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Member postings for Nicholas Wheeler 1

Here is a list of all the postings Nicholas Wheeler 1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Advice on removing column from mini-Mill
10/05/2021 12:16:17

Your 70kg is the shipping weight. By the time you've removed it from the crate, taken the vice and drill chuck off it will be less than half that. Which is low enough to move around, although some help moving it down your path would be sensible.

Strapping it to a sackbarrow would also work.

10/05/2021 11:24:26

I have the Chester equivalent of that machine, and wonder why you feel the need to take it apart to move it? I can lift it on and off the bench by myself. I did get help to carry it down the cellar steps, mainly because it's a bit awkward to hold.

Removing the table would remove a similar amount of weight, and is easier to do.

Thread: Whatever must IKB be thinking ?!
08/05/2021 18:21:36
Posted by Nigel McBurney 1 on 08/05/2021 16:08:44:

I reckon IKB would be wondering why do we have to go to the orient for the design and build of trains,

Brunel was a pioneer using state of the art engineering to do something interesting - he wouldn't be farting around with trains. He'd have been building Tesla cars better, or have people on their way to Mars rather than just predicting it might happen in our children's lifetimes.

Thread: Multi-part assembly drawing
08/05/2021 12:41:09
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 08/05/2021 10:06:49:

Thank you for your offer Nicholas.

I would find them very helpful - which the on-line "Help" manual is not, to any great extent. Though I managed to create from a copy of its contents pages, a proper, alphabetical, printable index via 'Word' and 'Excel' .)

I think I already have IMSI's guides, or at least links to them, but as you say they do demand already knowing CAD principles - and it's ;lacking that which is my biggest stumbling block.

However I found two primers on the TEE Publishing list. D.A.G. Brown's is fairly old and looks dated by its cover photo of a 1990s-style computer, but still helpful in introducing 2D drawing. The other, by Neill Hughes, is modern and concentrates much more on 3D rendering - though not on how to spell "metre" - but of course neither can cover specific makes of any CAD package and they admit that. Brown probably used AutoCAD; Hughes' examples might be in Fusion, Alibre, SolidWorks - he lists quite a number of CAD publishers.

I like Hemingway's approach with their kits (that's how I recognised your T&C Grinder!), and I saw the same at work. The assembly drawings are in 3D but the parts drawings are orthographic, some with small renderings in the corners to help you visualise them.

My problem with all software manuals is that they're written by people who know how to use the software, and for whom just having the picture on the screen/ability to send files/whatever is their end result. You and I want that representation for practical purposes(although I think our personal requirements show the difference between your technical training and my pick it up as I go along experiences), to send a well formatted 1000page document to someone on the other side of the world who needs it, or to have an entire CD and photo collection on a memory stick to be used in all devices that are available to us.

I have both books you mentioned, and the WPS one is typical of any 22year old computer book - it's so dated to be almost useless, unlike the similar ones on technical drawing or gears that were largely fixed subjects when they were written. If you don't have Hughes book, then I would suggest it is exactly the primer(good description) you need to illustrate the principles you're struggling with. The fork jig and pedal crank are particularly good.

If I'm honest the engine was an academic exercise as I don't have the patience for all the repeated parts, the skills to make tiny fuel injectors or facilities to cast the block, head, manifold and throttle bodies. It uses defined parameter, lots of joints and other techniques to prove to myself that I now have a reasonable grasp of how to use the program. To get to that stage, I've been modelling every part I've made recently. Often that was after finishing them.

I lack the artistic abilities to create worthwhile renders. And I have better uses for spending time proving that again. All of these pictures are straight from the design space, with materials defined to better represent the parts. Fusion suggests that the engine will weigh 3.3Kg....

