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Member postings for ega

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

Thread: Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech-ring
25/02/2014 14:37:00

Diane Carney

I am pleased to have started this interesting hare - or should I say doe?

David Lodge's novel Nice Work (1988) contains a revealing section about male engineers' attitudes to women. The heroine ventures into the machine shop - I will venture a brief quote:

"Wolf-whistles and catcalls, audible in spite of the mechanical din, followed her as she hurried through the factory."

She was no Ruby Loftus, of course, and in truth had no business there. I hope and believe circumstances have changed.

Thread: ML7 Restoration
25/02/2014 11:05:03

Matt's excellent pictures don't appear on my Android tablet, either but my Flash-enabled Windows 7 machine shows them.

More power to his elbow!

Thread: Help needed truing ways on mill
23/02/2014 16:26:21

Graham Meek:

Thank you again - I am minded to follow your advice.

The reason I dismantled was that I wanted to provide some better means of lubricating the y-axis ways and associated leadscrew and nut. However, I recall GHT advising the removal of the Myford cross slide when necessary for cleaning. This assembly does not have the advantage of oil nipples and oilways, unlike the saddle, and I suppose this may be one occasion when dismantling is justified.

23/02/2014 14:13:09

Here is a photo of the bluing on the defective ways:


By way of explanation, I applied the thinnest and most even coat of blue I could achieve to the corresponding ways on the fixed base of the mill, offered up the casting without touching the blued areas, lowered the casting into contact, moved to and fro once and then lifted and removed the casting. I had previously confirmed that there is no corner-to-corner rocking by testing with a dial gauge and the bluing seems to support this although it looks as though my bluing was too thick on the inner edges.

Ironic that the operator seems to have machined the parallel, non-contact, faces visible in the photo to a respectable finish.

Ketan Swali: thanks for your kind advice. As an occasional customer, I find it very gratifying that you are prepared to take an interest.

23/02/2014 11:04:26


23/02/2014 10:18:08

I see that this thread has broadened into an interesting discussion of more general matters.

So far as my problem is concerned, there seems to be a near-consensus in favour of either leaving not too bad alone or, if machining is resorted to, having the offending ways surface ground. This brings me back to my original quest for a suitable machine shop and so far I have been unsuccessful - one disadvantage, perhaps, of living in the soft underbelly of England. I will continue my search when the world gets back to work tomorrow.

Renewed thanks to all those who contributed. The responses have been genuinely helpful.

22/02/2014 10:21:36


Many thanks indeed to all of you for your very interesting and constructive posts. The variety of approach has been quite striking and I am going to have to mull it all over before deciding what to do.

Robbo: in answer to your question, I don't think I can improve much on the paragraph immediately under the photo in my original post; the areas where the *coarse* machining marks are visible are indeed the low areas and the remainder of each way shows the marks of *fine* machining. As I said, I am puzzled by all this; if the casting had warped I would have expected the other side not to be flat.

Thread: Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech-ring
22/02/2014 00:44:59

Billy Mills:

Spot on! Third Age Matters was indeed where I saw the reproduction. It's fair to say that the article was mainly concerned with the artist rather than her subject - two women who were both very good at their jobs.

Comments to the effect that this was a production operation rather than a tricky one-off seem to be on target, too, but the artist is obviously seeing the romance in the subject and, perhaps, making a point about women's capabilities. If this was a purely production process than the firm-joint calipers and swan-neck toolholder have perhaps been introduced for artistic effect. I remember reading somewhere that WWI inspectors (female) could detect a very small taper with their fingers.

Thread: Help needed truing ways on mill
21/02/2014 21:21:40

I have just stripped down my Warco Economy Mill/Drill and was dismayed to find the upper Y-axis ways had been poorly machined. I have uploaded several photos to an album but the situation can be appreciated from this upside down view of the sliding base:


At opposite ends of the ways it seems that the finishing cut has not covered the full length (near end on left and far end on right in photo, see album for other views). I have checked that the underside as seen in the photo is flat and micrometer measurements indicate that the bad areas are about three thou low.

I am in Rochester, Kent. Is there anyone reasonably near, please, who is willing and able to help? The base is about 195 x 240 in size and the ways appear to have been milled rather than ground so I am looking for someone with a large mill. As an alternative to a helping hand, can anyone recommend a suitable machine shop in the area?

This machine has met my modest needs for many years and I suppose I could just reassemble it, keep calm and carry on. The only other in-house possibility seem to be the doubtful course of facing this heavy lump on the lathe faceplate followed by scraping.

Incidentally, I am rather at a loss to understand how the defective result has been achieved given that the other side is flat.

Thread: Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech-ring
21/02/2014 18:55:12

Thanks to everyone who responded and apologies to Oompa Lumpa!

