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Member postings for choochoo_baloo

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

Thread: New Axminster surface plate?
27/06/2017 03:11:20
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 25/06/2017 06:54:33:

As ME's, we do get hyped up about accuracy, then park our cars with one wheel up the kerb. What is it, some kind of fetish? What you are going to use the surface plate for would be a more enlightening discussion I think.

Ultimately for telescope optics alignment!

27/06/2017 03:09:14
Posted by JasonB on 25/06/2017 08:07:15:

Question for the learned, if they flex when stood against a wall why don't they sag when stood on 3 points?

Don't know what all the fuss is about I don't even have a surface plate and seem to get by OKsmiley

Applying my physics knowledge makes me think:

the mathematics for the body perpendicular to gravity ie stood on pegs gives a simple algebraic relationships to the dimensions aka Bessel points. Whereas leant against a wall has more complicated interaction the equations cannot be solved analytically, or in laymans terms there are no balance points ie sagging.

Thread: Crap vee blocks and "Oxford Precision"?
26/06/2017 22:09:25
Posted by Howard Lewis on 26/06/2017 21:45:28:

Bear in mind that Cromwell Tools supply Industry, ( And their prices tend be Industrial!) so if they sold rubbish, professional customers would soon vanish. My employers (before I retired, and now) have Cromwell as one of their many suppliers. As one of the world's largest manufacturers of their product, cannot believe that they would buy rubbish for long. Any doubts over dimensions and the item would soon be in a temperature and humidity controlled Standards and Calibration Room, awaiting a pretty searching check.

Have never had reason to return or criticise any of the measuring equipment or tools that I have bought from them, which is more than can be said of Machine Mart. (Would you replace in the showcase a vernier just returned by a customer for a 0.004" difference between Inside and Outside jaws?)

Have never worked for, or had any connection with Cromwell, other than as a user or customer.


Thanks. Useful information Howard. That Machine Mart anecdote is uncomfortably familiar!

26/06/2017 22:05:43
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 26/06/2017 13:52:45:

Jumping to conclusions about the quality of a product depending on where in the world it was made is illogical. If you read industrial history you will find that assumptions of quality based on Nationality always been dubious. Birmingham was once infamous for churning out cheap nasty tat even though many seriously good firms were also located there. Nowadays it's even more difficult to generalise. Manufacturing and services are much more globalised. Design, manufacture, sales, tax, management, ownership etc. can all be based in different countries. What's manufactured by anybody will be aimed at a market: as Ketan remarks this has space for the good, the bad and the ugly.

Rather than worrying about country of origin, you're better off buying by specification and checking it. As this is liable to be costly and time consuming, buying by reputation is quicker, though you always need to confirm that a reputation is still justified. A brand-name is nowhere near as solid as a reputation: when a company goes out of business their brand-names are usually sold to the highest bidder. I always treat brand-names with suspicion.

My V-Blocks are fine for what I use them for. I've no idea where they were made.

One thing about the methodology used in the 'crap' video worried me. The diameter of the dowel is small in comparison with the size of the V block. The chap may have been measuring the accuracy of the notch at the bottom rather than the accuracy of the V surfaces. I wish he'd used something bigger: Jason's test with the shank of an HSS cutter is much more convincing.

I'm quite intrigued to know what will be made in the Choochoo-balloo workshop. Not a criticism, but chaps new to metalwork don't normally start at the precision end of the hobby: it's expensive. If the plan is to own 'quality' tools for pleasure rather than profit, that's fine by me.


Thanks for the constructive reply Dave. Yes I'm well aware of the largely globalised nature of modern manufacturing. Having had bad experience with far eastern tooling before, and then watching the aforementioned video, I decided to seek the wisdom of fellow members.

Yes the 'quality tooling for pleasure' is indeed a motivator for me!!

26/06/2017 22:00:05
Posted by Muzzer on 26/06/2017 08:47:06:

What a silly, thoughtless post by the OP. You can indeed buy utter crap from "the far East" but you can also buy absolutely top notch stuff from there. Same with UK made stuff (if it really is UK made in the first place) - there is plenty locally made crap available too. Far better to sit back in your armchair and never spend a penny - that way you won't waste a penny either.

Why not buy based on reputation? That's how some retailers gain a loyal following, based on years of careful work, sourcing good quality parts and giving good customer service. If you've been on this forum for any time you will know that the retailer you mention consistently gets pretty good feedback.


1. What is silly or thoughtless about questioning good and poor quality tooling? I did not realise it was a taboo subject.

