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Member postings for IanT

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

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2020
04/07/2020 22:11:28
Posted by Ian Johnson 1 on 04/07/2020 19:56:57:

Just mulling over whether to chemically blacken the pieces or leave them blingy?


Most definitely leave them Blingy!


Thread: Old School Drawing Exercises and 2D CAD
02/07/2020 17:37:07

It also occurred to me that a printed T-Nut might be useful for holding things in place (where no or low loads were involved) - such as DTI mounts etc...

I just changed the length to 15mm and hole radius to 1.5mm (but would use tapping size in practice)




02/07/2020 17:17:38

It's a rainy day outside (at least that's my excuse) so I've been amusing myself with Open SCAD.

There was a post recently about 3D printed T-Slot fillers. A nice simple thing to draw in 3D CAD (just sketch & extrude he says with new found confidence) but I thought I'd do it in SCAD (a much better use of coffee-time than Suduko!  )


Here is the script:

// T-Slot Filler - IanT
L = 75; // T-Slot Length
HR = 2; // Hole Radius
BW = 14; // Bottom (of Slot) Width
TW = 8; // Top (of Slot) Width
BH = 4; // Bottom (of Slot) Height
TH = 9; // Top (of Slot) Height
difference () {
union () {
cube ([L,BW,BH], center=false);
translate ([0,(BW/2-TW/2),0])
cube ([L,TW,TH]); }
translate ([L/2,BW/2,0])
cylinder (TH,HR,HR);

I've used arbitrary dimensions above, so just change the variables to what you need. I've not printed this myself (I think it might actually be quicker to just cut some wooden strips and glue them together?) but it should be fine.

You'll need to download Open SCAD and then just cut and paste the 'script' above into the Editor. For anyone not wanting to go "full-on" 3D CAD - Open SCAD can be learned in small steps and is pretty simple once you've got a few basics (it looks more complicated than it is) - and it also helps keep the little grey cells ticking over.



Edited By IanT on 02/07/2020 17:18:16

02/07/2020 14:46:02

That seems a bit complicated to me SoD.

I'd just draw two circles the same (but overlapping) size and then draw a line between their intersection points. That would give me the exact mid-point I'm sure.



Edited By IanT on 02/07/2020 14:49:48

02/07/2020 09:52:31
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 02/07/2020 01:58:49:

So why 3D CAD for own drawings for own projects in own workshops...?

The only answers I can see are that either you have the desire, time and ability to learn it, or you've bought a CAD package that gives you no choice!

An interesting question Nigel and the answer will be dependent on quite a few factors.

I have used TurboCAD DL for many years and regard myself as proficient (rather than expert). For some simple 2D outlines, I might still use it, although it is not parametric. I tried 3D in TC/DL and failed dismally. My approach to a drawing was to get everything into model space somewhere (often several iterations for different 'edits' ) and sort things out via 'views'. So you are drawing at a global level in one sense. I spent a lot of time using construction lines to ensure different projections were matched dimensionally. I also made extensive use of layers in term of separating 'bits' from each other...

2D might have been sufficient for my needs until I purchased a 3D printer, at which point I wanted much more specific designs than Thingiverse was ever going to provide. A friend recommended Open SCAD and it was a very good solution for my relatively simple 3D print needs. I have used existing SCAD models, modified them and also created my own. It is a simple and elegant tool that can be learned in small steps and used almost instantly. Given its 'designs' are text based, it is also a very good (easy) way to share 'things' with others. I would use it to teach children about 3D concepts rather than a more complex 3D CAD system.

However, SCAD will never be my 'engineering' design tool of choice (simply one of my 3DP 'tools' )  For something to replace TC/DL I wanted a 3D package that was modern, powerful and that I could actually manage to learn. Cost was a factor and content ownership (e.g. Cloud based?) another. Plenty of debate here about which 3D package is the best but for me Solid Edge seems to fit my requirements. I've been learning and using it for a few weeks now and I'm very happy with all I've discovered.

