By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

Member postings for Steve Withnell

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

Thread: MACH 3 Display Question
18/05/2019 21:00:57
Posted by JasonB on 24/04/2019 09:08:39:

Did you get your touch screen up and running Steve?

I did use Cut2D for the first few test items but have not used it for any actual parts. agree it is quite easy to get the hang of but I have not found F360 CAM any harder to pick up and that is what I'm using now. As it imports a STEP file you get heights which you don't when using a DXF in Cut2D and no need to join all those vectors together.

HI Jason,

Got too absorbed with the KX1 You are right, the 16:9 ratio screen works well, but using a 23 inch monitor I already had. The Mach3 screens are properly proportioned and there is plenty of room for the Jog flyout. I've a bit of sorting out to do then I will move onto a touch screen.

I've cut quite a few things using CUT2D, I've just cut some holes in a case and have screws in different planes interfering , which wasn't obvious until I machined them! So I could do with a package which will show all features before generating the toolpaths.

The KX1 is really sweet, wish I'd got one years ago! A few trivial bugs the max spindle speed was set at 5,000 rpm, which I've now reset to 7,000 rpm as per spec.

One thing I'm not comfortable with yet is working out plunge rates and suspect I'm being a bit too gentle!



24/04/2019 08:27:25
Posted by William Orr on 31/03/2019 17:58:51:

I am a complete Novice at CNC machining

my set up is Mac 3 and a 3axis mill

dedicated PC with screen Off line

anyone near me willing to show me how to work it??

between Salisbury and Southampton

i am conversant with machining teqniques as I am a time served toolmaker just not up with CNC




Hi William,


I've just started out on this journey. I'm using Vectric Cut2D as an easy way to generate G code for Mach 3 and it's by far the easiest piece of CAD/CAM software I've tried so far.



Edited By Steve Withnell on 24/04/2019 08:27:59

Thread: Making Holes in Copper Sheet
19/04/2019 13:18:03

Thanks folks. I've so much going on I'd forgotten I had a set of step drills, if they won't go all the way, I can use a boring bar to get to a push fit with the pipe. The pipe is very short (it's not a plumbing job) around 20mm and needs to be a precise fit, which is why I thought about teasing out to size with a boring bar.

Will report back...


19/04/2019 09:43:28

I need to make two holes in copper sheet, nominally 22mm. Nominally, because I want the hole to be a push fit for a selected piece of 22mm copper waterpipe.

One sheet is 1.5mm thick and 55mm diameter overall and the other 3mm thick and 105mm diameter. (If you read the same magazine that I do, you will know what this is for )

My plan was to sandwich each sheet between two pieces of 18mm ply and clamp it down onto the mill table, then drill out to 19mm. Then use a boring tool to creep up to the push fit diameter.

The questions - is this the best way of achieving the goal? What do I need to manage to ensure a nice clean hole and what spindle speed should I run the boring tool at?

Many thanks in advance


Thread: Using a propane cylinder for partable compressed air.
05/04/2019 14:03:35

As a practical question, just how much useful air can you store? Gas bottles are filled with say propane in its liquid state which vaporises as the pressure is released from the bottle. This allows for a huge volume of gas to be available from quite a small cylinder. Compressed air - the receiver on my 1.5HP compressor doesn't store enough enough for any useful purpose (even running my Victoria or spraying it, the pump is forever kicking in). Amateur mistake, I should have bought a bigger one...


Thread: MACH 3 Display Question
30/03/2019 08:33:40

Cheers Jason.


Thread: WT2527 15cc Glow Engine
29/03/2019 14:59:18

Lovely job Craig. Thanks for sharing the photo's, there is a lot of effort required to keep on top of the photo's whilst trying to produce a quality set of parts, which can be tough enough!



Thread: MACH 3 Display Question
29/03/2019 14:46:39

Thanks John. I'm just setting up a WinXP SP3 workstation and I've found a couple of touchscreens I've found have XP support, one is 4:3 and a couple are 16:9, So just interested to know what aspect ratio Mach3 is designed for.

The 4:3 one I found is meant to be used as a PoS terminal, so might be more rugged than the standard desktop screen.

I have run Mach3 demo version on my laptop, but the aspect ratio looked a bit off, which is why I thought the native design was for 4:3.

Best regards


29/03/2019 10:36:55

I'm looking to buy a new touch screen as my Mach 3 control panel (I don't have Mach 3 to play with yet). Do 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio screens work best?

Like many of us, I don't have acres of space so thinking a 12 or 15" panel is enough...

I'll be using the locked down version of Mach3 as provided by ArcEurotrade.

Best regards


Thread: Where have all the Mondeo's gone
08/04/2018 21:06:28
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 08/04/2018 20:25:12:
Posted by KWIL on 08/04/2018 14:51:28:

False status.

My dad's job once involved sharing an office with a succession of interesting characters en-route to new challenges. One of these chaps answered an ad in the local paper for a second-hand car and was invited round to take a look.

When he got to the address, it turned out to be a minor stately home in large grounds near Bath, where he met the owner - one Arnold Weinstock. Remember him? His obituary describes him as Britain's premier post second world war industrialist. At the time he was making huge profits with GEC.

What car was the super-rich industrial magnate selling in the local rag? He drove a very ordinary Ford Cortina.


And he only had one house - how times change!

Thread: Help choosing a smartphone
01/03/2018 11:30:22
Posted by Otley on 27/02/2018 11:51:45:

I’m looking for advice on how to proceed from anyone of a similar outlook to myself. What physical size phone have others gone with? 16Gb or 32Gb or more – or less? SIM only or pay as you go? How much to spend? Etc. Any advice welcomed!

Thank you.

