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Member postings for Sam Spoons

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

Thread: Removing nylon plug from carbon fibre tube
30/06/2020 19:26:35

Yeah I'd pretty much arrived at something like that. The Boxford topside only has a single large tee slot for the tool post so not ideal for that purpose, I did contemplate taking the topside off and drilling and tapping some fixing holes in the cross slide but, in the end, I decided using hand tools made more sense.

I have bought a collect chuck and some milling cutters for the future (and used them on the other job, a 'boat breaker' rigging tensioner) so spent far more than I've saved to date but we need the toys so why not. smiley

30/06/2020 15:28:48

I was planning to mill on the Boxford but don't have a vertical slide. I did improvise to mill a 3mm slot down the length of a piece of 16mm aluminium round by mounting the bar in a tool holder on my QCTP. Hight adjustable and it worked a treat (It's not cosmetically perfect but does the job I designed it for). I was contemplating making some hardwood V blocks but in the end I decided to just stick it in the bench vice and cut it by hand.

Edited By Sam Spoons on 30/06/2020 15:29:23

Thread: West Yorkshire Police
30/06/2020 15:13:01

Ex driving instructor and IAM Motorcycle Observer here.

AFAIK (from my Observer days so 30 years ago) only the traffic cops do the Advanced training not beat/panda/area car guys. I remember a Police Driving Instructor telling me that when the non advanced drivers were allowed to drive traffic cars (but with no pursuit or legal concessions) the number of crashes went up tenfold.

I too taught, and still do press the button when applying the handbrake, despite that my first driving school car (a Nova) ended up with a dodgy handbrake by the time I retired it.

Whether people jump into a safe gap or not when you leave one there is no excuse for driving too close. Remember the 'two second rule' only applies in good dry conditions, in rain you should at least double it and in snow stopping distances can easily be 10 times the Highway Code numbers (TBF many modern cars, even not so sophisticated ones, can stop in significantly less but better too much room than too little).

Thread: Removing nylon plug from carbon fibre tube
30/06/2020 12:29:33

Final update, After much tedious scraping and sanding and three coats of white two pack Polyurethane the mast looks great. I fabricated a new heel plug out of 50mm round Acetal (which did machine nicely John yes). I finally gave up on milling the tenon as I could not devise a practical way of holding the workpiece and used hand tools (tenon saw and belt sander) to make it. It's not a neat precision job but it is functional and fit for purpose.

The trampoline racks now look very shabby so they are about to receive some TLC and white paint then I will post a pic of the boat.


Thanks for the help and advice guys. smiley

Edited By Sam Spoons on 30/06/2020 12:30:56

Thread: Topslide vice for Boxford lathe
11/06/2020 17:56:31

Bumping this and adding an ask for recommendations for a budget collet chuck suitable for holding small and med (3mm to 10 or 12mm end mills in the spindle of my Boxford, i.e. MT3? Or better still has anybody upgraded from a cheap collet chuck and has the old one cluttering up the workshop?

Extra question, would it be drilling and tapping the plain side of my QCTP to attach a vertical slide be an option, or will the it a, be too hard and/r b, just a daft idea? I realise it won't be as rigid as a proper job but I'll only be working with plastic, aluminium or brass and only small jobs?

For one job I want to do, a slot in 16mm round aluminium I've realised I can hold the workpiece in a toolholder, any reason why this wouldn't work?

Edited By Sam Spoons on 11/06/2020 18:00:09

Edited By Sam Spoons on 11/06/2020 18:01:48

Thread: Removing nylon plug from carbon fibre tube
09/06/2020 10:38:05
Posted by old mart on 08/06/2020 21:34:55:

Was the old one fitted at the wrong angle?

Yes, slightly twisted so the sail track on the mast was slightly off centre. The original plan was to just realign it and refix.


Edited By Sam Spoons on 09/06/2020 10:38:35

Thread: Topslide vice for Boxford lathe
08/06/2020 21:45:19

I'm thinking that the job I need to do with a mill is pretty low precision, a 46 x 17 x 20mm tenon on the end of a piece of 50mm derlin. It would be nice to do a 'proper job' and mill it nice and smooth and pretty but a hacksaw and some patience will get me a result.

I'd still like a VS though for other jobs so still looking. It would be simple if the Boxford had tee slots on the cross slide but it doesn't.... Does anybody sell an adapter plate with the circular dovetail tenon that fixes the top slide to the cross slide?

