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Member postings for mgnbuk

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

Thread: Workshop lighting / energy costs
14/10/2021 10:56:38

7,860 kWh (or about 7.9 MWh by my reckoning)


Kilowatt = one thousand watts

Megawatt = one million watts

Why do you reckon that they are the same ?

You would cetainly notice the bill for 7.9 MWh consumption - about £1185000 at £0.15 per KWh !

Nigel B.

Thread: Not enoughh CO2 ?
22/09/2021 11:38:35

I see non-one condemns the CO2 produced in brewing alcohol.

I don't know if it is a general practice in the brewing sector, but on an episode of the "Inside the factory" TV program than covered production of cider that company recovered the CO2 released during fermentation & used it to carbonate the finished product when it was canned.

Nigel B.

Thread: Saving the Planet or is it ?
16/09/2021 09:36:57

One of the examples of not looking at the whole picture before coming out with new restrictions was the limiting of the power of vacuum cleaners. Due to lower power they need to be used longer so the overall effect is probably not what was intended.

Not sure that is a good example.

The reason that particular change was introduced was due to the way vacuum cleaners were marketed, using the " a more powerful motor = more suction" reasoning. In reality, powerful motors were used to mask inefficient designs, so the "more powerful motor" rarely gave better performance over a better designed, lower power unit. But the "bigger is better" argument won out in the shops.

The limiting of vacuum cleaner power lead to more efficient designs & vacuum cleaners are mostly more efficient than before using less power, so the overall effect is probably just what was intended. I doubt many went out & changed an old unit just for the sake of getting a more efficient new one, but with natural wastage the current population of older inefficient cleaners will eventually be replaced.

Nigel B.

Thread: Today's mystery Maker's Mark
07/09/2021 19:15:06

I think this might be for 'Meopta' the Czech maker.

Michael's logo is different to any of those that Meopta list in their history :

Meopta logos

Can't recall seeing anything like that before & it is nothing like my more recent Manfrotto model.

Nigel B.

Thread: solid edge community edition woes
07/09/2021 19:00:05

The software seems to be robust and glitch free (as one would expect from a large organisation such as Siemens)


That was not my experience with some of their other products - but I won't be saying anything more on a public forum.

Hence Freecad for me rather than SE - with an equally steep (maybe steeper) learning curve. Some useful tutors for Freecad on Youtube that helped me get started & just in the process of upgrading my computer (i7, 16Gb ram, SSD, Win 10 Pro) to do more with it.

Sadly there don't appear to be any shortcuts to mastering 3D Cad & it does appear to require decent hardware.

Nigel B.

Thread: Why do designers do this!!
07/09/2021 09:59:13

Because they are ignorant with absolutely no practical experience, wet behind the ears and have never had to actually work on the item they design, to take it apart or maintain it; if they did then they would very quickly redesign it.

I disagree.

Designers & production engineers are not stupid people & if it were made a part of their remit then I am sure that they could incorporate serviceability into a design. But their remit will be to design it to be as easy and as cheap as possible to make and capable of outlasting the warranty period before repairs are required. That the design requires, say, the removal of a front wheel, wheel arch liner & heaven only know what else to change a headlight bulb in the field will be of no concern, as long as it can be fitted easily on the production line.

Designers & production engineers dance to the tune of the bean counters in the first instance, not the end user.

Nigel B..

Thread: Teco VF400
07/09/2021 08:35:57

That looks rather like a modern incarnation of the old East Germany manufactured Hobbymat milling machine.

The head & column assembly could be fitted to a bracket mounted behind the Hobbymat lathe bed, or mounted in a separate X-Y table assembly to produce the stand-alone milling machine. Much along the lines of the Emco FB2 milling machine, but smaller. IIRC the original DDR machine was a 1MT spindle, but I could be mistaken.

Hobbymat mill

Nigel B.

Thread: Read the small print
07/09/2021 08:27:40


Every time I have had tyres fitted at my local National tyres branch for the last several years.

I buy tyres online from Tyreshopper, who give the option of having them fitted at National Tyres branches. They use rechargeable torque guns (have not seen an air gun used for many years) to snug up the nuts, then go round all of them with a click type toque wrench.

How often the much-used torque wrench is calibrated is another matter ! I have never had to struggle to remove a wheel that they have fitted, though, & use my (uncalibrated ! ) torque wrench on re-assembly.

Nigel B.

Thread: Why do designers do this!!
07/09/2021 08:09:10

It's a mystery. Likely to do with speed of assembly.

No mystery - it is all to do with ease & speed of assembly. Serviceability really doesn't come in to it - manufacturing plants make new stuff, repairing older products doesn't keep the lines running. Making products easier to service would increase assembly time & cut profits.

Cars are similar - having been round the Audi car plant at Ingolstadt & seen the way that cars are assembled, it is no wonder they are a pain to work on. For example, the battery was installed before the complete front of the car was fitted - the line worker had free access to pop the battery in place as the front section containing the headlights, radiator etc. was not fitted at that point. Bolt the front of the car in place later down the line & the battery is buried. No problem for Renault's assembly plant and bean counters that the engine had to be removed to change the cam belt, as was the case with a Laguna company car I had.

Nigel B.

Thread: MIG gas/gasless welders - recommendations?
06/09/2021 19:51:58

Any views on inverter vs non-inverter units?

Limited experience of one of each type - I bought a Sip Migmate 130 transformer type unit many years ago & my employer bought a 140A Ebay inverter unit for doing up a VW T2 last summer.

The Sip has been nothing but trouble, very rarely working well. If I had had the benefit of Google before I bought it (which was in pre-Google times) I would not have bought it ! Lots of similar tales of woe on the Mig Welding Forum showed it wasn't just my inexperience with Mig that was the problem, most areas of the the machine are lacking. Time will tell if my decision to gut the thing & replace pretty much all of the intenal gubbins except the case, transformer & rectifier was worthwhile or just chucking more good money after bad.

The 140A inverter unit I picked up on for my employer was chosen mainly for it's ability to go down to 20A for vehicle bodywork. It is a gas / gasless unit & worked straight out of the box - I had to fit the second (small) reel of wire today, with the first having gone though without any feeding or other issues. I have only used it a couple of times & produced better welds than any I managed with the Sip. As with all inverter units, it is light & compact - the Sip is very heavy and bulky.. This particular unit will only take small reels of wire & has a fixed torch - others would take 5Kg reels & used Eurotorch socketed torches, but these are physically a lot bigger and more costly. As the VW T2 project is likely to be a one-off the more compact, less expensive route was taken.

I will check the make tomorrow & post up a link if I can find one - it came next day from a UK seller (though made in China) & cost around £140 IIRC. This unit was bought after I had made the decision to rebuild the Sip and had already ordered the components. Had I seen the inexpensive inverter unit perform before having ordered the bits, I would not have bothered & would have binned the Sip and bought an inverter unit instead.

Nigel B.

Thread: Aldi belt & disc sander
04/09/2021 11:43:58

Just had an offers e-mail from Aldi offering a belt and disc sander

Online only (not available in store) for £90 (+ carriage presumably - not ordered from Aldi online).

Looks similar to one I have had for some years that came from Netto that works quite well - mine has a 375W motor & can be stalled if you get too enthusiastic with applying pressure to either abrasive surface. The Aldi abrasive disc is also Velcro attachment, which is probably more convenient to change discs than my self adhesive arrangement

One advantage of this style of machine is that the swarf is kept away from the motor - on the Clarke equivalent from Machine Mart the swarf is drawn through the motor, as the cooling air is used to aid dust extraction. This isn't a problem with wood, but metal swarf eventually gets into the windings & they fail - killed two at my last employment due to this.

Might be of interest to someone ?

Nigel B.

Thread: Type 2 precision vice from Arc euro
03/09/2021 13:19:55

Grrr.... I've just had to let the moths out of my wallet because of this thread !

