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Member postings for Kiwi Bloke

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

Thread: Chemically cleaning brass - gently
22/01/2021 09:37:09

Nearly all copper and zinc corrosion product will be soluble in household amminia solution.

I think that ammonia-containing preparations are used to remove copper fouling in gun barrels. This suggests that the elemental metal is attacked by ammonia. My school chemistry has corroded almost entirely away, so can't remember what the chemistry is. It doesn't sound risk-free for jet cleaning if ammonia attacks Cu.

One is warned not to use ammonia-based cleaners in stainless-steel gun barrels - why not? What's the chemistry here?

If you know you are going to remove and clean the jet how about removing it after use and storing it in the dry until needed?

Well, there two jets and an emulsion tube, and it's a pain to dismantle, and I'm lazy. Prevention would be better, but your suggestion would certainly save time, and I can't fault the logic...

Thread: Cowells 90 Lathe Manual
22/01/2021 09:22:45

Uh, sorry - I have the book, but not as a .pdf. [note to self: read the question carefully...]

22/01/2021 08:38:29

Yes, I have the book. Frankly, unless you want the book 'to complete the set', I wouldn't bother to seek it out. It contains very little that is specific to the Cowells machine, except a screw-cutting chart and parts diagrams. If you're new to lathes, you won't learn enough from this book: if you're not a newbie, you don't need it.

The owner of Cowells is/was very approachable and helpful. If you need any specific info., I'd expect you would get a good response from him. You might also get a copy of the book from him. And, of course, there's a mine of info. available right here, on this forum - just ask.

Thread: Any information greatly appreciated. 2
21/01/2021 08:31:10

I have one, but don't remember noticing a maker's name. To elaborate Oldiron's post, if uncertainty persists, the small dia. rod, lying adjacent to the corner of the base casting, fits into the clamp already fitted on the vertical rod. A dial indicator is clamped onto the small-dia. rod. It's a very high quality, and rigid, stand, for use primarily on a surface plate. Horribly expensive new!

Thread: Chemically cleaning brass - gently
21/01/2021 08:23:59

I guess that the greenish 'corrosion' might be a form of verdigris - a term covering several possible Cu compounds - but I doubt that it's due to a copper oxide, which should be reddish or black, not greenish. If atmospheric oxygen is contributory, however, in the relatively complex corrosion chemistry, perhaps it's a mistake to drain the carb between uses. If corrosion is because of the petrol's water content, perhaps one should drain. I don't think I'll be successful in obtaining ethanol-free petrol here - but I will certainly try, it sounds like a very good idea.

Anyone know how to safely remove verdigris?

I'm sure the advice to run the engine more frequently is likely to be successful. It's what I've been trying to remember to do, but...

Thread: How to Search for Text Inside Multiple PDF Files at Once
20/01/2021 23:11:02

Excellent idea! I'd never thought of trying to search within multiple files - aren't computers clever!

Looking to see whether there was a solution for Linux, I came across Recoll. It looks promising, particularly because it can handle multiple file types. It's available from Mint's software repository, but is a slightly elderly version. I'll upgrade if it seems necessary. Versions available for Windoze and Appall's expensive OS too.

Thread: Chemically cleaning brass - gently
19/01/2021 23:34:03

Hi Folks,

Because our electrical power supply is not 100% reliable, we have a small generator, for occasional use. Every time it's needed, it won't start until I've whipped off the carb and cleaned greenish corrosion(?) off and out of the brass(?) jets. This is in spite of draining the carb's float chamber after each use. The deposits are hard, and don't dissolve in sprayed-on carb cleaner, which is why I suspect corrosion rather than gum deposition. Typically, it's months between uses. It's a four-stroke engine. It's said that Kiwi petrol is low-quality stuff, but I don't know whether it's more prone to form gum and varnish or corrosion on standing: perhaps it contains more water than desirable.

Two questions. Does 'fuel stabilizer' prevent this sort of problem - if it's corrosion rather than 'varnish' build-up? How would one clean the jets safely and within say one hour (and yes, I know better than to poke around with wire, etc.)?

Thread: dual boot Dell laptop
14/01/2021 19:56:14

As usual, Windoze arrogantly assumes it's the most important OS... Linux's bootloader will have been corrupted - or worse. There are many, many tutorials on how to restore Grub (the bootloader). Search around for one that looks most user-friendly. Try this:

It might be worth reminding folk who want to set up a dual-boot Linux/Windoze system that Linux should be installed after Windoze, so that the Grub bootloader is installed. If done 'tother way round, Windoze's bootloader just ignores Linux. It is possible to rescue such a situation, by messing around with Grub, but it's obviously more convenient to avoid that, if possible.

