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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: Rose Blocks
14/02/2021 22:40:07

Nigel - if you PM me with your email - I'll send you the MC EW articles.



Thread: Self Centering Vice
14/02/2021 17:47:15
Posted by Vic on 12/02/2021 21:30:07:
Posted by IanT on 12/02/2021 14:52:14:I

I'm not sure how accurate this would be in practice though. Probably in the "near enough" category for most things I would think but I don't know for sure. I guess I'll have to test it now...



let me know if you do ... smiley


OK then Vic here we go

Warning ! - I am not a Metrologist (and those here who are will probably faint with horror) but this is what I did to test it.

I clamped the vice to the edge of my small workshop surface plate (now well over 20 years old and showing it) and set up a long reach 2" Dial (Imperial) Gauge with a 3/8th packing piece clamped in the vice. I was in two minds on the wisdom of using my Jo Blocks (in a vice?) for this job but the gap at the bottom of the vice was too large for them to sit squarely and that decided me (so they stayed in their box). I have some fairly accurate (but not very pretty) packing blocks that I use (obviously) to pack things 'up' with by a known amount. These seemed good enough for this use...and I didn't mind sticking them in the vice either...

Centreing Vice 1

With the dial zero'd on 3/8th (0.375) I added a 5/8th (0.625) and took a reading, then added a 1/2" block before adding finally going to 2". The vice can fully open to about 2.2" .

Centreing Vice 2

I then reversed the process, taking readings as I removed blocks. In all cases the vice was slightly 'over-opened' and then tightened back up on the packing, such that any backlash was taken up.

This is what I found:

Packing Reading-Up Reading-Back Calculated

0.375 0.00 -0.0008 0

1.000 0.3115 0.3105 0.3125

1.500 0.5605 0.5605 0.5625

2.000 0.8128 0.8128 0.8125


To explain, the readings are referenced to the zero setting, so are off-set from the centre by 0.1875 initially (half of 0.375). Taking half of the packing size and subtracting 0.1875 will give the 'calculated' number. There are clearly all sorts of things that can effect the readings taken (and note that the dial did not return to zero) but for a relatively inexpensive vice, I don't think it is too bad. Certainly in the "near enough" class for most things I'd use it for I think... which doesn't include CNC by the way.

So I hope that's useful Vic. I'm sure I've screwed something up (or forgotten something key) - I usually do but bear with me, I'm trying my best...



PS The Vice is the 2" HBM branded one, commonly available from your favourite UK Supplier with a rotary base but my base had gone AWOL before it came to me in "used" condition - although it seems it's previous owner was kind to it.


Edited By IanT on 14/02/2021 17:47:38

Thread: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher
14/02/2021 14:53:46

I may have missed something Mark - but is the end-shape of the clamping bar for a particular purpose or simply the shape of the material that was to hand?

Good progress btw.



Thread: Rose Blocks
14/02/2021 12:37:07

Hello Nigel & John,

Nigel, If you haven't already seen them, Martin Cleeve wrote quite a long series of articles about "improving" the EW - including making a new 7/8th" spindle (with nose plate) to replace the original 3/4" one. This might be a useful way to restore your headstock. I have the articles if you'd like copies.

I do use the top-slide occasionally for some work but generally just leave the boring table in situ, as it's slotted table makes many things more convenient. The only real drawback is that it's a good bit wider and my scroll chuck & 4Jaw will foul it I get too close to them. This is not a problem with the ER32 chuck, where it will pass underneath.

John, having a small lathe "indoors" is very convenient and there are lot of simple (but still useful) things that you can do with one. I am very fortunate that my 'Manager', although very firm about visiting cold workshops, does provide an excellent in-house restaurant service in exchange. My friend (who is widowed) is very organised in this area and makes a whole tray of stuffed peppers and home made soups that get stored away in the freezer as 'instant meals'. His daughter is currently delivering Sunday Lunch to his doorstep but I know he misses eating it with her family. I'd like to be able to get down the Pub with him again too.

