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Member postings for Martin of Wick

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

Thread: Drilling crankshaft hole
19/01/2021 14:38:15

I have a similar issue, but not quite such a fugly casting as that one - I assume it is quite small, so my choice would be:

set up as best you can in a vice with the shaft as parallel and normal to the cutting plane as you can judge by eye (by any means possible with whatever packing you need).

mill base as reference plane, mill long edge of base likewise

prepare piece of scrap to parallel on all surfaces large enough to overhang base of casting by 20mm or so, bolt said casting to your prepared plate with at least two fixings of appropriate size - If you are really keen you could mill out a slot in the mounting plate to fit the milled base to ensure stability for subsequent operations.

set up plate with mounted casting in vice square and parallel, mill port face and shaft bearing boss face flat, turn over mill rear of port block flat (and rear of shaft boss).

Without removing, find centre of crank boss, punch, spot drill, then drill drill through crank shaft bearing boss with correct size of drill prepared for brass/bronze etc in one go.

With luck this should result in the main surfaces parallel and normal to each other.

nb The author accepts no responsibility in any way for broken drills, mis- aligned or oversize holes or any other unsatisfactory outcomes, how so ever caused cheeky



Edited By Martin of Wick on 19/01/2021 14:48:45

Thread: Mini lathe feed
13/01/2021 14:34:11

You need to check the geartrain/change gear set up behind the left cover.

1 with lathe unplugged, first release quadrant to free change gear mounted to leadscrew from any other gears in the train.

2 turn the change gear on leadscrew manually to check leadscrew rotates, if so, engage carriage feed lever to check for expected movement forward and reverse - if carriage is not moving then investigate for correct movement of half nuts (by peering at right end of carriage with a torch to confirm that the half nuts move together and apart to clasp the leadscrew).

3) if that checks out alright, check that the change gears you expect to have in the train can be made to mesh correctly and check by rotating chuck by hand to confirm motion all through the gear train to the leadscrew - if not look for change gear mounting issues or potential damage (grub screws or nuts to tighten etc)

4) check operation of tumbler reverse jockey wheels - correct engagement etc

5) if all the above is Greek to you, download this manual....

g0765_m.pdf (


Edited By Martin of Wick on 13/01/2021 14:36:51

Thread: Myford ml7 about to buy
12/01/2021 14:58:25

Personally, I wouldn't touch a lathe with no provenance, unless you particularly want an expensive, irritating and time consuming project

From your description so far you have already added up a couple of hundred to the base price, added to which is probability of needing to replace all bearings and motorising shafts etc, the cost to achieve a even a mediocre machine is getting up towards a grand - Go to Myfords site and E bay and start adding up the costs of all running part replacements - if you can find them and you may want to think again.

It is more likely than not that the bed will need a regrind and if you regrind the bed you will need to do the saddle etc.

It will likely cost at over £300 excluding time and travelling IF you can find someone to do it.

I had a 7 done by Slideway services 5 or 6 years ago and it was £250 then- since that time the owner has sold up I am not sure if the new owner is amenable to small jobs.

Sent you a PM for basic static Myford checks



Edited By Martin of Wick on 12/01/2021 15:05:31

Thread: Postal Imports ... Notice 143
02/01/2021 23:15:23

Well, I see what the intent is, it is just that the torrent of words is difficult to interpret or understand the practicalities ( dont get bogged down in petifoging detail, just make it happen.....).

I get it now that the < £135 just pushes the tax on small stuff to PoS so is not paid at the border.

As SD states, I suspect all non VAT declared goods or items from vendors not identified as registered for HMRC VAT will be turned over to Royal Mail/AN Other Courier to collect the tax for HMRC and charge the purchaser whatever they like for the service.

In theory most purchases should eventually funnel through the few registered OMPs or privateers that are willing to dance to HMRC's tune because of the extreme handling charge penalty.

