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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: Silver steel or stainless?
31/01/2019 23:18:14

Hi Chris, looks like you've got the hang of this.

If you are tapping a hole in the end of a rod, there is a down and dirty short cut you can try. Instead of asking the tap to drag the tailstock along the bed of the lathe, just catch the tap in a drill chuck in the tailstock, then release the taper so the drill chuck spins in the tail stock. Start the lathe ( low speed is good) and grab the drill chuck with your hand so you stop it from rotating. Press the tap against the hole in the rod being tapped, it will feed itself until it meets the bottom of the hole. You can hold the chuck just enough that the tap when it bottoms out takes the chuck out of your hand. Maybe try this first with something a bit more robust than M3!

Needless to say you need a chuck with no scags or sharp edges or you cut your hand, and not too heavy as the snatch as you meet the bottom of the hole mustn't break the tap. You also need a key operated chuck as the internal mechanism of the chuck mustn't let go of the tap shank as you now stop the lathe and back the tap out of the finished hole by hand. Rumour has it that keyless chucks do exist which will hold on in both directions - none of mine do.

The Stealth and Pastry Police would have conniptions at this suggestion - but give it a go, it's very quick and effective.

So are your newly completed operating rods the magic fix?

Best rgds Simon

Thread: Super glue filler
26/01/2019 20:05:11


It's always incredible to tap the depth of expertise latent in the forum, and this is a case in point. Thank you everyone for your knowledge, and also the generosity of sharing it.

Joseph asked en passant what the application was - when I posed the question I hadn't any idea that there would be so many possibilities, so the idea that the application would affect the recipe was something I hadn't envisaged.

There are several applications where I have used superglue as a fix for something that is broken, and there is a bit missing or a minor gap to fill. Oft times this has been the rear light lens on something agricultural or something of that ilk.

This week I have been rebuilding a poorly chainsaw, and wanted to repair several cracks in a complicated plastic baffle directing the cooling air around the internals. I could buy a spare part, but the project has cost more than the saw is worth already, and the point of the project was to do the job with as many reclaimed or non original spares as I could. And before someone starts lecturing me on the safety consequences of grey market parts yes I know, I know. Suffice it to say I am choosy what risks I take.

I got the original idea of filler - and I'm guessing this is where I got the bicarb recollection - from a YouTube video of someone repairing guitar frets this way. I hadn't given enough thought to the issues of flexibility - so I need to work on that aspect.

So many thanks to all those who have taken part - if there are other ideas do please carry on - and my best rgds to all.


Thread: Silver steel or stainless?
25/01/2019 14:03:45

As I understand this it's an alignment problem rather than the rod being weak. If so, maybe the solution isn't to make the thread stronger, but to make the rod a bit bendy. I'd try drilling/tapping my favourite grubscrew into the end of a bit of nylon and see if that lasted better.

Rgds to all


Thread: Super glue filler
25/01/2019 13:58:38

Hello all, good afternoon.

I have read in the past of powder being mixed into superglue to act as a filler. I thought this was a potentially useful trick to know, but I've forgotten what the filler powder was. For some reason bicarbonate of soda comes to mind.

Does anyone know any better?

Thanks (as ever) in anticipation.


Thread: Silver steel or stainless?
24/01/2019 13:28:41


+1 for stainless for me, but do make sure it's 303 grade which is nominally free machining, you'll likely get a much nicer thread. Lubricate the die well with something like Rocol RTD.

You can get free machining silver steel, but I've never worked with it. Ordinary silver steel would be a perfectly good material, though cutting threads in it is sometimes prone to tearing. But for making any thing scientific related go for stainless every time.

You could make a stronger job by drilling and tapping the end of your 6 mm rod with a M3 hole, then screwing in a long grubscrew such as a hex socket grubscrew (steel). These are made out of a very high strength material - or you could use an A4 stainless screw which is 316 grade by another name, so tough stuff but much the same strength as 303. A grubscrew in a tapped hole doesn't give the same concentrated stress raiser at the transition of diameters as making a male thread so it will probably be stronger. But be careful that the bit into which this screws isn't prone to damage - sometimes you end up moving the problem around!

