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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: water supply
16/06/2019 21:39:06
Posted by J Hancock on 16/06/2019 12:53:28:

To Barrie Lever , if you read the " terms and conditions" closely I think you will find what falls from the sky belongs to the water company, and how you use it determines whether you will be charged for it, or not.

United Utilities are fully aware of our rainwater harvesting system as they came out and asked why the water bills were so low, I showed them the rain water harvesting which is a German Rewatec system, they were quite happy and ran off to annoy someone else, they did however read our water meter monthly for about 6 months after this.

Maybe you could qualify your original post with what water authority you gleaned your information from and modify the post accordingly as it seems to be inaccurate at the moment.

Rainwater harvesting is a responsible thing to be doing on any domestic installation IMO.


Thread: sulphuric acid
16/06/2019 10:18:41
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 16/06/2019 09:42:37:
Posted by Paul Lousick on 16/06/2019 08:36:56:

Just my opinion but I do not like pouring anything down the drain except water. I hear about too much rubbish being sent out to sea to feed our marine life. Not my problem some say. Our kids to will fix any problems. Not sure about the UK but we have drop off centres and council collections which will dispose of chemicals, paints, etc (sorry about the rave but we are killing our planet).


A very sensible reminder Paul. Just about the only thing I would pour down the drain apart from water and normal biological waste is dilute Sulphuric Acid, and then only in domestic quantities. Oils, other mineral acids, paint, pesticides, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, you name it - all bad.

Human waste needs special treatment in a Sewage Works, and it's best not to interfere with the process of making the biohazard safe by flushing dodgy chemicals down the bog.

UK Councils Waste Centres take chemicals, though - because not all are equipped to deal with everything - it might be necessary to ask first.

In the UK we have a regulation requiring dog owners to bag and remove the animal's poo. Lots of dogs doing their business in the streets and children's playparks. Apart from the slimy distress caused by standing in it, dog poo spreads unpleasant diseases, notably Toxicaria. Bagging and sending to land-fill fixes the problem. Why then do so many dog owners carefully hang the bagged mess in the nearest hedge or tree, thus adding plastic and an offensive eye-sore to the problem?


If you have to take responsibility for your sewage systems correct functioning as we do with a micro sewage treatment plant, then you take a whole different approch to flushing anything other than human waste down the toilet !!

A micro plant can easily get upset by chemicals that it is not able to deal with, the water companies must struggle with this in the big city sewage plants.


Thread: water supply
16/06/2019 10:12:02
Posted by J Hancock on 16/06/2019 09:43:42:

And, to really turn the screw, you will find that if you try to collect rainwater to use it more 'constructively', you

will be charged for it !

How is that? We have a 7500 litre rain water harvesting system, apart from installation costs we do not have to pay anything for it.

The house has three water systems, normal hot and cold being two, and a third rainwater circuit to all toilets and clothes washing machines.

The rainwater is also very good for washing cars.

We also have a micro sewage treatment plant which produces near drinking quality water as the discharge.



Thread: DraftSight no longer free
08/06/2019 18:40:25

Fusion 360 will be next, now that the stupid little spat between Dassault and Autodesk is probably over.

You will hear the cry's all over the country then.

Thread: Binding on axis when locking off other
08/06/2019 16:09:23


Thanks for the explanation of the screws, non of my machines have tapered gibs.

Is it possible that there is some missalignment between the two X axis dove tail (front and back) and when the lock handles are tightened it imparts a twist into the 'Y' axis carriage?

I had something similar happen on a EMCO V10P when tightening a SOBA vice to the cross slide, because the vice was concave on the under side it imparted a stress into the cross slide that made it bind up somewhat. The vice is just used as a workshop weight now as that it is all it is good for.


08/06/2019 09:29:09
Posted by Matthew Sugden on 07/06/2019 22:03:05:

I've been and had another 15 minutes winding the table in and out.

One thing that might be worth mentioning is that there's a gradual darkening to the oil I'm applying to the machine - I wonder if the saddle is flexing and effectively re-scraping the ways? Over time this might result in an easing of moving the axis (the saddle must get to a deflection and not go any further I'd imagine, surely?).

