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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: Wonky threads using die
22/11/2021 11:31:19

You don't actually need a tailstock die holder....you can use an ordinary die stock and use the tailstock barrel to steady it and keep it accurate......I've been cutting threads in the lathe for many years but, as yet, I don't own a tailstock die holder although I do use one in the club workshop sometimes and i can't truthfully say that one is better than the other but of the two, I tend to prefer the ordinary 'manual' die holder steadied against the tailstock.

20/11/2021 11:46:43

Cut the threads while the piece is still in the lathe chuck.....put the die holder against the end of the tailstock barrel and turn the chuck by hand while gently advancing the tailstock crank......

Thread: How do you stop brass tarnishing
18/11/2021 18:26:53

Rod Jenkins et al,......I do believe you are correct about Renaisance Wax being parafin based,..a slip of the fingers on my part!

However, my word of caution stands,.....some musical instrument repair specialists will not take bare brass instruments for plating if they have been treated with Renaisance Wax or similar because removal (and thus good plating) is extremely difficult.

18/11/2021 10:57:17

just a few points to add;.....

If you use laqueur be absolutely sure that you prep carefully and fully, so no fingerprints etc.....don't use petrol as final wash....don't use brake cleaner either.....Meths is as good as anything after hot detergent etc.

Remember that the silicone polishes such as 'Renaisance Wax' while they work well as specified can be virutally impossible to remove completely if you later wish to either laq or silver/gold plate and can really muck up the job!

If you use laq don't just get the first one you see on the shelf at Halfords...shop around and ALWAYS do a test first on a carefully prepped piece of similar scrap.

Some laq gives excellent results but has some difficult handling features...clockmakers have lists of recipes that go back into the mists of time with weird and wondrful 'pros and cons'..such as the famed 'dragons blood' etc

A very excellent laq that I have found is 'Le Tonkinois' but it has savage cons for the inexperienced....I used this on my first clock and was pleased with the great working characteristics such as superb smooth finish and easy application. However, one week after application the clock developed purple streaks!......I won't describe my anguish! Then I noticed that the parts whxih had been heated to red heat for silver soldering had not streaked.....I now still use this laq but never of parts that I have not annealed/heated.

Thread: Wanted - Brass tube bending
15/11/2021 13:13:55

There are five methods used in the brass musical instrument business;....

1) anneal the tube and then use finger pressure to bend around a plywood profile of the bend shape...best if the curve is not too extreme.

2) Fill with soap solution and freeze then bend as above.

3) Fill with molten lead, bend, then melt out the lead.

4) use a spring the closely fill the pipe while bending as does a plumber.

5) use a dry medium such as fine glass granules or sand, as mentioned....stopping the ends can be tricky.

Thread: US Army : Infantry Squad Vehicle
14/11/2021 11:35:14

Well it might suit the bean counters but i don't think the 82nd Airb orne will be too impressed because they have a very wide training requirement.....it might be ok in Florida but temperatures can drop to well below freezing in parts of the US and the roads are long!....anyone thought about a waterproof covering?...anyone thought about what happens in a 'war event'?......anyone thought about IED's.

Since my first post above, I recalled the many stories of failed civvy components in military use during and after WWII....Read up on the British motor industry and it's major battle to get it's head around the unique requirements of designing and building fighting vehicles....read about the Rootes Group and the Valentine tank which was designed around civvy parts....read how Churchill famously threatened Rootes to use specific components....

Even the Germans fell foul of this.....one third of Panzer divisions in 1939 were using horses for transport and secondary battlefield uses (amazing but true!) ...but were obliged to change to motor power once training became lethal....

14/11/2021 10:32:40

I don't think this IS any sort of "cultural change"......there is a long history of trying to adapt civvy equipement for military use and also quite a long history of failed excercise.... The Moke has already been mentioned and one only has to look at the multifaceted problems of trying to replace such systems as LandRover and the Warrior series to see how the need for specialisation quickly spoils the quest for 'off the peg' cheapness.

