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Member postings for William Ayerst

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

Thread: Milling machines - western-made s/h recommendations up to 2k
02/07/2021 15:20:30

Thank you Calum - they had the 2B with head quill but it's since been sold. I spoke to the gent there and they said they'd give me a heads up if anything new turns up.

02/07/2021 08:45:47

You're quite right, a kind gent has contacted me - one small hiccup is that he's in North Wales and I'm by the south coast. I'm looking into pallet shipping it down, but if not it looks like there might be a long roadtrip ahead of me

I'm not sure who or what Cherry Hill is but I am happy with the recommendation.

02/07/2021 00:45:59

A bit of a left field suggestion, someone from my local model engineering club has offered me am Amolco standalone mill. It seems overall about half the size of the Myford VMC - but it is less than a quarter of the price. It seems to get a fairly good write-up, but clearly it feels like it would end up being too small and too underpowered? I dont know how far beyond the pale my thoughts are - the Amolco has a 7x3x5" milling envelope which seems like it could handle anything bar a loco frame in one setup?

I think unless something world changing comes up, I am looking for a Centec 2B with a Mk3 head in good nick. It has good vertical clearance (that can be easily extended with a spacer) for indexing/rotary heads, a quill for drilling and knee for milling.

01/07/2021 08:26:17

Steviegtr, the quill head Tom Senior's are like rocking-horse poop it seems, not even a sniff of one except one going for >£3500 on eBay at the moment. Is it worth picking up the one I mentioned that was in good nick band keeping an eye out for the quill head in future?

30/06/2021 20:55:59

Thank you - my partner has broken her ankle and as such I have to sit on my hands for a bit. A kind gent has contacted me about a Centec 2B with a quill feed - but we need to figure out how to make delivery work...

I heard back about the VMC - The gent has advised it's in good nick, no marks, etc. and single phase. - I don't really hear much about them so are there any other idiosyncrasies I should be aware of before I take things further? I can find very little other than the lathes co uk info and nothing much at all about performance/limitations/benefits/drawbacks?

30/06/2021 13:17:02

Hi Earny49 - if the articles are those which I think, it is you who inspired me to look at vertical/horizontal mill combos in the first place!

I am sure I will be converted to a DRO fanatic in due course, but the truth as they say, is just a maxim until it is felt upon your own pulse.

30/06/2021 12:45:57

Re: Needs - what's the best way to frame my requirements?

I would like to have the capacity to reliably build 5" gauge locos and maybe 2" scale traction engines as well as sundry stationary engines - nothing ginormous, and nothing with jet engine precision.

I believe I am already fully equipped for the immediate future of 2-1/2" Gauge loco building - so there's no great rush.

30/06/2021 12:32:27

Dear all, thank you so much for your replies.

re: Metric (Circlip, JasonB) - All of eveything I'm building is in imperial, so I would prefer to not have that extra step every single time I want to measure something. As stated initially, I'm not interested in a DRO at this point - although I may be convinced in future.

re: Newer/import machines (Chris Crew, Pete B.) - I am just not interested in a modern machine right now - not to mention I cannot find any new machines with an R8 taper, imperial dials. I don't want plastic, LCD screens, CNC, computer control, etc. at ALL. I deal with high-tech all day every day and probably will do until I retire - the last thing I want is to have it as part of my hobby. As per one of my first posts:

My aversion to chinese equipment is not because I think the quality would be bad, but rather because I don't want to support the export of labour to third world countries, nor the shipping process or the unscrupulous business practises of that part of the world. There (I would have thought) are enough milling machines in the UK that can do good service without having to buy something from Shenzen.

re: Usability (circlip) - one of the reasons I'm not after a Centec 2A is the knee handle being at the back corner!

I've enquired about the Myford VMC for the sake of completeness.

29/06/2021 23:43:57

Hi Steviegtr - I see you have the S-type quill head which I gather is a totally different kettle of fish to the knuckle head when it comes to utility. Were the M1 Im' looking at to have one I would snap it up immediately - but without, it's much more difficult to justify.

I guess I'll just have to keep my eyes open for a TS M1 with an S-type head or Centec 2B with a quill head - that seems to be the sweet spot?

29/06/2021 23:05:23

Well, there's a vertical Harrison on evilbay at the moment that I have considered but it's in metric. With regard to new gear I did reach out to Warco and they have no intention of stocking the imperial/R8 version of their VMC ever again...

29/06/2021 22:50:07

Good evening all,

After mulling over this, I think it's slowly coming down to what is available at a given time - there being both benefits and drawbacks to each of the machines under consideration. I want to buy ONE mill that will last me the rest of my life!

Recently, I have seen a Tom Senior M1 in excellent condition with all the mod cons except the S-type quill head. It is about the same price as a Centec 2B with a Mk3 quill head.

The only thing that is making me a little nervous is the clearance on the M1, with the knuckle head. I make it about 9" to the table, 7" to the bottom of the machine vice - reduced down another 2" with a collet chuck installed - a working space of about 5" - and that's without any cutters, boring bars, drills, tapping guides, etc. installed. Am I able to bore a 5" gauge loco cylinder on an M1? Ream a 1/2" hole?

