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: Vise/Vice advise|
I have two vices, both supplied by Warco:
I don't require them to 'last a lifetime'; I'm past my 'Before Date', and the hobby doesn't require me to thrash my tools. I'm sure they will last longer than I do!
The vice on the right is an ordinary 100mm machine vice. That in the centre is a DH1, with 80mm jaws. Note both vices are removed from their turntable bases. Swivelling is rarely required, and the bases take up space and reduce rigidity. Turntables are almost unnecessary in my workshop, and many others agree. For the same reason I'm suspicious of Angle/Swivel vices - bendy!!!
Although the DH1 is only 80mm wide, it's holding capacity is greater than the 100mm vice. Its jaws can be unbolted and moved, providing much wider jaw opening. I mostly use it in the plain 80mm configuration, but every so often the wider grip is handy.
The 100mm vice has a couple of vices, ho ho! There's a slight tendency for the jaws to lift on tightening, which is so common that it's respectable in professional workshops to tap jaws and work down with a mallet to correct the problem. More serious is a design compromise. The rear jaw has a stress-relieving gutter, also serving to collet swarf. Unfortunately spacing parallels tend to fall into the gutter and making sure they haven't is a time-waster. Not a problem with thicker work, but I mill lots of stuff under 10mm thick, which is spaced carefully to height.
There's no doubt the DH1 is a better vice, but 80% of what I do can be done just as well with an ordinary one!
I think both vices are about the right size physically for a WM18. Wider jaws come with a disproportionate increase in size and weight. A 100mm vice weighs about 10kg, 125mm about 15kg, worse as they get bigger!
Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 12/08/2021 10:39:03
|Thread: Knurling tool|
With respect Steve, perhaps the problem is you! No shame in that, because everyone has to start somewhere, but in engineering it's never good to rush to judgement before understanding the problem.
Poor results in the workshop are due to Tools, Material, or the Operator, usually in some new situation. Of these the biggest problem is the operator, because he is responsible for planning the job, choosing materials and tools, setting machines up, and optimising feed-rate, depth of cut, cutting speed and much else. It's not easy, requiring a steady hand and applied judgement. Learners cannot assume tools 'just work', they have to be used appropriately, which comes by reading, training, and practice. Learning has to be approached with a degree of caution. Perhaps the worst training material available to the home machinist are the Internet videos made by amateurs who don't properly understand machining yet. Lots of good machining advice on the internet, but also far too much third-rate junk: videos just as flawed as the cheapest, nastiest, Chinese tool. Over-confidence is no substitute for skill.
I'm on the forum to learn and to share what I've learned. Happy to be told whenever I get the wrong end of the stick because everyone on the Forum benefits from the correction. It's not about my ego and fantastic* work! For me the forum is about improving what Model Engineers know and do. Better for posts to be politely honest, rather than agree with SillyOldDuffer's latest faux pas in hope of sparing my delicate feelings!
Doesn't help when bad workmen blame their tools. Leads to beginners fretting about 'quality' and flapping around the second-hand market when they would be better off learning for themselves by cutting metal.
Anyone who thinks I'm wrong about anything I say on the forum is free to say so, Please do, if the explanation is good, I should change my foolish ways! If it's any consolation, I've lost count of the number of times Jason has put me right. And he's not the only one, blush. Done me the world of good.
*Fantastic can mean 'extremely good', or 'absurd, crazy'. Readers choose which applies to my efforts, not me.
|Thread: Colchester Bantam Lathe|
One way of getting it across a lawn, or other rough surface, is to lay temporary track of hefty boards (1" thick plywood).
Difficult to advise on moving heavy unbalanced equipment because there's a certain amount of skill in it, and skills are best learned bu doing easy moves first. Worst case is a bunch of over-confident enthusiastic amateurs crushing someone under the machine. If it topples, it's natural to try and stop it: bad move - wrong! Top priority is to get out of the way! That said plenty of big machines are moved successfully, with simple equipment: rollers, levers, ropes, and a small team of fit blokes.
