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Member postings for Neil Wyatt

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

Thread: Call for Classified Ads for MEW
03/08/2021 14:19:57

And ... Ads for MEW 307 by 12pm Thursday please, sooner if possible, thanks!


Edited By Neil Wyatt on 03/08/2021 14:20:08

Thread: Leveling machines
30/07/2021 12:52:24

Levelling your lathe won't make it more accurate.

It may make it easier to set it up to work its best, but not being completely level won't stop you setting up a lathe.

You might be able to set your lathe perfectly level then find you have to slightly twist the bed to achieve parallel turning.

There is an identical debate around levelling the tripods on which we place equatorial telescope mounts. If the tripod is level each time, it's arguably quicker to set up, but once the mount axis is aligned with the Earth's axis the orientation of the tripod is irrelevant.


Thread: Silver Solder Stocks
26/07/2021 10:27:09

I assume that as with jewellery the status of anything made before 2011 will be it has to be 'safe' (without any clear qualifications).

As for 'new old stock' for brazing rods, it's illegal for us to use them, so I can't understand why selling them would be OK.

It might be worth thinking about the legal status of models and locomotive boilers made with cadmium bearing solder.

If you want to sell an item made post 2011, you would be wise to avoid all cadmium containing materials.


Thread: Centre Drill Leaves a “Pip” - Sometimes
23/07/2021 13:45:10

In the past, most people would only have had access to jobbers' drills and centre drills.

It made sense to use a small centre drill to create a depression into which a larger jobbers' drill would fit.

Collectively, the hobby got into the habit of using the tip of a centre drill to spot for small drill sizes, because it usually works but the risk of snapping the tip is high.

Spotting drills cast no more than centre drills, so the first time you avoid snapping a centre drill the cost is saved.

Alternatively they can be ground from broken longer drills, just use a slightly more acute tip angle.


Thread: MEW 306
22/07/2021 13:55:33

People will notice a pagination error for Jacques Maurel's Universal Vice, with page 53 being repeated.

Two people have reported different pagination errors with the article affecting pages 55 and/or 57.

We are a looking into what happened.

Less significantly, Panel Punch took more space than expected and was not marked as 'to be continued',

The final parts of both articles will appear in MEW 307.

My apologies for any inconvenience.


Edited By Neil Wyatt on 22/07/2021 14:21:00

Thread: MMEX 2021 Cancelled
19/07/2021 13:36:08

I've just had the above notice from Meridienne Exhibitions.


19/07/2021 13:34:54

Cancellation of 2021 Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition.

It is with deep regret that due to the ongoing uncertainties of Covid-19 pandemic; we have to announce the cancellation of the 2021 Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition which was due to be held at the Warwickshire Event Centre on the 14th-17th October. >>

This difficult decision is taken despite a real determination by the Meridienne Exhibitions team, trade, clubs, societies, exhibitors and other supporters, all striving to continue to deliver the usual high quality and successful event during this very difficult time. >>

Over the past few weeks, we have been in the excruciating position of considering every possible scenario to see how we might be able to proceed, but sadly the risks of holding the event now far outweigh the reasons for going ahead. The core decision is based on the escalating cases of COVID-19, and the risks that widespread illness and self-isolation could have on everyone involved. We have navigated our way over the past 16 months through obstacles, but now feel that the odds are stacked against us and we are no longer in a position to be able to proceed safely with the unknown government Covid-19 requirement for Autumn/Winter ahead.

It follows that with our decision to cancel the Midlands Exhibition we have also, again regretfully, decided that it is not practical nor financially viable to proceed with the London Model Engineering Exhibition at Alexandra Palace in January 2022.

Having presented model engineering and other exhibitions for well over 40 years these decisions represent a tremendous disappointment for all but hopefully the situation will be different in later 2022 and we may again present a model engineering exhibition.

We look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 19/07/2021 13:35:37

Thread: Mystery micrometer
16/07/2021 00:04:06

They are both Tube micrometers.

More usually they are just a normal mike with a cylindrical anvil.

These appear made for inspection purposes mounted in a stand.


Thread: Making a miniature electric bell
15/07/2021 23:58:18

A twin coil bell should be easy enough and able to do the job.

Just google miniature solenoid if you don't want to wind your own coil and use two side by side. You can put a dummy pole piece across their base.


Thread: The last Gravity Ropeway
15/07/2021 23:53:36

Fascinating, but I agree it's not very failsafe if you want to carry people!


Thread: Tool post height
10/07/2021 22:08:43
Posted by JasonB on 10/07/2021 16:10:55:

6mm and 8mm are also readily available you could just buy those and not modify anything, a bit cheaper too. Look through this album of mine virtually all done with 6 & 8mm shank insert tooling.

You may be surprized at what can be taken off with just a 6mm tool that happens to be in a QCTP with the overhang "problem" mentioned by others and all this on a far eastern machine. 1/4 depth of cut so 1/2" off diameter in one pass.

Even a Myford will do similar, this is Rod's video who commented earlier that his toolpost works fine too.

Edited By JasonB on 10/07/2021 16:15:58

Says it all really

Thread: Beginers telescope
10/07/2021 20:44:07

Hi Ian,

if you want to do visual astronomy, look at the 'beginners telescopes section at First Light optics.

