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Member postings for norm norton

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

Thread: Synthetic and enamel paint explained
27/05/2020 09:56:13

Choo, I agree with your thoughts to want to try and understand what goes on with paints. We need someone who has written a book on the history of paint to comment, but I doubt there is one.

I agree with some of what you have said, but not all. Here is my summary of understanding. I have messed with paints for forty years but I have no specific competence in the subject.

1. Traditional paints were called 'enamels' and were pigments ground up with oils and resins of animal and plant base. Designed for brush application. The solvent was turpentine and more recently white spirit.

2. Natural materials have been replaced by synthetics (chemical industry products) and the word alkyd appears. Synthetic enamel can be thinned with white spirit but synthetic thinners is available. Toluene is a constituent. Synthetic enamels dry more quickly (which can make brushing more difficult) and are relatively easy to apply by spray because of this.

3. Cellulose paints were (I think) developed purely for spray application (1930's?) and were quick drying for industrial speed. You cannot brush apply because of this. The solvents are based around cellulose acetate. Cellulose thinners is a powerful solvent and will dissolve and melt most other paints. Hence, never put a cellulose paint on top of other paints or primers.

4. The automotive industry moved away from cellulose base to polyester many years ago. You cannot buy cellulose paints now (generally) and for home spraying it is polyester and a slightly more friendly 2K thinner. Gloss polyester is mixed with an activator (urethane or isocyanate reaction?) to make it harden. The solvents evaporate more quickly than cellulose. It sprays easily, drys fast and is much more durable than cellulose (modern petrol resistant) The majority of car respray systems involve a 2K clear lacquer topcoat. Safety breathing equipment HAS TO BE WORN. The car world has moved to water based paints and this will also arrive for home use, which will be a good thing for spraying, but not so for brushing perhaps.

The above relates to top coats. There is another subject on etch primers and on undercoats.


Edited By norm norton on 27/05/2020 09:58:53

Thread: Which Mill
04/05/2020 10:20:47


Yes, fully support your thoughts of an SX but go for the SX3 like Adrian at £1640. It is 70% heavier than the SX2.7 and mass is a good thing in milling machines. Both come with an R8 spindle which is the best choice for a home workshop.

Enjoy it! and then plan to fit a quality DRO!


Thread: Possible protection from Covid
03/04/2020 14:16:38

When I first saw this yesterday I also wondered for a second or two what the meaning was. Then I recalled that the eminent person describing it was an anaesthetist, as well as steam engine rescuer, and I would trust him totally. The more you think about it the more sense it makes.

Thread: renew driving licence
07/02/2020 20:05:09

RMA thank you for making me go back to square one and recheck. Maurice I owe you an apology and I am sorry I was wrong and you are right.

I am grateful that this forum discussion has caused me to find out the facts and it will be a big help to me when I have to renew at age 70. I have been led astray by friends who told me that I would lose my over 3.5 tonne GTW (Gross Train Weight) towing rights at age 70 renewal - they are wrong. A confusion has been that post 1997 licences only have category B and that this is restricted to 3.5 tonnes GTW. However, pre 1997 licences also have category BE, in addition to B, and this BE permits the vehicle MAW (Maximum Allowable Mass) to be up to 3.5 tonnes and for it to tow a trailer upto the vehicle's plated limit, just as RMA says.

At renewal at age 70 the pre 1997 licences retain category BE.

Thank you to those who were patient enough to tell me this. You have saved me going through the forms D2+D4 palaver.

07/02/2020 09:46:58
Posted by Maurice Taylor on 06/02/2020 18:15:58:

Over 70 you only lose C1 and C1E you still get BE which allows you to drive vehicle upto 3.5 tonnes and pull any size trailer upto the maximum weight specified by the vehicle manufacturer.No need for medical

No, not any size of trailer. Only up to a combined vehicle + trailer weight (MAW) of 3.5 tonnes.

A VW Transporter for example has a MAW, or gross vehicle weight, of between 2.5 and 2.8 tonnes depending on specification. Most caravans, or trailers capable of carrying a small car, will easily take you over the 3.5 tonnes total.

06/02/2020 10:41:10
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 05/02/2020 18:56:58:

And [whilst not a site that I would normally visit] this might be the best ‘Plain English’ guidance available:



That is an excellent document, thank you.

