By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

Member postings for Andy Carruthers

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

Thread: Shackerstone - Battlefield Line - Outside storage
06/05/2019 16:35:26

Spent a lovely afternoon on the Battlefield Line yesterday and snapped these poorly machines stored outside the engine shed, out of shot to the left look to be 2 or 3 lathes under cover


Thread: DRO Z-Axis /4th axis "combiner"
26/04/2019 20:22:12

Very well thought out and nicely done!

Thread: Printing small parts for car restoration
17/04/2019 07:38:56

Hi Andrew,

I 3D print Jaguar X Type headlamp adjusters in ABS which deviate from the original design to prevent shearing across the Z axis - you may find similar issues with parts so some trial and error orienting the physical build will be required

ABS can be smoothed using acetone, this gives stronger inter-layer adhesion and smoother finish, again, some trial and error required

Have a look at Robox printers which crop up on eBay / Gumtree from time to time, US imports are just fine, no voltage issues just a mains lead change. Beware the earlier single extruder models have a tendency to leak, replacement heads are available ~£120 and there are a few other gotchas, nothing insurmountable

Thread: Machinery Directive and CE marking
06/04/2019 09:06:48


ce mark.jpg

Thread: Why do we do it?
23/03/2019 03:37:45

Can anyone explain why we need two clairvoyant onions? does the recipe also include eye of bat?

I'll get my cloak...

Edited By Andy Carruthers on 23/03/2019 03:38:27

22/03/2019 16:10:58

I'm glad you said that Bazyle, you are now my go-to guy

22/03/2019 13:39:13

I have the view that everyone should be welcome to contribute regardless of skill, knowledge and experience - everyone wants to belong to "something" and IMHO it's not for anyone to be excluded

Threads which meander are usually more informative than a straightforward answer. I have learnt an enormous amount perusing various threads which don't immedately answer my specific question but spark further interest

Thread: Hardinge lathe on fleabay
20/03/2019 08:56:11

That's a big price drop making it very attractive, timing not good for me though

Thread: Toolroom lathe?
19/03/2019 10:58:50

Thanks thaiguzzi - a very useful point to consider

What is the maximum floor loading of a typical concrete garage floor?

18/03/2019 14:51:32

@Martin - some thoughts on using WM180 recognizing these are my opinion only from an inexperienced user, and none of the below prevent excellent results from being achieved

  1. For smaller parts up to ~20mm diameter particularly with Brass / Aluminium the lathe is excellent, for larger parts I feel less confident, possibly due to inexperience
  2. There is a fair degree of flex in the basic design particularly with the toolpost mount when machining larger diameters making accuracy more difficult, mitigated by taking smaller cuts and more time in machining - creeping up on the final OD rather than approaching with gusto
  3. With 300mm / 12" between centres the bed can be somewhat cluttered particularly if using a fixed steady when starting a job, and the tail stock takes up quite a bit of space, using a collet chuck helps, but it's not always possible
  4. The splash guard is a little too close to the work though is easily modified to create more space and is an interesting project in it's own right
  5. The gear train can be quite noisy, probably not specific to my WM180, and possibly due to my inexperience in setting up, and with a single lead screw for both screw cutting and power feed, it's too easy to make a mistake by engaging feed with high gearing. I remove the banjo when not required having the added benefit of reducing motor load. I have a preference for manually feeding as I can "feel" how the lathe responds rather than just let her go on her merry way
  6. Warco had supply issues with QCTP tool holders, I recently made my own when I acquired my Tom Senior
  7. Cheaper to fit a DRO than to rebuild as a metric machine and will be more accurate too - that is, if I keep it
  8. No screwcutting gearbox. I looked at various build on the Internet but all come with a weight penalty and space is very limited. Reducing the gear train to 0.5 module will alleviate some issues then Robert made a very helpful suggestion of using a stepper motor to drive the lead screw - one of my current projects
  9. No lead screw reverse though others have created a modification to interject an extra gear though 8. will solve
  10. No selectable slow feed, creating a slow-feed banjo is another option which again 8. will solve
  11. Lack of stops for repeat work, easily corrected by making bedway blocks to restrict movement
  12. Setting compound angle is a pain, moving the compound to expose the screws takes time, I modified mine by drilling two holes through the compound resulting in less movement to expose the screw heads, holes plugged with 3D printed plugs
  13. No slots on cross slide, only a single post for mounting the tool block meaning the tool post cannot move. I haven't found this an issue, only a minor inconvenience when setting up for a cut, occasionally requires a little more thought
  14. WM180 is not a robust machine for heavy repeat work, it is great for lighter parts, but not ideal for bulk manufacture, there are reports of motors burning out - I added a fan to mine in the hope prevention is better than cure

Now the positives, which far outweigh the above

  1. Footprint is small enough to be accommodated almost anywhere, a single person lift (I am not the strongest of people)
  2. Using TC to rough out, and HSS to finish, I get excellent result (for me anyway, others may disagree), perhaps this is a "style" thing and just the way I compensate for perceived limitations
  3. Most of my work is <10mm diameter which the WM180 excels at
  4. Given I bought this machine on a whim to see if I would enjoy metal bashing, I am delighted with it as an introduction, not too much money (£500) to learn new skills and hobby on, where the risk of breakage would not be an issue
  5. I enjoy the mental exercise of planning out a project and executing. It doesn't matter whether anyone else appreciates my work, I am doing this for me and not for a wide audience. I may never master hobby engineering, but for now I am enjoying the journey
  6. Confidence with starting a project is easier with a small lathe rather than a mid to large lathe, perception I think
  7. Basic tooling is more than adequate, fixed and travelling steady, faceplate, 4 jaw chuck, change gears. fixed MT2 tailstock centre - adding tailstock drill, die holder, floating centre, (not so) QCTP have been good investments
  8. Owning my lathe has led to several projects, mostly copies of work others have done but some new things too. I really enjoy modifying the lathe to mitigate some of the minor annoyances and it is this which more than anything has caused me to question ownership - is it better to extend the basic lathe or acquire a more capable lathe?

