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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: Adjusting the horizontal mill
03/01/2022 12:04:59
Posted by Steve355 on 03/01/2022 11:25:51:
Posted by Dave S on 03/01/2022 10:49:20:

How is the feed taken off?

Could you change the spindle pulley and a subsequent feed pulley to give a more appropriate ratio?


I don’t think so, the feed pulley for the spindle is about as small as it can be and the spindle pulley is about as big as it can reasonably be. See pic below.

I feel a vfd coming on, wallet is getting worried.


I'm rather late to this thread, and this may have already been discussed, but that intermediate stepped pulley on the countershaft looks like it may be too big. If be tempted to try a smaller pulley if you have one.

Otherwise, as you already realise, a VFD may be a good option. I chose a VFD and 8 pole 3 phase motor for my horizontal mill as these motors have plenty of torque at low speeds (680 rpm at 50hz).

Thread: Recomendations for a Keyless Chuck?
30/12/2021 23:12:44

I have a vintage Rohm that works fine.

I used to have a bench mounted pillar drill fitted with a keyless chuck purchased on Ali express. It was good for the price (probably £20 ish)

Thread: VFD - which is best please ?
30/12/2021 22:41:18

Another vote from me for inverter drive supermarket.

I have 5 WEG inverters on different machines and they all work flawlessly. They are simple to wire up with start, stop, e-stop, direction and speed control.

Don't waste your money on a pre wired package that will cost you several times the parts cost.

I don't like the Chinese inverters available on eBay. My reasons include the fake CE markings (I have been in contact with trading standards), lack of grounding, and electrical shocks from the machines they are connected to.

Thread: Is there a demand for Whitworth tools?
01/12/2021 19:10:01

I purchased a large box of old spanners at a car boot sale. They came from a vintage car garage clearance. Most were good, maybe a dozen were junk. That gave me about 180+ spanners. I paid about £20 for the lot. My experience is that old spanners, even the good makes, can be purchased cheaply.

Thread: Can you ID this vintage sensitive drill press?
01/12/2021 12:35:37
Posted by Greensands on 01/12/2021 12:02:05:

Have attached some pics of my vintage sensitive drill press which was picked up at a carboot sale some years ago and has proved to be a very useful addition to the workshop. As in the OM, I have no idea of its origins and have never been able to decipher the makers name from the initials cast into the base. Any suggestions would be most welcomed.

A quick Google search found HKS as makers of machine tools.

30/11/2021 18:49:27
Posted by Nicholas Farr on 30/11/2021 09:39:07:

Hi here is a scan of the one that Clive has linked to and has the same drawing code to the one in DiogenesII's link.


Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 30/11/2021 09:47:48

Thanks Nick. Some similarity, but mine features a rack and pinion quill feed. In some ways it's almost a larger bench drill in a miniaturized form.

30/11/2021 18:46:16
Posted by Clive Foster on 30/11/2021 08:50:22:

Doesn't look like one made from a Reeves casting set. Similar concept but not the same. Different pulley arrangements.


Back in the day there were many makers of small, simple drill presses. That one looks to be one of the nicer versions.


Thanks, I agree that it does seem nice. Although I have no use for it at present maybe I'll find a use for it one day.

30/11/2021 18:43:44
Posted by DiogenesII on 30/11/2021 07:05:42:

Could it be a Reeves Bench Drill?

AJReeves - Workshop Equipment Castings

..looks like a well-made tool..

After reading your suggestion I searched for Reeves bench drills and couldn't find anything that matched. Are they known to include "RE" in the castings?


29/11/2021 23:54:53

Although I've not yet had the need to use it, I realise that small sensitive drill presses are popular with some model makers. With that in mind, is anyone able to identify the make / model shown in the photos below? Apart from giving it a good clean and fresh coat of paint, it looks to be unmodified.

