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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: How not to use a clamp
23/01/2021 18:25:54
Posted by Ramon Wilson on 23/01/2021 15:32:23:


my apologies - I missed the significance of the 'vise' so yes, agreed, that could be in situ for a long time without being moved.

Personally though I can't see the need to place a piece of paper under a milling vice - usually it's a workpiece that that serves best but if the surfaces of mill or vise base are less than ideal then yes it would help.

No apology needed, Tug.

You're right about not really needing paper under a milling vice; my main milling vice, an Arc type 2, is fixed straight on to the table. However the angle vice I was using isn't a milling vice but the four inch version of this:

I was sceptical about whether it would serve for milling work at all, but so far it has been remarkably useful and much stiffer under loads than I expected. The base of the vice, however, isn't faultlessly flat, hence the paper.

Thread: Views Inside the Sieg Factory in Shanghai
23/01/2021 18:10:23

Whatever SIEG may have come to stand for for its international clientele, the name was chosen for its positive German meaning, as Martyn and I suspected.

This is from SIEG's own website:


"The SIEG brand's origin is Germany. SIEG means "victory" in German."

(My translation)

Edited By Bill Phinn on 23/01/2021 18:12:28

23/01/2021 15:53:21

It's quite all right, br. I wasn't reprimanding you and I'm glad you're interested in these sorts of linguistic questions.

23/01/2021 15:44:27
Posted by br on 23/01/2021 15:35:24:

西马特 comes up as Simat on google translate ?

Have a chinese contact if you want me to ask


Since Chinese is my second language and my spouse's first, you can trust my input.

23/01/2021 15:16:02

Sieg was originally a joint venture with a German partner, which may explain the choice of name.

The Chinese name routinely given alongside Sieg is 西马特, which is possibly intended to be a phonic representation of the English word "smart". The three characters mean "west horse special", which is a pretty meaningless combination to someone hearing it as a purely Chinese word.

Thread: How not to use a clamp
23/01/2021 14:09:21

Hi Ramon, the set-up was a vice, as I said. Not unusual to want to leave a vice in situ for six weeks, surely.

The oiled paper didn't appear to noticeably reduce the clamping action. I didn't expect it to; like millions of cyclists worldwide, for very practical reasons I always grease seatposts before insertion into the seat-tube. Once I've done up the seatpost clamp to the specified torque I've never experienced downwards creep of the seatpost into the frame after even the longest, bumpiest rides.

23/01/2021 12:29:44

Yes, paper or thin card for providing a slightly keyed and imperfection-absorbing surface is a great idea.

The only cautionary note is that, depending on how dry the air in your workshop is, if you leave the set-up in situ for any length of time, you may see rust spots on your table when you dismantle things. Even oiling the paper first didn't help me avoid these rust spots when some clamps were left in situ holding down an angle vice for about six weeks.

Maybe there is something better than paper for longer term set-ups. Thin Theraband is an idea [haven't tried it yet], but it might well wrinkle uncontrollably as you tighten things down.

Thread: Arc Precision Parallels - Which set?
17/01/2021 17:15:38

When I first bought a set of parallels (the 20 pair set) I thought I probably wouldn't feel the need for further sets. But I did, more than once, and the needing is probably not yet over.

Yes, you can get by with a limited selection [they can, after all, be stacked one on top of another if necessary, and you can always make supplements yourself], but the more parallels you have, the quicker and more convenient it becomes to achieve all of those random and unique set-ups life throws in your way.

What would be a useful supplement to the Arc range is a set of very thin ones, viz around 1/16" thick. When you're drilling right through a small part close to its edge I find it's preferable not to have to remove the parallels before drilling, especially if you're drilling multiple parts the same. Of course, the swarf gutter in most vices won't allow you to put your thin parallel right at the bottom against the fixed jaw, but once you're accustomed to stacking that's easily solved.

Thread: Coronavirus death stats
16/01/2021 21:39:13

On the subject of the vaccination, I'm not sure how many people are aware that an important part of the NHS' information concerning making an online booking for your vaccination appointments is actually incorrect, namely this bit:

"you have to wait for your invitation letter or a call from your GP before you can book your vaccination appointments"

If you are currently eligible you do not need to wait for the letter or a call from your GP; you can just go straight online and book. At least you could a few days ago, when I told my astonished GP that this was the case. Essentially there is no new information in the letter the possession of which is a prerequisite for making your booking. You just have to be eligible.


Edited By Bill Phinn on 16/01/2021 21:40:13

Thread: Instructions
16/01/2021 17:05:57

You might want to submit it to this site:

 "electronic machinery that's made in RoC"

Do you mean the RoC or the PRC, Trevor? English coming out of the RoC is generally of a higher standard.


Edited By Bill Phinn on 16/01/2021 17:06:31

Thread: New Member - Looking to Upgrade from SX2P
15/01/2021 17:43:36
Posted by Andrew Wakeling on 15/01/2021 17:01:54:

Will need to get the tape measure out to confirm that I have the space!

Do bear in mind that Warco have been out of stock of WM16s and WM18s for a considerable time.

The situation with their lathes is even worse.

Thread: Coronavirus death stats
15/01/2021 02:08:55
Posted by Hopper on 15/01/2021 00:04:49:

I guess next time we want to know how to silver solder a copper boiler or screwcut a lefthand internal Acme thread, we should ask an epidemiologist. As the model engineers seem to know more about Covid-19 than the medical specialists, the reciprocal must obviously hold true.

The day copper boilers and Acme threads suddenly pose a direct threat to the lives of engineers, epidemiologists and everyone else alike, I imagine people other than engineering specialists might find themselves easily forgiven for wanting to air their imperfect knowledge about what may end up killing them as effectively as it has already killed millions of others.