That's assuming there isn't a crack like Mike said - but I can't see one. I've uploaded some pictures in case anyone else can see anything from them (Russ - does this look like a thicker or thinner saddle to you?)

Wasn't sure whether a link to the album or the individual photos is best practice so I've included both:


Saddle - front showing locks

Saddle - right hand side.jpg

Saddle - left hand side.jpg

Saddle - left hand side corner.jpg


I think you have pretty much answered your own question when you mention the dark oil, something on that 'Y' axis carriage is flexing.

There is a lot going on in that 'Y' axis carriage as the 'X' axis locking screws start to work.

I would say that a tolerance on the 'Y' axis is probably tighter than normal coupled with a casting that is slightly more flexible than normal results in the binding.

What is the function of the large slotted screws in both carriages?

As a matter of interest my German mill of similar travel dimensions (more in the X less in the Y) has a much lower saddle profile, but does not have those large screws that I asked about.

Everything flexes, it is just a matter of to what degree and to how much force has to be applied.



Thread: Motorcycle 'blipping'...
03/06/2019 16:44:36
Posted by Haggerleases on 03/06/2019 14:52:26:

Can anyone tell me why it is that motorcycles are seemingly unable to achieve a stable tickover? Every time I see a motorcycle stationary with it's engine running, or slowing down, the rider seems to have to 'blip' the throttle repeatedly.

A modern superbike engine is a masterpiece of combustion engineering, they will sit ticking over for ages and then just pick up as if nothing happened, some of the engines have such a huge rev range that the bikes can touch 100mph in first gear.

Blipping on down changes does seem to make matching the engine speed to the next gear a little easier, I think it might be because the RPM is decreasing from the blip as the clutch is re-engaged making the final matching of RPM easier than if the engine RPM was too low.

2 strokes are another thing regarding staionary blipping, that is to keep the engine from gassing up, there is nothing like the sound of a 2 stroke 500 GP bike being warmed up in the pits.


Thread: Shipping heavy models
31/05/2019 12:57:05
Posted by Rockingdodge on 31/05/2019 10:03:41:

Hi, a chap from Denmark has bought my Simplex chassis and box of and parts, his sister lives in Maidstone. Is there a way (courier etc.) that would transport it from Herefordshire safely.

Any suggestions (sensible) would be gratefully received.



How heavy is the chassis?

I have sent EMCO Compact 5's to Sweden and Finland with no problems via TNT.

The EMCO pallets when loaded were a two man job to lift, TNT prices were very reasonable (about £135.00) and covered by the buyer.

Pallets were delivered inside two days.

No special packaging required just a light wrap with polythene. The closest the chassis will get to the sea if using TNT,DHL etc will be when the pilot looks out of the cockpit flying over the channel !!

A completely painless exercise once on a small pallet or similar.



Thread: Colchester Lathe Factory
31/05/2019 11:49:45
Posted by Russell Eberhardt on 31/05/2019 11:37:23:

Interesting to compare with modern Chinese factories like this. The most noticeable difference is the cleanliness of the modern factory.

I wonder if Ketan can find a video of the Seig factory.



He did, it was part of a thread about visiting China, the video was neither like the Colchester or the modern Chinese factory.


30/05/2019 12:25:40

Brilliant link.

As a country we have really screwed up somewhere, to go from that to where our industry is now is nothing short of criminal.


Thread: Ballscrews?
30/05/2019 11:36:45

OK this has to move up and down regularly, is that the case?

An interesting thing on ball screws holding a weight up, on Wabeco CNC mills with dovetail guides there is no counterbalance weight for the mill head, the friction of the dove tail and stepper motor drive holds the mill head, on Wabeco mills with linear guides they have a counter balance weight for the mill head, must just be the reduced friction in the linear guides.

300Kg spread over a number of points or area is not a lot of weight to support and could easily be engineered with wood beams etc.


30/05/2019 10:55:07

To be honest this problem is little more than school boy engineering.

OK we know there is a weak floor which we have to stand a 300kg object on it, and that the object has a reasonable plan view area.