Because there are bright objects you can start on a first scope need not be huge, and looking at relatively easy targets like the moon, planets and bright deep sky objects will give you a better idea of how you might want to progress, rather than blowing a fortune on an expensive scope that will probably be specialised in its application.


Thread: Uncertainty of Measurement [Global Warming]
07/07/2021 11:01:20

I think the thing that the Canada heat bubble has thrown into sharp perspective is the way that although 'weather is not climate', underlying changes in climate make extremes more extreme, and in particular how more energy in a chaotic system can make it more active in unpredictable ways.

As for the impact of 1.6 degrees, 2 degrees is the typical temperature drop from going up a 1000-foot mountain. Anyone familiar with the UK landscape will know farming and vegetation can be very different just 1000 feet up.


Thread: Change Wheel Programme from MEW
06/07/2021 11:16:52

And the only computer language that irreparably damages the user's brain is F0RTAN 66.

06/07/2021 11:14:53
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 03/07/2021 13:09:13:
Posted by Bazyle on 03/07/2021 10:34:13:

Although the originator won't admit it Python is a kludge between Basic and Perl hence the similarity in the program and difference from eg C which was popular with professional programmers at the time. Unfortunately not carrying in the simplicity of syntax of Basic and handling of multidimensional arrays

The reason the originator wouldn't admit Python is a kludge between Basic and Perl is because it's not true! Rather, Python is well-designed and has benefited by correcting the poor features of early languages. Although the design is based on computer science, it's emphatically a practical language avoiding the pitfalls of pure teaching languages like Pascal.

I've written code professionally in assembler, various BASICs, C, C++, COBOL, FORTRAN, and a good few others, including 4GLs. In an R&D job I selected languages to suit various different projects. Although I've not written Pascal or Ada, I've studied both, plus Smalltalk, and several 4GLs.

I see computer languages as tools, not favourites. Like tools, computer languages have advantages and disadvantages. If this was 1980, and I was asked to recommend a beginner language, I'd certainly mention BASIC because - at the time - it was widely available in a shower of different dialects, and it was well supported by the media. A few exceptions back then: if the beginner was going to study computing at university, academia disliked having to un-teach BASIC bad-habits; likewise many employers didn't want BASIC programmers. Singleton programming at home on a one-user 8 bit microcomputer didn't match well with the grown-up requirement for developer teams sharing much more powerful multi-user mainframes and mini-computers.

There are many theoretical and practical reasons why BASIC didn't make the grade, as can be found by researching the subject. In practice, BASIC has fallen away. Like COBOL, it's become a niche language, no longer mainstream. It isn't 1980, it's 2021 and times have changed. This US list of 2021's top 10 languages is typical;

  1. Python
  2. Javascript
  3. Java
  4. C#
  5. C
  6. C++
  7. Go
  8. R
  9. Swift
  10. PHP

Coming up behind: DART, Kotlin, MATLAN, perl, Ruby, Rust and Scala.

No BASIC of any sort should be recommended to a beginner today. Visual BASIC is the top ranking BASIC still popular, it's 66th. Not much future or value in it.

BASIC is fine for hobby purposes if you already happen to know it. Not because it's a 'good' language, but only because it eliminates your personal learning curve. I agree that's a good reason, but strongly suggest being historically familiar with an obsolete computer language is a poor reason to recommend it to anyone else! Newcomers should think about what the language is for and look at the alternatives before making a decision.


C and C++ are both good for high performance low-level code - operating systems, spreadsheets, database engines, web servers, compilers and such, but complicated for beginners. This is partly because the language is designed to support massive programs developed by a large team, a feature that many BASICs don't do at all!

C certainly supports multi-dimensional arrays. Core Python doesn't have arrays at all, it comes with a clutch of more general data structures. Lists behave like arrays, and a list of lists is 2d, while a list of lists of lists is 3D etc. However, as lists are slower than arrays, Python supports true arrays via a plug-in module. numpy's mathematical features are far more extensive than any BASIC, and it's not the only module available.

I was fond of perl for a long time until Python overtook it, first with cleaner syntax, and then with

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 03/07/2021 13:09:52

The best quote I ever read about the history of computing languages:

"Djikstra was a snob"


Thread: Anyone know what is going on at Homeworkshop?
06/07/2021 10:22:15

Hope Adam is OK now. Perhaps best to lock this thread and give him some privacy.


Thread: Mystery DTI
03/07/2021 13:21:57

3-1 used to be vegetable based, but all things change...

I find a stock of sewing machine oil valuable for 101 uses, its the thinnest grade of mineral oil readily available.


Thread: ‘Right to Repair’
03/07/2021 13:18:59

Please, no 'great Reset' theories here...


Thread: Last Night's Astro Image
03/07/2021 13:13:09

This one was actually from the beginning of June:

Sadr Region Nebula

My first taken using a camera lens with my astro camera, to get a wider field. It was a Zeiss Sonnar 135 f/3.5.


Thread: Is buying a custom ground tool my only option??
30/06/2021 20:14:40

A ball-nose endmill in a toolpost mounted spindle might provide a good enough finish?

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