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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: Case Hardening
06/12/2019 15:36:41

As always Chris different parts may require different approaches - dependent on the size & nature of the part, how much is to be case hardened, where the holes are located etc.

I think the key thing is that case hardening is a surface treatment and usually (in the home workshop) relatively thin. So it's different to something that has been through hardened (like high carbon steel that's been heated and quenched). It's more like a work hardened surface - you just need to get under it...

It's also possible to only case harden certain parts of the work. The 'old' way to do this was to wrap the area (not to be treated) in a slurry of fireclay and asbestos string which was allowed to completely dry before heating. There are probably modern versions of this but I've not tried any. Other approaches are to case harden the whole part and then turn down to soft material in those areas which need to be soft (which is a bit like getting under the skin of a casting). Grinding can also be used to remove 'case' of course.

Once you are under the 'case' - any drilling or tapping will be into normal (e.g. soft) material and it's then just the same as untreated material to drill or tap. For holes in small (case hardened) parts - one way to start a drill is to use a Dremel grinding point to remove the case in the required spot which can then be drilled and tapped as normal.



Thread: 3D printer recommendations
06/12/2019 14:47:58
Posted by Jeff Dayman on 06/12/2019 02:29:40:

To those receiving an Ender 3 soon, prior to or during assembly do check out Myfordboy on Youtube. He has an excellent set of build notes for careful assembly that will contribute to great prints.

If your machines come with a glass bed, that's great! in my experience they work FAR better than the peelable bed pad the machine came with. If your machine does not have a glass bed, it's a worthwhile improvement, in my opinion.

Well Jeff - Myfordboy's latest 3D Printer is actually a Sovol

"I have tried a few printers but this is my new favourite. The direct drive gives excellent prints"

Knowing nothing about 3DP, I watched numerous reviews of different 3D printer types - some dating back a few years and there was (is) a lot of differing opinion out there. So who best to listen to?

MyfordBoy seems to know what he's talking about. He has used a number of different 3DP machines - and most importantly - he is using them in the same areas as I'm likely to want to use mine - so his opinions carry a bit more weight with me. I also wanted something current (technology does move on apace these days) and also RTR 'out-the-box'. My budget was >£250 and certainly I could have saved money and spent 8-10 hours building a kit but I'm now old enough to start thinking that 10 hours of my spare time (plus the other product improvements) is probably worth that extra £100!

So whilst it's great there is a good user community for a particular 3DP model, if that advice is on how to build the thing (or how to then make it work better) that's not really a huge advantage - if you can now buy something that is pretty much pre-built and already has improvements that help with known problems (like having a heated glass bed).

My Sovol is still in it's box (until Xmas) and once it's assembled (about 10 minutes) there is the problem of learning all the associated CAD/Slicer software required to use it. I've always felt that's where my real problems would most likely be, so hopefully my new 3DP will help smooth my progress - rather than slow it.

Another year on and the Sovol won't be the latest (or probably best) product as this technology is moving so fast - but right now it's what seems best for my needs - we will see!



Thread: Why mostly manual cars in UK
06/12/2019 09:38:27
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 05/12/2019 16:45:47:

The advantage of driverless cars is no-one needs to learn how to drive. Anyone can have a car, whether disabled, blind, drunk, foreign, nervous, clumsy, uninsurable or underage.


And the most important reason of course, because you are too damned old to drive safely. I've reached the point already where I don't like driving at night if I can avoid it and it's only down hill from here....

(Just to brighten everyone's day!!)   wink


Edited By IanT on 06/12/2019 09:39:06

05/12/2019 09:46:31

I drove a manual for many years, including (as a young man) an Austin "crash box" 1.5 ton lorry - where even careful double de-clutching didn't always work. I also remember sitting in traffic at Denham (pre-M25) and cursing the constant in and out of gear required not to burn out the clutch...didn't have many sporting thoughts crawling along at 2-3mph for 40 minutes every commuting day...

More recently - I drove a 3litre Alfa 166 with Sportronic gearbox. Not that popular with Alfisti's I might add but I liked it - kept the car for twelve years. You could drive it as a 'relaxing' auto - or push the gear selector over and change gears manually if you felt a bit more sporting (or wanted to hear that wonderful engine 'sing' a bit by holding a gear).

I've currently got an Alfa with a TCT (Twin Clutch Transmission) gearbox - with 'Flappy Paddles' - and it has an extremely smooth power delivery. It's almost impossible to tell when the gears are changing when driving in auto mode, with a very linear power feed. I really like the TCT/paddle combination and wouldn't willingly go back to a manual now - something I confirmed to myself when given a manual (garage) car for the day...



