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Member postings for Chris Crew

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

22/05/2022 08:47:54

I am genuinely saddened by this news. I did not know Mr. Deith, except for a short conversation with him at one of his exhibitions, but I took his magazine regularly for years and have used the services of TEE Publishing on many occasions. The fact that he took the trouble to reprint and republish many informative and historical books, which otherwise would have been lost to many of us, proved to be very helpful to me and I suspect quite a few others. His exhibitions and the lectures that accompanied them were always of the highest standard and again provided valuable information that would have otherwise not been so readily available. Indeed a sad loss to our model engineering fraternity and my own personal thoughts and condolences are extended to his wife and family at this sad time.

Thread: Cheap stuff
15/05/2022 10:39:09

Posted by Emgee on 14/05/2022 22:21:09:

In the early 1980's I bought a Taiwanese made Alpine drill from Graham Engineering in Birningham, MT2 spindle with rack feed rise and fall and rotatating table. When bought it was fitted with a good quality drill chuck which I still use on a Bantam lathe. The drill spindle is still good with no play and still using the same belts !!!!!


Your machine looks identical to mine except that the 'badges' are different. You even have the same vise. I am pleased I am not alone in experiencing excellent performance and longevity from this cheap 'junk' which so many seem to want condemn simply because, it seems to me, it is made in countries and by people who they simply cannot accept have advanced so far ahead of their own in technology, efficiency and industrial production.



Edited By Chris Crew on 15/05/2022 10:40:18

14/05/2022 19:50:27

All most forty-years ago I bought a cheap, and even then used, Nu-Tool bench drill thinking it would get me through until I could afford a 'proper' Startrite/Meddings/Fobco. This was at a time when the model engineering press was full of dire reports about the quality of Taiwanese imports. Well, it's still going strong and is as accurate and convenient to use, with its rotating table and rack and pinion table mechanism, as it ever was. By the time I could afford a 'proper' British machine they had all gone out of business (I think Meddings now sell Spanish made products under their brand name). I have quite a few Taiwanese and Chinese devices, dividing heads, chucks and vises etc., they didn't cost the earth and they have all proven themselves to be reliable and accurate for my purposes. You pays your money and you takes your choice as they say

Edited By Chris Crew on 14/05/2022 19:51:23

Thread: Concrete Panel Garage/Workshop
01/03/2022 23:03:03

I have a 13' x 21' pre-cast concrete garage with the door aperture replaced with a 'site-office' front as a workshop. The ship-lap front has a window and 4' wide double doors to enable machines to be moved in and out if necessary. This building has performed very well for almost 25 years except that the corrugated concrete fibre roof developed hairline cracks which started to leak. This was entirely my own fault as I had hung too much weight from the internal roof trusses ( three Transwave converters and shelving etc.). I cured this problem by laying 2 x 2 purlins along the external roof and bolting powder-coated corrugated steel sheets to them with bog-standard loft fibre in-between. I suffer from very little condensation or corrosion and the building is easily heated in winter, although I do keep an old Dimplex convection heater switched to its lowest possible setting on 24/7/365. This only kicks in at about 50deg's but may have to be reviewed in the light of rising energy costs. The building was originally supplied by Compton but I believe this firm has been taken over by Lidget.

Thread: Gear hobbing
24/02/2022 21:16:38

If it may serve to provoke some ideas, could I suggest that you take a look at the Radford worm-wheel hobbing attachment for the Myford lathe. As its name suggests this device as built will not hob anything but worm-wheels but maybe coupled up with a rising and falling slide to carry the gear blank it may provide a suitable drive.

Edited By Chris Crew on 24/02/2022 21:17:08

Thread: 5C collet chucks
16/02/2022 22:12:02

I bought a cheap Chinese 5C chuck via eBay several years ago, I think it was about between seventy or eighty-quid back then. Can't fault it. Nicely ground finish, closes the collets in truth and perfectly acceptable for home workshop use. The collets I use are Crawford that I bought at an auction but I can't think that cheaper collets would be any less accurate.

