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Member postings for Ron Laden

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

Thread: Mini Lathe Rear Tool Post
21/01/2019 10:32:43

Really impressed with M-machine, just phoned them and ordered a 180 x 90 x 30mm piece of cast iron for the cross slide. Its priced by the inch but they only charged me £3 for the extra 5mm in thickness. The lady that took my order was very pleasant and polite, she said she would phone back with the price and she did ten minutes later.

A pleasure to deal with, I will certainly be going back again.

Thanks for the link Jason.

Thread: Mini-Lathe Repair
20/01/2019 09:54:03

Made up a spindle lock for when I cut keyways on the mill. Odd looking mounting plate..? well it was staring at me from the odds box, a couple of quick mods then turned up a locking pin. I used the guard mounting holes to fix it in place, certainly locks the spindle well.


Thread: Mini Lathe Rear Tool Post
19/01/2019 20:37:12
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 19/01/2019 19:53:04:
Posted by Ron Laden on 19/01/2019 17:21:44:


However it did highlight the lack of rigidity in a small mini lathe as I was quite surprised at how much the tool post flexed/kicked when it happened.

So I am going to go with making a heavier duty cross slide to hopefully improve the rigidity, ...

Large lathes also suffer in this department. The forces involved are considerable and metals bend. My WM280 is much more heavily built than a mini-lathe and I've still managed to flex the tool-post. Parting off with a Gibraltar style rear-post, I've seen the whole saddle move slightly during a dig in. Much heavier industrial machines can also run into trouble.

Manually pushing on various parts of a lathe with a DTI attached to detect movement is revealing. Truth is it's impossible to completely stiffen a machine - good design and heavy construction help, but they can't stop it entirely. The Eiffel Tower, which is an unusually stiff structure, bends up to about 5" during a severe storm.

By all means have a go, I'm sure you can improve the lathe but don't expect it to solve all your problems.


Hi Dave, points taken, I know I cant cure the lathe of its lack of rigidity but as you mention I hope to improve it. I am quite sure that a heavier duty cross slide with a decent rear tool post will be more rigid than a parting tool front mounted in the tool post. To me the top slide and tool post just look to be a weak area. They work fine in normal turning providing you dont push them too hard but just not man enough to be heavily loaded.

I will give it a go, it will be interesting to see how it turns out.


Thread: The Workshop Progress Thread 2019
19/01/2019 19:57:45

Jason, out of interest a couple of questions from the cart build and the wheels. When you cut the centres from the steel discs was the tool a parting tool, cant quite see the tip in the photo. Also when turning the radius on the hubs, is the ball cutter you used your own design and build.


Thread: Mini Lathe Rear Tool Post
19/01/2019 19:21:10
Posted by JasonB on 19/01/2019 18:57:46:

Ron, M-machine list 100 x 180 which they sell by the inch, I'm sure they would cut you off say 30mm to allow for clean up. Also bear in mind the rectangular stuff has a radius corner so allow for that..

Thanks Jason, thats ideal I will give them a call Monday, their material list is impressive to say the least.


19/01/2019 17:21:44

When parting off the two alu pulleys I have just made I had the tool dig in a couple of times, nothing too bad and I just carried on with the feed and they parted off ok. However it did highlight the lack of rigidity in a small mini lathe as I was quite surprised at how much the tool post flexed/kicked when it happened.

So I am going to go with making a heavier duty cross slide to hopefully improve the rigidity, I think that and a solid rear tool post must offer more rigidity for parting off. Having said that I suspect that most of the lack of rigidity is above the cross slide through the top slide and tool post. To be fair I havnt tried a front mounted parting tool inverted which a few recommend. I like the idea of a heavier cross slide though which can have T slots something I dont currently have. I can see it useful for job or tool mounting and give the lathe a bit more capability.

I was considering making the cross slide from EN3B but with dovetails/T slots to cut it would be easier machining in cast iron. A question I have, is cast iron available as flat bar..? I have been searching but can only seem to find round or square and I need a size that I can get 7 inch x 3 inch x 1 inch out of.

Thread: The Workshop Progress Thread 2019
19/01/2019 15:46:37

Oops sorry Jason, didnt realise you are at the exhibition.

