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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: shopmade tool cutter grinder attachment
27/03/2020 22:21:54

Very nice work Celso, well done - but that last bandsaw cut made me nervous... smiley



Thread: A sight for sore eyes
27/03/2020 09:43:15

I lived in Hong Kong as a young man and walking to work had to climb up a level of about 150 steps - which wasn't a problem as I was very fit back then (but the humidity did result in you getting very sweaty).

There was some construction work en route at one time and this required rubble to be carried up the stairs to the road above - which was done by Chinese ladies with a large basket on each end of a bamboo pole.

The steps were a zig-zag with landings about every 20 steps. One morning I passed one of the labourers who had paused halfway up - and wondered how heavy the baskets were - so offered to take them up a flight. She laughed and agreed to let me try.

I couldn't even lift them - the bamboo pole had a lot of spring in it and kind of pushed back as you pushed up. I shook my head and said I couldn't lift it but I'm sure she thought I was pulling her leg. She picked it up quite easily and trotted off up the stairs still laughing...



Thread: Any ideas please
25/03/2020 22:15:53

I have one of those electronic deterrent devices wired into the mains in the Shed roof - been up there many years. Also had a family of mice living there for even longer. I occasionally find the remains of a Grandad (or Grandma?) mouse who (I assume) has passed away of old age to a mousey cheese-laden heaven. I imagine enough mouse generations have come and gone by now that I've probably helped to breed a race of high-frequency sound resistant super-mice!

I suppose I could try to trap or poison them but that's been a bit problematic since (a long time ago) we started referring to them as the 'Shed Clangers' - a tail which my Sons unfortunately have passed onto my Grandchildren



Edited By IanT on 25/03/2020 22:24:30

Thread: Websites for the Bored
25/03/2020 14:56:59

I could suggest a long list but one I've mentioned before and which I think is well worth revisiting - is Ed Hume's Gauge '1' Shay build. Over 600 photos, plus 12 videos - you do not need to be a G1 enthusiast (I'm Gauge '3' myself) to enjoy and learn something from Ed's site. The Loco is based on the 3.5" Kozo design of course...

Ed Hume - Gauge 1 Shay Build

And since i've mentioned G3 - I'll give us a plug too! wink

Gauge '3' Society



Thread: Coronavirus
25/03/2020 11:45:39

Went to our local Tesco this morning - not too busy and key things (Milk, Eggs, Bread and Wine - oh and crucially Toilet Roll) were all back on the shelves - although there were clearly some large gaps on other shelves. We'd previously tried the "on-line" service but there are no slots at all for the next three weeks - so were very relieved to find things available in-store.

Suspect the store has been focusing on getting key items in and that they have also reduced the product choice too. Anyway - we went out feeling very anxious but got home (back down our personal rabbit hole) a lot happier as we can again make tea, enjoy a boiled egg & toast for breakfast - and even have the odd glass or two out in the garden when the sun shines.

Our Grandchildren are playing out in their (parents) garden and we get to FaceTime them fairly regularly. Their Mum seems to be managing quite well at the moment but thank goodness she has the garden - if they were flat dwellers it would be extremely difficult.

We are also very fortunate that we have good folk who are still working to keep us supplied and safe. I went out and thanked our Dustmen yesterday (from a distance) which seemed to both surprise and please them. Shop workers also deserve medals too. Anyway - hopefully we have returned home unscathed and can hunker down for while again. Take care everyone.



Thread: Spur gears
25/03/2020 11:18:55

I've used HPC in the past Frank - and have been very happy with both their products and service.



Thread: Mini bench saw
23/03/2020 00:16:43

Hallo Michael,

I also tend to think of myself as a model "maker" for some of my engineering work - but the only other clue that I have to the size of work you are considering - is the reference to a 4" blade capacity (diameter?) - so something like a Proxxon FET maybe?

However, in my experience, there is no single perfect "universal" cutting tool that works for all my needs - in wood or metal.

So (for instance) for wood - I have several sized table saws and a bandsaw. The bandsaw is great for generally sizing stock materials and also if I need any curved cuts (although I also own jig and scroll saws of course). I can run the stock through it and get stock to general shape and size. It may still need edge jointing or sanding. My table saws will not handle all of the work that the bandsaw can do but they are generally much better at making straight and very accurate cuts once I have the materials near to finished thickness.