HTH, can we have a picture of the finished repair?


Edited to correct my error over grades of stainless - 316 = approx. A4 grade, 304 = approx. A2 

Edited By Simon Williams 3 on 24/01/2019 13:34:27

Thread: My ford quick change gearbox
15/01/2019 21:01:56

Hi David, good evening, I was wondering how you were getting on.

That seems like an excellent outcome, and many thanks for the update. It's good to know that the original question has been put to bed.

Best rgds Simon

Thread: Woes of My Digimatic
15/01/2019 20:35:19

I’m tackling titanium, it’s difficult I know,

I’ve never tried it out before, so I thought I’d have a go.

There’s a lump I’ve had for ages, I don’t know where it’s from,

So I’ve clamped it firmly in the chuck. What could possibly go wrong?



Don’t let the stuff work harden, if the tool rubs you’ll regret it

Keep the feed free cutting, if you stop you can forget it.

Be bloody bold and resolute, but calm and reasoned too,

But don’t be heavy handed, a dig-in’s not good news.



Let the machine do all the work, the feed in automatic,

The heat it seems to generate is really quite dramatic.

But the swarf is long and stringy, razors in a caddle

It’s just as well the handwheel is the right side of the saddle.



According to the internet it might just set on fire.

Jeopardy’s exciting, the risks could not be higher

If I burn down our conservatory I’ll get absolutely slaughtered

And my wife’s long lost relations will all revel in my torture.



All is going swimmingly, my workpiece size is thinning,

The finish something excellent, for a short time I was winning.

But suddenly a horrid noise, a nasty clonky clunk.

Oh damn! My brand new lathe tool is missing a great chunk.



So I’ve had to change the carbide, and set it back in motion,

Approach once more with confidence, forgo my normal caution.

It’s nearly down to size by now, if I tweak the cross slide higher,

I’m sure I’ll hit the tolerance, and satisfy my buyer.




This endeavour’s just a past-time, I’ll enjoy while I may

But I need to stretch the boundaries, keep the brain cells from decay.

The alternative’s too awful, Eastenders’ not for me.

Or lounging on the sofa with reality TV.


Edited By Simon Williams 3 on 15/01/2019 20:36:21

13/01/2019 17:20:02

My digital caliper I bought from RS

Mitutoyo Digimatic, one of the best,

Is now but a spanner with a number ever changing

Which bears no relation to size or dimension.



I’ve changed out the battery, no difference I fear

The numbers keep rolling, too fast they appear.

If I press the OFF button, the display clears correctly,

But with “ON” reappears with more numbers directly.



So I took it bits, took the circuit board out,

And cleaned it with alcohol, got a lot of muck out.

Then reassembled, with a battery new,

The same indication, oh bother and blow!




So now I’m quite stumped, my caliper’s duff,

I’ve fiddled with the perishing thing quite enough.

If anyone wants a nice kit of bits

To make a vernier from it, just to see how it fits.




You’re welcome to have it, I’ll post it for free,

All you have to do is to PM message me.

With an address of a home for Mitutoyo retirement,

And I’ll nip down to Aldi and buy a replacement.



Edited By Simon Williams 3 on 13/01/2019 17:20:38

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2019
12/01/2019 17:58:03

Looks like a good model of the Big Bang and the Spiral Universe.


Thread: My ford quick change gearbox
11/01/2019 09:28:28

Jason - good morning,

My series 1 gearbox has got this label inside the gear cover.


To the best of my knowledge this simply uses the same banjo as the (later) metric adaptor kit, but alters the selection of change wheels. I worked it out once long ago, and came to the conclusion that the gears shown on this table gave metric pitches as shown, so they allow for the 2:1 factor. I think!

