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Member postings for BOB BLACKSHAW

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

27/02/2016 20:51:58

If fitting a DRO on the SX2 plus, I have noticed on You Tube that a lot of these are fitted on the back of the table, another had fitted on the front. Both ideas have drawbacks, on the back limited on the axis as the DRO will hit the back, on the front you can not adjust the gibs or lock the table. Has anyone fitted a DRO to a SX2 and give advise on the best way of doing it. As past posts I have made all the parts for the stops this week so at the moment one part of me wants to put stops on and the other to buy the DRO.

Thanks for any replies

Thread: Slip Gauges
25/02/2016 20:39:22

The post from Danny about they should be used as gauges as a precision tool. The set I got from e-bay cost £30 and was the same type that we used when doing fine limit sheetmetal work, they were used as an adjustment aide when cutting, bending, punching holes using the fly press all types of fine limit adjustment. The welder actually had his own set when setting up using tig welding, if I remember correctly I think we had around five boxes of Precise John Bailey gauges to use. But obviously the tool shop had their own and God help you if you even looked at them, so if I paid a lot of money for a new box today I doubt if I would use them as the stuff I am turning out would not justify an expensive item.

24/02/2016 20:35:04

Another useful tool I have had for years but now showing wear is a optical centre punch. I remember paying a lot of money for it, but looking at Axminster they seem quite cheap..

23/02/2016 20:51:59

Hello. As a past fine limit sheet metal worker for over 25 years, now semi retired and out of engineering for over 15 years, I have started this new hobby of model engineering now around six months. I am surprised how much I enjoy being in the shed working on my lathe and mill, and using my hands making some small engines, as at the time in sheet metal work I hated every hour at the factory. I have purchased a lot of essential tooling needed for lathe and mill work but noticing only one thread on slip gauges has made me create this one. I purchased a set of slip gauges on e-bay last November, Precise, John Bailey 1964, a set we use to use years ago, I must say that they have been one of the most useful ofl toolsl . They are .862 inch square with around 60 gauges from 3 inch down to .100, I have used them as parallels, stops, height gauge for centering on the lathe, packing when drilling etc. As I have said with only one thread on slip gauges are other model engineers aware of how useful they are..

Thread: Stirling Engine
14/02/2016 20:10:19


Thanks for these replies , and now have the information I need


13/02/2016 22:49:20


I have found the plans for this Stirling engine on the net but four pre made parts are not shown, 16, 21, 25, 45, has anyone got the sizes of these parts. I think that a guess to the size would be good enough, but on these type of engines is the hot piston any different to the cold piston in diameter

Thanks for any replies.

Thread: Ring LED light
13/02/2016 04:59:18


I am looking to put a LED ring light on my milling machine after reading about the idea from a American web site. The only type I can find is the type used for flash photography, the size is ok but that is about all. Any idea where one can be purchased at a reasonable price, as one for microscope use is around £100.

Thanks for any replies

09/02/2016 15:37:29

Thanks for these ideas, the article given by Russell is of help and looks a simple solution which I shall adopt. A DRO will be the next step on my mill and lathe in the near future.


09/02/2016 00:01:20


Before I start drilling and tapping on my SX2 P mill has anybody put stops on the table for the X and Y, I would of thought that stops would of been a essential part of this small mill. I am generally happy with the mill but before I do any modification on it my idea of stops may not be the best solution.

Thanks for any replies, Bob.

Thread: Where is the best place to buy material from
24/01/2016 17:51:22


As a member for around six months with a lathe and mill I have exhausted my supply of scrap material that I had aquired from my engineering days long ago.

I am just supprised at the cost of material today as the stuff I need was just thrown in the scrap bin.

I have looked on e-bay but postage puts the price up, so where do you members get brass, alu and steel from.

Thanks for any replies.

Thread: Warco WM16 or WM18?
20/12/2015 02:13:29

Hello, after writing a post about what milling machine to get, I have read these replies and would like to have a VM18.

My problem is lifting it in position as I am now limited in space, is it possible to strip the machine down to moveable parts and reassemble when on the stand.

If you can not strip it down, I have chain pulley that lifted my lathe with ease, but how do you lift a mill with a pulley, its going to be top heavy or a problem it will flick over, the strip down if possible would be my best option.



Thread: What milling machine to buy
19/12/2015 02:16:05

Hello, I have took partial retirement so now have more time to make things which I have missed doing as I have been out of engineering for over 15 years. My wood shed with solid floor has now been insulated walls and floor and I have installed a new lathe, weight 120kg. I done my home work on the lathe I wanted, a belt driven and generally quite basic. My problems started when I got it, put it this way if I did not have any knowledge of engineering the lathe would not be fit for purpose. I was sent parts that was missing, the gibs needed shimming out the list went on. I now have it running well and have archived 3/10ths over 8 inches. I have many tools from my engineering days so I have not had to purchase many tools to make anything, plus e-bay has helpt stuff so cheap. I am now looking for a mill, weight must be around than 80 kg as it will be a problem getting it in. I don't want to go through all the problems I had with the lathe, so any advice would be appreciated. As for metal stock where is the best place to get it, as what was thrown in the scrap bin now commands big money postage included. I even wrote a letter with a stamp addressed envelope to a old employer of many years ago asking if I could buy some scrap aluminum, didn't get a reply, worked for them for 10 years as well. Thanks for any advice on this matter Bob.

Thread: New to model engineering
21/08/2015 17:06:00


This has started me reminiscing, I worked for Adroit Tools in Luton in the 70s and to do fine limit small sheet metal components with a tolerance of + - .15mm or 0006 inch we used the fly press with in shop tooling that used Promecam top tools and beds, Pierce All punch and dies. shop made guillotine. All small jobs of tight tolerance were done on the fly press using slip gauges rather than the main machines.

This is another item in the shed I would love to have, but again its how to get it in there owing to the weight, is the fly press used by other engineers in the work shops as they can do any small job with tight tolerance with home made tooling.


21/08/2015 16:20:55

Hello, thanks for your replies on this matter, it seems that the lathe needed wll weigh around 180kg that is the problem I will have is getting a lathe of this weight in position.

The warco vm240 weighs 110kg which more manageable, are they worth considering.

As has been said by OuBallie I need to insulate the shed first.

Many thanks Bob

21/08/2015 12:13:59

Hello, I have just retired and would like some advice on what type of lathe and milling machine would best fit a 8ft x 5ft solid floor shed. I have looked at Warco machines but are belt drive more reliable than the variable speed. The advice would help as I do not want to buy a machine then find later on I am not happy with it. I was a fine limit sheet metal worker some 15 years ago so have a good understanding with work shop practice, I miss making things as I have been in security work since the engineering days. I live in Bedford any advice will be appreciated, thanks for any replies.

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