Here is a list of all the postings Martin Connelly has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.
|Thread: How to machine out a metal channel by hand?|
Clamp the two parts together and run a Ø10.5 drill down the resulting hole, from both ends unless it is a very long drill.
|Thread: Again - another whatsit|
I suspect this specific purpose measuring machine will have been superseded by a general purpose coordinate measuring machine using either contact probes or lasers.
|Thread: Emco Compact 5 - complete newbie|
For collets a simple start would be to use a square collet block in the 4 jaw chuck you have said you have. It will also be a useful addition to your tooling if you proceed to making a dedicated collet chuck at some future date. You will need a dial test indicator (DTI) and suitable holder for setting it up but this is something you will need anyway if you do not have one yet.
|Thread: Telephone Ringback Code?|
1471 and 1571 were the BT codes in the past for last number that called and voice mail (messaging) retrieval. If you dialled and the number was engaged you could press 5 to ring the number when it was clear. You also had *#37# and #37# to check the status of ring back and to cancel ring back.
|Thread: Curiosity about an Aldi belt sander|
They are very good for whipping off burs after sawing off pieces on a bandsaw.
|Thread: Unimat milling table damage|
The best thing to do is to just use a flat sharpening stone to remove any high spots and stop at that. You could make things worse by trying anything beyond this.
|Thread: Yet another unidentified tool|
It would be good for removing excess glue from the edging strip on tables and worktops.
|Thread: A mandrel for long narrow tubes|
6mm button inserts for profiling work well on plastics as well. They are reasonably sharp and the large radius helps polish the surface (no good for internal corners unless you want a 3mm or larger fillet).
|Thread: UC100 with printer switch for two machines|
The original designer of Mach3 admits that the use of the parallel port was a bit of a bodge job as it is being used in a way it was never designed to be used. Any purpose designed motion controller will give as good as or a better result than the parallel port, usually better. Faster speeds are often possible as a result of using a motion controller. I don't know if a motion controller helps reduce missed steps as I have hybrid servo-steppers which are less prone to missing steps and give an error if they do which can be used to stop the CNC program.
A faster PC will not make as much difference as a motion controller as once a motion controller is used the PC does a lot less work, a lot of it is taken over by the motion controller. What a newer PC is able to do is other things at the same time, for instance a marginal PC using the parallel port will not be able to play sounds without causing uneven running of the CNC program (Allow Wave Files and Allow Speech in General Config needs to be disabled for example).
There is one important thing to watch out for in buying motion controllers. If you intend to do anything like threading on a lathe or a mill (yes, you can do this, treating the mill like a lathe) then you need to ensure the controller caters for this, some don't.
|Thread: facing mill insert - what radius ?|
The difference between a fly cutter set up for Ø60 and a Ø60 facing mill is simply the number of cutting edges so the facing mill can remove metal more quickly and needs faster feeding as a result, otherwise you may end up rubbing not cutting. A facing mill may have more than one cutter working at a time so needs more power to keep it working well. For small milling machines, with low rigidity and power, facing mills do not really make a lot of sense. I would suggest keeping the facing mills for use with aluminium but go with a fly cutter for steel unless you get a better machine in the future. Stick a suitable carbide tipped lathe tool in a fly cutter so you do not need to worry about tool sharpening angles.
|Thread: UC100 with printer switch for two machines|
I run Mach3 with Warp9 Smooth Steppers, so similar to the UC100, which means I can use any PC to run it. I have a cheap used Toshiba touch screen laptop from Ebay on one machine that runs Win10 and XP on a freebie laptop on another. I think you are better off getting away from using a parallel port and using an external motion controller to future proof (at least in a limited way, nothing lasts forever) your system. If you do it before the old set-up dies you can take time to do it at a leisurely pace.
Since a lot of external motion controllers have the equivalent of 2 parallel ports (the Smooth Steppers certainly do) on them it should be possible to run two machines from one motion controller, though most likely not at the same time. This would require two Mach3 setups which can be named to match the equipment and just run one at a time. One set up would only use port 1 and the other only port 2. This means the idea of a parallel port switch is probably unnecessary. Other options are to have 2 UC100 (£92 each) controllers and a USB switch or go for the UC400ETH (£128) which has 2 ports (and a slightly higher cost) and would require 2 interface cables (IDC26-DSUB25 £5.32) to go from the headers on the controller to your machines.