20211113-195600 20211129-215224 20211129-215238 20211129-215248 20211129-215304 20211129-215323 20211129-215334 20211129-215339 20211129-215351 20211129-215356 20211129-215404 20211129-215414 20211129-215418 20211129-215425 20211129-215435 20211129-215439 20211129-215451 20211129-215510 20211129-215521 20211129-215545

Edited By AJAX on 29/11/2021 23:55:30

Thread: Boxford model c?
29/11/2021 17:54:04
Posted by Pontius on 20/11/2021 14:17:03:
Posted by AJAX on 18/11/2021 18:40:22:
Posted by Robin Salmon on 25/10/2021 10:17:46:

That's the very thing. Appreciate that Nick, I can see the fixing screw is located from the bottom, nothing like making it easy!

Clive, mine is obviously an earlier one than the one you had details for, but thanks for your advice.

Regards Rob


I have a Boxford Model C with the rear sliding countershaft as shown in the drawings posted by Nick. I extended the sliding rails to accommodate a modern motor and made a new countershaft spindle (the old one was worn) but it still looks original and works well. Let me know if you need detailed photos of any part and I'll see what I can find.

Great video Ajax, thanks for posting it.

The info about your VFD is really useful but can you let me know what motor you are using please?

I’m interested in replicating your set-up!

Many thanks,


3 phase, 4 pole, 1 HP. I believe there's a linked photo of the motor nameplate somewhere in the video comments. You may need to reposition the connection box if you have the same setup as I have.


29/11/2021 17:50:09
Posted by Robin Salmon on 29/11/2021 12:30:35:

Does anyone know the best place to get belts for my model c rear drive Boxford lathe. Ajax,'s video of his is the sort I'm after. Also size and profile would be of help. Thanks Rob.

The belts are "A section" profile. Belt length will obviously depend on pulley spacing and size. If you go for the power twist / linked belt as I used in the video, you can make an approximate measurement (using some string) and then adjust to fit. I bought mine via eBay at about £11 / metre.

Thread: Wonky threads using die
26/11/2021 01:27:48
Posted by Steve355 on 23/11/2021 19:52:11:
Posted by Howard Lewis on 20/11/2021 21:11:15:

You can make or buy. Making can be a useful learning exercise, and give confidence in using the lathe.


right, I have changed my mind, i am making a tailstock die holder. The reason I was hesitant was that I am not confident in turning a morse taper. But I realised I have an MT2 collet which a die holder could easily be fitted to. If I can’t turn a die holder shaped thing with a rod sticking out the back I may as well give up.

What is the handle that sticks out if the back of the die holders for?

It's easy to turn a Morse taper if you already have a male taper you can copy. Set a dial guage on the tool post and rotate the compound slide until it tracks the taper accurately. If you do it that way you don't need to worry about the taper angle dimension.

Thread: Half nut skipping still
26/11/2021 01:08:32
Posted by Steve355 on 25/11/2021 21:59:50:


Do you have any photos showing the half nut mechanism dismantled? I presume each half nut runs in a dovetail slide; if so, do those two grub screws allow any adjustment? Maybe slacken one half nut off to make engagement "loose" so the two half nuts don't try to compete together when you engage the lever. If the half nuts pivot rather than slide, maybe you could make an adjustable cam; that's the solution I tried when fixing a boxford.

Thread: Plan B upgraded to Plan A
22/11/2021 15:09:52

Look up Hooka crane hire. I've not used one, but they look ideal. 1.5 T lift capacity, depending on reach, etc.

22/11/2021 08:03:32
Posted by Steve Rowbotham on 21/11/2021 20:44:38:

Hello all. Having recently retired from a 4 decade career in engineering, Plan A was to focus on my-life long hobby of riding and restoring motorcycles. However, a serious crash in August has prompted a bit of a re-think, and Plan B, Model Engineering, has now become plan A.

Whilst I did 'Workshop Practice' in my early years as an Engineer, and have used lathes occasionally over the years, I am without doubt a complete novice at ME. To get me up and running I visited Warco a few weeks back and got great advice on basic kit, and am now waiting for delivery of a shiny new Warco Lathe and Mill. I have also bought a Stuart singe cylinder Oscillator kit as a 'beginner' project to get started. I have now spent hours reviewing the drawing trying to work out machining sequence and clamping arrangements, and with help from threads in this forum and one particularly helpful individual (Thor) I am now raring to go, though do hope the standard casting is available to purchase as a stand alone item.

