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Member postings for Simon Williams 3

Here is a list of all the postings Simon Williams 3 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Are there any left?
21/08/2019 22:09:54

Thank you Robert, in a previous existence I passed through Nottingham maybe two or three times a month, and frequently stopped in to see what delights Anchor could tempt me with. These days I need to make a day of it to go there, so I'm pleased to hear they made it albeit on a survival kit regime.

Their museum was something to behold, and I'm sorry to hear it was lost. Such is life.

I was seriously tempted by the the jet engine (a Gnome if I remember right) but it was a bit (quite a bit) more money that I wanted to sink. Nevertheless, what an experiment!

Rgds to all


21/08/2019 20:37:52

Rolling back to John Haines' post above, Anchor Surplus had a nasty fire about two years ago. Are they back up and running again?

Rgds to all,


Thread: Anyone good at fault finding with amplifiers here?
18/08/2019 00:45:08

First suspect is dried out and leaking electrolytics, but TR203 base to emitter voltage at 0.8+ volts says it's cooked. Doesn't necessarily say why. TR 205 is also off or nearly so, 2.4 V across R211 doesn't look right.

Shouldn't need a matched pair for TR203/204 (edit correction 201/202) to get a stable and usable system, though it may be needed to get the distortion/noise spec. If you want to borrow a distortion meter I've got one.

That 21 volts negative on TR203 collector looks wrong, (80 v or so across R209) confirms that TR203 is not a happy bunny. Looks too far negative, should be nearer mid rail. But TR201 and 202 are nearly completely off, as revealed by + 67V on their collectors. Long tailed pair like this (even if upside-down) should have collectors mid rail or thereabouts. Can't hurt to pull C204 and replace it. Ditto C201 is suspect.

Keep us posted as to progress, do.

Best rgds Simon

edited for correction in italics - though the same is true of TR203/204!

Edited By Simon Williams 3 on 18/08/2019 00:51:42

Thread: Arkwright Scholarship
16/08/2019 21:16:46

My thanks to all of you who took the time to answer, as ever some excellent ideas have come out of this. I am looking forward to the experience of having a willing and eager apprentice albeit only for a couple of days. I may even sweep the floor before we start.

Although the suggestion isn't directly connected to those ideas detailed above, this exercise has broadened my mind and I think I can find him something to do related to his interest in competitive archery. Either that or possibly following the suggestion above about some kind of third hand or PCB manipulation gadget. We shall see.

So thanks again for all the expertise and suggestions.

Regards to all


15/08/2019 22:39:42

My nephew has been awarded an Arkwright Scholarship.

His father, realising that his son has had little or no experience in workshop practice (though he's totally buff with an Arduino) has asked me to show him the fundamentals of cutting metal. And welding it back together again.

I'm totally OK with that, except that I would like to give him a lathe-work exercise that meant something and wasn't going to be bunged in bin 13 in a year's time.

When I did something similar (a long long time ago) I was given a drawing of a simple spindle, with diameters and shoulders and lengths, and had no end of fun showing I could do it better than anyone else in the class. I was that sort of teenager, Sorry!

My confreres made a plumb bob to take home. I could do this, and it's the best suggestion I've got so far. But my nephew knows about things like angles and pendulums (pendula?) and will have written the software for a digital angle gauge before I can say vernier protractor.

Any suggestions for a "take home friendly" example piece I can set him? I want to be able to spend not more than a day on this, and then spend the second day morning with a mig welder and in the afternoon we're going to "do" metrology.

It's taken me 60 years to get here, and digest it into 2 days???? What Are The Young Coming To?

Ideas please?

Rgds to all


Thread: Centec 2A riser block
14/08/2019 20:02:23

Gary, good evening and thank you indeed for putting the pdf files of the dovetail dimensions up for us to see. Most helpful.

I've just got a tractor engine to rebuild and then maybe I can back to this project.

Best rgds Simon

13/08/2019 22:39:24

Ooops - misinformation alert!

Sorry folks, Automills come as Mk1 and Mk2, not A.B.C etc.

My apologies.


13/08/2019 22:21:30

Gary - I would be very interested to see a copy of your drawings, and I have sent you a PM with details.

I have two Centec Automills - an "A" and a "B" - and the vertical head without the quill. This fits directly onto the Automill (A) but not the type B as the dovetail in the column is wider. I'm sure you knew that but others less familiar with the marque may wonder what the difference is.

I bought a lump of EN1A leaded a little while ago to make a riser/adaptor block - the job would be immensely easier with the drawings to hand.

