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Member postings for Bill Phinn

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

Thread: Dementia
20/01/2020 18:00:24

Both my parents have dementia, in my mother's case very advanced Alzheimer's, which we noticed the onset of nearly twenty years ago. My wife and myself now live with them virtually full time in their own home.

My mother cannot put two words together coherently; my father is somewhat better but still has significant dysphasia and dysgraphia. Virtually everything you would consider part of a normal daily routine is either difficult or impossible for them. They are effectively pre-school children in their level of dependency, but much heavier to pick up when they fall (it's not a five-minute or one-man job), and their learning curve is one of exponential decay.

My mother is doubly incontinent, and if uninvigilated uses random places in the house as her toilet, sometimes several different places for one toilet trip (nappies go on, but don't always stay on long enough to be any use when they're needed). She also has wanderlust and recently went missing for a few hours at nightfall, entailing frantic scouring of the neighbourhood (she was waiting at a bus stop about a mile from home) and police involvement. Wearable trackers are out of the question, because, like virtually all precious or apparently precious things that come within her gaze, they would be consigned to a safe place, i.e. effectively lost or binned, in very short order. Only last week my father couldn't find his wedding band (a very heavy 22ct 1904-vintage one that had belonged to a grandfather); after three hours of searching he found it wrapped in toilet paper - in the toilet bowl; miraculously, he had thought twice before flushing.

But we find ways to keep our spirits up, with things like our own take on neuro-linguistic programming: "onwards and downwards" can be a surprisingly heartening motto if you say it often enough.

Thread: Silver Soldering Brass
19/01/2020 14:48:44

Chris, this is the regulator I usually use with my Little Torch. You can buy a similar/identical regulator elsewhere, e.g. at the Welder's Warehouse, with different branding. A gauged 0-1 bar propane regulator would be preferable to a 0-4 for accuracy's sake, but I don't think such a thing exists. For your purposes, a 0-4 bar oxygen regulator would be infinitely preferable to a 0-10 bar if you go the oxygen cylinder route.

If you opt for propane as your fuel (I would) and a cylinder, not an oxycon, for oxygen you will need appropriate flashback arrestors. No flashback arrestor is needed for the oxygen line if you use an oxycon.

Follow the recommended pressure settings for each tip in the manual. The rosebud tip considerably ups your firepower, and so is a very useful addition you might want to consider.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 19/01/2020 14:49:34

Thread: Lathes as bling!
19/01/2020 14:07:03
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 18/01/2020 11:36:13:Both administrations consider themselves to be the legitimate government of China.

This was certainly the case in the past, Dave, but presently it's not. The current Tsai Ing-wen administration makes no claims of sovereignty over the mainland and regards Taiwan as independent of China, whilst seeing no need to make a formal declaration of that independence, which of course it knows would infuriate China even more than it already is infuriated by Taiwan's reluctance (amply demonstrated at the recent presidential election) to be annexed by the PRC.

Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 18/01/2020:

"The part played by the West in Chinese History is not taught in British schools."

Largely speaking this is sadly true. I must admit I wasn't totally up to speed myself when I did my first solo tour of the Summer Palace many years ago.

What is also sadly true is that the part played by the Chinese in Chinese history is often not taught in Chinese schools. I've studied the Chinese high-school history syllabus myself (informally), and it's nothing short of astonishing the degree to which pivotal parts of 20th century Chinese history simply don't get a mention or are mentioned in the most euphemistic terms. For example, the 36 million deaths during the Great Leap Forward - not a mention in my Gaokao-level textbook, just some unjust reference to how the people (not Mao!) were too eager to achieve success and ignored objective economic laws, and how China's economy suffered setbacks as a consequence. Tens of millions dying is an economic setback, apparently, nothing more.

There is no parallel to such an erasure of history in secondary-school history textbooks used today in British schools and you're absolutely right to say that what Chinese students are taught in history classes is a worry.

You've made a very good assessment of things, Dave, particularly in your closing remarks; if only more Western politicians had such an informed and balanced view!

Thread: Silver Soldering Brass
16/01/2020 17:23:43
Posted by Chris TickTock on 16/01/2020 16:46:06:
I have decided for better or worse to go with the Smith little Torch. That is now decided but before ordering it I have to look at the acetylene v propanr routes. my usage will be mostly silver soldering so anyone who can add some value here is more than welcome.



I'd say acetylene is unnecessary for your purposes.

