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Member postings for SillyOldDuffer

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

Thread: 'Oo Nicked The Regulator 'Andles?
19/06/2022 10:50:44
Posted by Hopper on 19/06/2022 05:45:28:
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 15/06/2022 10:27:42:

I would love to know who removed the regulator handles, and why. I can think of no logical, sensible reason!

Possibly to stop them getting yanked back and forth by the visiting public and crushing people's fingers or damaging the mechanism? Or being stolen and sold for scrap if made of brass/bronze as some were?

Perhaps they have been stolen for scrap...

Metal theft is a constant problem in the UK; power cables, heritage cast-iron road signs, man-hole covers, safety critical railway signalling wire, garden gates, model steam engines, you name it - gone.

Never happened in the good old days, apart from lead off Church Roofs! and anything else not nailed down. Scrap metal has always been closely associated with criminality, including London's famous 1960's Torture Gang.



Thread: Book on lathe operation ?
19/06/2022 10:34:47

Sparey is hard to beat, though there are alternatives; I recall being impressed by a well-written South Bend booklet in my youth. The only problem with Sparey is he predates later developments like carbide inserts & Digital Calipers etc, and he sometimes recommends stuff common in 1948 that's impossible to find now. Nothing dreadful, buy it's probably worth complementing Sparey with a more modern book, perhaps Neil Wyatt's 'The Mini-Lathe'. (Not so much for the machine the book is based on, more what it's used for and how, accessories, workshop methods etc.)


Thread: Drummond type M tailstock alignment
19/06/2022 10:09:04

I suspect the curve in the worn bed section stops the tailstock from clamping firmly and the resulting slight movements cause the tailstock to tilt on the curve, amplifying the error. Although the tailstock can be set straight on the worn section to do a job, it can't be trusted to stay that way.

Can the Drummond's clamp mechanism be tweaked to grip a bit harder? If so, it would be less inclined to move.

The downside of owning worn or made-down-to-a-price machine tools is the operator has to compensate for shortcomings, such as always having to check and reset the tailstock on a worn bed. In comparison, driving good condition industrial kit is a doddle! Conclusion: real men get results from wonky lathes. It's only third-raters who must have perfect kit!



Thread: Understanding chuck test certificates
18/06/2022 18:11:55
Posted by Chris Gunn on 18/06/2022 13:46:09:

I know this is a bit off topic, but SOD, if you want to take parts out of the chuck and put them back later with precision, get yourself some soft jaws, very cheap and easy solution.

Chris Gunn

Good point - never used soft jaws, even though I should!


Thread: Edge finder lubrication
18/06/2022 18:03:40
Posted by mark costello 1 on 18/06/2022 16:38:09:

... Skint to the bone.

As is right and proper!


Thread: A prototype Lavet stepper motor
18/06/2022 16:02:20
Posted by David Heskin on 17/06/2022 22:34:51:

I'm following the electronic free pendulum clock articles in ME Workshop, but need to secure details of successful motion work before committing to the project.

To be honest and with respect, I'd much prefer a solid state digital LED display. I'm hoping that'd be easier and more reliable. Quiet, too. Can anyone advise how to go about it, please?

Well, Tony Jeffree is using BBC Micro:bit microcontroller, for which LCD and LED modules are available. Examples picked randomly off the web from the Kitronics Web Shop:

This chap documents a Micro:bit and LCD display coded to be a stopwatch, not complicated and a reasonable start point. The software part is done with a graphical Blocks language called 'MakeCode', lots more examples and tutorials here.

Tony hasn't shared his code yet, but in principle, however he's done it, it will be possible to add digital clock functionality. Basically a clock display just counts pendulum pulses, and, knowing how long they each take in seconds, uses them to increment a counter working in HH:MM. The main complication is the code needed to set HH:MM to local time in the first place.

Also possible to program another microcontroller as a separate HH:MM clock ticked by the pendulum. The advantage is avoiding the need to understand and modify Tony's code, which might be time critical or otherwise tricky to modify. (Probably won't be.)

I'd use an Arduino for this, but only because I'm familiar with programming them and have never seen a Micro:bit in the flesh!