14/01/2021 20:03:07

However inaccurate our Covid stats are, I think it's likely they're at least in the ball park.

Current fatality rates from Covid:

UK: 1 in 776 people

France: 1 in 942 people

USA: 1 in 838 people

Contrast these figures with China's officially reported rate of 1 Covid death per 310,000 people, i.e. 0.25 % of the death rate in the UK.

With relatives currently locked down in Hebei province and unable to leave their homes for the last week even to buy food [no online ordering of groceries possible for them], I'm fairly confident of one thing at least: it's not the UK population who are being fed the most unreliable death stats out there.

Thread: Angle grinder cut off stand
10/01/2021 23:17:07
Posted by john fletcher 1 on 10/01/2021 11:58:12:

Will some one inform me where I can buy, or better still, build an angle grinder cut off stand. I have never seen one close to, just a picture. John

I have the Wolfcraft jig/stand for 115/125mm grinders. It cost me £18.25 from Amazon.

After removing the supplied vice, which simply causes anything but very small material being held in it to foul on the nose of the angle grinder as it is brought down, and installing my own vice off to one side of the base, I'm pleased to say it cuts small material very efficiently indeed.

Obviously it is limited in its capacity [even when my grinder is the 125mm type], but after careful set-up it cuts far more squarely [almost perfectly squarely in fact] than both the Aldi bandsaw I owned briefly and the £500 Femi bandsaw I subsequently bought, which arrived in a dreadful state and also had to be returned. The key to obtaining square cuts is the angle grinder jig's adjustability - adjustability that neither of the saws, regrettably, had.

Thread: Obtaining Serifed steel punches
07/01/2021 20:35:15

Just to update, I'm pleased to say that Pryor, who were very responsive to my inquiry, have replaced the whole set of letter punches free of charge.

Thread: Aging rubber and plastic
07/01/2021 20:29:04

After some of the plastic on a pair of F clamps I bought about four years ago from Toolstation broke down recently rendering the clamps useless I started to wonder what other plastic items I own serving a more critical purpose might break down catastrophically without warning. The castors holding up the bench my milling machine sits on sprang to mind.

With all our advances in technology, it would be nice to be able to have confidence in critical weight-bearing items of recent purchase, but threads like the present one, as well as personal experience, suggest such confidence would more than ever be misplaced.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 07/01/2021 20:29:41

Thread: Problem with DRO's memory or with mine?
03/01/2021 02:31:41

Many thanks to everyone for your helpful replies; they've cleared things up considerably, and helped me to see firstly that it was my own memory that was at fault, and secondly that I can at least get the DRO to keep a record of table movements whilst having a blank screen even though I have to compromise by keeping the power on. If I'm not prepared to compromise and do want the power off, I can always follow Clive's advice and apply table locks between sessions.

If I could guarantee I'd be able to finish batch work in one session or at least one day, it's likely my "problem" would never have appeared to be a problem, but circumstances tend to call me away without much warning at the moment, often without the possibility of going back any time soon.

I see the critical bit I misinterpreted in the manual's instructions on page 13 was "In not ALE [my underlining] working state, if there [sic] a need of Sleep Switch Off, key HA, the digital display box will turn off the display."

Thanks to your help, and Ian's input specifically here, I see I should have interpreted "in not ALE working state" as "in the INC working state or one of the 200 other modes where you can establish separate reference readings". I'm almost certain what the Chinese will have said for "in not ALE working state"; if I'm right, the instruction would have been both idiomatic [where the English isn't] and much more readily intelligible.

A remaining puzzle is that I don't see any reference in my manual to the sleep mode working only on a 2 axis or 3 axis display as the case may be. No doubt there are many different versions of the SDS6 manual and probably as many subtly different versions of the actual DROs the manuals relate to.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 03/01/2021 02:34:43

02/01/2021 21:05:15
Posted by Martin Connelly on 02/01/2021 21:01:53:

You don't say how old the unit is. It is possible there is a small backup battery that needs replacing.

Martin C

It's 10 months old, Martin. Where would this back-up battery be if there is one? My manual doesn't seem to mention such a thing.

02/01/2021 20:45:26

I've got a factory-fitted two axis DRO on my Warco WM18, the type that comes with the SDS6 user manual. I've been doing a bit of milling over the last few days, having not had much chance to do any lately.

I seem to recall that in the past I could switch off power to the DRO [whilst keeping the rocker switch on the back of the DRO display in the "on" position] and, if I had moved the table during the power-off time, when I powered back on the DRO would indicate the new position accurately [i.e. work like the battery powered Z-axis DRO I fitted myself at a later date]. Am I imagining this?

I ask because what is happening at the moment is that when I power off the DRO whilst x and y are both set to zero, say, when I power back on having moved the table a little during the off time in one or both axes, the DRO somewhat unhelpfully still displays zero. This makes repeat work with vice stops somewhat inconvenient because on powering on after some down time I have to edge-find all over again if I've inadvertently moved the table during the down time.

Page 13 of the manual talks about a sleep switch that sounds tantalizingly like it might alllow me to overcome this problem [i.e. get the DRO to function like a digital caliper or my battery-powered Z-axis DRO] but it's not in very intelligible English, and in spite of following the instructions [mainly concerned with the HA button] it has not helped.

However, as I say, I may just be mis-remembering how my factory-fitted DRO works.

Thread: Bar size and dies
02/01/2021 12:48:35
Posted by martin cross 1 on 01/01/2021 20:44:41:

each time the diameter is too big.

All I want is an M10 x 1.25 on a bit of bar, by hand.

Can you be more specific about what is happening when you attempt to thread?

Are you getting the thread to start, but then finding cutting hard going, or are you not even getting the thread started?

As others have said, a good quality new split-die would give you the best chance of success.

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