Be careful where you buy your Little Torch. There is a wide variation on price* and many non-genuine and downright dangerous impostors are being offered for sale in certain marketplaces.

*even on the genuine item.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 16/01/2020 17:24:33

Thread: Chinese DRO opinions
16/01/2020 17:17:46
Posted by Dave Halford on 16/01/2020 15:40:10:

What you have to remember is all the above may be true, but that does not mean that there really is stock in the UK.

And yet, as I've said above, the feedback suggests a fair amount of the stock is reaching buyers a lot more quickly than the typical shipping time from China, i.e. about the time it took for your carbide bits to arrive. This suggests to me there really is some stock at least in the UK.

Thread: Driving Small Taps
16/01/2020 02:22:49

Dave, if I can get the workpiece under the chuck of my bench drill I put the tap directly in the chuck and just turn the tap into the drilled hole by hand, being careful, if using an ordinary hand tap that sends the chips upwards, to reverse direction regularly in brief spurts to prevent clogging.

When using the drill chuck this way to tap into blind holes with small taps you must be cautious when approaching the bottom of the hole because that is when you are most likely to break a small tap. In nearly all cases when using this method, I consciously hold off from the bottom of the hole with the first tap (or first two if I use two) and only go right to the bottom with the last tap when using it freehand (the workpiece being held in a vice) with the tap held in the smallest Eclipse tap holder. That way I can feel my way to the base of the hole much more sensitively than I could do if I was turning the tap in my drill chuck.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 16/01/2020 02:25:32

Thread: Chinese DRO opinions
15/01/2020 23:25:25
Posted by Ian Skeldon 2 on 15/01/2020 23:18:48:

Seems a bit of a coincidence that his recent feedback is not available !

Most recent feedback is 13/1/20. I see 49 feedbacks for the last month.

15/01/2020 22:57:59
Posted by Pete Rimmer on 15/01/2020 20:50:39:
Posted by mgnbuk on 15/01/2020 20:24:56:

This one

That seller is in China and he has dreadful feedback.

Depends what you mean by "seller" and "in". The many feedbacks reporting fast delivery suggest that at least a proportion of the seller's items are being dispatched from closer to home than China.

The 98.9 % feedback doesn't seem too dire in the larger scheme of things. In any case, we would really need to know whether the seller is selling under more than one Ebay user name to know whether the feedback under the present name is an accurate reflection of the overall standard of service he provides.

Thread: Silver Soldering Brass
15/01/2020 20:52:03

Chris, I've got the Smith Little Torch, which I use with an oxycon.

Even with the optional rosebud tip attached, it's not big enough for silver-soldering what I would class as medium to large projects. That's why I have a bigger oxy-propane rig-out and also the propane-only Sievert with a range of burners, of which the 7.7KW one is currently my third biggest.

Basically you need the right torch with the right burner turned up to the right setting for each job; depending on the range of work you do, that might mean having a range of torches, burner sizes and even fuelling systems.

You don't say how big the two pieces of brass are that you were trying to join, but it's quite likely your two mini torches weren't getting enough heat into enough of the work fast enough. I'm assuming the joint characteristics, including fluxing and cleanliness, were good, as was your way of directing what heat you had at your disposal on to the work.

I I were you I'd snap Noel's generous hand off, and be hesitant at this stage about buying the all-in-one kit you linked to; you may well find yourself starved of oxygen breathtakingly quickly.

Thread: Making a ring mandrel- jewellery tooling
04/01/2020 01:26:50
Posted by Plasma on 03/01/2020 19:58:37:

Unusual jewellery style project here, pair of moustache combs in nickel silver with pearl handle and gold rivets.

File work on the spine of the larger comb.



Is that a bottle opener on the upper one, by any chance?

04/01/2020 01:24:50
Posted by daveb on 03/01/2020 21:51:55: I now have so many skills that I can make anything except money. nerd


Thread: TiN coated twist drills
03/01/2020 17:32:12

Jon Berk said" "I have done this type of thing before but would like to have a ‘less crude’ way of drilling hard steel."

I'm quite fond of "cobalt" drill bits as a way of getting through hard materials faster than standard HSS bits. They are a little more prone to breakage than plain HSS bits but not as brittle (or expensive) as carbide.

