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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: Drilling Small holes in Gunmetal
03/02/2019 16:55:26
Posted by Russell Eberhardt on 03/02/2019 11:39:32:

I broke a number of 12 BA taps until I discovered Rocol RTD compound. I've not broken one since.


Well said Russell. I completely forgot that. I use the same all the time - essential on the taps.

03/02/2019 10:29:14

For small drills of this size I have never found that adding anything wet helps. Lubricant starts to work when things are getting hot.

As Jason has said, once the hole is drilled then use the chuck to help line up the tap. For 10 BA and smaller grip the tap with a small Pin Vice, not a Tee Holder, and just use finger and thumb to rotate and sense the resistance. Don't grip the Pin Vice in the chuck, just use a pointed rod to visually align things. One finger on top of the Pin Vice to get it to bite and descend. Take it out every turn and brush off the swarf.

For bigger jobs a spring centering tool can be held in the chuck, but I don't find one helpful with tiny taps, and the tops don't have locating holes anyway. If you have not got a Pin Vice then look for some genuine used Eclipse ones on eBay. Don't buy cheapie £10 new sets as they won't grip and will be off-centre.

01/02/2019 09:35:19

It is essential to have sharp drills for bronze with no lip wear whatsoever, or they will drill undersize and then bind.

Best to buy new ones for the job and get a decent quality brand. Cheap ones will jamb. This link is a good ME supplier and is happy to post just a few drills. **LINK**

Have you got a nice small chuck to fit the mill? Best not to use silly high speeds, just 600-800 RPM keeps it controllable. Feed down slowly, just fast enough to produce a slow output of swarf. Apply a spindle brake slightly to stop it descending under its own weight. Lift the drill out every 1-2mm to clear the swarf.

Have fun!

Thread: Myford 33t and 34t gears for metric threads
29/01/2019 10:02:26
Posted by Mike Poole on 29/01/2019 09:31:36:

Fit an electronic lead screw and sell the gearbox and change wheels. I may have just talked myself into a job.

Hmm.. the electronic lead screw will have to be exactly synchronised with the main spindle rotation.

27/01/2019 09:57:38


A google search for Myford 33T, Myford 34T comes up with lots of links.

Read this past thread for more information as well


Edited to add that the John Stevenson mentioned in that thread is now no longer with us. But the gears are now made by others.

Edited By norm norton on 27/01/2019 09:58:32

Edited By norm norton on 27/01/2019 10:00:52

Thread: Piston rings
14/01/2019 14:03:32


The o-ring will wear a flat face very quickly. It will work for several hours until it does.

Ideally you want to fit cast iron split rings and I appreciate these can be tricky to make. I have just made a set and If you want help then message me. If your bores are accurate to diameter then you can buy rings from someone like Reeves, but they are about £13 each.

An alternative is split PTFE rings riding on top of o-rings. But this is as tricky to make as cast iron rings IMHO.

If you pack with a PTFE/graphite square material it will work fine for a few years, but be prepared to replace it one day. Not the end of the world and the quickest solution.


Thread: what solvent cleaner to use?
07/01/2019 21:07:42

Inhibisol TF90 contains the following, according to the manufacturer's MSDS sheet:

Hydrocarbons, C7, n-alkanes,isoalkanes, cyclic propan-2-ol; isopropyl alcohol ;isopropanol

I would regard that as a reasonable set of solvents to use.

07/01/2019 20:53:12

Its good to warn people if something is a problem, but the Brake Cleaner + TIG link does not sound right.

The Brake Cleaner we can get from motor factors in 5l containers is a mix of methyl acetate, hydrocarbons like petroleum spirit and around 50% acetone. It is formulated to be moderately 'safe' in use and contains no chlorinated solvents.

To make phosgene COCl2 you need a chlorinated solvent and heat. That link to the USA page shows an aerosol can of tetrachloroethylene, which is as bad for the environment as all other chlorinated solvents. I guess it is labelled as "for cleaning your brakes"?

I use conventional Brake Cleaner a lot.


Edited By norm norton on 07/01/2019 20:58:25

Thread: Selecting a VFD for a Harrison lathe.
10/11/2018 11:19:56


The 140 is a lovely lathe - well done getting it. I hope you have got the tailstock as well and the big 4-jaw chuck that the school might have had. The 140 was Harrison's later, metric version of the LS5.

I fitted a metric shaft 1.5kw 240c 3 phase motor to mine. I just cannot remember if I had to modify the pulley bore. I have feeling it went straight on the new motor. The motor fitted the existing lathe frame with just some 2" sleeves and longer bolts to raise the motor. This all suggests that Harrison had fitted a modern spec motor. Measure your existing motor's shaft diameter.

I went to Newton Tesla and bought the motor, Mitsubishi VFD and a dongle controller together. It will cost you bit more than shopping around on eBay but you will have a nice system with start/stop, forward/reverse, jog/run and speed all on the controller in front of you. If budget is an issue then go it alone but you need to be confident in your abilities in programming and handling hefty voltage wiring. You MUST NOT start/stop the motor by breaking the supply into or out of the VFD. Wire the VFD directly to the motor and do not use any of the Harrison control switches.

