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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: What do you use your lathe for?
03/07/2019 11:02:39

Plus I just made a new 4,3mm shaft for the little nylon wheel that supports the RH runner in our big kitchen drawer, 'cos the original pin just broke - thus saving about a day's frustrating work trying to find, buy and fit a new runner of the right size and type...

03/07/2019 10:03:03

I make engineering models, toys, wooden and delrin parts for salt/pepper grinders, batts for the missus' pottery wheel, keyring fobs, metal lightswitch pulls, pendants, and various parts as a volunteer for the local steam railway, such as brass or bronze pipe unions and cones in 'obsolete' sizes, bleed screws with titchy holes in them, steel suspension bushes for locos, refurb bits for various complicated valves - in fact anything that'll fit on my lathe that they can reasonably trust a volunteer to do - whenever they ask.

You'll see most of the range in my album.

It's in use somehow or other most days.

Edited By Mick B1 on 03/07/2019 10:03:52

Thread: Mini Lathe - turning 6" long, 1.5" dia AL
30/06/2019 21:46:56

If you've got a carrier that can be driven by a chuck jaw, could you turn a centre from a piece of scrap in the chuck?

But I'd've thought a lubricated dead centre in the tailstock with t'other end in the chuck would be fine for most work. Centre drills are available at any engineer's merchant's or off the web for not much money.

Thread: Using a lathe
30/06/2019 19:09:05

Put the cuffs on guv'nor - it's a fair cop; I taught me gran'daughter to turn a pen body in alli at the age of 7. Dunno if I can live with the guilt...

Thread: Do you use Chinese HSS?
29/06/2019 17:59:15

I have no idea where my HSS blanks come from. When buying I *usually* buy from a distributor I recognise, at a price that looks keen but not suspiciously cheap when compared to other offerings.

It's only in the last couple of years I've even thought of HSS as a differentiated product - I used to think it was all pretty much the same, like, say, supermarket porridge oats or 80 gsm printer paper.

I've got maybe 15 or so 1/4" tool bits in use at the moment, and I've not bought any for about a year. Of these, I'm aware of only one that I think is inferior - not soft but sort of micro-crumbly at the cutting edge. If I could remember where I bought it I'd complain...


Edited By Mick B1 on 29/06/2019 18:00:51

Thread: Do you clean your workshop at the end of the day?
28/06/2019 15:13:38

I clean up when, looking around the workshop, I'm suddenly overcome with disgust.

But that doesn't happen much in busy periods - I've said often enough that what comes out yer shed is a hundred times more important than what you got in there - and IMO that applies to its tidiness as well as the prestige of the brand names installed.

Thread: Side Cut Angle on HSS Tool Bits
27/06/2019 09:27:01
Posted by Peter G. Shaw on 27/06/2019 09:20:28:

Peter Wright's book on Model Engineering page 303 explains it. In effect that if taking heavy cuts, the width of the chip is reduced thus making it easier on the lathe.

Peter G. Shaw

I was told that, too, in my Government Training Centre lathe course in the 70s, but I can't see it. The cutting face is longer, and for a given feed rate it'll make the chip volume per rev greater.

27/06/2019 09:23:41
Posted by Blue Heeler on 27/06/2019 08:10:55:

Lots of references to tool grinding show and mention SCA, I've never understood what it does.

If there's any beneficial effect, I think the main one is to create an outward vector on the forces acting on the tool, and hence the crossslide - so as to take up the backlash positively, improving consistency and accuracy on repetitive cuts.

Downside is that it limits working close to the chuck, and will leave your bar with a conical end after parting, potentially wasting (a probably trivial amount of) material.

Thread: HSS Tool Bit Size
27/06/2019 09:11:48

I've got one 1/4" square HSS that I've ground to a full radius (ie. 1/8" - or thereabouts). It'll cut a full radius with no chatter in alli, brass, phosphor bronze or titanium so long as I keep it sharp and the the speed low - don't think I've ever tried it on steel.

For parallel turning, I tend to use a small radius of 15 to 30 thou (-ish). If you want a smooth finish, the radius needs to be a few times the feed rate per rev, or you'll get a miniature furrowed effect. Sometimes that's aesthetically attractive and functionally acceptable, sometimes not.

Thread: Do you need one of these in your life?
27/06/2019 08:59:53

I prefer to avoid magnets in the workshop. Lots of ferrous stuff ends up getting magnetised and attracts sharp bits of swarf. Tools get covered in splinters, so become tricky to pick up safely. When you come into the house, you end up sitting with an illuminated magnifier and a caliper, picking them out of your fingers.