I'd try a LH drill bit first (not necessarily cobalt), as Dave suggests, then if this fails tentatively try a high quality screw extractor (poor quality ones will do more harm than good). Lastly, if this too fails, drill out with cobalt, and if necessary retap the hole.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 03/01/2020 17:33:43

Thread: Making a ring mandrel- jewellery tooling
03/01/2020 01:16:36

stevie, I too have a ring reducer/expander of the lower type. The dies are where you do the reducing (by driving the ring into the hole that is the minimum increment smaller than the ring's current diameter). It only really works with D profile ring shanks, not flat profile, which would get excessively marred.

It's always best to anneal a plain band before sizing up or down if you're going to resize by moving the metal using main force rather than by cutting and resoldering. In most cases gently heating a plain band is a useful way of revealing whether it has been soldered anywhere - a solder line will become more obvious when heated.

daveb, relatively few high street jewellers these days fabricate rings (as opposed to having them cast or buying off-the-peg castings) and even fewer fabricate them on site. This means that even routine jobs like resizing increasingly have to be sent out. "Sent out" can mean somewhere like or as far as Hong Kong.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 03/01/2020 01:18:48

Thread: Burnt hands
29/12/2019 13:34:24

I've never worn heat protection on my hands when silver soldering or bronze brazing and never needed it.

What torch with what length of neck tube are you using? And assuming you stick-feed the solder into the work rather than lay on paillons before applying heat, how long a stick of solder are you using to feed with? If you do use short sticks you can hold them in mole grips to keep your feeding hand well away from the heat.

Thread: Bandsaw woes.
21/12/2019 02:34:17

Posted by Robin Graham: "the axis on which the arm swings is not parallel to the vice base".

This was essentially the same problem I had with my Aldi metal bandsaw, which I sent back only a few days after buying it.

I am presently without any metal bandsaw, and my view is that unless a metal bandsaw of this type has at least a few degrees of adjustable sideways tilt at the pivot point, wear between moving parts at the pivot point will eventually cause cuts to stray from dead vertical - that is if they were vertical to begin with, i.e. when the saw was new.

I don't know whether metal bandsaws with adjustable tilt at the pivot point exist, because I've not really looked into it, but if they don't surely they should.


Edited By Bill Phinn on 21/12/2019 02:36:51

Thread: More evidence that the world has gone mad!
06/12/2019 23:48:29
Posted by davidk on 03/12/2019 10:28:06:

Yesterday I called BT and renewed my mobile phone contract. In response they sent two emails to my BTinternet email account, saying thanks for renewing etc. What did my BT mail account do with the two emails from BT? Put them in the spam folder of course...

Edited By davidk on 03/12/2019 10:29:26

BT to a Chinese person's ears sounds exactly like the Chinese word for "snot".

Thread: Mike Cox's cone drills in MEW 285 - source?
27/10/2019 12:22:11

What about this set?

27/10/2019 11:57:21

Will they deliver these to Canada, Jeff?

I bought a set six months ago (gone up £2 since then!) and they've been fine for what I do.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 27/10/2019 12:02:37

Thread: Aldi Metal Bandsaw
18/10/2019 21:32:38
Posted by Pat Bravery on 18/10/2019 20:35:54:

Hi Bill, I just printed off the email receipt and took it to my local Aldi where they issued the refund without any problem at all, it appeared in my account the next day. Regards Pat

I could try that, Pat, and if they don't send me a return label I might have to.

The only problem is it says on their website that they "do not accept in-store returns for products marked with a * on your delivery note", and my two delivery notes both show a * next to the item. Also, if you knew my local Aldi branch (in one of the most socially deprived areas of Manchester), and you were familiar first hand with the general level of enlightenment among the staff (not high), you would be doubly doubtful of success at getting a refund in the branch.

18/10/2019 19:25:49
Posted by IanT on 18/10/2019 09:54:50:

Hi Bill,

I'm not going to be able to take a look at my saw (and the stand geometry) till next week now but will have a closer examination then. If it's a 'stand' problem, then a shim might do the trick but I think I'd also dissemble the pivot and have a look at that.


I disassembled the pivot assembly this morning. Basically it's been machined in such a way that when you snug down the axle bolt with the lock nut it pulls the saw into a slight skew and there is no means of compensating for this I can think of except shimming the base plate or reboring the hole for the axle (straight this time) and putting in a thicker bolt.

I've given up and initiated a return through Aldi, which is a saga in its own right, involving 6 phone calls so far, and we're not done yet. In response to my request for a pre-paid return label (none was included in the package, when it should have been, apparently) they've just unhelpfully emailed me a copy of the delivery note.

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