Working metal has some similarities to wood work but the range of tools I use is larger and perhaps more specific to material and it's size. My 3-in-1 machine can cut (shear) tinplate quite well but will not shear the 1mm mild steel quoted in the handbook. For very heavy & large cuts (to reduce thick stock to usable size) I have a large reciprocating McMaster power saw - slow but powerful. For roughing small'ish stock, I've a small (Aldi) bandsaw that I can use as a chop-saw or held vertically - but neither of these are finishing tools. I view them both as a way of preparing stock to a workable size (so very like my wood bandsaw in that respect.

Of course a 'model engineer' will be finishing most of their parts in the lathe or milling machine - so possibly won't actually "saw" that much (or at least won't think of it as such). And this is why I wondered what size (and type) of "modelling" you have in mind.

I don't have one - but a Potts saw table (a Hemmingway kit) mounted on a lathe will cut small brass and aluminium plate very accurately - either by hand or using the cross-slide feed. It will cut quite thick sections (if clamped) using an ordinary slitting saw. Because it's using the lathe's spindle - you can adjust the speed to suit the material and saw diameter used.

Of course, if you only need to cut very small or short items - then a simple saw arbor and a jig to hold the work may be all you need. I have several such arrangements, as well as horizontal mills that can handle my larger/longer 'sawing' needs (but I'm assuming you will not)

EW sawing tables 003.jpg

So, to summarise. The hobbyist 3-in-1 will not cut/shear much above 0.5mm (at least cleanly) in my experience, a metal bandsaw will cut most things but will almost always need further finishing work on another machine, whilst sawing on the lathe (or with the mill) can often be to the size and finish required but will need some extra set-up time to prepare the machinery for use.



PS The Proxxon FET table saw will cut non-ferrous metals (with the right blade) but I do wonder how long it would stand up to doing so - I assume it's mostly intended for wood. A Potts lathe-type saw attachment involves some fiddle with set-up time but will be as robust & reliable as the lathe that's being used....

Edited By IanT on 23/03/2020 00:24:41

Thread: Face turning Bronze castings - strange surface finish
22/03/2020 21:15:51

Hallo Mike,

I don't use inserted cutters for this kind of work, so when facing this piece I would be using a HSS tool with zero (or negative) back rake.

Anecdotally - I recently tried to face a bronze casting with the Diamond tool-holder that was already fitted (being too idle/stupid to change it) and for a few seconds all was well - and then the tool dug in. My old S7 has a good deal of backlash present in the feed screws - and frankly I should have known this was going to happen. A sharp, zero back-rake HSS tool cut the casting with no problems.

If your machine is fairly 'tight', then using an insert (with positive rake?) might not dig-in quite so badly - but I wonder if something similar was going on?

Just a thought...



Thread: Hardening Silver steel Cutter
22/03/2020 20:36:47

Yes, Dave has the basic reasoning behind it Chris - but it is also a simple way to hold (& then dunk) the tool. You don't really want to pick the red-hot part up with (cold) pliers - as it will start to cool before you actually dip it..



PS - it's wrapped fairly tightly...not loose

Edited By IanT on 22/03/2020 20:39:36

22/03/2020 13:44:21

For a small tool - wrap some copper wire right around it (including the cutting edges) and use the other end of the wire to hold it with pliers. Some also use a soft soap coating to help protect the steel (and help with the clean-up afterwards) but I've not tried that myself yet.

"Cherry Red" is hard to gauge in most good lights - so try doing this outside in the evening or inside with only dim lighting on. Hold that colour for about a minute. I use brine and 'swirl' it before dipping the tool in vertically. I cannot tell you if this makes any difference (or not) but that's the way I read it should be done and have therefore always done it that way. It seems to work, which is the most important test I guess. I temper all my tools.



Edited By IanT on 22/03/2020 13:46:25

Thread: CCutters Edges and their purposes
21/03/2020 17:11:47


The 'shaped' part of the cutter is going to do the work.

The top of this form tool should have zero rake for brass (e.g. a flat surface) and you could rub it carefully it on an oil-stone making sure not to rock it. The angled 'sides' are mainly to provide clearance (e.g. so the cutter doesn't rub the work) but they also 'form' the cutting edge too. Because of the formed shape you have machined (before hardening) you cannot really further sharpen this kind of cutter by honing etc - because you would then lose the precise shape required for the gear profile.



Thread: Proxon KS230 splitter blade jams
19/03/2020 23:42:42

I don't know anything about Proxxon saws or blades Sparks...

But one reason this happens on a table saw, is that if you change the saw blade and the new blade is narrower than the one it's replacing - then the work will probably hit the riving knife if that's not also changed - as the riving knife should be the same width as the saw blade. The cut in the wood will be narrower and it will hit the front of a wider riving knife.

I now generally use thinner Diablo framing saw blades (1mm cut) and I had to make a new riving knife for my table saw to solve this problem. The other reason of course is that the knife is not exactly aligned with the saw blade for some reason...



Thread: Holding End Mill on small lathe
16/03/2020 23:11:59

Extracting a Morse taper can be a pain (most especially if you have tweeked the drawbar a bit too hard) but there are solutons.

My (MT2) Clarkson collet chuck has a screwed body that simply pulls the taper out of the spindle. Most MT 'blank' arbors can also be extracted easily if you have an open threaded nose-piece fitted to the lathe mandrel and make a 'U' shaped plate to fit over the back end of the MT arbor. Unscrew the threaded nose and it pushes against the U-plate and pulls the taper out.

If you drill the arbor for the milling cutter required (and drill & tap the body for a grub screw) you will have something that will hold the cutter pretty firmly and is easy to remove.

At least that's what I did before I got the Clarkson (and before ER collet chucks came from China for 2/6d including postage). Generally this works for other MT-based items too - slitting saws, fly-cutters, live centres etc.- but not of course for MT collets that are flush with the nose.



Thread: Vaccum for a milling machine.
12/03/2020 16:36:23

I'm not sure anyone has mentioned Cyclone dust collectors. I have one attached to my Henry and it seems to work very well. I've been doing some light sawing inside recently (I usually do it outside in the summer) and I've been vacuuming up each end-of-day and it seems to be keeping things fairly clean & Henry's bag is still empty. All my (metal) working machines are kept covered unless in use by the way.

I've also used the Vac + Cyclone to tidy up after Shaper work (a few small curly chips always tend to get thrown outside of the collection box - and the combination worked well for that too. I've got a swarf bucket for the long stringy swarf - and generally just pick it up (always with work gloves on of course). I think the Cyclone would be fine with cast iron - it picks up very fine wood dust..



Thread: Shaper Vice?
11/03/2020 09:58:22

A low/wide profile - which most importantly includes the rotary base. Many of the small 'milling' vices currently available are relatively tall and often just have two fixing 'slots'. The Atlas vice has a bolt-down hole at each corner of its square base, making it both stable & very secure.

The Atlas vice does have the screw through the back of the fixed jaw, so work is held in tension. Given a choice, I think this is preferable. The Shaper exerts a lot of side cutting thrust on the work, with cutting being interrupted on each stroke - so using a low, squat vice makes good sense but they are hard to find




Edited By IanT on 11/03/2020 10:02:32

Thread: Wood or Charcoal
06/03/2020 13:37:58

I've always used small charcoal lumps pre-soaked (and then well drained) in paraffin to get going - and where I've had problems with ashpan clinkering I have generally assumed it's more down to the coal used than the starting material - but since I haven't experimented in this area, I can't claim any a particular expertise I'm afraid John.



Thread: Coronavirus
05/03/2020 20:23:05

A number of things were disappearing off the shelves this morning (I'm not exactly sure why) but as I can still vaguely remember ration books - I have my own more cunning priorities and grabbed several weeks supplies of chocolate digestives and ginger nuts! My Grandad was always really delighted when he could get his mitts on those all that time ago, although I've never liked dunking chocolate biscuits myself...ginger nuts though are ideal...