Best rgds Simon

Thread: Start of Tom Senior refurbishment.
11/08/2019 23:50:20

Hi again, serial number on mine is V3485, making it 1974 vintage, Your s/n at 2961 is a whole lot earlier, does this mean that Mr Senior decided to ditch needle rollers for the driven pulley and go to a bronze bush as an improvement? It does seem to indicate that my assumption that needle rollers and a spline drive is later is wrong!

Interesting stuff, what!

Like the spindle/quill.

Rgds Simon

Keep taking the tablets (out to the shed).

09/08/2019 14:27:57

Many thanks for the fascinating pictures of the needle roller bearing supporting the driven pulley, that looks as if Mr Senior (Senior Junior?) had second thoughts about the bronze plain bearing that I found in mine and went for the needle rollers, presumably for later models.

The other interesting difference is the splined quill shaft - mine is a single long keyway driven by a captive key. I fancy the spline is a much better job, but I guess needs an investment in the appropriate tooling to make it.

Do you have a serial number? Yours must be a later machine than mine.

I've just measured the bore through the quill, I make it 10.9 mm so 7/16 ain't going to go.

Keep us posted, do!

Rgds Simon

27/07/2019 23:45:32

Simon Williams may be interested that prior to disassembling the head, I found that his mill is not the only one that has needle roller bearings in the spindle drive. The machine was made in 1969, has the long bed, the later style quill lock and all the castings have the same assembly number 7 stamped on them. A bit of a mystery.

Ah Hah! There's interesting! Any chance of some piccy's of what you've found?

Many thanks for the update - I look forward to more details.

Best rgds Simon

Thread: Colchester Bantam 1600 3 phase supply
24/07/2019 20:45:08

I swapped the original two speed motor on the Bantam 2000 I bought for a single phase motor, hated it. Every start was an adventure, nasty sudden bang on the headstock gears which made me cringe. No clutch on a Bantam, so threading with a tap or die was always an adventure.

So I changed to a 3 phase 4 pole motor (ie single speed) and rewired the controls so that the speed change switch operated the VSD to run at 100 Hz. Obviously that frequency is controllable, but that's a nicety.

With a three phase motor on a VSD comes soft start, DC braking stop, and controllable frequency. With the range of geared speeds on a Bantam playing with the frequency is an option I use very seldom, though it does let me run at very slow speeds if I'm doing something large or chattery.

I have also fitted a 2 pole three phase motor to a Myford S7, this gets the speed up well but you don't really need this with a Bantam where the option for 1600 or 2000 revs is built in. I'm more concerned about using the Bantam with the motor at or close to its normal operating parameters for best power efficiency for operation with carbide tooling so I believe the 4 pole motor is the way to go, particularly as the motor I fitted at 1.1 Kw is a bit underpowered and objects to operating at the highest speed at 100 Hz. Effectively I've forfeited the top speed of 2000 rpm but it's otherwise a lovely machine to use and I'm mighty pleased with it.

HTH Simon

Thread: What lathes have you had?
22/07/2019 20:41:39

An ML1, bought for £37.50 in about 1970. Gave that away long since. Then an ancient (1953) but serviceable S7 I paid £400 for in about 1975, out of Stroud Tech College on the most horrible angle iron stand you're glad you never saw. Scrapped the stand and made a workbench on which the S7 still sits, getting on for 45 years later. My Dad had it in his workshop almost till he died, Can't quite bring myself to part with it, It's an old friend!

Then I bought a Colchester Triumph circa 1940 off a farmer's son in Tewkesbury. This was the old wrought iron stand version and was a slow old rumbling machine but I loved it. All geared head, swing of about 7 inches, ran it off a three phase converter I borrowed. With a big 4 jaw chuck I did all sorts of work with this but sold it when we moved house shortly after getting married in 1985. Actually sold it to my then next door neighbour, who was into model engineering (steam/rail) semi-professionally, and wanted it to make flywheels etc. We trundled it across the road on a pallet truck into his garage; for all I know it's still there.

Somewhere in this sequence I was given a Holzapffel clock maker's lathe, treadle operated, been stored in a damp greenhouse so it was suffering a bit. Gave it away about 20 years later to another (different ) neighbour who fancied a restoration job. He's died since, no idea what happened to the lathe which I regret getting rid of. Pretty thing, all dovetails and curved handles. No idea how to use it though.