One of the things that is very different of course, is the change in design thought processes. The SE system forces my to think of everything as 'parts' and 'assemblies' (and the hierarchy of sub-assemblies etc). I can define the parts material and many other aspects of the design - which immediately tends to promote other decisions - shall I print this part or machine it? Could that small spacer piece be hardwood, metal or 3D printed? How would I fabricate this part (or should I even try - if it requires more/smaller parts).

I've found the journey most interesting and enjoyable. Whether I am a better or more productive modeller, I'm not sure at the moment but it's been fun and that's why I do this stuff - for my personal satisfaction and entertainment.

Take Care Everyone


Edited By IanT on 02/07/2020 09:53:12

Thread: Tungsten carbide for shapers
01/07/2020 19:57:39

I don't use inserted cutters on my shapers Steven, although I know some folk do so. The few times I've broken inserted tools, I've always been taking interrupted cuts with them (e.g. using insert parting blades). So I'm a bit cautious about using inserted or brazed cutters on a shaper.

However, the main reason I don't use inserts on my shaper, is that I don't need to.

I find HHS tools more than adequate on steel and cast iron. On difficult surfaces I might have to think about the tool shape more carefully but generally I can cut things on the shaper with HSS that would just kill a milling cutter dead. Someone was asking about hot rolled steel being "hard" recently. I don't find it particularly so but I've just surfaced (cleaned up) a couple of 300 x 110 x 15mm plates - on all edges - using a roughing tool that was already on the machine and it was still cutting well at the end. They were both spattered with welding slag btw - so not exactly ideal. The finish achieved was quite acceptable for their intended use but if I'd needed a high quality finish, then a HSS 'finishing' tool would have been used to provide it .

I do use insert tooling - especially where a 'shaped' or exact tool profile is useful or required (such as with parting and screw-cutting tools) but for most single point tooling I don't find them necessary (a diamond tool holder is more useful on a lathe in my view) and this is even more so with my shapers. In fact, I use carbon steel tools on my hand shaper for non-ferrous work, simply because of the edge you can put on them.

As always, this is a matter involving a good degree of personal preference. You'll have to try things to find out what you prefer



30/06/2020 23:35:52

I'm not going to be much help I'm afraid Ray

I keep much of my 'tooling' in the small plastic boxes they came in or rolled up in sealable kitchen bags. These are then grouped together in old biscuit and chocolate boxes (the large 'family-sized' plastic ones that are left over after Christmas) - you can stack them up and (big plus in my Shed) they keep things dry...

If something is used often, then it's just kept within reach on a shelf and wiped after use (this is where an oily rag comes in handy) - but otherwise I get out what I need for the job and put it back in the right box afterwards (they are labeled with 'clues' as to their probable content). I have seen the rolling tool boxes car mechanics use but I probably don't work in the same way as them nor have I got the room (and did I mention the damp? ).

I would like one of those wooden toolmakers boxes though (the ones with four or five thin drawers and a mirror in the lid) - but the nearest thing I could manage (e.g. was willing to afford) was a rather nice ex-cutlery box that I've polished up and "repurposed". I still can't quite decide what to put in it (perhaps my larger reamers?). I feel it deserves something rather special to house but I haven't made anything that grand yet - only the sort of thing you put in a plastic biscuit box..


Thread: Brazing Oilite bearings
26/06/2020 21:25:33

I don't know if it would actually help BB - but I think I might first try heating them in water with some detergent for a while - to encourage the oil out. After all, if they are old or 'dry', the advice is to immerse them in warm oil overnight to recharge them...


Thread: What filament material do you use on your 3D printer?
26/06/2020 21:10:29

I've been using Sunlu PLA+ - which seems to work well enough for the things I've been printing (at least now I've figured out the bed adhesion issues).

