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Member postings for Mick B1

Here is a list of all the postings Mick B1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: US/UK Lexicon
23/01/2019 22:03:38
Posted by Bill Phinn on 23/01/2019 21:45:16:


Mick, have you seen today's Airfix instructions? There appear to be no accompanying words at all. The pictorial approach is the way instruction leaflets/manuals appear to be going generally, and the loss of clarity in some cases is colossal.


Exactly. The skills to write such instructions seem to have receded, along with the skills to read and follow them.

Edited By Mick B1 on 23/01/2019 22:06:54

23/01/2019 20:57:18
Posted by Chris Trice on 23/01/2019 20:52:50:

"Locate and cement part 34 to part 35."

Back then, they told you what parts 34 and 35 actually represented, and any special details of how they were to be fitted. And the sequence could catch you out if you just followed the exploded view, as many did.

23/01/2019 20:35:35
Posted by Chris Trice on 23/01/2019 16:36:18:

It starts with plastic kits but to make a living at it, you have to be prepared to go up in scale.

Actually, I think that many Airfix kit instruction sheets of the late 50s - early 60s were written in an extremely clear and informative technical English, the like of which I've not seen since.

Learning this style stood me in good stead in the 70s, writing routing instructions for machining and assembly jobs in the mechanical controls industry, and later on writing user-specific procedural instructions for the use of computerised ERP systems. So there's more than one way of changing the scale to make a living.

23/01/2019 09:35:53

The whole thing has just opened the floodgates to a load of pedantic show-offery.

Many of the expressions we use in common parlance are imprecise, and may in some cases indicate general engineering practices that may vary between nations.

I too thought the original article overblown and inaccurate, but didn't consider it worth writing about until reading this thread.

Thread: failed Dial Caliper
22/01/2019 13:47:43

When I was a miller/turner back in the mid 70s, loads of workmates bought the then-new dial calipers and many suffered issues similar to what you describe - even when the caliper was from a 'reputable' maker. For that reason I've never had one, and lived on verniers, mics, and more lately digitals instead.

However, I have to admit that, since those old days, I haven't heard similar current stories about dial calipers. So I don't know whether makers are reaching down for the old standards again(!), or whether dial calipers are endemically prone to such faults and their use has receded in the interim?

Thread: ARC's Adventures in China 2019
21/01/2019 12:12:40
Posted by not done it yet on 21/01/2019 11:30:27:

After the final test any that fail are sent to Banggood.


D'you reckon they'll sue? wink 2

Thread: Intended function of gib screws
18/01/2019 15:39:10

Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 18/01/2019 10:21:10:


...This tool is my worst buy ever, a complete waste of money. Since buying it I have been a broken man.

Cross-vices must be good for something. What am I missing?


Hmmm. I detect a faint trace of hyperbole... laugh

I nearly bought one when I was about 17, but someone told me then that they weren't very good. I didn't at first think they knew what they were talking about, but I kept on asking everybody if anybody knew anybody else who'd ever used any one of these successfully to do anything, and nobody replied.

I think I must've lost interest, or found another way to do whatever it was in my tiny mind at the time - 'twas a long time back.

Proper slide locking screws may be interspersed in the row between gib adjustment screws, but are longer and don't carry a locknut. Gib adj. screws might be grubscrews, but locking screws usually have a cap or head. I'd think it's probably a Trades Descriptions offence to describe an adjuster as a lockscrew, for the very good reason the OP gives about messing up a carefully-worked adjustment.

The slides in the crossvice in the photo still look rather short for milling, and I can't see that the moving vice-jaw has much parallel guidance - so I can't really visualise how vice-like its grip really is.

Thread: Hobby lathe
17/01/2019 16:06:08
Posted by Mick B1 on 17/01/2019 16:05:51:

I'm with SOD and think Warco will do well enough. I can work to fine enough tolerances, turning and milling in the vertical slide, with mine - if I do my part.

Machines these days are mostly good enough that the user's capabilities count for more than name-dropped brands.

17/01/2019 16:05:51

I'm with SOD and think Warco will do well enough. I can work to fine enough tolerances, turning and milling in the vertical slide, with mine - if I do my part.

Machines these days are mostly good enough that the user's capabilities count for more than name-dropped makers.

Thread: Use of Colour on Drawings
16/01/2019 11:13:49
Posted by JasonB on 16/01/2019 10:43:35:

Thank's Mick

I did not show a thickness as it is not a critical dimension, really just skim the bottom so it does not wobble. The 0.062 for the round corner fixings could just as well have been a spot face, the 0.125 is the only one that really matters as things could clash with the base if less.

Regarding the 8No 5BA holes to the left I went for the assumption that most people would take them to be a mirror image of the right hand side. The only dimension on the left extends down to the 3.0mm CSK hole and positions that and the one lower down.


Ah - context is important. I should've thought of that.

I'd assumed that it was for issue to a foundry and machine shop, intended to cover both casting and machining. Of course, if it's for issue with a set of castings in an ME kit, it'd be obvious it was intended only to cover machining. Nevertheless, I'd expect the corner hole spacing to be dimensioned - Anthony Mount did so on the base of the Hypocycloidal I built last year, though only from one edge and without the 'typ. <n> posns.' I think I'd probably have put in.

