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Member postings for Nick Clarke 3

Here is a list of all the postings Nick Clarke 3 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Measurements from the past
04/01/2019 20:43:48
Posted by Meunier on 04/01/2019 20:30:38:

(listening to Tannhauser overture from Wagner's Ring and wondering how many angels can dance on a pin-head, however it might be measured)

Found this on the InterWeb:

The number describing a pin size is the length of the pin in sixteenths of a inch. Thus a #17 dressmakers pin is 17⁄16, or 1 ¹⁄16 inches long. The diameter of the pin depends on the type.

Pin sizes are at least a couple of centuries old. An English author writing in 1804 states:

Pins are distinguished by number; the smaller are called from No. 3, 4, 5, to the 14th, whence they go by twos, viz. No. 16, 18 and 20, which is the largest size. Besides the white pins there are black ones, made for the use of mourning, from No. 4 to No. 10.¹

1. Benjamin Tabert.

The Book of Trades, or the Library of Useful Arts. Part III.

London (1804 or 1805).

Reprinted Jacob Johnson, Whitehall (Philadelphia), 1807. That edition was reprinted as Early Nineteenth-Century Crafts and Trades by Dover Publications in 1992. The passage quoted occurs on page 42.

No I don't really understand either.

Thread: Planned Obsolescence
04/01/2019 19:52:35
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 04/01/2019 19:07:28:
Posted by Bill Phinn on 04/01/2019 17:36:37:

... Apple themselves have confirmed that they deliberately slowed down older iPhone models because "their batteries diminished over time".

To be fair ... it's simply a statement of fact, to say that the performance of rechargeable batteries diminishes over time.

If you can supply a rechargeable battery that lasts forever ... The world will beat a path to your door !!


You could even say it was good engineering to adjust what Apple could control to manage the behaviour of what they could not.

Me defending Apple - What IS the world coming to!!! smiley

Thread: Nylon for axle boxes ?
04/01/2019 19:47:23

I can't add anything to the question of suitability of nylon for axleboxes from experience. I suspect it may deform under load.

However my experience does tell me that it is easier to machine metal to a good working finish than nylon which tended to whisker and score badly the one time I tried it.

Thread: Drill Doctor 750SP
04/01/2019 19:41:07

Sorry to go off topic but why do we not send something back or chuck it, but instead put it on a shelf or under a bench in case it miraculously heals itself if left alone. I am in the midst of a clearout and one dump run bootfull was items just like these.

I think I am just too stubborn to admit defeat!

OK guys sorry for the rant - back on topic now.

Thread: Planned Obsolescence
04/01/2019 17:35:05
#Posted by Brian G on 04/01/2019 17:12:29:
Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 04/01/2019 15:54:36:

Planned obsolescence is a fact of life in the computer world...

Perhaps the answer is to stick with Windows?

I agree that sticking with Windows (or Mac or Linux whatever) is a plan, but in my opinion sticking with means upgrading hardware and software as necessary.

Unfortunately if you bought say AutoCad in 2003 to run on Windows XP staying with that version and expecting a new printer to work with your computer is hopeful to say the least.

And upgrading one part - say the printer and expecting am XP driver to be written for you new product, or running Windows 10 and hoping a 15 year old printer and 15 year old software to work on it is just silly.

Financially sad to say any computer system will need regular, often unfeasibly expensive, updates to continue to work.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 04/01/2019 17:38:26

04/01/2019 17:28:29
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 04/01/2019 16:41:56:
Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 04/01/2019 15:54:36:

Planned obsolescence is a fact of life in the computer world ...

We have slightly different definitions of Planned Obsolescence Nick. I define it as deliberately designing a product to not last beyond a certain time. Battery chemistry adjusted to die after a few years, things made flimsy so they don't wear well, time bomb timers in software and printer cartridges, cars without rust prevention etc.

But don't all products have a design life? - certainly it is foolish for business to expect people to be able to buy a product once and never again isn't it? A 2003 vintage Toshiba laptop upstairs now is not used because it cannot have its memory expanded more than its current 512Mb (it came with 128Mb) and the operating system, Windows XP needs more that 512Mb to run well. It was not booby trapped or anything, only designed to run the day it was made and with what expansions and update that could be predicted for X years - I suspect X was about 6. It had built in obsolescence after that time, presumably because to allow infinite expandability and upgradability would make it too expensive and complex for the market - and Toshiba would not be able to sell a new laptop as well.