I also purchased some Sunlu Carbon Fibre PLA (as it sounded kind of sexy and I thought "it might come in handy" - e.g. I've no idea what I actually need it for) .Afterwards, I read/discovered that the CF material will apparently wear my standard brass nozzle away at an alarming rate.

So I purchased some 'hardened' nozzles from UK supplier E3D. I ordered a 'triple' nozzle pack - which was not exactly cheap (£30) but E3D reviews were very good (I do hope they are not self-authored!) and I decided it might be a sensible "investment" to get three (for the price of two).

I received them about a week ago now but as I'm still busy with the PLA+ - I'm leaving the 'Carbon' reel sealed up nice and dry for now. So my adventure into 'Carbon Fibre' (for which I have no current plans) is proving to be quite expensive...

I should remind folk that my printer is the Sovol SV01 and now after a few months usage, it seems reliable and works well. However, I am going to 'mod' it along the lines that Myfordboy suggested in his YTs. I have not had any issues with the Sovol but the mods are simple to do, the parts were cheap and I just can't leave well alone!!

This hot weather is a bit uncomfortable but doesn't worry my Atlas Shaper - although a very hot steel chip down the front of my (open) shirt this afternoon did wake me up a bit! Moral - do your shirt up and use a chip catcher even for the "quick" jobs...

Stay safe everyone.



Thread: 3D CAD software - what do you use?
25/06/2020 14:06:56

I've been persevering with Solid Edge and gradually improving my skills.

A few weeks back, I 'paused' my YouTube watching (because I was still struggling with SE) and decided to start to work methodically through the self-paced learning provided by Siemens instead (the link to this is on the start page of the SE package).

There are a number of 'learning paths' available and although I am familiar with 2D CAD, I decided to choose the "New to CAD" beginners path. I have now completed the 'basic' training, which has taken me through the User Interface, 'Part' creation, Sheet metal construction, 'Assembly' & drawing explosion and Slider assembly (e.g. making parts move). I am certainly not SE 'fluent' yet but I do now have a much better foundation to work from - and a useful reference to check back with if in doubt.

Being self-paced - I've been able to step through training at my own rate - going back (if required) for understanding or to correct mistakes in my drawings. This has suited my learning needs very well and I think is very necessary to really understand how to use the SE product well. The training works by having the live SE 'app' open - and following a step-by-step guide in a separate browser window. At the end of each exercise, you have therefore actually drawn the item shown at the beginning of the instruction.

I should perhaps mention that I was involved in 'e-Learning' professionally before I retired - and these SE packages provided are high quality and would have taken a great deal of time and money to develop. So the training support available to Solid Edge users is just as good as the SE product itself appears to be (which for a 'commercial' product is perhaps not so surprising)

In conclusion, I would very much recommend Solid Edge to 'would-be' 3D CAD Designers - not only because the product itself is so good (I am deeply impressed) but also because of the learning support being provided. This is absolutely essential for any amateur (like myself) starting out on a sophisticated CAD application at home.



PS I initially watched some of the videos provided by Siemens - which seem to have some kind of 'automated' voiceover - perhaps to manage multi-lingual use. I was a bit put off by this - hence my going to YouTube initially. But the Solid Edge self-paced training has been a real godsend and is so much better than trying to learn via YT.

Thread: Boiler Fittings
25/06/2020 09:09:50

I have used Blackgates for many years Matt - buying mostly at shows but also by post. I've never had a problem and the quality has always been good. I've not used GLR Kennions (that I can recall) but I have no reason to doubt them, as they've also been around for a long time.



Thread: Useful Tapping Drill feature
24/06/2020 12:26:11
Posted by mechman48 on 24/06/2020 11:58:35:

Hi R Johns, I was apprenticed fitter/turner back in the 60's.Have you got a Zeus book, it has all the necessary tapping info plus other handy info in it. IIRC it was priced at 2/6d.


They are a bit more than that now George - but still a very handy purchase.