Thread: Doncaster Model Railway Show.
14/02/2022 03:03:59

"although I vowed not to visit Doncaster again, because the Racecourse is just so difficult to find"

Doncaster Racecourse difficult to find? Really? I am quite surprised by that statement because it must cover about 2 square miles and dominates the southern end of the town (or city I think it is now) with the main entrance at the intersection of two major roads, the A18 and A638.

Thread: Right to Repair
09/02/2022 15:25:04

"One of the nicest ideas for lorries was the concept of a smaller battery for local running and then overhead power on trunk routes - until you have hundreds of such trucks all trying to use the same line at once".

Then perhaps the obvious solution to that would be a railway? Or has that been tried before somewhere and then closed down because it was found to be cheaper to put a train load of goods into a fleet of trucks instead of modernising the Victorian way of shifting things around on the railways that existed right up until the mid-1960's. And yes, I do know that Dr. Beeching did try to introduce containerisation and freight-liner terminals but most these subsequently closed too.

09/02/2022 09:31:37

When I stated that my dread was being forced into an electric car it was purely from a practical point of view. I like to think that I have a respect for the environment, I am not a climate change denier, my wife and I are almost obsessive re-cyclers, I have the solar panels installed and even though we each have a diesel car (hers is a mild hybrid) every journey of any distance is taken on public transport, either by train or continued by local bus at the destination. In other words we try to do 'our bit'. As we are located in a village in the middle of rural Lincolnshire, with a very poor bus service, and the station on one line is 7 miles distant with free parking and on another line 15 miles away with parking available on my step-daughter's drive, and a free bus pass ride into town, the cars are only used to access either a station or for the weekly shopping. Mine hardly moves from one week to the next.

Notwithstanding the above, I look at it this way. If I need to buy a tank of fuel (not very often in my case) it takes me all of 5 minutes at a self-service station and I am good for another 500 miles (I think). How long would it take if I were to be using the car regularly or on daily business to recharge, that is assuming I could find a suitable charging point? An hour, or is it more or less than that to get a full 'tank' before I would be mobile again? I have no idea but hopefully someone will be adding to my education. I know of only two public charging points in one town 10 miles away and two more on a supermarket car park 7 miles in the other direction, although I do know those who do not live in shared or upper floor accommodation may have a domestic point fitted. The other week I observed a person with an electric car pull up at one of the charging points at the supermarket whilst waiting for my wife to finish the shopping (sounds sexist, I know, before anyone takes a shot, but she likes to shop alone). The man dutifully went to the boot of his car, took out the charging lead and connected the vehicle to the charging point. He then took out his mobile phone and, because I assume TESCO doesn't give away electricity for free, made the necessary call or used an app to pay for the fuel and switch on the current. This must have taken between 5 and 10 minutes. He then went to the shop but returned in less than 15 minutes disconnected the car, coiled the cable and stored in the boot. How much 'fuel' he acquired in this time I have no idea. But I thought then, do I really want all this hassle? No, not for me.

On a wider point, and again I am looking to be educated if I am wrong, I look at it like this; when I think of all the millions of vehicles in motion at any one time in this country alone, there must be countless megawatts of power being released from the liquid fuel they use. I have no idea how many megawatts but I am guessing it is a lot. If all those vehicles were to be converted to electric instantaneously, let alone by 2030 and some years beyond, does or will this country have the generating capacity in wind, solar or nuclear to replace all those megawatts of energy current being provided by liquid fuel. I can only guess that will not and that conversion to alternative sources of power within so short a time frame is just a government fantasy, I think they call it 'greenwash'. I am only glad (?) that I will not be living long enough to see the demise of the diesel of petrol car and that I will never be forced into an electric vehicle despite the costs HMG keep loading on to those motorists such as myself.

Edited By Chris Crew on 09/02/2022 09:32:18

08/02/2022 12:39:44

I understand what is being said about classic and older cars and why they hold an attraction for some people but, once you have had a modern car for all the additional expense, I would not like to return to the old days. I had a 'Moggy Thou' once in my younger days and I can't remember it being all that reliable or even comfortable, the heater was pathetic and the seats hurt my back. I have had about every model of car, from 1959 onward, that usually appear on display at a traction engine rally and have done just about every type of repair on them from re-ringing, crankshaft regrinds and gearbox rebuilds, you name it and I still have all the tools as proof.

Just like in life, it is very easy to go up in the world but very hard to come back down. It's the same with a newer car with a reasonable spec. Would I really want to do without remote locking, electric windows, air conditioning, automatic transmission, power steering, digital radio, voice operated sat-nav and the plethora of improvements and conveniences that have appeared over the years? I my case I think not. I am far too old now to be freezing cold or uncomfortable when driving or to be crawling about at the weekend covered in oil setting tappets and points or changing a head gasket as in my younger days. For me those days are over and the only dread I have now is being forced into an electric car!

Edited By Chris Crew on 08/02/2022 12:40:17

08/02/2022 11:36:09

John D. I couldn't agree more with your sentiments but unfortunately I do not have the skills or equipment to have diagnosed the fault in the first place. As I said earlier I could not even find two of the fuse boxes on this vehicle, not that it would have done me any good in the event if I had found them, so I had to bite the bullet and send the car to the service agent. As an aside, I found out yesterday that modern cars don't even have a dipstick. I might be the 'dipstick' for not knowing this, but the oil warning indication came up on the wife's car so I told her to buy some oil from Halfords while she was out shopping, and of course it had to be 'digital' oil at £18 a litre. When I investigated via YouTube I found the car had a digital dipstick and you read the oil level on the dash display. It showed the oil level at maximum and when she started the engine again the warning had disappeared, so eighteen-quid wasted. You live and learn but sadly I appear to be learning very slowly and expensively these days.

Edited By Chris Crew on 08/02/2022 11:37:28

Thread: Running a Myford S7 in Reverse
07/02/2022 22:52:59

Screw cutting is not a race. The tool removes exactly the same amount of material whether the work is revolving a 1 r.p.m. or 1000 r.p.m. so you should have plenty of time to release the half-nuts and withdraw the tool and even if you don't withdraw the tool at the same time it will only cut round groove at the end of the thread. In fact if you were to be using a lathe with an Ainjest rapid threader it does this anyway as there is no automatic withdrawal at the end of the cut when the device trips, so it is accepted practice.

You will be surprised just how easy screw-cutting is when you have done it a couple of times and you can get quite adept at releasing the half-nuts and withdrawing the tool in no time at all. BTW, when you come to cut an internal thread I recommend inverting the tool and cutting the thread on the rear face of the bore. This means you still withdraw the tool, rather than advancing it, at the end of the cut and thus alleviates any risk of forgetting to reverse the withdrawing action and causing a disaster.

Thread: Right to Repair
07/02/2022 22:22:03

I heard from the service agent today. They have had the car since last Wednesday. Apparently they have found the fault which has turned out to be a dead short across an LED in a rear light cluster which can't be replaced like an old-fashioned filament lamp and the cluster has to be completely replaced. Also, they said the car's software needs updating. The price for the cluster and the software is £286 plus fitting, plus the time it took to find the fault, plus VAT so I guess it will finally be around £500/600. How different from just replacing a bulb for a few pence on the old cars?

Thread: Colchester lathe production
02/02/2022 19:51:42

"Why were so many of the production machines painted that odd gold colour !? Not a colour I would associate with a factory.Why were so many of the production machines painted that odd gold colour !? Not a colour I would associate with a factory."

Our attention has been drawn to this film before and the same question was posed, if I recall correctly. The conjecture was that the machines had been painted especially for the making of this film, but it was never confirmed. Perhaps someone who is still around who once worked at the factory could inform us if this was actually the case.

Thread: Another Scam
02/02/2022 19:31:45

Ifoggy, I have all but finished with bits of paper these days, but I am afraid you can't pay cheques into TSB as their online banking facility doesn't support it, or at least it didn't up to a couple of years ago when I enquired in a branch. There is no facility on the TSB online banking site that I can see to allow you to do this although I know some online banks do have this facility.