Thread: Denham Junior Mk2 Lathe Purchase
18/06/2022 14:13:06
Posted by Peter Williamson 2 on 10/11/2021 16:42:31:

... new lathe owner... took a punt on a old Denham Junior Mk1 ... somewhat rough but seems to work so ... Basically just go through it, clean and repair anything that needs it and give it a coat of paint.

... also looking for any documentation: ...

Smart to gather info before acting! If not done already see's description, who say 'literature available'.

My advice is not to jump in at the deep end by dismantling. Not even if you're a experienced mechanic certain you know what you're doing! Instead put the lathe carefully through it's paces, familiarising yourself with the controls and finding out how the machine cuts metal.

Older machines are likely to be worn, with incidental damage, and missing accessories. We've no idea what it's been doing in the last 73 years, thrashed or cosseted!

I think the hobby lacks an in-depth guide to evaluating old machines, but this is how I'd approach it:

  1. Remove superficial muck and re-oil. Note obvious wear
  2. Confirm electrical safely. Wiring in good nick: rubber perishes, vibration breaks insulation at holes etc. Switches work correctly. Metalwork all earthed, no tingles. Old tools rarely meet modern safety standards so maybe fit a combined No Volt Release/Emergency Stop
  3. Turn by hand to make sure nothing's jambed and controls work. Check what change gears are fitted
  4. Confirm motor runs, no magic smoke or overheating
  5. Let it run off load for 30 mins, feeling the bearing areas for untoward heating. Warmish is OK
  6. Buy a Free Cutting metal such as EN1A-Pb for testing. Avoid scrap because it can mislead by cutting badly
  7. Get a sharp HSS tool to test with. Old machines often come with odd HSS tools, all blunt.
  8. Run through a series of cuts noting trouble. Start by moving the cutter with the compound slide and saddle manually, then try the auto functions. Move from slow light cuts showing the lathe moves appropriately to deep fast ones proving it's OK under load. Test all the gearbox speed settings, reverse and back-gear etc. Check half-nut engages the lead-screw along it's full length and in the high wear area near the chuck. Move from plain turning up to facing, threading and drilling from the tailstock. Parting off is a tough test. Finally, DTI check alignment by cutting a test bar

Hard for beginners to tell the difference between problems caused by:

  1. doing it wrong: RPM, Feed-Rate, Depth of Cut, cutter shape & setting, overhangs, iffy work-holding, maladjustments, bad technique etc.
  2. difficult materials that challenge a pro machinist with a lathe in GWO
  3. machine faults: slipping belts/clutch, worn bearings, hollowed slides, worn leadscrews/half-nut, cracked body, duff repairs, bell-mouthed chuck, bust shear-pins, stripped gears, rust etc.
  4. Maladjustments. Gibs, twisted bed (see Rollies Dad if the lathe cuts tapers), blunt tools, loose tool-post or saddle
  5. Don''t trust previous owners! Gibs fitted upside down with their screws not in the dimples, oil-ways blocked by grease, misfit parts from other kit, missing nuts, bolts, washers, grommets, cable clamps and sub-assemblies, dodgy electrics, paint & putty, stupid mods, belts wrong size, profile and overtight, misaligned motor/pulleys, and bodge repairs. Every time a tool is moved, there's a chance it's dropped causing bent shafts and controls etc. Maybe spindle bent by lifting with a rope around the chuck.

So I advise running the machine before anything intrusive. Save deep cleaning and major dismantling for later.

Nothing highlights faults like cutting metal because it stresses the whole machine emitting showers of audible and visual clues if anything is wrong. Inexperienced owners who start by stripping down and reassembling can cause more problems than they fix. Extra hard to diagnose mixes of predictable problems due to wear and weirdness caused by new mistakes.

The external appearance of machine tools isn't a good guide to condition. Paint and polish make wrecks look good, whereas a scruffy old lathe might be fine mechanically, ready to go after a few checks.

Step 1, I suggest, is to start by finding out what needs work by testing by doing. Take notes, don't jump to conclusions, ideally not fixing anything yet unless it's straightforwardly obvious. Don't take a working gearbox apart until certain the problem isn't an easily replaced shear pin. Collect evidence and think before acting. Not rocket science but lathers have subtleties. Easier to diagnose and fix lathes after a bit of experience.

