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Member postings for Mike London

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

Thread: Royal Mail next day 1pm is a rip off
23/02/2021 12:50:38

On Monday (15/02/21) at about 3 in the afternoon I ordered a fairly large heavy item from Arc Eurotrade. I was promised delivery on Wednesday (17/02/21).
On Tuesday (16/02/21) I received an email from RM parcel force with a tracking reference.
Checking the tracking reference I saw the parcel had been collected from Arc Euro at 16-15 Tuesday (16/02/21)
The Postman was knocking on my door with the parcel at 09-30 Wednesday (17/02/21).
Royal Mail delivered the parcel in 171/4 hours.

I have no connection with Arc Euro or Royal Mail. But I think that was fantastic service from both parties.

Thread: Bridgeport power feed
26/01/2021 17:26:44

Please correct me if I am missing something but you have a varispeed head with all the the torque benefits.
Why not just have a phase converter and you then you don't have to worry about the machine electrics.

Thread: help needed
07/12/2020 15:46:58

Is it possible to check inside your master socket to see what colour wires are actually connected to its input?

I think BT quite often run everything in their standard 4 core cable but may only use a couple of the conductors.

Old Mart beat me to it.

Edited By Mike London on 07/12/2020 15:49:21

Thread: Moving a Myford VMC advice needed thanks!
03/10/2020 18:11:01

If you are renting a Transit, can you you not rent a Luton with a tail lift?

Normally can lift a ton plus which should cope with a VMC intact and on the ground I used some short offcut lengths of scaffolding under base to manouver to position.
Saves dismantling and that is how I sold my VMC.

Thread: Taking Leave
18/09/2020 12:39:43


Whilst fully understanding the priorities of life, I hope this will be a scaling down of forum activities rather than a complete disconnect.

As a fellow M300 and Bridgeport mill owner, it is good to know that there is someone out there with more knowledge than myself regarding these machines should a query arise.

Unfortunately the internet is a double edged sword, allowing people to easily connect but also allowing people to easily insult. My approach is just to develop a thicker skin.

But I hope as your life readjusts we will see you at some time back on the forum with your knowledge.

Good Luck


Thread: Harrison 300 Swarf Shield
08/09/2020 10:46:37

I have just noticed you said that you drilled and tapped the holes.
So my question is void but maybe the conjecture still stands!


08/09/2020 10:26:33

I agree with Clive that the sight glass was probably a push fit, possibly with an "O" ring.
With your lathe in bits you are in a better position to find out.
I am certainly not taking mine to bits to find out!

Out of idle curiosity. Just going back to the swarf shield, which in your pictures is screwed to the headstock. Did those tapped holes exist or did you drill and tap. My headstock has no tapped holes.
The swarf shield is as illustrated in the manual and is sprung and wedged in to the cavity.
You have swarf clearance directly under the chuck, which of course the gap bed doesn't have, so there is a much greater build up of swarf adjacent to the headstock on the gap bed.
Just wondering if Harrisons thought it was a necessary item on the non gap bed lathe. Especially if accountants had a say in the matter!


07/09/2020 22:51:51

Andrew has prempted me regarding the use of the mounting pads.

As for the oil sight glass I don't think it is possible to clean it. They are made of plastic and the oil ends up permanently staining and deteriorating the plastic. Mine is almost totally opaque. Impossible to use it to check oil level.
Not using the lathe as hard as industry, I haven't lost any noticable amounts of oil over the years. I occasionally lift the top off the headstock to check.
I doubt very much if replacements are available, would be interested to know if they are.


07/09/2020 09:58:15

With out wishing to side track the thread.

Your pictures high light something I have never noticed before.
I was going to offer up a solution I used on my M300 gap bed.
But looking at your pictures I am surprised to see that Harrisons seem to have used totally different casting designs for the non gap bed and the gap bed.
The manual whilst showing the two beds do not show the differences in design.
Your non gap bed (correct me if I am wrong) appears to have swarf clearance through apertures in the rear wall of the bed.
My gap bed just has vertical clearance holes through the bed and a plain back wall with mounting facilities for accessories.

