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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: What sort of things DO NOT inspire you
23/02/2020 10:35:48
Posted by Johnboy25 on 22/02/2020 20:52:30:

and... there’s another thing - people using angle grinders when they can’t be bothered to use dare I say ‘a hack saw’! Angle grinders are great for... wait for it - grinding. Where a file can’t be used. Mine stays in the box most of the time!

So you only use a treadle lathe and hand drills? Consider bandsaws and milling machines unnecessary?

Tools exist purely to make work easier, so while I often cut off one piece with a hacksaw multiple parts get done with a cutting disc in the angle grinder. Looking at a tool you already have and realising it will do another job on your list is an essential engineering life skill.

22/02/2020 11:22:13

I don't like spending hours 'perfecting' a tool for a one-off job that will take 30 seconds.....

My 'quick and dirty' hub extractor, which was welded together on the car out of four pieces of scrap, not only did both of my wheel bearings(normally about £200 per side) but has made a profit on several jobs that I've done for other people. I did knock off the sharp edges with an angle grinder before I used it for the second time.....

Thread: Cable Gland
22/02/2020 10:30:43

I can see why you don't like the cable going through a bare hole, although if everything is properly secured it probably won't matter. Rerouting the cable across or around the angle iron would look even more like a bodge. A screwed gland is massive overkill even if you already had a suitable part. Grommets are used to good effect in much thinner sheetmetal, and will work here. Or you could glue/cabletie a short piece of thick hose(6mm fuel hose would be a good start) over the cable where it passes through the hole.

Thread: What would I use a Plasma Cutter For
09/02/2020 11:08:51

If you do a lot of sheetmetal work, and already have the compressor to supply air, then a plasma cutter is a big time and effort saver: a few seconds with one will remove an entire sill from a car for example. It won't replace a hacksaw(manual or powered) or small bandsaw for cutting steel bar for machining.

Thread: Tool post for Myford ML10 lathe
09/02/2020 11:03:51
Posted by John Baron on 08/02/2020 08:27:00:

Hi Jeremy,

I'm a great believer in making things for myself. I have a Myford and have got rid of my Dickson tool holder, an expensive waste for a hobbyist, great for production where time is money.

It's interesting you should say that, as I think the Dickson clone QCTP is the best value for money I've spent on the lathe and mill combined. So much so, that I kept it for the bigger machine that replaced the mini-lathe I bought it for.

The most important thing for a QCTP is to have enough holders to keep ALL of the tools you might use ready to drop onto it; when even a simple part uses 3 tools(turn and face, break edges, part off) it very quickly pays for itself.

How is inefficient use of time less important for a hobbiest than in production, as the hobby(whatever the tools are used for) is making parts not pretty piles of swarf?

Thread: J'accuse
08/02/2020 11:04:14
Posted by Howard Lewis on 07/02/2020 17:59:11:


My 6" rule is ALWAYS behind me.


I have to keep several of them(well, 150mm rules), as they disappear when not in my hand. I don't have this problem with ANY other tool; can anyone explain this?

Thread: Metric V Imperial Measurement
08/02/2020 10:55:11
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 08/02/2020 07:20:59:

As my Dad used to say - Can you imagine a simple plate 1m x 1m, now put 1Kg load on that and slip your hand under one corner of it. No Can't imagine that. Now, take a simple plate 1ft x 1ft, place 1lb on the plate and do the same - yes, I could imagine that. But we move with the times.

Yes, and no in that order. And it's for the same reason you and he were the other way round, it's what we are all used to. The human brain isn't programmed to work in any of the entirely arbitrary units in use, but is trained to use whatever is favoured in that situation.

As for reverting to Imperial, what would be the point? Even America uses metric, they just fudge it by overlaying older units for everyday use.

Thread: Home made T&C jig
29/01/2020 11:33:06
Posted by Clive Foster on 29/01/2020 01:33:16:

On further reflection there is no real need to use collets to hold the cutters as the number of shank sizes is limited. Clarkson use simple bored cylinders made a nice fit on the shank with a grub screw or two to hold them.

If its good enough for the pros its good enough for us.

Never seen the sense of using relatively expensive collets in relatively expensive holders to position cutters close to grinding wheels where they will inevitably be showered with abrasive dust. Doesn't seem a good way to treat them.

Plain cyiinders are easily made in the lathe so replacement is simple if they do suffer.


I'm about half way through building HH's basic grinding rest, and will be using an ER32 spindle in his fixture. That's because I already have it and the collets, so will save a huge amount of time and material making more parts that will do the same job.

I don't expect to use the thing much, and how will grinding dust affect the collets when they're fixed in the chuck?

ER collets are cheap to buy, and consumable parts any way.

Thread: Why does everyone disagree with you
27/01/2020 11:24:01
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 27/01/2020 11:03:56:

Re my previous post, I've since read Stevie's post on second-hand cars, which got bashed. Got to agree he has a point on that one! Lot's of value in what Stevie said, and he got duffed up!

If he had spent a little time editing his post to make it easier to read, that wouldn't have happened. It read like a pub rant where the unknown ranter couldn't remember to breathe; would anyone actually consider that to be worthwhile advice.