In summary, I'm delighted with my WM180, it's not perfect, but certainly more than capable even in my clumsy hands. Most importantly, a good entry into our hobby and points to requirements for my next machine. Some 3 years into ownership I doubt I could have made a better choice given the circumstances and skills starting point, I just feel it's time to acquire a more capable machine. And I have learnt loads, sometimes it feels like a mountain to climb, but I'm not aiming at being "the best" or perfect, simply sufficiently competent

Edited By Andy Carruthers on 18/03/2019 14:57:58

18/03/2019 13:46:52

Points taken

M300 is on my list along with Boxford AUD and various Colchesters, a visit to 2nd hand dealers with my mate is approaching to get a feel for what may suit me best subject to availability

I may still look at others, I'm not in a hurry to buy

18/03/2019 13:10:14

Thanks guys, I am conscious of the wear and general condition issues but appreciate the contextual information

I hope my ex-toolmaker buddy will be able to spot issues far more readily than I will, assuming I can get him to travel

I have approached the Gromatic owner for photos too

18/03/2019 11:13:05

I doubt I will ever use a taper turning attachment...

At the heart of my question is whether a sufficiently decent condition toolroom lathe offers any advantage over what could be considered more mainstream ie non-toolroom lathe, maybe I'm getting unnecessarily tied up with semantics

I can't see anything obvious - initial build quality and subsequent wear notwithstanding

18/03/2019 11:01:32

Thanks guys

I'm not after automation, copying etc but like everyone else, just the best I can get at a sensible price. I don't need to turn 36" items, but 12" is too small, I'm conscious of the general advice "bigger is better" and it's easier to turn smaller items on a larger machine than larger items on a smaller machine

I take on board the potential risk of acquiring a clapped out example - caveat emptor and all that

Precision is something I hope to develop with practice... I am a long way off that yet

I had assumed the term "toolroom" implied use for one-offs rather than production line, so I am educated at least on that point

18/03/2019 10:30:33

This is not another "which lathe should I buy thread" as I have narrowed down my "want" list - simply asking whether there is any benefit to acquiring what is advertised as a toolroom lathe as opposed to any other lathe

For example - Smart & Brown and recent advert for Gromatic spring to mind, can anyone explain why a toolroom lathe would be a better (ha - define "better" purchase than a similar size Boxford / Harrison / Colchester

Some context may be helpful, I have a Warco WM180, a great lathe to learn on and in truth I haven't explored all possibilities, and my feeling is I want something with greater than 12" between centres with separate screw cutting lead screw. As mentioned in a previous thread, the lack of a screw cutting gearbox doesn't help either, an in truth, I had to start somewhere and the WM180 was available at a fair price. I don't have a project or specific use in mind for the lathe, just a hankering for something a little larger (up to 36" between centres) and more capable as I'm probably now "borderline competent"

Thought please

Thread: Mixing Gear Module?
14/03/2019 08:15:34

Thanks Michael, I appreciate the confirmation

Martin Cleeve is indeed a very clever man!

I do have to seriously think about my approach, Robert's suggestion has the appeal of space saving, less machining and is non-machine specific in it's implementation, worthy of an article when I get my act together

14/03/2019 07:32:14

Now that is a very appealing option, thanks Robert, blindingly obvious now you have mentioned it

Time to get my thinking cap on

14/03/2019 07:12:53

I have a WM180 and dislike gear changing for cutting threads, there has to be a better way - and yes, this might be academic as I intend to purchase a bigger more comprehensively equipped lathe this year

On the WM180 within the gear train cover space is very limited, as an aside, moving the motor would help. Having looked on YouTube, some of the home-built gearboxes are substantial both in size and weight, which got me thinking

I know the WM180 uses Module 1 gears for the chuck drive, I wonder if I could gang a 40T Module 1 gear with a 40T Module 0.5 or 0.75 gear to reduce the physical gear size then reflect the new Module down the gear chain to the lead screw - I cannot see any great load issues but I might be missing something blindingly obvious, it has been known...

Thread: Wazer
14/03/2019 06:40:03

I saw pre-production models in action at New York MakerFaire in 2017 and was very impressed, I have no affiliation with the company, simply spreading the word


Thread: If starting again, what would you buy with a budget of 5k?
10/03/2019 09:02:44

Personally 2nd hand every time, I'm on a steep learning curve, have no intention of model making just making stuff for my own use (lathe tool holders, tap wrench, modifying my lathe etc) and pleasure of having a reasonably well equipped workshop

I want to upgrade my lathe to a Boxford / Harrison / Colchester when I am in funds, I have a Tom Senior M1 with DRO which is more than adequate for my needs, and an Invicta shaper which is a thing of beauty - another tool to learn how to use, it's an indulgence rather than a need

I would add a decent bench grinder to your list

That should leave plenty of money for tooling and materials - Hopper has given a very good account

As an aside, if you are looking to pick up techniques and skills quickly, the Axminster 5 day intermediate course is an excellent starting point, I wouldn't bother with the Lathe or Milling beginners course having done the Lathe beginners course too

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Allendale Electronics
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest