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Member postings for Graham Stoppani

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

Thread: Lack of material and prices
11/06/2021 06:46:00

I was talking to our heating engineer yesterday and he said that he was working on a building site when word went around that some wood had arrived at the local stockist. To a man, all the chippies downed tools and jumped in their vans.

Seems that wood may not grow on trees after all. cheeky

Friends of mine that own a small manufacturing company have seen the price of MDF jump by 40%

Thread: Cutting Tool Applications
11/06/2021 06:37:58

Downloaded quite a few articles, thanks. I love the quality of the drawn illustrations in the very early books such as "Machine Shop Tools and Methods" from 1903.

Edited By Graham Stoppani on 11/06/2021 06:40:23

Thread: Distilled water for anodising
21/05/2021 09:18:24

" There can be a lot of dirt in dehumidifier water, but it might still work OK. "

Simple test if you're not sure. Pour a very small amount into a glass container and let it evaporate to see what's left behind.

Probably the first science experiment you did at primary school! smiley

21/05/2021 05:14:28

I just bought 5 litres of sulphuric acid from Gateros for anodising (which I haven't done yet). It will be less concentrated than battery acid for sure. I used to store my sulphuric acid at full 97% concentration and dilute it as needed until the law changed.

I use the water distilled from my garage dehumidifier for making up my electroplating baths with no ill effect.

Edited By Graham Stoppani on 21/05/2021 05:14:58

Thread: Bassett-Lowke
16/04/2021 05:56:34

Forgive the slight hijaking of this thread, but as a Northampton lad (W.J Bassett Lowke's home town) can I recommend if you are ever out this way you pay a visit to 78 Derngate.

W.J Bassett Lowke commissioned Charles Renee Mackintosh to design his home, the only house ever to be designed by Mackintosh. The final result was an amalgam of ideas from the two men.


Thread: There may be a delay in some deliveries ...
29/03/2021 09:08:43
Posted by Samsaranda on 25/03/2021 19:33:00:

In 1967 as a result of the June 67 war with Israel, the canal was again closed for a considerable time, unfortunately a number of ships were trapped in there. I was in Trucial Oman at the time and a number of parcels that I was waiting for were trapped as well on board ships carrying mail, I never did receive the parcels so who knows where they ended up. Dave W

My dad was on HMS Victorious as it was transiting the Suez Canal on its way to the Med. from Aden as the forces were assembling on either side of the canal. As you can imagine an aircraft carrier in the Suez Canal was a sitting duck if things kicked off. The Captain took it seriously enough to order the ship's crew to all write their wills.

Fortunately, they made it out of the canal unharmed before hostilities began and were safely berthed in Malta chuckling at the newspaper headlines about our boys in peril in the Suez Canal!

The Captain was right to be so concerned. Egypt alleged that planes from HMS Victorious had fought along side the Israelies, making the ship a legitimate target.

Thread: Anyone done any Nickel or Chrome plating of mild steel parts at home?
25/03/2021 07:54:01

I've done bright nickel and zinc plating using home kits successfully. Chrome plating is a no no for home use because of the cyanide content. However, there are substitutes called "Copy Chrome" and "Replica Chrome" if you Google them, though I haven't tried them myself.

Just to repeat what has already been said, the metal prep. can be time consuming if a high polished finish is needed. Even without a polished finish the metal must be absolutely clean before plating.

Thread: That little elf under the workbench again
24/03/2021 06:32:55

The elf under my bench has become emboldened of late. It now ventures onto the bench itself.

I'm restoring and re-plating various bits and bobs on a motorbike including 8 spacers that go in the rubber grommets for the exhaust system. I noticed the 8 had become 7 and searched in vain for the missing spacer. So I just made up a new spacer on the lathe.

I am now the proud owner of 9 spacers...

Thread: Ultra sonic cleaning
12/02/2021 06:45:29

There was an earlier thread on this subject that may be useful, including my own contribution about using solvents in glass jars.


Thread: Air Compressor Warning
30/01/2021 06:44:17

A heartfelt thanks to Gary. Because of this thread I checked my compressor yesterday...


I bought this compressor in late 2016 from Aldi but the design is pretty generic so will apply to many other brands. To begin with I drained the tank regularly when in use and would get a thimble full of water each time. I then installed a dehumidifier in my workshop about a year ago and and around the same time the water I was getting out of the compressor reduced to a dribble each time I drained it. I became lax in checking the compressor as I assumed the dehumidifier was causing this. WRONG This is what I found yesterday:

1. Amount of water initially drained by removing the small drain plug


I gave the compressor a shake and could hear water sploshing around. I removed the large plug with a 17mm spanner and apart from a blob of crud nothing else came out. However, I could still hear water when I shook the compressor. I poked my finger up the drain hole and broke through a crust of muck that had formed there. This is what came out:

2. Third drainage attempt


3. over 150cc of rusty water


Following on from a comment made in an earlier post about checking the drain wasn't standing proud from the bottom of the air reservoir you can see in the next picture the drain plug's top two threads are discoloured. I read this as showing they have been standing proud from the bottom of the cylinder.

4. Drain plug threads and design




Because the water did not fully drain each time the compressor was checked it allowed crud to form over the drainage plug so that it eventually blocked the drain completely allowing a much larger volume of water to collect over time.