Thread: Arc euro micro drill adaptor
03/12/2019 10:23:41

I also have one Keith.

Mine has quite a lot of 'slop' when even partially extended, the shaft not being a very good fit in the barrel. So I'm afraid accurate drilling or spotting (especially with small drills) will be a bit of a problem.

I've now moved its small drill chuck over to an MT2 arbor to hold smaller drills - which is also useful when I need more 'headroom' than my larger 1/2" drill chucks allow. I may (one day) make a new barrel for it to give a close sliding fit to the shaft - together with a short operating arm to apply more pressure than I can do with just the knurled grip.

For holding small drills, I also use an Eclipse pin chuck. The 'micro drill adaptor' sleeve is 12mm diameter (PS it might be 1/2" - haven't checked) and will not fit ER16 collets (up to 10mm) - so cannot be used on my Taig ER16 head for instance or any other ER16 stuff I use.

So for the moment at least, it's going to stay in the drawer...




Edited By IanT on 03/12/2019 10:31:40

Thread: Long bed lathes affected by the tide
30/11/2019 10:14:50

Maybe hanging a chart of the Lunar Phases by my lathe would help improve my work?

I seem to vary more than my lathe I'm afraid...




Thread: Reamer size questions
27/11/2019 20:46:28

Certainly agree with Tim - ream the hole and then make the part to fit it.

If I need a really (really) good fit, then I get the parts' OD as near as possible (to fit the hole) and then lap it to final fit. It's generally easier to make a simple external lap than a small internal one. Often not required but very handy when you do. Others here can probably turn down to microns - but I'm afraid I can't!

PS I do have a few adjustable reamers but I don't really use them very much - they are quite hard to set accuartely - very trial and error and too fiddly for me generally for "one-off" use...



Thread: Acme thread
27/11/2019 10:20:08
Posted by Shaun Belcher on 27/11/2019 09:05:21:

"making the nut is a piece of cake too."

I'm not going to jump into any Square/Acme/Size of Material discussion here Shaun - just wanted to support Hoppers statement (warning) that 'tapping' an Acme tread is not as simple as just buying a single Acme tap and drilling a suitable hole. I think you will find it is very hard (if not impossible) to turn it.

It's either a staged tap (e.g. more than one tap = quite expensive) or an interior thread cutting operation, perhaps using a tap as a finishing touch, if you already have a suitable tap. I've seen YouTubes of folk going straight in with a single Acme tap but I don't know how they do it - because I certainly couldn't when I tried it, albeit on a slightly larger (1/2" x 10tpi) nut.

Of course, if you can purchase a screw & matching nut and modify them to suit your application, then this need not worry you.



Edited By IanT on 27/11/2019 10:22:46

Thread: Scale Field Gun or Howitzer plans
25/11/2019 19:27:49

There were two articles in ME Vol 170 (1993 - Nos 3942 & 3944) by Brian Hope - about his award winning model of a WW1 (1904) 18 pounder field gun.

It isn't a blow-by-blow account but there is a reproduction of the drawing from the Imperial War Museum he based his model on, as well as a view from the gunners end...(his own drawing I assume). He also discussed how he made the major assemblies and there are a few photos. There may also be examples of the real thing around for anyone determined to find them with a camera & tape measure, it looks like the kind of gun fired at Horseguards but they may be completely different for all I know about these things...

It's going to be a major project whatever you decide to model Peter best wishes!



Thread: Carriage Locks
24/11/2019 09:59:08

As you say James, mostly they tighten the gib to lock/clamp the sliding part - although sometimes there is a separate clamp.

The simple way to do it (assuming a straight gib piece) is to substitute a longer screw for one of gib adjustment screws and have some form of handle/lever on it - or for a quick fix - substitute a cap head screw and use an Allan key..

A better way is to keep the existing gibs screws (& lock-nuts) "as is" - drill and tap a new hole and add a locking screw & lever - assuming there is space to do so without weakening the tool. The reason being that you then keep the correct number of gib adjustment screws and don't mess with their adjustment when locking the gib.



Thread: Rounding the ends of pullrods
23/11/2019 13:06:22

Mostly filing buttons Richard and where just a simple 'end' rounding is required, I also use my belt sander, which is very quick but not always quite as neat.

You can use a rotary table but the geared ones are not really ideal for it. I have a very simple rotary "table" (cum faceplate - about 2.5" diameter) fitted onto a bushed shaft that clamps under the tool holder. It can be clamped solid (for drilling) or rotated against an end mill via a lever at the other end of the shaft (much better/safer than twiddling the actual rod). It was very simple to make and just has some tapped holes in it to clamp the work piece. BTW - if you try this, you need to turn against the milling cutter - e.g. climb milling - so it helps to make several (small) cuts.