Tone of forum posts is very difficult to get right.


Which is, I think, the OP's point!

Edited By Nicholas Wheeler 1 on 27/01/2020 11:25:23

Thread: Strange (to me) chuck jaw design.
26/01/2020 10:26:19
Posted by ega on 25/01/2020 15:44:54:

How many of us remove the spring from the chuck key?

The second key I made for the four jaw chuck feels so wrong without a spring, I'm tempted to fit one.......

Thread: A good toolpost drill design
20/01/2020 10:22:38

ER11 spindle motor mounted on a vertical slide. I bought the motor, mounting block, power supply and collets for £90, and spent about 10 minutes drilling and tapping 8 M6 holes to mount it to either face of the slide. That means it will mill and drill with, or along the lathe axis and at any angle to it.


Thread: Lathes as bling!
19/01/2020 11:58:17
Posted by Pete Rimmer on 19/01/2020 11:39:05:
Posted by Nicholas Wheeler 1 on 19/01/2020 11:12:56:

If it's being used, who cares what it looks like. It's a tool, not jewellery

I agree with the sentiment but that machine isn't in use. All of the handwheels are red with rust.

Perhaps the owners are getting on with their real business?

I have tools that haven't been used in years, and their cosmetic appearance shows that. But it doesn't affect their utility.

Thread: Too ambitious or achievable?
19/01/2020 11:31:56
Posted by David Noble on 18/01/2020 14:00:28:

Hello Simon,

My ambition has always been greater than my ability! My advice is to choose something that takes your interest and take it slowly, one piece at a time.

Do that, but accept that you'll probably remake the first parts as your skills improve. Which is another good reason for starting with something simple; there will be fewer parts that you will be unhappy with!

Thread: How to soften steel
19/01/2020 11:23:23
Posted by John Haine on 19/01/2020 09:08:11:
Posted by Steviegtr on 18/01/2020 14:04:51:

Thanks for the comments. The reason I was going to change the tool post was that when I bought the lathe it came with a box of parts. In there were about 20 cutting tools, all 1/2" square. There were 3 small ones between 8 & 10mm square. 1 is chipped. So that's the reason. If I leave it for a few years as advised, until I am up to scratch with working it. I will have to buy some more cutting tools of the smaller size. Is that the way to go.

1/2" square is much bigger than you need on a Myford. If you're going to use HSS, buy some 3/8 or 5/16 HSS blanks, they are cheap enough. Actually for most turning jobs a simple RH knife tool will work, so you only need one! Smaller HSS is easier to grind as well.

Or, get a Diamond toolholder from Eccentric Engineering, or make one (lots of discussion here). It will do almost everything you need except boring.

Making extensive mods to a machine tool to suit a few superannuated lumps of HSS is a waste of time.


Spend a tenner on some smaller HSS, or an 8mm carbide holder(you really only need one type to start with) and tips, that are appropriate for your machine and get on with learning how to use it efficiently. My WM250 is a little bigger and more powerful than a Myford, but a home made diamond tool holder happily takes 4mm deep cuts with a 3mm toolbit - any bigger would be a waste of money, material and time spent grinding them

Or, perhaps you could swap your large tooling for some that is smaller?

Thread: Lathes as bling!
19/01/2020 11:12:56
Posted by Tony Pratt 1 on 18/01/2020 12:29:49:
Posted by JA on 18/01/2020 09:21:36:

A railway lathe

Nice to see it's been well looked after!frown


If it's being used, who cares what it looks like. It's a tool, not jewellery

Thread: The cultural status of engineers in the UK
11/01/2020 10:56:39
Posted by Watford on 10/01/2020 22:14:06:

It probably did not help when some jerk started calling them 'makers'.


Which is a much better term than 'model engineer' for what a lot of us do.

One of our new ringers recently asked me for advice about a hole-drilling jig 'because you're an engineer'. He was surprised when I said "I'm a mechanic, not an engineer".

Thread: Stuck Chuck
10/01/2020 11:07:29

Is it just me that prefers gentle use of a thread file for cleaning up potentially damaged threads? They're also good for scraping Loctite out of threads. Although they're not cheap, it only takes one job to pay for one - a mangled air fitting on a Yak that would have taken hours of dismantling to replace in my case.

Thread: Quick Change Toolpost
10/01/2020 10:59:51

Is there a difference in how the actual tools perform? If not, why worry about it.

The Dickson clone on my WM250 sits on an aluminium disc that's only there to allow the toolholders to drop enough; it's of no particular size, the centre hole is much bigger than the mounting stud, and it's only retained by the toolpost clamping it down

Thread: Co2 emissions.. Steam or diesel best?
10/01/2020 10:48:24

The steam engine's atrocious efficiency make it a much worse prospect than even the dirtiest diesel. They're yesterday's technology for lots of good reasons.

IC engines aren't far behind them either

Thread: Colour matching.
02/01/2020 11:25:59

You need to match to the actual paint, a photo won't do. Anyone who mixes custom paint should do that, but they'll need to see a sample to do it. Can your customer remove a small painted piece and organise that local to him? You will need to tell him what type of paint you want - the paints used on cars will be easy to sort, but other types might be a lot more difficult.

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