With regards to the tricky subject of "wet strength" - I think 'Izal' paper must take some beating, it was almost totally non-absorbent and it's one thing that I certainly don't miss. Cannot see anyone rushing to hoard that!

Otherwise, it's heads down and hope for the best - although Sunday Lunch out with youngest son (and his charming Fiancé ) seems worth the risk....

Take care everyone.


Edited By IanT on 05/03/2020 20:23:25

05/03/2020 14:04:04

That's a very unusual engine Bill but a most interesting one from my point of view...

There was a 5" Sentinel serialised in ME a few years back (Sirena) where the builder used a Stuart-Turner Twin for the motive power, mounted up front as in the original Sentinel 100HP prototype. I looked closely at this design several years ago when myself and some colleagues (from the Gauge 3 Society) were looking at developing a Sentinel 'starter' loco for G3. On closer inspection the Sirena wasn't quite near 'scale' enough for our highly refined sensitivities though... wink

So we started over again (twice!). Fortunately (via this website) eventually we manged to contact someone within the Sentinel Drivers Club (the Road going types) who very kindly found some original GAs for the bunkered version of the loco. These were photographed and emailed to us. I then redrew these full-sized in CAD before scaling them by 1:22.6 (exact scale for 2.5" track!). We then built two prototype engines for test purposes - I built two simple motor/frame sets and John made some excellent moulds from which resin body parts were cast. Then (as seems to happen sometimes) the project kind of went to sleep for quite a while - a bit like Sleeping Beauty really.

Anyway, last year the G3S decided to have a small batch of these engines made as RTR Battery Electric locos (with R/C controls) and these were on display at our Flitwick AGM this past weekend. Our original intent was really to provide a very low-cost 'kit' of parts but unfortunately it seems many folk just want RTR to run these days - hence the decision to offer only RTR locos. However, they are very nice little locos, ideal for a small shunting layout indoors or out in the Garden. We think they are still pretty good value (£660 plus shipping - less to G3S members) but as I mostly scratch build I don't really have a good feel for such things. Anyway - for details see the Gauge 3 Society website here - G3 Society

I'd still like to build a G3 live steam version of the Sentinel, although I don't think I'd get a ST engine in it (or a Uniflow one) but I do have a Bowman-Bryant (valve-less) twin cylinder engine that might fit - although it seems a pity to hide it away under the hood of a Sentinel somehow (memories Bowman steam launches on the boating pond at Guildford's Stoke Park still linger from my 'Youff' )

BTW - as may be gathered, we had real problems getting good drawings of the Sentinel 100HP - and I have some quite good scaled drawings (PDFs) that were distributed to the others during the project that someone who wants to build a Sentinel (in any scale) might find very useful. If so, please PM me - and I'll dig them out.




Edited By IanT on 05/03/2020 14:08:07

Thread: Hand Wash
04/03/2020 08:31:24

I self-isolated myself from the Wife yesterday afternoon - down the Shed. I wore a face mask and ear protectors just in case she came down there - and managed a bit of table sawing in the process which was a bit dusty... wink


Regards, IanT

Edited By IanT on 04/03/2020 08:32:12

Thread: cylinder boring
19/02/2020 20:58:13
Posted by the artfull-codger on 19/02/2020 19:47:44:

I have a smaller one but not a Keats, it does the job but genuine keats are real quality.


I have an Asian "Keats" type plate that I purchased some time ago from one of the better known suppliers. It was to work on a small run of parts where I needed repeatable setting and used straight out the box. After the job, it got put away and (as it happened) I didn't use it again until late last year.

This time I needed to turn the bridge clamp over to increase it's holding diameter and was puzzled as to why I couldn't get the bolts back in. Turned out both bolts had been through drilled (and tapped) at about 5 degrees off upright and that the bridge casting had also been machined well off centre too.

Looking at it now, I can't understand why I didn't spot this on first use but I didn't. It's on the TUIT list. I will drill the clamp holes true and re-tap them a larger size, replacing the bolts. The bridge will also need to be squared up - a shaper job for this coming Summer when it's warmer. The base seems OK but I will also check that too.

So, morale of the story - check tools carefully on receipt and don't just assume they are right....mostly they are but not always...



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