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Member postings for Grotto

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

Thread: Spiral Flute Tap?
14/09/2019 22:54:05

Not sure why they say “1 tap needed”. I guess that’s true for tapping any hole, but I have spiral taps in starter & bottoming. If I’m tapping a through hole I only use the starter, but if hole is blind I’ll use both.

would be harder to start with the Axminster one.

Thread: Stuck oil filter
12/09/2019 11:30:13

I've used these type...


work well in some really tight spaces if you can get an extension on.

Screw driver through filter also works well but in some cars you don’t have enough space to get in.

Thread: Help milling an angle
01/09/2019 09:41:24

Thanks Rod,

all & any advice is appreciated, I've lots to learn

I gave that endmill (1/4&rdquo a try as the end is really blunt, but sides are really sharp. I was prepared to have it snap, but only took light cuts (0.2 mm) and it performed well.

will use a larger one next time!

01/09/2019 07:00:22

Well I finished it off. Just need to trim the punch holder to length.

works well on 1.6mm copper. I guess time will tell if it splits, but I didn’t have to put much pressure on it to fold the sheet, so I’m hoping not

29/08/2019 11:44:14


not sure where the 3 came from, it was meant to be 1 mm max. I need a bigger phone or smaller fingers

most use will be on 1/2 mm copper but good to know it will handle 0.8mm

29/08/2019 10:54:53
Posted by Diogenes on 29/08/2019 07:46:35:

Please beware that cast iron has very little tensile strength - I think it's possible that it will split along the base of the "V" if put under too much pressure - other opinions?

Thanks for the advice. I think I knew that but hadn’t thought about the need for tensile strength.

I'll go ahead with the cast iron as it’s all I’ve got on hand other than some aluminium alloy which is probably a bit soft. I’m only planning on folding thin sheet (3mm max) initially, and if it splits I'll chalk it up to experience.

29/08/2019 06:54:44


Found some time today so set up the steel plate to mill the angle.



Sorry - don’t know how to rotate photos!

I used the side of a end mill I'd previously destroyed the end of - side was still as new so got a nice finish.

I did one side, then rotated work piece and started the other side. Soon discovered the vice was not 100% square - got a ten thou. flat at one end but 25 thou. at the other. Squared the vice and redid both sides and it turned out perfect (a novelty for me).

I've got a foot long bar of cast iron which I'll use for the other parts, as I don’t have any steel the correct size. So far I've just cut it into two 6” lengths after face milling the rough side.



Edited By Neil Wyatt on 29/08/2019 09:54:28

28/08/2019 22:35:01

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Hopefully I'll get some time today to have a go.

Bob - I will split the 6” length into 3 pieces, but thought it easier to mill the angle on one length to make sure angle is consistent and only have to set it up once.

will let you know how I go.

28/08/2019 10:55:34

I'm wanting to get a 60 degree angle on a piece of 1/4” steel like this....


The steel is 1/4” thick, 6” long, 2” wide. The angle is along the 6” edge.

I don’t have any angle plates but have a digital inclinometer. I don’t think it’s critical that the angle is precise.

The vice on my mill will open to a bit more than 4”

I'm unsure of the best way to clamp plate.

The head on my mill does tilt, but only to 45 degrees x axis. It will tilt to 60 degrees y axis but the vice won’t open wide enough to take steel that way. I guess I could clamp steel to the bed, but am wondering if there is a better way?

Thread: Trip to New Zealand
27/08/2019 09:00:07

If you’re in Auckland, the model engineering society have a rail track they run weekends. Visitors are welcome at their meetings. I'm not a member but have been along a couple of times, nice guys, & interesting speakers at their meetings.


Thread: 13 Practical Machining Projects
27/08/2019 08:54:57

Thanks, some interesting tools there, and plans are easy (for me to follow).

I may have a go at his vice brake, bending sheet metal in my vice never turns out well.

Thread: Black Oxide coating
11/08/2019 21:55:41

I've been told used diesel oil is the best for this, haven't got around to trying it


Thread: Chuck out of true
06/08/2019 22:15:17

Well I made a new back plate. Took an awfully long time as I hadn’t planned the operation as well as I should and had lots of set backs. Did it in the 4 jaw, made the register hole first, then cut the thread (leaving it in the chuck the whole time. Took the chuck off so I could test fit on register about 50 times as I was paranoid about making it too loose.

Result has exceeded all my expectations (which were pretty low). I was a bit worried about getting the holes in the back plate to line up with the chuck, but realised the holes in the original back plate were drilled over size to allow a little movement.

I've run a dti around the new back plate and get no no real movement which is good.

I've fitted it to the chuck, and although it's better than it was, it's still not great...




01/08/2019 22:02:51


Watched doubleboost videos. Makes me feel a lot better knowing it’s not just me who sometimes takes too much off, and good to see the solution when you do.

01/08/2019 06:46:53

I’ve checked out the “area of interest” and there may be a minor “groove” but no raised area.

I used a lever DTI on the register, photo shows maximum variation...


I'll have a go at polishing register with some very fine wet & dry & cutting fluid.

I just happened to be given some round bar the right size for a back plate, so may have a go at making a new one. Not overly confident, but it'll be good practice.

01/08/2019 06:40:12

Managed to get some time today, so pulled the chuck apart. No significant swarf, but gave it a good clean and lube and put it back together.

It looks like some swarf has got between the scroll plate & chuck at some stage, but I don’t think this would cause issues.




31/07/2019 10:35:06

Thanks again for all the help!

Unfortunately I’m located in Auckland NZ, so guess it’s not so handy for someone to drop around.

I do change chucks every so often, I didn’t appreciate they should be scrupulously clean (should have), and can’t swear it hasn’t been bumped ( hadn’t been dropped). I haven’t had any major crashes, but have had a few dig ins when parting. May have bumped the register?

no offence taken by any suggestions of mistreatment or carelessness, I tend to learn best by making mistakes and am learning to slow down and clean up, but limited time and space makes it hard.

i have pulled the chuck apart, no sign of any swarf in the gears, but will give it a good clean tomorrow (work & family have prevented me from putting in any workshop time today.

JohnF - what type of clock - dial would I need to check register TIR?

I'll investigate the “region of interest” tomorrow.

I’ll avoid removing any metal in the short term, that would be a last resort, can’t see that route leading me anywhere other than getting a replacement.

30/07/2019 05:00:48

Here’s a photo of back plate thread...


30/07/2019 04:59:09

Thanks for all the help

John F - Good point about where the indicator stalk is on the head stock. I did it again against the register and there’s no movement in the gauge.

also checked the back plate on the outer edge. Photo shows maximum...


The back plate came with the lathe & chuck. It came from a retired engineer who’d had it in his home workshop. He was real precious about it, wouldn’t let his middle aged sons touch it (they’d both done fitter/turner apprenticeship) in case they damaged it. It looks very well made (better than I could do). It previously ran true, I’m not sure when it went out as I had several months away from the workshop. I was initially think all the round stock I had was oval (I’m a real beginner).

Howard - the 4 jaw screws on fine, it’s only the 3 jaw & face plate which are tight.

I put the backing plate on back wards, and tried the indicator on that...




29/07/2019 10:10:02

I found some time today so had a go at sorting the issues.

I was thinking it was the thread on the face plate since the 4 jaw goes on fine, but based on what Mick B1 has said that may not be the case.

i gave the head stock & backing plate threads a good clean, and the 3 jaw & face plate both fit better, although tighter than I recall.

I used an indicator on the edge & face of the face plate....

photos show maximum variation. Edge is true, face is a bit out



Indicator on head stock is OK


Indicator on backing plate is not so good



Indicator on 3 jaw with a 10mm dowel is way out



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