Brian will maybe correct me if I'm wrong.

Much of this is examined in the links above to earlier threads, with John S's input 'cause he knew the history of how this developed.

I'd be interested to know if it is this early label in the cover on David's g'box, and we haven't bottomed out the issue of the size of the spindle gear on an ML7 and whether it is 30T or possibly 25T. My picture of a home brew mandrel cluster gear (the bronze one) assumes that the spindle gear driving the tumbler gears is 30T. But David seems to have a handle on the answer to his original question, so all of this is a bit academic. It's just nice to have these things sorted out and recorded in the archives.

Best rgds Simon

Edited for minor typo which had a disproportionate affect on the logic!

Edited By Simon Williams 3 on 11/01/2019 09:30:15

10/01/2019 19:59:45

Hi David, good evening and thank you for the warm feedback and news that we've been of help. It's always nice to close the circle.

While changing gears inside the gear train will give the 2:1 step down, it's not always straightforward to assemble something which will actually mesh correctly. Brian's last post alludes to this. I side-stepped this problem by making special gears for the input (mandrel) gear as below. The one shown is for use with the alternative method of achieving metric pitches - keeping the standard gear train of the QCGB and altering the input gear (mandrel gear) That's what the above correspondence threads to which I linked examine. I see no reason why you couldn't do a mix and match of both approaches, in which case the mandrel gear needs to be 15 tooth.


The gear cluster on the left is the standard Myford QCGB 30/12T mandrel gear which you will recognise, and the right hand one is an adaptation of the same idea with the same 30T one end and a 17T the other. So one with a 30T and 15T would look very similar.

To the best of my knowledge such a thing isn't commercially available. If you want to pursue the same idea send me a PM and we can discuss further.

Someone will point out - perfectly correctly (so it might as well be me) - that this is a complicated way of achieving a simple outcome, and it would be more straightforward to ditch the metric kit completely and go for the special input (mandrel) gear option, as per the threads above. If you had the later style gearbox that would be a no brainer, but with the older gearbox there are pro's and con's of both methods. If you want use your metric banjo as Mr Myford intended we can make this work by using a 30/15T cluster. Depends I guess how much resources you want to devote to being able to cut metric threads.

One thing further - Brian am I right in thinking the ML7 uses a different mandrel cluster from a S7? I've got an idea that the 30T gear is peculiar to the S7 but I might be imagining things. If so we just need to confirm from David that he is working on an S7.

Best rgds Simon

10/01/2019 10:26:54

Thank you Brian, I don't disagree with you though I couldn't decide whether to expect twice or half the intended pitch on the basis of what we know so far. Hopefully it'll be one or the other, in which case we know why it's doing it and how to fix it.

David we also need to know what TPI setting the gearbox is set for as well as the gear train tooth counts and the pitch actually being cut on the workpiece.

Best rgds to all Simon

10/01/2019 09:31:17

Here's another thread which contains some more direct comparison stuff :


This includes pictures of the label inside the gearbox cover which should (if the right cover is fitted!) explain the difference in set up.

HTH Simon

10/01/2019 09:03:45


Later model QCG's have a 2:1 step down gear at the output. The earlier model doesn't so the input gear train steps the speed down externally to the g'box. This means that the mandrel gear is halved.

The gear boxes are superficially the same, the difference is under a cover on the RHS of the gearbox. On the newer g'box there is a pair of gears which reduce the output by 2:1, on the older gearbox there is still a pair of gears at the output but they are 1:1.

In terms of pictures there is quite a bit of history buried in the forum of one against the other

Here's one such:

And another:


I know there is a much older article on this which is quoted in one of the links above but I haven't found the url link yet.

If this is the explanation for the problems you have been seeing, then you are probably cutting half the pitch you meant to. Would you like to describe what input gears you have set up on the banjo and what pitch you have actually found. We can then determine if the explanation fits the evidence.

