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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: why long holes are bent ?
14/07/2022 04:03:23

3.3 mm drills are reasonably flexible and will take the path of least resistance in a deep hole, i.e. relative to the diameter of the drill. The fact that the bend appears to occur at a specific location suggests that there may be a hard spot in the aluminium ( not an unusual occurrence ) at that point and the drill has deviated either enough to go around it or to the point where it will not bend further and forces its way through.

I suspect that someone will be along shortly to provide a formula for drill diameter, hole depth and flex in a uniform material but I don't think that is what is happening here.


Thread: For all you Myford owners
28/06/2022 05:06:18

What seems to being suggested ( I haven't watched the videos ) is that components are being produced in a number of small ( ? ) specialist workshops and then being brought together by Myfords for final assembly and testing.

This, as I understand it, is a similar model to that used by Cowells. I haven't heard too many complaints about Cowells machines and their quality and I certainly have no complaints about mine..

This production method seems to be the model used today in all multi component products ranging from motor cars to aircraft and rockets. The days of everything being done in-house seems to be a thing of the past. A pity in some ways but entirely sensible when you think about it, but quality control is always the overriding determinant.


Thread: Silver Solder Storage
13/06/2022 07:05:54

I use the conduit system but use a glued conduit end cap at one end for greater security. It is a pain if an unglued end cap ( or cork ) pops off and the whole lot ends up on the floor.

As conduits are available in a wide range of sizes ( for electricity, telecommunications, water and drainage ) and can be cut to any desired length they can be used to store a wide range of materials.

Also, if you glue a cap to each end and then cut the tube in half lengthways they can also be used for open storage (in a suitable rack ) for smaller material such as threaded rod and small section tubing. I have seen this idea described before but I am not quite sure when and where.


Thread: Battery fire in electric cars after a collision
12/06/2022 03:18:30

There is nothing that cannot be done with a Land Rover!

On a more serious note, what happens when Joe* amateur mechanic/electrician decides to have a play with the internals and/or add a few unapproved accessories to his electric vehicle?

This came to mind as my Land Rover was the last vehicle with which I have any familiarity with the bits under the bonnet. Later cars go back to the dealers for service. However others are not so cowardly/sensible and it is likely that there will be more fires at home, and perhaps including the home, as a result.

Recent house fires blamed on charging batteries ( I believe small batteries ) may be examples of this but as usual no follow up on the initial sensationalised news story to fill in the details of how, what and why.


* Not his real name.

Thread: Glue for glass to plastic
06/06/2022 04:14:51

The glue used to stick rear vision mirrors onto windscreens may be your savior as it exactly fits your criterion of plastic onto glass. The only possible hiccup is the type of plastic in your 3D prints and whether the glue is compatible.


Thread: Nut Making
29/05/2022 08:22:34

Presumably that's how the Chinese made the 1 mm stainless steel nuts I purchased a while ago. Hope they don't lose too many on the factory floor!

While these videos are fun I doubt they are in any way representative of current manufacturing processes for the larger domestic and export markets in either India or China.

In this case they are likely using European machinery pensioned off some years ago when productivity fell too low and labour costs became too high. The problem is that even though wages are increasing in China and modern manufacturing process with lower workforce requirements are taking over, these industries are not returning to the western world even though we should now be competitive. Why is it so?


Thread: The perennial question...
23/05/2022 03:58:34


Are you able to locate the lathe on mobile bench and shift it out of the way when not being used? This may open up your options a little, and also save your back if you are having to move the lathe on a regular basis.

In my case I have found that even the Sieg C0 and Cowells ME90 are getting quite heavy for frequent moves in recent times ( perhaps I am just getting old ) and are now in search of more permanent homes.

I have moved solo a Myford ML7 and Sieg C3 but it is definitely not something I would attempt on a frequent basis and definitely not if it was to be placed on a shelf under a bench - possibly the ergonomically worst location as the lifting positions just cannot be managed safely.

I have no experience with the other lathes mentioned so cannot comment on those. Best of luck with the search.


Thread: mini grinders
21/05/2022 07:52:45

I note that the tool linked by Juddy is shown as "sold out" however I have purchased the same thing ( i.e. visually the same ) via Aliexpress for not a lot of money. They also sell clones of the older Dremel 395 for even less money. At one time these were sold as genuine Dremel which I think they probably were.

On the lasting power of Dremels, my go to machine is more than 4 decades old and features the original bronze bearings with felt wick oilers. The only issue I had with this machine is that the hole for the back bearing oiler was originally covered by a factory label. Fortunately this was found and opened up for oiling before any damage was done. A drop or two of 3 in 1 oil before each days use and away it goes ( at its one and only speed ). However these machines are only designed for light work and wont sustain heavy loads for any length of time.

The bigger machine ( as per Juddy's link ) is much more capable but gets heavy in the hand fairly quickly.


Thread: Galvanic Corrosion
01/05/2022 04:12:49


As you surmise the corrosion product is aluminium oxide. The problem arises because the volume of aluminium oxide exceeds the original volume of aluminium which effectively locks the stainless steel into the thread ( or even through holes ).

