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Member postings for Barrie Lever

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

Thread: Scaling back forum activity
11/09/2020 18:09:34

Well folks, I have been truly surprised at the response to me effectively saying to a few of my friends that I would not be around as much as I used to.


Thanks once again for the comments both good and bad.


Best Regards


<Edit> I'm afraid you may not like our rules, but as stated by me quite recently, one of them is that we don't allow people to actively promote competitor websites.

I'm sure you would delete or edit any posting by me on your website that aimed to persuade people to use this one instead.

As for URLs, as long as you are in no danger of passing off, it's a free world.



Edited By Barrie Lever on 11/09/2020 18:10:40

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 12/09/2020 13:14:28

09/09/2020 22:57:33


I am not so stuck my backside to not laugh at the slow clap off the pitch !!

I did not get the popcorn though.


09/09/2020 17:47:34

The moderators will breath a sigh of relief that I am scaling back my activity on the ME forum.

I have had yet another behind the scenes spat with Jason over forum moderation, which in my opinion is too heavy handed.

I am not leaving the forum or throwing the towel in but my differences of opinion with the moderators and the changing content of the ME forum which I find of less interest than previously have diminished the enjoyment of taking part in forum activity. My views are are shared by at least one other prominent forum contributor.

I own and run two forums which are increasing in activity so I should really devote this forum type time to those forums.

Anyone who needs to contact me such as Lightbulb, Emgee, Old School, Phil McAvity, Lauri and others know where they can find me.



Thread: Back Copies 1950s - 80s
09/09/2020 13:17:09

My Mrs went loopy when I collected about 1000 ME back copies about a year ago, otherwise I would have the collection.


Thread: Covid-19 fantasies crushed ?
09/09/2020 11:44:37
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 09/09/2020 10:11:41:

My prediction, now proved wrong,


Dave nothing out of the ordinary there then !! At least you are big enough to admit it but like the old saying goes practise makes perfect !! wink


Thread: Soldering aluminium
07/09/2020 08:23:16
Posted by John Graham 7 on 07/09/2020 07:08:49:

Aluminium oxidizes very quickly making it hard to solder. Coat the surface with sewing machine oil. Scratch the surface through the oil with a wire brush or the blade of a screwdriver. Don't remove the oil as it prevents oxide forming. Coat the surface with soft solder through the oil. You need a lot of heat because aluminium is an excellent conductor of heat and cools very quickly.

If you do aluminium brazing rub the surface of the aluminium with a brass bristle wire brush. This will remove the oxide and leave a light coating of brass on the aluminium which prevents further oxidization and helps the aluminium filler rod to stick.



Does your technique burn the oil away? Does the oil contaminate the joint to any significant amount?

I might do a couple of test pieces and photograph them for the forum to discuss.


06/09/2020 22:31:00


Aluminium solders as good or better than copper if the oxide is not present but it oxidises in split seconds.

You can solder aluminium with normal soft solder and no special fluxes if you can remove the oxide and not let the air get to it.

The trick is to scratch the aluminium up under a puddle of solder, I promise everyone that the solder will take.

Just wait for the naysayers telling me that it will not work, just like the tutor when I was an apprentice saying that you cannot solder aluminium, I told him you can and he said show us, at which point I soldered a piece of wire onto a sheet of aluminium with regular multicore solder, when the tutor tried pulling the wire off of the alloy sheet the wire pulled out of the solder not the alloy to solder joint giving way.

Anyhow you did not really want to know about soft solder, you wanted to know about the lumiweld, technoweld products, they all work with a bit of practise.


Thread: Any vet's/retired vet's on the forum?
03/09/2020 13:06:24
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 03/09/2020 11:24:33:

If the practice is in a huge shiny building and equipped with things like MRI scanners ask how come they can afford these?

Plus, if they have all this equipment there's a big incentive to make sure it is used in order to pay for it.

When our dog had cancer, the first vet diagnosed it as 90% likely.

The SO wanted a second opinion which ended up costing all the insurance and more and was no more definitive (except it ruled out lots of things I had eliminated by common sense like a bone stuck in her throat) the main result was that all the extra tests just meant it took longer for the poor animal to get the palliative treatment she needed by two to three weeks.