Watched the Galloway video, very nice and I was surprised how quick it runs it gets quite a lick on. Also watched the Monitor and Gade and see what you mean about the governors you can see them operating quite clearly.


Thread: Vickers Bl 8 inch Howitzer cannon of 1917
19/01/2019 09:48:42

Hi Mal

Whilst I was on Ebay I had a quick search and found the kit for £19.99, if you search for Roden ROD813 BL 8 inch kit and scroll down you can find it . There is a kit from Poland but that is more money whereas the £19.99 one is a UK supplier.


19/01/2019 08:51:06

Hi Mal,

I dont know if it would be of any interest or of any help but I was on the Hannants site and came across a plastic kit of the BL 8 inch Howitzer. Its a 1/35 scale kit by Roden part number ROD813, its £40 though and not in stock but I think you can back order. If you go to Hannants site and do a search for ROD813 you should find it.

Just thought I would mention it in case it would be of any use.


Thread: The Workshop Progress Thread 2019
19/01/2019 07:26:26


Do you have any video of the Galloway engine running, I would like to watch that if you have any footage


18/01/2019 16:34:41
Posted by JasonB on 18/01/2019 11:05:31:

Ron, In America it is a gas engine as that is what they call petrol. It is designed to run on petrol or as a lot of us do it can be run on what the Americans call "white gas" which is a liquid fuel commonly used for camping stoves etc and goes by the name of "Colmans Fuel". The main advantage is it does not smell like petrol so if you keep your models indoors they don't stink the house down, the exhaust fumes are not as bad either. You can also use some of the "Green" fuels for lawnmowers etc such as Aspen.

Yes European oak.

Martin, if you look back at earlier posts in the thread I linked to about making the box I have gone into a bit more detail about the carts and their construction. They are probably both a bit big for these small engines but I was asked to see if I could do them to match some photos, this is what the vertical one is based on.

I did similar with my 1/3rd scale galloway basing the cart on some photos from a US e-bay advart that had a few sizes that made scaling it easier. I do have a set of castings for an Associated Hired Man but that will be a very small barrow type cart.

Edited By JasonB on 18/01/2019 11:08:49

Jason, I was forgetting I was looking at an American site and when I read gas or propane I didnt make the connection between gas and petrol.

I have just finished reading through your link to "the cart" and I have to take my hat off to you, that for me was something of a master class in model engineering. The thought, the approach, the design let alone the skill and craftmanship that went into it I thought was inspiring. Someone commented "you make it all look so easy" and I think that speaks volumes Jason.


18/01/2019 09:17:22
Posted by JasonB on 18/01/2019 07:59:01:

Martin, I have spent a lot of time fiddling with the ignitor trip, it does not have the same adjustment methods as some or the horizontals that I have built so is a right pig to get working anywhere near right.

The pump does work when I have tried it with a cordless drill, may hook it up and run some water through it once the engine is running well though they don't get too hot and can be run for several minutes dry.

It is from a casting kit but the cart is scratch built. It came to me as part made with all the larger items having been done, there were some major issues such as a wonky crankshaft and the top of the crankcase was machined very out of true so the cylinder was leaning sideways

Ron, this is how I did the joints.

The engine would be classed as a Vertical Hit & Miss Engine. vertical as it stands upright rather than the more common layout with a horizontal cylinder.

The hit and miss bit refers to how the speed is controlled (not set working in that video) There is a pivoting weight on the inside of the flywheel that swings out as the engines speed increases, as it rotates round it pushes a lever that will latch the exhaust pushrod in the open position which means there will be no compression and the engine won't fire which is the miss part. As the speed drops the latch will release and close off the exhaust so the engine will then be able to draw in air/fuel as there will be a vacuum when the piston goes down - compressed - fire which is the hit part. When the engine is running under load it may not get up to a fast enough speed to miss so will fire on each stroke, if the load is taken off then it will start to miss. If you watch my video of it's stable mate you can see that the exhaust rocker arm only lifts clear of the valve about every 3rd or 4th cycle.

And before it was painted you can see me manually making it miss by holding the rocker down about half way through. The vertical should be running more like this.

Otherwise it is just a 4-stroke engine, the only slight difference is that the inlet valve does not have a mechanical opening such as push rod and rocker. It just has a weak spring which is just enough to hole the vale closed but on the intake stroke the vacuum in the cylinder will open the valve letting the air/fuel mix in.

