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Member postings for Richard Kirkman 1

Here is a list of all the postings Richard Kirkman 1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Colchester Student Mk1 Won't Start
13/01/2021 10:21:21
Posted by Herman van der Merwe on 13/01/2021 09:14:31:

@Richard you have lost some images on page 1 ...

Thanks Herman

They're on a post by SillyOldDuffer so it's not too do with my album. I presume something may have happened on their end. Deleted the album perhaps?

All my pictures are still there

29/12/2020 20:17:05

Howard, I'm not sure was much heat in the cut, it wasn't a massive cut. I didn't get time to try shallow cuts or any turning today, the car was in the garage.

Hi John, I'm glad to hear the toolings all gone to new homes, I'm definitely still using mine as much as I can! Happy new year to you too!

Thanks Phil, I'll look into them if I need to. I hope you've had a nice Christmas, especially considering how much you love it! cheeky Bah Humbug

As for today's progress, I've attempted to tame the leak.

This was the leak when I got home


And this was the leak today. Much more oil


I suspect the bolts and things have shrunk slightly due to the colder temperature in the garage. Alongside using the lathe heating up the oil will increase its viscosity so it'll leak faster.

Luckily I have been doing some wood turning, so it was very easy to mop up the oil. I haven't used this method before, I was surprised how well it worked with nice dry shavings. Very minimal mess!


All clean once again. Much easier to see future leaks!


So once it was all cleaned I went to where I suspected the leak was coming from


The bolts holding these gaskets tight were not fully tightened as snugly as they should be. So I have just tightened them up a little more. Still not overly tight, but I think they're good now

I checked to see if the oil seal in there had leaked as well, but it seemed dry when I stuck my finger in the slot. Very surprising. It looks like I've made it work.

Anyway I'll turn some more tomorrow. Last day at home so I need to make the most of it. I'll do a little turning playing with the surface finish on that bar, I'll go deeper too and see if its still there. And hopefully warming the lathe up will tell me if it leaks or not! If not, new gaskets need to be made

Happy New Year to all!

29/12/2020 11:56:48
Posted by Herman van der Merwe on 29/12/2020 05:38:09:

Me thinks those are oxidized aluminium. Was the raw stock stored in a sealed container of sorts?

It was just some 20mm diameter. I didn't think oxidization would have penetrated that deep? That was immediately after a cut of around 1mm from the diameter. The raw stock is just kept on a shelf in the garage. I've not seen it on the other aluminium I've been turning. But I don't know what type this aluminium is, I was given it when I went to Scarborough.

28/12/2020 23:22:02

Thanks Howard, It really is a weird feeling just having access to such an amazing machine.

Speaking of which, I did a bit more turning today, just a little aluminium for a project I'm working on (some incense burners made from wood, but need metal inserts to hold the incense)

Anyway, when I was turning I did a finishing cut with my cutter and it produced a lovely surface finish, as do most cuts on aluminium. However, I saw imperfections in the surface finish. Having studied metallic structures at university I really should know what this is. However the steel samples I've looked at only showed their structure under microscope after being polished and etched.


So, just out of interest my question is, are these lighter and darker spots in the aluminium impurities, spots of different hardness, or grain boundaries?

Also, I took off the side cover after the lathe had been running for some time. I had noticed that the oil level had gone down a little so I thought I'd check to see if I could see the leak location. Pretty hard to miss, It was significantly dripping, even for an English machine, it's excessive. I think It needs sorting asap! Time to take it to pieces again!!!!!

Back to University on Thursday, with assignments due and exams looming, I suspect a full lathe teardown will have to wait. But I should still be able to tighten the bolts to see if that stops it. Otherwise, it'll be the oil seals again! In which case I will have to order leather ones instead of the double lip rubber ones I used.

23/12/2020 18:53:06

Yeah Mat, it's really satisfying to come home to a working machine after 3 and a bit months at uni with no practical work!

I think mine was 1.5mm or something. I can't imagine the difference in thickness is making that much of a difference.

As for preload, I haven't done anything specific. I left the bearing closest to the chuck alone. I just tightened the other one enough. Not too sure really. I do know preload needs to be set so the machine functions. Phil's lathe turns much more freely than mine, so It may be worth setting my preload correctly one day. Perhaps when I do a full repaint.

Hermans links will tell you more than I know. Thanks Herman

Anyway, I got the light mount mounted today, so the lathe is almost in one piece!




It seems to be in just the right position for me, so I'm very happy. I need to find some more turning to do now...