Just been through this myself. I've seperated the problem into two parts - the phone and the service contract. Three are charging me £12 a month for 12GB of data + unlimited text and calls. So stopped using the house phone for outbound calls. See how much you spend on outbound calls to get the overall cost difference. I 've had the phone for a couple months or so and no matter how hard I use the phone, I haven't managed to use 5GB in a month, so 12GB is equivalent to "unlimited" in my case!

Next problem is then the phone itself. Samsung are fantastic phones, my wife has had them for along time. However, the latest Samsung is £750!!! Not happening. We now have three different Motorola phones in the family and all are good. They are built by Lenovo who have a good reputation. Two of the three were bought as special offers from Carphone Warehouse, service is great and they are easy to deal with. The third was bought from an online outfit offering the phone Moto X4 as the sharpest price, but rapidly turned into a nightmare which took weeks to sort out.

Reading your post, sounds like the X4 (with its 3 cameras and all metal case) is too big and heavy - albeit fantastic value for money. Take a look at a Motorola G5Plus, still big but lighter and it will give you a starting point. It's the right sort of processor and memory capacity to provide at least say 3 years usage before obsolence kills it.!colour=grey&capacity=32GB&dealType=sf

Whatever phone you go for, do check/challenge the processor as this will determine longevity and the satisfaction you get from using it. Just like driving an underpowered car is a constant source of frustration.

Not having had my own smartphone before, I've been amazed at the huge volume of free and useful applications in the playstore.


Thread: When is 9mm not 9mm?
04/01/2018 17:46:39

Another combination to watch for is 1/4" and 6mm in brass and copper round bars. The last two suppliers I've used off eBay don't differentiate between the two sizes...When I asked why they had shipped 1/4inch instead of 6mm, it was because they had 1/4inch in stock...

Thread: Private Messages
02/01/2018 18:36:29

Mystery solved! I thought my account had been hacked when all these PM's started turning up...

Happy New Year!


Thread: Myford ML10 headstock bearing play
01/01/2018 10:15:04

The runout on my first lathe was nearly 0.1" and would still make perfectly good parts! Really bad runout will still deliver round parts From a novice point of view (which I will always be at this game), knowing how your machines perform is more important than seeking perfection (which you will never achieve) in them.

Don't buy a collet chuck to make the runout go away - most turned parts are produced in either a 3 or 4 jaw chuck with only a few specialist jobs needing a collet chuck. I have all three - but 75% of jobs are done in the three jaw. 20% are maybe done in the 4-Jaw. A few are done on the face plate. Doesn't leave a lot of jobs that NEED a collet chuck.

I'm definitely with Jim and Hopper on this one.

A more important check might be to see if it is actually turning parallel, rather than taper and work on reducing any taper. This is easy to do - just stick 100mm of 25mm steel bar in the chuck and take a light skim over it's length and see it the start and end diameters are the same. If not - someone in the group who knows the ML10 better than me will advise next steps!

Happy New Year


Thread: Using a fly cutter
30/12/2017 13:20:33

My first lesson using a flycutter was that the typical ones sold on eBay don't have anywhere near enough rigidity or mass for anything only the lightest of work. I 'made' one one by bolting 25mm square bar (with a piece of 10mm silver steel as a cutter) to the 250mm face plate on my lathe and used that to face off some large chunks off ally. I don't think the finish would have been as good on the mill.




Thread: What's the strangest project you've ever seen in an old ME or MEW?
20/12/2017 17:57:25
Posted by not done it yet on 19/12/2017 07:29:49:

more like an overgrown shotgun cartridge.

Not 'overgrown' at all. A normal gauge cartridge. Admittedly rather bigger than a .410, but they just used the size for the job. It was an 8 gauge. Some wildfowling shotguns used a 4 gauge cartridge. I suppose most out there only think of the most common shotgun size - the 12 bore.

You can work out the diameter using the standard density for lead and 4/3 Pi r^3. Without checking, a 12 gauge is about 0.718". More like a cannon shell case than a bullet, I suppose.

Edited By not done it yet on 19/12/2017 07:33:51

Pretty sure the old Field Marshall was a 12 bore sized cartridge...Dad had one for a short time, think it went for scrap!



Thread: Which lathe
22/11/2017 19:31:20

Get a C3 and start turning! My critieria for my lathe was it had to be the heaviest I could find that would fit on the bench and be new Chinese. Makes perfectly good stuff. Mind you, I don't get tool room jobs from NASA that often

Crazy decision making criteria, but no regrets at all and it's done a quite few jobs now over the ten years I've had it.


Thread: Metalworking files - Guidance required please
12/11/2017 10:29:47

I wouldn't buy a set to be honest. I do have a set and pretty much 95% of the time just use the flat No.2. I don't think I've ever used the rat tail. An exception is the CK branded needle files, I use most of them, though again, the round file doesn't get used much.


Thread: Lathe unwanted taper
12/11/2017 10:24:17
Posted by ChrisB on 09/11/2017 10:40:24:

Thanks for all the replies, I spent most of this morning in the workshop adjusting bench feet and doing some test cuts on the lathe, also knocked out a spirit level out of some scrap I had around and a test tube - surprisingly it turned out much more accurate than a normal level,

Bit of a tangent - when I was a kid 10 or 11, Grandad asked me if I had a testube I didn't want. I gave him one to make a level - he knocked a hole in the end of the tube and fastened it to a long length of hose pipe. By filling the pipe at one end until water appeared in the test tube he could establish a level over a long distance.


Thread: How long does it take you to make stuff?
12/11/2017 10:06:49

Years, but I get there in the end...

The very best work I've seen is about infinite patience and the worst was rushed. So long as you are enjoying the process, how long it takes doesn't really matter?


Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
TRANSWAVE Converters
Allendale Electronics
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest