By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

Member postings for Pero

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

Thread: crane uprate - where would you add some metal ?
09/02/2021 04:19:06


I have a crane very similar in appearance to the one in your picture. The main difference is that mine is rated to  2 tons with minimum jib extension.

The main difference between the two is size - everything is bigger ( and heavier ) The metal tubes are all larger in cross section with much increased wall thickness, the ram is much higher rated and even the wheels and axles are larger and stronger. It also has a brace on the back ( red ) part of the jib.

To upgrade the 500 kg version to this specification would mean a total re-build ( basically throw it away and start again ).

Having had one for some decades, for my use, which is very infrequent, I would have been much better off hiring the specific lifting apparatus needed for the job in hand, your requirements may differ. In practice mine sulks, in pieces which is the only way I can store it, in a corner and threatens to injure me every time I walk past it.

My comment on heavier is also pertinent. The last time I assembled the crane I found that the weight of the individual components ( legs, jib etc. ) was starting to get toward my limit of lift. Always something to think on as one gets older.

The other problem with the bigger crane is longer legs - very awkward to use unless you have a very large and open shed to work in - mine is now way too cluttered for the crane to be used indoors.

My recommendation, if you can justify having one on hand, would be sell your current one a buy a larger model. The cost of the change over would probably not be much greater the up-rating your present with the subsequent risks that entails.

An alternative that I have considered in the past is to acquire ( or hire ) a manual pallet stacker. These have the advantage of a relatively small footprint - if you have a bench to park the forks under when it's not in use - and can lift a significant weight ( up to 2000 kg for some models ) up to very useful heights ( more than 2 m in some cases ).

Best of luck whichever option you go for.


Edited By Pero on 09/02/2021 04:20:23

Thread: Hey you! What lathe? Why?
07/02/2021 01:55:17

Hi Liam

To start with the last part of your question first:

Why - because I planned to build a traction engine ( still planning that many years later and yet to get started! )

Which lathe - there are lots but I don;t feel quite so bad about it having read some of the posts here.

My first lathe was a Myford ML7 - about 40 years ago. It was an ex-display model, never powered up. It fitted my budget, apart from the things needed to run a lathe - motor, tools etc. and what to my mind was about the right size for the available space ( at the time ) and my very much undefined requirements. I did look at the second hand market but lathes were not plentiful ( in Western Australia ), mostly clapped out and way over-priced. I still have the lathe and have used it for making all sorts of bits and pieces - apart from the traction engine. All subsequent lathes were brand new.

The second lathe was a bit of a flight of fancy - a Sieg C3 - the idea was to have separate imperial and metric set-ups. Totally unnecessary of course. Lathe itself is fine and now well set up with accessories ( as is the Myford ).

Main issues with the above were limited diameter through the spindle, bed length and screw cutting. Later addressed on the Myford by the addition of a screw cutting gearbox.

A couple of decades on and planning toward retirement all of the above problems were addressed by the purchase of a large ( by hobby standards ) Chinese gap-bed lathe. Basic specs - 1 m between centers, 400 mm swing, 58 mm through the spindle, 3 ph 7.5 hp motor and all up weight ( it has an integral cast iron base ) of close to 2 tonnes. This is an industrial lathe and built to much higher specs than most of the small hobby lathes. Biggest problems, starting with installation, are size and weight. You need to have room for the lathe, including getting it through any doors, and a substantial concrete floor to sit it on. Everything that goes with it is also heavy. My 250 mm grip-tru style chuck with its D1-6 backplate weighs in at close to 40 kg, I can still lift it ( just ) but would not be able to manouvre it into position without additional lifting assistance. Something worth considering as the years go by.

The others are little lathes picked up along the way. A C0 baby lathe. Cowells ME 90 and a bunch of Taig ( = Peatol ) lathes. The last purchased because they are modular and easily adaptable for special operations, e.g the fitting of a high speed spindle in place of the standard headstock. The Cowells is just nice to look at (as well as to use ).

There is also a watchmakers lathe, also ex China but generally marketed under brand name from Germany. Useful for hand work although it also has many of the standard lathe facilities.

The small lathes are more easily stored and can be used indoors when the workshop is too hot, too cold or too unfriendly.

If I were starting again I would still probably start with something like the ML7 ( or preferably its much later cousins ). If starting with a plan to do bike or car work I would aim for something a little larger but not too extreme. For most people the big jobs are few and far between and it is probably going to be more cost effective to sub these out, Remembering that everything on a big lathe - from tooling to chucks is also bigger, heavier and a lot more expensive than on a small bench top lathe.


ps I am attending regular meetings of Lathes Anonymous and have not purchased a new lathe for more than 5 years - but have lapsed and bought a few accessories and tooling from time to time.

Thread: If it looks like an MCB .....
02/02/2021 02:39:26

Easy on the conspiracy theories Steve!

Checking on various electrical items from a prestige Australian 'manufacturer' some years ago I found that all were imported from elsewhere - China, Malaysia, Philippines, even Romania. Although I did note that prices had been increased - presumably to take advantage of the cheaper labour costs ( or possibly the mugs who buy the stuff ).

I later discovered that it was possible in some cases to buy direct from the factory supplying these items at a fraction of the cost. QC checks confirmed that these were not seconds or otherwise incomplete - just no supplied with the Australian 'manufacturers' label.

The point of the above is that buying from the 'local manufacturer' in this day and age is no guarantee that the item will not have been made ( and quite likely well made ) almost anywhere overseas. Basically the same issue with a lot of the engineering tools and equipment purchased with well known brand names.

The criminals responsible for the item at the top of the page can pop up anywhere in the world - often financed in one country and made in another -, and likely slip their trash into supply lines in many countries, with third world ones being likely soft targets as they are less likely to be detected.

With expanded world trade and the proliferation of products on the market it becomes more and more difficult for electrical safety authorities to maintain checks on all items, let alone detect the deliberately dodgy ones.


Thread: How big Are Your Chips
26/01/2021 09:43:29

No, just a bog standard ML7, but the carbon steel tools don't last very long.

26/01/2021 03:15:08

I always thought they were pretty well balanced fellows - a chip on both shoulders!

Thread: home made forge
10/01/2021 12:37:01

Just in response to Adrian's comment I have one of these furnaces purchased ex China. Looks good but I have not used it in anger yet. However, I am impressed with the Myfordboy video which gives me some additional confidence.

These kilns, which all look the same in all the pictures, actually come in a range of sizes based on the weight of material that can be melted in the graphite crucible provided. However the weight of material is quoted for gold - so you can't melt as much aluminium for your money - a higher weight can be achieved with brass or zinc - same volume its just the metal which has a higher specific gravity. It took a few readings of the description before I twigged to this and fortunately ordered the largest size. It's still not huge but should be adequate for smaller parts.


Thread: The Pitch Drop Experiment
08/01/2021 05:35:56


I don't know the mechanism affecting the coiled glass but I do know that a similar effect can be seen in suspended lengths of most metals, plastic, wood etc. The thinner the section and the longer the unsupported length the greater the resulting bend.

The force acting of course is gravity but how the molecular structure responds ( differently I suspect in each of the above materials ) is beyond my mostly retired pay grade.


Thread: Heat Resistant Clear Material Needed...
07/01/2021 03:44:28

Mica can be " cut " using a pair of sharp nippers - preferably of the end cutting variety. The type used in electronics would be suitable for this size of work. You need to nibble away of the edges until you reach the desired shape.

Pyrex would be suitable but would be difficult to cut to shape and ideally you should anneal the cut edge prior to use. A possible source, if you want to try it, is the base plate for a 3D printer. These can be acquired quite cheaply in the smaller sizes and possibly used uncut if it is possible to fit the square sheet behind the round hole.


Thread: Aging rubber and plastic
07/01/2021 03:30:05

Here in darkest Australia I have had both a pair of shoes and a pair of workboots ( neither Clark's ) kept for several years unused, one pair in the original cardboard box and one in the airing cupboard, both of which fell apart on first use. The boots fell apart in the garden which was disappointing, the shoes at the optician leaving bits stuck to the floor both on the way in and the way out. Very embarrassing!

Since a good pair of boots should last for quite a few years I would say the sole material is not fir for purpose. The same could be said for the shoes however as these are typically expected to have a shorter lifespan the rapid breakdown of an item which is unlikely to be recycled is perhaps an environment benefit. No, I don't believe it either but I'm sure the shoe companies would push this line if they think of it.

As others have noted it is not something I have encountered with regularly worn shoes. As an example, two pair of shoes bought at the same time, one worn to death with no damage to the sole other than expected wear, the second pair worn the day after with immediate failure of the sole. Perhaps there is someone out there that can explain the chemistry, it's beyond me.

It also makes me query the long term survival of polyurethane insulation materials and adhesives where one would hope for decades of performance - hopefully better chemistry, but I will be more cautious in future use.

Back on the treatment of sticky plastic, one benefit of hand sanitizer is that it usually contains glycerine or similar as a moisturiser which is good for most plastic surfaces in addition to your hands!I have on occasion used talc but have found that over time it just results in a rather dirty sticky surface as the cure is only skin deep and the underlying deterioration continues.


Thread: In anticipation of the New Year ...
01/01/2021 02:16:38

Thanks for the link Michael. It's made my ( New ) Year!

Now, I wonder if the offer dancing lessons?


Thread: Retractable wheels etc for moving a Lathe ?
28/12/2020 08:35:09

Oh the luxury of having enough floor space to operate a pallet truck!

Actually I do have enough floor space - it's just that it's taken up with too much junk - lathes, milling machines etc.

The problem is, every time I clear a little space something new sneaks in to take up even more room. Curse those internet sales!

Perhaps I will elevate tidying-up on the perennial list of New Year resolutions.


28/12/2020 03:41:33

A note of caution on the subject of castors.

The general recommendation on the use of castors is that the maximum load should be limited to 2 times the allowable loading of an individual castor, not 4 times as would seem at first glance to be acceptable ( for a unit with four castors). The reasons being to allow for uneven distribution of weight ( think lathe here ) and to allow for any irregularities in the floor surface which may result in the weight suddenly bring transferred to only two of the castors.

Individual circumstances will vary, but generally I stick to the recommendation as the additional cost of higher rated castors is small when you consider the value of the item being moved.

Ready built dollies or kits are generally rated to take this into consideration.

With higher load rating castors used on items that are constantly loaded and infrequently moved there is also less tendency for the tyre of the castor to develop a flat spot which can make subsequent movement difficult. Steel or other rigid tyred castors reduce this problem ( as the bearings also play a part ) but are less pleasant to use than the resilient tyred castors which are more commonly encountered. However comfort is probably not an issue when the item is being moved very infrequently and over very short distances.


Thread: Citric Acid Pickle Question
17/12/2020 05:50:53

You will lose a little through evaporation. Quick test - if you can smell it, then there is some present in the evaporating water - the stronger the smell the more acid that is present in the vapour. However the human nose is quite sensitive and it takes relatively few molecules for the brain to register its presence.

In this instance the bulk of the acid will slowly concentrate in the reducing water volume.


Thread: How to restore artists' brush bristles
14/12/2020 03:22:19

The problem is residual gunk ( aka paint pigment particles ) which gets into the base of the bristles and forces them apart. Hard to prevent even with very thorough cleaning.

A clean with a strong solvent before wrapping or tying the bristles to shape will help to prolong life, however I generally treat brushes as a consumable item which will eventually pass their use-by date. The initial cost of the brush is often the critical factor here.

On non-critical jobs I often use el-cheapo brushes and discard after one use - the cost of the solvent to clean them properly often exceeding the cost of the brush ( unless of course you are using water-based paints ).

Incidentally for brush washing I use the three jar system. First jar for the initial clean, then into the second and finally the third for the final wash. When the solvent in the first jar becomes too dirty it is discarded and the jar washed. Jar 2 then is promoted to jar 1 and jar 3 to jar 2. The newly clean jar is filled with clean solvent and becomes jar 3. This hopefully results in minimal particulate matter being present in the final wash.


Thread: Non-renewable energy
28/11/2020 10:14:24

Simon you have just mentioned the unmentionable elephant in the room - well nearly 8 billion of them to be nearer the mark!

