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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: The 'WM' lathe series headstock lubrication
10/05/2021 16:32:01

I have a Warco supplied WM180 which I have owned for three and a half years. For those who don't know this lathe it's the smallest of the 'WM' lathes made apparently by the Weiss factory in China and supplied world wide to many suppliers including Warco and two or three other UK companies in different colours and model names.

This lathe is well equipped with 'oil ports' on slideways and leadscrew mounts etc and I oil these frequently as laid out in the sparse owners booklet. There is almost no mention of the main headstock bearings other than a small paragraph pointing out that they were adjusted in the factory and that increasing the end loading excessively can damage the bearings.....

Because of the readily accessible oil ports I not unnaturally assumed that the headstock had sealed or shielded bearing which require no lubrication by the user.

Over the last year or so there has been an ominous rumble developing when the lathe is at speed and when the chuck is turned by hand one can feel a distinct 'texture' rather than a freely turning bearing.

The spare parts list/drawings gives the bearing as '30602' and this is a conventional taper roller bearing such as you might find in the front wheel of and older car. A washer against both bearings are listed as a 'grease cover'. There appears to be no means of re-lubing or greasing the bearings other than a complete strip down and knocking out the bearings from the casting.....

Replacement bearing of reputable brand are between £15 and £30 a pair and I am quite prepared to carry out a bearing change,...but frequent bearing lubrication seems to not to have occurred to the 'designers'....

I wondered how other users and those with the larger 'WM' lathes have got on with headstock maintainance....??.......anyone got any observations please?

Thread: silver soldering
10/05/2021 16:06:17

Arthur,.....I suspect that "Dull-red" needs to be 'brighter red' it sounds like the workpiece did not reach sufficient temp to melt the solder, which it must.

Thread: T Handle Allen Key Sets
09/05/2021 07:47:55

Dr have reminded me that I should have mentioned that the Silverline hex’s come with a folded steel rack which has slotted eye-holes so can be readily unclipped from bench and taken to car or washing machine etc

08/05/2021 21:44:04

When I aquired my WM180 three years ago I bought a set by 'Silverline' comprising 10 hex T handles from 2 to 10mm including 2.5, 4.5 & 5.5mm I don't normally use/need the 9 & 10mm.

Silverline is a low/mid price supplier but the T handles have been completely excellent and live under my bench for use on WM180 and several other tools/machines.........The only thing I don't really like is that they are blue!!

Thread: Can one buy pliers with parallel jaws that lock like mol
07/05/2021 08:30:36

It might be worth mentioning that 'Vise-Grip' make a specific locking wrench for gripping nuts and bolt heads, see here...

Thread: Rothenberger Super Fire 2 Torch
06/05/2021 21:00:42

I had my first Rothenberger torch about 25 years ago specifically for silver soldering...quite expensive at the time as i was serious about what I was making..... Nothing but problems, with the torch and the gas constantly variable quality and it was never Rothenbergers fault, always mine and how I was using it...and always what super duper top line quality their kit was...Eventually I dumped all my Rothenberger rubbish and bought a real torch (Sievert) and have had no more bothers.....

Basically, Rothenberger is for plumbers....not for what people here are doing. Not long now and it won't even be for plumbers becasue plumbing stuff is changing so fast that a torch will soon no longer be needed!

Rothenberger is rubbish!...there, I said it!....from exxperience (bitter)........Go to Cup-Alloys, they will sort you out

Thread: Protective film for polished metal.
04/05/2021 12:37:36

....What Jason said! can try low tak airbrush film but my expereince has been that the adhesives are a problem with polished brass. I always store finished parts in plastic zip-lock bags with the air pushed out, inside a plastic box.

Thread: Warco Super Mini Lathe Toolpost
02/05/2021 11:30:31

As it happens I have a friend who has been looking at this lathe during last week and asked me for info since I had a Chinese mini-lathe for 10 years and grew to like it a lot, making much of my first clock on it as well as lots of other items.

The current Warco version (mine was Chester 'Conquest) has several imporovements but leaves some of the meaninful 'design faults' unchanged........I was more interested in turning stuff rather than making lathe improvements but during my time with it I did constantly have to bear in mind a few 'cons' in order to get the best out of it....