When assembling, when I remember or when I am not in a hurry, I grease all contact surfaces with teflon grease. Fishing reel grease may be a suitable alternative as it is designed for the same conditions.

I haven't tried the usual copper grease as copper and aluminium are not known to play well together.

Incidentally, for anyone who plays in the marine environment stainless steel and forged steel ( as in the average quality chain or shackle ) do not make good bedfellows. When permanently submerged a steel shackle can corrode out in about a month, depending on size, when attached to a stainless fitting.

A good rule, often not achievable when dealing with fixings into aluminium castings, is to stick with the same metal throughout.

In the case of fixings into aluminium you could try titanium screws which are less reactive.

I have not found anything that will selectively dissolve the aluminium oxide without attacking the surrounding aluminium but would be very interested if anyone has the answer.


Thread: Cheap stuff
26/04/2022 09:42:27

Interesting topic. I have an excessively large number of tools ranging from the very cheap ( early days of no money ) to the very expensive ( still no money - spent it all on tools ).

These days I look at a tool in terms of whether or not it will do the job rather than initially looking at the cost. At my age it doesn't have to last for a hundred years - 10 would be good, 20 outstanding and 30 a miracle ( that's me rather than the tools ).

For example, I have never worn out a power tool no matter how cheap or expensive. I just don't use them that much and do not overwork them when I do. A tradesman's approach could well differ, although locally at least some are using cheaper electric tools, basically as a disposable item. Admittedly the more expensive tools may feel more comfortable in use but the job they do is just the same although occasionally a little slower..

I have in my time killed a few cheap hand tools through gross miss-use - pliers and screwdrivers come to mind but I am still using some Chinese jeweller's files bought for little money decades ago and used mostly on 316 stainless steel. Not everything cheap is bad.

Currently industrial machine tooling ex China can be had at very good value for money. Improved manufacturing and the need to provide high precision for use in today's CNC tools means that accurate tooling for the owner of larger manual machines is readily available at low cost. This does not however necessarily translate to tooling for hobby size machines where older manufacturing processes may still be employed.

The questions to ask - will it do the job to the standard I require and will it last the distance. If the cheaper tool will do the job go for it. There will be good use for the money left over.

My two bobs worth.


Thread: How many chucks does one person need?!?!
26/04/2022 09:05:39

How many chucks does one need? - In my case quite a few, but probably not as many as I have. Adding up different types/sizes of chuck for very different lathes inevitably adds up to quite a few. It's very hard t put a 10" chuck on a Cowells lathe. Not so difficult to put a 2" chuck on to a big lathe, but if you already have the small lathe not really necessary.

If you assume a self-centering three jaw and four jaw independent chuck as the basic requirement for each lathe and then start including the 'specials" - 2 jaw, 4 jaw self centering, 6 jaw, collet ( various ) , grip tru, with or without deleting any of the basics, it's easy to see how this can get out of control.

Come to think of it I don't have one of all of the above for each of my lathes - perhaps I need just a few more!

So many toys to buy - but no place to put them!


Thread: Ambiguous words
22/04/2022 02:39:14

Lead is one of my favourites. Interestingly I was thinking of it before reading this thread. The context:: would it be wrong to hit the dog with the lead pipe while he is still on the lead.

Fear not, he has long since realised that my verbal and implied threads amount to nought.


Thread: Balls!!
01/04/2022 09:49:50

I found quite an extensive range on Aliexpress. Various sizes available. Some with threaded brass inserts, some without. The ones I have are a hard plastic ( phenolic resin? ). The colour range is a bit limited, but OK if you like red or black.

I'm not sure what size mill you have but you could find 20 mm a little small. 30 - 40 mm seem to be more common on machine tools.

Hope this helps


Thread: McOnie’s oscillating engine
09/02/2022 05:56:49

Hi Zan

Not sure of their current status but they were operating in October 2017 when I made my last kit purchase - Sir William - which was subsequently received with no issues.

I did do a quick search when I saw your post and the only direct reference I found was an undated note to say they were updatng their website.

Perhaps an email or phone call might help to clarify matters. The last contact details I have available are :

Sorry, I don't have a phone number but I am sure someone on here will be able to help.

Best of luck


Thread: You meet the nicest people with a Cowells
03/02/2022 03:34:35

Could it be that we had to trade in all our anti-Chinese lathe/mill angst to raise the funds for the Cowells? ( I have both so I have a foot in each camp ).

Possibly the answer is that they are just fundamentally nice little machines that do the job that they are designed for very well. They only complaints I have seen ( infrequently ) are cost - however you have to pay for quality - and capacity - it is very difficult to get a propeller shaft for the QEII between centres on an ME90, although I'm sure someone has tried!

Perhaps the only grumble is that not a lot is written about DIY accessories for the ME90 or other Cowells machines, however almost all accessories are available from Cowells, professionally made to the usual high standard - albeit again at a cost.

Despite having other lathes available I for one, and I suspect most other owners, will be hanging onto our Cowells for many years to come. They are just a nice thing to have , even if used infrequently.


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!


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