2. Please do not put words into my mouth RE Arc the company. The reality is that Warco, Clarke, Axminster etc. all get their same manufacturing from the same few factories (source: Axminster employee). Thus it's valid to question the quality of unbranded tooling.

26/06/2017 01:52:05

I was about to order a pair of vee blocks (the unbranded far eastern type from Arc) and then watched a video showing how a pair of supposedly ground precision vee blocks, of the same style as that sold by all the usual retailers were

(a) not ground on the vee surfaces

(b) not even parallel along the tops as measured with a clock gauge on a surface plate. They differed by ~8 thou over the pair!

What little optimism I had for using these import items has now gone out of the window.

Therefore the purpose of this post is twofold. 1) What experiences do others have of import workholding and jig tooling such as vee blocks

2) I was pleased to find a what appears to be a quality British vee block pair but I cannot find any positive Google result for the company "Oxford Precision" (Leicester). I want to ascertain whether they are indeed made in Leicester, or if it's a crafty bit of branding when they are also imports - like with modern Jacob's chucks. Will phone Cromwell tomorrow for an answer in any case.

Thanks in advance.

NB: Here's a shot from a manual form "Oxford Precision" that does turn up in search results.

oxford precision

Edited By choochoo_baloo on 26/06/2017 01:52:27

Thread: Overview of coolant use please
24/06/2017 22:08:35

I have bought a small coolant tank/pump unit from Axminster, description here:

It felt a natural upgrade to general lathe work for (a) lubrication and (b) rinsing swarf away from the immeadiate cutting area.

I have read that water soluble oil is not good since any residue (being mainly water) will readily tarnish all the exposed steel surfaces on the machine. Apparently Cora B neat oil should be used instead. Is this incorrect advice; since I've read in other threads on this site that people do use water soluble oil?

I have a bottle of RDG 'Sarsol Whitewater' lying about already and would be shame not be able to use it.

Hopefully you can see why this conflicting advice leaves me unsure! Thanks in advance.

Edited By choochoo_baloo on 24/06/2017 22:09:07

Thread: New Axminster surface plate?
24/06/2017 01:42:34

Thanks all for the information. As ever very informative.

I take on board what you've all said about correct mounting. Can someone elaborate (in beginner friendly language!) on how to built such a mount.

For example do I need to calculate the Bessel points (I'd never have thought I'd need to use multivariable calculus in home metalworking nerd). Or is this total overkill for a 30 x 23 cm plate?

24/06/2017 01:32:12
Posted by Jon Gibbs on 23/06/2017 14:32:48:

Just out of interest is that the cheap Axminster £60 one?

I've been wondering about one of those for a while.


Yes it is Jon - I've been on an Axminster spending spree lately. Would you like me to add a photo of the included calibration certificate? That way I feel like I'm contributing to the forum and not always asking questions!! blush

Edited By choochoo_baloo on 24/06/2017 01:34:37

23/06/2017 13:45:53

Thanks. Didn't make myself very clear; I assume that the 'rough' face would still be very flat and difficult to detect with say a parallel; and thus indistinguishable with basic equipment.

(I don't have an engineers' straight edge). Would a steel rule show the difference?

22/06/2017 22:47:35


I just bought a granite surface plate from Axminster. Being a metalworking noob, can someone confirm that the cleaner/less dusty surface (second image) will be the ground one?

It all looks blemish free except for this small knick on the edge - half way along the top edge in the third image.

Obviously I would never be taking precision measurements on the very edge, but I'm concerned whether it's blemish for mishandling? Or is this a remnant from the calibration process (it comes with a certificate give the 9 point measurements)?

Any help gratefully received.





Edited By choochoo_baloo on 22/06/2017 22:48:30

Edited By choochoo_baloo on 22/06/2017 22:55:04

Thread: Cheaper boring tooling suitability
20/06/2017 14:41:56

I now wish to progress onto boring and want to buy an indexable boring tool. Whilst looking through arceurotrade, I realise that I can either go fro the cheapaer Chinese ~£17, or the quality Japanese tools ~£90.

I am a very firm believer in buying the most expensive tools one can afford, but have read on here and elsewhere that others achieve excellent results with the former (non-Japanese).

So my question is: for a commited newcomer looking to built up a quality tool kit over time, are the unbranded/cheaper indexable boring tools and inserts actually more than good enough (I am using a Myford ML7)?

Any advice gratefully received.

Edited By choochoo_baloo on 20/06/2017 14:42:17

Thread: Polishing on a bench grinder?
14/06/2017 01:37:57

I always receive helpful replies to my beginner questions, so here is a new one!