So is the floor capable of being walked across? If so can a heavy man (100Kg) stand on one heel? I think this is quite likely. So now we have a point loading and area (100Kg over 0.0064 sq metres) that the floor can likely take.

Add a safety factor of 2x in to the areas and use Neils suggestion of a car jack on a pad, the size of which can be calculated on a 'fag packet' from the above test information.

Car jacks will take an enormous amount of abuse, they must be very over engineered to take the unknown weight (not the curb side weight of the car) given that the car may well be loaded and full of fuel and occupants, I know common sense would say take the loads out of the car but do you think that someone in a panic with kids in the car will think of that? I bet the car manufacturers engineers have though.

Now it looks like 6 legs with pads are needed and some beams to spread the load under the track/table, pad size to be determined from above simple clacs.

Ballscrews are definitely not the way to go.



Edited By Barrie Lever on 30/05/2019 10:56:54

Thread: Sherline owners
29/05/2019 10:54:55


I nearly bought some Sherline gear a few years ago, I kept on getting beaten to them though (second hand).

I have visited the factory in California and it is very impressive what they do, have you seen what the likes of Jerry Kieffer produce on their Sherlines?

If I did not have a Unimat 3 as my small benchtop lathe then it would be a Sherline as they are a lovely piece of kit.



Thread: Are these spot drills?
28/05/2019 20:37:25
Posted by JasonB on 28/05/2019 12:29:07:

Industry seems to like a 90deg spot drill that if sized correctly will put a slight chamfer on a finished hole in one operation or if taken to extreams will countersink the hole before it is drilled by going in deep enough with a large spotting drill so that there is no need to follow up with a CSK bit.

You can do the same if it is a tapped hole by using a larger spotting drill that the nominal thread diameter which will prevent the metal being pushed up around the hole by the tap which can happen in soft materials or when using thread forming taps.

But as you say a drill can jump about a bit as it enters a spot drilled hole until the point is in the metal, less of a problem with stub drills which I tend to use in the common sizes if only to save winding up the head on the mill.


You are correct about the 90 deg spot drills in industry.

I was told about the bigger angle and to follow in with the smaller angle by a Hoffmann Garant tooling rep as I buy tools from them, in my case the spot drill is 150 deg and the actual drill is 142 deg going into 316L stainless. I don't do a large spot drill cone like you have described rather something that is like a large centre pop mark, the second drill does follow very nicely.


Thread: Chernobyl TV Series
28/05/2019 17:47:00
Posted by Colin Whittaker on 28/05/2019 15:44:55:

Just released on HBO in the US and available to the rest of us by devious means if you know how.

The story of the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor Explosion in episodes (now up to 3).

It's a real bastard of a heavy engineering disaster story. Be thankful you never had anything to do with it.

This TV series has moved me. Please, no jokes.



A completely horrible industrial accident and as far as I remember it was completely avoidable.

I will not watch the series as I have seen how horrifc the incident was for those who tried to contain it in the days after the explosion, same way as I never watch anything to do with the concentration camps, seeing it once is enough to remember it for the rest of your life.

Live and learn and don't make the same mistake twice.

Best Regards


Thread: Are these spot drills?
28/05/2019 11:52:28

I was under the impression that the idea of a spotting drill was to have a larger angle than the drill that would be following it, so a 130 deg spot drill for 118 deg drill, 150 deg spot for 142 deg etc.

This is so as that the shallower cone left from the higher angle gives a conical spot target that the second drill picks up on.

If the spot drill is lesser angle than the second drill, then the second drill picks up on the circumference of the cone left from spotting, which can make the second drill walk and vibrate a little.

I was taught to use a centre drill prior to the main drill, I now realise that this was incorrect for the reasons described above.


Thread: What to buy
27/05/2019 22:43:58
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 27/05/2019 20:54:06:

Hi Barrie,

Apologies if you thought I was mocking in a hurtful way, I just find human frailties amusing - especially my own! I'm teasing rather than criticising.

I do get why people like nice tools, but I've been trained to challenge it. Businesses should never invest in unprofitable tools and it's amazing how salesmen, one-upmanship, or wishful thinking can persuade theoretically rational engineers into ignoring cold logic and thereby wasting money.