A couple of fibre washers added to the drain plug would lower it sufficiently to bring it level with the bottom of the inside of the air reservoir and stop the initial build up of water happening if drained regularly.

Thread: Motorcycle General Discussion
18/01/2021 06:33:47
Posted by duncan webster on 18/01/2021 00:30:02:

Clive's right, it was Roe. I like the look of the Hossack setup referred to by Bill, but as SWMBO won't let me have a bike anymore I'll just have to dream


as the old saying goes, "it's not what you know, it's who you know". An old friend of mine who's an ex-Cosworth employee was given the Triumph Hossack prototype as a gift by Keith Duckworth's widow.

Triumph Hossack

He was allowed to pick any vehicle he wanted from a selection stored in a hanger. He wasn't allowed his first choice, a helicopter, and was told not to be silly! smiley

Thread: Look out, here comes a woodturner
03/01/2021 14:30:18

Hi Calum,

I am also a newbie to soldering an brazing. A book I've found very informative is "A Guide to Brazing and Soldering" by Keith Hale who set up the company CuP Alloys (useful supplier for the hobbyist).

Thread: In anticipation of the New Year ...
03/01/2021 08:11:25
I really wonder what the future holds in the development of technology especially with the introduction of Ai etc,

When people talk about AI they are normally thinking of it as operating in real time where the limiting factor is the speed of the underlying hardware.

For example, most phones etc. now have speech recognition. The underlying computational models for this such as hidden Markov modelling have been around over thirty years (I was referencing declassified DARPA papers on this from the late eighties when studying for my computing degree). At the time even Intel 486 processors or RISC based workstations did not have the speed to translate continuous speech in real time.

Although AI has undoubtedly moved on since my degree days, its progress cannot match the progress made in hardware. The results of two experiments announced last month illustrate beautifully the difference fast hardware can make.

1. A laser based quantum computer has completed a calculation in 4 minutes. Doesn't sound much until you compare it to the time a traditional computer would have taken of 2.56 billion years (that's roughly half the age of the planet Earth.)

Link to article explaining the paper Quantum device performs 2.6 billion years of computation in 4 minutes

Link to original paper Quantum computational advantage using photons

2. An experiment has almost instantaneously transferred data over 44km using off the shelf hardware coupled with teleportation (and you thought Star Trek was just SciFi!).

Link to article explaining the paper long-distance 'quantum teleportation' for the first time

Link to the original paper Teleportation Systems Toward a Quantum Internet

Thread: Alternative to 365/office etc.
15/12/2020 06:32:26

There is an on-line version of MS Office available at no cost. At a glance, the features look okay for the average user (no sign of VBA or add-ins in Excel if that sort of thing floats your boat).

LINK to Free MS Office

As I'm not familiar with Libre Office, as mentioned favourably by others, I did a quick bit of research. I found the web site below useful as it goes into a lot of detail regarding the differences in functionality between the two products.

LINK to Libre and Office comparison

Each product has some features not supported by the other so it would be useful if you do use any advanced features in Office to check they are supported by Libre.

That said, just based on the functionality listing of Libre I can see why it has its fans. smiley

Thread: What am I?
27/11/2020 10:20:09

I am not an an Engineer in an sense of the word (even though I have a couple of computing degrees). However, I do like making and fixing things. From hence forth I shall refer to myself an artificer.

My dad was an artificer in the navy, however, I would like to think of myself as an artificer in the way Terry Pratchett described them. They worked in their various small workshops in the Street of Cunning Artificers and even had a Guild of Artificers - entrance criteria not known. The greatest of them was Leonard of Quirm but I am unfortunately more of a "Bloody Stupid" Johnson.

As an etymological aside, the words engineer and artificer both have their origins in the 14th century. An engineer coming via French from the Latin ingenium skill or talent. An artificer on the other hand is "one who makes by art or skill".

Thread: Cosworth V8 1:12 scale
02/11/2020 06:28:18

When I was a young lad working in a local motorcycle shop I took a phone call from a gentleman who wanted us to collect his son's field bike to sort out the non-running engine. Being an 'expert' I asked if he had checked if the petrol was turned on and if there was a spark - turned out I was talking to Keith Duckworth... Doh!


Thread: Memorable topics discussed on this forum
27/10/2020 06:15:44

Just wanted to say thank you. Really enjoying reading these old threads.

Thread: Hello from Birmingham
16/10/2020 13:56:00

I bought a second hand Warco Minor last year. Very happy with it but it did have one problem which I think may be something you might want to check, if you haven't already.

There are two ball bearings at the top of the quill and two taper roller bearings further down. Soon after buying the mill it started to screech when running. This was soon traced to the top bearing of the two taper roller bearings that had become completely dry. The lower bearing was in pristine condition as it had benefited from all the grease that had melted from the top bearing and landed on top of it!

Fortunately, the taper roller bearings are accessible to lubricate in situ.

Thread: Fluxes for silver soldering.
11/10/2020 06:43:30

Does anyone use killed spirits (zinc chloride) as a flux?

Thread: Cleaning metal for painting
04/10/2020 08:28:46

I have recently converted to using Ajax to prepare surfaces for painting. Not my idea but that of Dan Gelbart.

This is a link to his YouTube video on the subject and he mentions Ajax 11 minutes in but its worth watching the whole video. LINK

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