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Member postings for ChrisH

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

Thread: Reminiscences
19/09/2020 20:08:17

I remember back up to the early 1960's our house had no central heating - we then moved to one that did - but the heat and hot water was supplied by a coal fire with a back boiler in the dining room, the main source of heat all autumn, winter and spring. That fire was never allowed to go out, you 'banked' it up with coal dust last thing at night so it lasted until the morning. Only very occasionally would the fire in the front room be lit but that was for aduts only, us kids realy went in there. A paraffin heater in the hall and another in the bathroom took the chill off the rest of the house. Jack Frost on the bedroom window was the norm. Getting dressed in the morning was a very quick affair!

Trolley busses in Brighton until the early 1950's when they stopped running them, they were so quiet, I loved them.

You used to go to school regardless of how you felt, ie unless you were actually dying, or unless you were so stricken you couldn't get out of bed, or you had something considered highly infectious like measles or chicken pox, no skiving off because you felt like a day off - how would todays snowflakes coped? And you walked or cycled the mile or more to school each day in all weathers regardless, carrying your satchel with all your books in, no soft run in mummys car back then.

Dad had a pre-war car in the late 1950's, on one Chrismas Boxing Day, waiting for Dad to get the car out to go to Great Aunts for the day, after ages he came in and said no go, the engine had frozen, despite a paraffin heater and a blanket, both under the bonnet. That was the end of that car!

We had inside toilets and bathrooms, the houses were 1930's built, but I remember even in 1970 being in a house in 'Sunny' South Shields with the toilet at the end of the garden, great in the dark and rain.

The change to decimal money in 1972 (was it) was a great rip off. The sensible solution would have been to call the ten shilling note the 'new' pound, a bob would have been ten pence instead of twelve, ten ten pences would still have been ten shillings or a new pound, we wouldn't have had the inflation and rip-off we had and the elderly wouldn't have been so confused - explain to an 80 year old that the penny she has in her hand is not what it was and is in effect 2.4 new pennies. The ten bob note to become a dollar is what Australia and New Zealand very sensibly and painlessly did; it was suggested in the UK but the idiots in charge said no we must have tradition, we must retain the pound - then years later the same idiots or their successors suggested we did away with the pound and swapped it for the Euro!

Rationing - as a kid if I was very lucky I might have a sixpence now and again - at very long intervals!! - to go into a sweet shop and it felt like all my birthdays had come at once that day, then decisions decisions, what should I buy, the luxury of it, but I don't think sweets were rationed but everything else food wise seemed to be. I remember you had very simple meals, filling meals, to keep you going, you were usually hungrey, and you eat everything on the plate and any 'seconds' if it was available. Eating a plate clean is so ingrained in me I do it to this day. You certainly would be a fussy snowflake at the dinner table back then, you would have starved.


Thread: HSS/Tungsten Tool Honing Machine
19/09/2020 18:25:21

What can you say but WOW!

What a lovely bit of kit, so well designed and then so beautifully made. Following with considerable interest.

Will you be publishing plans for this (in a MEW article perhaps)?


Thread: MEW 297 - An Engineer's Level
17/09/2020 19:23:43

An interesting reprint from MEW 10, or it should be, in the current MEW 297 of an article to make an Engineer's Level.

However, the original article included several drawings and sketches which were missed out on the reprint, the reprint only showing the photos.

The article refers to the sketches/drawings, talking about, for example, machining faces A, B and C as shown on the drawing or sketch, but without these drawings and sketches who knows what faces the article is talking about. At that point, middle of page 2, I gave up reading, it was pointless going on.

So what at face value should have been a good and interesting reprint, especially as the castings for it are still available, is a bit of a waste of time.

Still, if you are a subscriber, at least it points you to to the original article in the archives, but that really is not the point; the omission makes six and a half pages of the current edition effectively worthless as an informative read.


Thread: New Moderators
05/09/2020 21:42:12

Bazyle posts a comment about spelling.

I have long maintained that no real engineer worth his weight can spell correctly through a whole phrase, let alone a whole sentence.

JasonB in his posts confirms my theory. Often has spelling mistakes, but as an model engineer producing superb models .......... am in awe of what he produces! And his experience in machining and advises given are invaluable to many of us less mortals. So no worries about spelling stuff correctly. Just JDI!


Thread: Warco Mill - but what model??
28/08/2020 19:58:02

Mathew, glad the link was good. I have had the 'Economy' mill/dill for about 10 years, forget when exactly I got it, and it has served me well during that time.

I have made a few alterations over the years, fitted a DRO to all axis, 3 ph motor and inverter, changed the belt drive to poly vee and fitted power feed to the x axis, and see no reason to change it for what I do, certainly could not justify the expense of changing especially as I got it for only £600 from Warco as they were selling the last few (imperial machines) they had in stock off cheap. SWMBO thought I was mad when it arrived, but it offers a lot of mill for the money and certainly more than I would otherwise have been able to afford at the time.