Edited By Kiwi Bloke on 14/01/2021 20:02:52

Thread: Linux CNC
05/01/2021 10:21:08

Just a couple of points, because I don't think they've been mentioned yet [apologies if I've missed something].

1. If you can persuade Windoze to pack all its files, etc. tidily onto the HDD, so that it can be partitioned without data loss, it's easy to set up a dual-boot, Windoze/Linux machine. You can then cause havoc on the Linux partition(s) with impunity. [Well, that was the case, and I'm pretty sure it still is - I know nothing of Windoze post XP, which is when I dumped the ghastly OS to be 100% Linux.]

2. It's not universally known, but you can easily get the RPi, from 3B onwards (IIRC) to boot from a USB disk, so a used laptop HDD - or several - can be used for Linux experimentation, without fear of buggering up anything important. Far easier than using the SD card, in my experience.

Joe. A man of your obvious abilities should convert to Linux immediately! It's the thinking man's OS, and isn't difficult these days. Since you can have Windoze and Linux on the same machine, you can still run your favourite, expensive, applications on that bloated, expensive OS, if you really need to... Oh, and for heaven's sake retract your offer of free RPi's, or I'll be sticking my hand out. Hang on to them - they are too valuable, once the Linux hump has been got over!

Edited By Kiwi Bloke on 05/01/2021 10:24:20

Thread: TIG is harder than it looks
04/01/2021 02:07:18

FWIW, a few tips for beginners...

Watching closely the weld pool can become hypnotically fascinating. All your concentration is focussed there, but you can end up staring at it, without really taking in any useful information - there's a lot of changing information in the picture, which is challenging to take in all at once. Before you reach the stage of 'unconscious competence', you need to reach 'conscious competence' and be conscious of what is really important to observe. I'd suggest you really need to concentrate on watching three things (for ferrous welding, at least):

1. Watch the weld pool width (across the direction of travel). Aim to allow the pool to grow to the same size as the previous pool, then add filler and move the same distance as before. This gets you nearer the 'stack of coins' appearance that's so pretty. This deliberate 'stop-start' torch movement is easier to control than a continuous movement. And easier still if you can use a slow pulse technique.

2. Watch the downwards penetration of the visible leading edge of the weld pool (applicable when there is a gap or vee between the pieces to be joined). Aim for consistent depth. Do make sure the pool isn't just sitting on the parent metal surface.

3. Watch the electrode position. Keep it at the recommended distance from the work and beware sideways wandering.

Magnification really helps. Spectacles and light leaking in from behind your helmet are a really bad combination. If you can't get, or don't want a magnifying lens for the helmet, get close.

Life is easier with a gas lens, and it saves gas too.

Of course, there's no substitute for good tuition and practice, practice, practice, but short-cut hints hopefully help...

Thread: Improved performance over standard V belts?
01/01/2021 07:45:10

I'm another satisfied user of the Nu T belt - on the primary drive on my Super 7. These belts do stretch until they stabilize, but, as has been said, removing a link is easy and quick. I don't think it's been mentioned that they are supposed to run only in one direction, but, in practice, reverse running is OK. They are noisier than a sweet-running V belt, but don't seem to have the problem that some V belt drives can have, when a too-slack, vibrating belt is tightened, only to 'drum' annoyingly and incurably. This is said to be because of the link belt's higher internal damping characteristics. One might therefore expect a link belt to run hotter than a V belt, but, perhaps because of its greater flexibility (than some types of V belt), this doesn't seem to be a problem in practice. And they don't seem to degrade. I don't know whether they wear alloy pulleys more than conventional V belts though.

The rivetted Brammer belt is perhaps best regarded as obsolete. I have a sneaky suspicion that the rivet-contacting-pulley problem is because the wrong section belt is sometimes sold.

Thread: TIG is harder than it looks
31/12/2020 09:19:36
Posted by Ian McVickers on 30/12/2020 19:08:44:

Jeff the tube was toasty hot by the time I finished it so probably right when you say too much heat.

It may seem paradoxical, but excessive heat build-up in the body of the work is often the result of using too little current. More current, faster traverse and a helping of reckless abandon may prove better. A foot control makes life so much easier - but you do have to control an extra limb... Also, use a gas lens to economise on gas and get a better view of the electrode, which can stick out more.