When you get to the point where you can't stand the greasy, black fingerprints all over your copy - just replace it - it's so very nice to have a lovely clean one to mess up all over again...


Thread: Change to the Code of Conduct
22/06/2020 23:54:46

My machinery is mostly 'old iron' - but I do have quite a lot (that's probably an understatement) of Far Eastern tooling to use with them. A large percentage of this was purchased from ARC and the rest from other UK importers (such as RDG & Warco). I've always been very happy with ARCs products and service - something you will see repeated by others here over and over again.

All of it could have been acquired directly from China, probably saving quite a bit of money. But it's been purchased over a long period of time and I've really not noticed paying a price premium. I much prefer to deal with a UK based company whenever possible as cheaper sources can be a bit of a lottery. You might be fine (or you might not) but frankly, why risk the hassle.

I also enjoy the odd bit of electronics and some of the eBay "component" PCBs (I2C multiplexers most recently) are so cheap that I will take a chance (and ended up with some dodgy SBCs [Blue Pills] recently as a result). But the money involved was very small. Anything involving mains power is of course checked most carefully - whether it's CE marked or not!

I still purchase my small passive components & MPUs from UK sources though ( Farnell mainly) as I want to know that I'm not buying someone's production line rejects being sold by some chancer who buys a reject job-lot to flog on to hobbyists in low quantities. After all if the device fails from ESD issues after 6 months, they will probably assume it's just bad luck.

So - you pays your money etc - but I don't see any good reason to plug these 'no-name' sources here. We have a range of people here in terms of knowledge and experience, who read our musings (or two fingered ramblings in my case). I do think newcomers should be directed to the known 'good guys' - rather than the potential bandits. There is a lot of good advice available online but there is also a great deal of very bad advice around too.

We should be pointing folk in the right direction where we can....



22/06/2020 21:03:38

Sorry this is not a "bag of worms" at all OR.

The CE Mark is well known and should most be certainly be well understood by any would-be 'Exporter'.

It's use (other than as originally intended) is a clearly an attempt to deceive. If someone wants to proclaim the fact that their product is a Chinese export, then they could simply use the traditional "Made in China".

So I've no problem with this change.



Thread: Floating Reamer Holder
21/06/2020 17:40:50

I've not built a floating reamer holder (as yet) - but there are certainly a few published designs around to choose from.

I've watched a number of YouTubes on this subject, mostly from the usual suspects and there does seem to be general consensus that they work. However, on one of the videos (I don't think it was the one referred to here) the holder really did "flop" all over the place, which frankly surprised me, as (somehow) I expected a bit more 'control'.

Having too much 'flop' seems a bit counter-intuitive. I think I'd expect the holder to move axially (a wee bit) but still be constrained in other directions. I haven't actually checked but I suspect the various designs I'm thinking of might reflect slightly differing views on this matter on the part of their designers too.

Any actual experience here of building one of the published designs and your thoughts as to its effectiveness (e.g. Did it work and was it worth it?)



Thread: ARC Facemills
21/06/2020 16:38:21

I thought one of my sons might be inspired to purchase one of these for my birthday (given a suitable hint or two) but ARC are out of stock at the moment I'm afraid - so I'll have to think of something else.

Let me see....socks, underpants, a new tie? No - somehow they don't seem to appeal quite as much

And to add to my misery, I'd just got my vertical milling attachment (for the Atlas MF Mill) running nice & quietly after fitting new bearings and "ping" something nasty happened to the back-gear pin and it's not engaging. So a headstock strip down just to see the damage.... Double


14/06/2020 23:20:18

Hi Dan,

I guess I could just dive in and ask questions about how you are measuring your run-out and suggest possible ways to counter it. But to summarise, your chuck has 0.4 thou run out and your (worst) collet has just over 5 thou - but what is the best one like? Would it be worth just buying replacements for the really bad ones or simply sending the bad ones back and asking for replacements (or a refund)?

