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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: Workshop in this weather..?
02/07/2018 16:46:12

My workshop faces due south, one end is shaded until 10am then it gets full sun all day until the sun goes down. Mid afternoon in the weather we have been having I reckon you could just about cook an egg on a steel plate in there.

Thread: Milling for beginners
01/07/2018 16:09:20

Thanks Jason and Nige


01/07/2018 14:10:35
Posted by JasonB on 01/07/2018 13:19:59:

Sorry I can't agree with that old way of thinking, many "end mills" produced now have centre cutting edges and would now be better named "4-flute milling cutters" as they can plunge cut. Ok this is a rougher but same applies you can plunge, ramp and side cut with 4-flutes

2-flute cutter also tend to cut a lot closer to their nominal size where as a 4-flute can cut over width if it deflects in a heavy cut.

Have a read of part 4 of my series for a bit more info

Not the best photo but the 4-flute on the right will plunge cut


Where do I find your series Jason, I,m probably missing the obvious.

Edited By JasonB on 01/07/2018 13:46:21

01/07/2018 13:58:56

Thanks Jason, appreciated, I can understand that.

01/07/2018 13:17:13

Thanks, Now I,m probably being stupid here but what is the point of an end mill, why not use a slot drill for everything..?


Edited By Ron Laden on 01/07/2018 13:18:08

Edited By Ron Laden on 01/07/2018 13:18:35

01/07/2018 12:56:04

I started a thread and asked peoples advice on using my bench drill for lightweight mill work, a lot of the guys came back and said DONT. General opinion was to get a mill slide for the minilathe or better still get a mill. I have decided to save until I can afford a small mill.

I have some basic understanding on operating the lathe but none when it comes to a mill. A few years back a friend gave me a small selection of cutting tools for a mill and I was looking at them yesterday evening and it sparked a question.

What is the difference between a slot drill and an end mill and which does what when milling. I,ve read a few bits and pieces but not much. Would I be correct in thinking that a slot drill will plunge cut as well as cutting on its sides, whilst an end mill will not plunge cut but its cutting edges are on the sides only. Sorry for the poor description but I dont know the correct technical terms yet.


Thread: Workshop in this weather..?
01/07/2018 10:44:39

Well Devon is more tolerable today, cloudy with the odd shower and the workshop is 70F so more workable.

Thunder storms are forecast but dont know if we will see any. Looked at the long range forecast for North Devon and it gives fine and dry with highs of up to 25C for the next two weeks. Cant complain its ages since we have had a spell of weather like this.

Wait a minute, its hammering down at the moment.


30/06/2018 21:37:39

How many of you are ok with your workshop in this spell of weather we are having..?

I,m not, I realise my shop is a small wooden shed but come 11.00 - 11.30am I am driven out of it at the moment as the temp is in the eighties. At 3.00pm this afternoon it was 98F in there and that was with the door and window fully open.

Oh for an air conditioned shop, that would be pure

Edited By Ron Laden on 30/06/2018 21:39:42

Edited By Ron Laden on 30/06/2018 21:40:10

Edited By Ron Laden on 30/06/2018 21:41:50

Thread: Drill for Milling
30/06/2018 20:05:10

Thanks Dave,

Since I have had a couple of hours to think about it the mill slide I was looking at is about 25% the cost of a mini mill so thinking it probably best to save for a mill.


30/06/2018 16:47:01

Thanks guys for all the advice, I will leave the bench drill well alone, its only a cheapie but I am lucky in that its a good one, seems stupid to wreck it.

The mill slides on the link by Jimmy look interesting, especially the one which has a video link it looks quite versatile with the double swivel.

Thanks again guys, much appreciated



30/06/2018 15:01:31

I have had the minilathe up and running for two weeks and I am really delighted with it. However, even in such a short time I realise that it needs a partner.....a mill. Problem is I dont have the budget for one at the moment which brings me to my question.

I have a bench drill, only one of the common budget ones but it works well and I am lucky in that it has a good quill with next to nothing in the way of play or run out and its chuck is decent. I have seen on Ebay 2 axis tables and wondered if using one of these with the drill would give something in the way of a basic lightweight mill.

I appreciate that it would be limited and it wouldnt cope with heavy or complex jobs and the accuracy wouldnt be there. For simple jobs though I wonder if it would cope, for instance this week I had a alu block that needed reducing by 10 thou and a round bar that required a flat machining.

I imagine that small cuts would be the order of the day but I would be fine with that. The tables I,ve seen so far are either just the 2 axis table or ones with a built in vice, if I did get one the built in vice type looks favourable, well to me at least.

I would appreciate your thoughts on if it would be worth giving it a go or leave it well alone.



Edited By Ron Laden on 30/06/2018 15:07:33

Thread: Is this true..?
29/06/2018 13:03:47

Thanks guys, interesting.

Hopper you jogged my memory with 1.5 x D, I can remember now the old guy telling me that 1.5 times was the minimum you should work too but he always rounded it up 2 x D with his jobs.

29/06/2018 10:22:23

Many moons ago an old engineer told me that when fixing with screws/bolts into a blind tapped hole there is no need for the screw/bolt to be any longer than 2 x diameter. So for instance if you used M6 screws then the threaded part of the screw need be no longer than 12mm, he said any longer gives no benefit.

I was just sorting through some screws for the loco chassis and this sprung to mind.


Thread: Lathework for Beginners
28/06/2018 14:17:09

Stripped down the 3 jaw and found it to be clean but a little dry, gave it a good lube and made sure it went back to the same position on the spindle face plate. Double checked it with the dial gauge and it is still showing .0004" run out.

Well thats about it for now, all is checked/setup and with the HSS tool set having arrived, time for some serious practice.


27/06/2018 17:15:56

With the chuck checked this afternoon I also set up the tailstock for centre, I have it as true as I can get it.

I then set up the dial gauge on the barrel running from fully in to all the way out both vertically and in the horizontal looking for any deviation off centre but it appears to be spot on through all its travel.



27/06/2018 14:12:58
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 27/06/2018 11:49:46:
Posted by Ron Laden on 27/06/2018 10:11:11:

So I am obviously really pleased, I wouldnt imagine you would get much better on a minilathe

I can't say I'm hugely surprised Ron, but be aware that to keep those figures you need to be careful not to overtighten and strain the chuck and to keep it clean!

Hi Neil,

I must admit I was very surprised, I have watched a lot of minilathe videos on youtube and some I have seen have had 5-6 thou run out. I thought that if I get half that I would be reasonably happy but to have less than half a thou I,m just delighted.

I will look after it Neil, in fact I,m going to strip the chuck and make sure its clean and well lubricated.


Thread: Lighting
27/06/2018 11:35:44

This may be of interest:

A friend gave me two cabinet LED strip lights which had been left over after his new kitchen fit.

They are 36 inch long, low wattage and 1000 lumens. They come with a plug in mains lead plus a short extension lead which allows the lights to be connected one to another. They have an on/off switch plus 2 clips for wall mounting or fixing under a shelf.

I fixed one under a shelf above the minilathe which it lights really well.

They are from Screwfix and cost approx £14 each.


Thread: Lathework for Beginners
27/06/2018 10:11:11

I have both read and been told that the 3 jaw chuck supplied with minilathes is something of a gamble. Some are very good whilst others are not with them well out of true.

Well I must have been lucky or the gods were smiling on me or something. The dial gauge arrived yesterday so I checked the chuck this morning. I first checked the spindle face plate and that had 0.0004" run out so I was very pleased with that figure. I then checked the chuck main body expecting it to worse but it wasnt, it gave the same reading. I then looked for something that would be quite true to check the reading at the jaws, dont have a lot to choose from just yet but used a new medium size centre drill and a new good quality 1/2" tap. I measured both of them on the ground body/shank. To my amazement the run out was 0.0004" for the centre drill and 0.0005" for the tap. To be honest I couldnt believe it would be that good so I put one or two other not so good items up to check the dial gauge was ok and that I wasnt seeing

So I am obviously really pleased, I wouldnt imagine you would get much better on a minilathe.


Thread: 5 inch 0-4-0 Shunter
26/06/2018 08:55:23

A couple of pics of part of the chassis and the motor drive temporarily assembled, gives some idea of how it will look. I know the rear wheel is the wrong way around, needs pressing on to be the correct way. 



Edited By Ron Laden on 26/06/2018 08:59:10

25/06/2018 18:02:01

Well at long last I managed to make a start on the loco build, pics below..

Pressed the oilite bearings into the 4 axle boxes and also the 2 axle bearings into the motor mounting plates.

Used the bench drill to press the pinion gears onto the 4 motors. I knew the interference fit was not heavy and it didnt take too much effort to press them on. I used a 1/4 drive small extension in the drill chuck with the pinion below and the 1/4 drive end of a socket to support the other end of the motor shaft. Lined it all up with a square and it worked really well.

I also managed to salvage the faulty wheels I purchased. I decided to modify the axles to fit so ran them up in the 3 jaw on the lathe and used strips of medium/fine emery cloth to reduce the diameter. Worked at it gradually until the wheel would slide on to within 2mm from the axle shoulder. I then pressed the wheels home using Loctite 368 retainer to make up the 2 thou difference at the outer face end of the wheel. I was trusting the axle shoulder would keep the wheels square to the axle and they have.

More to press on with tomorrow.




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