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Member postings for ChrisB

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

Thread: Keeping the workshop cool
23/07/2021 12:45:18

If you spend enough time in the shop you might even get used to the heat! Joking apart, I'm from Malta, current shade temperatures are in the mid to high 30s, a couple of weeks ago temps went up to 43 deg...infernal heat which is really uncomfortable to work in. I would suggest good ventilation as a starter, my workshop is a garage with two opposite doors and with the draft created I can stand 35deg. If ventilation is not possible I would invest in an ac. I intend to install one at some point, but I keep on buying tooling instead!

Thread: Dewpoint
20/07/2021 14:03:05

I get that practically every morning, living on a tiny island the air is inevitably humid almost all year round especially the summer months. Before driving off ac on, wipers on heater on blower and demist max and wait for the coolant temperature to raise!

20/07/2021 14:03:04

I get that practically every morning, living on a tiny island the air is inevitably humid almost all year round especially the summer months. Before driving off ac on, wipers on heater on blower and demist max and wait for the coolant temperature to raise!

Thread: Aluminium
19/07/2021 14:13:01
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 19/07/2021 13:59:53:

The link from SoD doesn't work. Cutting and pasting leads to links for controlling 12V DC motors; which I suspect is a different thread.

Agreed that 1050A is almost pure aluminium. But I'd disagree with it only being useful for foil and labels. I've used it for other applicationsw, such as c ustom dashboards for modified hybrid cars when testing new batteries.

The professionals seem to think it has other uses:

1050A Overview


Exactly my thoughts Andrew, not saying 1050 is the only material to choose, the ones mentioned by Dave might also be good. I tend to prefer 1050 because I know it's easy to work with especially for forming, given it's a seat pan I don't see any requirement for high strength, so forming and welding would take priority...imho

19/07/2021 11:36:54
Posted by Dave Smith 14 on 19/07/2021 08:53:49:

1050 is no use for anything except foil and labels being pure Aluminium.

Where did you get that from?!

19/07/2021 06:21:45

If no strength is required, probably the best aluminium to form and weld would be the 1050 series.

Thread: Aircraft General Discussion
14/07/2021 16:20:48
Posted by Robert Atkinson 2 on 19/06/2021 21:50:21:

Not really a flaw, more of a compromise. There are limited options for where the locking pins can go. The engineer is supposed to be skilled and qualified on the aircraft type. The designer will take thi into accound when deciding what level of "fool-proofing" is required. As gear locking pins are not a flight safety issue it will have a fairly low priority. You can't make a whole fleet of aircraft potentially heavier (burns more fuel) and more expensive just on the off-chance that a skilled person makes a mistake.
There are much more important items that have similar compromises. There hav been a number of cases of A320 series aircraft taking off without cowlings latched properly. This is despite the flight crew checking them as well as the maintence staff. They painted the latchs to make them more visible, still happened, the put a spring "pusher" inot the system so the two halces would not join just under gravity and it still happens.

I'll wait for the accident report before I comment on the actual incident.

This stuff is part of my day job.

Robert G8RPI.

The report has been issued: **LINK**

An airworthyness directive was issued in 2020 to prevent this occurrence, but probably it was not yet performed on this aircraft as the deadline is 2023. Quite unfortunate.

Regarding the fancowls on the airbus, in 2015 an AD was issued to fit a locking key with a flag on the fwd latch and a techlog entry for its removal. The newer aircraft eliminated the problem altogether as apart from visual indicators on the fan cowl itself, there is also an indication on the cockpit displays.

Thread: working Damascus steel
13/07/2021 16:33:04

I don't have first hand experience machining damascus, but from what I've seen it is perfectly safe to do so as long as the material is sound, in that it has been forged and welded correctly. Pommels are turned and guards are milled.

13/07/2021 14:51:51

You can etch with ferric chloride and instant coffee. You can buy it or make your own as it's quite easy to do, I bought some for etching pcbs, but later did my own. The coffee helps getting a darker etch without going too deep compared to the acid etch.

Thread: Shock at low pay for high skill
05/07/2021 19:12:27

It's all about supply and demand, I can talk about aircraft engineers contractors, pre covid rates were in the region of 38£ph, but that crashed down to 25 for those lucky enough to secure a contract.

Similar to train drivers, pilots and engineers there is an element of responsibility in a highly regulated work. Maintenance records are kept and your responsibility will at times linger for years.