However, I am still waiting for confirmation of delivery date for my machines, which is just as well as I don't yet have a firm plan to move the pallets safely from 'kerbside drop-off' to my workshop, which is a bout 100 yards away up an inclined gravel drive. My current thoughts are to rent a pallet truck, and to use plywood sheets to form a 'caterpillar track', and to buy a 1T engine hoist for moving and lifting in the workshop (this is long overdue as I gave myself a hernia lifting a cast iron radiator just prior to the bike crash, retirement is proving to be a hazardous phase of my life!). So if there are any forum members in Leicester who have done this before, and have a bit of time on their hands, I would love to hear from you!

Will keep you posted on progress in all regards!


Steve, I have a long, steep and narrow driveway that makes similar deliveries a problem. Although mine is tarmac, I reckon I'd find it close to impossible to push a loaded pallet truck to the top. I therefore try to shift anything heavy on my car trailer, but I have previously enquired about hiring a man and tracked lifting machine (maybe 2T lifting capacity) for future jobs. I was quoted a rough price of about £90 assuming an hour's work, which I consider quite reasonable.

Thread: Another chinese lathe rises through the smoke
19/11/2021 08:11:48
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 19/11/2021 08:00:44:
Posted by AJAX on 19/11/2021 07:54:23:

I purchased from a business seller on eBay. Good service, including next day delivery.


Many thanks yes


No problem.

Here is the newly fitted motor in case you are interested.

19/11/2021 07:54:23
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 19/11/2021 07:22:14:
Posted by AJAX on 19/11/2021 05:47:29:
I recently purchased a brand new Leroy-Somer 0.25 kW 4 pole 3 phase motor with a 3 year manufacturer's warranty. It cost me £31.20 including Vat and delivery. …


That sounds remarkably good … May I ask from whence it came ?

I have just looked at their website and drawn a blank.



I purchased from a business seller on eBay. Good service, including next day delivery.

Thread: Vintage Portmac vertical milling machine
19/11/2021 06:07:33

I have been working on this project somewhat intermittently but the mill has now been repainted and a new 3 phase motor fitted. Rather happy with the Leroy Somer 0.25 kW motor which cost only £31.20 including Vat and delivery and comes with a 3 year warranty.

Thread: Another chinese lathe rises through the smoke
19/11/2021 05:47:29
Posted by Emgee on 14/11/2021 19:03:21:


You don't say what size motor but £340 seems expensive for a that size lathe, what size motor have you priced for ?


Every time I hear Newton Tesla mentioned, "sounds expensive" comes to mind. I recently purchased a brand new Leroy-Somer 0.25 kW 4 pole 3 phase motor with a 3 year manufacturer's warranty. It cost me £31.20 including Vat and delivery. I'm using a WEG inverter, and a suitably sized unit can be purchased for less than £100. Switches and some cable will add a little extra on top.

Edited By AJAX on 19/11/2021 05:48:05

Thread: Boxford model c?
18/11/2021 18:53:18
Posted by Robin Salmon on 29/09/2021 10:57:26:

Hi, new here so please bear with me. I have just acquired a Boxford lathe, rear drive, powered cross slide. Model c?. Everything seems to work. I am in the process of cleaning, lubricating and setting it up square level etc. I have purchased , know your lathe, however I can't find any information on the rear pulley set up. The double pulley and the 4 pulley are not fixed as I thought they would be and have play of about 20 degrees (guessing) between them. I have not looked to see if it's a key or screw fixing but wondered if anyone knows, should both pulleys be securely fixed with no rotation between the two. Many thanks Rob

I presume your countershaft pulleys are fixed with small grub screws, possibly with a small flat or indentation to set their position on the shaft. If I recall correctly, mine were fitted with two grub screws (double decker fashion) on each pulley and I believe this is quite common on these lathes. I re-made the shaft due to excessive wear from the pulleys / grub screws. If you do the same, you will most likely fix the 20 degree problem.

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