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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: Turning a recess in the end of a bar
22/10/2019 12:24:11

Generally concur with Old Mart - but I think you will probably get away with just some (stepped) drilling to start with - and then a small boring bar to follow. You might want to move to a larger boring bar as you get deeper in.

For shallow (but wide) recesses, I can often get away with just a turning tool run back from a centre hole...



Thread: identify
20/10/2019 22:33:55

I don't have any really clever (e.g. scientific) answers Ken but here's a few of my (very) simplistic solutions...

a) If it's rusty, it's probably not stainless (but isn't necessarily silver steel either of course)

b) I only buy stainless stock that IS non-magnetic - I have a little magnetic plastic 'knob' to test it's a very good test of my own stock...

c) If it's 13" long (and maybe even a little rusty) then it's quite probably silver steel

d) If I'm really not sure if it's silver steel (and I need it t be) - a small sample heated red-hot and dunked in water/oil should be dead hard afterwards.

e) Some of my silver steel is stamped "Stubs" (where you have that 13" 'end' cut from the metre length) - and I try to cut from the other end of these bars (when I remember to do so)...retaining the stamp on the left over stock for future reference...

So generally variations on being magnetic (or not), rusty (or not) or able to harden (or not).

Generally one of them will work for me. Hope this helps.



Thread: Slideways oil
20/10/2019 21:55:45
Posted by mgnbuk on 20/10/2019 15:13:24:

Of course where I have sliding surfaces designed to be 'total-loss' - for instance the Shapers ram slideways - I'll continue to use a thin oil (SAE 30) there...

Why ? Most machine tools have a total loss slideway oiling system & most recommend using slideway oil.

Nigel B

Well essentially because the Atlas shaper manual advises the use of "a good grade No 10 Motor Oil or its equivalent" - which sounds like a very thin single-weight oil. SAE30 is therefore a bit thicker than Atlas recommend but as I use it for most of my other machinery too and it's what's in my oil cans) - that's what I use. I'm not sure a heavy oil would work as well with the flip-top oiling points fitted either (??).

However, there are certainly a number of other places on my machines & tools where the sliding surfaces can only be lubricated from either end - there being no oil points to get lubrication easily into the moving parts. I have large vices, compound vices (& a table), top slides and a hand shaper that all would all fit this description. It's these areas that I use the slideway oil on (as being 'sticky' ) hopefully the lubrication will work for longer. I use it liberally whenever the parts concerned are dissembled for cleaning.

Anyway - that's what I do (and why). angel



20/10/2019 14:23:37

Some sliding surfaces can be quite hard to lubricate well and so 'persistence' seems to be a very useful characteristic Peter. At one time I therefore used to apply chain saw oil to them. I now use a "proper" slideway oil instead (not sure which one off hand) and apply it where it seems to make most sense.

I had to re-adjust my Atlas Shapers vertical feed slide recently and having cleaned it - I reassembled it with a good coating of s/w oil and then re-adjusted it. It's a fairly heavy oil and I'm sure it has all sorts of good properties but I just need a good stiff but free movement that preferably doesn't need constant attention.

Like Vic, I can't tell you if it's actually any better than the chain-saw oil I was using but as I have it, I'm using it.

Of course where I have sliding surfaces designed to be 'total-loss' - for instance the Shapers ram slideways - I'll continue to use a thin oil (SAE 30) there...



Edited By IanT on 20/10/2019 14:25:09

Thread: Is Model Engineering in Decline
20/10/2019 10:15:37

We had a very pleasant day out at the Fosse yesterday - at least I did. My wife disappeared with her friend and enjoyed a very good lunch out and ended up at a Garden Centre apparently. They then got lost on the way back but eventually found me waiting (patiently) in the car park.

I decided to upgrade from my usual Bacon Bun to the Full English (very good value) before going for a wander. I had interesting chats with lots of people about all sorts of things from ornamental (Engine) turning, to 1/24th wooden wheel construction (Model Wheelwrights - Thank you Brian) and the challenges of machining cylinder castings for designs they were probably never really intended for (N25GA - nice to see you again John).

And of course Coffee & Cake (and a sit down) with Ted and Roy on the Gauge 3 Society stand - which featured two highly detailed vintage Southern Railway units (part of a set of six - so a 6 PUL?) reputedly built by SR apprentices in 1932. The member who owns them says they have four 24v DC motors and that the third-rail pick up is functional - he is going to try and fit batteries to power them.

I managed to resist buying any new tooling but did 'invest' in various lengths of brass hex & SS rod I seem to have run out of (I was actually organised enough to have done a quick 'stock' inventory this year - before going!) and I also found two 6" lumps of p/bronze (that I could actually afford) for that new regulator I've been meaning to make....

So a good day out for both of us - and the traffic was busy but kept moving and we treated ourselves to a take out when we got home. Is ME in decline? I don't know. There were lots of cars streaming into the Fosse yesterday morning and most of the drivers were 'of a certain age' (just like me).

I can't say I'm too worried. Yesterday was an enjoyable day out but most (99%) of my 'Hobby' is conducted in the solitary confinement of my workshop with just the radio for company. Periodically, nature calls and it's time for Tea and maybe a biscuit (or two) with the wife. It's good to get out and meet people of a similar mind but I will enjoy getting back on with something in the workshop this afternoon.



Thread: Tapping drill size
18/10/2019 15:52:47

Or of course Martin - you could just use a 7mm drill (which hopefully you already have) - it would still be easier to tap with than a 6.8mm one!

Sometimes we get so close to the problem - it gets very hard to see the blooming obvious!!




Edited By IanT on 18/10/2019 15:54:23

18/10/2019 15:13:06


I'm fortunate enough to have acquired various 'sets' of drill bits over the years, including the 1mm-6mm & 6.1-10mm (in 0.1mm increments). I keep these sets for "Best" and for common holes sizes have cheapie sets that I (ab)use for most tasks. I would agree that most of the drill bits in these full sets may never be used in anger - but it's nice to have them when needed - and (certainly for me at least) they will last a lifetime.

However, before you go out and purchase any new drill bits - have a look at your Imperial bits (if you have any). Most folk have accumulated a few and perhaps never think of using them in "metric" mode.

For instance, if you happen to have a 9/32" bit (not so common I will admit) then you might find it will also drill a metric sized hole of 7.14(375) mm - which I think will probably be near enough for your needs! wink



Thread: Aldi Metal Bandsaw
18/10/2019 09:54:50

Hi Bill,

I'm not going to be able to take a look at my saw (and the stand geometry) till next week now but will have a closer examination then. If it's a 'stand' problem, then a shim might do the trick but I think I'd also dissemble the pivot and have a look at that.

Douglas, on my INCA (wood) bandsaw, I always try to remember to ease off the band tension after use, as I think this is good practice. However, I've also read that if the saw is in regular use there is no need to do this - only slackening the tension when it will not be used for long periods. However, with the simple lever action on the Aldi saw, I'll be slackening after every use unless I forget to do so. May be worth trying to ease the lever a bit or it might just ease itself over time.



17/10/2019 22:52:51

Hi Bill,

I think you will find that there has been a fair bit of negative comment on YouTube about the vice provided (and it's poor quality). I intend to use the saw mostly in vertical mode - I'm busy making the stand at the moment. However if I find I do need to use the horizontal cutting stand provided, I'm simply going to change the vice for something more suitable, as I have a suitable one made some years ago. On my power hacksaw, I sometimes have problems holding the stock being cut securely (and the vice on that saw is very well made) and get around it by using packing (to help keep the jaws parallel and/or help grip the work better). I sometimes also have to provide sacrificial support beneath the work to stop it being pushed down.

I've not noticed the other problem you mention but as I've only used the saw to rough-size some stock material (before machining it) mine may have a similar (as yet undiscovered) problem. Are you sure it's the blade that's off-kilt - or could it be the stand mechanism? The later may be easier to fix. Are you also sure the work isn't moving?



Thread: Tapping drill size
17/10/2019 22:04:24


For my bread & butter metric tapping in mild steel, I use an inexpensive set of taps (purchased from Lidls) and they seem to work very well. They also came with a matching set of "tapping" drills & the one provided for the 8mm tap is 6.8mm. However, I found these tapping sizes to be hard work in mild steel - so I don't use them.

Instead I use the 65% flank engagement recommended by Tubal Cain in his ME Handbook (my copy is the 1993, 8th version - page 63) which for an 8mm (1.25mm pitch) thread is given as 7.1mm. These sizes work very well and makes tapping a far more relaxed process - and I've never been concerned about the strength of anything I've tapped using this thread engagement.

To save me reaching for the book every time - I've stuck a reminder from Tubals book on the box. Just my experience...



Saw arbor & drawbar.jpg

Thread: Surface Mount Switch
16/10/2019 14:21:45
Posted by Colin Wilks on 16/10/2019 11:13:02:

Thanks all. No easy answer!