I've just checked and it must have been in my 'pre-digital camera' era, as I don't seem to have any pics of it and I can't currently find it. I vaguely recall lending it to someone, so it may not have come back. However, they are very simple to make, so I may well just make another one (and a certain law says I'll find the first one if I do so!)



Thread: 3D printer recommendations
23/11/2019 10:35:35

Hi Tony,

I'm just one step in front of you, in that I finally decided to try 3DP(rint) a few weeks ago. Mrs Santa ordered a Sovol SV01 for me. I follow Myfordboy and he's recently acquired one (not his first 3D printer) and he seems to like it. Other reviews have also been generally positive. It seems to have most of the new 'features' of affordable 3DP and it comes virtually assembled. Not something I'd have been bothered about at one time but it seems more sensible these days (I've already got a lifetimes TUIT list)

With regards 3D CAD - this was really what was putting me off starting 3DP - the prospect of learning 3D CAD, which I'd struggled with previously. I know many here use Fusion and also (more recently) Alibre - but frankly I'm not keen on investing my time in either (nor having my content stored in the Cloud). So I've been looking at open source and a friend in the Gauge 3 Society recommended Open SCAD.

I wasn't too impressed after a first look at their website but decided I should watch a few 'user' videos before ruling it out and now I'm definitely going to try it for a few simple 'starter' 3DP workshop jobs I have in mind. It's really a scripting language that builds graphically as you instruct it. It's possible to build libraries of re-usable code (modules) and to also use & modify other peoples scripts, something not possible with most published CAD.

I do have other 3D CAD needs that SCAD might not be so good at (e.g. 3D to 2D) but I've also been looking at FreeCAD for those 'future needs'. FreeCAD seems to be able to collaborate with SCAD in some very interesting (and useful) ways. All open source of course, no licences, no fees, no cloud.

I'd recommend you look at 'Myfordboy' for a Sovol review - and 'Mathcodeprint' for an interesting overview of SCAD (and FreeCAD transfers) - all on YouTube of course.

To be clear - this is not the voice of experience, I'm just starting out too. My Sovol arrived (well packed) a few days ago but has been embarged by Mrs Santa until Xmas. I decided to jump into 3DP with something reasonably current (rather than an older model) and this is where I am at the moment...



PS Thank you for the many useful ideas, articles and projects I've used/enjoyed/tried over the years.

Thread: Are these clock related please
22/11/2019 16:35:24
Posted by Phil P on 22/11/2019 13:08:59:

The thing with wheels in front of the box looks like a graver sharpening fixture.


Not really my thing Phil - but I think it's for sharpening screwdrivers...


Thread: Float indicator in water gauge glass
22/11/2019 16:26:10

I don't know if you plan to get the boiler 'certified' Mick - but the Orange Book guidance in this area is fairly simple...

" 6.7 Water level gauges shall be so constructed, mounted, or adapted such that the lowest water level visible in the gauge glass indicates that the level of water is above the firebox crown sheet. "

So if I understand your problem correctly then your current gauge (although not ideal from your point view) does seem to meet the essential point of this criteria (albeit it's a vertical boiler). Speaking personally, I would be more concerned about using a 'float' because of the possibility of it sticking. However, this is one of those issues that is somewhat subject to inspectors 'discretion'.

So if you need (for Insurance or Club reasons) to have the boiler checked, then (as always) it's best to ask your Boiler Inspector for his views.



Thread: Royal Mail tracking
22/11/2019 10:24:45

I'm not sure all this "tracking" lark is a real blessing.

I was quite intrigued with one delivery this year when I discovered that I could watch the drivers location (on a map of our local area - down to street level). I spent (wasted?) quite a bit of time watching him slowly progress towards us, stop at Tescos for an hour (at lunchtime) then nearly arrive here before suddenly diverting to the north of the town (all very frustrating).

He finally swung back south and arrived about 4.00pm (he set out at 8.00am). He'd never been much more than mile or two away from us - and he still had thirty plus drops to make. We were delivery number 190!

I felt quite sorry for him (it's a long day) but haven't bothered watching these updates since.


Thread: Help with odd milling machine spindle taper
20/11/2019 10:12:33


As mentioned, I have an 'NS' arbor for my Victoria - so I don't have quite the same problem - plus I tend to keep the vertical head on (as it's somewhat heavy). However, I also have a smaller horizontal (Atlas MF) that I sometimes use to drill & mill direct (horizontally) from it's arbor socket - as all my MT2 stuff fits it (ER32 etc).

