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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: Parts storage
21/01/2022 05:56:15

Plus 1 on the use of INOX.

I have also successfully used a number of other products - ACF50 and while lithium grease in aerosol form.- to name a couple.

As a very corrosive person - I have only to look at a piece of steel and it turns into a pile of rust - I have also learnt the wisdom of applying rust preventative to any new steel stock or tooling before it comes into contact with my fingers.

The procedure is to remove the item from its packaging holding it with a clean paper towel and then spray liberally with your preferred anti-corrosive. Larger items which are a bit heavy for the one hand treatment can be sprayed in-situ once the packaging has been removed. As before - don't touch before spraying. It work wonders.

It takes a little self training to make this into a routine procedure but I have found it really helps to stop rust before it gets a chance to get a start, e.g. with the classic rusty fingerprint on shiny steel..


Thread: A Merry Christmas to All
26/12/2021 00:46:35

A little after the main event but compliments of the season to all.

Looking forward to a warmer day today ( 44 degrees C ) after the chill of Xmas day ( 43 degrees C ). Sunshine is fine - but there are limits!

Only reprieve is a full day of cricket - 1st day of the Boxing Day test followed by two 20-20 games plus the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Should have asked Santa for a spare pair of eyes!

No shed time at the moment - it's hot enough to anneal copper in there - but should cool down in a month or two!

Not to complain though - if you take the heat of summer and chill of winter and average them out then conditions are just perfect.

Hot or cold I hope that everyone had a good, if not quite normal, Christmas day and that the new Year shapes up better for everyone than the last couple.

Best wishes to all


Thread: Is Model Engineering "green"?
29/11/2021 12:01:14

Unfortunately Dave the other 90%, or a large percentage thereof, aspire to join the 10% ( China and India being good examples ). I don't blame in the slightest but it is pushing up consumption at an alarming rate. In the meantime we have 7 or 8 billion people exhaling CO2 and producing methane from various orifices. However apparently this doesn't count because it is 'natural'. Apparently it is only cows that are unnatural. Makes you wonder if climate change is under the direction of the Vegan Vatican.

It is interesting that it is always the big industries that are the source of all evil. In reality it is us, the "little people' aka the consumers that are the problem. That is to say, if we don't buy it or consume it they wont produce it. This applies to humanity across the board.

Population management at a different timescale to the current climate change problem is something that has to be addressed. Hopefully before a more effective virus comes along and does it for us.


29/11/2021 10:25:39

Apologies for the double post - I didn't want to spread that much gloom!

PGK - beware of what you wish upon the old, the sick and the infirm. Too many of us are already approaching that with some trepidation.

I gave up on ( cold ) fusion but I have cracked perpetual motion. However I am not going to tell anybody how it is done, I will hold my breath until I turn purple and take the secret with me down the deep mineshaft.


29/11/2021 09:31:54

Regrettably not - but you could compensate by planting a grove of trees between the lathe and the mill, or by buying a quarter of a carbon credit, or by holding your breath the entire time you are working in the workshop combined with a generator attached treadmill to power the machinery.

However as a selfish old ***** I shall continue as before and live in hope that the real problem, albeit one for which there is no short term solution, global over-population. Well, there are short term solutions but I don't think we want to get into those,

I suspect that, possibly apart from gardening, no hobby is green and ours, which uses lots of energy in the construction of our tools and machinery, to make our raw materials to construct our workshops and to power the whole activity, means that we are probably quite a way down the list.

Philosophically, are we to be limited in the not to distant future only to activities which produce food or grow trees?

Forgive my jaundiced view but I will be a year older tomorrow - always a depressing time!


Thread: is a belt sander any good for hss tooling
28/07/2021 07:36:28

There is an American program called Forged in Fire in which contestants typically make a hardened steel knife from various materials.

Of interest here is the extensive use made of belt sanders for shaping the roughly forged blanks - both pre- and post-hardening. These frequently start with the use of 80 grit and moving on to increasingly finer grades for final shaping and initial sharpening. The amount of metal that can be removed using the coarser grades is very impressive and well worth a look.


Thread: Silver Solder Stocks
23/07/2021 03:35:44

When I took up silver soldering many years ago I was advised to use a cadmium free solder on stainless steel. I never had any failures using this solder but did when using a cadmium containing solder on a couple of joints.

The joints looked OK with nice shiny fillets etc. but had next to no structural strength.

Whether the cadmium is the problem I can't be sure but I am happy to avoid it as most of my work is with stainless steel.


Thread: San Ou K72 - 200 4Jaw Chuck Sitrep
23/07/2021 03:16:35

Hi Mike

I have three San Ou ( aka Sanou ) chucks but didn't respond to your original query as mine have yet to be installed and tested.

The three I have are all six jaw chucks: a 4" ( actually 110 mm ) extended jaw chuck and a 5" and 10" chuck with 'normal' hard jaws. The 10" may prove a bit of a struggle with the ML7 but I will give it a whirl.

As has been noted above the external finish is very good and the fit of the jaws is excellent.

I did find a video on the internet prior to purchasing mine. It was by a model engineer reviewing a new chuck, including a full breakdown and service and a modification to the rear of the chuck to allow it to be fitted closer to the spindle nose on his particular lathe.

His key recommendation was that prior to use it was advisable to dismantle and thoroughly clean the chuck to remove any residual grit that might be present and then re-lubricate before reassembling.

I am not sure how old the video was or whether improvements to manufacturing ( they are getting better all the time ) have negated this suggestion. Probably a good idea of there is any indication of grittiness in the jaw or scroll action.


Thread: Blown Bricks : Advice please !
14/07/2021 08:52:55

Hi Michael

Sounds like full replacement would be the best option, especially if you are planning to use it to support a roof.