Andrew, we lost the village Post Office about three years ago with a small PO counter opening in the village shop to replace it. Sadly, it now looks like this is also due for closure unless someone can be found to take it on rather than convert the premises into residential accommodation. To digress slightly, the village tea room is up for sale too, probably to be converted into living accommodation and I don't give the village pub much longer either given the owner's (a very rich absentee business family) propensity to put clueless young people, IMO, in it as managers who have progressively run the business into the ground by treating customers as a nuisance. I know this village is not unique in losing its local amenities and public transport links. It is the way of the world these days.


Edited By Chris Crew on 02/02/2022 19:32:51

Thread: Right to Repair
31/01/2022 11:06:25

Peter, I don't think you are a Luddite by any manner or means and there are lot more of us 'old 'uns' about than we may think. For instance, I have a Sunday lunchtime drinking partner who was a Chief Engineer in the Merchant Navy, is a Chartered Engineer and finished his working life as a Marine Surveyor for Lloyds of London, specialising in pressure vessels and boilers. There is no way anyone could say that this man is other than well qualified, highly competent and very able but he is exactly the same as us when it comes to new technology, in fact he was very disappointed to learn this week that his trusty old Nokia 3210 will not work later this year when the 3G signal is turned off. There seems to be some people who can adapt to change with alacrity and others who can't after they have passed a certain milestone in their lives. I must be in the latter category.

Edited By Chris Crew on 31/01/2022 11:10:22

31/01/2022 10:18:45

Kevin & John, Thank you both for the information. Although I spent a lifetime in the telecoms industry, at one stage of the technology I carried an oscilloscope in one hand and an AVO in the other which was a big leap up from the 50V test lamp on the old Strowger equipment, I am still fundamentally 'mechanically minded' and modern technological advances seem to have left me behind. I think that I am now too much of an 'old dog' to be taught new tricks because I am constantly amazed at what even modern smart phones can do. For instance, last week I was fumbling about with a tape measuring up a bathroom for renovation. The woman who was watching me said, 'oh! we don't do it like that anymore'. She took out her smart phone, fired up an app, pointed it at the datum points to be measured and the damned thing read out the dimensions in both metric and imperial. I was both amazed at the technology and embarrassed that I knew nothing of it, even though it had been supplied with something as ubiquitous as a mobile phone. I think I will leave everything to the Volvo service agent and hang the expense!

31/01/2022 09:27:36

Adrian, sadly I don't have anything so modern as a fault code reader, only a box full of old Sykes-Pickavant spring compressors and clutch aligners etc. from my youth when I was always having to repair cars just to be able to afford to run one in more impecunious times. I suspect a lot of us had to do that. I would not know where to start with modern diagnostic equipment although I did manage to extract a fault code, with a little guidance, from an ancient Astra estate that I was running as a van prior to retirement. Turned out to be the 'fly-by-wire' accelerator pedal which cost me £5 from a scrapyard to replace. As I have stated earlier, I think I will leave any further work to the service agent as I would probably end up doing more harm than good ripping panels and trim off not really knowing what I would be actually looking for. Your comments are appreciated none the less.

31/01/2022 09:06:12

I haven't actually physically checked the bulbs, I suspected a fuse because half the lights are on the rear off-side wing and half are on the tailgate off-side so it must be something that is common to both circuits. I am not even sure if some of them are actually bulbs as it is difficult to see if they are not LED's given the length of the diffuser lens down the rear wing. The indicator is definitely a bulb, and working, and I think the tailgate light is a bulb but to actually get at everything looks to be such a kerfuffle, with trims and panels to be prised off etc. as the car is now booked into the service agent, and I am resigned to it costing me money, I think that I will leave the problem for them to sort out. Many thanks for your suggestion, anyway.

Thread: EU Customs Tariif codes for hand tools?
30/01/2022 23:26:44

Posts deleted, no politics on the forum pls

Edited By JasonB on 31/01/2022 06:59:39

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