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Member postings for Alistair Robertson 1

Here is a list of all the postings Alistair Robertson 1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Useful Tapping Drill feature
24/06/2020 17:35:50

Many years ago a workmate had a set of taps for AF thread (American Fine, the same as UNF) on some the drill size was marked in 128ths of an inch!! I think it may have been made by Greenfield Tap and Die Co. Greenfield. Mass. but I could be wrong in that, it just came in to my mind and seems to have stuck.

Thread: Machine Tool Peripheral Hoists
30/05/2020 21:31:37

We had a Colchester 500 which was supplied with a "Skyhook" when it was new. It mounted directly in the Dickson toolpost. It had been used for years with no problem but the safety officer wanted a certificate of suitability or something before he would allow us to continue using it. We contacted the manufacturer in the US and they returned a very impressive document folder with full certification for use on the Clausing version of the 600 group lathe complete with CE certification for use on european supplied machines. The safety officer deferred to the weight of paperwork! Ironically we never used it again as the lathe was moved to an area covered by an overhead crane.

Thread: Earthing Issue on new machine
28/05/2020 13:48:08

I remember our Safety Officer getting very upset at contractors who applied a PAT test to fixed heaters.

They said they were correct but as he said if you need a tool of any kind to assemble the connection/supply then it is not portable! The only tool you can use to connect/disconnect is your hands!

Thread: Hydraulic Motor
26/05/2020 12:14:33

I've just had a thought. Many years ago we got a call to look at a piston type hydraulic motor, I think it was a Dunlop/Dowty type. It consisted of I think 7 radial pistons bearing on an eccentric central shaft/cam. The guide plates at each side had broken. We managed to get or make replacements and when we looked for a cause it was a sticky valve that was restricting the return flow and creating over pressure in the system. Whatever we did must have worked as we were never called in again and the company was only a few hundred yards down the road and we did lots of other work for them.

26/05/2020 09:39:14

Hi, Chris.

There are multiple types and makes of hydraulic motor but they almost all do the same job. They take hydraullic flow and pressure and convert it in to rotary motion which does the work required. Get the make of the motor and any numbers and I am sure an equivelent can be found that will work. You mention pistons and huge cost, perhaps it is a Hagglands motor as these two things go together when mentioning them!

Thread: Macro rust spots.
21/05/2020 09:08:16

When my company was having some research undertaken by a local University we checked on the various experiments every day just to make sure that proper procedures were being followed and thing were going in the right direction. I went in one morning and there was a strange smell hanging around. Everything was fine with our research but I thought the smell was getting stronger and following my nose I moved to the next door Lab. Well somebody had left some concoction in a stainless sink about 2 inches deep and it was fuming. We called out the fire service who called out de-contamination experts and the lab was closed for more than a week until it was made safe. When the sink was removed it was found to be only about 20% of its original thickness and absolutely brown with rust and this was a proper laboratory sink.

I don't know what was in the sink but I have never seen anything like it defore or since. I have seen powerful acid in a stainless container and that just leaves a slight gum. They were very lucky it didn't go down the drain or who knows what damage it would have done.

Thread: Using large dies
19/05/2020 10:38:51

My first employer had a big collection of taps and dies in wooden boxes all ex War Department and US Army.

Although we used most of them there were a few boxes of large pipe taps and dies i.e up to 6" Whitworth Pipe. We never really looked in to them until the time came to clear them out with the metal going to the scrappy and the boxes were used for home projects. One of the tap boxes was built from 4" thick by about 18" wide by 36" long bits of wood hinged together to make it 8" thick! There were a couple of boxes of tap and die holders about 7 foot long and it wasn't until we were scrapping them that we realised that there were extensions to go on each end of these die-stocks. The total length of the die handle must have been nearly 20 feet! Needless to say they were still in the protective grease and had never been used. There was a ratchet system on the die holder to allow a back and forth action to cut threads in situ.

It made you wonder at the sanity of someone who organised to get these made at what must have been enormous expense when the money would have been better spent on armaments or even food imports. They were obviously not engineers. One of my old workmates had a workshop bench for many years made from one of the boxes and another had a very robust kennel that outlived a few of his dogs!

Thread: Used Lathe Pinnacle PL1340C Gap Bed
14/05/2020 14:57:15

2 Speed , 3 phase motors are basically a 4 pole motor with a switch to cut out two of the pole windings. So you can have 1440 or 2880 rpm from the motor. I have seen a motor with low, medium and high speed settings on a horizizontal borer. You were supposed to stop the motor to change the speed settings but I remember one man who switched the speed on the fly until one day there was the most awful bang and the dust shield on the end of the motor flew about 6 feet along the bed of the lathe! He never did it again!

12/05/2020 18:13:05

The Pinnacle lathe would have been sold by this company

I used to buy machines from them and I found that they were excellent for support and spares. We didn't need many spares but the always arrived quickly and they fitted!

Thread: Facebook Location Problem
30/04/2020 14:58:27

The saga continues on Facebook location. Following Neil's advice I thought OK I will try London as my home.

Entered London and it gave me the option of London UK, but when I select it from the displayed list I get "This location is illegal"

I don't think I am going to pursue it any further, I just thought it would be good to show that I was local to the village in Facebook but those things are sent to try us!

29/04/2020 18:25:07

Hi, all.

And thanks for the advice. I really wanted to show that I was resident in the village I was speaking about.

I am not sure about DNS but my IP address is pretty close to my location.

My ISP can see nothing wrong on their side but they have had queries from folks with the same problem.

29/04/2020 15:15:31

Hi, John.

Thanks for the advice.

I am definately logged in on which is why I cannot understand why I cannot add a UK address.

My neighbor uses the same login with just a different identification number.

29/04/2020 14:15:10

Very off topic but someone may know. I have very recently joined Facebook as we now have a village memories page and I have lived here all my life and can help answer some questions.

The thing is that I cannot list my location anywhere in Britain let alone my own village. When I try and enter it as my "Home" town I get the response that "address is invalid please choose" and I can only pick US addresses.

My neighbour thought he could help and he came round with his tablet which has the correct "Home" town listed but try as he could mine was US addresses only! He then set up a new Facebook account for his wife as an experiment and was able to pick the correct "Home" location even though the tablets were side by side! We then went through all his settings and everything was basically the same except he could pick a UK address!

We gave up! Facebook do not respond other than point to the location page which doesn't list my problem.

Can anyone suggest what I am doing wrong?

Thread: What to use for New Worktop?
21/03/2020 18:30:16

A few years ago I got cut-offs of Corian which were perfect for the tops of my benches made from 30mm thick beech boards about 125mm wide. I got them from a local supplier who cut them out of bigger sheets as part of some contract they had which left about 250mm all around with the 1.5 meter x 2 meter dimensions.

I got the off-cuts for about 10% of the price of a virgin bit of material but I was probably in the right place at the right time and the Corian has been my bench surface for about 15 years and is still in very good condition.

Thread: Cheap drill bit sets
09/03/2020 20:37:08

I see John has bought a couple of sets of Cleveland drills, probably made in Brazil and for the money perfectly adequate but Cleveland Drills etc, used to be made in Peterhead, Scotland, 15 miles from me. I still have some smaller sized drills but the biggest I now have is 1 1/32".

I had some up to 2" although hardly ever used and about 10 years ago I put out the word that I was clearing my stores. Well within the week I had four engineers from the oil industry looking over my stock and every drill (about 125) I was selling was gone and at about 6 to 10 times the price I had bought them for! I bought a new car and took the good lady on a holiday to Jersey on the proceeds! One drill went for more than £500 and the guy said that they were the only drills that would work on some of the exotics the were using for their products.

Sadly production ceased in the late 1980's. A lot of financial shenanigans that went on was the principal cause.

Thread: Powder coating
03/03/2020 10:10:17

A company that I worked for about 20 years ago manufactured aluminium cylinder heads etc. for a very well known engine maker. After they were made and tested they were finished with powder coating but it was not a simple process with at least four processes (or maybe more as I wasn't really involved) where they were blasted, dipped, painted, heat-treated and then the whole process was gone through time and again.

They were powder coated as a final process and I remember one of the managers saying that the painting/coating process was more expensive than the machining!

I was never in a position to afford one of these engines but a couple of years ago I came across one of them in the storage area of a motorsport company and when we blew of the accumulated dust the powder coating was as good as the day it left our factory.

So it seems it is not a case of simply applying some powder coating and hoping for the best. Proper preparation is absolutely critical.

Thread: Best Milling Machine Ever????
24/02/2020 14:29:23

Best mill I ever used was a Huron, Like a DSG lathe it was designed by people who understood how a good machine tool was operated. Everything falls to hand and with controls on both sides of the table. We bought it for £4500 used it for 10 years and sold it for £12500 for CNC conversion. I have been in contact with the buyer of the converted machine and it is still in use in a very fancy research company!

A former employer still has a couple of Schaublin 53s which were bought in 1972 with every available extra and accessory. Good machines but not as user friendly as a Huron.

We also had a Swabishi with double inclinable and rotatable powered tables which could be used to produce the most incredible shaped sections and components, though not easy to setup and use and I have never seen or even heard of another one.

Thread: Trolleys at Lidl/Aldi
20/02/2020 19:36:32

Hi, All.

We often seem to be discussing the latest bargain tool at Lidl and Aldi and I must admit that sometimes the goods on offer are not easy to leave on the shelf, although my wife thinks they should be chained down to prevent them jumping in to our trolley!

Ah, Trolleys! A few months ago all the trolleys at our local Lidl were replaced with new although most of the old trolleys had never been used and as we are in a coastal town about 90% of them were totally rusted. I am told that a lot of them had to be lifted out as the wheels were seized!

I counted the new trolleys and found 104. Assuming that it was calculated at 1 person per trolley and a quick check on the size of a trolley and person against the free space in the aisles meant that about 95% of the available floor space would be occupied! I think that is probably how they worked out how many trolleys they should order when they build or re-equip a store.

If they thought about it they could probably just buy 25% of the trolleys and save a bit of money and sell their tools even cheaper although that might not go down too well with the ladies!

Thread: VFD drives
10/02/2020 10:45:56

To use a VFD it is necessary to fit a 3 phase motor to allow the speed to be varied,

A single phase motor cannot be varied in speed, well it can, but it is difficult, unreliable and expensive!

I fitted a 3 phase 240 volt motor and a Siemens VFD to a Warco drill and it really transformed the machine.

Varies from about 75rpm to 1500rpm and so smooth it is difficult to believe it is the same machine that I got from Warco. I am sure there is a market for supplying drills with this sort of specification as an option.

Thread: Metric V Imperial Measurement
08/02/2020 19:35:56

When discussing pipe threads it is good to remember that most of the world uses variations of BSP even though they call them something different. For instance 2" BSP is variously called in.

France = Gas conique.

Czech Republic = G Kon.

Belgium = G conique.

Switzerland = Gc.

Norway = Gj.

Denmark = Krg.

Plus about 20 countries who use the G designation but specify them in metric dimensions!

I have a copy of the "Robertson Guide To World Threads" which is a superb source of the obscure threads but even it is stumped sometimes!

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