So enjoy it, realise it has limitations as all tools do, the main one here being loosing tool registration when raising or lowering the head but even that can be worked around.


28/08/2020 11:46:59

Nick - you are quite correct, I didn't see "RF-25" but looking again and zooming in it is quite clear as is the serial number.

I also have the Warco "Economy" mill, but the Warco manual that came with it is completely useless; it is very badly written in Chinengllsh, most of which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever however hard one trys to translate it. Given that Warco sold the 'Economy" for about 30 years it is rather a disgrace that no-one at Warco bothered to sit down and write a sensible clear manual, it's not that it would take that long to do.

Far better is to go on the website, an American tool supplier. Look for the manuals section and then for the Grizzy Model G1005Z Mill/Drill and download the manual from there. It's very clear and written in English! It is also all in imperial, so if you are a metric man you will have to do some conversions!


PS the link is:

28/08/2020 10:24:21

I concur with Richard, plus there is a serial number on the nameplate - hopefully still legible, and maybe a model number on there somewhere, which would help Warco ID it.


Thread: Calling all Apple Experts....
27/08/2020 22:36:46

Hi - and thanks to all who have commented. I actually did write a reply after Colins post, but like an idiot forgot to post it so it is lost. Never Mind.

Quite reassuring that some of you have had iPads and iPhones with cracked screens and carried on no worries for years in some cases.

I think Micheal G's Infixit teardown of an iPad Pro is the one I have got, but the thought of actually stripping it down scares me!

I do like the idea of a screen protector but.

The screen I have is cracked and breaking up in only one corner and mostly on the little black margin there anyway, plus several cracks across the screen, and a screen protector might just hold it all together. If it lasts another 3 years then it will be due a renewal then anyway. I think Apple are quoting about £400-450 for a screen repair over the phone.

I am going to their "Genius Bar" next week with my wife's MacBook Air which has a touchpad problem so will get an upto date quote then, but the screen protector option at about a tenner is looking good at the moment!!


26/08/2020 21:45:20

Calling all Apple Experts! Anyone know anything about iPad glass screens?

My daughter had (I have it now as she's replaced it) a 2018 iPad Pro. Nice bit of kit. Unfortunately she dropped it and it cracked the glass screen. in one corner of the screen tha glass is badly damaged and trying to get out, plus there are a couple of cracks going across the screen, otherwise the screen is OK and the iPad seems to function OK with no problems.

I have booked an appointment with the Apple Genius bar at an Apple store to discuss/arrange a repair of said screen next Tuesday. However, looking at it tonight, and finding the tablet works OK, I am tempted to just pour some glass epoxy resin in where the screen is damaged and call it done and save the cost of the repair (if I am honest!!). I have been told that the repair, if it can be done, is in the region of £450-500, so not an inconsiderable amount

Anyone had any experience of a cracked iPad glass screen and tried what I am suggesting, or some other work around?


Thread: I'm not blind but this is a great addition
23/08/2020 22:50:50

"Note to oneself. STOP BUYING STUFF."


Dials seem a good buy to me!

Thread: Turning a riser for VMC Z Axis
05/08/2020 19:47:48

John Hinkley pointed us in the direction of doubleboost on youtube. However, I have been having problems with youtube recently not playing and giving an error message saying an error has occurred and please try again later.

Can anyone shed some light on this and how to get round it? Would like to view the video!


Thread: Cigarette Papers
20/07/2020 11:17:44

+1 for using cigarette papers for setting milling cutters up against the part to be milled, didn't measure the paper thickness but just assumed it was one thou give or take a midges. Quite accurate enough for most of the stuff I do!

Only got the green, didn't know there were other colours as don't smoke and that was just what the lady in the shop gave me.


Thread: Basic Electrics
16/07/2020 10:07:00

Not knickers in a twist Tony, more a sad reflection of where we are going in modern life.

Brugge market picture I am not surprised at. The area of Brittany I go to, the town street markets frequently have trailing leads across the pavement to provide power to some of the traders; a tripping hazard to be avoided in the UK but the French do not make a fuss and just step over the leads, no more tripping over them than they do the kerb.

A supermarket in the nearby town last Feb/March was renewing itself internally whilst remaining open for business, at some points there were bunches of cables coming up from the floor for the freezer cabinets in the middle of open space, not fenced off in any way - but no freezer cabinets, they were still to be relocated. Another triping hazard you might say, but everyone just ignored them and avoided them, no worries. Not saying its right, just another way of doing things, different ships different splices as the saying goes.

Attitudes and practices related to H&S are very different abroad, again not saying its right, its just the way other countries do things, but it doesn't appear to be a big issue with reports of people suffering accidents or injuries.

15/07/2020 21:45:50

" needs a sparky and a certificate of conformity now" - to wire in a 13 amp plug? Surely not!