Can I also ask a [probably stupid] question? What accuracy do you actually need? What do you plan to use them for? If you managed to get a collet with (say) a one thou (or less) run out, would that be good enough for the work you do?

My ER collets are not perfect by any means but then I didn't spend big bucks on them either. Most of the time I can live with their deficiencies , mainly because I know they are not perfect and plan the work accordingly.

However, I am not a watchmaker..



Thread: 3D or 2D Drawings for SAR 25C
12/06/2020 08:47:52

A very ambitious first project John - but it sounds like you have a good background for the work.

Having had a look through Jim Nolan's site - I think you really need to contact him and ask for his advice and see if you can co-operate in any way. He's had castings made, so will have patterns and contacts etc - and of course, he must have drawings (possibly CAD) he's working to.

I think John B has possibly saved you a great deal of time and effort in pointing you at Jim's work...



Thread: Keeping Shop clean
07/06/2020 11:07:48
Posted by James Alford on 07/06/2020 09:38:51:

I had always thought that using a vacuum cleaner to clear up swarf and filings was a to be avoided because the flow of air through the machine allows metal to get into the motor. Is this just one of those ill-thought-through assumptions or an geneuine concern?


I didn't use to James - but I've now got a 'Cyclone' filter fitted to my shop's Henry and this seems to catch pretty much 99% of everything sucked up - wood and metal. Really helps keep down the number of Henry bags used too.

However, a gloved hand is better for picking up the long swirly stuff (machine is stopped of course) which goes straight in the swarf bucket, followed by a brush and pan, which simply sweeps up much of the bulk swarf - and then a vacuum around really gets all the small bits that get everywhere and can cause problems. If I've used a lot of cutting oil then old newspaper will sop up oil/swarf mix and this goes straight in the rubbish bag I've got hung up on hooks (much simpler than a bin and it's changed weekly).

In my inside workshop, where the floor (carpet tiles) is more an issue - I have a sliding Perspex screen in front of the lathe, use a 2" paintbrush & pan frequently to keep the table area clean and a magnetic toolholder (about 14" long from Lidl) wrapped in plastic to collect ferrous stuff that does reach the floor, followed by an electric 'broom' (kind of mini Hoover) afterwards. Seems to work to the required standard (e.g. the one set by 'Herself' )

For Shaper users - an Amazon cardboard box taped to the front of the table when machining larger surfaces really helps catch the flying bits...




Edited By IanT on 07/06/2020 11:08:55

Thread: Morrisflex Sander on an Atlas MF Mill ?
05/06/2020 23:18:57

My smaller mill is an Atlas MF Horizontal that came with a light vertical milling head which worked but was very noisy. There were several vertical heads sold to go with the Atlas in the US - the most common one being the 'Marvin'.

Mine appeared to be neither of these US heads, although the actual MT2 'spindle' seemed to be a commercial product but mounted on a shop-made bracket - nicely welded and neatly done but not mass-produced. I have often wondered what the source of the MT spindle head was.

Recently I decided to try and improve things and stripped the whole assembly down. Fortunately, the main spindle bearings seemed sound, the front one being quite substantial. The bevel gearing was also in reasonable condition. However, the two bearings supporting the input drive shaft were shot. After some difficulty I finally managed to remove both bearings without damaging the shaft or housing and new (imperial) bearings were ordered and fitted.

In the process everything was well scrubbed and cleaned and this evening I noticed some faint engraving on the spindle head.

" Morrisflex, BO Morris, Coventry, England "

I quickly found BO Morris (maker of flexible shaft equipment for garages) but at first still couldn't identify my spindle head. Then I found this link and the penny dropped - it's a very well made Sander/Polisher attachment for the Morrisflex flexible shaft system.

Morrisflex Flexible Shaft in use

Mystery solved - and I can now add sanding and polishing to the uses my little MF mill can be used for!



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