I actually fitted a 2-pole motor (rather that the usual 4-pole) as it gives me the possibility of double the usual lathe speed. The 140s were built for it and you can get front plates that show the doubled gearbox RPM. To be honest I rarely use the higher speed, but I do run the lathe a half motor speed most all of the time and it is much quieter. The motor is perfectly happy for the usual light and moderate load jobs.

You can get some extra change wheels and will be able to cut all the imperial threads directly from that metric gearbox.

Edited By norm norton on 10/11/2018 11:22:31

Thread: Running coal fired 5 steam engine on gas
29/05/2018 10:56:20


As has been said above, without seriously big burners, and a large bottle of propane, you will struggle to get enough heat into the boiler to produce useful steam.

A "Steam Test" for official purposes requires a full coal fire, with full blower, to check that the safety valves can release all the steam produced.

If you want to test your boiler for minor leaks and is the pipework ok, etc. then make up a water hand pump, valves and gauge and then hydraulically test at the boiler's normal working pressure.

If you want to test the cylinders and running motion then get a compressor that can shift at least 4 cufm.


Thread: X3 mill spindle tightness
11/05/2018 09:42:10


There is a small pin that locates in the R8 tool groove. Just check it is not possible to push that pin through the spindle and into something and cause drag. I cannot recall exactly the geometry, but I had a problem with mine and stripped the spindle to fit a new pin that I made.

Some tooling has grooves that are too shallow and I have had to hand (diamond rotary) grind these to be a few thou deeper.


Thread: Nickel Plating
30/04/2018 09:38:10

I have done quite a lot of nickel plating successfully on motorcycle parts. It can work very well, and I put nickel straight onto steel, which is what all the domestic home platers do. Yes, for chromium 'best' plating it should be copper, then nickel, then chromium onto the steel job. I suspect that copper makes an 'easier' bond onto steel when you have less than perfect surfaces, and you have a thick polishing surface to improve the final finish - you cannot so easily polish the nickel layer.

I have stripped old chromium from 50 year old parts and found just nickel underneath. We CANNOT home plate chromium because of the cyanide baths required, never mind more recent hexavalent chromium toxicology concern.

Ramon, you can't really do it on the cheap - it's like all jobs. The BIG issue is getting clean objects. New steel is perfect to plate but anything old takes a big effort to clean and get an activated surface. It means that you need various alkali and acid cleaners to follow the mechanical preparation. You need heated, stirred baths and a means of voltage control and current readout. You also need to practice on a few jobs. Like welding and spray painting it is 70% skill and 30% tools.

There is also a nickel+zinc process that produces nice finishes on fasteners, but it is no easier or cheaper to use. Gateros are a good, small company to deal with.


Thread: Bridgeport Mill - Convert to 240v Single Phase
27/04/2018 10:14:07

I have a Bridgeport and have converted it to to a VFD driven 220v 3 phase motor - BUT... it is not a simple job.

You have what is called a 'pancake' motor and these CANNOT be converted to 220v. Your quickest way of getting it working from a domestic supply is to use a rotary converter (Transwave) but these are not cheap. I did use a static converter for a couple of years and it worked, but it was fussy about the higher speed if selected.

To fit a conventional flange 220v motor in place of the 'pancake' you need a simple, thick steel adapter plate. There is no head rebuilding, just an 8mm plate that slides in place of the 'pancake' flange and holds the motor in the middle.

The problem then is that no readily available motors have long enough shafts to hold the pulley in the right place. I was fortunate in getting help from John Stevenson and he modified a new motor. I have heard of others who fitted extension stubs, but then suffered vibration. Personally, I think an extension stub, locked onto the shaft, and then turned true by spinning the motor clamped to a lathe bed, would give an acceptable result.

Once you have lengthened a motor shaft, and made an adapter plate, you then need to do quite a bit of re-wiring in the cabinet. It is best to set that all to single phase so that the front switch box still operates the contactors and nicely switches on the VFD. If you have a Bridgeport table axis drive then that will still happily operate on its 110V single phase once you have re-tapped the transformer.


Thread: ME Vertical Boiler & Hand Pump
16/03/2018 10:49:21
Posted by JasonB on 15/03/2018 12:12:22:

I have sent Martin a link to this thread so hopefully he will see your query too.

Quite a few people use a conical seat even done it myself, the angle gives a sharper knife edge and the ball seats more easily as I understand it. Though as you say a 7/32" slot drill is a quick way to do it and avoid making the tool. Reamed or bored would be ideal.

What would be more of an issue is the smaller hole being drilled may not be perfectly round so knife edge or not you may not get such a good seal.

Edited By JasonB on 15/03/2018 12:13:11

Jason, nice clear picture, thank you.

When you make a screw in seat like this how do you ensure a seal of the thread. Loctite them in?


Thread: Now, dont go forgetting your crown stays!
05/03/2018 10:28:29

Optical interpretation is tricky.