I haven't really needed to do this on the Victoria yet but for some set-ups it is a useful thing to be able to do - and the Victoria has a larger table/better travel etc. So I have thought about adaptors but decided that the best route would be simply to turn a direct fitting NS taper (probably on a mandrel between centres) and then machine (bore) it in-situ on the mill - e.g. use the mill as a lathe (would need a top-slide fitting - yet another job!)

But if I needed a new arbor, I think I would look at making it from two pieces (taper body + arbor) loctited/pinned together and turn the whole lot between centres - the arbor doesn't need to be full length if your lathe can't handle it - it's often better to mount cutters near as possible to the mandrel nose anyway...

Just a thought...



Thread: Myth Buster?
18/11/2019 13:31:57

For a "Learner" - I'd certainly agree Dave, get some free turning steel (from a reliable source) and get to know your new lathe.

It will help to eliminate one of the many possible causes of poor finish when first starting out. However, once you have achieved a good finish, you should begin to be able to diagnose (or at least recognise) basic problems as you come across them, because you have probably come across them before as you've practiced your turning.

I was just making the point that you don't need certified materials for every job and that simple HSS works perfectly well most of the time. Others here have different preferences and if you are building a specific project (which will involve a lot of time invested in it's production) then it certainly makes sense to use good quality materials. But that isn't always the case in my workshop and having a good "scrap box" is not only economical but also convenient.



18/11/2019 10:20:59

I have a wide range of materials in my 'scrap-box' accumulated over many years. A lot of the steel is free turning (leaded) but sometimes it's not. It's all potentially useful.

It quickly becomes fairly apparent if something is not going to give a really good finish, so if I need one, then I mark the 'poor' piece with a file, put it back in the bin and look for a better bit (or worse case purchase something). frown

However, there are lots of times when I'm not bothered if it won't turn that well and I just get the best finish I can. I take any bad tears out with a file (normal caveats - use a handle, great care etc) and usually the finished job is quite good enough for the job in hand.

Last night I needed a simple 3" 'adaptor' rod (to fit a DTI 1/4" hole to the 8mm hole on the stand). I turned a spare length of 8mm rod down to 1/4" at one end and it was pretty rough - but touched with a file and it was quickly done. A spot of paint on both ends will remind that I've made it for a reason (in case it ever gets mixed up with other off-cuts on my bench).

All done of course with simple HSS tooling - which if it's sharp will give as good a finish as you are likely to get. Some materials may not be very free-turning but they are not usually hard either.




Edited By IanT on 18/11/2019 10:24:26

Thread: Quick Machinists Jacks
17/11/2019 22:27:33
Posted by Clive Foster on 17/11/2019 21:33:58:

If you have 1-2-3 blocks consider making adapter studs so the jacks screw into the blocks. Sometimes you need a tall support.


That's an excellent idea Clive - I'll add it to my TUIT list and make some for my 1-2-3 blocks...thank you.



Thread: Metric micrometer what t buy?
15/11/2019 23:38:52
Posted by old mart on 14/11/2019 18:55:58:

I have more than enough measuring instruments from when I was working, I actually sold three digital Mitutoyos for an average of £60 each as they were not being used. I did buy a 25-50mm micrometer for only £14 new not so long ago, it was NOS made in the DDR, which means it predates the unification of Germany. It is top quality with instructions, a length bar and a nice box. Worth looking on ebay in case there are any left.

The only 'new' mic I've ever purchased was many years ago and is a large barrel 0-25mm one by an East German (DDR) company (it mentions Carl Zeiss on the back page of the booklet) and it is not only very well made but also very easy to read - each graduation being 0.01mm. It couldn't have been very expensive back then (as I didn't have much money) but it is excellent quality. I've looked after it and it's still in mint condition - mainly because unfortunately I don't tend to use it very much.

All my other mics are Imperial in various sizes up to 6" and are most are made by M&W. They were all used (and in very tatty boxes) but have cleaned up very well. I've now calibrated them (using slip gauges) and they are occasionally very useful (e.g. useful to have but not essential). I also have a very old 1" Starrette mic which is basically my Workshop mic and (I'm afraid) just gets used and abused. I don't throw it around but it knows the inside of my pocket quite well - which is always handy...

I can move between Imperial & Metric quite easily because I can still multiply & divide by 4 just about ( 1mm is about 40thou, 4 thou is about 0.1mm etc). My machines are all Imperial and I find 'thous' easy to work with (e.g. they are simple numbers between 1-999). I must admit, I'm not so fluent with fractions though...but a friend of mine was a wizz at adding a long list of them up but he'd done it all his working life.

So - Old East German (DDR) mics are very nice to have, used (good quality) mics can be great value - and get whatever type (Imperial or Metric) that will make you happy. Works for me!



micrometers 4 - 180314.jpg

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