Thread: A Certain Age
12/12/2020 04:50:35

I'm famously absent-minded. A decade ago, having parked in our local town, I 'lost' my car, with daughter inside. About half an hour's rising panic, until she found me and reminded me that I had moved the car... That's possibly the biggest 'brain f*rt' I remember, but several per day has been a life-time experience. It's not getting any worse, so hopefully I might be forgetting how to be absent-minded, and things might improve as age creeps on. (Some hope...)

Thread: Pea shooters illegal
12/12/2020 04:41:06

Ignorant bureaucrats rule the world. Imbecile presidents, etc., are largely irrelevant...

Thread: End Mill holder - Help
12/12/2020 04:37:53

The use and action of the Autolock chuck differs from what has been posted.

The collet is placed into the screwed sleeve, with driving flats engaged. The collet can float axially a little. The assembly is screwed into the chuck body, until the sleeve's flange meets the chuck body's face. It does not have to be tight. The cutter is screwed into the sleeve, until it bottoms out. Its centre is then engaged with the centre point in the chuck body. The sleeve is then nipped tight with the spanner, for security. Note, this is not to tighten the collet (read on).

When cutting torque is applied to the cutter, it tries to screw the collet out of the sleeve, whilst pushing against the centre point. The male taper on the outer end of the collet then engages progressively more firmly with the female taper in the sleeve, thus tightening the collet.

The beauty of the design is that the chuck is self-tightening, and the cutter cannot work out of the chuck.

Thread: Hacksaw blade orientation - your opinion please
12/12/2020 04:25:39
Posted by Ady1 on 12/12/2020 03:41:01:

For a human the push stroke is usually best but for a mindless mechanical machine pulling is best and causes the least problems

Tell the Japanese - and a lot of non-Japanese who understand their advantages - to push their pull-saws then...

Broaches are usually(?) pushed. It may seem strange, because pushing invites buckling, but the reason's clear, after a bit of thought.

12/12/2020 02:59:31
Posted by Steviegtr on 12/12/2020 00:55:25:

What a load of rubbish. You always cut on the push. Teeth pointing forward.

The only time i have known for a pull action is when working with the Sikh carpenters who kneel down & cut upwards & towards them. Teeth pointing backwards. Strange to watch.


Well, of course, that's a 'load of rubbish', unless suitably - and massively - qualified. As MG had previously noted, fretsaws, piercing saws cut on the pull stroke, as do jewellers' saws, many (most?) types of Japanese woodworking saws, chainsaws, bandsaws, etc., etc.

AJAX, I suggest you set the blade in the direction it works best - that's all that matters. Of course, with a suitably rigid frame, a hacksaw pulls the blade...

Thread: A Certain Age
08/12/2020 10:57:41

Retitle the thread 'Uncertain Age'?

Thread: Retro Computing (on Steroids)
08/12/2020 10:48:05

Yes, as SOD said, 'Horses for courses'. I'd imagine that most of us who will only ever scrabble around in the dirt, as far as programming is concerned; glass ceilings are never going to be a limitation. The great thing about the Maximites is the versatility of the hardware, coupled to an easy-to learn, sophisticated language, that just seems ideal for the basis of, for instance, a 'digital leadscrew' project, or similar. It makes the physical and intellectual interfaces easier than anything else I've come across.

Thanks, SOD, for the overview of some languages - illuminating. You didn't respond to my assertion that, for 'our kind of application' at least, a suitable BASIC might do the job in far fewer lines of code than something more 'proper'. We're talking quick and dirty, not a bank's financial system, after all.

In the early 1970s, I spent some time, as a student, in a MOD research lab, and had the use of a DEC PDP12 computer, running FOCAL. This was, I think, DEC's version of a BASIC-like language. Armed only with the manual, it was teach-yourself time. I rapidly realised that GOTOs, DO loops, and jumping all over the place to line numbers was a good way to create a real mess, so I broke my programs into little modules which were, in effect, called, as needed, by a very simple main program. I gather that was a rather unusual approach at the time, but it made editing and bug-chasing easy. Now, modern BASICs seem to have this facility built-in, with user-defined functions, etc.. Spaghetti code is no more?

07/12/2020 04:01:46

A couple of weeks ago, I asked Santa for a CMM2. I'm hoping to get the original Silicon Chip Magazine kit version, rather than one of the ready-mades because fiddly soldering is part of the fun. I built an original Maximite shortly after publication in SC Mag. Very impressed, especially by the BASIC dialect. 'Real' programmers are apt to sneer at BASIC, but a lot are out of touch with modern dialects, and don't like it when reminded that it can take feet of code in 'proper languages' to do what a modern BASIC can do in a few lines.

Edited By Kiwi Bloke on 07/12/2020 04:02:44

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