To reiterate, if anyone is like me under age 70 (just) and holds a driving licence issued pre-1997, the licence will include categories C1 and C1E(107) which permit that driver to use a vehicle and trailer where the combined GTW is over 3,500kg. I make the point that a number of caravaners and others fall into this group of individuals. C1E(107) differs from C1E in that it downgrades the maximum GTW to 8,250kg.

At licence renewal at age 70 those C1 and C1E(107) categories are lost IF one does it online or at a Post Office WITHOUT additional documents. These are forms D2 and D4, one of which has to be signed off by a doctor, and there will be a fee for this. The forms have to be submitted by post or through a Post Office. The licence has to be renewed every three years and the D2+D4 process repeated.

Edited By norm norton on 06/02/2020 10:45:05

05/02/2020 10:38:27

Thank you Pete for finding that. Hmm, looks like you have to pretend you are a lorry driver, and I guess go through the same hoops every three years after 70?

05/02/2020 09:33:36
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 04/02/2020 20:45:42:
It’s worth checking here, Norm : **LINK**


Thanks Michael, I thought you were querying or adding some information.

That link is the DVLA description of licence categories. I am referring to categories C1 and C1E that are on my licence, and many others, these having been referred to as the 'big lorry' up to 7.5 tonne MAW category that people may decide is not needed past age 70.

My reason for posting is to warn those who regularly tow something that it is very easy to exceed 3.5 tonne GTW.

What I have not seen published is the fact (?) that these categories are routinely removed at licence renewal at age 70; it must be written somewhere. And how to retain them. I was reporting what others have said to me and would like to see the official text.


04/02/2020 20:13:42

I see that no one has mentioned towing something and the combined maximum weights being over 3.5 tonne GTW.

Us old boys have rights in our pre-70 licences to pull a big caravan or trailer with boat, etc. behind a large 4X4 or small truck or even a van like a VW Transporter. It is easy to exceed 3.5 tonnes GTW (Gross Train Weight).

As I understand it that permission is lost at age 70 renewal, unless you apply in writing for the new licence with a letter from a doctor stating you are fit to retain that over 3.5tonne licence category.

Thread: Question about Harrison lathe
31/01/2020 20:07:08


I fitted a 2 pole three phase motor and inverter to my 140. I spend most of my time working it at 25Hz (half speed) but the motor will wind up to full speed, to double the lathe single speed, which the 140 was designed to take. You can even get a 140 two speed plate to put on the front.


Thread: Leaf springs
26/01/2020 11:18:15

1/32" seems rather thin for such wide 3/4" spring leaves. Is this for a model, a steam engine? Smaller 3/8" wide springs would use about this thickness.

M-Machine sell 3/4 x 16swg ( 1/16" ) spring steel strip for £3.30 per foot, and 3/8" in the thinner gauges. I would make 3/4" springs from this.

Edited By norm norton on 26/01/2020 11:18:54

Thread: Making leaf springs
15/01/2020 14:22:16

Hewson discussed the springs for a Britannia in ME210/4453p526.

There is something about weights and adhesion theory in ME211/4470p808

The issues are using the right steel in its tempered state, then hardening and tempering for springs. Then deciding from the model weight what the correct loading is per axle, and how much compliance (spring rate) is best, and measuring the deflection obtained (ideally in a test jig). Because 100% tempered steel springs are often too firm for an application, there are options of substituting some leaves in Tufnol, using bronze instead, or machining slots in the (soft) steel leaves.

I don't think I have seen an article attempt to address all of this. But if you search the Model Engineer Clearing House Forum (best to do this through google 'leaf spring' ) the subject has been well discussed in recent years.


edits - killing smilies !!

Edited By norm norton on 15/01/2020 14:28:53

Edited By norm norton on 15/01/2020 14:29:21

Edited By norm norton on 15/01/2020 14:30:21

Thread: VFD Question
08/01/2020 15:52:14

Ahh.. Thank you Martin and Andrew - got that.

So I (and perhaps two others in the world) have been misunderstanding the output from the workshop VFDs that we use. It is 240v phase-to-phase, and if there was a neutral it would be about 133v on each phase to neutral.

I guess the rules of physics say that one cannot phase shift 240v AC by 120 degrees and again by another 120 degrees, otherwise we would get 415v quite easily.


08/01/2020 14:20:39

I thought I had a limited understanding of this, but now I am confused.