Brilliant really, without lifting a finger HMRC extract their extra pound of flesh. But I wonder how many dodgy far east Arthur Daily types will register, collect the VAT, trouser said VAT, then suddenly disappear - Watchagonna do then HMRC - send a gun boat, start another Opium War..?

There is some benefit in that it should deliver some uptick in trade for pukka UK based retailers.

Edited By Martin of Wick on 02/01/2021 23:17:06

Thread: Amadeal lathes - Any good??
02/01/2021 20:20:24


don't waste yer money on 'special' brands when starting out - you will always be able to move a cheap and cheerful lathe on at little risk or cost if you tire of it. Remember 9 out of 10 Myfords advertised for sale (and others of the same ilk) prefer Chum.

As you learn and improve, you will begin to form a view of the exact type of machine you really need and can take your time sourcing it. If you have the room, you may well find you keep the uncomplaining mini lathe to do the gnarly, horrid, cruel, abusive jobs that you wouldn't dare inflict on the frail 'workshop queen' of a certain age, preening herself under her cover in the corner...

Thread: Postal Imports ... Notice 143
02/01/2021 19:59:24


I think you are right, but I cant see how that will work in practice for direct purchases from the far east (ie not from Amazon Ebay etc)- evidenced by the 'something so wonderful will be done to trap the miscreants, that we know not what it will be...' tone of the guidance. It appears to be a work in progress to me.

For it to work as suggested, the likes of AliBaba would have to agree to collect tax on UK sales on behalf of HMRC. I suppose they (and others) might do this off the back of some wider trade deal long term but I cant see them rushing to fall into line just because HMRC say so. I expect AB want to protect their revenue, but the truth is, they could probably buy this entire country out of petty cash, chop it into little pieces and flush it down the pan, without blinking.

Secondly, when a purchase is made from Ali, It has been my experience that a package arrives from a relatively anonymous small reseller / sole trader and there is no obvious link to the OMP on the packaging. Are all these myriads of backroom traders somewhere in the middle of China suddenly going to feel the need to kowtow to HMRC?

I suppose HMRC could take the line that if goods turn up with a declared value but no VAT registration identifier, they would simply confiscate the goods to encourage the others...

Thread: Amadeal lathes - Any good??
01/01/2021 20:05:17

I had a CJ18 from Amadeal that ran fine but required a fair bit of fettling, but all relatively minor stuff and probably no more than would have been required for similar lathes in that class.

They replaced a 4 Jaw chuck with faulty jaws that I had had for over a year (but not used), so have been content with their support.

Thread: Postal Imports ... Notice 143
01/01/2021 18:19:53

Still not there yet, so is this the deal then....

1) Purchase from an OMP or similar registered for tax purposes in the UK, the OMP very kindly collects the taxes for HMRC on all purchases originating Ex UK..... captures majority of sales and drop shippers etc without involvement of Border Farce.

2) Purchase from trader Ex UK... (including the likes of Ali, Bang, Gear, Light, etc, because I can just see the likes of Jack Ma begging to be an unpaid tax collector for HMRC), then Border Farce or shipper may become involved as goods cross the border and calculate tax on item or items only where declared value + handling etc is >£135, because otherwise they would have employ the whole country in processing every single piece of foreign mail with a declared value.

Presumably if you purchase items from Europe, they will be sold net of sending country VAT but chargeable at UK rates at the border (if above £135) plus any charges the shipping company wishes to apply.

Remember what the nice man said - 'no non tariff barriers to trade...' Waaahhaaahhaa!

01/01/2021 14:02:36

I don't understand....

on the one hand I thought that as of now, the minimum tax threshold for VAT/ excise/import duties was to be reduced from £15 to zero therefore VAT etc. is now payable on all purchases via 'online market places' offshore vendors etc....

On the other hand, this link seems to imply the minimum tax threshold for offshore purchases is £135.00?? Or have I just misinterpreted?