22/12/2020 21:03:15

Looking at the leaks, I'm still not quite sure where mine is coming from. The headstock and gearbox still seem to be as full as I left them!

Although they are both above the level so I think it may be leaking out of the end of the spindle. Hopefully this will stop when the level reduces.


Anyway, then I had a nice play. I needed to turn some aluminimum parts for another project.

And then I decided to make the mounts for the light to mount to the backsplash.


I enlarged the holes in the mount so that the mount can use a m6 thread and still have enough meat in it


Turned some steel plugs with thick heads so I can cut slots in


Tapped to M6 so it can use the countersunk head bolts I have


The long M6 bolts, which have been cut down now.


These will go through the other side of the backsplash, so the holes will be countersunk until the bolt heads are flush, so the backsplash can still be mounted nicely.

I'll finish mounting it tomorrow

21/12/2020 21:51:36

As much as my lathe is English, I suspect it still shouldn't be leaking this much!

I'll look into the source when I have some time.


As for the spindle nose, I'm still leak free


So I'm not too sure what you can do Mat. Is it definitely squeezing down on the rubber?

20/12/2020 21:49:49
Posted by Mat Stoeckle on 20/12/2020 21:38:01:

Hey Richard,

I hope Uni is treating you well .. will you get a Christmas break and maybe some time to work on the lathe?

I put mine back together but I'm leaking .. from directly underneath the spindle nose .. I replaced the gasket twice already and still leaking .. wondering if you have any pointers for that area?

Hope you're well and Merry Christmas!


Hi Mat, I'm very well thanks, I hope you are too.

I'm back home, but Uni assignments have come with me, and I've had to get some woodworking out of my system before I get back on with the lathe. I study Mechanical Engineering, by the way, I forgot to answer your last post.

Unfortunately seems like I'm also leaking (pictures inbound when I get around to it), so there are hours of fun still to be had. I think I might cut some new gaskets too!

As for leaking from the spindle nose, I only had my gasket leak there when I didn't tighten the bolts enough.

What material are you using for the gasket?

Merry Christmas


Edited By Richard Kirkman 1 on 20/12/2020 21:59:26

10/09/2020 00:11:45

So, very productive. After I sorted out my balls it was smooth sailing(almost)


Lots of pictures, in case anyone else needs more detail in the future


Popped this bit in first, then slid the shaft through. Making sure to have the three rings on the shaft once it was through the apron



As the leadscrew was pushed through I put the gears on the end as it goes through


Then as it goes the last few cm, I threaded the collar on while pushing it in every few turns


Then I slid the collar on the other side


And I screwed on the two locking rings. I struggled a bit getting these tight but not too tight as it caused too much friction, significantly. So it took a little bit to figure it out. All sorted now


Then I found the spot that this screw had been tightened onto and fitted it back where it was


All done. They're not as scary as I thought they initially were, but still interesting mechanisms


All looking good!


The cover looks a lot better since I filled the corners down. Thanks for the suggestion Phil


Fully reassembled. Different grey on the repainted parts, but I like it. The patchwork is only temporary


As for powering up, the light came on immediately. A good sign. I hadn't tested the new switch yet so I was happy to see that it worked


And that's it for pictures, but plenty of videos available below!

New half nut in motion

Worm box- improvement due to new spring

Still Spins

The new half nut works flawlessly, no issues engaging and disengaging now

Finally a bit of turning

And I'd call that a nice ending to the summer. As good as it could have been anyway.

Thank you to everyone for your help. I couldn't have done this much without you all.

This is only the end, for now, Next time I'm home I'll be doing more, like fitting the light mount and other things. Potentially fitting QCTP too! Time to save some pennies

Anyway, onward and Hullward!

Phil, I'm bringing the little oiler for your lathe to Hull with me. Plus I don't actually have lectures till the 28th, so if you fancy a helping hand with anything for a day, I'd be more than happy to get the train up.

09/09/2020 20:22:49

Yes Phil mine is exactly like that,

I managed to get it back in with the help of my brother and a bit of effort. I'd been trying for another hour or so and he came out to tell me it was tea time. It's going back together tonight so there will be assembly pictures later

09/09/2020 18:15:39

Good news, the half nut arrived this afternoon/evening

So I'm now in reassemble mode. Problematic since I'm heading back to Hull early tomorrow morning and the grandparents are round tonight, so very minimal time.

Half nut came surprisingly quickly, 6 days from France. Better than most Royal Mail services...

I can't thank Clive enough. He only charged me for the postage, so it's incredible.


It fits. It took me a while to figure out how it went in, since the other one was broken and very easy to remove.