The question I would like to ask, is do you have on the back wall of your bed a plain area with tapped holes for mounting accessories?


Thread: Cigarette Papers
10/08/2020 10:36:17

I always used to scrounge the tins and still use them 40 years on.

At the same time discovered they fitted perfectly into an internal mail letter rack that was being thrown out. So cut down the letter rack to fit my bench. Very handy for those small items.Two ounce tins.jpg

Thread: Welding precautions
16/07/2020 21:59:32
Posted by colin hawes on 16/07/2020 12:19:31:

When garages weld on new sills do they remove the petrol tank or is this considered unnecessary? Colin

In the early 1970's I used to run a 1948 Triumph Roadster ( same car as in the Bergerac TV series ) which was a real wreck. It had a proper chassis with a corroded rear jacking point right next to the petrol tank about 1" away.
I approached a welder about welding it up and enquired about whether he wanted the tank removed especially when I discovered he only did gas welding. His reply was " No. Fill it right to the brim with petrol. Hot petrol will only boil. It's the vapour that explodes" And he duly welded it up.

Following up on the Corvette story. The same car had a bout of cutting out and stalling, which didn't impress my girl friend of the time. (The leaking roof didn't either!) But it had a manual lever to the mechanical fuel pump so taking her home late one night about every half mile had to climb out and manually pump some fuel up to get going. Could I find the fault. After blowing down the copper fuel pipe and dismantling virtually everything including the copper fuel line with a brass union in the middle found a little round pebble just big enough to go down the pipe till it met the union and then acted as a perfect one way valve.

I learnt a great deal about car maintenance with all the faults that car had, till I wrote it off on the M4. The joys of student motoring!

Thread: Press Button Oilers?
26/06/2020 08:49:31


Thanks for link.


25/06/2020 22:16:18

Without wishing to side track the thread.
Can any one recommend a decent oil gun to use with these push button oilers I have a Myford gun and a Harrison gun for respective lathes. They both leak like sieves and in use there is oil everywhere but you are never really sure how much has got past the ball to where it is needed.
Any body found an oil gun that appears to work satisfactorily?

Thread: Parting off
09/06/2020 00:03:59

I have to agree with the comment about the Chronos "T" shaped parting off blade.
It is now my parting off tool of choice.

The Eclipse blades are a pain. Because you have to grind in a rake it means you are limited to depth of cut before they jam and if you resharpen you then have to reset the height etc.
Inserted tips are good but I have found if I do have a jam it not only takes out the tip but often slightly damages the the tip holding part of the blade as well, so they don't hold a replacement tip so tightly which means you end up with another jam!
For what they are, replacement tip holding blades seem to be disproportionately expensive..

The Chronos "T" shaped blades are extremely rigid. Ensuring they are set square and at centre height and I have parted off 60mm diameter stock like a knife through butter. Just touch up the front face with a diamond hone to resharpen and the contoured top surface just curls the swarf clear.
(No connection with the company other than a very satisfied customer!)
(Anybody want to buy some surplus Eclipse blades?)

Thread: Belt Up
02/06/2020 15:29:30

Both my belt sanders are older and British. Both have crowned pulleys and tracking.
Set up the tracking on a new belt and when I do some hard sanding and drag the belt to one side, release the pressure and it re-centres.

Maybe I am not keeping abreast with modern engineering practice.

02/06/2020 09:30:06

If you look at any belt sander / linisher you will see a crowned pulley. It can give you an idea of scale and shape.

Thread: An Easter Tale of Cordless Batteries.
12/04/2020 11:53:28

A good few years ago Screwfix had a special offer of Titan 18volt cordless drill with a charger and TWO batteries in a case at a very competitive price. The drills were probably old stock, end of line clearance but the price was so good and as I had a discount voucher as well, I bought two sets. So I had two drills with two chargers and four batteries.
The sets have been a very good buy. I have worked them hard and they have lasted well and I have been well pleased with the purchase.
The drills haven’t been used for awhile and a couple of days ago I had a job on, got the drills out. The batteries were dead. No problem, put them on the chargers and start work. Except none of the batteries will charge!