If faults are detected, ask the forum. Many are easily fixed and others don't matter because the operator can compensate for them. Most worrying are the issues likely to be more time, trouble & money than the owner cares to take on: regrinds, costly bearings, and impossible to find essential spare parts. A large number of small faults might add up to more trouble than the machine is worth.

Special case: many people enjoy restoring old machines as a hobby. For them, lots of difficult faults are just more fun! But not if you want to get on with making things.

Amazing though how much good work is done on wonky lathes by skilled operators, so don't rush to reject it either.


Thread: Edge finder lubrication
18/06/2022 09:09:39

Ignorance is bliss, never realised my edge finder might need lubricating! Still OK after 8 years neglect. Mine is a type C in this picture pinched from ArcEuro.

If oil is needed at all, I guess one sold for a delicate mechanism, light, slippery and not prone to gumming.  Clock or Sewing Machine Oil might do.

WD40 is good for cleaning and loosening sticky mechanisms, but the lube effect soon wears off and it leaves a sticky layer that collects muck. GT85 probably has the same problem: it's a combination lubricator and protective, and protective layers are bad news for delicate mechanisms. I'm suspicious of dry silicone on an edge finder for the same reason.

Slide-way oil is far too sticky, and I'd avoid anything containing vegetable oil because they tend to gum up. (Household oil such as 3 in 1 etc.)

Never come across electric razor oil, sounds promising though.

Or do you mean the ball-type?

Got a set of these, but don't use them much. As the balls are a bit sticky on my version the chuck's grip has to be carefully adjusted so they're neither too tight or too loose. A drop of any old oil might help, dunno.




Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 18/06/2022 09:10:16

Thread: What is the best 3d printer for beginners
17/06/2022 16:26:53
Posted by Oven Man on 17/06/2022 10:57:37:

... I wonder about peoples definition of "strong", I mainly use PLA and strength has never really been an issue with the parts I have made.


Good point, always good to put numbers on material properties. The Make it From website has lots of data provided you don't mind looking up American equivalents, and it does comparisons. For example, PLA versus ASTM A36 (a mild-steel):

Shear Modulus A36 = 73GPa, PLA = 2.4GPa
Ultimate Tensile Strength A36 = 480MPa, PLA = 50MPa
Max Working Temperature A36=400C, PLA = 50C

So mild steel's tensile strength is roughly 10 times greater than PLA and it can be allowed to get much hotter!


17/06/2022 10:32:14
Posted by David George 1 on 17/06/2022 07:45:42:

Hi the web site is not secure again. My Samsung galaxy tablet, Android 7 with Norton 360 security says the site is insecure and blocks access. No padlock on web site address bar.

David George

All working securely for me on 3 different computers and 2 different operating systems.

Most likely explanation is your Galaxy has stored and is still using a copy of the old certificate. MyTimeMedia's certificate for the forum is void, but your Galaxy has a copy it believes to be correct. Thus it detects a security error and refuses to connect. Correct action If the forum had been hijacked or spoofed, but not when the owner of a website changed and has issued a new certificate.

Normally new certificates 'just work', but they can go wrong. Pain in the backside when they do, like losing a bunch of keys. It's possible doing nothing will eventually fix it: operating systems periodically clean up by time expiring old information and refreshing.

Otherwise, on the 11th I posted this:

I mention my date/time problem because it's one of several issues that can cause a client to mismanage a new certificate. Pinched this list off an Android site, but Linux, Apple, and Windows are similar. Suggestions:

  • The operating system is out-of-date. (upgrade if possible: buy new kit if necessary, old hardware doesn't last forever!)
  • The browser is out-of-date. (upgrade)
  • Operating system date/time is wrong. (reset it)
  • Browser has cached information. (Go to Browser settings and clear data and cache.)
  • Anti-virus software is blocking the new certificate. (Temporarily turn it off)
  • The problem may be in the network (shutdown and restart router, or connect to a different WiFi.)
  • One or more of the data structures used to manage the computer is corrupt. (Power the device off, wait at least one minute, and power back on. Doesn't fix all such problems, so if it fails try a factory reset.)

