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Member postings for Michael-w

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

Thread: Clarke metalworkers 6speed
17/09/2018 20:03:26
Posted by steve mccaffrey on 16/09/2018 17:37:47:
hi guys some of you may know I haven't touched a lathe in over 30years, I've been offered a Clarke metalworkers 6speed lathe for �500, are they any good is it worth the money. I do know some of the lathes these days use plastic gears, don't know about this one. any help great fully received, many thanks guys


I actually have this particular lathe and like martin, i would say the same, it can make very decent parts.

I would agree that my main gripe with it that many have overlooked in favour of simply bashing on the chinese, is the old fashioned design of using a fixed leadscrew saddle traverse, very reliable but damn slow. You can tell in some rare, hard to obtain variants of this machine, (such as grizzly or warco) that they have tried to overcome this problem by adding a rack and pinion feed but they really are rare as hens teeth and not many of them about.

But in terms of what you can make with it, it's got a hefty centre height of 5 1/2" and the skill and level of setups you're willing to do is going to ultimately determine how accurately you can make things.

Now i'm trying to overcome said problem with traverse by adding a feedscrew motor, probably the easiest thing to do, as i've looked extensively at the leadscrew area and theres not alot of room on the casting and funny angles make it awkward to fit any kind of rack and pinion mod.

Also, note on the plastic gears thing, the idea is that cutting a fine pitch screw isn't going to impart alot of force, so you can get away with having flimsier gears. Thats the logic anyway, but i'm glad mine are all metal.

I think for the same money now, i'd rather sacrifice the extra headroom for an easy traverse on a warco lathe, brand new especially so. But hey, that's not to say i'm not happy with it, shes a hefty beasty. Everything about it just is chunky. It's not for the feint of heart. 

If i was you though, for goodness sake, get the CL430 instead, lathe only model, and try to get an independent mill. The crossover thing doesn't justify the extra bucks. 

Michael W

Edited By Michael-w on 17/09/2018 20:14:05

Thread: Best type of material to use for beginners
03/09/2018 18:05:34

As a fiend for scrap i am, i would have to suggest using a known material to begin with. I guarantee you'll be spoiling less of those tools you spent your hard earned on.

Michael W

Thread: Never Throw Anything Away
03/09/2018 12:22:28
Posted by Andrew Tinsley on 03/09/2018 10:56:03:

Whenever I have a clear out, you can be absolutely certain that whatever is thrown away / recycled, will be desperately required in a couple of month's time.

Just another version of Sod's Law.


+1 That's life! laugh

Thread: Workshop working tolerances
03/09/2018 12:08:57

Generally speaking it's not actually that bad to control sizes, especially if you already have what you want to fit it to, to hand.

For example, you're machining a bar to fit into a cylinder of sorts.

You don't really even have to be concerned with numbers too much at that point. Just creep up on the nominal size that you know the other is and keep checking it by hand against the matching part after each and every light cut.

You can then go from either a force fit to a push fit to a sliding fit, if it feels a bit tight to begin with, just let it wear into it for a short while.

This is why you didn't have to be a walking calculator to successfully manage sizes years ago.

It obviously changes and gets tricky when you want to make lots of bits for parts that you don't have to hand, that repeatability is what industry continually wrestles with.

There would be people who really don't like that idea but in actual fact this is the way craftsmen used to work, by feel and intuition. 

Michael W

Edited By Michael-w on 03/09/2018 12:15:53

Thread: Never Throw Anything Away
02/09/2018 19:44:12

I think theres a middle ground for this sort of question, i think anyone who's marginally sensible will be able to tell when something might be useful or when it's just using up empty space.

Lots of people remark on hoarders but then there is the opposite of throwing anything and everything away, and then to only end up buying again what you threw away when you thought it wasn't needed. Not to mention the environmental cost of just dumping everything.

Michael W

Thread: Workshop working tolerances
02/09/2018 19:14:51

I remember "This Old Tony" on youtube saying, "The devil's greatest trick was convincing you to buy cheap tools"

Well, guilty as charged in my case laughI'm not sure how true it is but it did make me laugh.