The grinder is a different matter, as I have a real use for such a thing. You noticed the table is heavily influenced by the Worden, and the grinding head follows common practice. It's in a third iteration that I will build at some point soon. The previous attempts were far bigger(it has to live on a top shelf), chunkier, more complex and had various conflicts that are now worked out. I couldn't have done any of that without the 3D CAD. It's also intended to be very easy to make; the table and tilting mechanism are ideal candidates for laser cutting especially as I would have to buy the material, and the slide rails are standard parts. An evenings simple work(a number of tapped holes along parallel lines is pretty simple, right?) would have that assembly working. The spindle from the WPS book is the only tricky part, and that's only because it needs to be made well. The belt guard is to be 3D printed as it produces a better part in less time than I could make in sheetmetal. Embossing my name into it is a whimsical touch that wouldn't be feasible any other way. I won't be buying any of the kits, because if I spent that sort of money I would expect to take it out of the box, plug it in and start using it.

08/05/2021 00:34:11
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 07/05/2021 22:58:26:

The snag I found was that of limited CAD-basics training materials better than "training" videos demonstrating specific editions. Fortunately my copy of TurboCAD came with a primer, to TurboCAD yes, but written as step-by-step exercises as a pdf "book", not a video.


.For a simple example of that advantage:

Half an hour ago I was designing some special unions; entailing comparing hexagonal, octagonal and duodecagonal outlines of the same diameters. (I want the nuts to be discreet as well as compact.)

The Polygon tool in an orthographic drawing made this very rapid and straightforward. Whilst easy manually, it would have been a slow process; in 3D CAD it would have been more difficult, added extra steps, looked pretty but not been any more informative.

I have the printed guides IMSI published for TurboCad for both 2&3D. They're typical of such software 'manuals' in that they only really make sense when you know how to use the damn thing. I gave up on Turbocad several years ago, so they're useless to me and you are welcome to them if you want.

Any 3D Cad will draw your polygons just as easily. One extra step - extruding them to be solids - would add the thickness for your aesthetic comparison.

The grinder I showed is intended to be compact and made out of simple sections with as little work as I could get away with. The spindle is mostly from published drawings. None of the things I've shown have had any visual finishing applied to them as it requires lots of faffing about with lighting, shadows and other artistic judgements that are of no use or interest me.

I don't care about parts; finished assemblies are what matter. Drawings, 3D models, sectional views, combinations of all of those or even scratchings on a dirt floor are just as much steps on the way to that as rooting through a pile of stock then milling the curved slots for a tilt 'mechanism.' It's all just work that should be done in as an efficient way as possible.

Thread: The TurboCAD Problem - A Further Question
06/05/2021 20:59:53

That's Fusion360, but Alibre that Jason used and any other 3D program is very similar.

You're trying to force the complex restrictions, that fudge a 3D object onto a flat piece of paper, onto a system that simply doesn't need them. Look at how complicated your description of how to do that is compared to mine.

Turbocad's workplanes, scales and viewports confused the hell out of me so I didn't get very far with it. I've never used coordinates for anything I've done in Fusion. This

whole engine.jpg

is based entirely around this simple crank web and a known spacing of the bores:

crank web.jpg

with all the components designed in place and can be switched on and off, or animated as needed


I wish Fusion had a follower joint so the entire valvetrain could be animated properly. It took about a week of evenings in front of the telly, and there is no way I could do it as 2D. It does need a couple of modifications to actually produce it. Nor do I see much need for traditional flat drawings to make most of it when the models are available in any orientation or dimensions you need.

05/05/2021 18:18:10
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 05/05/2021 14:18:29:
Looking at your drawing there, I think I can see how I can do that: draw the plan view of the vertical web with its two bends, and turn it into a "solid" wall (an Extrusion). Then do the same with the flange, extruding that but by only 5mm, copy these figures as necessary and add them together. I recall previously making "angle-iron" by joining two extrusions edge to edge then "Add" - ing them. Not sure how I would cut the front ends back to that long bevel though.

