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

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: Hand files for aluminium
05/08/2018 12:42:31

Many years ago I was installing some equipment at a company that made some sort of military items. (they couldn't tell me what it was for, offiial secrets etc.)

They had aluminium castings of various sizes and the had to fit in to other bits very precisely. They used hand files unlike anything I had ever seen or seen since. They didn't have conventional file sort of teeth, more like a diamond file but sort of squeezed out of the file body. They had a range of them from about 18 inches long down to about 2 inches. They removed metal superbly and never clogged up like a conventional file. They said they had different grades for different grades of aluminium and the correct type had to be used.

I asked if they had any to spare as I thought they were brilliant but they said that I would need a far higher level of security clearance before I could even apply for one!!

There did not appear to have a makers name on them and I have never seem anything even remotely similar in 50 years of engineering.

Anybody used or seen anything similar?

Thread: Supplier for a Drill Chuck Key
02/07/2018 11:02:14

This can be a minefield!

A few years ago we bought a brand new Jacobs 1/2" drill chuck. The supplied key was too big in the pin diameter.

The supplier tried to get the correct key from Jacobs but after 5 attemps to supply the correct key they sent everything back to get things sorted out. The chuck came back with the wrong key again! I found a phone number among the correspondence in the box for Jacobs. The guy I phoned said that they had many complaints about the key not fitting but they could do nothing about it as it was the correct key!!

We pressed out the handle and machined the pin to the correct size. Job done!

We then did the same for any chucks that the supplier got in to stock.

"The paperwork says it will fit so it must fit"


Thread: Where can I get this hole aligning tool
26/04/2018 15:05:36

Hi, Sam.

Try these guys

They have every variation of Cleco type pins you could think of and they seem to have large stocks.

A satisfied customer.


Thread: Phone Scam
24/04/2018 13:08:57


I had a guy saying there was a problem with my computer and I played him along for a while until he said "I cannot see you computer screen" to which I replied "Thats strange I can see yours and I see from your IP address that you are in Chennai, India" .

The line went dead instantly and I haven't heard from them again.


Thread: English dialect
16/04/2018 12:37:42

I am from North-east Scotland and it is still possible to tell where a local born person was brought up.

A resident of Peterhead has a different dialect and words than someone who was Boddam born/raised. A distance of 3 miles! Fraserburg (The Broch) is very differnt from a resident of Cairnbulg (Bulger) about 2 miles apart.

The most outstanding dialect is probably from New Pitsligo (Kyack) which was originall populated by people displaced by the Highland Clearances. It is still possible to pick out a "Kyacker" if listening in a hub-bub of conversation.

These dialects are disappearing but not all that quickly. It is quite common for parents who moved to the area from the south of the country to find that after a few months they cannot understand what their children are saying as they seem to love to use the local Doric tongue picked up at school. Doric is closely related to Danish/Dutch/Flemish and my Dutch friends can understand what is being said quite easily!

Thread: Where have all the Mondeo's gone
09/04/2018 14:26:08

Many years ago we were having constant problems with a batch of GEC motors.

One of our engineers was really worked up about it and tried to get a resolution with the company. He was getting nowhere and as a joke another engineer said "You should phone them up and ask for Arnold Weinstock" The first engineer hadn't got a clue who Arnold Weinstock was so that is exactly what he did and got through to the top man in a few minutes. He explained the problems he was having and quoting serial numbers etc. was told that Mr Weinstock would see in to the problem. Within about a week a box of replacement motors was delivered with an enclosed letter. It was only when he read the letter that he realised that the man he had spoken to was the big boss himself!

I wonder how many of todays captains of industry would answer the phone to a lowly engineer.


Thread: Aldi Calipers...
23/03/2018 15:43:18

I bought a couple of these digital verniers from Aldi in April/May last year. model No.94154. I don't have the receipt as it was on the good lady's shopping trip and her purse has a clear-our every few weeks.

I wasn't really worried as they were just for spares and they were CHEAP!

I used one last week and noticed that the display was adding 0.200" to the total when I moved over about a 18.5mm reading. By opening and closing the vernier it was possible to get the reading up to nearly a meter! The increase was always 5.08mm (0.200" which makes me think the error may be in the conversion part of the chip.

I took it back to the store but with no receipt then no refund. The manager said it could be more than 3 years old but when I pointed out the production date of 02/2017 he said it was working OK and just to use the zero button as that is what it was for!!

Anyone else have similar problems or is it just a one off problem and I should probably put in our electronic waste box.


Thread: Plain V belt or Cogged V belt ?
13/02/2018 12:34:31

We had an old american Gisholt capstan lathe that used 6 B-section belts. The tensioner ran on the back of the belt and after 6 months the belts started breaking up. It took about 6 hours to change out and was not a cheap operation.

We found a bit of paper stuffed in the cover from a fitter in Cleveland, Ohio that showed he had been replacing belts every six months as well! There was still a plate on the headstock that said "This Machine Conforms to Orders of The War Production Board"

We replaced the belts with notched belts and when the company was sold seven years later the belts were as good as new.

I recently bought a Warco pillar drill and it suffered from a lot of vibration when running. Replacing both belts with good quality notched belts transformed the drill, a totally different machine and a pleasure to use!

Thread: Cheapo Lidl drill press, could be useful
20/01/2018 11:52:42

A few (many!) years ago I managed to drill and ream 4 holes in the crankshaft flange of a tractor engine to fit strengthening dowels to the crank/flywheel connection using a Black and Decker version of the drill stand.

I was able to bolt the stand to the engine backplate and used a jig to align the holes. The cost to strip the engine and do the job on a horizontal borer was going to be over £200 so that stand paid for itself many times over and I still have it (somewhere!)

Thread: adhesives for loose bearings
07/12/2017 16:44:42

A few years ago I worked for a company that built up very special gearboxes with ratios from 1000 to 1 up to 1 TO 200. These gearboxes were very expensive but several of the sections had designed oversize bearing bores and were assembled with a special Loctite adhesive. Several 100's of £ a bottle as I remember.

This kept all the shafts etc. in alignment and we never had a gearbox returned with any shaft problems.


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

Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
JD Metals
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