I had no problems ordering from the Advantage flyer - note that using the promo code ADVFREE gets free carriage.

3" vice cost £50.39 inc. Vat and free delivery. You do have to create an account to be able to check out & the account allows you to set a different delivery address to the invoice address - my vice is going to work. Got an order acknowledgement seconds after sending the order.

I used to buy quite a few items from the Advantage flyer when the company was J & L Industrial Supply, but they never seemd to be as competitive after MSC took them over. Used to worthwhile calling in to their Wednesbury HQ when I was passing for the "clearance " corner - the free coffee & doughnuts was something of a draw as well !

Nigel B.

Thread: Urgent - opinions of lathe I am going to view/buy
02/09/2021 19:49:02

Boxford school lathes have T for training such as TUD, the U is for under drive. They don't have screwcutting capabilities so the lathe in question is not a school one

While TUD plain lathes were indeed "Training" lathes, schools did use other models. My old CUD was ex-school, as was a late friend's AUD.

One way of spotting an ex-school machine is to look at the cross and top slide dials & checking the leadscrew pitch. With metrication, schools had their Imperial machines converted to metric by swapping the screws, nuts & dials on the cross and top slides for metric items. To save costs the Imperial leadscrew was not changed, but a 100/127 changewheel set was provided to cut metric threads.

Looks like it has been re-painted with a chewed stick. You would want to check that the back gears are present and have all their teeth - particularly with the spindle lock missing. Trying to remove a stuck chuck by locking the back gear = broken teeth.

Could be a basis for a good machine - could equally be a money pit. Difficult to determine which without more pics. Seems a bit pricey to me for the apparant condition, but prices do seem to be going up.

Nigel B.

Thread: What are the potential hazards of using E10 fuel on classic car seals
02/09/2021 15:22:35

I now have a diesel car, so E10 isn't a problem for me in ordinary driving.

But B7 might be, depending on the age of the diesel car ?

My wife's '86 BMW motorcycle might be problematic, though I fitted supposedly E10 compatible flexible hoses this spring as E5 had rotted out the last set @ only 2 years old. Time will tell if the float needles & floats give problems. My '78 MZ TS250/1 may also give problems but that currently requires work before it sees the road again, so it will be a while before I find out. I think I fitted Viton crank seals at the last major rebuild, so they at least should be OK & I use full synthetic 2T oil all the time.

Nigel B.

Thread: Aging fingers
24/08/2021 20:36:45

The carpal tunnel problem in my right hand which I have had for years is worsening and I have been refered for an operation.

Carpal Tunnel decompression ops are not too bad - I had my right done when I was 30 and the left at 40 & in both cases was back at work after 4 weeks. The nerve conduction tests while being diagosed were more uncomfortable than the procedure & recovery for me. The wound site was a bit "tender" for a while after healing up & let me know if I was attempting to do too much too soon.

The first ended up being done under a general anaesthetic after a double dose of the local didn't work. By the time I had the second one done the type & method administering the local had changed & the op was very quick - my wife dropped me off at 7.30am on her way to work & they rang her at 10.30 to say I was ready to go home. As a tourniquet was used before they went in, they started a stop watch & IIRC I was "in and out" in under 13 minutes - then tea & toast in the recovery suite. The second needed some ultra sound physio to reduce sensitivity at the wound site after it had healed, but other than that life has been a lot more comfortable since having had them done.

I'm plagued by worn out bottom thumb joints. The excruciating steroid injection to the right one had no discernable effect (as happened before the first Carpal Tunnel op), so I'm awaiting a trapeziectomy (complete removal of the worn out trapezium bone at the base of the thumb) - should have been done last Autumn, but the Chinapox upset those plans & hopefully it will now will happen this Autumn. A lot more invasive than the Carpal Tunnel ops & 3-6 months recovery . Depending how that works out, it may well be the same again on the left. I want to have it done in the Autum as I would like to be active again by the Spring (and I dislike commuting in Winter !).

As far as aleviating the discomfort after "doing stuff" goes, I take Ibuprofen or use Ibuprofen gel.