Michael W

Edited By Michael-w on 02/09/2018 19:15:15

Thread: Tungsten steel taps and dies.
02/09/2018 18:26:35

I have personally found that even the el cheapo, carbon steel taps/dies are excellent from tracy's tools. Definitely a good supplier of that kind of stuff.

The teeth seem very sharp, a cut above the set variety. 

Michael W

Edited By Michael-w on 02/09/2018 18:27:25

Thread: Facemill Hammering, solved
30/08/2018 20:41:33

Also, not really quite the same thing but obviously using a wide facing type cutter can put a larger load on the machine, as you're essentially increasing the width of the work it has to do.

So it's better to choose a relatively narrower cutter to remove more material first, when the finish isn't going to be a concern at that point, before then stepping up to the larger cutter for a thin skimming cut, tends to be less time consuming and tedious, than taking multiple passes with the large cutter. 

This doesn't become an apparent problem until you start trying to deal with iron castings and harder steels, i guess you can get away with it on plastics and certain aluminium. 

Michael W

Edited By Michael-w on 30/08/2018 20:43:42

Thread: grit size for slip stone
27/08/2018 18:11:42


You've got two or three choices really, an oil stone, which tends to be softer but cuts faster, a water stone, which is harder but cuts slower, or a diamond stone which is probably the most convenient but on the expensive side.

traditionally in the west oil stones were used and you only tended to need a single, double sided stone to do the majority of sharpening. However, some will swear by moving up through all the grades.

The choice will ultimately come down to you but i think somewhere around the mid mark would be good enough for damage repair, if you choose one too fine you'll be there for a long time.

Michael W

Thread: clocking in a mill vise. Problems.
27/08/2018 17:55:42

I didn't know that so, i wondered why some t-nuts are not tapped the whole way through!

These bolts in particular are very short, i cut them myself! You can't see it from the photo but they are very dumpy.

But still, i will probably do this in future now i've been told. Especially since at least a stud can't have the head twisted off and saves cutting to length.

I also am not too keen about having a mill with a great gouge in the table. I ought to make some bed way covers as well as i get sick of trying to pull bits of swarf out of them. 

Michael W

Edited By Michael-w on 27/08/2018 17:58:37

27/08/2018 16:10:28


Had another crack at it today and i think i've solved the problem, there are a number of factors that may or may not have come into play with the error.

-Giving the machine a good clean. Was a minor amount of grease and stains that needed de-greasing, and scrubbing but gave it all a wipe down afterwards and put a thin rub of WD40 afterwards to help ward of the rust monsters.

-Those washers really were flimsy! one had bent right out of shape under repeated duress i assume. So i got some washers that were about twice as thick and replaced both of them.

- I have a bad habit of taking the parallel reading off a big vertex gauge block, clamped up inside the vise, which isn't really proper, but this time i did the right thing and took it from the inside of the fixed jaw.

-The vise is pretty durable, i like this model that much, that i have a second one also. But it comes with a swivel base, which is really not useful 99% of the time. But hey.

I had another habit of clamping the base and adjusting the vise on the radial slot, which in hindsight probably may have contributed to the encouragement to twist away. So i left that clamped up and adjusted the vise along the table clamp tabs this time. One pinched up gently and the other a bit looser.

- My number one culprit that i suspect may be the worst of them all. I noticed as i was doing up the bolts that my spanner would catch the draft angle of the casting. Sounds so stupid looking back but definitely very easy to overlook.



I think you can just about see the radial draft near the base of the index markings. Urgh.

But after all this i was able to repeat my adjustment to 0.02 maximum along the length of the vise and NOT let it go walkabout during tightening.

I'm happy with this as i'm only making an aluminium clamp for a laser sight attachment to an air rifle.

Like many times in this, you start out on one thing only to start sorting out something else first.

Thanks for all the pointers,

Michael W

26/08/2018 17:59:06
Posted by JasonB on 26/08/2018 17:56:33:

If you can normally get the vice to 0.02, I doubt the vice will have warped or moved since you last used it. What have you done different to before?