In 1997 or thereabouts I decided that my ancient but trusty S7 was due for replacement, I bought a Colchester Bantam 2000 Mk2, fully geared etc, runs off a three phase VSD. Super tool, hardly touched the S7 since though I can't quite bring myself to sell it on, even though I could do with the room. Been squirrelling accessories for the Bantam for 15 years or so, can't get enough add ons.

Still haven't sold the S7, it's now got a gearbox fitted and gets used for taper turning and metric threading.

Rgds to all


Thread: broken myford changewheel
29/06/2019 21:51:48

Duncan -

My slotter is presently set up to cut the key ways in some myford changewheels I made, so if you would like to send me the blank I'll cut the keyway in it and post it back.

PM me if you are interested.

Rgds Simon

Thread: Bookpress 5tpi Square thread help please!
25/06/2019 12:17:55

If you are short of head room, two suggestions:

1 Do it the old fashioned way with a dial indicator clamped to the quill, i.e. get rid of the drill chuck.

2 I hold the spigot of the centering indicator in a collet up the quill taper to save forfeiting several inches of head room. In my case the collet is MT2 but it means the top of the centering indicator is right tight under the nose of the quill.

I guess the accuracy of the centre isn't crucial to a few thou' so use a sticky pin in stead of the DTI.

HTH Simon

Thread: Start of Tom Senior refurbishment.
02/06/2019 10:51:32

Continuing the theme, though it's taken me a little while to find the thread, here are some pictures of my repair to the bronze bearing located in the quill assembly supporting the driven pulley. The pulley is cantilevered above the bearing, so the belt drive forces pull the pulley sideways. In my case the inner of the bronze bush wasn't too bad, but the sleeve which runs in it and which carries the spindle drive key was badly scored and wasn't something I thought I could re-make. I thought at the time that this was the cause of a horrid rattle coming from the drive, but (as explained below) this was a mis-diagnosis.

Anyway, here is a link to the pictures I took of my decision to swap the bronze bush for a pair of needle roller bearing, with proprietary hardened inner sleeve supporting the drive key bush. I've done a lot of work with it since, and it's not missed a beat.

Driven pulley bearing mod'n

You will also see there is some additional stuff about repairing the knadgered motor shaft.

Good luck with your new toy, and I'm sure I'm not the only one interested in how you get on.

Best rgd Simon

02/06/2019 10:08:15

Good morning and thank you for the update. As a "Senior" citizen myself - and also with a Light Vertical - I look forward to hearing how you get on with this project. Hopefully you will be able to add some photo's to augment the saga.

You may be aware that there is a similar thread going on

Light Vertical Mill Restoration

Good luck with the project,

Best rgds simon

Thread: A kitchen table workshop. Tool grinding problems
29/05/2019 14:06:00
Posted by Steve Crow on 29/05/2019 10:19:06:

My next question is are all holders and inserts created equal? I've looked at the JB cutting tools website and they seem quite reasonable with a good range of sizes and geometrys. Can anyone recommend these?

To answer this "sub-question" - yes I can very definitely recommend JB Cutting Tools, Jenny and her husband are two if the nicest people you could wish to meet and will see you right. Usual disclaimer. I've dealt with them for years at the various shows and I always look forward to meeting them.

But I suggest you need to ring her up and describe what you want to do, as the usual choice of inserted tools may not serve you well. Many carbide tools/inserts are intended for use with effectively unlimited power and a rigid machine, it sounds as if this may not be the case in your circumstance. Jenny has a range of inserts for just the application you describe but they may not be obvious on her website. I think you want the extra sharp ones with no chip breaker.

There are many insert holders on the 'net, and no they are not all created equal. Buying stuff off ebay is fraught with peril, it's such a specialised bit of expertise and the descriptions can be misleading even when they aren't supposed to be. So it's time to phone a friend AND ask an expert. I'm sure Jenny will be pleased to hear from you.

A second option is to find someone who will return your existing HSS tools to something you can hone and keep sharp. I'm up for that though I'm in West Gloucestershire so we can do it by post. If you want to pursue this send me a PM and we can take it further.

Best rgds Simon

Thread: Electronic switch forward/reverse/stop help
29/05/2019 13:46:18

John - hope the recovery is still on track.

Where are you, (postcode) maybe one of us with more information as to how this should work can assist hands-on?

Rgds Simon (West Gloucestershire, GL17)

Thread: Drill bits
26/05/2019 07:35:59

If you want to drill two holes which are truly independent of each other, drill one left hand and the other right hand.

Because the left hand never knows what the right hand is doing

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