As they are taught in the Army 'Prior Preparation Prevents Piss-poor Performance'. Assemble a team and choose a leader; this shouldn't be the most gung-ho person available; be suspicious of anyone who wants the job. Drum into everyone they do what the leader says, when he says it. This is because teamwork is essential: lift together put down together. Plan the route, and rehearse it, paying special attention to awkward bits: doorways, steps, slopes, tight corners, and obstacles. How much planning depends on the geography. My workshop has a concrete garage door, accessed from a flat tarmac drive with a short ramp over the public pavement down to the road. The main danger is the tarmac, because it's surprisingly soft, otherwise rolling a big lathe would be 'easy'. My garden shed is far more difficult: steps to garden from road. Sunken path with steps to shed, or lift lathe 300mm from patio to soft lawn and then manoeuvrer machine across grass past goldfish pond and somehow swing past a tree surrounded by a low stone wall, and through a narrow shed door. Lathe in shed needs a lot more thought than lathe in garage.
Be good if you could take photos of the move and share your experiences. Interesting problem, but if it went in it can come out!
|Thread: Lathe gears|
Welcome to the forum David,
The Mx210 doesn't seem to be sold in the UK but this picture shows what looks like a WM180
The guide to the fine feed banjo settings is nearly readable, and consistent with NDIY's advice: you can get close by pairing large and small gears. The diagram should help:
I guess this reads:
Gear A=70, gear B=24
The principle is big gear/little gear pairs chained to turn the lead-screw much more slowly than the spindle. Usually, the normal fine feed is the slowest combination that can be obtained, that is the gear with most teeth is on the lead-screw. The exact ratio may not matter very much, so feel free to experiment for best result.
Much more important to get the gears in the right size and order when threading, but that's another problem.
Perhaps a WM180 owner will comment? Is this the same lathe, and what does Warco's change-gear chart say?
Not in my part of the UK! Not always possible to put coal power stations near mines.
I couldn't possibly defend Mrs T's methods, but she recognised UK coal mining was approaching the end of the line as major part of the British economy Disliking Unions was undoubtedly a factor, but she knew the taxpayer was subsidising British Coal heavily, and that it was considerably cheaper to get coal from abroad.
The reason British Coal is expensive is most of our accessible coal has long been worked out: British Coal is deep coal, difficult and costly to extract, and there isn't much of it left. The early Victorians estimated British coal would last roughly 150 years and they were about right. All good things come to an end.
I've no doubt British coal will be mined again when prices rise, but there isn't that much left, certainly not enough to assure the future. Coal is not the answer to the UK's problem, nor for much of the rest of the world. I also argue that coal and oil are far too valuable as chemical feedstocks to be burnt when electricity can be made by other means.
Climate change is a separate reason for burning less fossil fuels. Not to prevent climate change, because it's too already too late, but to reduce the effects. Naysayers have successfully blocked green proposals over the last 40 years by demanding absolute proof. However the evidence has mounted day by day with nothing to suggest it's wrong, and there's a lot of it now. Within 5 years, I suspect it will be embarrassing to deny climate change because the evidence is becoming so obvious.
Time to change. When a technology falters, try something else. Don't cling to the wreckage.
Apart from emergencies, where it might suit the supplier to selectively disconnect ordinary consumers rather than hospitals, I don't think Smart Meters will make any difference to when chaps fire up their lathes, even though Model Engineers are notoriously careful with their money.
A more likely target is ladies who hoover! There are millions of them, all penny proud, and potentially able to vacuum carpets when energy is cheap, and avoid doing it when the meter warns them power is expensive. Same thing applies to EV's: many motorists only travel short distances and their cars spend most of the day and night parked up. They can pick and choose when their cars are charged, and will probably always go for the cheapest rate available. (I used to commute 30miles per day, and do a 100 mile round trip every third Saturday. Even less now I'm retired. My neighbour owns a 4x4, but during the summer he commutes by motorbike; he enjoys riding it and can weave through traffic jams!) Point is, power management is much more about average behaviour than special cases like the 10% who have to drive long distances at peak times, or want to tow caravans across Europe.