Hi Jason,

What i mean by that is that before i've started to clamp it up, the reading is to 0.02mm, but as i start the clamping the reading starts to get worse until i end up at the 0.15mm mark normally.

I admit, It may have been doing this for quite a while if i simply trusted the reading before the nuts clamped down and didn't bother looking twice. 

Edited By Michael-w on 26/08/2018 18:00:57

26/08/2018 17:57:37

Thanks Neil,

I would say the standard washers with these kind of vises do look a bit on the flimsy side anyway, so i could do with making/putting some better ones on it.

26/08/2018 17:52:29

Thanks tim,

Well it's probably been a while since i last cleaned the mill table so it's due a good clean anyway.

Really i wouldn't be entirely surprised if the base was out, i've got a couple of other vises i can use in the meantime, but it would be worth checking.

It would be worth eliminating those variables anyway.

Come to think of it, i did take a facing cut either side of a piece of ally and found a 0.1 taper on the face. And i know it's not the mill head causing that because i recently dialled in the mill head from using it at an angle on a different occasion. 

Michael W

Edited By Michael-w on 26/08/2018 17:55:20

Thread: Machine registry
26/08/2018 17:46:31

In the US, i believe the law defines a gun as just the receiver. So long as they can find a receiver it's technically a firearm.

But in the U.K, this doesn't matter, the "gun", due to so many being made illicitly or in clandestine fashion, has to be proven to have been designed or used with lethal intent in mind. regardless if it's a spring, gas operated or traditional gun powder based weapon.

Obviously the U.K is able to prosecute on the basis of owning an unlicensed weapon quite easily, so long as they can prove the former.

Thread: clocking in a mill vise. Problems.
26/08/2018 17:36:57


I've come back from taking a short break from the workshop. I don't know if i'm going senile here but i can't seem to dial a mill vise in parallel using the dti without throwing it out, normally by 0.1-0.15mm, as tighten up the bolts again.

It's not that i can't find parallel, i can normally get it to the 0.02 over 6 inches of travel no problem. It's literally just as i come to tighten it up.

It doesn't matter if i keep one side pinched up or if i use the lightest of touch on the spanner. Is there something i'm doing wrong here?

Michael W

Thread: Is Model Engineering in Decline
18/08/2018 08:14:16
Posted by Ady1 on 17/08/2018 14:30:48:

We're the guys who are prepared for the zombie apocalypse when it arrives

Got more than my fair share of zombies already in my town.

Thread: What Is The Most Beautiful 'Thing' In The World?
06/08/2018 15:34:32
Posted by David Standing 1 on 06/08/2018 15:27:48:

Whilst there is a demand, and the price is high, poachers will always continue to take the risk to attempt to obtain the horn. Life in Africa can be very cheap.

Given the standard of living for the average joe, in many of those countries where rare animals call home, it shouldn't be entirely surprising that they go after them like it's solid gold.

Michael W

Edited By Michael-w on 06/08/2018 15:40:15

Thread: New application of Mole Grips
14/07/2018 08:34:11
Posted by Hopper on 14/07/2018 04:48:44:
Posted by Mick Charity on 13/07/2018 20:34:41:

Am I the only one who doesn't find this use of mole grips strange?

Mole grips have their uses & I would beg anyone to define their definitive use . . . Go on, tell us.


Gripping moles. That's why they hide underground these days. Prior to the advent of mole grips, they could be seen merrily skipping up and down footpaths everywhere in complete defiance of law and order.

Well..with their their teeth I don't think I'd want to pick one up either :P Easy way to lose a finger...

Looking at the car, it looks like the kind of rig that bubba J would use in his pickup if anyone has seen Jeff Dunham's show. 

Michael W

Edited By Michael-w on 14/07/2018 08:39:07

Thread: Making Parallels
14/06/2018 18:12:37

I find what can be more useful (but more awkward to do) is to make a set of milling vice jaws that have a milled recess for a particular job. Seen lots of places do that.

Michael W

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