Thread: Stone moving machine
04/07/2021 19:18:32

In Malta we have quite a few similar temples to Stonehenge. Could be older as they are Neolithic, lots of theories on how the massive megaliths were cut, transported and erected, but no one really knows. Some say the megaliths were moved over spherical stones which were found around the temples, for sure it involved a lot of sweat, time and effort.

Thread: TNMG inserts
03/07/2021 09:08:12

I use them, don't have the polished ones yet but I want to get some of them. I got my inserts from Cutwell, YG branded, in different tip radii. I find they work well in both deep and shallow cuts, but for shallow cuts or creeping to size I use a new edge. The polished ones may perform better. I also use one on my flycutter and it works very well.

Thread: DIY magnetic DRO
30/06/2021 07:14:24
Posted by Nick Hall 1 on 29/06/2021 17:30:19:

It's been a while now chaps, how are your DIY DRO's holding up ?, still in good calibration ?


The DROs are holding well after 2 years in use. No issues to report about so far. Been well worth my time and saved me some money as well.

Thread: Easy Start
29/06/2021 10:47:17

During my appentice days at container terminal I remember the mechanics would start an old forklift truck by taking off the air cleaner, then dip a rag in oil and light it up and hold it next to the intake. The flame would be sucked in and the poor old perkins would come to life....until I tried that is... sucked the rag clean out of my hand into the intake!

Thread: Aircraft General Discussion
20/06/2021 21:06:31
Posted by Buffer on 19/06/2021 23:01:58:


Airbus 320 have a park brake that is only 12 inches away from the engine start switch and its a rotary knob that turns the same way. As engines are started during pushback guess how many people have set the park brake while being pushed back and nearly killed the tug driver when the nose gear comes through his windscreen. The list of cock ups like this would fill a book.

Any way Rob is quite right to wait for the report but here's some pure speculation.

I have not seen the accident reports but mistaking the parking brake for the mode selector is a lame excuse if you ask me. Had it been mistaken for the rudder trim switch which lives between the mode selector and the parking brake would have been more plausable. The parking brake is a pull and turn switch so its not really the same.

It's so easy to blame the aircraft but in reality it's over confidence and non adherance to procedures the main cause for these mishaps.

Thread: Mill and Lathe
19/06/2021 05:43:38
Posted by Brian G on 18/06/2021 17:56:37:

It might be worth finding out if the feed shaft has a plain coupling to the gearbox or if it is a ball clutch. If there is a ball clutch it will slip when overloaded, allowing you to set a stop when using power feed. (The clutch on our similar Chester DB10 Super's feed shaft has also clicked when parting has gone wrong, potentially saving the apron gears).

Brian G

The WM280 has a ball clutch on the feed shaft, will save the headstock gearbox in a crash (when properly adjusted!)

Thread: Barbeque Time
18/06/2021 17:02:54

All this BBQ talk.... this evenings dinner is sorted!

18/06/2021 06:44:47

I don't understand the reasoning against gas bbqs. Why is gas a no-no? I use both gas and wood, each have their uses, their advantages and disadvantages.

At home I only use gas bbq for multiple reasons. First of all, although I live in the country side my house is an apartment so I would not want to disturb the nieghbours by lighting a wood or coal fired bbq on the terrace, I'd love to but I can't. Given the climate where I live the bbq is used all year round on a weekly basis if not more often so ease of use plays a big role. A gas bbq is ready to use immediately, quick to get to temperature and quick to turn off. Cleaning would become an issue if using solid fuels, you need to lei it cool down and clean the ash. With gas I can just brush off the grills when still hot and it's ready for the next day.

Taste wise I think there's a slight difference, not much compared to charcoal but more pronounced when compared to wood, I use dead carrob wood which is local to me.

Nowadays I use it for almost every type of cooking not just meats, everything goes in, vegetables, fish, pies, pizzas...

17/06/2021 10:18:21
Posted by Anthony Knights on 17/06/2021 09:54:50:

Sorry, but to me a BBQ (especially a gas one) is just an upside-down grill. Why mess about with one, when there are perfectly good cooking facilities in your kitchen. More chance of having the food cooked properly, instead of burnt on the outside and raw in the middle and far less risk of burn injuries.

Oh come on! Burnt or undercooked does not depend on what you cook on but rather on one's ability to cook. But that said, I'd rather cook a piece of ribeye on a bbq than in the kitchen on a pan, you could get similar results if you got the right pan, but I wouldn't want the smoke and smell in the kitchen.

16/06/2021 20:34:47

I run the bbq on propane without any problems, I wouldn't be without it. Purists may prefer charcoal and may see gas as cheating but nothing beats gas for practicality and convenience if you bbq often all year round as I do!

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