Am I going mad here? That seems SO SMALL!

If I have to do boring/reaming operations using the horizontal mode, that's even more of a pain that the lathe...

Edited By William Ayerst on 29/06/2021 22:57:31

Thread: Lapping a cylinder with dowel + paste
25/06/2021 21:03:21

Ah so I think my first problem is that my dowel is 1/16" SMALLER than my cylinder - and all the advice so far has suggested turning the dowel DOWN to the relevant size - do I need to get a larger dowel? (at this point I'm eying up one of my brooms...). As it stands I have two of those 11/16" dowels of about 8" each and the cylinder is only about 1-1/2" long.

With regard to chucking the lap vs the cylinder - given the harsh warnings about using emery paper or cloth near the ways of a lathe, I would have thought that lapping compound INSIDE a chuck would be much worse?

To be 100% clear, am I slitting the END of the dowel, about half way, and inserting a narrow wedge into the end? Or am I splitting it in the MIDDLE of the dowel (with both ends somehow held together?)

25/06/2021 13:40:15

Good morning all,

It's very shortly going to be time to lap the cylinder of my little steam engine - and rather than buying a honing tool I thought I'd use the old trick of a hardwood dowel and lapping paste to finish the cylinder bore.

So now in my hand I have a dowel of about 11/16" and some fine and coarse grit lapping paste (silicone carbide + lithium grease) and I'm suddenly at a bit of a loss as to what to do.

I believe I need to split and wedge the dowel so the cylinder is a tight fit over it (and thus reasonably likely to maintain the concentricity and parallelism of the bore) then apply the paste to it, put it in my lathe chuck, cover the ways with some towel and then move the cylinder back and forth over it until a good finish is obtained. Is that about the sum total?

Any tips on splitting it and what to wedge it with? I've only got basic woodworking tools!

Many thanks,

Thread: Parallelism in vertical vice / jaws
24/06/2021 11:34:17

Thank you Jason - triple checked and it is the cylinder top that was not perpendicular, so in this specific case I thought I would use what else I learned from this thread regarding milling rather than setting up an arbor. I wil review that thread though, it looks like it will come in very useful!

Either way I got a MUCH better result by using a 1/4" end mill with 3/16" passes and locking the cross slide:

24/06/2021 09:33:44

Thank you Jason - do you have any link? I can't seem to find the thread...

23/06/2021 19:52:26

I do now know which end is true - there's an infinitesimal difference in bore diameter that is detectable on the fit of the spigot on the cylinder end cover - though I didn't at the time. Given the only remaining skewed angle is the top of the cylinder and non functional I guess I could leave it- but I want to square it up. Any ideas on how to mount that for facing or shall I use the vice as I expect?

23/06/2021 19:02:30

At the time I was machining it, I couldn't be sure which side of the cylinder was perpendicular to the bore. I guess I could have tried both ways and seen what the DTI said...

It certainly= seems more straight forward your way!

I should probably, for my sanity re-face the cylinder top to be perpendicular to the port face and bore, and parallel with the cylinder bottom. I guess for that arrangement I DO need to use the vice?

23/06/2021 09:55:43

I noticed that the port face of my cylinder was sloped about 10 tho on the longitudinal axis. It's my understanding this isn't a critical issue, but I decided to see if I could fix it.

I used flat packing on the bottom (entry point of boring tool) of the cylinder , and rod above it incase the cylinder top wasn't parallel. I placed a mandrel into the cylinder and pushed that hard against the vice jaws. In this arrangement, the bottom of the cylinder was parallel to the ways, and the bore was vertical.

I used a dial indicator and the vertical traverse of the vice and determined there was about 10 thou out. Clearly the cylinder top was slightly out of parallel, so when I clamped it using that side to an angle on the faceplate - instead of the cylinder bottom which was fully parallel with the bore, it was skewed.

It was a fairly straight forward job to skim that off with the slot drill, but the finish was nowhere near as good as holding it on the faceplate, as although it was flat there were some chatter marks which needed polishing out.

Just incase I'm doing something horrifically wrong on that note:

  • I used a 3/8" HSS slot drill in a collet, running at the fastest lathe speed.
  • The work was held with aluminium strip below and rod above in the vice, quite tightly.
  • The vice was mounted to the compound vertical slide (my obvious thoughts as to a lack of rigidity)
  • The carriage had the lead screw engaged and using a lead screw handwheel to advance the carriage (maybe I should have locked between each pass?). The vertical slide, and cross slide were nipped up much as I could while still being able to move them.

All the best,

Edited By William Ayerst on 23/06/2021 09:56:51

23/06/2021 09:14:36

Thank you all, I managed to mill some T-nuts and a few other bits without major issues, and have some parallels on the way.

22/06/2021 11:42:40

Thank you Clive - I guess I'm still not 100% on the beating process when holding a part in the chuck - the beating needs to get it flat against the packing behind - but surely if it is flat and hard up against the packing, then by nature the packing will be very tightly gripped?

I have tried to use a drift and a hammer in the past but I think this is what gently nudged my cylinder out of true when held in the 4-jaw (although of course, it could be something else entirely)

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