If a residential road is fed with three separate phases of 240v, then each house takes a feed from one of those phases and has single phase 240v. If an industrial premise takes all three phases then (I assumed) it has an available feed of 415v (or 380v or whatever) 3 phase. Correct or wrong?

Or are there transformers on the old poles to drop 415v lines down to 240v domestic?

Now if you take one of the 250v phases, and put it through a VFD box, is the output actually three separate 250v sine waves each shifted by one-third of a cycle. If so, why is this phase adjusted supply not producing 415/380v 3 phase?

I need to see the actual AC diagrams perhaps of the two 3 phase scenarios I have described. I think Gerard was asking the same question.


Thread: Drilling hardened steel
08/01/2020 10:08:23

Hi Andrew

I think I can visualise what you are saying, as I guess you have the centrifugal bob weight set up for a classic British twin. The first thing I would suggest is that the bike is going to run a lot better if you fitted an electronic ignition like a Pazon or Boyer. However, if you want to keep things as they are and not spend too much then I understand you are looking for a simple fix.

I am going to be more simplistic than the previous contributor's good engineering suggestions. The bob weights are always very sloppy on the pins, and tend to go from full retard to full advance in a sudden jump anyway. Precise engineering is not essential. Why don't you fix a solid bush made from bronze or even cast iron into the bob weight hole with loctite. You could custom shape the insert by hand filing to match any worn hole shape. The loctite will fill gaps if you make the shaped insert a press fit in. Then drill a hole, in the right place, that just fits over the existing worn pin. You could dress the pin by hand if it is very mis-shapen or tapered. Use a long, thin strip of emery to work it round and smooth. Hopefully it will still be big enough to do its job of holding onto the bob weight.

Maybe nearer to bodge-engineering than precision but it is always possible to over-engineer a repair job.


Edited By norm norton on 08/01/2020 10:12:04

Thread: Myford super 7B Chuck threads
03/01/2020 15:52:05

Thank you for the fractions idea. But I am on a Mac and not a PC. If it helps others, I have discovered [ctrl][cmd][space] brings up a character map for the Mac and search 'fraction' (singular) gives a few.

Question is, do my two dimensions read correctly on other people's computers? 1⅛", 7½".


Edited By norm norton on 03/01/2020 15:53:51

Thread: valve gear simulators
19/11/2019 09:46:47

On a Mac you load a program called Crossover, and that will run all manner of DOS written code within a specific window. Crossover costs a few pounds (i.e. not much) and although there are free alternatives they require a bit more thought to run. You can get all this information by searching the web. Ask for things like 'run windows programs on Mac' but you do not need a full windows emulator.

Then there are a few valve simulators to download. Although most are Walschaerts I know that the Dockstader has Stephensons. Search for 'walschaerts stephensons valve simulators'.

Edited By norm norton on 19/11/2019 09:47:20

Thread: Fusible plugs for model loco boilers
16/11/2019 23:21:21

I understand that they are not recommended for 5" gauge in the UK. Speak to an informed club boiler inspector and refer to the boiler code documentation. Sorry I cannot be specific on where to find this.

Thread: 3HP Compressor quality and noise
14/11/2019 10:35:01

I am looking for a bigger compressor and I know that I would like a 3HP, belt drive 14cfm with a 100 litre tank. This is the biggest I could run on single phase 13-15 amp and I only want occasional spraying and air tool use.

There are a number of known suppliers (e.g. R-Tec, Thorite, NuAIr) who stock branded compressors to this specification in the £480 - £560 (incl.vat) price band. However there is an equivalent compressor called a Burisch BT390 that is available for £276.

Now that is a lot less money for my intermittent use, but why is it so much cheaper? Is it going to be horribly noisy or will it fail after 12 months? If I ask the suppliers I know what they will tell me, but I would be interested to hear any independent view.

Thread: Operating manual for a Harrison 140 metric lathe
13/11/2019 10:12:20

These imperial tables for a 140 were all on the Harrison Yahoo forum site, I am sure I put some there, but it is all shut down now by the recent Yahoo policy. There is a new Harrison site and I will have to see if the files of reference data have been transferred across.

I will post my simple .jpg of information here in the hope that it is readable. If not message me with your email and I will copy it to you.

harrison 140 tpi plate copy.jpg

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