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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: Conquest Mini Lathe
08/07/2020 08:18:18

A fuse blowing like that is a sign on a direct short circuit.......wiring is NOT my best area however, you are looking for a metal to metal or positive to positive fault that has occured, either in the machine itself or in the power supply/control box

I had a 'Conquest' for nearly 10 years and grew to love it!....However, when I first checked it over when it arrived I discovered that there was a 'safety guard' fitted that prevented the operator leaving the chuck key in the chuck and starting the machine. Unfortunately, this 'safety guard' was wired around the revolving spindle which was already well on the way to eating thru the insulation!! I removed the sagety guard in it's entirety complete with all wiring...had I not done so it would have only been a short time until the spindle made contact with the wiring and thus, a 'direct short circuit' whic hwould have blown the fuse,..hopefully!

I emailed Chester at the time and they appre3tnly modified the design.

Thread: Carbon fibre pendulum rod
07/07/2020 17:35:37

Really interesting topic........

Does anyone know if CF absorbs moisture?

Thread: Cutting brass with saw questions
03/07/2020 14:26:57

I find it sad and depressing when someone asks for advice and apparently is interested in all views but then, when they hear the result and it does not chime with their already cast and forthright opinion, they can only be rude and abusive,...especially when the advice/help has been given honestly and in an entirerely helpful spirit, based on observed events and efforts to help other craftspeople.

I have actually watched beginning clock makers for 10 years and I am often asked for advice and help with the methods and processes of clock making and restoration. I have also been asked to guide people attempting the practical sections of the BHI professional qualification course and every person has passed including a pass mark which was only one point below the recorded highest score (so I have been informed) I'm by no means an horologist or even an expert clock maker and my usual method is to try to guide people with the best suggestion that I think will be helpful and enable them to find their own solution to the particular problem or task.

The tricky thing about making clock wheels, and indeed all clock making, is that it is a highly intuitive craft which, in the hhands of a good exponent, crosses over into an art form. Unfortunatately many keen people making clocks never get to realise how important this is or the extent of this influence, and everyone has a different level of awareness, not to mention satisfaction........

At teh end of the day, I have no wish to 'help' anyone who can't be helped....I have better things to do.

02/07/2020 18:03:43

Well I "continue to do it" because I was hoping to be politely helpful, but clearly, I don't need to waste my time.

02/07/2020 17:41:28

......Martin....excellent post!

02/07/2020 16:26:09

The most important factors when cutting out wheels from brass using a piercing saw are;


1) choose a blade that is not coarse and which can put about three teeth in the metal at any one time....on the thin sheet this means that the teeth are more or less don't need any backing to the piece just keep the saw verticle on the peg (wood block with 'V' cut-out clamped to bench edge) and buiild up a gentle rythym ...only move your complete forarm from the elbow.


There is a very interesting video on the South London BHI site of Ron Rose using and adapted coping saw to cut thin brass....well worth a look to se his smooth rythym.


2) Choose blades of the highest quality that you can obtain...Vallorbe is a good make and there are others...look in a good clock sundries catalogue such Meadows & Passmore, Walsh,Cousins,...then compare prices for same makes on ebay where good blades are the same price as poor ones


Chris, it's not for me to make comments about your approach to clock making but I will make the following observations....clock making comes with greatest pleasure and facility when you simplify it down to the basic processes of hand craftsmanship....when people new to making clocks from scratch try to speed up their approach or actively avoid the best hand methods they almost always fail...either the work looks like what it is or they become disenchanted and give uop to pursue something else. Having been a 'clockie' for ten years and a member of EFHC I have only seen one person (a skilled lifelong engineer) successfully use CNC, and I personally know of at least 6 persons who have reverted to the 'time honoured' methods. clock building is a delicate blend of needs and tests that is at the difficut frontier between technology and engineering on the one hand and art and sculpture on the other.....New clockies can do no better than to look at lots of clocks and always ponder on this dichotamy.....all the best methods of clock making, if not actually traditional, are the products of mind and eye.........I really do hope this helps!

EDIT Ron's Videos

Edited By JasonB on 02/07/2020 19:39:21

Edited By JasonB on 02/07/2020 19:40:08

01/07/2020 08:41:23

For my main clockmaking tools I have been using the 'DeWalt T-Stak' system for the last few years and it works like this;

....I use a two drawer unit and a single draw unit, with a matching carrying case........The draw units 'live' on the rack under my small lathe and can be opened while using the lathe to select the tools. When I go to the workshop at Epping Forest Horology Club, I extract the units from the rack and lock the drawer units together to make one tool box, then carry out to the car....the carry case is in my other hand and has the current clock build along with materials such as brass sheet, rod in brass and steel etc.

Once at the workshop I remove the units from car and stack them up on one end of the bench with carry case on top...thus giving access to all tools and the workpiece with minimum footprint. When the session is over I simply reverse the process until everything is back under the lathe ready for use. I can vary the items carried to a degree by a system of boxes that fit inside the T-Stak system and can be varied according to task such as my ';wheel cutting box' or my 'brass finishing box' etc

This combined system works very well when you need to regularly transport tools to a club or workshop and the T-Stak units are not massively expensive if you search around on the web.

Thread: Need to know about iPad 'air'
26/06/2020 10:32:48

Thank you so much to all who have responded...your inputs have been invaluable as it has enabled me to ask the right questions and check vital details.....

Epping Forest Horology Club is now heavily engaged in 'zoom life' and one of our tutors needs to be involved but his wife is in hospital with their iPad (which only she knows how to operate!) Our other 'experts' are all using iPad 'air' so it's sort of predisposed that we now need the same machine.

Thanks again for the excellent help.....I knew I could count on all you kind people!

25/06/2020 20:30:31

Who 'out there' knows about the iPad models please. My clock club needs to get someone into a zoom meeting next week (Wed) and it has been suggested that a refurbished iPad 'Air' could b ewith us by then for about £150 using one of many sellers on ebay.....

There is a broadband connection and wifi router in situ to connect to so we don't need a model with built in router... Can anyone suggest a good ebay seller and anything to watch out for/questions to ask etc.......I have never seen an iPad 'air' close up in the flesh, a sfar as I know! So, way out of my depth here!

Thread: The cost of cheap (Free) materials
22/06/2020 23:53:42

Well maybe no one mentons it because that has not been their experience........personally I have never expected to silver solder "aluminium bronze" satisfactorily so have never tried to.

22/06/2020 22:46:49

As a clock builder making clocks from scratch I need to work out the design of various parts and assemblies. This means that I more or less have to use materials from my collection of scrap. it's one thing buying new materials for the worked out design but while I'm getting to that point it can get very expensive, especially when bits get made a couple of times to get things right. If I was making published designs unchanged tghings might be different but there is not point (to me anyway) to make yet another example of John Wildings sleleton clock unchanged from all the others at any model engineering show.......

But then, I have always made stuff from choice scrap and clock making is a rather expensive hobby. It's quite usual for the new materials for a nordinary clock project to cost about two hundred pounds. A couple of years back I met a chap at the Ally Pally show who told me that he had spent so much on the materials for clock build that he had never had the courage to start on it. I recently met another clock maker who complained that the brass and gold plating for his new clock build had cost over two thousand pounds.......Admittedly it will be a very nice and very expensively valued clock but, personally, I can't afford to do this.

My first clock had suspension spring made from old feeler gauge, screws made from supermarket trolly dumped in Epping Forest, pendulum rod made from stainless coat hanger and other bits turned from an old ball valve rod.....even so it turned out to be an expensive clock!

Thread: J.T.Slocombe micrometer very old
27/05/2020 09:33:21

Good story that made me smile!......I also have a collection of ancient 'mikes' including Starret, M&W etc.

New members to Epping Forest Horology Club who turn up with verniers and mikes are told by one of the tutors that they will mostly be using 'intuition and feel' and that their micrometer will be handy for clamping small parts but their v ernier should be left at home in future for removing the nuts on radiators etc.

Thread: Which Digital Compact Camera?
24/05/2020 16:47:30

Steve,........If you are interested in Sony 6500 series then you should know that they are all descended from th eoriginal Sony a6000. They all have the same sensor and thus very similar image quality, which, having used one for th elast few years I can say is excellent. The later versions have extra features which you may not really value and I saw the a6000 in Curry's a few weeks ago for less than £500 (considerably less)....that's about one third the price of a6500.

The only reall improvement in the later models is a better battery........whichever one you go for get an extra battery!

Thread: The sneering detractors
24/05/2020 16:17:51

Vic & Dave........Of course we should comment on poor or dangerous practices...indeed, there is a duty of knowledge to prevent injury, and also to help people who are trying their best etc...

But, there is a right and a wrong way of making comments. PLEASE read my last paragraph again! Most people here are, as I said, very helpful and friendly but the sneering detractors are not here to help......There have been sites on the web that have folded due to the attitudes of a few who were not confronted or put in thier place, it's just pure bully boy tactics and these people thrive on bullying.

21/05/2020 13:36:17

This is a brilliant site which I look at sometimes although I'm not a model enthusiast. There's usually something to learn or laugh at and it's peopled by characters similar to myself who are mostly decent, kind and helpful.


The only 'con' of this site is the 'Model Engineering Police', or as I think of them; the sneering detractors. These are people who get their emotional inputs by a snarling abusive venting of their spleens, often hidden in sarcasm and dusted with smugness, by rubbishing the efforts of others. They actually do so at a cost of depleting and reducing the stature of this otherwise great site, and of course, they rarely let others see and judge their own abilities, or lack thereof.


Regular viewers will have seen the topic on making a milling spindle, in which the OP linked to the Youtube video of Steve Jordan, in which he showed his attempt to build such a spindle. Steve Jordan has long been a target here for the sneering detractors so I guessed what was coming, I was not surprised when the snarling started.......


I don't know Steve Jordan personally, have never met or spoken to him,...never exchanged emails with him....never, as yet, made any of his items and don't really expect to.....I look at his videos from time to time to see what he is up to and like some of his ideas and possibilities. As far as I know he is not a user/follower of this site, but he might well be because he is basically doing what many people here do, namely, pushing aside the stresses of life by retiring to his small workshop and making things. He started with a Chinese mini-lathe and now also has a Myford gifted by his brother.


Also like many here he appears to have modest means and struggles with poor mental and physical health. He puts up his videos so that other people also in sheds and basements with a small lathe and drilling machine can watch his, sometimes quaint, methods and see a way for their own efforts.....


And thus, to the sneering detractors themselves;....if you don't have the basic decency and manners to make comments helpful and constructive with a dash of kindness then do the honourable thing and POST YOUR OWN BETTER VIDEO TO SHOW HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE BY SUCH A SUPERIOR ABILITY.....other wise, keep you heads below the parapet and stay quiet!...PLEASE! because you are not helping this site or the people that follow it.

Edited By Bob Stevenson on 21/05/2020 13:38:28

Thread: Milling spindle motor
19/05/2020 12:05:30

That's both the 'cure and the curse' of get all sorts of stuff from golden nuggets to dross and there's plenty of the later......However, Steve Jordan offers his exploits as they are and they probably suit him and his workpieces such as they are. As has been already pointed out, he offers ideas and possiblities.

The site has a pronounced 'down' on Steve Jordans videos, but virtually all of the many sneering detractors don't appear to have posted any videos themselves!....indeed many of them don't even make anything!!?

I did have a quick look for videos on youtube by 'not done it yet' & 'john baron'...I did'nt find anything so perhaps they could direct everybody the their vids please.

Thread: Look what I Found
18/05/2020 18:47:29

My Dad showed me how to use these when I was about 10 and I still use them from time to time....In some applications they are better than an electric drill because they take up less space to use and are more accurate...not getting rid of 'em!

Thread: Travelling Steady for Portass lathe
16/05/2020 20:33:08

If you take a look in 'Sparey'' The Amateurs Lathe' by L H Sparey, you will find descriptions of how to make up your own steadies quite simply.

Thread: Large Balance Wheel Clock
14/05/2020 18:27:33

David, did you make your embossed bezel?

Thread: Where do you put your chuck key?
08/05/2020 14:31:48

The method that was constatnly drummed into me as a youngster has (with modifications) remained with me;.......everything hangs on the wall rack behind the lathe.......When you are ready to turn on the lathe, you pull the lathe over twice by hand (ie one complete revolution) put your finger on the start look at the wall rack..IS ANYTHING MISSING?....if not then push button...if something IS out of place/missing, then WHERE is it?

Nowadays in my 'micro workshop' I don't have a wall rack but everything is in the small chest of drawers under, and to the right of, the lathe. I still pull over the lathe by hand and still glance into the open 'lathe' drawer before pushing the button.....nearly 60 years later!

.....Nobody should be concerned by super nice, well ordered, clean, incredibly well equipped workshops.......Do the owners actually make anything? I have known no less than 4 people who set up beautiful workshops when they retired...then they died and people were asked to go round and take what they wanted ...the original owners never got to make anything much, they were too busy building the perfect workshop......

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