I am clearly in a post seasonal brain fog of too much food n booze so could someone that understands the regulatory mind please explain in simple terms what the tax position is likely to be for offshore purchases?

Much thanks!

Thread: Flexispeed fixed steady
16/12/2020 12:16:55

Have been through this with an EW lathe. I am afraid you have a vanishingly small probability of acquiring an original item at any price.

Your options are

  • to fabricate one from scratch - much the cheapest option
  • to adapt one to fit from a similar sized machine (say Cowels or more realistically one of the ubiquitous small Chinese lathes C0, C1, C2/3, small Proxon, Peatol etc class of machine

suppliers include M-Machine metals for material , Arc, Cowels, Axminster,  on line markets, etc.

Edited By Martin of Wick on 16/12/2020 12:21:25

Thread: Have You considered getting a 3D printer
11/12/2020 16:08:31

Wouldn't be without mine, just a budget Creality Ender but have made everything on it from replacement fan on a jig saw, lathe change gears, saddle stop, chuck spiders, nudgers, spacers, Stephenson's Rocket, servo frames for RC gliders, patterns, moulds, sundry replacement bits for broken/missing 'things' round the house and on and on...lost track really.

They could all be considerably improved with some effort, but despite various plans to improve my Ender it is still pretty much as it came out of the box... because it just delivers consistent output in the 'good enough' spectrum.

In future, I hope there is some improvements in media technology addressing issues such as strength, bonding, stability etc. Ideally for a structural product, we would like a filament with the strength and stability of nylon or polycarbonate, the ease of printing and resilience of PLA and the post processing properties ABS.

Thread: ER collet size help
11/12/2020 15:08:13

Probably too good to bin.

First find someone with a 25 collet holder and check that they might fit (say this because there was 6 or 7mm clearance in the back of the ER32 holder I use.

Otherwise, just make a collet holder to suit your requirement, seen some drawings in one of the threads here for basic dimensions, obviously you will have to make radial dim to suit 25s and axial to suit 32s checking to see if there is any change to angular tapers. If the nose angle is as per standard you can save work and just purchase a 25 collet closer.

Edited By Martin of Wick on 11/12/2020 15:13:34

Thread: Lidl Portable Bandsaw
11/12/2020 10:49:38

Michael, should have clarified, my comments on Femi vices were in regard to the 782 series, noted that other models are available!

The basic cutting of bar against the moving jaw is not really an issue on this device, especially if you mod it to restrict the jaw lift. It could become an issue if you are attempting 'precision cuts. In that case you may need to get inventive with various jigs, fixtures, fittings etc.

In my limited experience, the metal bandsaws I have seen, the blade rotation has been in the anticlockwise direction and wood bandsaws in the clockwise direction. I have used TuffSaws for replacements and for both types of blade, the tooth orientation has always correctly matched wheel rotation (ie haven't had to do any blade twisting).

Now I am not suggesting anyone attempt this, but if you felt really strongly that you absolutely had to cut towards the fixed jaw on the Aldi, because it would be a mortal sin to do otherwise, then you would have to find away to reverse the direction of the motor AND flip the blade so the teeth point in the direction of blade travel.

Clearly you DON'T want to be doing this if you are planning to use the saw in the vertical mode! And in any case, I am not sure what the practicalities are of reversing the motor direction on this device, whether you risk damaging the gear/drive arrangements, motor, controller etc. it is hard to say.

Nevertheless, If some brave soul wants to experiment with their shiny new saw and report back to enlighten the rest of us.....devil

10/12/2020 21:40:25

This brand of tool (Milwaukee clone) was originally designed for freehand use. The addition of the stand and vice was clearly an add on afterthought to extend the utility of the device- compromised by poor saw geometry and poorly designed mount location.

If you get a 'proper' fixed mount bandsaw, the vice will usually be set up with respect to the saw so the teeth move in the direction of the fixed jaw, for obvious reasons (see the usual 6x4s 3x5s offerings from China).