I suggest trying these suggestions in reverse order. The idea is to force the Galaxy to get a new certificate, or to remove whatever in the configuration is blocking it.


Thread: Understanding chuck test certificates
17/06/2022 09:46:56
Posted by Hopper on 17/06/2022 08:04:34:
Posted by Gary Wooding on 17/06/2022 07:09:12:

It's strange how topics drift.

The OP asked the meaning of "long V" and "short V" jaws. Instead of actually answering the question we get a discussion about handwriting ones and sevens.

I would like to know the answer to the original question.

Possibly refers to the outside jaws having the long end of the stepped jaws machined to a V whereas the inside jaws have the short end of the stepped jaw machined to a V. Hence Long V and Short V jaws refers to the length of the V.


We'd all like to know the answer, but it seems no-one does! Hopper's is best suggestion so far, but it's too subtle for my taste. Not saying it's wrong, just not obviously right.

I spent yesterday's coffee-break touring a couple of jaw catalogues hoping to find an answer. No luck. Schunk  list about 40 different styles of jaw, but no sign of long or short V jaws. Nothing in Pratt-Burnerd's web info either.

Chasing the best is a hard sport. Having made sure the lathe spindle is good, one buys a chuck with a proper specification. Specifications are good, but worrying unless they're understood! Figures don't mean much unless the way they were measured is known. And having understood the spec, some forum smart-a*se (me) points out luxury chuck owners also have to choose the most suitable jaws for the job from a long list!

My take is the main advantage of posh tooling is saving time. For example, my ordinary 3-jaw is good enough for most turning unless the job has to be taken out of the chuck and replaced, perhaps after a bit of milling. Taking work out of my 3-jaw is a bad move, because chuck doesn't allow accurate resetting, although putting it back exactly as it came out and tweaking with a DTI helps. Trouble is tweaking takes time and doesn't always work because the chuck doesn't have high repeatability.

One answer is to buy a better made 3-jaw chuck, but even these struggle to reset work when high accuracy is required. Better for amateur purposes I think to fit a 4-jaw when reset is needed, because even an ordinary one will give a top-end 3-jaw a run for it's money! But 4-jaws have a major disadvantage when it matters, which is the time taken to adjust them. Not a problem in my slow-moving tinkering workshop, but slow working methods are bad news when a pro machinist has to work against the clock. Collets are often a good answer, but they have other limitations. Jigs and fixtures outperform ordinary workshop methods, but are only worthwhile for mass-production.

I suspect the best way for an amateur to do high-precision work is by sending CAD files to a professional CNC shop. There's no need to have an expensively equipped workshop at all.


Not seriously suggesting we should do everything from comfy chairs! I enjoy my workshop, hands-on making things is interesting fun.



Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 17/06/2022 09:51:53

Thread: New member
16/06/2022 21:10:18

Hi Eugene, welcome to the forum. I'm a tinkerer too, specialising in not so fine projects!

If you want to post photos, instructions here

Also, the forum's search, box top right, isn't much cop. There's a better one hidden away halfway down the Home page.


Thread: What is the best 3d printer for beginners
16/06/2022 21:01:23
Posted by jack austin on 16/06/2022 17:47:18:

@Martin King 2 then I need to go for the Ender 3 Pro?

If you don't have a specific need that pushes you to another printer, then the Ender 3 Pro is reasonably well-made and reasonably cheap. Most important, not too difficult to assemble or use. Mine worked first time by printing the test puppy provided with default settings - I haven't had to fiddle with it.

Negatives: slow, perhaps several hours, and don't expect objects printed from plastic filament to be strong. The finish may need tidying up.

The software is probably the main challenge if you want to design your own artefacts rather than just download and print other peoples. I guess most on this forum use CAD packages because we're into technical objects rather than artistic stuff. They take a bit of learning - don't expect instant results. Until recently the main use of my Ender has been prototyping - printing designed parts in plastic, usually 75% full-size, to confirm the design is right before making a real one in metal. I mostly used FreeCAD. Another common use is printing moulds for making castings.

I've printed a few real things like board game pieces and supports for electronic project innards, and am inching in another forum thread towards printing a working compressed air engine. I won't be surprised if it doesn't work!