But I'm carping - it's always a helluva lot easier to comment on the work of others than to do it yerself! blush

16/01/2019 10:19:31
Posted by Mick B1 on 16/01/2019 09:50:36:
Posted by JasonB on 16/01/2019 09:43:51:

Mick, could you let me know what dims you think are missing please.


And I'd have to make assumptions about the x-position of the left-hand holes on the left-side rectangular pads, whereas that of the left-hand holes is specified.

Edited By Mick B1 on 16/01/2019 09:53:23

Edited By Mick B1 on 16/01/2019 09:55:07

Aaargh! Sorry - think I meant the right hand holes on the left-side pads!

16/01/2019 09:50:36
Posted by JasonB on 16/01/2019 09:43:51:

Mick, could you let me know what dims you think are missing please.

Well, I'm not seeing overall thickness of the casting anywhere. I've looked several times - have I missed it somewhere?

Come to that, the corner pads and hole positions, don't seem to be dimensioned either, nor overall length/width.

And I'd have to make assumptions about the x-position of the left-hand holes on the left-side rectangular pads, whereas that of the left-hand holes is specified.

Edited By Mick B1 on 16/01/2019 09:53:23

Edited By Mick B1 on 16/01/2019 09:55:07

16/01/2019 09:39:52
Posted by Martin Johnson 1 on 15/01/2019 16:20:43:

I think option 2 is a reasonable compromise.

Another personal grouse is showing edges, centrelines and dimension lines as all the same weight. BS 308 (when I learnt it 45 years ago required the edges to be a heavier weight.


You wanted opinions..................


I've a marginal preference for 1 over 2, on the basis that the drawing should carry all required manufacturing information in preference to any cosmetic enhancement, and there appear to me to be missing dimensions.

I was a tool designer in the late 70s/early 80s and recognise your grouse. I can remember one very experienced designer who used to draw his tools using the same thickness for all lines, entirely in 3H pencil, and might throw big, complex bundles of dimension lines long distances across a sheet of A0 draughting film. The toolmakers all hated him, and would accidentally-on-purpose manufacture his designs exactly as drawn, with hostile disregard for any errors.

Thread: Yet more confusion!
13/01/2019 11:52:56
Posted by Mick Charity on 12/01/2019 16:50:11:

We have never enjoyed a stable climate.

We have never enjoyed a stable political system.

We have never enjoyed a stable economic system.

What have we ever enjoyed that could be classed as stable?

It's because engineers keep finding ways of doing stuff better and easier. The resulting technical changes are then copied worldwide, and everything changes.

It's our fault, so stop moanin'. laugh

Thread: Siezed Drill Chuck in a Tailstock
10/01/2019 17:11:34

Never come across this, but what about a kettle of boiling water poured over the quill?

Thread: Split die cutting undersize
09/01/2019 16:51:32
Posted by Tim Stevens on 09/01/2019 15:34:23:

You need to check that your centre screw has a decent point to match the notch in the die. I find that the screws in recent, or cheap, or older die holders can be soft, or worn, or quite wrong for the job.

Cheers, Tim

That's true - I replaced the centre screws supplied in my dieholders with capscrews turned to a 30 deg included cone point.

09/01/2019 14:27:28
Posted by Baldric on 09/01/2019 14:13:38:
Posted by Derek Lane 2 on 09/01/2019 13:48:38:

Have you loosened the outer screws and just tighten up the centre this will open the die slightly then screw in the two outer to just contact the die as before. You may need to do this a few times until you get the right fit

This is exactly what I did, the outer ones just nipped after the middle one done up.

Hmmm... I sometimes find I need to feel and see the opening of the split before bringing in the outer screws to contact. The adjustment can be quite sensitive - a few degrees of turn in any of the screws can make more difference than you expect - and getting an 'ideal' fit can be elusive.

Thread: Best value parting tool for mild steel?
08/01/2019 17:29:28

Well, I use RDG's cheap holder with a 5/16 x 1/16" blade over a 1/8" packing insert in my WM250V. Works for me. I break the blade occasionally if I'm careless, so I keep a spare.

Edited By Mick B1 on 08/01/2019 17:30:19

Thread: Making small Wheels
07/01/2019 09:18:24
Posted by JasonB on 07/01/2019 07:02:12:

Make a small broach and drive that through an undersize hole

When I've thunk that thought in the past, I've doubted that it would work because of the asymmetric side-forces on the broach messing up the concentricity.

From the pics of your swarf, it looks as if it works pretty well. Thanks, I'll file that for future ref! smiley

Thread: Ukraine model engine factories
06/01/2019 10:22:47

Thanks for that - it's very interesting that a workshop of such casual appearance can produce such results.

How does the business work? Is it some kind of co-operative? Is there a sales deprtment? If each craftsman knows his part of the work in such detail, worker flexibility must be difficult or impossible to achieve - sickness or absence of each or any worker would presumably affect a range of their products. Are they self-employed (or local equivalent) or on a company payroll?

I'm just wondering whether there's any sort of an organisational model there that could work here?

Edited By Mick B1 on 06/01/2019 10:24:04

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