The problem(s) with this vehicle is that while it may be useful for third world armies it lacks the required specialisation and versitility for more sophisticatd formations........a serious lack of protection, both intrinsic and military surely limits it's appeal Modern mil vehicle systems need to be adaptable into various transport needs (the strength of Landrover) which this does not seem to offer.

Thread: 7BA Grub Screws with socket (rather than slot)
09/11/2021 09:09:40

Although BA fixings are making a come-back now I don't think you can (as yet) buy BA socket heads so you need to make or contrive.... The two methods I have used successfully are to use a non BA with enough diameter to turn down in the lathe and then recut in BA....this makes for ratehr large head which may not be what you want.

The other method is to turn up the blanks and using a simple jig, forge the socket head using an allen key, then thread BA...this sounds tricky and time consuming but I found this to work well in practice. The jig I used was part of plate from a scrapped machine which had recessed openings for the right sized bolt with sunken heads. You need to turn down the head when made to give a good finish.

Thread: Smart and brown model 'L' lathe- opinions, please?
31/10/2021 08:06:50

The S&B 'L' lathes are a quarter ton, which is 'heavy' considering the small size of the machine itself. The lathe bed is permanently mounted to the cast base which acts as stand, fluid tray, motor housing and storage cupboard.....it looks like one single massive casting but is actually a cleverly assembled collection of parts. I have seen 'L' lathes on ebay that have been separated from the base but this is not a task of a Sunday afternoon in the shed adn you should consider the layout design as permanent. The quarter ton mass gives these lathes great accuracy and turning facility.

.........New collets for S&B are avaiable but not for £82 as far as I know....if they are we will be keen to buy some so please let me know where!

27/10/2021 19:07:36

The nose is threaded and any chuck with the corresponding thread can be fitted....At EFHC we have collets, face & drive plates, large 4-jaw, various 3 jaw and also ER32 chucks.

If you are asking if the 'L' models have powered feeds then the answer is 'no'....these are instrument lathes and quite simple machines, but then, in turning as with much else, 'less is (sometimes) more'.

Thread: Lathe Drilling
26/10/2021 23:08:42

In problems like this always look at the absolute basics first......

If DB8 is like it's Warco equivalent then it comes with a centre for the spindle throat and another for the tailstock,.......find these and fit into the respective throats........slide the tailstock up so that both centres are 'point to point'....check exact accuracy using a glass.

..........Make sure that the throats are both clean by shining a light up and having agood look!.......Also make sure no swarf or foreign body is under the tailstock.

If both centres align perfectly, replace tailstock centre with drill chuck holding a centre drill only (nothing else) and repeat alignment test......

Thread: Wanted - Someone to make some screws
25/10/2021 15:20:16

Those are stndard firearms components so take a look in one of the big gunsmithing catalogues or portals and you will probably find them there

Thread: First Clock in Metric
21/10/2021 18:43:19

One of the best clock build books for a clock beginner is the 'Long Case' book by Timmins.

Also, the last three chapters of 'Practical Clock Repair' by Donald D'Carle is a simple discourse on exactly how the old time clock makers went about making their clocks using the most simple methods to achieve each component. This book, like the Timmins book, is head and shoulders above the Wilding books in my view and uses much superior methods of construction, albeit more simple.

Be aware that some of th Wilding books actually require you to aquire another one of his books to get a complete design....the most notable is 'How To Make A Skeleton Clock' which requires the 'Wall Clock' book in order to gain the pallet/escapement details.....

Thread: Cutting Brass Sheet
19/10/2021 15:40:41

In the first editions of Gerald Wingroves superb and unique book; 'The complete Car Modeller' there is detailed a very clever little tool made from a piece of industrial hacksaw blade and shaped like a backward facing tooth! I can attest that it works extremely well when run across thin sheet against a straight edge.

For cutting thin sheet accurately I sometimes also use a small cutting disc on a Dremel.....clamp the workpiece to a piece of plywood and make sure to use eye protection. This method is excellent when making small detail cuts in thin workpieces.

lastly, I cut thin discs for clock wheels by using a specially made trammel adjusted to the exact diameter,...this basically cuts thru the brass when revolved by means of a 'knife tool'. I sometimes use the same basic method on a square piece mounted on an arbour in the lathe to cut out wheels.

Finally (?!)...there is an Eclipse sheet saw which works very well,..it looks like a small panel saw but has a hacksaw blade built into the edge, thus allowing any depth of sheet to be cut.

Interestingly, I don't any longer use a scroll saw to cut thin brass as I did not like that method, although many people do use it quite successfully.

Thread: From where I might be able to source some 1300 micron (1.3mm) mild steel sheet?
19/10/2021 15:28:48

One of the best ways to source thin steel is to look around for a discarded stainless item,....i have a little collection of thin stainless steels from about 0.75mm to approx 1.5mm, all reclaimed from such items as a dishwasher casing,...the left over chimney cover for a kitchen extractor,..stainless shop sign and a scrapped pedal bin. All very useful and effectively 'free', most have polished surface.

Thread: Reproduction ivory look hand grips
14/10/2021 12:08:00

.The knife making fraternity use what they call 'ivory micarta' which is actually sheets of cream paper laminated by pressure using polyeter resin......the resulting material is then cut and sanded to shape and the many layers give a slightly grained effect as found on some real ivory

Thread: Hermes. A Company in Total Confusion!
12/10/2021 08:12:28

My missus is currently trying to get a parcel which Hermes have had for a couple of weeks. She has been exchanging emails with the seller who is Marks & Spencer but their hands are tied and they apparently have to use whichever carrier is immediately available to the distribution centre.

It needs someone with a media connection to do an expose of Hermes since they appear to more or less use slave labour and at least half their business seems to end in frustration for both buyers and sellers.....there's more to the story than most people know.

Thread: Flexispeed Lathe
12/10/2021 07:57:06

It actually depends on what you want to make with the lathe,.....Several members of my clock club have Flexi's and at least one uses ER 16(?) collets in a collet chuck using a drawbar in the spindle throat.

Also, if you have a good 4 jaw then you hardly need to bother with a 3 jaw....It does take an hour or so to get the hang of centreing work using a dial guage but there after it's very easy and gives the best accuracy of any workholding method.

Finally, be extremely careful about always measuring and checking threads on your machine (especially chuck fit) since there were several used during the production life of th Flexi and this is perhas one of the biggest drawbacks to using a Flexi now.

Thread: Workshop lighting / energy costs
05/10/2021 09:32:10

+1 for painting with white emulsion...

Looking at the photo I can see that the basic workshop is well lit with the ful length tubes,...however, personally I know I could not manage without specific lighting for the machines and important work areas such as the (tiny) bench areas where I assemble etc. There are some really excellent LED fittings now that have been a revelation for me, and most are not true work or machine lights so much as good domestic angle and spot lights. You might experiment with not using the tubes but using more specific LED lighting and see how that works when actually making stuff....could be much mre cost effective to keep the light exactly where you need it ...if that makes sense!

Thread: Tool Chest
03/10/2021 07:53:40

An excellent video which is itself very well made and which sent me off to relaxed sleep last night....

However, be thoughtful about trying to use the same techniques.......palletts are made from scandinavian soft wood and are often of very poor quality. Tool chests are usually made from hard and medium hard straight grained woods. I mistakenly used pallett wood for the door of my scratch built shed which was mainly made from 100 year old roof purlins.....The door continued to flex and move for three years and the gaps between boards opened further as theh timber stabilised,...not to mention the large amounts of resin which came thru the surface treatment...."spoilt a good ship for a ha'porth of tar".......

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