I bet other members print miniature engine drivers, signage, and other bits and bobs to complete models and dioramas etc. That usage is getting closer to 3D printing as arts and craft, for which software other than CAD might be more suitable. A friend of one of my nephews does dragons and sci-fi imaginations: I've no idea how he does it. What sort of thing do you intend to print?.

Provided it's fairly up-to-date your computer needn't be high-powered, but don't expect the software to run on a ancient Windows XP box!


Thread: WM280v PCD
16/06/2022 14:52:48

The actual distance between two studs on a 3-hole 75mm PCD is 64.951905mm

My averaged measurement gave 65.04 which is an error of 0.088mm, about 0.0035", or 0.136%

Derek's measurement must have given him 64.692098, an error of about 0.260mm ( 0.010" ), or 0.4%. Pretty good considering threads make it hard to identify a stud's centre, and 8mm bolts never are! For many purposes, being a little over a quarter of a millimetre out on a 75mm PCD wouldn't matter. The usual practice is to drill PCD holes distinctly oversize to allow for such inaccuracies.

Curiously none of my Maths for Engineers books cover this question, not in theory or by providing a formula for 'n' studs. Closest is this question from a Technical School textbook:

Three holes A,B and C are to be bored in plate as shown. Calculate the distance between B and C, and the diameter of the pitch circle.


Hope the class can all answer this one: the textbook is aimed at 15 year olds. Did anyone go to a UK Technical School? There was one in my home town, but Wikipedia says they were rare beasts. Pity, I thought they were a good idea. Another opportunity missed.



Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 16/06/2022 14:53:29

Thread: 13G?
16/06/2022 12:26:00
Posted by Hopper on 16/06/2022 06:31:17:

With today's cheap thread pitch gauges made in China, anything is possible. ...

I have a set of feeler gauges of reputable mid-range quality brand (Kinchrome) made in China like everything these days, and a check with a micrometer (genuine Mitutoyo 40 years old) reveals that many of the feelers are not the thickness marked on them. EG, the 2, 3 and 4 thou feelers are all the exact same thickness. Others are not the exact imperial thickness labelled, but the nearest metric equivalent. So, like I said, anything is possible these days with cheap tools or even not-so-cheap-to-purchase but cheaply made in China.


The symptoms of Hopper's 'reputable mid-range quality brand' feeler gauge strongly suggest a counterfeit. It's not reputable, mid-range, or quality!

Counterfeit goods haver been around forever, and aren't specifically made in China or a modern phenomenon. Birmingham, England was once famous for cheap fakes, as later on were the USA, Germany and Japan.

Sadly, there's always someone, usually in a developing economy, who is prepared to make a quick buck out of making fakes. Worse in my opinion are folk in the developed world ready to dishonestly sell them on. Most of the profit is made by them, not the manufacturers, so the master criminal who needs a damned good flogging might be your next door neighbour, not a disreputable foreigner.

Unusual to find cheap fakes being made in developed countries because there's not much profit in producing them, unlike selling to victims!

China will follow the usual pattern: as wages and standards rise, fake making will move to other countries new to manufacturing.


Thread: Target for This Month: A 3D Printed Engine
16/06/2022 10:13:04
Posted by lee webster on 15/06/2022 23:24:23:

With printers such as my Ender 3, putting more than one part on the bed for printing saves very little time. The only time saved is how long it takes you to get one part off the bed and telling the printer to print the next file. If you had a resin printer the story would be different. Printing say six parts, all on the bed at once, would take the same time as printing one. That and the improved quality of the finish is why I am thinking of buying one.

I wonder if a disc valve would have less friction than a rotary, tapered or not, valve? They seem to work well on my bathroom taps!

I was hoping to save the bed heating and cooling time which is significant when printing lots of small parts, but this engine is all medium sized parts, so you're probably right.

I've started to worry about the material properties of the various plastic filaments and FDM generally for printing anything that needs to be strong. For example, because the print is developed layer by layer, parts have a grain like wood, and are probably weaker up down than across. So for strength something like a conrod should be printed flat, not upright. Unlike model engines fabricated or made from metal castings, where the strength of the metal makes careful design unnecessary, I'm pretty sure plastic needs careful geometry - thick plastic at weak points and thin plastic everywhere else.

