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Member postings for Alan Hopwood

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

Thread: universal pillar tool long arm castings
15/08/2021 10:29:22

When I've made a slightly larger version at work, I've made the column from 30mm en8 and the arms from 1&1/2 X 2 inch steel bar. Mind you, I work in agriculture and the old saying is "near enough for farm work".


Thread: Advice for a newbie on tools and tool post for a Myford super 7
23/01/2021 11:43:49

As a long time user of Myford S7's (one at home and its' twin at work), I would say that George Thomas's Workshop Manual is probably the most useful book ever written for that lathe.

Not only does it describe a wonderful range of add-ons for the Seven, but unlike many other writers, he details how best to make things that actually work and why.


Thread: Potential new society in North Yorkshire
30/12/2020 08:55:11

Whilst not wishing to dampen the idea of a new club, could I suggest that you have a look at what is available in the not too distant area. I'm living in Ripon and am a past chairman of the York society and would be pleased to introduce you to the lads at York. We have an extensive site and major plans for a upgrade of facilities on site.

Please contact me at Ripon Farm Services, Ripon and just ask for the angry Scotsman.


Thread: Lathe mandrel bearing replacement
03/10/2020 19:11:34

Has any member any experience of changing the Timkin bearings on a Harrison L15 lathe? I've had the impression recently that I'm getting a bit of rough running from what has been a very good lathe. I tried to take up any play by adjusting the split collar at the rear of the mandrel. but this has not cured the suspicion of a grumble (particularly when parting off). so I have obtained a pair of new bearings. The problems are that the manual which M/s Harrison have kindly supplied are copies of old items and the drawings are very hard to read.

Any clues would be gratefully received. as it may save a lot of engineering / agricultural language being used.

Thanks in anticipation,


Thread: UK availability of 1/8" Dia shank End mill/Slot drills
31/08/2020 19:39:16

Am I missing something? Just checked Tracy Tools site and they list both endmills and slot drills at 1/8th.



Thread: varifocals
31/08/2020 19:30:22

I'm late to this topic, but I would strongly advise against varifocals for any technical work. I was concerned about my ability to machine on agricultural work ( please no comments about "near enough for farm work" and tapped our HR dept to see if they would help towards the cost of prescription work specs. No joy from that source, so I went to Spec Savers for advice. Now, if ever an outfit was misnamed, but that's another story; I was pointed to a pair of safety specs fitted with the said varifocals. It took time to get used to them, but the most worrying feature was the fact that I could not see a straight line. Everything that I knew to be straight ie Starret rule, or whatever looked like a banana. I gave the specs every chance, but when I did go back to the same guy who sold me the glasses, sorry your out of time was the cry. So £204 was totally wasted.

I now work with a set of MSC safety glasses with +2 readers which cost about £11.



Thread: North Yorkshire Logging In
23/06/2020 19:23:04

One from Ripon here.

Thread: Toothe broke on lathe chuck
24/05/2020 10:57:10

Why not just phone Rotagrip, quote the number of the chuck and price up a replacement set of jaws. The hardened ones will be pricey, but get a quote on a soft jaw set and machine them to suit.


Thread: Grub screws for 16” Colchester chuck
16/02/2020 11:52:33

Have you tried M/s Rotagrip for a quotation?


Thread: Only for Myford lathes
05/02/2020 09:29:24

Could someone answer a little question on the Super 7? the one shown in the photograph is of the same vintage as the two 7's I have the use of, but I believe them to be Super 7's and not Super 7 B's. I understood that the B indicated that it had power cross feed, which the one shown (and mine) are not so equipped.

Am I right?

Thread: Headstock Dividing Attachment from Hemingway
10/11/2019 10:50:49

One of the best things you can make. The number of times I've called on it for all sorts of graduating jobs etc. is quite remarkable. I even produced a vernier scale for the thimble of the GHT cross-slide dial. This meant that I could read in tenths of a thou and still work in 1/16ths of an inch .

Thread: How much can a chuck effect finish?
18/04/2019 20:04:02

Risking being thought too simplistic, I have got into the habit of tightening all three stations of a three jaw before any cut. I also almost always wipe the contact edges of the jaws with my index finger before inserting the stock to be machined.



Thread: Moving the Head on a Round Column Type Mill
14/11/2015 20:04:12

I also use a cheap DIY laser, but instead of using a pencil line I put up a strip of black tape on the wall of the workshop, put in a nail at the top of the strip, hung a piece of white string with a weight (big nut) at the bottom. Before moving the head up or down bring the laser light onto the sting when the light appears to floorese (sp?). Anyway, when you move the head, bring the head round to bring the light back onto the string and I think I'm near enough for farm work. We had a fair old discussion at the York Club about this, and although we never came to a definite answer to the degree of accuracy I could expect over the 12 feet or so of separation, it was thought that only changing for a knee type machine (which I couldn't afford) would affect any improvement.


Thread: Dovetail technique
02/08/2015 09:22:46

GHT described cutting dovetails which stated that it is best not to cut the slope and the base at the same time, because of "cutter flutter". His recommendation was to lift the cutter off the base by about 5 to 10 thou for a very light finishing cut along the slope.


Thread: NG10 blow gun Thread- any idea?
25/07/2015 23:15:23

Ian, Glad that the 3/8 British Standard Brass thread proved correct. I'm also please that you had a die (must try to remember that for the future). I suspect that the material, which you say is not Ali, will be Mazak which is a zinc based die casting alloy.



Thread: Signing one's work
08/07/2015 18:58:22

As I mainly make tools, a name plate might not be suitable, but I do have a stamp of my Masonic Mark which I dab on the tool somewhere.

I can't claim to have made the punch, but one of my old drinking pals was an engraver (Holland & Holland is one of his customers) and he very kindly carved out a piece of silver steel for me which I then hardened and tempered.



Thread: Anyone been to the Harrogate show yet ?
09/05/2015 21:25:05

Good day really. Mr Harrison bought me a drink, met an old school mate from Glasgow, bumped into Dave Fenner, Ivan Law, D.A.G. Brown plus a few more lads I know. Better not say too much about the spend, SWMBO may come across this message. All in all, a nice day. Still think it's the best show, but like all the others we could do with more of the trade attending. You can't beat handling what you may buy.



Thread: Harrogate Exhibition
07/05/2015 20:23:11

A Mr B. Harrison has invited me to partake in strong drink at the bar on Saturday at 1pm. Now that should be a most unusual sight, an Englishman buying a Scot a drinkwink.


Alan Hopwood.

Thread: Choosing a bandsaw
29/03/2015 21:25:06

I've been trying to work out how old my Axminster bandsaw is. It's certainly 25 years old, if not a few more, and is still giving very good service. I have taken it from my workshop and now use it at work, and working it hard.

The stand is not great, but the design may have been improved by now. I buy the blades from MSC and have found that spending a few quid more on the Die Master blades saves money in the long run.



Thread: No. 4501 The MEX Judges Reports
06/02/2015 22:06:09

I've read this thread with considerable interest, as most of my model engineering is based on making tools. I attended Sandown for the first time this year, and was a bit disappointed with the tooling section of the competition. I felt that there was a both a lack of numbers of entries, and a lack of complexity. Mind you, our own (Harrogate) exhibition has been very poorly supported by tooling of late.

As could be seen from my GHT display, I'm no exponent of the wet and dry school of finish. If it does the job required, and the edges don't cut the hands too often, then it's a good tool.

Poor old Neil Read is taking a bit of a kicking lately, what with the drill expert having a go about his inability to off hand grind a drill within tolerance, and then for, what I took to be reasonable comments, his critique of a milling vice.



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