Maybe you were unlucky, I am with PGK on this one.

If I take my recently retired dentist who I went to school with and who I flew control line models with as an example.

He had very top end digital dentistry equipment, 3D colour scanners, 5 axis milling machines all made by a company called CEREC.

He made a number of crowns for me, the best one being a front tooth that he made from start to finish in 90 minutes, the cost of these crowns was always less than other dentists quoted for a traditional two hit process.

People such as vets and dentists are more altruistic than lawyers or accountants with big offices and should be cut some slack just because they have decent equipment.


Thread: Moore & Wright disaster
03/09/2020 12:35:04
Posted by Ian Parkin on 03/09/2020 12:12:24:

If anyone needs new batteries they are



4.8v 250mah

Edited By Ian Parkin on 03/09/2020 12:12:35


With 4.8v they are unlikely to be Lithium Ion.

More like Ni Mh, these are much more tolerant of standby charging.


Thread: UK availability of 1/8" Dia shank End mill/Slot drills
02/09/2020 09:25:23
Posted by JasonB on 02/09/2020 06:54:40:

I did look at Drill services but could not find anything larger than 1/32" size on 1/8" shanks, same with UK MSC so special order assuming 1/16, 3/32 and 1/8 cutting sizes are wanted all with 1/8" shanks as OP has not actually said what cutting size is wanted. Though Drill services have a good range if you go for carbide though you will have to look for imperial sizes expressed in metric, eg 3.165mm shank and 1.588mm dia for 1/8 x 1/16

Edited By JasonB on 02/09/2020 08:15:51

SDC-1/8" is a 1/8" cutter on a 1/8" shank and you will get it tomorrow morning if ordered by about 3PM today.

I agree with Tony on carbide.


01/09/2020 20:55:21
Posted by Greensands on 31/08/2020 13:59:59:

Hi all - Anyone know of a UK source of 1/8" diameter shank endmills or slot drills? A search of the internet appears to show availability from China but not from the UK. Sought of thing I am looking for would similiar to the 3-fluted FCC range of cutters commonly availlable with 1/4" or 6mm diameter shanks.

Try Drill Service in Horley, you will not be disappointed in anyway.



Thread: Best configuration for a Hobby CNC
29/08/2020 22:25:21


I like the tramming blocks, I think I will make some up for the Wabeco.


28/08/2020 16:42:26
Posted by John Alexander Stewart on 28/08/2020 15:57:05:


FYI: About a decade ago, at SIGGRAPH, a 3d gantry-style router was presented, called "DIYLILCNC", and plans were available by download.

It used a Dremel for the spindle, and could do aluminum. This was when 3D printing was really doing well with home-built machines; a group thought that "subtractive machining" was something that might fly with those without tons of money for the then-current CNC mills. It used LinuxCNC if I remember correctly, so was certainly within the price range of the youngsters.

The guys seemed to be there for a couple of years, but faded out.

Maybe they were before their time, or maybe the Chinese routers are where it's at.



It so much easier for an automated programme to build layers and not have to think about avoiding existing structures as nothing is there, coupled with the fact that subtractive machining allows a whole load wider choice of materials, cutters and finishes.

For this reason for the time being subtractive manufacturing will remain a lot more specialised than 3D printing or laser cutting.


28/08/2020 16:37:38
Posted by Bazyle on 28/08/2020 16:00:20:

I'm feeling my age : HSM = Home Shop Machinist

Prosumer Eh?

At least Blowlamp's video was sort of in English.


Prosumer comes from the camera World, it means low end professional and high end consumer .


28/08/2020 16:32:01
Posted by Clive Foster on 28/08/2020 15:22:10:

Especially as they are G-Code based and I have my reservations about G-Code.


20 years ago I used to shy away from G codes, but now I really would not want a CNC machine where I could not at least edit the G code for final little tweaks.

I don't programme much by hand as most of the work I do is 3D but I can do simple hand written programmes, what I often do are mods to the 3D programme.

One of the best things I done was learning the basics of G code, a bit like learning AutoCAD, whilst not the best CAD anywhere you went there was an AutoCAD seat and you just jumped in and got on with it.

All my machines use G code.