Edited By Sam Spoons on 08/06/2020 21:47:20

Thread: Removing nylon plug from carbon fibre tube
08/06/2020 21:30:10

Well the plug is out, I drilled three 8mm holes each side of the tenon and had a bash with the slide hammer and it came out fairly easily. It's probably still usable TBH. It's about 60mm into the tube with about half being hollow and the rest solid (will add pics and measurements tomorrow). I now have plenty of 50mm derlin so attempt to fabricate a new one with a couple of sneaky refinements safe in the knowledge that the old one will still work if required. Wall thickness is, from a quick eyeball, around 2.5mm for the bottom section and the inserted part of the plug looks unmolested so probably standard.

I'm still suffering from a total lack of motivation WRT removing the old varnish (which I've now decided is either epoxy or two pack so especially resilient). I'd guess I've got around half done, scraping with the side of an old chisel seems most efficient but it's bloody tedious, even though I can finish up with a rub with the 'vibrating multitool' (ooh er missus). Even watching my buddies sailing on the club webcam didn't get me jumping off the sofa.....

Edited By Sam Spoons on 08/06/2020 21:32:24

Thread: Topslide vice for Boxford lathe
06/06/2020 11:45:13

Clive, Thanks will look into it, that was pretty much what I visualised when I first started thinking about the job.

John, My pillar drill is a very small B&Q special with a ½" chuck so really doesn't need a large vice. I have mentioned before when I introduced myself I am not a model maker or 'proper' engineer and the Boxford is my only bit of 'serious' machinery but I very much appreciate the advice I'm getting on here thanks.

Edited By Sam Spoons on 06/06/2020 11:46:53

06/06/2020 10:02:43

There's a used Boxford Vertical Slide on feebay just now, the starting price of £575 is indeed a bit spendy for my needs blush

My top slide does no have a tee slot but I had wondered if anybody makes a vertical adapter for the compound slide?

Edited By Sam Spoons on 06/06/2020 10:02:59

05/06/2020 22:57:41

Thanks, I thought the two set screws would be the answer but loosening them off a lot didn't get me there, will go further tomorrow. My lathe is an ex school job and has lain idle for 20 years after a similar time of hard usage so there are plenty of bits that don't work as they should.

I'll look into vertical slides then, what mods do the Myford ones need to work on a Boxford?

05/06/2020 22:13:22

I'm looking at ways of work holding on the topslide of my old Boxford CSB. For occasional light duty milling in ally or acetal. I need a machine vice for my pillar drill (lightweight DIY job nothing serious) so my thoughts are to buy one big enough to hold the work pieces for small milling jobs on the lathe too. I know I'll need a means to attach it to the top slide in place of the compound/taper slide. So presumably a suitable adapter with either an angle plate or flat plate with the appropriate tapped fixing holes. I did read a thread about making one but I don't have either the facilities or skill to do so. Can anybody suggest a reasonable cheaper alternative to a vertical slide (which is probably more than I want to pay for a few small jobs)? I don't mind workarounds to avoid the need for vertical adjustment.

Finally, is it possible to remove the compound slide without removing the topslide or apron (and if so how)?

Edited By Sam Spoons on 05/06/2020 22:15:04

Edited By Sam Spoons on 05/06/2020 22:38:54

Thread: Removing nylon plug from carbon fibre tube
01/06/2020 10:02:02


Thanks clogging is a problem with abrasive paper but the stuff on the multitool seems much less prone, scraping is probably the way though (and perseverance).

The first job I did on the Boxford after re-comissioning was to turn some nylon sliding bungs which had, presumably, absorbed some water and I experienced the overheating/melting issue slightly. Gut feeling that sharp HSS tools with some rake would work better than carbide inserts (which were the only functioning tools I had at the time). Now I have a working bench grinder I can probably clean up some of the rusty old tools that came with the lathe so advice on sharpening for turning Derlin please?

31/05/2020 23:04:26

Thanks John, It helps to talk the process through. I'm trying scraping the varnish off as sanding it seems to be more uneven but I'm also trying an oscillating multitool sander head which works as well. Whatever I do it seems to take ages.

I have a 90mm offcut of 50mm round Derlin on it's way, just need to figure a way to fix it to the topslide* so I can use a router bit** in the chuck to machine the tenon, then I hope it'll be long enough to turn the stepped section and part the finished part off the waste (which, hopefully, will be enough to turn a 50mm x 8mm sheave for the masthead halyard block.

* I'd love a vertical slide with a decent machine vice but I'll be improvising for this job.

** I think, used with care, a router bit will be sufficiently beefy to machine Derlin?

31/05/2020 18:21:15

Hi John, No, It's not coming out intact and I haven't destroyed it until I have a new one made or sourced as it will still work. I'm waiting for a lump of 50mm Derlin round bar to fabricate a replacement before drilling it out.