As to reliability, all the cars I've scrapped over the years have gone to the crusher with their Radios and other electronics in working order. What got my cars was mechanical wear and tear; coming up to an MOT with a leaking diesel pump, worn brake discs, slipping clutch, corroding brake pipes, and odd knocking noises whilst cornering can add up to a big bill. And although simple mechanics are reliable don't forget complex mechanics, like a Strowger Telephone Exchange, are hopeless compared with the electronic equivalent. (Strowger exchanges filled a large room and were kept going by constant skilled maintenance. The modern equivalent is a small box in the corner, replaced when it eventually breaks.)
A number of posts point out domestic roof top solar panels are a dodgy financial proposition. Maybe, but solar panels are a better bet than all other home-made alternatives. Driving a generator with a car-engine is horribly uneconomic compared with grid electricity. Problem is domestic installations are too small to achieve economies of scale, their contribution will help rather than solve the energy problem outright. The answer is to think big, for the same reasons coal-powered generating stations are huge. Blyth B's turbine room and boiler house were both 206 metres long, and the chimneys 170metres tall. Plus considerable infrastructure for transporting and storing large quantities of coal and ash: not a back garden operation.
My local solar proposal describes a 17MW installation covering 30 Hectares of land, which is a much lower energy density than a fossil fuel or nuclear plant: UK solar takes up a lot of space for not much power. But this is offset by several advantages: no fuel has to be bought and transported to the site; zero pollution; and the site is on poor agricultural land currently used for grazing sheep, who will still have access to much grass because the panels only shade 30% of the land. Doesn't seem unreasonable compared with digging coal in Brazil, shipping it half way around the world, and then moving it to a UK power station by road, rail or barge.
Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 09/08/2021 11:00:13
Well reading about Dynamic Containment made my head spin. The information on the web seems mainly focussed on managing the facility as a paying service rather than the technology behind it. It seems to one of several methods intended to manage energy from multiple suppliers rather than any particular generating method.
I don't understand it either! However, reading between the lines, I think DC is a contracted service allowing a provider to raise or lower the output frequency in order to manage energy in or out. I visualise it working the other way round from Paul, ie dropping frequency reduces power output, or accepts power back, whilst increasing frequency pushes more power out. Otherwise as he says.
Imagine two steam turbine generators connected to a grid. If one of them drops frequency the other will feed power into it and drive it's generators backwards faster; thus the low frequency station 'sees' a reduced load and burns less fuel. On the other side of the grid the other power station at normal frequency 'sees' an increased load and burns more fuel. A third source coming suddenly on line might be ultra-cheap electricity from a wind-farm, which it can 'sell' to the grid by raising it's output frequency so that other power stations on the grid work less hard. The overall effect is to balance the load whilst giving priority to cheap sources. Would be done on a grid supporting many thousands of generators, some of which might be able to absorb and store energy by charging batteries, pumping water uphill, compressing Nitrogen, or electrolysing Hydrogen etc. Many generators of different types work in concert to satisfy consumers.
The frequency changes needed to do this seem to be small, about 0.001Hz, so don't worry about electric clocks going mad!
How electricity is sold wholesale and retail is pretty complicated already. DC looks to be another way of allowing the market to cope with peaks and troughs in demand. It's not the only mechanism: real-time tariffs applied by smart meters will encourage consumers to balance the load by increasing prices when capacity is short, and dropping them on bright sunny windy days when renewables are cheap and plentiful.
|Thread: electronic cylinder indication|
Excellent work Werner! Good to see the diagrams being used to improve the engine's performance.
I had no trouble translating Biergarten from the video, but what is K_weg (mm) on the graph? I know it's piston distance ('weg', but what's the K_ ?
Impressed: tasty traction engine with sensors producing computerised indicator diagrams explained in both English and German!
And thank you for publishing the Haeder and Powles diagrams.
Just a thought, but retarding the ignition, to less that 10° of TDC will make the engine easier to start, though it might not do to leave it that way.
