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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: Torx head variant or faulty batch?
21/08/2019 16:16:25
Many thanks to everyone for your interesting and informative range of replies.

The seller, Bolt World, has been prompt in dealing with the matter so far, though the sequence of events do suggest they were aware there was a problem with their stock of these particular screws.
My order was for three different sizes of CSK screws. When the order arrived, one of the items (the one that ended up being the rogue batch) was, unaccountably, not CSK but dome-headed. I contacted the seller and was told they would send out the correct item asap, which they did. The rogue batch then arrived. I informed the seller of my concerns, and the response was that, regrettably, this was the only stock they had for this particular item.

I don't know what other people's experience is, but it has happened to me a couple of times recently that a seller/retailer, rather than choose to risk disappointing me by failing to fulfill part of an order because the item ordered is not actually in stock, has chosen to disappoint me somewhat more by silently substituting an item that is only a close match for what I ordered.

I suspect this may have something to do with the, to me, largely incomprehensible reaction of those apparently quite common buyers who give negative feedback of the following kind: "Paid instantly, seller said item not in stock & refunded - OUTRAGEOUS!!!", and I suspect that the subsequent sending out of an item that was almost certainly known to be defective was to do with another fairly common phenomenon, namely that many consumers do not have the time or the inclination to look critically at merchandise they've bought until the moment they come to use it or, somewhat later even, when it fails.

I’m not able to say anything authoritative about the relative superiority of Torx and Hex. My feeling, however, is that in the case of very small diameter fasteners in rust-free condition the torque that can be applied before cam-out or deformation of the slot occurs may be slightly higher with Torx than with Hex.

This was really why I opted for Torx as opposed to Hex for these M3 screws; in the past some M3 Hex fasteners did show obvious signs of slot deformation after several tightenings and loosenings. But possibly other factors were at play there: the hex screws being of inadequately hard metal, my Allen key and the hex recesses being a poor dimensional match, my technique…

I'll see if I can capture a clearer, more close-up image of the screw head. If so, I'll post it here.

Thanks again for the responses.

20/08/2019 23:58:01

Pictured are two M3 countersunk Torx head stainless bolts. The smaller, pleasingly star-shaped one is the type I'm used to; the other one is from a bag of twenty, all with identical-looking Torx recesses, that I was sent by the supplier who supplied the regular-looking ones.

A T10 bit (usually the correct bit for an M3) is a very sloppy fit in them, and frustratingly a T15 almost goes in, but not quite. In appearance they're like a strange and useless hybrid between a hex and a Torx head.

Has anyone else had a batch of these mongrel Torx heads? Can anyone suggest how the manufacturing can have gone so awry?


Thread: Wasp trap - suggestions please
20/08/2019 00:25:39

Nice pictures, Neil.

Are they both brown hawkers?

Thread: Borrowing
17/08/2019 20:58:28
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 17/08/2019 19:56:11:

A 'friend' borrowed it to lend to a friend who wanted to use the illustration in a TV programme.

I suspect the TV and film industry are among the most reckless borrowers of people's property.

I once received a request from the BBC to use my former house as a location for filming. Even though the remuneration would have been good, I refused when I saw the disclaimers about potential damage to my property.

I was already on my guard anyway; as a boy I lent my great grandfather's Acme Thunderer railway whistle to someone we knew who was making a film and, like Michael, we never saw it again.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 17/08/2019 20:58:51

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2019
17/08/2019 20:48:49

Levelled my rather worn and uneven concrete garage floor with Mapei Ultraplan renovation screed.

Since it's described as "not a wearing surface", I'd be interested to hear what people recommend in these circumstances for producing a good wearing surface for moving machinery (mostly on wheels) around on and for general use. I've looked at other threads on workshop flooring but I still can't decide.

Thread: Hieroglyphics on a Wehlen & Co clock face
09/08/2019 02:26:37

Is it possible it's just rubricated (and now somewhat faded) flourishing over the letters, i.e. solely decorative?

Thread: Serious question, What is a Mini Lathe?
08/08/2019 13:55:21
Posted by Barrie Lever on 07/08/2019 20:47:46:
My family have been using machine tools since the end of WW1, my Grandfathers discharge papers after leaving the RNAS as an engineer on Handley Page 0/400's listed his profession as a fitter turner. We will continue using machine tools until at least I die, we have never needed or used a Chinese lathe or mill and out of principle I never will, I just have no need to when there are better propositions avaliable.

Everyone to there own as the saying goes, I just don't understand the enthusiasm for the Mini lathe in the way that you and many others do.

Barrie, if I were fortunate enough to be in your position with a long family history of using and owning (presumably British or European or American) machine tools, I don't think I would find it too hard to understand that very few other enthusiasts are so fortunate as to have "better propositions available" to them (unless by "available" you include having to hunt for them secondhand with all the risks and inconvenience that entails) than a Chinese mini-lathe.

In the light of the relative unavailability of older and often (but not always) better made alternatives, isn't the widespread enthusiasm for the Chinese mini-lathe completely understandable?

Thread: Polishing grinder
05/08/2019 18:40:23

What polishing compound are you using on that wheel, David?

Thread: Things to Come
04/08/2019 01:53:34

I'm also a passive resister at Screwfix when I can be (i.e. when I'm not having to order something in for collection). I simply decline to give them an email, a phone number or an address, and I pay in cash. (I have to say that part of my objection is not wanting to divulge my personal details within earshot of the other shoppers waiting behind me in the queue). I always of course ask for a receipt, and make a point of checking with them that the receipt will be valid in spite of my wish to remain anonymous.

They do get sniffy, but when I point out that this was the system in shops everywhere for many years and the retailer never insisted on knowing more about you as a condition of handing over the goods, they tend to acknowledge the reasonableness of my position.

What about CCTV cameras, now? Has anyone taken video footage inside a shop as I have, and been challenged by staff about it, all the time their shop is blithely training CCTV cameras on you?

And while we're at it, what happened to all the shops anyway? Most seem to have been nosed out by "stores"? How long before we go "storing" when we need groceries?

Thread: Removing felt lining from wooden boxes......not animal hide glue.
03/08/2019 14:58:39

Brian, I am used to having to remove adhesives from the spines of books prior to re-binding. A common glue encountered in modern books is hot-melt glue. I remove this with a hairdryer.

I have noticed a fairly recent shift in the glues commonly used to stick labels on jars. In the past these glues were usually water-soluble, and, if not, they could nearly always be removed with lighter fuel. Now these glues often do not shift with water or lighter fuel or even solvents such as thinners, but they do remove very easily with white spirit.

I'm confident you will find a solution, even if you have to make a mess of one or two boxes in the process.

Thread: Things to Come
02/08/2019 19:13:33

That's a great dialogue, Bandersnatch.

It vindicates my decision not to have a smart phone or any kind of "phone life" to speak of, and not to have accounts on any social media platforms, anonymous or otherwise.

I don't know how many forum members are familiar with the multi-purpose Chinese app Wechat, which probably way over a billion Chinese people at home and overseas use almost exclusively for most of their communication and financial needs.

I've regularly witnessed Wechat users in the UK have messages censored by China's cybersecurity bureau with text or images removed in mid-air, so to speak, and automated warnings displayed, and I know of people in China who have jay-walked, for instance, in the sight of surveillance cameras and received an instant message on their phone from the authorities notifying them of their violation and that a fine for the violation has been simultaneously taken from their Wechat-linked bank account.

Having dined on several occasions with a Chinese lady who works for Huawei, I can tell you on good authority that Bandersnatch's dialogue would not be even remotely ironic to a lot of Chinese citizens.

Thread: Surplus subjects learnt at school.
23/07/2019 21:54:38
Posted by 34046 on 23/07/2019 18:41:37:

Just watched a video by Richard Branson in which he says he was known as the dumbest boy at school. He suffered with dislexia so the blackboard was a total muddle to him. He left secondary school with no qualifications .


I think it's safe to say that leaving school with no qualifications doesn't automatically mean that you aren't very intelligent, just as making billions of pounds through business ventures doesn't automatically mean that you are.

23/07/2019 13:14:01
Posted by V8Eng on 23/07/2019 09:37:26:
Posted by Bill Phinn on 22/07/2019 19:03:11:
Posted by Howi on 22/07/2019 13:13:05:

simul et usus ero alea satis prospera, podicem meum prae pulvere non videbis.

Well: Google translate came up with this from that text:-

and the use of the dice at the same time I will be quite successful, will make naked in comparison with the dust, Thou shalt not see my.

quite amusing in its own right I think.

Edited By V8Eng on 23/07/2019 09:38:56

I can sense you're almost certainly not implying that Google Translate is a meaningful guide to a translation's accuracy, but just in case you are, please see here.

That is a translation site manned by humans, and they actively welcome people wanting to check a Latin translation for accuracy.

