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Member postings for AJAX

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

Thread: Couple of things at Lidl
18/05/2021 21:31:34
Posted by Mike Poole on 18/05/2021 14:09:19:

It always surprises me that angle grinders get away with a switch that locks on, if you drop the machine it could chase you round the workshop before you can pull the plug, my ELU router is equipped with a slide switch which again could be trouble. The router is often used in a table so the lock switch is justifiable but an angle grinder is rarely a fixed tool unless used in a chop saw type accessory. Pistol drills seem to make the trigger lockable as required.


I have the impression, perhaps incorrectly, the lock-on type switch is banned in the USA.

I dropped an angle grinder fitted with a knotted wire brush once. Switch was locked on. Now that was "fun".

Thread: Hand cleaner
11/05/2021 20:32:53

The thing I like about swarfega is I can use it in the workshop without access to a sink and wipe my hands fairly clean and dry before returning to the house where I can wash them properly without making the sink filthy.

11/05/2021 20:30:26
Posted by Gas_mantle. on 21/06/2015 11:47:06:

I always use washing up liquid too and find it works fine.

I read somewhere that shampoo is basically just scented washing up liquid, that was 40+ years ago and I still wash my hair in the stuff without any probs after all this time.

Must have saved a fortune in shampoo.

Well I used shampoo and now don't have any hair. Who is making the greatest savings?

Thread: Failed to get this digital clock kit working :(
09/05/2021 19:23:00
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 08/05/2021 16:52:23:

Reading the reviews I see a few people complain about board quality - tracks lifting off with heat, and broken tracks that had to be bridged. Check the tracks carefully with the microscope and for continuity with a multimeter, or - much better an oscilloscope, see below.

Tracks lifting off with heat - sounds like a typical problem with beginner soldering to me.

09/05/2021 19:18:50
Posted by Peter Greene on 09/05/2021 18:49:39:
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 09/05/2021 17:07:21:

Have you checked S1 and S2 are correctly inserted? If those switches are inserted 90° out, the switch inside is bypassed, and the circuit is permanently ON.

Is that how they work? Pretty poor design of switch then with pins at the corners of a square and no apparent keying, physical or visual.

I'd have assumed they were spst with all 4 contacts shorted when pressed and open-circuit when released .... but I don't know for sure.

The switches are square, but the pin layout is not. It's therefore generally difficult to place them incorrectly in a PCB.

09/05/2021 19:15:48
Posted by Mike Poole on 09/05/2021 19:00:56:

The switches are not quite square but at 6mm x 6.5mm they are close, the components on my effort are all correctly oriented but it doesn’t work. As it cost me very little I am struggling to generate the enthusiasm to investigate the problem.


Mike, I sketched this for you - I hope it helps.

Bear in mind that even a "failed project" is not a waste of time. It's all a learning experience.

Thread: Problem with 4 jaw chuck
14/04/2021 10:08:20

Another thing I should mention is the jaws are numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4. The chuck is similarly marked with centre-punched dots.

14/04/2021 10:06:58

I have an independent 4 jaw chuck sitting on my workbench not being used. It looks vintage and has no maker's name. The jaws "fit" and appear to be from a set (all marked 171) but I am unable to say if they are original.

20210410-111803 20210410-111819 20210410-111831 20210410-111842

The problem with this chuck is the jaws do not close parallel with each other. A superficial glance suggests bell-mouthing through wear but on closer inspection the inner faces of the chuck jaws show they are in excellent condition - they still show the original machining.

The "slides" in the chuck body look good as do the screws. The jaws have minimal slop in their respective slides.

I could make a ring to hold all 4 jaws in position and then grind their internal faces. I have previously done this with a 3 jaw scroll chuck but never needed nor thought I would need to do this with an independent chuck.

Any suggestions before I attempt a fix?

Thread: Roland CNC engraving / milling machine and 32-bit driver
12/04/2021 20:57:31
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 12/04/2021 16:00:07:

Posted by AJAX on 12/04/2021 13:30:24:...

Windows 7 is available to download from Microsoft with a suitable product / licence code which I do not have. There is no option to purchase a code from Microsoft.

Basically, I need to install Windows 7 (32 bit), perform the firmware update, and then remove Windows 7. I'd rather not purchase some fake codes from eBay. Any suggestions?

You might try the keys from this website. They appear to be free and the site isn't on any of my blacklists, but approach with caution. Nothing guaranteed. The website is also informative about the other ways keys can be obtained.

Interesting that Microsoft allow W7 to be downloaded but not activated as a new product even though that might be profitable. I guess it's because they don't want to get into arguments: 'I bought this new yesterday and it doesn't work'. The support is contractually limited to whatever the original key came with, which today might be none.


I'd rather not use one of those dodgy websites. I'll see if I can find someone with an old licence code they are no longer using. If it works, I'll only use it once then delete the o/s anyway.

12/04/2021 20:47:42
Posted by JasonB on 12/04/2021 13:51:55:

Run it off a cheap recon XP machine from Ebay as quite a few Mach3 users do. Just do your CAD & CAM on an up to date machine and transfer the file to the XP with a USB stick.

I already have a cheap machine running XP, but I was hoping to use something more up to date. I'm also interested in seeing if I can run a firmware update, but to do that it seems that I need Windows 7, maybe.

12/04/2021 20:42:22
Posted by Dominic Watson on 12/04/2021 13:47:21:

I have a similar Roland (TS400 I believe) for which I ran a ‘virtual machine’ with xp or 2000 or something running on a more modern operating system (Apples OSX interestingly). So you could run windows 7 on your newer OS (within a virtual machine) and install the firmware that way. I think the virtual machine software I used was either VirtualBox or Parallels but this is going back a little while so I can’t quite remember.

That's an idea. Something I should have thought about myself. I wonder if the virtual xp will have access to the USB port for printing. I may give it a try.

12/04/2021 13:30:24

I have acquired a very nice Roland CNC engraving / milling machine that is in mint condition and works without fault. It is maybe 15 years old. I have the CAD/CAM software and a 32 bit driver but am currently limited to using Windows XP only. The driver is Win XP / Vista / Windows 7 compatible and I have instructions from the reseller to install on a 64 bit operating system (the instructions, unfortunately, do not work at present). Elsewhere on the internet I have found instructions to perform a firmware update to a fully 64-bit system but the update appears to require Windows 7.


I am presently stuck using Windows XP (because I have a copy) and cannot progress to using Windows 10 (which I have running and licenced on more than one machine). Windows 7 is available to download from Microsoft with a suitable product / licence code which I do not have. There is no option to purchase a code from Microsoft.

Basically, I need to install Windows 7 (32 bit), perform the firmware update, and then remove Windows 7. I'd rather not purchase some fake codes from eBay. Any suggestions?

Thread: MS 'Edge' - Points and Pitfalls?
09/04/2021 19:19:08

NetScape Navigator anyone?

But seriously, Edge or Chrome should be just fine. Whichever one you are using, select your preferred search engine rather that accept a default.

Thread: Boxford Model C leadscrew half-nuts
07/04/2021 08:17:57
Posted by old mart on 06/04/2021 20:52:55:
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 05/04/2021 19:43:45:

Not suggesting you buy these, but it shows re-threaded Southbend nuts

SB Half Nuts

I looked carefully at the advert and was confused. There was mention of the nuts being original, but the threads looked like steel inlays. The seller should have cleaned the muck out of the threads, though, before taking the photo's.

The threads looked like they were inserts brazed in. Not to worry anyway as all fixed for now, and if I decide to replace it may be with new imports from Oz.

Thread: All the gear, no idea
07/04/2021 08:15:13

If using eBay to judge prices, make sure that you refer to some prices and not unrealistically high asking or best offer prices. Good luck.

Thread: Boxford Model C leadscrew half-nuts
06/04/2021 08:15:09
Posted by Howard Lewis on 06/04/2021 07:26:31:

Rotary Broach? Mike Cox has written an article in MEW on making one.


That's the tool, thanks.

05/04/2021 20:08:10

A photo in case people don't wish to view the video...

05/04/2021 20:04:31
Posted by Bazyle on 05/04/2021 18:15:29:

Certainly an interesting fix.
I notice the rotation of the bolt also applies some longitudinal movement so there is potential (with good nuts) for using this to take up backlash for anyone using the lathe and vertical slide for milling.

Re the screwdriver slot. Perhaps one at the front, ie threaded end, or a hex dilled in would be avantageous.

Bazyle, that's a really nice idea and one that I might try. I particularly like the idea of a hex socket and know there's a tool to make one on a lathe but the name escapes me at present.

In any case I may remake the studs at some point maybe with a little more care and better choice of materials. I used some 3/4" EN8 as that's what I had to hand. What alternative material would people suggest - EN19? But then again I'm cheap and like to make do with whatever I've got.

05/04/2021 19:59:01
Posted by David Caunt on 05/04/2021 19:49:06:


At 3:11 into your video where it is just possible to catch a glimpse of the operating cam it is quite clear that the peg has worn the top right hand end of that slot. I would imagine the same would be true of the other slot which would have allowed the bottom to not be closed up fully. The top is probably the same.

Whilst your remedy obviously has got over the problem it looks as though my thoughts were correct.

Did you examine them? Or is it all just my imagination?

David, you made me doubt myself there and I had to rewatch the video. To save others the effort I have linked directly to the time you mentioned. I don't see any excessive wear but the next time I remove the apron (which probably won't be long) I will have another more careful look.

05/04/2021 19:53:19
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 05/04/2021 19:43:45:

Not suggesting you buy these, but it shows re-threaded Southbend nuts

SB Half Nuts

Wow, they are expensive! New ones can be bought for less.

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