One of the main drawbacks with the mini-lathe is the poor top slide design which is both too flimsy and too thick.....I had to adjust the gib screws weekly at least and eventually did not really use the top slide except for the odd small taper etc. The 'Conquest' version was supplied with a specially thin QCTP very similar to this one from ARC.... worked reasonably well for me but would probably not please a purist one bit!

I see that the Warco version now has a handwheel on the leadscrew so one might be able to remove the top slide and replace with a block for most turning to good advantage. I think that Warco are a bit 'naughty' suggesting that this lathe has extras and kit since mini-lathes, including this one, never have much with them apart for a 3 jaw chuck....spanner and screw drivers etc are nice but easy to find in ones workshop, unlike 4 jaw, rests, faceplate etc.which are not supplied.

The other minor improvement that made a big difference to my machine was replacing the famous rubber feet with metal discs about 100mm in diameter...this reduced the rocking at high speeds considerably. There used to be much criticism of the plastic change wheels now changed to steel but I cut several tricky threads quite successfully using the plastic variety.

Thread: Soldering a mitred tube?
30/04/2021 12:42:25

....Here we go again with the 'joints for silver solder thing'! will get the best results with a very close fitting joint as the molten solder flows like Micheal said, by capillary action......When molten the silver solder is VERY fluid and does NOT readily fill joints.......

Edited By Bob Stevenson on 30/04/2021 12:43:49

Thread: Which type/brand of razor blades stay sharp longest? (cutting card/greyboard)
29/04/2021 13:54:25

john smith 47.....seveeral points to make;

1) Yes those are the 'eze-lap' hones,...I have used the red one for 40 years

2) There is no 'special technique' to sharpening other than the two crucial factors namely keeping the blade at the right angle to the abrasive,...using small light circular motions.

3) Sharpening is NOT a dark art!......the final iteem in sharpening which is overlooked by many is to 'pinch' the edge between thumb and forefinger and pull off of blade.....if your fingers detect an 'edge' one side then you have NOT properly sharpened the blade but truned the blade edge....always test for this and carefully remove by light honing/stropping etc.

4) remember that many disposable blades are actually laminated so frequent resharpening quickly goes thru into softer laminations making the blade more or less useless and needing to be changed

5) Softer metals including most stainless steels are poor at both holding and edge and being easy to sharpen because of te3cdancy to 'roll the edge ' easily.

6) for fine cutting you need to use a smooth stone to give a keen and smooth cutting edge,, better sharpening kit than for common pocket and workshop knives.........for very fine edges such as razors you need a razor stone used with soft soap as a lubricant,...then careful strop on leather impregnated with a very fine abrasive such as Autosol etc

7) Zan is correct that you should not be able to see the cutting edge on fine cutting blades....use a glass to examine the edge.........fine blades work by separating the work smoothly.....if a rough stone is used it results in a 'saw' type edge which rips the workpiece

8) I resharpen my S&W no. 10 & no.11 blades a couple of times using red eze-lap, then fit new blade. For larger blades I use a 'DMT' diamond sharpener, which is similar to eze-lap but much larger.

9) keeping diamond hones/laps clean is new red eze-lap is definately more aggressive than my 40 year old one despite frequent and careful cleaning although diamond hones are not supposed to wear.

28/04/2021 09:35:56 1.........on my second red eze-lap after 40years!....nobody on this site should be without one!!


..........did’nt know about the 1200 one either, but will order one today!


I’ve not read the topic but I use Swan & Morton no.3 scalpel and touch up the current blade on the red eze-lap two or three times before changing to new blade.........

Edited By Bob Stevenson on 28/04/2021 09:39:58

Thread: B&D workmate
27/04/2021 08:16:37

Both of mine are 1980 vintage........there are some poor design features especially the tapered legs so the plastic feet are forever sliding off to get lost etc,.....however, I have lots of 'previous' with my workmates including using it for an engine rebuild,....setting fire to the chipboard jaws while welding bits of Volkswagen and using to form my first clock spring barrel by squeezing the brass strip around a steel former using the jaws.

