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Member postings for tractionengine42

Here is a list of all the postings tractionengine42 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: What Did You Do Today (2017)
28/11/2017 14:23:24


Today I completed this tool which I believe is called a finger plate. No drawings just based upon what I can remember seeing from time to time.

I wanted a quick simple project with some nice milling and turning. This is a tool I have wanted for some time to help hold small parts for drilling and linishing etc. I think it should be useful.

A cross drilling feature is included with 2 aluminium bronze bushes to suit 2 sizes of spot drills I use, 3mm @ 5mm.

All materials from the scrap box and sizes determined by the size of the piece I used for the base block about 3" x 4". I think these tools are usually made much smaller.

finger plate.jpg


Thread: Need help zeroing an old style M&W No.961SB 0-1"micrometer
04/10/2017 08:13:31


Soaking it in penetrating/release oil a few hours may help.


Thread: tnmg inserts
18/09/2017 16:06:02


Tools using inserts with a plain straight hole don't use screws for clamping, they have an internal and/or external clamp arrangement where a screw acts on a lever and the lever clamps the insert.

I would imagine the leading manufactures will have some information on their websites.



Edited By tractionengine42 on 18/09/2017 16:13:50

Thread: Cutting a Cam
17/09/2017 06:36:50


I think the idea is that you take a number of incremental cuts. After taking the first cut the cam blank should be rotated a few degrees and a second cut taken, then repeated for a third cut, forth cut and so on untill the full cam profile is complete. This will leave the cam with a number of facets which will need to be blended using a file, emery paper and or stone.

Your first cam looks right for the first cut, it needs setting up in the fixture again and several more cuts rotating the cam on the fixture a few degrees each time.


Thread: English dialect
14/09/2017 07:45:44

As a Northumbrian a part that is within a Midgy's nif naf is good enough most of the time.

Thread: Repairing a cheap Ducato jack
14/09/2017 06:59:05

Hi Andrew

You can download an o ring guide here **LINK**

You can determine the pressure that the seal has to take by Jack max load / piston area.

The clearance between the piston and cylinder is termed the extrusion gap, this should be within specified limits for the seal to function reliably. If the extrusion gap is to big for the pressure applied the seal could extrude through the gap. My guess is your application is low pressure though.

A quality 70 shore hardness o ring will easily take more more than 1000 psi. Backup rings are used for higher pressures, these effectively increase resistance to seal extrusion.

I think using an o ring will provide a much safer and reliable jack. If the cylinder is steel then a bronze piston would be preferable. The finish on the cylinder bore needs to be a smooth finish with no scoring.


PS presumably you will need to put a seal between a metal piston and the piston rod.

Edited By tractionengine42 on 14/09/2017 07:24:07

Thread: The domestication of Laser Cutters
05/09/2017 12:13:46


There's some very good videos concerning Chinese laser engravers/cutters on this channel, very comprehensive and informative, well worth a look.


Edited By tractionengine42 on 05/09/2017 12:26:49

Thread: Polishing on a bench grinder?
14/06/2017 06:08:08


I believe you can use most bench grinders, you need to select pigtails that match the grinder shaft dia, usually 1/2" on small grinders and mop diameter/width that match the grinder power rating.

You can find recommendations for mop sizes relative to the grinder power rating here. I've no connection other than being a customer.


Thread: Making a small profile tool.
30/04/2017 08:09:28

Hi Robin

You could make a steel shank and silver solder a piece of 2.5mm HSS or carbide drill shank to it. If your going deeper than 1.25mm then grind some side clearance.

Some HSS drills do have a soft shank though, so a good quality drill will be needed. The temperature of silver soldering HSS won't effect the HSS hardness much.

As illustrated below.


rad grooving tool.jpg

Thread: CNC controller problem
26/04/2017 14:56:32


The electrical noise problem appears to be solved!

I had been running everything from the same socket via a multi point extension cable. After plugging the motor controller into a separate socket (still on the ring same ring main) everything is working fine. just spend an hour doing engraving with the high speed head and no problems at all.

So today is a good day and very happy with my new CNC mill build, fingers crossed trouble free running continues.

I will still make improvements by adding suppression filters etc. to be on the safe side.

So the lesson is don't run VFD's etc from the same electrical socket as sensitive electronic equipment. Allot of lessons learnt here about electrical noise and suppression.

Thanks again for your thoughts and suggestions.

Cheers, Nigel

25/04/2017 20:22:20


Thanks again for your help and suggestions.

David - I have the standard (low speed) head and a high speed head, both ramp up and down on stop and start.

Martin - My control system is close to the motor so this may not have been a good idea. The photo below shows the set up for both low and high speed spindles. The cable to the high speed motor is shielded but not to the low speed motor.

cnc mill.jpg

I have ordered suppression filters and shielded USB cable.

Originally I ran the high speed motor a few times off the machine away from the control box with no problems but that seems to have been luck.

The current situation is that the UC300 almost always disconnects when either the high speed head or low speed head starts otherwise it will disconnect when the motor stops.

I tried starting the UC300 and Mach 3 with the motors already running, the system ran g code for a short while then the UC300 disconnected. On a couple of occasions the UC300 disconnected with the system running idle (no motors or gcode running).

I removed the UC300 from the control box and placed it 4 feet away from the motors (which meant running a long DB25 cable (shielded) between the UC300 and breakout board in the control box. The results were exactly the same, the UC300 disconnected when the motors start and/or stop. This being the case I'm not sure moving the whole control unit away from the mill will help.

As Said I am waiting for some suppression filters and shielded USB cables to arrive. Adding a powered USB hub has been suggested to remove any possible USB power supply problems.

