
Posted by Mike Woods 1 on 10/05/2021 18:22:25:

I suppose you could sum this up with a question - how often do you lubricate the wheel bearings on your everyday car? . They are packed with grease on assembly, the car is driven until play/noise is detected then the bearings are replaced.

About 200,000 miles and 26 years on my last Toyota sedan without looking at the wheel bearings before I traded it in. Good quality taper bearings in good grease run "forever".

But Chinese bearings are of a widely varying quality and so is their grease. If you replace with SKF, FAG or Timken and use good quality clean wheel bearing grease you should get your 200,000 miles out of your lathe.

The ArcEuroTrade website has a couple articles on changing bearings on mini lathes that might be applicable to yours as they all seem much of a muchness. (Well to this uninitiated outside observer anyway.)

Edited By Hopper on 11/05/2021 10:54:52

Thread: miniature copper pipe
11/05/2021 10:42:08

OOps simultaneous post on the last one. Disregard any repetition of what was already said.

Size of hex may depend on what fittings you are making. If you are going to use a 1/4" thread the hex will need to be the next biggest size available, giving the wall thickness required for what you want to do. I suppose 5/16? Hard to say without seeing a pic or drawing of the fitting you want to make.

11/05/2021 10:34:31

I have never seen copper tubing threaded. It usually slides into a brass compression fitting or the like where a 1/8" ID brass nipple is slipped over the 1/8"OD tubing and held captive by a brass nut against the main fitting, using a taper to compress the nipple and hold the pipe. Otherwise the copper tubing is soldered into a brass fitting. This often looks tidier on models as the standard compression fittings look too big to be true scale fittings.

And 1/8 BSP is a whole different size again. The thread is much larger diameter, made to fit the outside of a steel pipe with a nominal 1/8" hole up the middle.

Rule of thumb is pipe is measured by nominal ID while tube is measured by the nominal OD. Thus 1/8" pipe is much bigger diameter than 1/8" tube. (And what you have is nominal 1/8" tube. 3.192mm is half a thou over 1/8". Manufacturing tolerances are a lot looser than that so you have done well.)

Edited By Hopper on 11/05/2021 10:37:36

Thread: Lathe run out
11/05/2021 10:21:45
Posted by Robin on 10/05/2021 19:07:07:

I was trying to turn 5" of 1" hex steel down to 17mm to fit some bearings and stuff. They didn't go on very far, it got fatter approaching the chuck.

BTW, how much taper are we talking about on this 5" long job? What are the diameters at each end as turned?

11/05/2021 04:14:08


You are putting the cart way before the horse and getting several separate issues mixed up. Moving your headstock is an absolute last resort and should be avoided if at all possible. It is rarely needed.

Your tailstock is adjustable and is usually adjusted to match the headstock, not vice versa.

First, you need to realise there are two taper turning causes, with two tests and two solutions:

1. Bed Alignment.  Stick a piece of 1" diameter bar in the chuck with about 4 to 6" sticking out. NO tailstock centre in place for this test. Take a fine finishing cut along the length of it and measure the job for taper. It should be within a thou or less (0.025mm). If it's not, the adjustment is made by shimming ONE of the mounting feet where the lathe attaches to the bench, at the tailstock end. This "twists" the bed to get it aligned to your headstock spindle axis.

2. Tailstock Alignment. Stick a short piece of bar in the chuck and turn a 60 degree point on it as close to the chuck as possible. Then put a known good centre in the tailstock and slide it up so the two points almost meet. Pinch a thin steel ruler between the two points, with the quill extended about the amount you normally use it at. The steel ruler should stand up vertical and also should lay square to the main lathe axis when viewed from above. If it does not, adjustment is done by adjustment bolts or screws in the tailstock base that move it from side to side. If the tailstock centre is lower than the headstock centre, you will have to put shim between the base and main body of the tailstock to bring it up to headstock spindle level. Further fine adustment is made by turning a piece of 1" diameter bar 6 to 12" long between centres and measuring the resulting taper after a fine cut. Adjust tailstock offset until less than a thou of taper.


The best and simplest written/pictorial description of how how set up your lathe's bed alignment and tailstock alignment I have seen is in the front of the Myford ML7 Owners Manual. PDF copies are available free all over the net. It applies to all lathes, not just Myfords. You should read it carefully before adjusting anything. It gives two ways of doing the bed alignment, using either an expensive precision level, or by the simple turning test outlined in 1. above, which is all I ever use in the home workshop. Then they describe the tailstock alignment by turning test as in 2. above.

The test you have described with a very long piece of unmachined bar does not really give an accurate reading of anything. Ditto mounting a DTI on the toolpost at this stage. Do the above tests 1 and 2 before adjusting anything and you will at least know where you are starting from . At first blush it sounds like your main problem is a tailstock that needs adjusting. You may possibly not have to do any more than that.



Edited By Hopper on 11/05/2021 04:37:28

Thread: Faircut lathe
09/05/2021 23:41:11

My Drummond M-type lathe, of similar vintage and style to the Faircut, has been lubricated for the past 50 years or more exclusively with whatever motorbike engine oil is kicking around the shed at the time.

Others prefer to use hydraulic oil and yet others derive great joy from special thick and tacky machine tool "way oil" specially made for the purpose.

The main thing is that you use oil, rather than exactly what type of oil. Like Andy above, I have tried and found ISO 32 hydraulic oil too thin for drip feed headstock bearings and it just seems to flow straight out the bottom and splatter everywhere. So I soon reverted to the tried and true 20/50 engine oil. Cheap and cheerful.

Have fun with your vintage lathe. They can be very satisfying to turn out good work on old machines.

Thread: Disposing of Gas Cylinders?
08/05/2021 01:01:18

There must be millions of these disposable bottles worldwide that get thrown in the garbage or recycle bins but we never seem to hear reports of explosions etc. I suppose theoretically if the cylinder is full of gas but no air it can't explode? I would think they get sorted out at the garbage dump when recyclables are separated in most places. Otherwise buried in landfill so no great hazard. There is plenty of explosive methane gas coming out of those places anyway.

As far as drilling, cutting and welding etc of old gas bottles, it makes me a little nervous. I would never do that to a petrol tank or petrol tin without steam cleaning it first and filling with inert gas such as CO2 or argon. They do explode fairly regularly when being welded by careless bush mechanics and the like. Not sure how gas compares when it comes to lurking in seams and pores in the metal and lying in wait for the unsuspecting?


Edited By Hopper on 08/05/2021 01:02:52

08/05/2021 00:53:25

Hacksaw -- very nice work. I can see why they are popular.

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