As the carb is at the top of the engine this one also has a fuel pump down on the left hand side - the whole bottom casting is the fuel tank - which constantly pumps fuel to the carb with any excess flowing back down to the tank under gravity.

It does not use a spark plug but has what is known as an ignitor. Basically a set of moving contacts that are within the head. As the exhaust pushrod moves up it has a lever on the side which closes the contacts and allows electricity from the battery to flow around a circuit containing a low tension coil. As the rod goes up more it moves away from the ignitor and allows the contacts to open but the energy in the coil causes a spark to jump across the gap and this is what ignites the fuel. They are very tricky to make with lots of small parts and torsion springs to be wound.

As said by Martin cooling is buy water being pumped into the bottom of a water space around the cylinder then into voids in the head before overflowing down the wire mesh which cools the water before it gets pumped round again.


Thanks Jason,

That is fascinating and different too, I am really impressed with it I could sit and watch it run for ages. I can see what you mean about tricky to make with all those small parts and I can imagine it taking some time and effort to set up. I see from the link that it runs on gas, is that always the case or can they run on other fuel, I was assuming yours was running on petrol.

I have learnt something in using a slot drill to cut wood, again I would have assumed that wood cutting bits have to be used, thats good to know. Which wood did you make the box from Jason, is it oak.?

Very impressive, great stuff.


17/01/2019 21:50:15

Oh I really do like that and some lovely engineering, did you cut all those corner joints on the wooden box by hand.

You know me Jason, what type of engine is it, how does it work and Martin mentions screen cooling..?


Thread: Mini-Lathe Repair
17/01/2019 16:22:03
Posted by JasonB on 17/01/2019 16:07:08:

That one I showed a few posts above was done without pre cutting. All the steel keyways I have cut on the lathe have also been done just with the tool no waste removal first.

Of you want to remove some of the bulk then turn up an ali plug and put that in the hole, you can then drill down the joint line and the drill should run true. remove plug and carry on as previous.

Edited By JasonB on 17/01/2019 16:08:16

Thanks Jason, thats helpful I will give it a try without pre cutting and see how I get on.

17/01/2019 15:45:34
Posted by Ron Laden on 17/01/2019 09:07:59:

Another first for me cutting a keyway, I used the mill and it worked a treat. I removed the bulk with a 4mm cutter and then used a piece of 4mm square tool steel for shaping as Jason suggested. Taking 1 thou cuts it was easy to do and quite quick.



Have you used the HSS blanks for producing keyways without first removing the bulk of material with a cutter..? With the 12mm layshaft pulley I used a 4mm cutter which had enough flute length to cover the keyway length. The motor pulley however is 18mm and the keyway 3mm, I would need a long series cutter to machine out the bulk and even then I would need to cut from both sides to cover the 18mm. I can get a cutter to do that but was thinking is it worth trying without first removing material or even with 1 thou cuts is it going to be hard work cutting the full face.


Thread: Hobby mill
17/01/2019 09:34:08

Also your budget Keith as that obviously points you to the range of machines that you can consider.


Thread: Mini-Lathe Repair
17/01/2019 09:07:59

Another first for me cutting a keyway, I used the mill and it worked a treat. I removed the bulk with a 4mm cutter and then used a piece of 4mm square tool steel for shaping as Jason suggested. Taking 1 thou cuts it was easy to do and quite quick.


Thread: Use of Colour on Drawings
16/01/2019 13:59:35

Jason, I guess I am fortunate in that I can read and understand drawings but I would imagine that there are some beginners/newcomers that struggle with them, in particular visualising the finished shape of some parts from just a three view drawing.

As some of your projects are aimed at beginners I think your idea of including coloured general assemblies and possibly sub assemblies (some sectioned) I think a good idea and would be invaluable to them.


Thread: Mini-Lathe Repair
16/01/2019 08:05:54

Machined the motor and layshaft pulleys which have worked out ok, hoping some tool steel arrives today so I can get the keyways cut.


Thread: Use of Colour on Drawings
15/01/2019 17:10:26

I would be happy with No 1 or No 2 and I like the idea of colours representing the type of material. Agree with Andrew that the material/parts colours could work well with part or full assemblies.

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