Four batteries dying at the same time? Bit unusual!
Two chargers dying at the same time? Bit unusual!

So with Easter lockdown I've got time to investigate.

Measured battery voltages, They were flat as anticipated. Each showing between 1.5v and 3v.
One battery hadn’t been able to charge previously so I had already marked it up as dead. But at least all four showed no direct short or open circuit.
Now as mentioned, this is old kit. The chargers are heavy, and probably have transformers. There are two LED’s, a green indicating the charger is powered and a red which lights when you plug the battery in for charging. When the battery is charged the red LED goes out and the green lights.

Plugging the batteries in for charging, nothing happens. The green LED just stays on, so the battery isn’t charging.
Measured charger output voltage. There are plus and minus 18volts terminals and a third connection marked “T”. Plus and minus show no output but are probably switched on by battery condition. “T” terminal shows 5 volts. Can’t imagine both chargers dying simultaneously, especially as there is output on the “T” terminal.

Measured resistance on the battery between minus and the “T” (Thermistor) terminal and all four batteries show 11.5Kohm. Again, can’t believe all four batteries dying with exactly the same fault at the same time
So we are in stalemate.
I have an old 12 volt car battery charger purchased at a boot fair, many moons ago for £2. It is so old that it only pushes out 13 volts open circuit voltage but it has charged many a car battery and most importantly it has an ammeter.
I have nothing to lose, a dead cordless battery is a dead cordless battery, I can’t kill it any further. What happens if I put the car battery charger on it? The ammeter will show me if things are really dangerous. With trepidation I do so. A quick flick of the ammeter and it settles down to 1 amp. I monitor the battery, no signs of distress. I leave it for a few minutes then put the voltmeter across it. It shows 19.5 volts, not bad for a 13 volt charger output!

Maybe I have invented perpetual motion?
Putting the cordless battery back onto its proper charger everything then works perfectly. I repeat the process with the other batteries. All behave the same way and all are able to be fully charged.

Question: Can anybody tell me why this should happen? What is going on?

Suggestion: If you have a dead cordless battery (minimum 12 volt) try this and see if you get the same results!
(A word of warning if you do this. Rechargeable, heavy duty batteries if mistreated can catch fire and/or explode. Do be careful and take precautions.)

Thread: Bottled Gas Suppliers
11/01/2020 00:51:09

I have used Hobbyweld for several years now and haven't had any problems. There seems to be a good spread of agents around the country.
The important thing is to keep your initial deposit receipt even if it is many years old to be able get the bottle deposit back. But I have noticed of late they seem to be dramatically increasing gas prices and have recently introduced " an administration charge" of £10 when you want your bottle deposit back, which I think is a bit of a con.
So I have started to move over to SGS gases who are quite considerably cheaper on bottle deposits and gas and also appear to have a good spread of agents around the country.
Although I don't use acetylene, no one has ever questioned me about transport. Once they have received the money it is up to you to get the cylinder out of the shop and loaded, they have no idea or interest in what vehicle or position the cylinder will be transported.

Thread: Yet another 'which mill shall I buy'
10/11/2019 11:19:48

XD 351 - " So how many of you Bridgie owners use all the features ? "

How many of us have tooling and materials squirreled away with " might come in useful one day."
When that "once in a blue moon moment" arrives, we are very happy bunnies.

I notice there is a thread currently running with someone resorting to putting jack screws under his column to be able to tram it fore and aft. Maybe the nodding head "once in a blue moon" moment has arrived

09/11/2019 17:03:21

I would have to agree with the Bridgeport camp. My Bridgeport replaced a Myford VMC on a base in a standard single garage. Slightly bigger but fitted in the same space just had to allow a bit more room for table travel. Slightly taller but not by much.

But the biggest advantage was the available space under the quill (max 480mm). The ability to be able to have a largish piece of work on the table and be able to drop the table to facilitate changing large or long tools without losing alignment just makes me smile every time I do it!

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