Then I put the apron back on, then started to feed in the feed shaft, not forgetting the worm box


And now we have trouble. I've spent about an hour trying to get these balls squeezed and pushed in. I don't have time to get stuck now, so here I am. I fear I'm at a standstill. Does anybody have any ideas how to get these squeezed and pushed. I've tried all sorts. How did Colchester manage? I can't even squeeze them in with my fingers. The spring is strong.

I'm aware of the screw in the end to change the tension, but the tension hasn't been changed and it cannot be changed once it's fitted so I'd like to leave that alone.

Suggestions would be incredibly useful, but obviously I'm on a bit of a countdown. It may have to wait till I get back another time.

The real issue is the shoulder, since I don't have any pliers thin enough to allow the balls to slide in and then have space for the pliers. They just hit the shoulder. Absolute nightmare. Not how I wanted this to go.

My long thin pliers won't budge the balls as I can't put enough pressure on.


04/09/2020 15:11:37

Quick update

I've been selling the spare parts that I don't need on ebay, I've managed to get even with how much I paid for the parts so that's nice. But, I sent a few small parts to a man named Clive and somehow we ended up talking about students and his one needing a new wormbox since it's oval, so I sent him a link to Hermans forum as it may be of interest to him. I said to him that I needed a half nut and he responded saying he had one spare that I could have for the postage!

Good news for me since I haven't heard from James about that other half nut for a while, so I'm doubtful it's ever going to materialize from him. Still, the only downside is that Clive lives in France. So this morning Clive has posted the half nut to me.

Bad news, I'm going back to Uni on the tenth of September, so there's no chance the half nut will arrive before then. So I will have to come home for a weekend when it arrives.

Meanwhile I've been working on woodworking gifts for people at uni and things. I spent 4 days making 24 ducks! And a funny little cow. Nothing technical, but just fun decorations

I also have a piece of sheet metal cut out to become a motor cover. Not as fancy as the original, but it will do the job. No one will see the back anyway!

25/08/2020 12:35:31

Hi John, good to hear from you. Hopefully someone will snatch that up.

I think Phil mentioned he may have been interested in bits and pieces, he's not too far from Scarborough actually. maybe 40 mins. So perhaps Phil might want some bits too.

So is my light the original one? I'm not bothered if it isn't. But it's interesting to know.

My light actually has a section broken, so it could do with fixing. But I don't have time for that right now!

24/08/2020 20:25:26

There are some pictures, I'll get the others tomorrow

My hole is not oval, but this means the oiler that pokes through it is not centralised. So perhaps it's just an aesthetic modification to make it look a bit nicer

I'm not sure the lamp is original, but it works for me







21/08/2020 22:54:25

I'm really enjoying your posts Mat, keep them up. I'll need entertainment when I'm back at uni! (20 days to go... need to use my lathe imminently)

Herman, you're so right. Although I've ordered another 2 batons, so the small garage with 6 8000lumem 6ft batons should be more than enough. If not a bit blinding if I look up! Wood working will never be the same again!

21/08/2020 20:07:29

No progress yesterday. It turned out to be my brothers birthday, so I was required to do family activities! I did not force my family to do the same for mine...

Anyhow, big progress today. Or at least progress that I am extremely happy with

To begin the day I thought I would deal with the bearing cover that needed filling down and smoothing. This went quite well. Although the hardened flux was a pain to deal with, I'd rather file metal than try to remove flux!



Anyway so that was relatively cleaned up, so I used my scotch brite wheels to give it a nice surface finish. I use the scotch brite wheels more than I ever thought I would. It's very handy having multiple grades so you can do different finishes or removal rates. I would highly recommend anyone to try them, although the lower grits cut through flesh pretty well too, just ask my fingers...

Then I got onto drilling the hole. Tricky work since I was drilling through a mix of cast iron and bronze, due to my EXTREMELY HIGH quality brazing!!!!!

This meant that the hole I drilled did not line up with the previous hole and was off by a bit. However, this did not matter in the big picture since its just for mounting and I was just going to use the washer and bolt anyway. So I am happy with this fix being permanent since there is now a significant increase in the pressure being applied to the gasket, so hopfully it won't leak. Although the leak before was not significant. It's just a more permanent fix than filler/epoxy

I will not be repainting this until next year. I want to use my lathe !!!!



As I said, big progress today, so the top cap could be temoporarily reinstalled so no more dust got in while the lights were being replaced. Big differences approaching. My painting may look okay, but that's why the picture is so far away!