Not so many years ago, back in the day, every electrical appliance you bought necessitated you then going out and buying a 13 amp plug, plus 3A and/or 5A fuses, (because very little of what you bought required a 13 fuse but thats what all plugs came - still does I think) and then fitting that to said just bought electrical appliance. And everyone did it. Even those thick-as-two-freezer-doors dumbos could wire in a 13A plug back then, and without disasters - I cannot recall newspapers or radio news or TV news running stories about someone blowing themselves up wiring in a 13A plug every day, or ever even. Wiring in a 13A plug was the first DIY job you learned back then, you just had to know it, so people did it. And survived.

So why has Nanny now decided that we're all so stupid and incapable that we require a sparky and a certificate of conformity to wire in a 13A plug? Just because electrical stuff now comes with a plug fitted? Then how do we, us adults, do really tricky stuff like crossing a busy road safely, on our own, without a certificate of conformity or going on a compulsory two day training course first, or holding someones hand. The world is slowly going mad!

And you wonder why people just switch off. Not '1984' yet is it?

End of rant for the day

Thread: Excellent Service
10/07/2020 15:13:44

Was trying to place an order with Tracy Tools yesterday on-line, but there was an issue with the webpage which wouldn't let me pay, so I had to phone the order in instead.

(Don't like having to phone orders in, others can hear what's going on, no need for Senior Management to know all that goes on and see every invoice that passes the door - married men will understand!)

The guy at Tracy Tools who took my order said one item was out of stock and wouldn't be in until next week; however, despite that, the total order arrived in the post today, less than 24 hours from order placement.

That's what I call excellent service - well done to Tracy Tools.


Thread: Bumblebee behaviour
31/05/2020 14:40:03

No Clive, not called anyone yet - who do we call? or will the bees just go off somewhere?

The problem is, to get to where the bee home is in the wall/roof is a matter of destruction. The wall does not have a cavity. The outbuilding is a very old (mid-late Victorian) and is constructed of a 2ft thick wall of mud and stone lumps with render on the inside and mortar on the outside. The roof boards have opened up a little (dried out I guess) to leave a small gap between the boards just big enough for the bees to crawl in.

I was thinking of just waiting for the winter and then sealing up the entrance. Where do you get sulphur smoke from? Had heard the petrol fumes kills them instantly too. Don't really want to kill them but neither do I really want them in the wall/roof of my shed! At least whatever happens aat least one mob has got away to start over again.


31/05/2020 13:28:14

It would now appear that the queen - old, new? - and a mob of bees have made off and are now hanging in a tree behind my neighbours garden. Hope they find somewhere safe. I presume that another queen has stayed behind in the nest as there are still a limited number of bees hanging around the entrance, but only a few.


The swarm hanging off a branch - its the downward pointed cone thingy in roughly the middle of the picture.  The nest entrance is rounghly in a line directly under the swarm, between the roof timber and the top of the wall


Close up of the swarm


Edited By ChrisH on 31/05/2020 13:59:49

31/05/2020 11:51:48

Earlier this morning masses of bees came out their nest in the wall of my shed, thousands of them, all flying in an area about 10-15m across. The noise was tremendous. Tried to film a video of them but they did not come out well against the background, the little flying bees seemed so indistinct. Can only assume it might have been a queen out flying for her nuptials, maybe a new queen? Not up on these things! Something was exciting them but, obviously.

Now an hour later, all is quiet again, with 4 perhaps 6 only bees buzzing around the entrance.  Calmness reigns again!


Edited By ChrisH on 31/05/2020 11:53:03

27/05/2020 12:29:10

Very interesting bee incident - magical even.

Found a huge, and I mean huge, bumble bee on the window cill in the conservatory last evening. It was still alive so I carefully relocated it to some flower plants outside. It was soon climbing very slowly around the flower head of a French Marigold.

This morning it was still there, and still moving, very slowly. Thinking it might need some energy I mixed a little teaspoon, about a 1/4, of honey with some water, put it on a side plate, put the bee on the plate and watched. It wandered seemingly aimlessly about so I steered it towards the honey solution. Suddenly it realised what was in front of it, the head went down, out came a long what looked like two pronged vee thingy from it's mouth area and out of the bottom of which came a little tongue which lapped at the honey solution for a few minutes. Then satisfied, the prongs were withdraw, a sudden spurt of solution came out its rear end and it trundled off around the plate so I put it back on the marigold flower head. It stayed there for a while and then suddenly next time I looked it had gone .

Never seen the like of that before.

And, not to do with bees, but this morning a song thrush flew down into the garden. To be fair, it took one look at me and flew off again, but that is the first song thrush I've seen in England for years and years, decades even. Wish it would eat more of the snails which are eating my seedlings!


27/05/2020 10:24:22

Clive - can you ID my bees for me from the photos I've posted?



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