Meanwhile I'm slowly removing the UV protective coating (probably two pack varnish given the difficulty I'm having sanding it off) as it's delaminating in places, but annoyingly stuck like a very sticky thing on most of the mast. Having spent the thick end of £200 on paint and consumables to refinish it I want to do a proper job So I won't have to do it again for a fair few years.

Thread: Boxford missing a Nut
26/05/2020 12:27:51

It is indeed ¼" BSW, mine has a narrow 'locknut' style nut on it. I know as I had to source one for the top slide.

How are you going about removing backlash, I'm having trouble with mine on both cross and top slides and tailstock?

Thread: Removing nylon plug from carbon fibre tube
22/05/2020 23:13:27

Yes, on that basis I think I'll admit defeat and get the drill out. The effort to get the existing heel plug out undamaged compared to the cost/effort involved in fabricating to buying a replacement seems disproportionate.

Just to refer back to John Barron's concerns about the wall thickness and risk of splitting/damage. The mast is actually in three pieces (I knew this, can't think why I didn't occur to me when I answered your post John), two main sections, the upper being tapered (and possibly thinner walls at the top) and the lower being parallel and, presumably, equal wall thickness. The bottom few inches may be a repair where the base was damaged and a new section sleeved in* so all bets are off WRT it's inside diameter. Without being able to find out who the actual manufacturer of the mast tube was It's impossible to get any reliable info on older boats apart form the hulls. Add to that the 'builder/design rights holder**' has changed at least twice during the life of the class and it's fairly easy to get info on the hull (usually built in house by the 'manufacturer or, at least, farmed out to a specific builder) but finding info on the other bits is hard if the boat predates the current builder's tenure.

* Repairs are allowed to original components and carbon fibre masts are usually easily repairable, one of the selling points compared to aluminium masts which re pretty much impossible to repair successfully.

** The 'builder' is the guy who holds a licence to build and sell the boats, the design rights holder may be the same person or may be the guy who owns the IP related to the design and licences the 'builder' to build and sell the boats, but the 'builder' may not be the guy who actually 'manufacturers' the boats, he can subcontract that to another.... err, builder.... or.... errr.... manufacturer..... I give up......***

*** If you're still reading, google Laser Performance Europe vs Bruce Kirkby and 'International Laser Class Association' vs Laser Performance Europe. It's a long haul but you couldn't make it up.....

Edited By Sam Spoons on 22/05/2020 23:15:46

22/05/2020 21:20:03
Posted by old mart on 22/05/2020 20:40:19:

I'm surprised that the rules are so strict that a shorter mast would be banned, I can see how a longer one might be frowned upon as it might add some speed. Drilling a number of holes lengthwise near the edge would tend to loosen the grip a little. Careful cutting of the bottom of the nylon would expose the end of the carbon fibre to find out exactly how thick it is.

It's a SMOD (Single Manufacturer One Design)* the idea is that anything that is not supplied by the manufacturer is not allowed, simply so that everybody has exactly the same kit. The Laser is probably the strictest SMOD, the Blaze (my boat) is pretty flexible in comparison. If you want a long diatribe/discussion on the merits and otherwise of SMODs please ask..... Hmm, thought not wink You are right, a shorter mast may be slightly less efficient and a longer one more.

Drilling near the edge to introduce some flexibility is the plan if I do decide to destroy it so if nowt else works that will be the next step.

Trevorh, I need a singlehander mostly so that's not an option though I will probably end up with another Ent before I retire (I'm 67 so not quite finished with sailboat racing yet but can only go on so long). I would love a Rondar Mk3 (I've done wooden boats, not going back there...) But I have this as well as the Blaze so my two hander needs are covered for now.

Edited By Sam Spoons on 22/05/2020 21:20:36

22/05/2020 19:16:17

Might wrap in in several layers of black bin bag and leave it 'till tomorrow evening then give it another go (I can move it so it gets the sun in the morning and back again after lunch). I like the idea of a longer plug but if I have to destroy it to remove it I may as well not alter the mast as well.

22/05/2020 18:32:39

Yeah that would be easy..... But it's a strict one design so shortening the mast, even by a few mm is not allowed (strictly speaking even using a custom made plug is not legal as all parts must be sourced from the official supplier but I reckon I'll get away with that one).

The ally mast is 7.8 kg including rigging and fittings, probably about 5.7 for the bare tube. The carbon mast, with rigging and fittings is 5.3 so probably about 3.2kg for the bare tube, that suggests a wall thickness of around 2.5mm so I guess I'm wrong (just going off what I have been told) I cannot easily measure it without removing the damned plug......blush

Edited By Sam Spoons on 22/05/2020 18:33:32

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