However, I have seen interviews with noted climate scientists who have proclaimed, with a straight face, that humans do not contribute to global warming it is only their activities that cause this. They then go on to condemn farm animals as shameless contributors to green house gas production. Could these be possibly the rantings of religious vegans?

Apart from the breathing, belching and other unmentionables expelled by humans, the loss of habitat, destruction of soil and watercourses, lakes and marshes are all a result of the gross overpopulation of all of the continents and most of the islands on the planet. That includes Australia which, although it has an extremely low population density, we have still managed to irreversibly damage most of the more benign parts and a large area of the parts that are not quite so benign.

Since Australia has a low birth rate population growth is largely determined by the immigration rate but while we have a housing driven economy in which predominantly migrants build houses for other migrants using imported building materials and then fill them with imported appliances and government, industry and the unions think this is a good thing it is unlikely that things will change in the short term.

There endeth today's sermon ( well tomorrow's actually - this is just my first draft ).


Thread: vfd inverter for Myford
24/11/2020 03:47:23

A query if I might.

In the discussion on VFDs the subject of EMC filters is regularly raised.

As one who prefers not to interfere with others I am quite happy to fit one BUT I have yet to see any comment on what type of filter is required ( there are EMC filters and there are EMC filters ). It needs to meet both legal requirements ( if any ) and to do the job it is there to do.

If it is the small metal encased type costing a few dollars ( or pounds ) I am quite happy to fit them whether needed or not. However if it is the massive type costing a great deal more than a high quality ( i.e. expensive ) VFD then I need to know that the expense can be justified ( i.e. is there really a problem that needs fixing ).

Any advice from the suitably qualified - by training or experience - would be welcomed.

On the subject of enclosures - a good idea even if the VFD is located some distance from the machine. It is amazing just how far swarf will travel, especially aluminium, and where it will end up. Quite a few CFDs have an inbuilt fan which will draw air ( and light swarf ) into the internals with possible sad results. An enclosure will also provide protection against the odd flying missile - broken tool, chuck key etc.


Thread: Cheap Milling Vice Question
29/09/2020 04:18:53

Presumably not Chain of Custody or even Commander in Chief.

Ahh. So many acronyms, so few letters in the alphabet!

Something to do with protecting the commercial advertisers I believe.

I'm sure one of the Mods will explain all shortly.


Thread: Lathe installation
25/08/2020 09:07:27

Hi Colin

My ML7 has been sitting on a wooden bench not bolted to the floor for the last 30 years and is quite stable. My late father's lathe, a slightly heavier machine on a commercial sheet metal cabinet, was initially bolted to the floor and was an absolute pain when it had to be shifted. Subsequently it was left unbolted with no issues.

As an aside, my big lathe ( a bit under 2 tonne ) sits on six rubber loaded dampening feet, again not bolted to the floor and again quite stable. These feet ( not an inexpensive item ) are specially designed to reduce noise and vibration - good or me and good for the neighbors. Incidentally, the weight of this beast, distributed over its six feet works out to about 60 lbs per square inch - or about the same as me standing on tip toe on one foot. As the floor is a 125 mm thick reinforced concrete, I don't think there is a great risk of either the lathe or me sinking through!

I recommend the fitting of adjustable feet on any work bench, especially those feet with a rubber "sole" which helps iron out vibration. For smaller loads these are quite reasonably priced and, as Rob stated above, is helpful in leveling - both the bench and the lathe.


Thread: Drilling brass
24/07/2020 09:14:08

I've not drilled a brass screw but have drilled a 1/16" hole through a 1/8" stainless steel screw a little over an inch long. The trick is to back the drill completely out of the hole about every 1/16" of an inch of cut otherwise the cuttings jam the hole and tragedy ensues. Use constant pressure when the drill is cutting and don't allow it to rub.


Thread: Is This a Tooth?
24/07/2020 04:21:14

Is that the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth?

Sorry, but it is relevant ( more or less ) as the somewhat bulbous ( photo 2 ) bottom section ( the blunt end ) bears some similarity with the claw structure of modern birds - think ostrich or emu.

However, I am guessing and an expert opinion is called for.


Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
JD Metals
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest