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Member postings for Peter Cook 6

Here is a list of all the postings Peter Cook 6 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Ping - and a screw is lost
19/04/2022 20:52:07
Posted by Iain Downs on 19/04/2022 19:37:08:

One of the items discarded was a 50cm cube perspex box (housed a scanner and extracted the paper dust), which would have been a good starting point. typical.

Have you seen the price of 50cm Perspex cubes😂

19/04/2022 18:22:34

I currently use a 16" tabletop photography lighting box when doing similar things. I got it a few years ago when on special offer with a couple of separate LED lights. Prior to that I had lashed up something similar using sheets of A3 paper taped into a cube and strengthened with lengths of polystyrene packing.

Both are a cube with the front missing through which I can reach what I am working on. Doesn't solve all problems, if it pings towards you it still goes missing, but if it goes backwards, left, right or up, the sides of the cube at least stop it. having all the surfaces white also helps find things. the size is big enough to allow me to work on watches and very small clocks, but small enough so that my bulk blocks most of the escape route forwards.

The worst things are the very tiny  taper pins ( 2-3mm long) or the very small E clips both of which escape from tweezers with remarkable alacrity when you apply force to fit them back. E clips can sometimes be tamed by embedding them in a bit of Rodico while you apply force.

I have visions of getting or making something like a small scale laboratory fume cupboard, the sort with holes through which you can put your arms to manipulate what is inside. The glass front would stop the really active escapees.

Edited By Peter Cook 6 on 19/04/2022 18:25:40

Thread: Dividing head advice
14/04/2022 15:52:35

For one off or occasional use it is possible to 3D print index plates.

Thread: Taig Lathe V3
10/04/2022 14:50:40

I documented my first attempt at swapping the single phase induction motor on my Taig lathe for a DC motor and Arduino control system last year. There was some interest and I have now reached the stage where V3 is working as designed if anyone is still interested!

The original solution had a few issues (OK design faults!) the worst being that the back end of the motor stuck out beyond the headstock. It was not an issue with chucks, but working with collets close up to the headstock it became a bit of a nuisance. It also lacked low speed torque and the cabling was a mess, so I decided on V3 and to invest in a BLDC motor.

Several people had cantilevered the Sherline motor and controller from the Taig headstock and as the motor I chose weighed about the same, that seemed a good approach.

lathe view.jpg

I had three other "ambitions" for the lathe. A decent mounting base, screwcutting capability and some form of power feed.

The base was inspired by Roger Hess' (Technitoys) superb version with the control panel at the front, wiring hidden in routed channels and a cover at the rear over the electronics. Mine is is constructed from two layers of 22mm MDF glued together. The top layer had cut outs for the electronics at the back and channels routed in the bottom for the wiring. The front is chamfered and cut out for the controls. I then covered it with a sheet of 0.5mm 308 stainless steel (Don't look too closely at my first attempt at sheet metal work!).

The control panel, covers for the electronics and mounting for the display were all 3D printed. The cover is in two parts to fit the 3D printer bed size. The panel lettering was subtracted from the panel and filled with acrylic paint. A wet Sunday afternoon with the CAD program also produced a(n over the top) design for a belt guard.

John Bentley's (Engineman) site and Rodger Hess suggested ideas for both a Unimat style thread cutting capability and a leadscrew for power feed together with an end plate for the lathe bed to support things. A You Tube video from Walter Maisey used linear bearings for the threading attachment's push rod. I thought that if I used a pushrod to drive the carriage, then coupling it to a DC motor driven leadscrew would enable me to have both functions - selected by locking the appropriate drive bars to the pushrod. The ideas evolved into this.

carriage drive system.jpg

A geared 60rpm 12v DC motor in the lathe foot couples to the leadscrew by a dog clutch with a handwheeel for manual use on the other end. The pushrod is carried on two linear bearings mounted on the lathe foot. The carriage drive block and both coupling bars are locked onto the pushrod as needed with split cotters. The sample thread is held in an ER16 collet on the end of an arbour inserted into the spindle.

Control is by an Arduino which provides pulse width drive to both the BLDC spindle motor and the leadscrew motor. The control panel allows selection of the motor power and direction for both motors as well as run-stop and full speed override on the leadscrew for easy positioning. The display shows spindle, BLDC motor and leadscrew RPM as well as a computed feed rate (microns per rev of the spindle).

Power feed works extremely well. The screw cutting has only been tested experimentally so far, and still needs the backgear system I made to get sufficient torque at low spindle rpm to be useful. But overall I am pleased with the outcome. There are pictures of some of the details in my album called Taig V3. As ever, comments, questions and suggestions gratefully received.

Thread: Microsoft Edge is overriding Google Chrome
09/04/2022 18:15:28

Thanks Martin - I know I can, but it's then more complex to keep the main dozen websites I frequent as shortcuts on the new tab page. To get here for example I currently click new tab, and then the shortcut to this site, Ditto BBC News and BBC sport. Two clicks to the places I go most often.

I have habituated myself to always search in the top bar - it's just annoying that the search on a new tab page cannot be changed.

09/04/2022 17:13:32

If you use Edge as the browser, you can set Google as the default search engine. But having done so you need to search from the bar at the top, not use the search bar in the centre of the New Tab screen. That defaults to Bing (Microsoft's search engine) and I have not found any way of turning off that behaviour.

Thread: CAD & CAM content
05/04/2022 23:03:24

I have a manual lathe (Taig), a manual mill (SX1LP) and a 3D printer. I have never learned technical drawing. Things I want to make, I usually design using CAD (MOI). If they need to be metal, I print 2D sketches from the 3D models and manually produce the components on the lathe and mill.

If plastic will suffice, I print direct from the CAD model.

Thread: Central Heating Control
04/04/2022 12:31:35
Posted by Martin Connelly on 03/04/2022 12:59:26:

The higher the overall temperature the more heat will be lost. Lowering the temperature in any area of the house that loses heat to the environment will reduce that heat loss. When the heating is turned back on the temperature will be raised to the set temperature but it will never take as much heating to do this as it would have to leave the heating on. So in short any reduction in temperature for any period will save heating costs. It may be too small a saving to notice but it will still be on the side of better for your bills

My emphasis. I think Martin is correct, but with the high thermal inertia of well insulated rooms and fairly short (a few hours?) off periods I suspect as he suggest the difference in total heat input will be fairly close to zero. The savings will be nothing like enough to offset the £50/unit for the valves.

Howard - Lighting is different - there is no inertial effect so any off period is a saving.

Phil - search for electrically heated clothes - lots to choose from.

On a related conundrum - I am told that turning off devices left on standby will save me money. True in the summer when I don't need heating, but in the winter all the standby power converts to heat. If I turn off the standby devices, do I simply replace the losses with (more expensive?) heat from the boiler?

Edited By Peter Cook 6 on 04/04/2022 12:32:17

03/04/2022 12:20:16

Given the cost or energy, the newspapers and internet are full of ideas (and gadgets) to save energy & money.

One I saw today was proposing a thermostatic valve head that detected movement in the room and when the room was empty would turn down the radiator. There are similar smart phone linked devices that serve the same purpose.

It seems like a "common sense" option, however applying a bit of logic made me wonder. Does it actually save much energy - unless the room is unused for long periods.

A room loses heat depending on the difference between the internal and external temperatures and the room's heat loss coefficient. The heating system reaches an equilibrium where the heat input equals the heat loss and the room temperature stabilises.

If you turn off the heating in an empty room, the room still loses heat at a (fairly constant?) rate until the internal temperature gets appreciably closer to the external.

However when you re-enter the room and the heating kicks back on, then to re-establish equilibrium you need to pump back the amount of heat lost while the heating was off plus the steady state amount.

If the room is unoccupied for long periods I can see the savings, but in a normal household where rooms probably go unoccupied for only hours at a time, its not that clear where the savings come from.

At £50/valve head it would need to be significant - even at today's prices.

Thread: The ettiquette of sharing designs
02/04/2022 12:30:18

I am not a lawyer, but am aware ( from my days in academia) that there is a doctrine of "Fair Use" in copyright law which allows use of copyright material for a number of purposes including criticism, teaching, research, and study amongst other things - one of the criteria for many of the uses is that it should be non-commercial.

I am not aware that there is any similar defence in Patent law, but it is far from clear to me whether publishing a design is copyright law or patent law.

I would have thought ( and my view would be) that publishing the drawing on a forum such as this for feedback and criticism from other "experts" would have a valid defence under fair use non-commercial use.

Publishing the same thing on a Youtube channel in the expectation of creating income from the channel would probably fail the non-commercial test and therefore fall foul of copyright law. Where patent law applies I don't know.

