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Member postings for Simon Barr

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

Thread: Digital Callipers - again
24/02/2021 17:29:11

A couple of weeks back I got treated myself to a new digital calper. I'd been tempted to get a secondhand Mitutoyo but talk of fakes and also the uncertainty of condition put me off. The auto power off on the M&W that people have mentioned put me of those too. So I went for a Dasqua from Chronos, specifically the 8" waterproof one. I've only used it as little but I'm impressed with it so far. It feels nice in the hand and zeros every time unlike the cheap thing I've been relying on up until now.

Thread: Reamers
27/01/2021 17:01:12
Posted by larry phelan 1 on 27/01/2021 15:07:15:


That looks like a knurling tool you are making.

Would love to have an idea of size since I need to make one sometime soon.smiley

Larry, it is indeed. I finished it Sunday and it works very well. It is from a Hemmingway kit, it's their basic knurling tool model HK1110. You have to buy knurls separately from the kit but Hemmingway can supply those too. I have the fine diamond pattern pair of wheels. The kit includes drawings and all the materials needed. I was lucky and got the kit for Christmas from my wife.

Hemmingway Kits Web Site

Here it is fitted to my Warco WM180. It's 1/4 plate but I can't remember any of the other dimensions I'm afraid but could look at the drawings if you need more info.

knurling tool.jpg

An example of knurling on steel

knurling test steel.jpg


26/01/2021 17:58:21

I needed a 1/4" reamer recently and discovered how much these things can cost when shopping about for one. Instead of buying I just made a D-bit from some silver steel. I turned it to the correct diameter then milled it to half thickness for maybe a 1/4". After hardening and tempering it performed admirably and was a fraction of the cost of buying a reamer as I had the silver steel and all the tools needed to make it.

It's certainly worth having a go at making one and I'll just make more as and when I need them. I've made a 5mm and a 1/4" so far with success. You can just see it in the picture, to the left of the left most arm but it's not a particularly great picture.

knurling tool arms.jpg

Thread: Knurling tool operation
26/01/2021 17:40:26
Posted by OuBallie on 25/01/2021 13:34:22:


Made mine to the drawing but then wasn’t at proper height, hence having to fit the tool post mount lower, or a woopsie, but I no longer remember🤗


Geoff, as long as it works it makes no difference does it. My memory does that to me sometimes too, more frequently these days


24/01/2021 19:32:34
Posted by OuBallie on 22/11/2019 18:32:06:


Experiment on a scrap piece first as you may need to adjust my method.

My technique using Hemingway kit I made is as follows, with lathe running:

Hemingway Knurling Kit

Hi Nick. I'm not sure your knurling tool is assembled as per the drawings, or maybe you need it that way to fit your lathe. I have just completed one of the hemmingway kits today that I got for Christmas.

Mine looks like this and I'm very pleased with how it performs. I can now move on to the rotary table kit I got at the same time

knurling tool.jpg

knurling test steel.jpg



Thread: Unidentified dividing head help please
17/08/2020 17:29:56

Thanks everyone, it's all becoming clearer for me now. My initial confusion was because it looks very different (Body shape) from the Hemmingway kits causing me to doubt if it was a GHT design or not. Also to clarify the body does appear to be milled from solid and the centre height is approx 3" or 77mm measured in a quick, not very precise way.

As it seems to be universally agreed that it is GHT design in part I feel positive that I can get it to completion in the future. With that in mind I found a copy of the book Roderick mentioned on eBay for £6 so I have ordered it. When that arrives I'll have a set of drawings that I can compare to what I have already and draw up a list of what's needed.

As for dividing plates I will maybe use my mill once I have installed the DRO currently sitting in boxes as it has a PCD function. But I may change my mind once I see GHTs text in the book.

Thanks again everyone for your input, most helpful.

16/08/2020 19:51:51

All I have is in the photos. I was hoping that once I have identified which design it is I may be able to fabricate/buy any other parts I need. I made a gamble buying it but hopefully I can put it to use somehow. It appears to be well made, I've just got back in from the garage and dismantled it as far as I could the inspect it.

If you think it's based on the GHT design then I at least have something to go on in my research. Thank you.

16/08/2020 19:06:53
Posted by not done it yet on 16/08/2020 18:35:28:

Maybe start by looking on the Hemingway site?

That is one of the places I've already looked. The kit on that site appears to be different to what I have unfortunately hence me asking here to see if it rings a bell with someone.

16/08/2020 18:28:03

Is anyone able to identify this incomplete dividing for me. I picked it up locally cheap with the intention of trying to complete it or attempt to turn it into something useful. It was sold to me as made from a kit and GH Thomas plans in the book workshop techniques, however from pictures I can find on the Internet it looks a bit different to the GHT one.

Dividing is a new thing to me but I gather knowing the ratio of the turns is important. It appears to be 60:1 and the plate on it has 24 holes. Apparently the thread is to suit a Boxford chuck.

I'd love to get it functional if I can by making or buying what is needed but first I need to know who's plans it was made to.

Thanks, Simon

img_20200816_180033 - edited.jpg

img_20200816_180046 - edited.jpg

img_20200816_180053 - edited.jpg

Thread: X axis oiling
14/08/2020 19:10:55

So what I'm doing is OK then I guess. Thanks for the replies. Using a tooth brush didn't occur to me but it definitely should have as that's exactly how I oil the chain on my motorbikes. A jar of EP90 and a tooth brush. I have a small stash of old brushes so I think I'll stop using my finger and use one of them instead laugh.


14/08/2020 17:25:32

I have the smallest Warco mill the WM12. It's my first mill and I'm enjoying getting to grips with milling.

I have a question regarding oiling of the ways that I'm hoping someone will be able to help with. Z and Y axis ways are dead easy to oil being vertical and horizontal upward facing respectively but the X axis is upside down so oiling is tricky. There are no button oilers fitted so I have been resorting to running an oily fingertip along the X axis ways in an attempt to get oil on them. This is a very messy and probably wasteful way but is working for now, I think.

Is this likely to be sufficient to prevent wear? I have some oilers somewhere and have contemplated fitting some but I'm not sure if it's necessary or not and am unsure exactly where would be best to put them.

Any suggestions are welcomed.


Thread: Carriage lock from bits and pieces
01/04/2020 16:46:37
Posted by Journeyman on 31/03/2020 20:12:18:

Good job but does the bit sticking out not interfere with the tailstock if you need it up close?


Thank you. I don't think it will get in the way to any significant degree. Here's a photo with the tailstock too. The carriage still has space to move further towards the chuck and is butted up against the tailstock in the picture.



31/03/2020 19:10:47

Due to the abundance of time there seems to be in the current climate I decided I would dismantle all the slides on my mini lathe and reassemble it with care and some mods.

On my to-do list for a long time has been a carriage lock, so that's what I've been making today. Later once some shim arrives I'll be replacing the carriage retaining plate adjustment screws and just shim them instead. As well as replacing the screws holding the plates with studs and nyloc nuts instead of cap head bolts to hopefully make putting it all back together easier.

The carriage lock is made from some bits of plate I had hanging around and wasn't really made with any precision in mind, aside from it fitting together and working . The thinner plate is 5mm and the bolts are stainless, not sure how thick the other plate is. I also had to replace the smaller cap head with a button head as it caught on the bed webs. It appears to work OK but until everything is back in place I won't know for sure.







Thread: Minilathe/Mill motors
29/03/2020 13:07:18

I know my Warco mini lathe uses a 180V motor cos I had it in pieces yesterday. A couple of years back the original membrane controls and controller got wet from a leak in the shed roof and promptly died. I replaced it with a controller from BICL in Canada (Beel Industrial Controls Ltd) but only lashed up the control panel, including gaffer tape. So yesterday I made an aluminium panel as it was about due, hence having it in pieces.


Thread: Drill sharpeners
18/02/2020 12:44:22

This something I've recently tried to learn having failed in the past. After stumbling across a short YouTube video last week I've had some success with the technique shown in it. My cheap Aldi grinder has a tool rest I made myself and I've scribed a line so I can attempt to keep at the right angle. So far I've tried with a 10mm and an 8mm and both drills have come back to cutting decent holes. I figured larger sizes would be easier to start with. I appreciate he shows a very simple grind but I'm hoping if I can perfect it then I can try altering the technique to suit. Link below.

Sharpening video

Thread: Encryption software
16/02/2020 12:30:56

Another vote for KeePass here. I've been using it for a long time now as I'm an open source fan. If you decide to use it make sure that you keep backups of the file and a note of the main password in a safe place. If you lose the main password it is game over and everything in the file is lost forever.

Thread: Basic battery charger
09/02/2020 12:30:04

As far as intelligent chargers go I can recommend Ctek ones. I've had one for around seven years now and it is fantastic, not cheap but fantastic. It's been used on all sizes of batteries and even has an AGM setting. In my experience 'old fashioned' chargers are just as likely to knacker a battery as charge it, they all overcharge to some degree. You can just leave an intelligent one to analyse and charge appropriately.

Well worth what it cost me.

Thread: Vertical slide fitment
02/02/2020 19:26:10

I've been able to take 20 thou cuts easily with aluminium which is OK with me. 30 thou worked too but it didn't seem as comfortable doing so. I understand that there will be flex in my mount but not much I would have thought. 12mm plate is quite substantial isn't it.

The slide I had previously is like the one in the picture on this web page **LINK** andI found it was way to far off the axis to be useful. That and rubbish work holding.

My new setup works much better and is superb by comparison.

02/02/2020 18:08:57

After my post asking if the Kiwi would be too ambitious a project I considered the replies and then revisited my vertical slide. I came to the conclusion that it was not really meant for my lathe and was too large and offered no decent work holding. After a bit of research I went for a Warco slide and milling vice knowing that they should be reasonable quality with some good backup here in the UK if thinks went south.

My cross slide isn't drilled for a vertical slide so that meant I would need to remove it for drilling and tapping. I had a brainwave though and decided to mount the slide to a thick (12mm) plate and mount that plate on the toolpost stud. This would mean easy fitment and I would be able to angle the slide using the compound is I needed too. See the photos for how I achieved this.

I've not seen photos of anyone else doing it this way, maybe there's a reason for that. It does seem to work quite well though and I've been able to mill the foot and frame for my chosen project, Elmers wobbler. It seems quite sturdy though I do get some chatter at times.

Can anyone suggest why this might be a bad method for fitting the slide? Apologies for the photo orientation, I'm not sure what's gone wrong there.


Thread: Too ambitious or achievable?
20/01/2020 18:53:33

Thanks for all the replies, all very sensible and there's some useful links in there that I'm going to investigate. Over the weekend I dug out my vertical slide to refresh my mind. I'd only used it once before and wasn't very impressed by it. It didn't appear to have much of a usable range and the workpiece clamping arrangement leaves a lot to be desired. I've now realised that my cross slide should maybe have more holes than it does for mounting the vertical slide.

I'm going to get this sorted and then try and get stuck in to some smaller projects before tackling the Kiwi. Thanks for all the suggestions.


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