The eBay offering of the Axminster Kedu switch seems to also come from Axminster and their eBay seller's rating seems excellent. One worrying review of the product was that the emergency stop needed pressing "for several seconds" in order to cut the power, which seems a pretty fundamental flaw and I'm guessing was due to either a faulty unit or incorrect wiring.

I've fitted these Axminster 'KEDU' switches to a number of my older machines - most recently a Coronet Consort table saw I've been restoring (last week). I've also had one fitted to my Super 7 for some years now and I've not had any problems with them. They cut power immediately if you hit the red 'STOP' button, although I normally just use the 'off' button provided - but I certainly tested this function on the Consort last week and it worked just fine.

They do seem to be sneaking up in price but are still affordable. For anyone with an older machine (with just a simple on/off switch - or even worse no switch at all) I think they are a very sensible improvement to make. Of course if I'm working on a machine (e.g. changing a saw blade) - I do still pull the plug out!!



Thread: slidway lapping
16/10/2019 13:56:21

I agree with other posters here Philip - I think in the case of slide-ways a better approach is to measure the bed and matching surface(s) and see where correction is needed, most likely by scraping in. With lapping, I suspect it might be possible to actually make matters worse - as any 'twist' in the parts as you lap will also tend to lap already worn areas. One of those things where a 'shortcut' might work but might also make things worse - so best to do it the 'hard' way and scrape the parts together - or modify the machine and reference an unworn surface.

However, lapping is certainly useful sometimes. Recently I've been making an adaptor to fit my Taig milling head to my MF (horizontal) mill overarm. I managed to find a suitable lump of mild steel and bored it to 1.5" (the overarm diameter) - a 2" deep hole. I was pretty happy with the bore dimension (as measured) but the overarm when offered up (had to remove the tailstock) would barely enter. I'd already taken several spring passes, so managed to avoid the temptation to take another cutting pass. I wanted a really nice tight sliding fit. Part of the problem was that the overarm is old and slightly corroded - although it felt reasonably smooth to the touch.

MF Overarm

I removed the work from the 4-Jaw and managed to 'work' the part onto the overarm - but I then had to use a puller to get it off again. I had some fine valve grinding paste (purchased from Halfords many years ago) and wiped this over the overarm and then worked the adaptor for a few minutes until it was a good sliding fit. I then cleaned both parts with Paraffin.

Taig adaptor plate

Here is the overarm shaft after the lapping process and you can see the change in the surface - although very little metal has been removed.

MF Overarm

I just need to cut keyways in both parts now and hopefully I'll then be able to use the Taig (ER16) head on my MF.

So lapping can be very useful in some circumstances, especially for close fits in round components. Frankly, I can't always get parts to the exact sizes others here seem to manage but lapping can be a great help sometimes. Incidentally, these parts will not be 'rotating' - I have a cast-iron bearing & shaft to machine shortly and for that work I will be using green Timesaver, as I don't want problems with any embedded grinding paste.

Sorry if this was too far off topic - but lapping can be very useful in some circumstance (but not others)



Thread: High Paint Costs
15/10/2019 12:59:33

Yes, I know DMB - but they happened to be very convenient as I had walked into town (my bit for the environment)

I'm sure I could probably cut £3-£4 off that price (by driving out of town) but even so the difference in Dyas was considerable. If the Dulux had been £11.99 - I might have paid the £3 difference but not £12.46!

Perhaps it's just me..


Thread: Axminster SU1 Horizontal Mill
15/10/2019 12:50:31

Axminster have just announced their latest 'Sale' - and I noticed that their SU1 Horizontal Mill was included. It's on at £799 (instead of the usual £1,129.50) - so anyone who might be interested in a benchtop horizontal mill might like to take a look. Their website has a video, plus a download of the ME review article.

I'm sure some here will rush to tell me what alternative good vertical mills that money will buy them but for anyone wanting a small horizontal mill (with vertical capability) - this is the only available 'new' one that I'm aware of.

Myself, I am the happy owner of two horizontal mills and my smaller one (an Atlas MF) is a little bit larger than the SU1 and quite a bit heavier. It came with a belt driven MT2 vertical milling attachment which unfortunately (it transpired) needs new bearings. It's top speed is also limited by that of the main arbor drive. However, I've nearly finished an adaptor plate to take my Taig ER16 milling head (with separate motor drive) which will be more suitable for smaller cutters.

A horizontal/vertical combination machine does provide a lot of flexibility in use for the Hobbyist but certainly they are not for everyone. Whether the SU1 is worth the premium (even at the reduced price) will be a personal choice. The only niggle on both my horizontals (a problem shared with the SU1) is the lack of a drilling quill on the vertical heads - although there are several possible solutions if this is required. Otherwise they are very rigid and useful machines and generally suit my needs very well.