Agreed, we are looking into the firebox from underneath and can see the surrounding four parts of the foundation ring. The lower half of the inner walls of the firebox are perhaps still in their proper place as the line of rivets on the upper left are straight and represent the backhead seam. There is also a firebar support plate still at the front of the firebox inner. The odd thing is not seeing evidence of a firedoor ring in the lower backhead.

The iron ruptures look like soft tears and not sharp fractures suggesting that the top got very hot (lack of water) and sagged before tearing away. A cruciform sitting on the top would have held that together and brought it out in one piece I guess.

Interesting to see and think about anyway.


21/02/2018 10:44:02

"Which machine should I buy" threads always produce a good response, and can be interesting for those of us who have 'settled' with workshop machinery choices as well as for those with new decisions to make. Hopefully, Billy has had a few helpful tips.

I fully understand the natural love for a new Myford, but agree with the general view that Billy is going to be better off with a new lathe like the Seig SC4-510 PLUS a table top mill the size of a Seig SX3 or bigger, and then use the money still saved from £8,000 to buy the inevitable large pile of machine tooling. If anyone else wants a Myford then pay the £3,500 or so for a S7 with gearbox that has just been reground and refurbished by a specialist.

That SC4 lathe from ARC seems to have a very good spec as a starter lathe, and if Neil likes it then that's a recommendation. But what none of us can tell from specifications is how rigid a machine is. Rigidity affects the cuts taken and the accuracy. A flexing top slide will upset any attempt at parting off. Older, worn machines will also vibrate despite the gibs trying to grip the curved slide ways - hence a new 'Far Eastern" will cut better than a 'worn-out Myford'.

Parting off with a wide HSS tip into a big bar of stringy EN3 at speed has got to be a nice overall machine test of rigidity. Carbide tips are no better for hobby parting and seem to be a fashion trend.

Perhaps one specification is a useful guide and that is the machine's weight. A 750kg older Harrison lathe is a vastly different machine from a 100kg Myford S7 and Seig SC4. Weight is even more important on a milling machine where tool to work distance through the frame is much longer. I wonder what some of these smaller mills are really able to cut.


Thread: Maplin Electronics Stores
20/02/2018 10:19:50

Sad to read today that Maplin may be failing in its current format.

I used to live near to the very first shop that opened on the A13 at Westcliff-on-Sea in the early 1970s. The name 'Maplin' was the buzz word in the area because of speculation regarding London's new airport on the Maplin (Thames) Sands.

In that shop there were wonderful rows of bins of resistors, capacitors and cable connectors that you put in a small tray and took to the counter for payment. It was lovely shopping that way as you could browse and compare.

It was then strictly a constructors component shop with transistors being the most complex item - a DIY version of Radio Spares (RS Components) who were more sniffy about selling to the public. In more recent times it has become a computer and electronic toy shop.


Thread: Depth of cut
19/02/2018 10:01:20

We are all hobbyists (mostly) so go gently, and if it all starts vibrating and smoke or blue chips appear then the cut was too deep and/or fast!

Depends on the machine size and set-up, but as a start Eric try 300 rpm, 0.040" (1mm) depth and gradually increase the speed of advance until you get small chips rather than dust. Oh, and put some cutting oil on it from a spray or drip bottle.


Thread: MyFord Super 7 spindle movement
17/02/2018 18:14:30
Posted by Lambton on 17/02/2018 11:08:31:

There must first be a definite preload on the rear pair of bearings ...

I know one owner who did not adjust this pair of bearings correctly leaving them with " negative preload" ....

Many thanks for posting this correction to my previous view of leaving a few tenths for the oil. As soon as I saw what you had said it was blindingly obvious that the bearings must 'just' remove all possible end float. Back in the workshop I immediately reset the spindle adjustment again. Always learning ........

17/02/2018 10:35:58
Posted by Martin Kyte on 14/02/2018 13:46:27:

Set up the spindle as below.


Spindle should be completely free of front bush.

6.Loosen allen screw on collar at end of spindle.

7. Using the Allen key tighten collar as tight at it will go by hand.
Inner tapered roller races are now locked together with correct pre-load.

Excellent description of the sequence Martin. Vastly better than the Myford Manual.

I just did the job yesterday before reading your list and wish I had it to hand at the time! Although I have done it twice before it is like re-inventing the wheel as I stare at the Myford Manual to remember what on earth I did last time. This time I wanted to put back the Vee belt in place of a Linked belt.

However, I have a query. The bit that Myford make confusing is the tightening of the collar to 'push' the inner races together - the manual is not clear in describing by how much this collar must be tightened, but does say that too much and the ball races are over loaded. That makes sense to me as the outers are held apart by a spacer so the inner faces cannot bear up to each other. Yesterday I put a DTI on the spindle nose to measure longitudinal end float and tightened the collar to leave about 0.0002" play (two tenths).

Are you saying that hand tightening with the Allen key as a lever will never put too much loading on the bearings? I don't disagree with this view but I am inclined to leave space for an oil film.

I do also wonder if this adjustment of the inner races should be done when the outers are temporarily clamped together, but obviously with the spindle taper well free (one turn) of its seat.


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