It gets harder for a spark to jump inside the cylinder the more compressed the fuel/air mix becomes as the piston approaches TDC. The problem particularly effects old cars with conventional contact breaker ignition. The battery struggles to crank the engine over, causing the volts to drop, and a weak spark. Once the engine is running, there's plenty of electricity and away she goes, but a cold start with a tired battery is likely to fail, particularly if fuel is cold-condensing inside the cylinder as well.
Electronic ignitions are engineered to deliver a fat spark under all conditions, but this can cause another problem which is the spark not happening because of insulation failures. The CD electronic ignition I fitted to my Vauxhall Victor caused a small thunderstorm inside the engine compartment one dark damp morning - 2" sparks jumping randomly between HT leads and to the engine block; a quick squirt of WD40 fixed it.
You can guess how I know, but with electronic ignition it's not smart to pull the lead off a running engine to check for a spark. The insulation on HT leads isn't good enough to stop a nasty shock...
But check the spark on this model engine, too weak and too strong can both cause problems. Try starting the engine in the dark to make sure the insulation is OK. (Safety first!)
Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 07/08/2021 16:52:50
|Thread: Milling on a Lathe with a Vertical Slide|
8 to 10mm, and I'd go all the way through.
Though you can convert a taper tap to a plug tap by grinding the taper off, it's easier and stronger to tap clear through a hole, than it is to blind tap it. Apart from anything else, through tapping much reduces the chance of breaking the tap.
If the bolt isn't allowed to go through the hole, ding the last turn of the thread with a centre-punch to jamb it.
Rule of thumb, threaded holes should be the same depth as the diameter of the bolt in steel, 1½ x deep for soft materials, and twice as deep for mixed metals, like a steel bolt into aluminium plate. So 10mm is good for up a 10mm diameter bolt, and comfy for an 8mm bolt.
Studding isn't strong as steel goes. Studding threads are a loose fit in ordinary mild-steel. Loose threads are easier to fit, but weaker. Cheap and handy rather than aerospace! Studding is perhaps a quarter of the strength of an Allen Bolt of the same diameter because Allen Bolts are are made from stronger steels and with tighter threads.
For this purpose, the extra strength of an Allan Bolt isn't required, because mild-steel is good for 10 to 20 tons per square inch, but never a good idea to replace existing Allan Bolts with studding or home-made nuts. In William's case, his 10mm mild-steel plate would fail before an 8mm Allan Bolt, but not likely to happen unless the lathe has a serious accident!
|Thread: Aircraft General Discussion|
Friend of mine bought a badly written off MG Sports Car for parts and found what was left of the driver's foot jambed under the pedals. My mate was a cheerful boy racer, but he slowed down after finding it...
|Thread: Knurling tool|
Bit late in the day, but choice of knurling tool depends on what the knurl is for, and how many are needed.
In my utilitarian workshop, I mostly make things for practical reasons. I'm not into fine models, and rarely care about decorative qualities, because what I make rarely needs to look good. I paint to prevent corrosion, not to improve the aesthetics.
Knurling is done decoratively and/or to improve grip. Decorative knurls have to be consistent because the eye is so good at detecting flawed patterns. Cut knurlers are the go to tool for manufacturing these in quantity with minimum rejects. Bump knurlers are fairly consistent but a bigger stiffer lathe is needed than most hobbyists own. Scissor knurlers allow small machines to produce workmanlike knurls, but they're not particularly consistent. There's a bit of a knack to using them, and I wonder how many poor results are blamed on the tool rather than the operator. Maybe psychology kicks in: the beginner having failed to get acceptable results from an inexpensive tool leaps to the conclusion the tool is at fault. No excuses when the expensive replacement arrives: the learner has to learn how to use it, and does!
Consistency isn't important if the knurls only purpose is improving grip. More important that the knurl be blunt to reduce abrasion. As even well-made knurls on heavily used tools damage the operator, knurls are discouraged in industry. Anyone who doesn't believe me is invited to ride a push-bike fitted with knurled metal handles along a bumpy country lane!
Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 07/08/2021 10:00:55
|Thread: Moving vice on mill table....|
Or tap all the way through because it's easier and then upset the bottom of the thread with a centre-punch. Good opportunity for hammering.
Same reason as Howard explains - to prevent the stud screwing all the way through the T-nut and jacking accidentally.
You say bolts rather than studdiing? Are the bolts passing through the T-Nuts or bottoming on the nuts, preventing the t-nuts from being pulled tight. Always use studding, not bolts, because a bolt can break the table by jacking the slot.
Apart from the T-nuts not being pulled tight properly, are they too small, ie, not bearing fully across the top of the slot.
Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 06/08/2021 10:31:09
|Thread: New Lathe replacement for Myford|
Good question Brian!
The professional approach is to pay much more attention to the requirement, ignoring budget at first. What's it for? Whether or not a lathe will enthusing a grandson will depend on what the grandson (or more likely Brian) expects of it. A youngster's likely to find the type of work I enjoy dead boring; I'm happy to spend hours exploring HSS and Carbide, threading, the properties of different metals, and have experimental interests well served by a lathe and milling machine. I do laboratory gadgets, others make fine models, bling motorbikes, make tools, clocks, musical instruments, or restore old vehicles. A grandson might be better served by a 3D-printer, fast workstation computer, Arduino's, oscilloscope and a small library! Grandad might be happy making a wobbler, grandson might prefer a quadcopter.
Professionally set requirements are categorised as Mandatory and Desirable. The Mandatory list contains absolute essentials only and is ruthlessly pruned because Mandatory requirements eliminate purchase options, which must never be done carelessly. For example, Brian says 'not so heavy it needs special lifting gear', which is both vague and - worse - eliminates a long list of extremely capable ex-industrial machines. With a budget of £10,000 it might be appropriate to hire or buy an engine crane(or whatever), or have the machine installed commercially. (People speak highly of Landylift.) Desirables are weighted, i.e 'how desirable', which allows machines to be compared. 'It should be compatible with the Myford hobby market', is desirable (should rather than must), but how important and why? Over emphasised, this requirement eliminates pretty much everything other than Myford lathes! Could be a good reason for that, or maybe a beginner read some older literature and misunderstands today's market?
The professional approach isn't good for newcomers feeling their way into a new hobby. My ideas starting out were pretty blurred and I now regret the time I wasted pratting around trying to decide what to buy. In the end I realised it was better to get on with it and bought a mini-lathe. What I learned from that machine was worth every penny! Expecting it to need a lot of fettling, I was pleased to find it worked out of the box. I also learned what lathes are capable of in a general sense. For me, the main problem was it's a bit too small. I upgraded to a WM280, which is pretty much all I have room for; it's a much easier machine to use than a mini-lathe because there's more room around the work, more power, a convenient gearbox, and power traverse. But about 70% of what I do can be done on a mini-lathe. If my interests had been serious clock making, I would have gone the other way towards Sherline, Taig or Cowells. What I miss most about the mini-lathe is how quiet it was compared to a big machine full of steel gears and whining fans!
If in a blur of confusion, my advice is stop fussing and get on with it. For many purposes there is no difference between a Mini-lathe, ML4, ML7, Super7, WM280, Connoisseur, Boxford or Dean Smith and Grace, so you might as well start with what's affordable. A WM280 is usefully bigger than a Super 7, and that might matter in your workshop, or not. I wouldn't dither about motor types or exact power either; VFD, DC, Brushless, Single-phase(yuk), will all do well enough. Mini-lathe to small Boxford, anything in the range 500W to 1500W will do. In the good old days lathes were so expensive it paid to get it right because they were a once in a lifetime purchase: not so today - it's always possible to change later. After learning the ropes on a mini-lathe, buying another lathe, including second-hand, is less dangerous because an ounce of practice is worth a pound of theory.