I think I could spend my hours and GBP chasing my tail, I'm wondering if I should ditch the (expensive) UC300 and just use the computer printer port (I did this before when converting a Sherline mill to CNC and rarely had any problems). The other option is to go with the dedicated cnc controllers now available where no marrying of computers, software and controllers is necessary, I do like Mach 3 though.

Again any thoughts or suggestions appreciated.

Cheers, Nigel

21/04/2017 22:50:42

Thanks Gents for your thoughts and ideas, I have very little electrical knowledge so suggestions are a great help.

The problem occurs only and precisely when I stop and start the motor which at present I am doing manually, not via Mach 3.

OK, as a first attempt to solve the problem I will use a separate independent power supply to the UC300 controller. I also like the idea of adding a snubber across the relay contacts. (I did wonder if it would be worth changing the stop/start relay for a solid state device, this could be a bit of a challenge for me though).

I like the idea of including a USB opto isolator, but as these seem quite expensive I will try the above first. As it will do no harm and is of low cost I will also add an EMI filter to the motor controller supply and use a shielded USB cable.

BTW, I have a separate high speed head using a different motor and motor controller. I've just been trying this one out and so far have had no issues. So that's encouraging.

Much appreciated, I will let you know how I get on.

Cheers, Nigel

Edit - BTW the drivers for the UC300 are up to date.

Edited By tractionengine42 on 21/04/2017 22:53:18

21/04/2017 20:12:43
I've just finished my cnc convertion of a chinese mill which has a brushless motor/brushless motor controller.
I am using Mach 3 on Windows 7 and a UC300 USB motion controller.
Everything is OK apart from one thing. I've tested the mill a few times; most of the time when I switch on or off the brusheless motor I get a message that the connection with the "UC300 is not responding" The only way to restore the connection is to shut down the computer and reboot however, the computer will not shut down properly, the shut down screen appears then the computer has to be manually powered off.
I would appreciate any ideas as to what steps I can take to put this right.
Could the problem be noise from the relay conatcts making and breaking on motor stop and start? If so can this be fixed?
Could an EMI filter inline with the bruchless motor controller solve the problem? Should I be using an EMI filer for each piece of equipment i.e. computer, Stepper motor & drivers PSU and Mill bruchless motor?
Should I shield the USB cable going from the computer to the smooth stepper?
Anything else I could consider?
It's very frustrating because apart from this problem everything is working great. It's only when the motor stop and start is pressed the problem occurs.
Thanks for any help.

Edited By tractionengine42 on 21/04/2017 20:13:58

Thread: Allchin Differential Lubrication
15/10/2016 10:45:04

Hi Steve

I don't think squirting oil though the annular gap mentioned would be very effective in getting the oil where it's needed. Chain saw oil is tacky, this could be used on assembly and should keep the surfaces wetted, then don't worry about it, re-lubricate once a year or so.

I will be using chainsaw oil on my main exposed drive gears, because it's tacky it shouldn't fling around to much or run off to quickly.


11/10/2016 07:48:02

Hi Stephen

I've built the Allchin in 3 inch scale. When driving the differential gears only rotate against one another when cornering and the rotational speeds are very slow. With this in mind, right or wrong, this is what I did.

I made my gear pinions from steel, to provide a good bearing I lined them with a cast iron bush and used silver steel pins, I coated the pins in dry film moly disulphide lubricant. On reflection an oilite bush could have been a better choice.

I also coated the gear teeth in dry film moly disulphide lubricant so no grease or oil is used.

I have only recently finished the engine and won't be steaming until next spring, so at present i can't give any feed back on this method.

Hope this helps.


Thread: Chamfer Milling
21/08/2016 16:54:34

Hi David

I just use part of the radius of a ball nose end mil/slot drill of which I have several sizes. I just eyeball the cutter position to get what looks like a 45 deg chamfer of the required width. Although mostly I would just file it.


Thread: Ball screw lubrication
21/07/2016 11:46:21

Nick, thanks for the additional information.

I'm thinking ISO 220 will be a good all round choice for the ball screws + vertical and horizontal slides using a one shot lubrication system.

I can keep most of the lubrication pipework internal to the mill avoiding lots of external pipes, should be a neat solution. I have ordered the ARC one shot lubrication pump.

Thanks again


17/07/2016 16:24:57

Thanks for all your very quick replies

That's clear cut then, I wiil include the ball screws within my one shot lubricating system so they will be lubricated along with tte slideways using ISO 68 oil. I may follow Nick's suggestion and use ISO 220 for everything.

Involute Curve - yes, I will be ordering the ARC lubricating system.

Much appreciated.




Edited By tractionengine42 on 17/07/2016 16:26:10

17/07/2016 13:00:12


I'm converting a mill to CNC and using 16 dia X 5 pitch C7 rolled ball screws.

Any recommendations for ball screw lubrication?

A Google search does not give a conclusive answer, in general for hobby use it appears to come down to either use slideway oil iso 68 or general purpose lithium grease.

It appears moly or PTFE additives should be avoided as these friction reducing agents can cause the balls to slip or skid.

I am including a one shot lubricating system and I'm at the stage as to whether or not to include the ball screws, or alternatively, lubricate them separately using grease.

Any comment, experiences appreciated.



Thread: dressing grinding stones
27/06/2016 09:17:47

Hi Douglas

I had the same problem using the straight cup grinding wheel that was supplied with the kit, it's not normal and suggests the wheel is not suitable for HSS. My guess is the wheel is more suited to carbon steel tools.

I got a recommended wheel from a local supplier which worked significantly better, unfortunately I don't have the wheel spec and now use diamond wheels on my T & C grinder.

It's worth contacting a supplier for a recommendation, this link may help is selecting a suitable wheel. Look under cutter grinding/HSS.



Edited By tractionengine42 on 27/06/2016 09:19:57

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