The recently bought Toshiba laptop was to replace the previous freebie laptop running XP that was getting old. The internal battery died and is not replaceable so every time I switched it on I had to go through the process of setting up the hard drive then the date so that was annoying. It also had keyboard issues and I have been using it with a wireless mini-keyboard but that, whilst it is good for some things like a remote pendant, is not so good for typing in commands. It would probably be comparable to the cost of a now rare parallel port switch and extra cables.
Laptops work fine with Mach3 despite dire warnings in the Mach3 paperwork. Just set them up to run like a desktop machine, that is to not sleep or power down in any way when powered from the external supply.
|Thread: What is "Mathematics"|
Bill, my 4 A level subjects were exactly the same as you did.
|Thread: Hello - Uni or apprenticeship|
Where I worked we had students work with us for a year out in a sandwich course. We usually had a few people for the single place in our department. As we were a support department without a specialisation we chose between them by getting them to talk about their interests after the interview was seemingly over. People who liked tinkering with vehicles or playing with Meccano or Lego interested us so, as earlier posts have said, your interests are important to prospective employers. We didn't want someone who was only looking for a career that paid well.
Designing of any sort is also a good sign, especially if involves thinking 3 dimensionally. I always told people who asked what qualifications you needed for my job that a good imagination was the best starting point. Imagining how things can be made, imagining how things can go wrong, imagining how things can be fixed, imagining how things can be improved... I can think of plenty of other things along this line.
Being good at mathematics is essential for an engineering degree even though once you have an engineering degree you will probably only use a small part of what you learned doing the degree. Computers and CAD can now be employed to do all the donkey work, a degree just shows that you can do the work if necessary.
The best advice I think I can give anyone though is to do something that interests them. If you are not interested then the work just seems a lot harder and off-putting. Once you have qualifications then the choice of future work is not necessarily confined to a single path.
|Thread: Looking for uncommon propane tank fitting|
I suspect that making one would result in a non-standard part. Use of a non-standard un-certified part in a pressurised gas system would probably render any insurance policy useless if it came to light. A search on the internet will now be able to pull up these posts and give the insurance company grounds to reject any claim. It is also probably illegal in some places to use an uncertified part. This is based on what I had to be wary of when I was working and often identifying replacement parts for some old kit. Often a new replacement of the whole system was the only viable solution.
|Thread: MEW No.316 just arrived - but what is that smell?|
My inkjet ink smells fishy when it is still damp.
|Thread: slipping chuck|
If it is a drill with a morse taper socket then the arbor between the drill and the chuck can be replaced quite cheaply. It may solve your problem.
|Thread: 3 phase query - for a charity project in Africa|
I would not claim this to be 100% accurate since it is a Google answer but Sierra Leone typically receives about 2,526mm of precipitation per year and has an average temperature around 28°C. The sky is not always clear of clouds. Freetown only has an annual average of 5.9 hours of daily sunshine. This combination gives a very high dew point and so probably requires quite high temperatures to dry crops and avoid fungal growth on them and probably the crops need drying when the sun is not guaranteed to shine. There are probably plenty of other parts of Africa with similar statistics. Not all of Africa is the Sahara desert, it's a big continent with plenty of climate variation.
|Thread: Minimum depth of cut possible with carbide tooling on S7|
HSS turned with a GT insert at the bottom of this picture. This is what I would consider good. I would also say good enough or acceptable but excellent is, as Andrew suggest, not well defined.
I've used GT inserts on HSS and stainless as well as basic steels and got good finishes. The rigidity of the set-up is what is most important. If you can do away with the compound slide for a job it helps. If you can use a solid rear tool post with an upside down tool for example it is more rigid than the normal set-up on a compound slide. If you have to use the tool at the front minimise overhang of any sort, that includes the tool post not being over the cross slide.
|Thread: Code of Conduct|
Nail, drill and ream have been used in a non-engineering way for some time now.
Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!
You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.
Click THIS LINK for full contact details.
For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.