On the plus side, it sounds as though demolition should not pose too much of a problem!

Best of luck.


Thread: Taps and Dies
14/07/2021 07:42:31

I agree with Jason having been converted fairly recently to spiral point and spiral flute taps ( they do work differently! ).

As mentioned above, common 8 mm Allen head bolts are almost certainly metric coarse.

Many years ago when I first discovered metric fasteners I rashly thought there was only one standard metric thread form. Some years later I came across metric fine. Later still I found metric extra fine. I haven't found metric ridiculously fine as yet but I have no doubt they are out there somewhere.

At the other end of the scale I assume there is metric extra coarse (with only a few threads ) and metric crude - with no threads at all ( these are normally called nails or rivets ). All in all just as much complication as Imperial.

Back to the point, if you buy a set it is likely that some of the taps an dies will never be used hence the advice re only purchasing the one for the job in hand. However if you do need the odd tap or die on occasion it can be useful to have a reasonable selection on hand and a moderately priced set can be useful. Also, they usually come in a box and are just a little bit harder to lose than an individual tap.


Thread: Blown Bricks : Advice please !
14/07/2021 07:24:12

Hi Michael

I am not sure how many bricks you have to deal with but if there are a lot can I suggest the Arbortech Allsaw for the removal process. I say a lot as the tool is rather expensive. It is however specifically designed for the job ( removal of mortar from between bricks ) and is a lot safer and cleaner than the use of an angle grinder. I have had one for some years, it is not used often but does the job when called on. The company ( Arbortech ) is Australian. They have quite a good website and I believe they have UK distributors for all of their products.

Best of luck with the project.


Thread: Steam Boiler Build (PM Research Boiler #1)
29/05/2021 03:00:23

Hi Zeb

Not sure if you are aware of this but:

In terms of melting point the silver/tin eutectic solders sit about half way between the lead/tin soft solders and the lowest melting point high silver ( 55% ) silver brazing alloys ( hopefully the boys from Cup Alloys will correct me if they see this and I am too far off course ). I suspect also in strength but I have not researched this.

The advantage is that there is no lead present which can interfere with other operations. Commercially it is ( was? ) used for such things as attaching the spouts to stainless steel kettles as it forms a good joint and is a good colour match. Completely irrelevant in respect of a copper boiler but interesting nonetheless.



28/05/2021 06:24:56

Hi Zeb

Lost track of this thread. I will be interested in following along as I have three or four of the PM boilers tucked away awaiting construction/assembly.

They have an interesting construction method, relying partly on rivets for structural strength for the boiler shell ( end plate attachment ). A bit old school in these days of fully silver soldered construction.

If I remember correctly ( I don't have my plans to hand at the moment ) the 'silver' solder supplied with these kits is a silver-tin eutectic ( ~4% silver, 96% tin ). I would think more than adequate for the type of construction and use of a boiler of this size, but I will leave it for others to comment on that aspect.

Good luck with the build.


Thread: The worst 'upcycling' tragedy ever?
28/05/2021 06:07:58

Hi Diane.

Nice to see an old piano put to a new use after its musical days are over. Could perhaps be improved by replacing the computer with a Cowells ME90 with some nice shelving at the back to hold the accessories, but perhaps that's just me and a little wishful thinking!


Thread: HSS parting blade 1/2"
30/04/2021 02:01:57

Hi Paul

My standard ones are Eclipse but it is a long time since I have purchased one. It might be worth searching under the brand name to see if anything comes up.

An alternative is the T type blade sold by Eccentric Engineering ( advert this page ) but I note these are actually 12 mm rather than 1/2" so may not fit your toolholder. The T shape can also be problematic with some holders. On the plus side they are available in a number of widths, the construction makes for easier parting with less jams and the material is Cobalt HSS, so harder than standard HSS..

Sounds a bit like an advert but I don't get a discount - just a happy user of a number of their products.


Thread: Finish for wooden base
23/03/2021 09:05:11

Hi. My technique ( actually I was taught it by a cabinet maker friend of my late Father ) for maintaining the original colour of timber is as follows:

  1. Sand smooth.
  2. Apply a coat of clear varnish ( origInaly polyester but newer formulations would probably work as well  and allow to dry thoroughly.
  3. Sand with a fine grade of sandpaper.

Repeat 2 and 3 using finer grades of sandpaper until you are happy with the surface finish.

Rub down the surface with Danish Oil ( aka Scandinavian Oil ) and steel wool, wipe down and allow to dry. Repeat as necessary until the required finish is achieved - it will produce an nice satin finish.

Finally ( thank goodness ) apply a coat of good quality, clear hard furniture wax and buff.

Maintenance is a new coat of wax from time to time. Spills may affect the surface finish and should be wiped up as soon as possible, hopefully before it penetrates the wax, but the underlying varnish will protect the wood in most cases.

It does take a long time but produces a great finish.


Thread: source of bronze
10/03/2021 05:38:11


I can't help much but I have much the same problem. The only option for known quality bronze that I have been able to find is to buy new bronze bar of the required alloy composition - a rather expensive option. However purchasing pure metals separately to create an alloy of known composition may be just as expensive - or even more so.

I would also be interested in the reasons for not making your own bronze - dangerous fumes perhaps or difficulties in getting the metals to combine to form the alloy or some other reason. I know that manganese bronze is not recommended - I think because of the high melting point of manganese and also with difficulties in casting this alloy but I would have thought the lower melting point alloys would be feasible.

I have the raw metals ( and alloyed bronze ) and an induction furnace but have not proceeded further pending further investigation and the creation of a master and molds for the castings.

Best of luck and let us know how you get on..


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.


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