Thread: Snapping taps
21/04/2021 15:30:08

To remove the tap from the tool holder;......use a small stone on a Dremel to level up the broken tap then drill down gthe centre with a carbide drill,.....then slightly larger bits until just the outside of the tap is left in gthe hole then carefully use a scriber to break the remaining 'shell' of the tap and remove bits from hole.

Thread: Does anyone recognise this stuff [presumed Stainless Steel]
07/04/2021 23:43:34

I have some SS discs of very similar appearancexcept that they are smaller diameter. They were end paking plates for the 105mm cartridge for the 'Abbot' self propelled howitzer, now defunct. The cartridges were packed in pairs in carboard tubes inside long brown Nato ammo boxes....

I used four of the discs to stabilise my Chinese mini-lathe by replacing the rubber feet and tehy worked extremely fact they turned it into a different machine.

Thread: Anti seize grease on Myford spindle nose?
07/04/2021 09:10:24

It used to be a Royal Navy standing order that all threaded lathe chucks had to have a brown paper ring between the backplate and the spindle shoulder.......

Thread: Solar panels for water heating
05/04/2021 11:28:21

If you just want hot water then you might be better off with a different system.......there are lots of thieves out there peddling solar power so take a look at this site of a 'one man band' developer who has excellent figures to back up his solar panel designs.......

Thread: CNC - What's the Problem?
01/04/2021 00:27:46

The main "problem" is that very few people have the blend of skills and interests required to successfully set up and use CNC....even among those would be CNC'ers only a small proportion actually reach the fruition of a finished project.

In my clock club (EFHC) we have quite a few people who are interested in CNC and see it as a handy method of making the more tedious parts of clocks. I n the last few years this number has increased. However, out of our hundred odd members only one person has been truly successful in building his own system on which he can make any parts that he needs and it's no accident that he used CAD programs for the last 30 years of his career, is also a highly skilled machinist and also enjoys (and understands) electronics.

So basically you need to have three specific and dissimilar hobbies, and be very determined not to mention moneyed to succeed. This is a VERY small percentage of the population. There would be a big market for CNC if some of these disparate skills could be drawn together....for example; were there to be a faster and less demanding way to instruct the system with teh dimensions and shapes required without having to spend two years learning CAD then many more people would be attracted. As things stand it not only requires about two years to build the system (while learning CAD at th same time) but it typically takes another year or two to fight thru the many failures and dissappointments that automatically ensue in a very long teething process.

Thread: Excellent Chinese Chuck
28/03/2021 12:52:27

I have two Sanou chucks supplied with my little Warco lathe (WM180) and was surprised by their quality when they arrived.... The only 'con' for me is that the jaws are not only very hard but also 'as machined' with very sharp serrations...they easily damage work pieces unless you are prepared. I have made copper jaw covers for my 4-jaw and use a collection of copper split tubes for the 3-jaw, which I don't use very often as i usually use 4 Jaw or excellent collet chuck also made by Sanou. The Warco supplied chucks have the name Feurdo but are facsimile and bear same model numbers etc.

Thread: Antique gun springs
26/03/2021 11:46:54

Once a main spring has a fault at the bend it’s usually ‘game over’ for the spring as they can never be satisfactorily repaired, as you have seen. Take a couple of pics of the spring lying on the bench with a ruler close beside and send pics to Brownells or a similar gun spares catalogue and see if they can match it, or nearly so...which they probably will. If you have to ‘dolly’ the ends that may well be ok but as a basic rule you can’t work on the main bend successfully........

Thread: New series by Tim Hunkin
23/03/2021 21:52:15

Yes!.....I have a 'smart' TV now and it's the best thing!.....some brilliant stuff online....TV progs are ok but you can't beat the real thing!......YouTube such as all the engineering stuff and 'jerryrigeverything' plus Mark Felton's stuff and deepsea dving etc...'Finding Katsuhiro's tiger'...highly recommended! Lock-picking videos from the 'lockpicking lawyer' are surprisingly seductive to watch....

....I watched Tim Hunkin replacing the lens unit of his pocket camera......brilliant!

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