Why make it complicated, as it can be done with two simple, fully defined and editable sketches:

Sweep this profile(note the internal radii)



along this 3 line path(which could also kick up or down on another plane if needed)


to get this



The bevel would be another single line across the flat face and a 'cut' extrude. The whole thing instantly updates if you alter any of the dimensions.

It took longer to copy the images to my forum album than it did to create the 'model'

Copy, rotate and move for the other side. Draw the crossmembers directly on one of them, and extrude(they're straight) to the other one. No coordinates or working out needed

Edited By Nicholas Wheeler 1 on 05/05/2021 18:21:20

Thread: Heat Insulation Testing With an Arduino
04/05/2021 19:32:55


I wonder if various combinations would be effective

Thread: Screwcutting on WM180
25/04/2021 19:20:36
Posted by Bo'sun on 21/04/2021 13:26:03:

Is this thread cutting with the compound slide at an angle a new thing? In 1972, I served a toolmaking apprenticeship with a well known car company, and no mention of it then. I think there may be some benefit with larger pitch threads, but that's about it.

I don't do much screwcutting, and don't offset the top slide. I'd be more likely to do it for really fine pitches, to increase the amount of adjustment.

Thread: B&D workmate
25/04/2021 18:25:52
Posted by larry phelan 1 on 25/04/2021 14:50:45:

I have several of these benches, one of them a Workmate, the others are clones [Chinese junk ] which are easier to open and fold up and just as good in every way. I bought them for 15 Euro in Aldi,s years back and am still using them. Not much to go wrong with them, and easy to fix if required No way would I pay mad money for a B&D model, they are good, but not THAT good. They all do the job.

I often have to use them to set up a bench to do something because my "Real" bench is cluttered up with junk.

Am I alone ??

No, I agree completely.


Here's one I bought for about £8, twenty years ago:




On it, I have built and painted engines, ported cylinder heads, made assorted repair panels, welded engine mounts and other heavier fabrications, used it for the sort of woodwork that's normal and  as a painting stand. Chucking it in the car is no big deal. It's lived outside the entire time I've had it, and about five years ago, the original surfaces finally broke. So, having spent about five minutes replacing them with some offcuts form my neighbour's decking that were already an appropriate length, i also treated the clamp screws to a squirt of oil. As you can see, I have no qualms about clamping work to the top, and cutting or drilling into it - I have another couple of pieces of decking if needed. This is a good example of why buying the 'best you can' isn't always a good policy; I have used the genuine ones, and they don't do anything better enough to make spending the extra justifiable.


As and when it does need replacing, I'll buy a matched pair of something similar which would make handling larger sheets or lengths easier.

Edited By Nicholas Wheeler 1 on 25/04/2021 18:26:52

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2021
17/04/2021 19:00:15

Late last year, as part of a clean up I found this tucked behind a cupboard:


That's the frame and swinging arm for a powered hacksaw as featured in MEW 111, which I made about 12 years ago. The photo is after I cleaned and checked it the frame still slid along the arm.

After scrounging a wiper motor and linkage(from an MGF I helped a friend break), then making the missing parts from scrap I had lying about, I ended up with this:


I still need to wire it properly with a switch and fuse, but when connected to a battery charger it gently saws through steel bar which was what I wanted it for. I'll be clamping it to the workmate to use it, and will paint it when I've finished the wheeling machine I started at about the same time.

Thread: Threaded milling cutters
16/04/2021 20:20:23
Posted by Dave Halford on 16/04/2021 14:26:11:

You only need 4 sizes of collet

6mm 10mm 12mm 16mm

That's extremely limiting.

A full set of ER collets isn't expensive and means you can use any tool that is within your system's range. Not having to swap to the drill chuck every time you need to drill a couple of holes would justify the extra cost as an example.

It makes buying ER collet blocks an even more sensible purchase too.

I always buy the set when there is one, as experience has shown I will always need the 'you'll never use that size' at odd times and it's really frustrating and time-wasting to have only half the tool.