Looking at just two of the things you suggest - I manage a number of printers - some have timers in consumables that will only allow a certain number of pages to be printed - built in obsolescence. Others start to print badly - you shake the toner cartridge and print a second copy OK. The first has built in obsolescence, but all the copies it prints are good while the second is a hassle and wastes time and paper. The other example that makes me think is a car without rust protection. I had to drive a Moskvich pickup in the 1970s that had cost the small firm £431 new. It rusted away while you watched, but a more expensive vehicle could not have been afforded by the company. Planned obsolescence or an engineering solution to 'How do you provide a vehicle to transport fridges at next to no cost?'

I think one problem is that in the past many products were ridiculously over engineered and our expectations have risen to suit. My hundred year old project Drummond round bed lathe is an example. The Chinese mini lathe on the bench won't last that long, but I don't think it should, and I certainly couldn't have afforded it if it had been designed to do so.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 04/01/2019 17:36:47

04/01/2019 16:12:40

Its not just planned obsolescence - the life of many things is far shorter that we would like them to be - only cars made after 1992 HAD to be able to run on unleaded fuel and leaded was banned in 2000 (and LRP which never really became reliably available in 2003) so an 8 year old car might not have any fuel in 2000. What about analogue TV? What about Analogue mobile phones? all of these were not a lifetime buy but became unusable after only a few years.

I suppose we expect things like a computer system to last forever - and they basically will provided that nothing within the system changes.

Unfortunately new software versions, supplies and consumables, cables, peripherals and anything like the internet form part of a computer system, and these all change so unless you stay completely isolated adding nothing and needing nothing so must we all too.

04/01/2019 15:54:36

Planned obsolescence is a fact of life in the computer world - look at this link (down the page) and you will see the planned dates for different versions of a Linux distribution stretching forwards to 2028 at present.

The latest version, still in development is only planned to last until the end of 2020.

This is at least honest and up front - I am certain that a similar timeline exists for every operating system, only Linux (Ubuntu) seem to be able to tell you about it up though.

Thread: LBSC's 1000 class in 3 1/2 gauge
04/01/2019 08:25:44

Talk to your club's boiler inspector - not only will they be experienced but also they are the one who will have to certify your completed boiler for insurance purposes.

In general most of LBSCs boiler designs can be certified with little modification, if any - However the contruction methods he suggested (eg the use of brazing alloys such as SifBronze or Silbralloy and the use of soft solder to caulk stays) in the magazine instructions are far more likely to need changing to meet todays boiler code. But it is your boiler inspector who is the guy to talk to.

If you are not yet in a club join one. It is worth it!

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 04/01/2019 08:26:22

Thread: Measurements from the past
02/01/2019 21:11:30
Posted by Mike Poole on 02/01/2019 21:06:12:

How about, gnats c**k, fly s**t, or for the Aussies a Mickey whisker,


Edited By Mike Poole on 02/01/2019 21:08:14

While the first two are familiar I have not heard of the third. Taking the others as examples what, for heavens sake is a mickey?????

Don't answer please!

Thread: An electric motor actuated vice
02/01/2019 20:48:21
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 02/01/2019 14:06:03:.

May not be quite the same as an electric window ...


Yes, Nick ... I realise that it may not be 'quite the same'

But the control principle [threshold load triggers stop and retract slightly] is still worth a look.

Hi Michael -

The point I was thinking about was that while an electric window works as you suggest a vice would surely need to stop at a threshold load but NOT retract slightly or it would not grip.

Dunno - Just thinking aloud online.

Take care


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 02/01/2019 20:51:03

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 02/01/2019 20:55:27

Thread: Model engineers - enlisted in war efforts?
02/01/2019 20:41:05
Posted by Swarf, Mostly! on 02/01/2019 20:18:04:

I seem to remember reading that Edgar T. designed a portable ('luggable? ) steam driven electrical generator used by the 'Chindits' to power their radios in the jungles of Burma (now Myanmar).

Precursor to Drax?!?!

I don't know who would have made them

Stuart Turner perhaps?