All your fault Lee. As a result of your comments, I've been looking into Resin printers! Can I send you the bill please?

Only reason for me going for a rotary valve is they're simple to design.  Unfortunately, there's a lot of friction, and it may not work!  


Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 16/06/2022 10:15:16

Thread: Query - Stub Mandrel's article on Workshop Power - MEW No.317
16/06/2022 09:40:07
Posted by Clive Foster on 16/06/2022 00:05:02:


That BT repeater looks vey expensive compared to my memory of what I paid.

Assuming the DECT phone has a repeater mode any properly specified DECT repeater is supposed to be able to register and work with any DECT phone system. As far as the base station is concerned the repeater just looks like a handset and as far as the handset is concerned the repeater just looks like a base station so, in principle there are no issues. In practice there is adeal of jiggery pokery involved to ensure that the connection goes through either base station or repeater rather than try to go through both simultaneously. There can be a slight glitch in communications if you are on the move and the phone switches from repeater to base or back.

Summary of things with a short form note in the middle on how the registration process is supposed to work **LINK**

My no longer used off brand one is an RTX which certainly works with Siemens phones. By implication from that articel it shoild have no issues with BT ones.


Thanks for the update Clive. My experience of DECT was so long ago I can't remember who wanted it or why! Or even why the IT department was buying telephones, not our gig at all. Back then best advice was to buy matched units because the standard was new and implementations varied due to most makers insisting on adding proprietary features that messed up compatibility. Time marches on, and it's highly likely the problems I worried about then are ancient history!


Thread: Digital Subscription Problems
16/06/2022 09:26:05

Hi Jeremy - you are not alone. I guess you're not a forum regular because the subject is being discussed already!!!

Root cause is transfer of services from MyTimeMedia to Mortons: different companies, different processes, different computer systems. I used to do this stuff for a living, and it's not easy. Migrating computer systems can get seriously hairy, not just a matter of pressing a few buttons, and even well-planned transfers can come completely unstuck. Usually though, most of the migration is successful, apart from a residue of odd bugs. Some of them take time to diagnose and fix, especially if permission to spend more money is needed!

The advice to give it a few weeks is solid.

I know exactly how you feel: years ago I had the same experience with a magazine, frustratingly failing to renew a subscription whilst they were transferring to a new system. I stormed off in a huff, but have always regretted it: I missed reading the magazine! (Later on I had no problem starting a new subscription: all the problems had been long fixed. )


Thread: Query - Stub Mandrel's article on Workshop Power - MEW No.317
15/06/2022 22:34:32

I think the magic search term is DECT, as in this example. I believe the model bought has to match the wireless phone's base-station - you can't fit any old repeater and expect it to work. It's not the same as a computer network wifi extender.


Thread: Target for This Month: A 3D Printed Engine
15/06/2022 22:27:10

Despite being out this afternoon, I got closer to finishing the engine design, and was able to take a peek at the next stage - printing it!

Not quite finished but the engine is now held together by clips. Not entirely happy with them and I might look for alternatives. The nut and bolt needed to hold the crankshaft together aren't started at all, and I have grave doubts about them.


Solid Edge's 3D print functions seem straightforward except the first test export resulted in a tiny plastic model - 2.8 x 3.7 x 4.7mm. Naughty, bad Solid Edge. Despite the model being metric throughout, Solid Edge defaults 3D prints to inches and has to be ordered to use millimetres. That fixed, Cura loaded the model correctly.


However, Solid Edge can check the design, and now I have to look at the complaints! For example, next image shows all the areas of my model where the plastic skin is less than the recommended 2mm thick, which would cause structural problems. The deliberately thin for lightness piston is the worst, but the flywheel, head and parts of the crankcase need attention too.


Another worry, although Solid Edge and Cura both accepted me printing the whole engine as a complete Assembly, I'm far from convinced it would work. Cura says the model will take 22 hours and 23 minutes to print, and I fear ending up with a clump of parts stuck solidly together. Love to believe a complex assembly of parts can be printed in one go, but I think it much safer to print the parts one at a time so they can be fettled as necessary to fit and move smoothly. Also be good if two or more parts can be printed side by side to save time. More research needed - I'm out of my depth again.


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