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Member postings for Bob Stevenson

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

Thread: Small skeletonised drill Press
06/04/2020 01:00:23

Hemingway kits do a kit for a pillar tool which has a sensitive dilling function...

Thread: Overwhelmed!
05/04/2020 18:14:31

"Sparey" is a great book which you can't really do without, although it's an old book now and has some stuff which looks quite quaint to modern eyes.......

I'm sure your going to get a great list of items which other posters will think are vital, however, the best way into this is to start making something and get into the forward planning with what lathe operations you will need to complete it. This in turn will show up the kit that you will need in advance so that you can; a) look around for where to get it and ....b) think about making up something yourself.

The only item that I personally could really not do withiout is a good 4 jaw chuck and 'clock' for centring workpieces in it's jaws.

Thread: Workflow
05/04/2020 18:05:47

Actually, if you want to do the best work you will never lose the "think about every move" scenario as it is vital to success!

I like my WM180 a lot but it's main downside is that chuck changes tend to be difficult and irritating due to the threaaded nuts method of chuck fixing,..... a feature of many Chinese, one tends to put on the 4-jaw and do the 4-jaw parts of several turning jobs before setting up the lathe for the next operation. This means that one tends to work of several items at teh same time which I often find annoying.

Thread: Small drill bit in large drill press?
02/04/2020 21:43:58

The way I do this is to put drill bit in a (larger) pin-vice and then put that in the drilling machine chuck.....but make sure it runs true....

Thread: Griptru wil not ad just
02/04/2020 18:01:09

This is brilliant!......I want to make up the bits to convert a Chinese 3-jaw into an adjustable chuck so I shall ponder over these posts later.....Thanks for posting ega!

Thread: A few Thou Under?
02/04/2020 17:55:24

For many years I have always read the tables and then gone straight to dummy run to test!...and never been afraid to change the dimension according to the need and function. Also, the tables such as Zeus don't (usually) differentiate between materials let alone the function for the thread. For clock-making I always work for nice fit, nexgt for good appearance and finally for function unless there are good reasons to change this scheme.......

...........As the years have passed I have annotated my various tables with my own observations and remarks according to use etc. As a basic rule; I ALWAYS test any important thread especially one I have not cut for a while or in new materials. The time spent in testing is NEVER wasted in my experience.

Thread: Problem with LED lights
02/04/2020 17:44:34



I have been using daylight 6400k LED bulbs for worklights for some time now and like working under them a lot,...far better than any tungsten bulb. However, it pays to use as large a bulb as possible in a pearlescent finish as these give a much superior and even light spread over a larger area of the work...ideal for close detail work and turning in the lathe etc....... When my local 'Hombase' closed a few months back I aquired large daylight bulbs and clamp typ holders with white reflectors and they have made first class worklights which can be positioned easily over bench, lathe or drill and give a continuous field of light which I find excellent.


The clamp type lamp holders were all of 2 quid a piece and the big leds (in ES screw) were about one each!

Edited By Bob Stevenson on 02/04/2020 17:47:09

Thread: Is this guy nuts, or sensible.
29/03/2020 12:24:16

As has been said; theres a fine line between genius and madness. The fact is that the sane find madness very watchable!....but human diversity is what keeps us going!

Guy Martin is something inbetween.......a disaster waiting to happen on your screen! His excellent books give an insight into his psychosis, when he describes waking up in hospital and immediately notes that the medical staff were "busy but not panicky".......

29/03/2020 09:04:03

Every time i watch that blokes vids I find myself wondering what the wife is she a frazzled, embittered little woman who wonders what she has done in a previous life to be so blighted....or is she one of those "is,nt he absolutely wonderful" types.........or is she a very business like woman always pushing him on to further madness in the interests of 'their' youtube he like he is because of HER?

..............Maybe it's a case of; "not tonight Colin, why don't you play with your spanner"

Thread: What are you doing to stay safe
27/03/2020 08:39:54

To try and "stay safe", being as I'm 15 miles from centre of London, I doing as directed and stayed indoors/garden. I've only spoken to neighbours by talking across the road a couple of times. late at night I walk the dog around the block and don't see a soul...we walk in the middle of the road.


The other thing I'm doing is trying to think ahead about surface contamination, withiout getting too paranoid......I have a garden sprayer filled with soap solution for deliveries and spray before carting them around to the patio for further 'processing'. I also have a smaller spray bottle of diluted 'Detol' for the dogs paws. In addition I do have a gallon can of industrial disenfectant which needs diluting 1: 30 in case I need to have a footbath, but so far it's untouched and I hope it stays that way!


I have plenty of things to keep busy with and mostly I feel quite cheerful...however, it IS stressfull and I have had migraine symptoms which I've no had for 20 headaches yet but the zig-zaggy vision so I have restarted my meditation sessions.