See also the bandsaws by FEMI where they have designed the complete saw and mounting arrangement to properly suit the saw geometry, so the vice is on the backside of the saw with the fixed jaw in the correct orientation with respect to blade direction and the swivel mount on the right.

But then hey! a Femi is 3 times the price of the Aldi offering, and for that, I expect all but the most seriously minted can put up with some minor inconvenience while finding some other way to dispose of the £300 saving..

Alternatively, just go back to hand sawing, if you prefer

Thread: Vevor lathe
09/12/2020 19:28:48

Firstly you need to ask yourself why do you need a big bore on a small machine - do you really need the -'big bore' or is it just something you feel you should have/ want?

secondly, realise that the size of machine you have identified will likely only admit a 4in chuck which has a bore of not much more than 22mm and even if it was practicable to fit a 5 in chuck it wont gain you much more. What use is your big bore to you then?

So watcha gonna do with this mega bore machine and its associated much more expensive 5MT taper tooling that you couldn't do with the regular size of lathe (apart from save a few short ends)?

Thread: Lidl Portable Bandsaw
03/12/2020 11:02:58

Keith, it is a perfectly capable steel cutting saw out of the box, especially  if it came supplied with an M42 blade. I had no trouble hacking off pieces of 80x30 hot roll steel - no idea what grade. It did charge through a piece of 1/2 in silver steel, but I don't regard that as much of a challenge for this tool. cutting bright  bar up to 40mm was no problem as long as workpiece is well secured. 

Just readback for set up tips and tension appropriately, select a sensible speed for the material - I use 1 or 2 for steel to avoid heating the blade too much. Use dry, do not press down on the saw handle when cutting, just lightly support the weight as it cuts through the workpiece. In sticky metals, or aluminium it sometimes helps to take the pressure of the blade occasionally to allow gullets to clear before progressing- you will sense when the blade bogs down, skips or galls.

The main problem is the supplied vice especially with small bar (say 30mm and below). As supplied, the jaw has a tendency to lift and the work can shift causing all sorts of trouble. Easily fixed by applying any or all of the vice mods suggested by myself and others in previous posts.

In some ways a better device than my CY90 and certainly cuts at 3 time the speed, but if you have sensitive hearing that you wish to protect, get some ear-plugs


Edited By Martin of Wick on 03/12/2020 11:10:53

Thread: Suggestions for lathe-only projects?
28/11/2020 21:28:56

I have never come across a commercial clamping set suitable for a Myford. Usually Tee bolts and nuts are available from mytholmroyd, but phone to confirm dimensions before parting with your money.

Not generally considered good practice to use ordinary reversed bolts as Tee bolts due to to small head size exerting a high point load and risking damage to the slot - but needs must if there is no alternative, just be careful you are clamping something solid over the top to protect the slot. Sawing up your own Tee nuts is a good discipline as is fabricating some Tee bolts

Myford x-slide tee nuts are pretty small, so that could be your first milling job to test the new slide, traditionally tapped 5/16 F but M8 would do as well if you are standardising on that studding.

Don't recommend using the 3 jaw to hold a milling cuter, too easy for the cutter to be dragged out of the jaws unless it is quite small. If you can't manage an ER collet chuck, then I believe ARC or the like can provide No.2MT collets in say M10 and M6 (or whatever to suit the mills you have available). M10 studding and a nut and washer will do for the drawbar.

Andy got there first with the finger collets!!!


Edited By Martin of Wick on 28/11/2020 21:30:11

Thread: Lidl Portable Bandsaw
24/11/2020 20:55:47


Make sure the bearing plates are set correctly on the swivel arm thrust bearings (mine were set to bear on the flat surfaces!!). Grease them up and tighten up the big silver dome nut so it will comfortably hold the saw assembly under friction when raised from the job.

DONT use oil, completely unnecessary, cut dry only or use some candle wax if you get a squeal , my original blade was a quality item, 10/14 I think, so good down to 2 or 3 mm. It just rips through thick stock with ease and hardly seems to get warm, Find a suitable small plastic tray (eg food packaging) to blue tack into place under the blade for collecting the copious stream of cuttings that is generated.

The work piece clamp can be considerably improved by making a keeper (a sort of shallow threaded T Nut ) to place under the body, secured to the moving jaw through the slot in the clamp base, with nut and bolt. This minimises the tendency of the moving jaw to lift when tightened. The hardest bit is to get unscrew the clamp shaft from the moving jaw. The 12m nut on the moving jaw is threadlocked, so I resorted to jamming a screwdriver in the nut end and levering a stilson on the handle end.

You may also find, that the clamp body casting is unevenly cast with bulges towards the fixed jaw end, certainly the case with mine, so I passed a file over the high spot until tolerably flat. Don't attempt to press any bulges out - you will crack the casting (go on ask me how I know!). To get a perfectly 90 degree cut in the vertical plane, you can shim out whichever pair of fore/aft clamp mount points to suit.

Does involve a bit of work to fine tune, but really worth it if you expect to use horizontally. Probably lots of other simple mods could be done to improve utility. Geometry is a bit awkward for detail cutting arrangements in the horizontal mode, more of a bar shredder in that mode. I expect good things for detail work when set up as a vertical saw, probably with a 14/18 blade.

Thread: A milling cutter I couldn't resist
16/11/2020 18:27:48

I had a couple similar on No2 MT with triangular inserts 9mm and 6mm across a side.

Presumably TPKN or TPUN (no idea what the difference is). I have searched the usual outlets but have not been able to find any replacement inserts at those small sizes. Had thought of trying a TCMT in their place, but I suspect they would break because of the hole, if used for milling.

Pity because they were very simple to use cutters and good for chewing out metal at maximum RPM on the mill. Finish was adequate for most jobs.

Thread: Lidl Portable Bandsaw
13/11/2020 20:47:41

Afraid I weakened and after the dismal experience of Lidl's offering, decided to try the Aldi version (can always send it back, I reasoned and it might save me having to get a Femi!).

Arrived today, pleasantly surprised, substantially better made/finished than the Lidl version, in particular;

  1. metal motor body not plastic
  2. Thrust bearings on the radial support arm (almost assembled correctly!) and solid mitre mount
  3. Two M42 blades albeit rather coarse 10/14 odd length (1141) but sure that 1140 would fit
  4. Release lever tensions blade perfectly OK from A flat to F sharp
  5. Out of the box, even with the joker vice/clamp arrangement cut true to within 1 degree of vertical

So deemed satisfactory for conversion to a vertical bandsaw (subject to acquiring finer blades). Base and hilarious vice/clamp tossed into scrap pile for the time being, pending attention at a later date - with a bit of thought and effort may be made serviceable one day by cutting a thread on the bar and inserting threaded collar in vice casting, or something along those lines.

Tips for new owners...

  1. The alloy casting is as soft as Brie cheese and will cross thread if you are not careful, so I would get a decent quality M6 bolt that has a bit of a taper on the lead and run it part through the mounting holes in the saw for the radial arm support to start the thread. I say this because the on mine the threads were very tight and difficult to start accurately with the supplied bolts.
  2. Remove the radial arm support by undoing the silver dome nut on the mitre swivel, and attach the support to the body of the saw as it lies on the bench (this is much easier than attempting to hold the saw in one hand and accurately locate and tighten the attachment bolts with your other hand)
  3. Set the saw angle to the vice with a square and check work piece is resting on surface of vice by holding it down as best you can while operating the cam clamp - this may take several goes!

Speed 1 or 2 for steel and 3 or 4 for non ferrous seems OK - NO OIL. It is quite quick compared to a 6x4 type but also noisier.

Have fun with your new toy by gratuitously slicing up various materials lying about your workshop as a testing programme.

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