22/07/2019 19:03:11
Posted by Howi on 22/07/2019 13:13:05:

One good win on the lottery and you won't see my arse for dust.

If anyone wants a more authentic translation, the following will serve:

simul et usus ero alea satis prospera, podicem meum prae pulvere non videbis.

19/07/2019 21:18:27

I wouldn't say any subjects I did at school were surplus subjects. Slightly unusually perhaps, I took Latin O level and Latin and Greek A Levels, then went on to do a degree in something I didn't even have an O Level in: Biological Sciences.

Thread: A little rant about Emojis and their kin
17/07/2019 02:29:15

Posted by Michael Gilligan on 16/07/2019 23:45:06:

... I am at a loss for appropriate words of contempt [but would be interested to know what others think]


There's sure to be an emoji you could have reached for there, Michael, which would have kind of done.


Seriously, early in my senior school career, when I was unable to entirely shake off junior school habits, I was marked down in English essays for occasionally punctuating text with pictures in order to ram home my poorly articulated point. Since my pictures were lousy anyway, I quickly learned to do without them and focus on conveying meaning with words alone.


As a legacy of that, I'm grateful to be able to feel absolutely no spontaneous need to resort to emojis, but I have occasionally been known to use one in order not to risk looking unfriendly.


I think this last point may partly account for their popularity; young people usually strive to be accepted by their peer group, and a tipping point was possibly reached some time ago for young people when not using emojis in texts etc. between acquaintances would have been felt to be at odds with in-group protocols and uncool, and therefore not using them at all came in practice not to be an option, or at least not a good survival strategy.


Emojis may all just be a passing fad, or they may be yet another sign of the end of civilization as we know it. If their now widespread use went hand in hand with a general upsurge in articulateness I'd be completely positive about them. Instead they are too often an ersatz form of communication indolently resorted to by the linguistically and cognitively impoverished.

Ah well, onwards and downwards.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 17/07/2019 02:30:02

Thread: Remembering Apollo 11
16/07/2019 20:26:01

Thanks for the link. The launch is awe-inspiring. The things humans can do!

I remember watching the landing with my parents, brothers and sister, dressed in my pyjamas and almost too tired to stay awake. My mother was knitting a strangely misshapen but endearing red doll for my sister. She called it "Moonie". We still have it somewhere.

Resting heart rate today is around 54bpm (used to be 42). Under stress can get into the high 190's. Not been above 186 for a year or two.

Thread: Electric Cars
14/07/2019 04:43:22
Posted by Barnaby Wilde on 14/07/2019 02:57:40:

Whilst we are straying from the OP slightly I do think that it's still all interconnected.

Complex problems require complex solutions. Will the AI that is capable of driving a car along a busy highway also be able to solve a marriage breakdown?

Sounds silly doesn't it, but if you take a complex problem like driving along a busy highway & compare that to a complex problem like a marriage breakdown then anything that can miraculously solve 1 should easily be able to tackle the other.

When AI can give coherent and unplagiarised A grade answers to essay questions on literary topics such as those I faced in A Level French:

"Discuss Flaubert's use of symbolism and irony in Madame Bovary".

"In Flaubert's Madame Bovary, how did Charles Bovary's personality persuade Emma to marry him and contribute to her downfall?"

"In what ways is Madame Bovary a realistic novel?"

then I will be prepared to change my present view: that there are significant limits to the ways in which AI can, and forseeably will be able to, substitute for or even merely help human beings.

Perhaps, though, you were being ironic.

Thread: Bookpress 5tpi Square thread help please!
21/06/2019 18:14:48

Martin, while you're at it have you considered extending the vertical stanchions with spacers in order to increase the available daylight? I know a number of bookbinders who have adapted their copy presses in this way, and I'm sure you could do a better job of it than most bookbinders, and for very little extra cost.

I don't know how much daylight your copy press has got, but from the look of things about 3.5 inches. This is really very little space for bookbinding purposes. As I'm sure you know, books are placed between wooden pressing boards before inserting into a press of this kind, and the pressing boards will already account for around 1.5 inches of that 3.5 inches.

Thread: Historic Frogs
20/06/2019 17:34:01
Posted by John Paton 1 on 20/06/2019 11:16:36:

Paul McCartney and the Finchley Frogettes - 'The Frog Chorus'

An earlier frog chorus was Aristophanes', in his comedy of 405 B.C. called simply Βάτραχοι - "Frogs"

Edited By Bill Phinn on 20/06/2019 17:34:22

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