Not seeing too many advantages to getting older so far !

Nigel B.

Thread: Chinese "K40" laser
22/08/2021 17:03:06

Many thanks to all contributors to this thread, particularly David for being so kind as to undertake the testing & Robert.for the insights into the safety aspects of operating powerful laser equipment.

As a result, I will be recommending that my employer contacts industrial laser equipment suppliers for suitable equipment for the job, should he decide to go down the route of in-house component marking if we get the contract.

Nigel B.

Thread: Sherline lathe
20/08/2021 17:38:42

If a used imperial long bed deluxe model with a lot of accessories might be of interest, I have been thinking of selling mine.

I can itemise all the bits if you are interested, but off the top of my head there is the milling column, milling vice, rack indexing unit, screwcutting gear set, compound slide. fixed steady, spindle & tailstock drill chucks, 3 & 4 jaw chucks + face plate.

It was bought used & there are some marks on the bed near the chuck where the original owner used a hacksaw to "part off" without using a bed protector, but otherwise it is OK - not mint, but quite useable. I got it as a 40th birthday present (I'm now 61 !) & have not used it much, particularly in the last several years hence thinking it needs to find a new home.

Nigel B.

Thread: Chinese "K40" laser
20/08/2021 09:57:40

Robert: Quite right to point out that a hobby grade machine will not meet industrial standards out of the box & will need additional interlocks / safeguards / rectifications before it could be released to my collegues. My only laser experience was with my previous employer, where I was provided with a Renishaw ML10 laser interferometer to setup & diagnose positioning & alignment issues with CNC machine tools- not really the same animal !

My first port of call for advice on operating equipment I am unfamiliar with is the relevant HSE Guidance, as it will be if this project gains momentum. Given the low initial cost of these units, adding a solenoid released guard interlock unit & a safety relay to operate it to lock out power to the laser tube (& possibly operating a solenoid operated steel shutter to the laser output port) at the same time as addressing the known earthing & power supply issues should not be too difficult - even doubling or tripling the initial cost would still be cost effective compared to a full blown industrial machine that would probably be overkill - always supposing that the Chinese machine is capable of doing the required job ! I would also need to invetsigate whether an air jet would be required & fume ventilation requirements.

Tim: I know that the particular item I would be working with can be laser engraved as our potential customer has provided a sample. Due to commercial confidentiality I can't give any more details, unfortunately. Graphite does burn but requires an external heat source to do so - put a piece into an oxy-propane flame & it can be seen to being slowly consumed, but take it out of the flame & it does not self-sustain. The dust is not explosive, unlike other dusts. We make graphite heating elements for vacuum furnaces that operate at 1500 C that can last for years - but an air or cooling water leak providing oxygen at that temperature & they disappear quite quickly (as does the graphite felt insulation). The sample I have seen showed black/brown smoke staining on the surface at the ends of the engraved numbers that did not easily rub off.

Duncan: The V2 guide vanes were graphite - there are some on display at the Peenemúnde museum. I guess that they didn't need to last too long in that application, rather like the rocket motor nozzles in current missiles - only a couple of seconds burn time & you will not be looking to re-use them..

David: You have incoming mail.

Thanks for the replies.

Nigel B.

19/08/2021 16:07:20

Does anyone on here have one of the Chinese K40 laser cutter / engravers & would be interested in doing a test engraving for me ?

I may have to laser engrave a part number on a graphite component at work & would be interested to see if a 40W laser would be man enough for the job.

There are suggestions that the "40W" lasers are nearer 25 or 30W in reality, but as the sales pitch for (at least some versions of) these machines shows engraving marble they may do what we need without spending a large amount on a full-blown industrial machine.

I would also be interested to know more of real life experiences with these machines - capabilities, accuracy, reliability etc. - from a personl perspective as well as for the work application.

Nigel B.

Thread: Looking for solution to incorrigibly jumpy needle roller bearings
18/08/2021 10:43:11

Please put in a link.

The OP has a link to a video on the second line of the first post ?

Nigel B.

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