Thread: High Paint Costs
15/10/2019 11:39:56

I use wood as a material in both my modelling and workshop projects. I'm currently building a stand for my Aldi metal bandsaw, as I think it will be most useful in vertical mode. Most stand versions I've seen use metal frames but I had some suitable pine offcuts and being quick to cut and join - I decided it was a good solution for this job.

However, my tin of wood primer had 'expired' and passing Robert Dyas yesterday, I popped in for a replacement tin. I was very surprised to find that a 750ml tin of Dulux wood primer was £21.45!

I had to get up real close to read the small print to check that I was reading the right product label.

Fortunately, a 750ml tin of Berger wood primer ( "quality paints since 1760" ) was also available at £8.99 - which suited my pocket much better. I will admit that it does seem a bit thinner than I remember the Dulux primer being - but I don't need an undercoat as such, just a primer to seal the wood.

I guess time will tell how good the Berger primer actually is but assuming it does the job, I won't be tempted back to Dulux any time soon - not as those prices anyway...



Thread: Reilang oil cans
13/10/2019 23:14:10

For what I paid for the Myford oiler at the time Howard - I could probably have had a Reilang instead - I very much doubt it was the cheaper option back then.

But hindsight is a wonderful thing - if only I could go back to that fateful day and give myself a bit of good advice (although it might not be anywhere near top of my list of things to tell myself)



13/10/2019 16:24:39
Posted by Vic on 13/10/2019 15:31:31:
Posted by Norman Billingham on 13/10/2019 13:55:16:

Would one of these generate enough seal and pressure to lubricate a Myford lathe through those ball-seal oil nipples? If so, which model is best?

I use one like this but you can get them even cheaper.


I have several of these type and although they work for filling oil 'pots', they also drip oil all over the place. So they have to be stood in small baking tins (that fill with oil over time - still better than all over my bench). I also have the Myford pump 'oiler', which wasn't cheap and which frankly is even more useless than the cheap ones - it leaks all over the place in use and it's very hard to understand how anyone thought this was a good way to actually oil a lathe...

I've been tempted by the Reilangs (having read positive reviews) but I have an old Enots oiler than I'm in the process of repairing and I hope that some good old fashioned UK engineering will solve the problem for me and also save some pennies...


Thread: Telescopic bore gauges
10/10/2019 09:59:30

I have the two sets of Arc bore gauges but have only so far used the telescopic ones in anger.

My experience with them is that they do work but can be a bit fiddly. I am sure that part of that was my own lack of experience (and possibly patience) but I was getting a better 'feel' as I progressed. I cannot offer any comparative review because they are the only bore gauges I have ever used.

I think my view would be that they are better than having nothing - and at the price (they are not that expensive) good value for the number of times I really need them - given that as a Hobbyist - I generally make things 'to-fit' (by offering them up) - sometimes making a test gauge for the purpose. But for larger holes it's not always possible to 'offer-up' and I don't always have a lump of stock suitable as a gauge (or don't want to use it for such).

I've found that I can feel a degree of taper (if it's there) with the gauges that might be harder to detect otherwise, although I still use inside calipers occasionally. Measuring a bore further in is better than at the mouth (all you can do with a Vernier gauge) and helps to remind me to take more spring passes if needed - again patience (or lack of it) can be a problem..

So unless some of those nice looking caliper gauges show up at a car boot (at a silly price) - I think for most folk the Arc products may be the only reasonable solution - albeit they are not an essential and somehow I managed to survive many years without them.



Edited By IanT on 10/10/2019 10:02:48

08/10/2019 12:08:26

My wife is quite looking forward to it.

She meets a friend of hers who lives locally and they go off for lunch and some "therapeutic" shopping together. I have little choice but to go into the Show and mooch around until they get back from their jolly. And I only get a bacon roll and a mug of tea for lunch too....

Ah well - anything for a quiet life...


Thread: Resistance Soldering question
06/10/2019 10:32:44

I use the same thing as Nick.

My somewhat cruder set-up is a cleaned up lump of 3/8th 6" square mild steel on the gas hob (when the wife is watching telly!). You can then deliver 'spot' heat via a small gas torch if required... this for soft soldering smaller brass pieces to bigger ones, where the larger piece is acting as a heat sink and preventing more usual soldering approaches.

Don't think this will help Patrice though (lovely work by the way)



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