Missing from Brian's list is the space available. I'm limited to a single-garage, which contains a bench, mill, lathe, bandsaw, storage, and a good deal more. One of the reasons I went Far Eastern was being able to choose the biggest machines that will fit into it I have space for a WM18 and a WM280, but not for a WM290 and a Bridgeport. Starting out, a mini-lathe is an easy two person lift and it fits on an ordinary bench. Built in motor, reasonable turning diameter and inexpensive, it's almost the ideal starter machine. Change later if it doesn't do what you need.
Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 06/08/2021 09:55:38
|Thread: Leveling machines|
Not only are ships not level, they roll, yaw, pitch, hog and sag! And if the wave length is just right, repeated hogging and sagging doesn't take long to break a ship in half.
Got me wondering how violently a lathe could be moved before it stopped cutting straight. Myfords would be no good in an airliner because a sharp dive would empty all the oil out, but I think they would cut OK until the bearing seized. Not a problem with well-designed Chinese lathes because they would work OK upside down!
|Thread: EV Charging Hacks …|
Like this example in Liverpool, BBC News
More than 1,000 vehicles that were destroyed in a huge car park fire are being removed ahead of its demolition.
Temperatures in the multi-storey car park on King's Dock in Liverpool reached 1,000C during the inferno on New Year's Eve 2017.
In a petrol fire, tanks explode and leak, spreading flame from car to car with spectacular results in a confined space. An EV battery meltdown is unlikely to spread fire between vehicles.
My advice is to think big and understand the problem. Paul is concerned with the practical inconvenience caused by moving away from fossil fuels and he's right: it will hurt. Unfortunately carrying on as we are isn't an option. God isn't making any more fossil fuels and the sources are drying up What use is an IC car if you can't get petrol, or - more likely - it costs a fortune to fill it? Secondly, burning fossil fuels is changing the climate, not in a good way. Climate change is likely to trigger world scale changes that completely alter everything; floods and droughts reducing food supply and triggering large-scale population movements. Climate change has moved beyond warnings: plenty of evidence it's happening. Anyone thinking our grandchildren will live as we do is wrong.
As change is inevitable, what is humanity going to do about it? Do nothing is always an option, but I prefer to tackle problems head on. Going to electric cars is indeed a major task, but no bigger than moving from Canals to Railways, or Railways to Internal Combustion, or from Wright Brothers at Kittyhawk to a constant stream of A380s queueing to land at Heathrow.
You have to start somewhere! Assumptions that don't hold water:
The debate is over, time to get on with it. For the majority driving commute distances, electric will be relatively painless. Pulling caravans around Europe is more doubtful!
I wonder how many of the objections to new technology are fear of change? I certainly don't like it, but I see no value in trying to stop it. Much of the material published in ME between 1955 and 1964 discussing the demise of steam rings the same bells. Chaps wheeled out all sorts of arguments in favour of steam that showed an emotional attachment to an old friend rather than any understanding of railway economics. It was the economics that mattered, not the value of a well-understood but out-dated technology.
Nothing wrong with criticism, but I would like naysayers to come up with alternatives rather than assuming all is well. It's not, and engineers can only fix it if society lets them. I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 05/08/2021 09:57:22
|Thread: equation editor|
Lyx might be easier than TexStudio, which I like. Both are front ends to LATEX, a full-blown typesetting tool for producing reports, articles, letters etc. Not really for making blobs of maths for insertion into another package, though it can be done : one output is postscript. Not WYSIWYG either: the idea is the writer just types and lets the typesetter do the formatting to an approved style, typically academic.
Though Lyx and TexStudio power assist by adding boilerplate the input is like this (TexStudio):
Power user tool. Harder to learn than perhaps is justified for doing one or two odd jobs, but pays off big time the more it's used, especially on largish plus documents.
|Thread: Chester DB8VS|
Amazing difficult to track down where odd noises are coming from. Next time I have to do it I will buy a stethoscope, but try a wooden rod, about 12 to 20mm diameter, 200mm long. One end to ear, other to suspected source. Take great care not to get caught in a running machine!!!
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