No. Sorry.

Edited By Mick B1 on 27/06/2019 09:01:26

Thread: What method do you use to find center height for your lathe bit?
27/06/2019 08:51:10
Posted by Stuart Bridger on 27/06/2019 07:47:32:

+1 for the six inch rule method. That was how I was taught as an apprentice.
Quick and no material waste.

+ another one. Simple, no faffing.

Not often necessary - I have a milled packing insert for my 4-way toolpost that's already the correct height for a 1/4" square HSS blank, so I only need to do additional height setting if I've had to grind the top face down for whatever reason. I avoid doing that if I can.

Thread: Cross Slide Lock
25/06/2019 09:52:59
Posted by Hopper on 25/06/2019 09:42:54:
Posted by Mick B1 on 25/06/2019 09:10:19:

Why not just point the screw to match the dovetail angle, so that the deflection of the gib is perpendicular (-ish) to its face?

I assume you'd hope that the deflection is elastic, and that the gib will return to its previous condition on releasing the lock screw.

Because it would be devilish difficult to drill and the resulting screw would be inaccessible on a Myford.

I meant cone the point of a screw to be inserted horizontally, so that the flank of the cone makes line contact with the outside face of the gib. I don't know the ML7 series well, but I think that'd work on the ML10 series, or the Warcos.

Thread: Model Engineering Overseas
25/06/2019 09:30:31
Posted by Jon Lawes on 24/06/2019 18:29:43:


Red October's Captain: "So what is it, Resolution class? Oberon class sub?"

Hydrophone operator: "....I's an ML7 Captain...."

Nah, I remember reading in the 90s that hydrophone data analysis failed to distinguish submarine propeller noise from paddling sea otters...


Thread: Cross Slide Lock
25/06/2019 09:10:19

Why not just point the screw to match the dovetail angle, so that the deflection of the gib is perpendicular (-ish) to its face?

I assume you'd hope that the deflection is elastic, and that the gib will return to its previous condition on releasing the lock screw.

24/06/2019 15:15:43

My Warco WM250V had saddle and crossslide locks as standard - they're socket head capscrews. IIRC BH has a Warco minilathe - I'm a bit surprised it doesn't have these as standard.

I've sometimes thought about making a tommybar cap to make them easier to use, but there's a potential damaging foul of the saddle lock head with the crossslide gib screws if I did that - the work seems hard to justify.

Thread: How to de-oil an oilstone?
20/06/2019 17:18:03

I stick mine in the Aldi ultrasonic cleaner with detergent and a bit of hot water from t'kettle. Works well enough.

Thread: Lathe Speed - What am I missing out on?
18/06/2019 19:55:48

I was taught the (SFM x 4)/Dia (Imperial inches) formula back in the 70s - the instructors made clear that it's a coarse approximation and there's a lot of tolerance on the SFM, depending on many cutting conditions.

I used it for my years on the shop floor, and it did mean that on the Myford Speed 10 I used to have, for the sizes of work I tended to do, the lathe was set on the 400-odd RPM pulley most of the time on steel, and the 800-odd on brass and ali.

It looks as if BH has hit on the most generally-useful speed by serendipity. As others have said, it pays to listen as well as watch, and speeds much faster and slower have their place in different circumstances - for example, a form tool cutting over a broad profile works best at much slower speed, and there really is no lower limit for screwcutting; sometimes I've done it by rotating the chuck by hand for short internal threads to a shoulder.

I have to say, that now I've got infinitely variable speed, I go very much by 'that sounds about right' and don't always even know my rpm rate!

Edited By Mick B1 on 18/06/2019 19:58:16

Thread: Tools or 'things' as therapy
18/06/2019 17:11:24
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 18/06/2019 16:42:15:

Just to say, tools as therapy... buying them is almost as therapeutic as buying them

No, some of those therapeutic to use are those you've made, found or acquired without money changing hands.

18/06/2019 13:00:38

Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 18/06/2019 11:02:47


  • When you're stood in front of a firing squad there is nothing less reassuring than the sharp, metallic "Click" of a Carbine bolt snapping shut.


It's unusual for those who've heard that to comment on it... devil

18/06/2019 08:36:20
Posted by Jon Lawes on 17/06/2019 22:20:00:

Mick, who makes that spanner please, I've been forgetting to buy one for a while!

Tools are very theraputic. For me its the old machine tools. At the end of a rubbish day using the lathe keeps me sane and leaves me tired and content.

Well, it was Bahco who made the thing that I bought - but it took a couple of decades of riding in pockets, plus a string of situations where its availability was welcome, to make it what it is now...


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