Thread: Gear cutting basics help needed.
01/04/2022 18:09:28

With higher tooth count gears there is also the option of making your own rack style cutters which for high tooth count gears are supposed to give good results.

Details of the method are available online - see

Gear cutting with a rack form multi-tooth cutter (


Gear Cutting with a Homemade Gear Cutter (

Disclaimer - I have never done it, but the method looks easier than making involute cutters using Ivan Laws button method. It is on my to do list.

The two 120 tooth gears should work fine if cut by the same cutter, the other gears are meshing with what I assume are lantern pinions and should be OK, although you will need to do some math on the correct diameter of the pins and the carriers.


PS good luck with the Congreve - I own a small commercially made one (Dent). Getting it set up correctly and keeping it running is a nightmare!! They do not keep good time - but are hypnotic to watch.

Edited By Peter Cook 6 on 01/04/2022 18:16:04

Thread: How to choose a high quality end mill cutter?
29/03/2022 00:07:42

My cutters of choice for my SX1LP are the HSS 8% Cobalt cutters from I use their 2 flute uncoated on Aluminium and 3 flute coated on steel. Very sharp, and cut just fine if you keep the speeds up - just don't think about the speeds APT quote ( 7000rpm for a 6mm cutter in aluminium!)

Thread: Stepper motors
24/03/2022 20:32:27

My guess is that the constant red when the motor is stopped is expected behaviour and nothing to worry about.

I have a WS55-220 BLDC controller. Different function, but it looks similar. On mine when the motor is running the "alarm" light goes green. When stopped it goes red.

Thread: What is this?
22/03/2022 18:11:13

Dibber for planting out and thinning out seedlings in the potting shed.devil

Thread: Todays daft question
21/03/2022 13:08:00

To distinguish them from slot drills which will plunge cut. The end can only be used for milling hence end mill smiley

Thread: Boring Cutter Sharpening
19/03/2022 21:10:33

Thanks again. I think I have my head around lathe tool angles, milling cutters are consumables - but boring head cutters are still giving me a headache!

19/03/2022 19:33:30

Thanks, Out with the grinder and treat them as blanks. It's just that I couldn't find sharpening information for that shape tool, either in my books or on the internet.

Thread: Damp shed: what’s the best way to add ventilation?
19/03/2022 19:25:24
Posted by Bazyle on 19/03/2022 19:13:40:
Posted by Peter Cook 6 on 19/03/2022 16:50:23:

when the sun is shining and the air is fairly warm and dry,

When the air is warm it is able to hold more moisture. Having drawn it into your workshop when it cools down it will drop it's excess moisture.

Agree on the physics, but the key factor is the sunshine which drives the ventilator. On sunny days the air is likely to be drier. Warm damp (rainy!) days tend to be dull and overcast - and the ventilator doesn't draw that air in nearly as enthusiastically.

Thread: Boring Cutter Sharpening
19/03/2022 19:00:52

I am still struggling to get boring to work well on the mill (SX1LP). I have a 30mm (ARC) boring head which came with a couple of tools.

square cutter.jpg

The HSS tool which has a "square" profile works fine (apologies for the poor focus).

In search of a slightly longer tool to bore deeper, I acquired a few "German type" HSS boring tools. These have a semi-circular profile.

german cutter 1.jpg

german cutter 2.jpg

I am struggling to get them to work. They do not appear to have any side clearance, other than the curve of the basic shape. I am setting them with the top face parallel to the boring head dovetails.

I tried stoning the top rake and front clearance ( on another tool, but that snapped!) to see if it was simply a question of sharpness, but it didn't help.

Are they simply not properly ground, and I need to treat them as blanks and add appropriate front clearance, or am I misunderstanding the appropriate way to use them

Thread: Damp shed: what’s the best way to add ventilation?
19/03/2022 16:50:23
Posted by Simon Robinson 4 on 19/03/2022 15:00:31:

What sized vents did you use?

I used a pair of Activents (Activent Ventilation Solutions for Sheds - Condensation Solutions). They needed a 60mm hole in the wall, but have a cowl to keep out rain and an insect screen to keep out bugs (the gap under the door is however still available to them!).

Not sure if its the passive vents or the solar extractor that does the most good. The solar unit drags fresh air in most enthusiastically when the sun is shining and the air is fairly warm and dry, less so on dull damp days and not at all at night when the air is coldest.

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