  • CNC Step gantry router
  • Wabeco CC-F1210 3 axis cnc mill
  • K40 laser cutter running K40 Whisperer.
  • Dremel 3D20
28/08/2020 14:20:43

And the equivalent style of the Societe Genevoise jig borer but marketed as a hobby/prosumer CNC machine.



28/08/2020 13:32:33

I am sat next to my CNC router which is HSM machining some carbon fibre billets for use in Americas cup yachts.

The HSM techniques also give considerably longer tool life which is a big factor when tools are costing £100.00 each for 6mm diamond coated end mills.

HSM needs/relies on using the flutes of the cutter more than the tips and thus spread the work more evenly over the cutter.

HSM or adaptive uses a lot of sweeping arcs to cover the work piece, so having good acceleration and deceleration is quite import.

I think that HSM is actually the way to go with lighter weight machines assuming they can accelerate and decelerate well.

Tool paths and code can be posted if of interest.


Edited By Barrie Lever on 28/08/2020 13:33:42

28/08/2020 12:47:04
Posted by Clive Foster on 28/08/2020 11:50:08:


Drifting off topic a bit here.

Its not a case of actually feeling the need for a traditional mill head on a gantry style machine more a case of considering what is reasonably possible at an affordable price with a (potentially) viable target market. Given the absence of HSM machining strategies with current model engineer level CNC controls something more rigid than a router style head is needed to handle conventional cuts. Mix and match from components already in production is also a lot more economical than design from scratch. Especially when you aren't sure which way the market will develop. An alternative to the conventional ME small CNC machine based on manual mill components.

The uprated, fixed gantry, router style machine has to be considered as the subtractive machining equivalent to a 3D printer and would be used in the same way. Control strategy inherently HSM, probably much closer to 3D printing running "backwards" than conventional CNC. Reasonable CAD has to be taken as a given for folk starting out to do own design components now.

It will be interesting to see where the whole MakerSpace thing goes in the next few years as its now, in principle, possible to go straight to CNC subtractive machining without learning to drive manual machines first. But the equipment doesn't really seem out there as a coherent yet. Waiting for the Rep-Rap equivalent methinks.

But maybe someone knows differently which is why I started this hare running.

Hobby / ME affordable technology generally seem to run about 20-30 years behind industry and straight to CNC has been a norm for a fair few years now.



I am interested in a couple of your comments.

I thought that HSM strategies were/are used in hobby machines such as gantry routers, Fusion 360 certainly has them and most half decent hobby/prosumer gantry routers are pretty quick moving which is a requirement for HSM (fast moving, with small step over and cut on the side of the tool with the tool constantly engaged).

I don't use Fusion 360 but use BobCAD and they call HSM "adaptive techniques".

What are you meaning as straight to CNC? with regard to industrial machining? Anything with complicated 3D forms relies heavily upon CAD then to a CAM programme then to machine controls.

Some machines (Mazatrol for sure) can take the 3D model into the machine control but the people I know using those machines very rarely use that ability, rather they are relying upon millions of lines of code produced in a CAM package, is your experiance/knowledge telling you something different?




Edited By JasonB on 28/08/2020 13:05:43

Thread: Change to the Code of Conduct
27/08/2020 15:12:01


A bad plan is better than no plan at all !!

I don't actually think the mod's have a bad plan either and I am no sycophant of the mod's as they will attest.


Thread: Supporting both ends of stock in lathe
27/08/2020 14:05:25


You hear various figures of what is possible in terms of diameter to length ratio, although a lot of this is specific to material and machine IMO.

I would say that the job you propose might be better tackled having about 15mm of material out of the chuck and turning to say 4.25mm dia, then advance the material another 15mm and do the same, finally when you have it all roughed to 0.25mm over diameter that you then final finish the job to 4mm and use the tail stock support at this stage.

Remember to centre drill the job before starting to advance the material.

You may also need to consider a travelling steady or follower rest, like the link below. There will be a strong tendency for a 4mm dia 75mm long workpiece to try and climb over the cutting tool.

You may care to use different dimensions to those I have suggested but I hope that you get the idea.


Edited By Barrie Lever on 27/08/2020 14:15:13

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