Thread: Milling machine X and Y axis out of square
19/02/2014 15:29:09

Comments on this interesting and lively thread:

1. I have had numerous good buys from Warco over the years and also a rotary table which I asked them to exchange and a bench grinder which they agreed to take back; on both occasions they were entirely cooperative. I agree that good communications are vital if you want happy customers. It is worth remembering that the purchaser is not limited to the seller's warranty and may well have a statutory remedy after its expiry.

2. ISO 9001: my then employers put us through the process of certification some years ago. I agree with the Wikipedia comment.

3. I have some fellow feeling for the OP who has installed heavy equipment and is not now sure he can get it out again. One of the first jobs for my new combination woodworker was the making of new workshop doors ...

I look forward to a happy ending.

Thread: Polymer bearings
19/02/2014 14:43:08

Derek Beck had quite a lot to say about these bearings in his ME series "First Affaire with a Lathe".

Thread: Linking to free web content is legal, says EU Court
15/02/2014 00:49:55


That was probably me in my Ruby Loftus thread - many thanks for the link!

I believe I could have provided a *link* to one of the many images of the picture concerned but I wanted to provoke a broad discussion. That said, posting a copyright image to the thread itself may well be a different matter and I preferred to err on the side of prudence; respect to the resolute poster who did so!

Thread: Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech-ring
14/02/2014 18:28:08

Neil Wyatt

Thank you for referring me to the IWM licence. You are right that I had not read it. A quick look raises the question of whether reproducing the painting on this website would be a non-commercial use. I am all in favour, however, of a robust attitude to copyright rules. Was it here that the Clarkson Autolock instructions were not reproduced for fear of repercussions? (I think commonsense ultimately prevailed).

I believe the breech-ring in question is for a Bofors gun.

Thread: How do I put a leadscrew handle onto my Boxford, please?
14/02/2014 17:13:07

Leadscrew handwheels are no doubt less common on larger lathes. Having been used to a Myford S7, when I got my Willson slantbed I soon missed the facility and so fitted the one shown in the picture. The leadscrew was drilled and tapped in situ with the help of a simple jig so to allow an extension to be fitted to carry the new wheel made from a redundant vee pulley with handle bought in from Arc Euro. With the saddle fully to the left I can comfortably rest my hand on the rim of the handle to put on cut. I have yet to figure out a satisfactory way to incorporate a graduated, re-settable micrometer ring.

BTW, the black appearance of the ways is due to the presence of covers made from plastic angle.


Thread: Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech-ring
14/02/2014 16:29:02

I was struck by a reproduction of this painting which was new to me but which is readily available with background information via Google, etc. The technical detail in the painting is impressive but can anyone identify the lathe and, in particular, the device that her right hand rests upon?

This was a very demanding operation and I saw a comment to the effect that a group of incredulous (male) toolmakers had visited the factory to verify the truth of the picture.

BTW, I thought about posting a scan of the painting but it is copyright the Imperial War Museum and I don't want their tanks on my lawn!

Thread: Announcement re: Model Engineers' Workshop
13/02/2014 16:39:19

I have mixed feelings about being reminded that I have been reading MEW for nearly a quarter of a century but am glad to join in the welcome to our new editor!

Someone mentioned "the new copyright agreement"; is the text of this available, please?

Thread: making writing visible
30/01/2014 11:10:19

Have you tried "brass rubbing" ie laying a sheet of paper over the work and using pencil or other medium to try to pick up the scratch marks?

Thread: Hot bandsaw........
16/01/2014 16:07:47

The manual for my Warco bandsaw gives the following possible causes for motor running too hot:

  1. Blade tension too high
  2. Drive belt tension too high
  3. Blade is too coarse for work
  4. Blade is too fine for work
  5. Gears alligned (sic) improperly
  6. Gears need lubrication
  7. Cut is binding blade

I realize that Rik Shaw has a much later and different machine but this comprehensive list does suggest some possibilities for investigation. 1 - 6 are self-explanatory; the corrective action for 7 is to adjust the guide bearing clearance. My motor runs hot too, but thirty plus years on the saw is still working well, currently with a bimetallic blade from Stub Mandrel's supplier.

Thread: What have you recycled today?
11/01/2014 17:16:38

Russell Eberhardt et al:

Thanks for the further microwave information. I think I now understand why the internal light can be seen through the glass door. BTW, we used to hear a lot about the dangers of mobile phones overheating the brain but their present popularity seems to have overridden that concern.

andrew winks:

On the subject metal identification, John McNamara mentioned beryllium and I was intrigued to see from his link that the proportion of the element present could be assessed by tasting - sweeter indicates more, but, obviously, this test is not used today. I believe that the strength of car antifreeze used to be assessed by tasting.

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