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Member postings for Plasma

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

Thread: Who trains these ideots?
20/08/2020 16:31:01

There was a great piece on Radio 4 this morning about decision making in government and management etc.

It basically said the more members a committee had and the more experts, the worse its results would be.

Civil servants create ever larger departments to gain more control, kudos and income.

The colonies office was quite small when we had a lot of colonies, as we lost them the department grew and grew and ended up being a huge set up with nothing to do but waste money.

If you can find it on i player it's worth a listen.


18/08/2020 17:34:39

A few years ago I went on a gas boiler course to get the certificate to allow me to install and repair said items.

I paid for it and wasn't a plumber but did know the basics.

I found the so called tradesmen to be the dumbest group of learners id ever encountered. Reading the Sun and talking about football was all they were ever interested in.

Calculation of friction within a system to establish the correct diameter of pipe to use? Sod that, just use 22mm everywhere.

Fault finding on a rigged test boiler? You have 45 minutes to complete the task... five minutes in I was done with a functioning boiler.

Examining an installation to find defective and dangerous elements such as blocked flu or unsheathed pipes? There are ten things to find, I found fifteen, one of which the examiners did not know was there.

I would say you can replace the board yourself. Its not a gas fitting, does not involve any pipe work and will not interfere with combustion. Its only like replacing a room stat.

Replacing the boiler is an idiots solution, find a better plumber, if there is such a thing these days.

By the way I never used the gas cert I obtained for £2000, I was too conscientious and would have not done things fast or cheap enough to satisfy a firm so I stayed with my old job.

Moan over.

Thread: Hot Buildings and expansion.
15/08/2020 20:16:55

The Tinsley viaduct in Sheffield has a series of steel link Bridge plates to allow for expansion and contraction over the year.

One end is anchored securely and the other sits on bearings to allow it to move.

I think it stretches by a couple of feet

Used to watch the huge dips in rail side telegraph cables when travelling to the seaside in summer, then marvel at how taught they became in winter.

I read somewhere that Concord didn't have properly fitted carpets because it grew so much in flight and the Lockheed SR71 Blackbird leaked fuel like a seive on the ground but was fine when flying supersonic.

Not to mention the allowances for shrinkage of castings that our forefathers had to factor in when making patterns.

Ain't temperature great....

Thread: Herbert Junior Surface Grinder.
03/08/2020 19:22:48

I have the same machine, could not find a manual anywhere.

Its a great little tool and gives a good finish.

Mine has the one shot lubrication system on it so not as worn as it could be.

I sharpen horizontal milling cutters using a pair of centres and a mandrel with a basic indexing finger.


Thread: World's Biggest Tractor in 1915 -- Aussie ingenuity at its best
25/07/2020 10:32:38

Thanks for sharing this, I have reposted it to Red Square, the American website forum for Wheelhorse tractors And other agricultural kit.


Thread: Gluing metal
15/07/2020 06:58:39

Plus 1 for JB Weld.

I use it for model making too, creating authentic looking castings from fabricated parts with it.

There are two types, standard which takes a long time to set up and rapid which just takes a few minutes.

It contains steel filings so gluing magnets can be difficult.

Scrupulous cleaning is a must like any gluing, soldering operation.


Thread: Step chuck modification
06/07/2020 22:19:03

I have a set of four step collects, each with different ranges. I will post the sizes tomorrow, they pretty much cover a fair range of sizes.

I had the draw bar tube for the original lathe but it was a shade too short. So I made a small extension piece and fitted a spare handwheel so that it fits.

I'm quite happy with it for thin piece work, I don't have any soft jaws so this will be just the job.

06/07/2020 07:47:14

Hi all.

I've had a smart and brown model L headstock laying about for a long time, with half a plan to use the step chuck on my Boxford lathe.

I finally got round to modifying a mounting plate for it, which is a D-1 3 mount.

I had to cut off the end of the hardened steel spindle to use and machine a backplate to suit. I didn't fancy my chances at making a backplate with suitable spindle nose thread. Plus it will only see occasional light use so I didn't need to make something so involved.

It was a relatively straight forward job but cutting the spindle was the hardest part, I used a disc grinder with the spindle rotating slowly in a very well covered lathe.

I can now use my s&b collects and the step chuck On either of my Boxford lathes for thin piece work etc.


Thread: West Yorkshire Police
30/06/2020 13:59:28

Howard a lot of the police car bumps are down to just plain getting carried away. There are only a limited number of Tpac (tactical pursuit and containment) officers so not many stops are carried out.

Regular beat car drivers often get the red mist coming down when driving and make silly mistakes. Bit too much adrenalin or as we used to term it; the drivers ambition exceeded their ability.

I used to do a slide show style presentation to new cops with bent police cars to demonstrate how things can go wrong. One pic had two marked cars turning into the same junction and colliding , one showed a crashed bandit vehicle that had slid off the road on black ice with the following police car right alongside it as the ice applied marked cars as well. But my favourite was a beat car that never even got out of the nick yard, seen embedded in the station wall, blue lights still illuminated.

I still always press the handbrake button in now, it grates on me to hear the angry ratchet of a brake applied otherwise.

Whichever way you slice it driving standards are being eroded, mainly because of a lack of active policing on the roads. All the automatic stuff is ok for documentary offences and speeding but there have to be cops stopping cars for routine checks, otherwise folk get complacent real quick.

Thread: Exploding Grinding Wheel
30/06/2020 08:33:50

I used to grind on a 3 foot diameter, 6 inch wide stone which ran in water. I sat astride it like a motor bike with the wheel turning away from me. The seat was 7 inch thick oak with a steel "robin" bolted across the front and chained to the floor.

I was never nervous using it despite having been told stories of stones bursting.

Apparently french grinders used to grind laying face down to exert more pressure and would have a small dog lay on their feet. If the stone started to run out of true or vibrate the dog would head west this warning the operator to likewise.

We always ran the stone a few minutes with the water tank empty to dry it out at the end of the day. Amazing to hear water shooting off the stone from the portion that had sat in water as the trow was drained.

Another thing to watch for was water freezing in the stone and cracking it so they would be wrapped in frosty weather.

Thread: West Yorkshire Police
27/06/2020 14:52:04

The mechanical failure could be one that renders the vehicl immobile, ie cannot be pushed or towed or even coasted.

It could just have been a blinking red light saying STOP which the driver did, albeit in a stupid place.

Roadcraft is a defensive driving system. If I recall my driving course of 30 years ago...."it is a system or drill, each feature of which is considered, in order, on the approach to any hazard, a hazard being...."

We were taught everything parrot fashion then and a failure could result from allowing the seat belt buckle to strike the window as you removed it.

The system works, to a degree.. . Go look in your local police workshop yard to see the huge pile of bent patrol cars generated by trained drivers.

We were also taught to depress the handbrake button prior to pulling up on it and releasing the button to allow the ratchet pawl to engage. This not only allowed for silently approaching a suspect but also reduced unnecessary wear on the ratchet mechanism. A few years ago they had to remove that piece of training as vauxhall handbrakes were so shonky they would release if following that method. A man was killed in leeds by a driver less van that the handbrake released on. Now the handbrake must be pulled with a resounding buzz from the ratchet.

The bottom line is that we as a species evolved to move and react at our maximum bipedal speed, that's why we rarely bump into others on foot. We simply do not possess the mental and physical abilities to cope with the speed of travel of modern vehicles. We've been walking for millennia, driving and flying for only a century. It's a wonder there are not more incidents on our roads.

25/06/2020 22:55:36

Bill, the reason we were trained to turn the wheels slightly to the left was to provide for the contingency of being shunted from behind. If the wheels were straight or turned to the carriageway the police vehicle could end up anywhere, if turned to the left the vehicle would hit the verge.

Did you know the hard shoulder is so named because you can drive on it. The verge is called the soft shoulder and should never be driven on as it has cable and services trenches which are deliberately soft covered for ease of access. You will sink in if you dip your wheels off the tarmac.

25/06/2020 17:26:01

Yes pop up roll bars! Who knew? Similar to an airbag deploying but probably with a roll sensor rather than deceleration. I dread to think of the price tag for the car, just goes to show some people simply have too much money.

25/06/2020 17:21:08

Bazyle. Statistically speaking RTCs are rare, when you consider the number of Miles driven without incident.

I know what you mean though, junction 28 29 of the M1 must be a good place to run a recovery operation.

And yes Neil, one has to wonder why stopping in lane 3 was necessary. I would rather be anywhere other than a live lane at any time of day or night on our motorway network. And even the hard shoulder was not without its risks.

A good friend of mine lost both his legs to a Frenchman driving a double decker bus M1 south on the hard shoulder.

He was recovering a previous bump, full recovery vehicle precautions, lights, cones etc and this boy still managed to drive straight into the car transporter he was loading with a vehicle.

I don't believe there was a prosecution either as he was a French national.

Thread: EN42J heat treatment
25/06/2020 17:13:15

I guess it depends on the type of knife and what you want it to do and look like.

I make blades and back springs from 01 tool steel, it polishes up beautifully but obviously rust is a problem if you want to use the knife wet. I have bead blasted some blades and got a slightly more resilient finish for a work knife.

Hardening has always seemed a dark art for anything more exotic than tool steel and beyond my home made knife skills.

I believe that most of our Bowie blades were made of EN 42 and were hardened by a specialist heat treatment firm in Sheffield. Again not stainless but just as good looking as long as they are cared for properly.


Thread: West Yorkshire Police
25/06/2020 15:48:31

Driving without due care and attention? Hmm, I'm not altogether sure on the stated facts.

The standard of driving should fall below that expected of a careful and competent driver. Would said competent driver expect there to be a stationary vehicle in lane 3? I would suggest not. And if he had been capable of stopping in the distance he could see to be clear, 96m stopping distance at 70 mph, perhaps he would have been next in line for a rear end shunt.

I would be more interested in examining the Lamborghini and speaking to its driver as this was the vehicle obstructing lane 3. Some kind of catastrophic failure rendering the vehicle immobile may have had a precursor and would attract a possible dangerous driving prosecution.

I always quite my old accident investigation mantra...

A road traffic collision is a rare, random, multifactor event, to which it is impossible to ascribe a single cause.


Thread: Nemett engine enquiry
21/06/2020 22:18:46

Hello all.

I seem to be spending a lot of time playing with lawn mower IC engines at the moment.

I'd like to think about building a model IC engine but have no idea where to start.

Having seen the Nemett engine I wondered how I would go about sourcing plans and the accompanying book.

Is it still available or do I need to start looking at posting a wanted ad.

Many thanks in advance


Thread: Weeds in a 'lawn'
21/06/2020 19:31:54

I seeded my ailing lawn with a wild meadow mix of seed, now we have flowers and grasses that are more natural than just a green cropped carpet.

I prefer that to just short green grass, which I have an area of astro turf for the dog's to pee and poo on.

I still cut the grass but not as often and not as short.


Thread: Pesky Government Announcement!
20/06/2020 09:24:26

Thanks Frances, looking thru the window was my theory coupled with the presence of an aerial on the chimney pot.

I never did see a TV detector van despite being told they were in my area NOW!

But I never saw an elephant fly either.


Thread: hammers refurbish
20/06/2020 09:20:10

Hi Celso,

A lot of work that reminds me of my knife making machinery.

The belt grinder is very familiar and the buffing wheel is the same one I use.

Only difference is we, that is Sheffield Cutlers, run our polishing wheels in the opposite direction so that the top of the wheel is travelling away from you. That way a fan inlet can be sat behind the wheel to catch the dust and it seems easier to work seated and with the work in front of you than with it standing.

Grinding wheels are run that way too. I'm just used to it now and run most of my wheels that way.

Brilliant work by the way, I made my own hammers from scratch as I could not source any small enough for my needs.


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