Hobbyists are different, tool collecting, tool restoration, tool using, pottering, whatever people want to do with their time and money is fine by me. Nonetheless honesty is good policy; always worth questioning one's motives because another approach might be better.

In your original post you refuted Jason's point about the need to travel and look at second-hand lathes with 'I bought everyone of the Compact 5's sight unseen, never had a problem, and I am fussy.'. I don't think that's good advice for beginners! It implies anyone can buy a lathe off ebay without any bother. Now you've said something rather different: 'It is not luck at all, it is skill and knowledge. I look carefully at the photo's, look at what is in the background, read the description and then make a decision to buy or let it go. My instinct rarely lets me down on this kind of thing.'.

My advice to beginners is simply that buying a new machine of the size and type you want with consumer protection has advantages if the purchase is unsatisfactory. Buying second-hand is much less predictable, anything between rip-off and mega-bargain. Hard to tell which is which. Much safer buying second-hand tools when you know what to look for.


PS Quite right - I was lucky not to have hit anything during my accidental red-light adventures. Pretty sure it wasn't intuition or skill that saved me!

Hello Dave

No apology needed, I do not take that sort of thing badly, however I do like a bit of friendly robust banter and you are a good sparing partner in that.

When I said sight unseen, I meant in the flesh, I had seen photo's on Ebay to form a judgement upon. Funny thing about photo's is that just about everything looks quite good in a photo as an overall impression, this is particulary so of something like classic motorbikes, however get up close and it is often another story.

What you can see in photo's is specific damage or similar defects, you also get an overall picture of how the person keeps and presents things and this can help in the persue or reject criteria.

I could only talk to you about my red traffic light story out of the watchful glare of the internet and prefreably over a pint but it is a cracking story !!

Best Regards


27/05/2019 19:57:38
Posted by JasonB on 27/05/2019 19:39:09:
Posted by Barrie Lever on 27/05/2019 19:29:13:

It is not luck at all, it is skill and knowledge.

And that is the biggest problem for a newcomer who may have no engineering background and possibly never used a lathe even at school, they can't tell a good one from a poor one.

Would be interesting to know what proportion you let go compared to what you took a punt on.

Edited By JasonB on 27/05/2019 19:49:55

I would say that I probably let 50% go when talking about Compact 5's , only bought one Unimat 3 and that is a peach, use it as a field lathe at competitions.

With something like airbrushes the rejection rate probably goes up to near 80% or higher, you can really tell if someone has looked after those from the photos.

Really it is not engineering knowledge although I do have that, it is more looking at how things are on the lathe, for example one had the milling table with drill marks in it, someone who does that will not be looking after the rest of the machine.

Maybe I am lucky but it has been this way for probably 25 years, same with cars. My 'luck' may run out, who knows.



27/05/2019 19:29:13
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 27/05/2019 18:28:36:
Posted by Barrie Lever on 27/05/2019 17:31:54:

Posted by JasonB on 27/05/2019 16:59:48:

Then there are all those trips to look at second hand machines that will burn up as much fuel as a container ship load.

I bought everyone of the Compact 5's sight unseen, never had a problem, and I am fussy.

Yes but that's luck, not industry best practice! I've driven through a few red lights in my time, never had a problem...


It is not luck at all, it is skill and knowledge. I look carefully at the photo's, look at what is in the background, read the description and then make a decision to buy or let it go. My instinct rarely lets me down on this kind of thing. I have bought a huge amount of equipment off of Ebay, rarely seen any of it in the flesh, just about all of it is in immaculate condition. Remember as you have mocked in the past that I am one of those people who consider the finish and presentation of equipment to be important. Surely with your 'it is just a tool' mentality you would be able to find more equipment than I do?

Driving through a red light might be considered driving without due care and attention unless you had a damned good reason to, a huge difference to what I describe above.

Very Best Regards


27/05/2019 17:31:54

Posted by JasonB on 27/05/2019 16:59:48:

Then there are all those trips to look at second hand machines that will burn up as much fuel as a container ship load.

I bought everyone of the Compact 5's sight unseen, never had a problem, and I am fussy.

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