So, the big post you've all (not) been waiting for...

This is with my (dads) fluorescent lighting(before)


And after!


I've moved the lathe along a bit so I have space to slide in my table saw next to it for when I'm not using it. This means my dad has much more length in the garage to put the car in, also reducing the chance that he damages my table saw on his car or vice versa.

The real difference can be seen through the window, the exposure of the pictures is completely different. The first pic shows the light outside to be much brighter than inside, however, the second shows the light inside to be similar to outside. I don't care what anyone says, LEDs or better lighting in any form is well worth the investment. I am absolutely astounded in the difference. Especially since the lighting has been placed over machinery and workbenches, rather than behind, so I can see what I'm doing now.

Anyway, I will get the lathe back together tomorrow, I will put the cover onto the gearbox and fill the headstock with oil and put the belts back on. The feed shaft and leadscrew do not need to go back in until I have the replacement half nut. Just waiting on James to get back to me! His package of the topslide should have arrived today, or at least the tracking say it has.

19/08/2020 18:51:47
Posted by Herman van der Merwe on 19/08/2020 18:36:26:

You did not heat the flange to red hot and then not enough flux you did add ... also the incorrect flame type.

Maybe so, maybe not. Either way, I'm happy with the braze and once its smoothed, it is solid. I think it was plenty hot enough. I think I would have struggled to get the whole thing red hot. The flame type was restricted. My friend only had a few tips. It was either that or a cutting torch. So I've made the best of it. Am I a professional now? No, but I had fun!

19/08/2020 18:04:29

This is the lathe I was using. It felt like a very long bed. The owner is about a foot shorter than me, so this lathe was quite low. And the ceiling was low too. So I knocked my head a few times by accident!


19/08/2020 17:58:47

Today has been fun!

Brazing is definitely an interesting topic. But let's start with the fun bits

My friend has a very large lathe, its a bit of a workhorse. Although I've never seen him use it! It made my skin crawl, a fantastic machine that just needs a good clean


Anyway, so I had 2 things to braze at my friends, the rear bearing housing and the half nut

Last night I took the housing and ground down the broken area so it was smooth



So this should all be clean and good to braze

I did a sample on some mild steel, but I found that the mild steel glows differently to the cast iron, so I should have tested on some of that instead. Oh well, I've learned a lot today


I found tacking the shaft to be very difficult, so difficult that I just decided to not bother and just braze it all together, then if it all worked, I would have to clean it up on the lathe anyway.

I found that there was not enough meat on the lower bit of the shaft to clamp it properly into the angle iron, so they had not joined at the right angle. I am not going to bother wasting any more time with this part. I'm just going to wait for the spare one to get here

So, onto the housing. The housing was very tricky since the hole had a very thin wall, which I ended up meltingcheeky

So this then became just a very large area to fill with braze.


I did change tips and get to a better flame so it was sufficient for heating

All filled up, but a mess. I went to use the other mans lathe to clean up all of the excess bronze, but not to really touch the metal.


I don't have any pictures of the actual turned surfaces, but there will be one in the next post. Its been a long day and I'll do it tomorrow


It was quite a nice lathe. A harrison model. Still, it needed a good clean as well, but at least it worked.

I also used the lathe to drill the center of 2 bolts out to 5mm


Then I tried to tap them m6, but the tap got stuck. It is still in there, but I didn't want to risk trying to get it out at my friends. I'll do a better job at home. I'll get them tapped somehow.

Anyway, the housing is machined down closely enough so i will be able to finish it off with files and sandpaper or whatever. Good progress. Then I'll just put the rest of the lathe back together

My only issue will be getting the hole that i have filled redrilled in the correct location, but I have a plan!

18/08/2020 14:34:28

A day behind now! I haven't been up to much.

I managed to get the knurled nut off with my band clamp and some mole grips



Then it popped off quite easily


And the gears have all been replaced. No more chipped teeth!

Then I got to work on the half nut. I ground a chamfer on each end with a really rough 24grit belt on my belt grinder, it made light work of it. I haven't gone down to a point, as i don't want to take any more off.


The little clamps kept slipping and not tightening properly, so i filed a groove for the angle iron to sit in


It is very close quarters, so I'm not sure how easy it will be. But they're the smallest clamps that will fit. I can't clamp it any other way and I don't have any smaller clamps. So this'll have to do. Hopefully, I'll be going to braze tomorrow


Then I've spent today packaging the topslide and chuck guard for James. Very securely so there should be no trouble with it. The new lights are going in today too, so hopefully there will be better lighting for me to see with

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