If cost was an issue, then I would happily forego some of the other must haves, as I have some and have never used them; my 123 blocks and machinists jacks just take up room in the toolbox.

Thread: Loctite or Draper? Much difference?
11/04/2021 23:44:00
Posted by Clive Foster on 11/04/2021 18:12:37:

In our world probably no practical difference.

At the higher end where specification details matter Loctite probably has the edge.

Have you checked Amazon prices. Draper and Loctite appear pretty similar in the UK.


When we did the nose wheel modification on a Cessna Caravan, £20 on a new bottle of the specified Loctite was a trivial part of a £5000 job on a £1.5 million aeroplane. It also meant the paper trail was correct.

When I made an fitted a new headstock bolt for this clapper


fitted to a 250kg bell, the gudgeon pin and bolt got a smear of the generic £3/bottle medium-strength stuff that I've had for years.

Thread: Distorted ship's hull steel panels
10/04/2021 20:09:05

Why would the external panels only be welded to each other, and not the internal structure that you can't see?

Thread: How do I remove this small bearing? And the one behind it.
09/04/2021 20:10:50
Posted by Nicholas Farr on 09/04/2021 12:55:03:

Hi pgrbff, you can get proper extractors for removing bearings in a blind hole, but are a bit expensive for an occasional job. Your local garage or an engineer firm may have such things.

These sets are available all over the place: LINK for well under £30

09/04/2021 10:38:05
Posted by pgrbff on 09/04/2021 10:15:50:
Posted by Nicholas Wheeler 1 on 09/04/2021 08:42:15:

Expanding mandrel(a rawlbolt) and slide hammer for the first; hammer and drift for the second.

Or you could buy a bearing puller that works the same way.

I'm not sure there is enough room between the stacked bearings.

What is the easiest destructive way to remove them?

Why would this method need space between the bearings? The expanding mandrel grips the inner race of the first bearing. It would work well with the spacer and threaded bar mentioned in other posts, which given the lack of support on the housing is probably a better idea.

I hadn't read your first post properly to realise they're in a blind hole, so would use the same technique on the lower bearing.

If the housing is aluminium, then I'd set up the puller and give the housing a lick of heat to make the job go better.

I've never had any luck extracting bearings with the grease method which just seems to make a mess.

09/04/2021 08:42:15

Expanding mandrel(a rawlbolt) and slide hammer for the first; hammer and drift for the second.

Or you could buy a bearing puller that works the same way.

Thread: Fusion 360 personal use
03/04/2021 10:47:30

The free subscription to Fusion now has a limit of 10 editable files at any time.

If you reach the limit of 10, then you have to make at least one of them read only to edit an earlier one. Do this from the data panel

This is mildly annoying, but is only really going to cause problems if you insist on having each component as a separate file.

Thread: CNC - What's the Problem?
01/04/2021 10:25:25
Posted by Ady1 on 01/04/2021 06:53:25:

It's a bit like with cars

When cheaper self driving CNC versions become available will we all race off to buy one?

How much fun is it to push a button?

It's not about the destination, it's about the journey

bla bla

Standing in front of a machine cranking handles to scrape material off a block isn't fun. It's work. Tedious and time consuming work.

Brushing the removed material away from the part and removing it from the machine so it can be put to the purpose it was made for is the fun bit.

Spending time in the workshop isn't my hobby. I do it because the real hobbies require making/modifying/fabricating stuff.

I'd like to reduce the amount of time I spend doing this, and the best way would be to buy a Bridgeport sized mill. But I don't have enough space for the benchtop machines, so automating my X2 mill to do the boring work while I do something else is sensible. That something else could be assembling parts, designing the next ones, or making a coffee and learning the leads of Cambridge Minor.

Edited By Nicholas Wheeler 1 on 01/04/2021 10:38:04

Thread: Cutting a V-Groove in Aluminium
28/03/2021 17:15:52

You could do that quickly with a coarse file.

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