HTH Simon

Edited By Simon Williams 3 on 10/01/2019 09:04:37

Thread: Editing posts and other ideas.
09/01/2019 21:26:34

Hello good evening

This return and carriage feed - or lack there of - is not peculiar to Apple, as my HP laptop running W10 suffers it. My desktop PC running W7 doesn't. I've given up.

So if I reach the end of a paragraph with my laptop, then press return. the cursor goes in front of the first character on the page. I then use the cursor down key to put the cursor after the carriage return and double line feed that have been added after my completed paragraph. I can also use the mouse and L click to move the cursor after the finished para'

I've taken to adding two line feeds and some buckshee characters when I want to add a photo. Then I position the cursor at the first line feed before pressing the camera icon to add a picture. This avoids the annoying placement of the first word of the new paragraph on the same line as the photo itself. The extraneous characters just act as a marker to start subsequent text.

Doesn't have to be a why. I just fixed a work round.

Rgds to all


Thread: Restoration and modifications to a Tom Senior light vertical mill
06/01/2019 16:00:01

Good afternoon all.

Spent my weekend worshipping the god of swarf, so here is the preparation for my repair to the broken leadscrew mounting casting:


And here it is assembled



And just to prove that it clears the channel in the bottom of the table casting (if only just):


The orientation of this photo is a bit odd, only so I could get the camera near enough. "Up" is about 10 o'clock.

So bung it all back together and it all fits and lines up and slides and wotnot. X travel now measures 18-3/16, which is a result I'm very pleased with.

Thank you gents for your help in determining that it needed surgery, hope your restoration s equally satisfactory.

Best rgds and a Happy New Year.


04/01/2019 19:51:16
Posted by ian j on 04/01/2019 19:26:27:

While it's in your hand Simon can you confirm it's dimensions as 1 1/4" os diam by 2" long.

I know we can only surmise but I wonder if the damage happened when a new nut was been inserted?

Edited By ian j on 04/01/2019 19:27:50

Ian -

Bush measures 1.243 OD (mostly) by 1.960 long overall. Material is visually bronze, not brass it's not yellow its pink. (phosphor bronze?)

I like the suggestion of having broken the casting by over-enthusiastic bush fitting, that's a simpler and more plausible suggestion than somehow it fell over leaving no other visible marks. The only thing is, that bush is a slack sloppy fit in the remnant of the proper location. The socket left is about 200 degrees of a circle so it's pretty easy to gauge the diameter, and although it's significantly scored it's pretty much round albeit oversize. I wonder if someone failed to realise there was a grubscrew locating the bush axially and radially, wound happily on some kind of extractor and only stopped when it was too late. Ping!

Best rgds Simon

04/01/2019 19:11:49

Tonight's update:

Pulled the half nut out of the casting. It was a moderate press fit, came out with a bit of help from a piece of M12 studding. Could have used 1/2 whit, but it is a metric machine....


And here it is fitted in it's proper position.


There, that was an easy fix (if only).

Set up and machining tomorrow, after I've got the wood burner going well.

Rgds to all

03/01/2019 23:39:32

One hell of a dig in to do that much damage! I know it's a light vertical, but I've had some serious work out of mine table travel notwithstanding. So I guess we'll never know.

So do please keep the updates a-coming, it's always interesting to see how other folks are getting on with machinery you recognise.

My best regards to you both


03/01/2019 22:15:50

Hi Ian, yes I think your pictures just about seal the diagnosis. You're right though, I can't imagine how someone managed to do this much damage without wrecking at least something major, so I'm scratching my head a bit. I see no evidence of dings or bruises elsewhere, suppose I should be grateful it has survived this well.

I guess it doesn't matter too much, I've just got to get past that and find an honourable fix, even if I have to get someone locally to make the necessary mod's to this casting. I'll keep you posted.

And thanks to Miles for letting me hijack his thread.

Best rgds Simon

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