Edited By Bob Stevenson on 27/03/2020 08:41:19

Thread: clubs using 'zoom'...?
26/03/2020 14:54:20

Are any of the model engineer clubs using to 'meet up' online during the current problem? good is it?.......does it work out ok?

Thread: Whats App...'Hoax' warning
25/03/2020 12:58:46

.....Strangely enough the OP actually DID mean well!

Yes we should all know everything about technology but some of us don't even have smart phones or even know what 'whats app' actually is.........quite pleased I don't, actually

......just trying to be helpful and save peoples grief!........(pleased it's only a hoax)

Thread: Motor Starters
25/03/2020 10:26:38

....Cherry Hill seems to have been doing alright without an electronic lead screw project.

Thread: Hardening Silver steel Cutter
22/03/2020 12:48:42

Do yourself a favour and buy a nice little kit from Cup-Alloys...they do 'vermiculite' type blocks which don't absorb the heat...also get some 'thermal wool' from them....drop it over the piece and heat thru the side prevents almost all of the heat loss and the piece goes red very quickly...

..........I have no connection with Cup-Alloys other than as a very satisfied user...for years I was a gas welder and had many other methods of heating/soldering but when I got into clock making I got a kit from Cup-alloys (a very nice present from my nearest and dearest, bless her heart!) and I have never looked back with small clock type jobs.

22/03/2020 12:37:17

Yes,...although it has to be a fierce flame, it's better to heat generally and wait until the cutting edge/tip is red then there can be no flame damage. If you watch gas welders they always take care where they put the flame, but theirs is a very fierce flame...

Thread: Using EZELAP sharpeners
22/03/2020 12:33:29

Right,...when you grind/sharpen a fine cutting edge like an open razor the very thin edge gets distorted one way due to the physical act of sharpening.....honing is a method of removing this deformation and lightly restoring the new cutting edge....

.........In praxtice there are often ways of avoiding this.

22/03/2020 11:02:02

I have a couple of the red handled 'fine' Eze-Lap I have had for over 30 years and it's been involved in just about everything I have made in that's in my clock box now. over the years it's become even finer in texture. I don't normally use any media I just use it to fine hone cutters and pivots in the lathe etc. Periodically I 'wash' it in WD40 to remove the surface debris.

Thread: Hardening Silver steel Cutter
22/03/2020 10:53:52

I use the same process for most silver steel items, both cutters and clock only really need to harden the areas that are going to do the work.....for cutters, set the piece up in a corner of the hearth where most of the heat will be reflected and get the cutting tip to red heat...allow to remain red for half a minute or so and then quench quickly....water will give a quick thru quench proividing there is enough volume of water and you should 'stir' the piece around quickly to disipate heart as fast as you can. Oil will give a somewhat 'softer' quench which can sometimes be handy.


.....clean the piece with abrasive paper or wire wool and heat the rear end...allow the colours to creep along the piece until the right temper (usually 'straw' for me) reach the cutting edges. If you wish you can wind the piece in iron/steel wire and coat with soap to keep the piece bright while heating to red heat.


For clock pivots;'s quite common to see beginning clock repaiers/makers snap off their pivots be accident ......for this reason it's better to only harden the very ends of the pivot sides...if the main part of the arbour remains softer there is less chance of the pivot snapping off.

Edited By Bob Stevenson on 22/03/2020 10:56:21

Thread: Ideas to best hold blanks with out turning
21/03/2020 16:27:40

Amazing some of the stuff on this site!.......personally, I use hardboard for backing wheel blanks and always cut at least two together then select the best looking one....

Thread: Sieving
21/03/2020 16:02:08

Thats not social isolation doing that it's the clock-making....all us clockies start to think like that, eveentually.

I make soup but I never sieve.I usually go straight to the 'blitzing machine' and hope for the latest attempt is farmhouse vergetable soup adapted from a 'vegan' receipe and using whats available in the way of veg...Aldi tinned garden peas are my latest find and they are superb in taste and quality.

Another fave is baked red pepper and tomato soup......cut 6 or 8 red peps, remove seeds etc and place cut downn on a baking tray, add halved toms in all the 'corners & gaps'.......add sploges of tom puree or tinned toms, whatever you've got handy, sprinkle one teaspn sugar and one tabspn olive oil plus salt & pep........sprinkle with plenty of chopped basil and bake one hour at 190. Meanwhile, slowly cook chopped oinion and one garlic clove in oil for 15 mins and prepare one and half pints veggy stock.....When the peps are baked combine everything and bring to the boil....alow to cool and blitz....serve with more sprinkled basil and a rough bread in chunks.

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