Whilst cleaning up various tools, I am starting to notice the limitations of fine abrasive and then rag and polish.

Having watched home machinist videos and doing some reading, I think that the next step is a polishing kit to fit to a bench grinder, much like this one;

Thus can others answer the following:

1. Can a mop disc kit be fitted to any bench machine regardless of whether it is labelled a "grinder" or "polisher". Are they actually the same machine ignoring the wheels fitted?

2. Assuming answer to 1. is 'yes', is there only one size of pigtail arbor, i.e. all polishing mop discs just push fit onto the pigtail?

3. Can anyone recommend machine models, or (for a mild hobbyist) are they all much of a muchness?

Any help gratefully received.

Thread: How to attach a quality drill chuck to a Morse Taper 2 arbor?
02/06/2017 16:23:35

Related to my OP, I actually want to remove the original arbor on my Jacobs No 34 chuck. I decided it's needless to buy a new chuck when this British Jacobs is likely much better.

As a learning exercise more than anything, I wish to replace the arbor with a new tang style one from Arc Euro.

I have attached a couple of photos; can someone please direct me to, or upload a Jacobs Taper chart, since after having a quick look on Jacob's website doesn't help me identify what mine will be; to then buy with MT 2 other end from Arc.



01/06/2017 21:03:33

Thanks all for the information.

01/06/2017 17:33:21

I intend to buy a quality drill chuck - a 1-13mm Rohm - for my Myford ML7, but the advert says the chuck has a "JT6 mount".

Can someone please explain (in simple terms!), how to (a) select and then (b) securely mount said chuck onto a 2MT arbor which I'll also buy. I have watched a few videos on youtube, but would be more confident asking knowledgeable fellow modellers.

Any advice gratefully received.

Thread: Quality indexable lathe tools
06/02/2017 11:26:43

Hello all.

After reading through this thread, , I want to get some recommendations on which particular indexable lathe tools for a home lathe (Myford ML7 in my case) to cut the usual array of metals.

I must stress that I am a newcomer to metalwork, and not an engineer by trade, so the acronyms etc are double Dutch to me e.g. "CCMT inserts".

Finally, I am only interested in quality tools (without being industry leading!), having been disappointed with prematurely bought imported tools in the past.

Thread: Myford 'endorsed' oils and oil gun?
30/01/2017 00:53:12
Posted by AJW on 30/01/2017 00:24:16:

I use a couple of oil guns, a plastic one with quite a small diameter end and one that was supplied with my Morris Minor.
Both work well, I don't think you need to spend ?70!
Keep it clean and keep it oiled, mine still produces very accurate results, and it's 60 years old!


Thanks Alan. Can I confirm:

I acquired the lathe a while back in clean and all original untarnished condition (therefore likely well looked after), it's sat largely unused whilst in my ownership. I've used motor oil in the headstock bearings so far. So my question is: once proper levelled/aligned and everything is appropriately lubricated is there any reasons why mine cannot operate at the precision yours has? Or put another way: can lathes only be super accurate if *properly oiled every time since leaving the factory? Or is it a fairly forgiving exercise?

Can you recommend/link a model of oil gun compatible with the ML7 nipples?

29/01/2017 23:55:31

Firstly, yes these are probably trivial questions for many, but I am not sure being a newcomer, so please be patient!

1. My Myford ML7 manual "Lubrication Chart" recommends Esso Febis K68 for the ways etc. Now while new Myford supply it for £20 per litre this oil seller does what seems to be the same thing repackaged for half the price -

can someone confirm whether in their experience, for a hobbyist, the third party oil be more than good enough?

2. For the oil nipples, am I correct in saying that I need a compatible oil gun filled with (ideally) Nuto H32 oil? In which case is the £71 (!!) Myford oil gun the only viable option?

Thanks in advance.

Thread: Painting cast iron guidance please
24/01/2017 20:58:25

As part of my ongoing Myford ML7 maintenance, I have decided to repaint one of the badly painted cast-iron raiser blocks. Firstly the before:


And the newly bare cast iron:


Having watched this excellent video of Myford restoration, , the chap says a 'spot putty' needs to be aplied to replicate the 'spray putty' texture originally applied by Myford?

I was planning to simply spray red oxide primer, then finish with spray gloss Myford grey. Can someone elaborate why or indeed if, I should do this puttying stage, and generally whether my plan is correct for cast iron.

Thanks in advance.

Edited By choochoo_baloo on 24/01/2017 20:59:35

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