Thread: An electric motor actuated vice
02/01/2019 15:08:14
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 02/01/2019 14:06:03:

If you need to include a safety device [*] have a look at the way they stop electric windows in cars.

May not be quite the same as an electric window needs to stop at any resistance greater than the friction of the channels it slides up but an electric vice would need to stop at a predetermined pressure, but greater than nominal, to hold something tightly.

Thread: Help finding article
02/01/2019 14:08:39

There is Moderator Neil's article on MEW 204 that I have found very useful (Thanks Neil)

It is available here:

Thread: Old Lathe
02/01/2019 13:46:14
Posted by Ian Usmar on 02/01/2019 12:01:31:

So the one on Ebay is spare or repair £25 the main spindle has snapped at the chuck end! So is it worth the money just for the change gears and them possibly sell other bits if I can or get new main spindle ( No motor )

If that is the only damage, at that price it is a repairable lathe - working round beds are up for between £200 (OK) and £500 (silly)

So you could probably more than make your money on a spares/repair one. The change wheels seem to go on eBay for between £5 and £12 unless unusual (eg metric conversion)

Important reminder - The pins that link wheels together on a Drummond are tapered and while they will drive or press out, trying to do it from the wrong side the taper will split the gear in two!



Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 02/01/2019 13:49:33

Thread: Happy New Year
02/01/2019 13:39:29

Happy New Year to everyone - I would also like to be more productive this year but at present distracted by the sound of pigs flying by and the crackling noise of ice as Hell freezes over.

Ah well I can try.

Thread: Measurements from the past
31/12/2018 19:39:07

While the metric system has now taken over here in the US imperial still rules (can I say that after the trouble George III had with our American colonies? - who knows thinking)

But in my opinion the biggest innovation is not the change of units, but rather the unification of all units into one system - so we no longer have fluid ounces, pipkins, gills, tuns, hogsheads pints etc, but just litres and multiples thereof. Similarly it is grams etc not drachms, troyounce, ounces, pounds quarters, tons, long tons etc

Not so long ago (even in my parents time) every trade or profession had its own favourite units of which few now remain - points for type perhaps, although that is often wrongly applied and carats for gemstones spring to mind.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 31/12/2018 19:40:13

Thread: What Wonderful machinery was made back then!
31/12/2018 11:56:32

If you go to you will see information on many machines, but look at the page on Rolls Royce precision lathes.

I think you may find it to your taste!

Thread: USB memory sticks
31/12/2018 11:14:29

In the day job I buy and use 50 or so memory sticks every year, most of them Kingston, but I have never heard of any issues with Integral as has already been suggested - PROVIDED they are genuine!

The only fake stick I have ever had time to investigate was marked up as Sony (it wasn't). I bought it very cheaply to see what had been done to it. The controller chip had been re programmed to tell the host it was 64Gb but there was only 1Gb of memory present. It worked perfectly with small amounts of data but as soon as the chip was full everything became corrupted and the stick could not be used or reformatted.

Very small capacity sticks are now relatively expensive but I would not recommend the largest ones as solid state memory has a limited life and I have seen sticks 'wear out' as the directory or equivalent gets constantly rewritten. I suggest 8-32GB is the size to go for at present where the cost/capacity balance is about right and if a stick fails you do not lose everything in one go. But even so please back it up often.

One final thing, if you hold personal data (eg address book, club membership info or similar) Data Protection legislation requires you to keep this secure and a hardware encrypted memory stick, though expensive, is a good way to do this.

Oh and finally, finally, if you are using a stick away from 'home' remember to take it with you. I often fit cheap keyrings or tags from the stationers to them to make them more visible.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 31/12/2018 11:18:53

Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
30/12/2018 10:17:57
Posted by JasonB on 29/12/2018 06:56:49:

What use is a tripod when you want to move the camera about to show different views of the engine? The actual square on shots are quite steady. Mark is more on the right track with his GT giro balanced gimble but even then would still be moving the camera to various positions.

Phones and ipads etc are inherently difficult to hold steady IMHO

If you are using a camera monopods are a good idea as is also a length of cord with a fitting for the tripod bush on the camera on one end and loop for your toes at the other. Tension the string and the camera is suddenly a lot steadier. (Works best when the camera has a central tripod bush)

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