The blanking plug fitted well and I've made some paper gaskets for it. Amazon use a nice thick brown 'packing' paper that looks ideal, so I've used that. In the past I've used a plastic 'circle cutter' to cut these but never been very happy with them - especially on smaller diameters. After throwing several attempts in the bin, I simply used a compass to draw the inside hole and cut it out with a scalpel. I then cut the outside diameter using the plug itself as a guide. I don't think my circle cutter will see use in this area again. Sometimes simple and obvious is best!

The holes I've made in the past with a (leather) hole punch but I again decided to change tack and made a simple custom punch. It's very easy. I chucked some 6 mm mild steel rod, faced it and then centre drilled it with my smallest centre drill. I then turned it down to 3mm (to fit the holes) - which gave a sharp end. Then using low-peel masking tape (to hold the gasket in place) I punched away on top of a wooden block. There was no need to harden the punch.

I hope this helps someone here - it was (and still is sometimes) often the simplest things that caused me the most headaches.



Paper Gaskets

Thread: Self Centering Vice
12/02/2021 14:52:14

I have a small one Vic - it's a good solid small vice and seems well made but frankly I've never used the self-centring aspect of it as such, although it might be useful.

For instance my small Taig head has a ER16 collet (max 10mm). So in theory I could hold a 10mm rod in the collet, grip it in the vice, then bolt the vice in position and then place (say) a 30mm piece in the vice and it would be 'automatically' centred.

I'm not sure how accurate this would be in practice though. Probably in the "near enough" category for most things I would think but I don't know for sure. I guess I'll have to test it now...



Thread: Rose Blocks
11/02/2021 18:51:40
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 11/02/2021 17:20:49:

One extension to my idea may be to put small locating fences on the blocks to engage the top-slide corner, giving a simple quick-change function. Does that clamp-block have a rebate to the same effect?

I've thought about several 'improvements' over the years Nigel (including guides on the blocks) but never quite got around to them. I did fit a 'guide' piece/block that a) generally positions the blocks and b) supports the clamp adjusting screw and its foot. This guide isn't currently fixed in place and can swivel - allowing the blocks to also be angled, which can be handy for chamfering etc. I may drill it for a removable taper-pin one day. I have considered fitting an 'end' stop (to make things a bit more 'repeatable' ) but haven't found a desperate need for one yet.

One thing I didn't mention is that when making these holders (from bright mild steel) the bottom will NOT be flat. I took a very light skim over the bottom surfaces. Otherwise they will tend to move, even if firmly clamped.

These blocks are very simple to make and use and perhaps it's best to keep them that way. A spring lifts the clamp when changing blocks and (again) whilst I've thought about a handle (instead of the nut) but it's never quite reached the top of my TUIT list...

I've also thought about index holes on the edge of the Cowells table but in use it would require careful set-up of any required radius (via the arm). I am happy with my new variable speed (with remote-control) DC motor though!




Tool Clamp for Rose Blocks


Edited By IanT on 11/02/2021 18:52:25

11/02/2021 17:39:47

Well, it seems no one's interested in simple tool holders Nigel. sad

I'm not allowed down the 'big' shed at the moment, as my wife is firmly of the belief that even a short visit in these temperatures will (at best) result in a bad cough that will keep us both awake for two or three nights. I'm afraid her views have some foundation in past experience. So I just have access to a few small machines in my warm (e.g. inside) workshop at the moment but I still like to keep a few things moving along.

I need a large blanking plug for one of my boilers (for testing) and found a suitable piece of brass in stock. As there wasn't anything 'spare' to hold on to - I used a shellac 'wax' chuck to hold it and turned the outside edge and inside face on my EW (you can see the partially turned part in the toolholder photos above. I find my soldering 'station' hot-air gun very convenient for this operation (it was really acquired to solder SMD components). It gives very controllable temperature and doesn't overheat things - albeit it's slower than using a gas torch. The photo shows the part being "un-attached".

Heating a Shellac Chuck

I then needed to index the part and drill six mounting holes. I normally use my rotary table for this (but it was down the Shed). I'd gripped the part in an ER32 chuck to face off the other side, so decided to use my Hex collet block to drill the holes. First problem was (with the vice mounted) there was insufficient clearance to set the block vertically. A simple solution was to bolt two 20-40-60 blocks directly to the table (via 8mm bolts and the table slots) with a front stop. These held the block very firmly. This then allowed the holes to be part-drilled - I couldn't go right through as I didn't want to damage the collet.

Vertical HEX collet Block

I should mention that whilst still chucked in the EW, I'd run a spotting drill into the centre. Dividers were used to then mark the hole radius. A sticky pin in the drill chuck was trued and set to this radius mark (easy to see with my Optivisior). My Cowells drill has a very useful design feature in that the table's 'arm' can be swung, as well as having a table that rotates. So a part can be fixed to the table and then simply aligned by moving the part through the two arcs possible. I've fitted a collar/clamp (which sits under the arm) to the drill's main column so that when the arm itself is unclamped - the table doesn't just drop but can be swung to either side.

Finger Plate on drill table

To finish through drilling the holes, the part was clamped in my finger plate. Something that may not be obvious is that the long (8mm) central bolt can be screwed right through the base plate and in this instance there is a wing-nut holding the plate in place on the table. The finger itself is then tightened using the finger 'knob' & cap-screw.

Anyway - that's the blanking plug finished hopefully. I will try a test fit this evening and all being well make a gasket for it. I hope this wasn't too basic for the experts here and that maybe there is something here of use to others.





Edited By IanT on 11/02/2021 17:59:37

Thread: Small Lathe Advice?
11/02/2021 11:16:47
Posted by Andrew Fowler on 11/02/2021 09:42:43:

Although I have the basics, I have never owned a small lathe, I only have every used a large Gap bed style lathe and never bought one. What make do i look for, how much should I budget, its all unknown to me!

I learned to turn on Colchesters and when I first got my Myford S7 it felt distinctly 'puny'. I had to consciously adapt my approach to feeds and speeds, tool & work overhang and general rigidity. Many years later, with the Myford now my largest lathe, I'm still making those adjustments when using the smaller lathes (the ones inside in the warm). Sometimes I'll make a very quick trip down to my main (unheated) workshop to do a particular job on the S7 though.

I'd first decide what kind of size work you are most likely to want to undertake - then buy the largest lathe suitable for that work that you can afford and accommodate. People ask very silly money for some old Myfords and frankly, you are best buying a new Chinese machine at those prices.



Thread: Electric motor for L C Mason's Small Lathe
10/02/2021 17:14:02

If you do purchase one of the 200W DC motors Ricky (and have a 3D Printer) I can supply a simple SCAD script to print a suitable 'saddle' for it.



10/02/2021 14:07:10

Ricky, I have a small lathe (similar to a Super Adept) and used a small fractional HP AC motor that I already possessed for it. If I was looking for a small motor now though, I'd probably fit one of these 200W nominal (it's probably about 150W output) brushed DC motors.

I have the same motor (but with the original variable speed control PCB) on my Cowells drill and it works very well. I'm sure it would do so on your small lathe too when combined with the pulleys. You don't really need a very large motor but your (12V DC) one may not be quite enough.

200W DC Motor & Controller



Edited By IanT on 10/02/2021 14:07:39

Thread: Best lapping compound for cast iron
10/02/2021 09:46:19

If you are concerned about embedded lapping compound remaining in the cylinder Martin and causing more wear - then why not use Timesaver? That's what it's designed for.

There are several UK sources - this is one of them

Timesaver lapping compound




Edited By IanT on 10/02/2021 09:49:37

Thread: Rose Blocks
09/02/2021 22:45:35

I was interested to see Rob Renshaw's note about Simple Tool Holders in 'Scribe a Line' (MEW 301).

I made a set of Rose Blocks a few years back for my EW 2.5" lathe, having first tried a small QCTH. The QCTH had a lot of overhang and also restricted the cross-slide travel. Additional toolholders were also fairly pricey. I'd read the article by Dr Rose and decided they might solve the problem.

I made half a dozen (I did mine on a shaper) all to the same dimensions and to take 3/16th HSS tools. I then made a clamp block to get the tools on centre height. For brass tooling (with no top rake) I don't need to pack the tools, they are at the correct height. Even where a shim may be necessary on other ground tools, once set that's it, they can be moved in and out as required without further setting - no different from a QCTH really and much easier to make.

Although not the original reason I made them, they do hold the tools very rigidly too as Rod mentions. Obviously they won't suit all uses (or users) but they certainly work well enough on my EW.



Rose Block Rose Blocks

Thread: Bernard Towers' Lantern Chuck
09/02/2021 10:37:30

They are in MEW 301 Phil.... wink


Thread: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher
07/02/2021 17:06:22

Well I started to read the other guy's blog there for a minute or two Mark - but thought I'd best stop and watch your progress here instead. ( No Spoilers then - although I have read the book! )

I like the idea of the locating pins and making the symmetrical sides in one go (instead of two pieces). I'm sure that will come in handy sometime.

Anyway - Great stuff as usual !



Thread: Taper sleeve adapter
06/02/2021 16:37:09

Good advice John, if it's causing you grief - just sell it and don't worry about it.

It will probably be a weight off your mind.



Thread: Replacing Oilite Bushes in ML7 Countershaft bracket
05/02/2021 08:29:35

It was quite late last night when I first posted - I'd been crouched over a CAD screen for far too long, so was a bit tired from that too.

As I was climbing gratefully into bed, it occurred to me that I'd probably turned an inside lip on the 'push/puller' so that it was held centrally in the bush and not inclined to slip off sideways. The larger cylinder needs to be squared at each end too of course. The whole point being that the bush is pulled through squarely - they don't just slip in.

I have a feeling that I've also used another 'guiding' cylinder on one occasion (with a slight lead-in taper) - sandwiching the bush between the guide and the pusher with a second nut on the threaded rod holding the unit together. I think I was having problems getting things lined up and access was awkward.

Apologies for the long and windy description - a photo is always worth a thousand words and I'm sure I have some somewhere but if so, I couldn't find them.



Edited By IanT on 05/02/2021 08:30:56

04/02/2021 23:50:21

Having a range of 'antique' machinery William - I've replaced a few Oilite bearings and they tend to be a very snug fit.

You essentially need a 'pusher/puller' solid cylinder - just under the diameter of the bearing - tapped to take some screw rod - plus a slim walled 'pull against' cylinder - the inside diameter of which should be just over the diameter of the bush, such that the bush can be pulled through it - and a bar wide enough to bridge the 'pull against' cylinder, with a central clearance hole for the rod.

To remove the bush, place the 'pusher/puller behind it and the 'pull against' cylinder on the other side of the bush housing. Screw the rod into the p/p and place the bar over the top of the 'pull against' cylinder and just tighten a nut on the rodding up, such that the 'push/pull and bush are pulled out through the housing.

To replace it - essentially reverse the process - just pushing the bush back in.

Oilite bearings are designed to shrink to size once inserted into the housing, so are a very tight fit. You may get lucky and hammer one in with wood but more than often I think the bush will tilt and stick - and the more you bash it, the more it will get damaged. I speak from experience.

Having no lathe - you may be able to find alternatives - such as a stack of heavy 'penny' washers (pusher/puller) and a piece of pipe (pull against cylinder). Otherwise, measure everything, reassemble your lathe and turn what you need. The shaft may be scored but stone any protrusions down and hopefully it will last a good while longer with new bushes.

Remember to place your 'repair tools' in a bag with a note to remind you what they are - for the next time you might need them. I have quite a few 'bits' (tools/jigs/gauges) that I know I must have made for some purpose but I cannot remember now what it was....



Thread: Looking to upgrade my lathe advice please
04/02/2021 22:24:35

I have an old Mk1 S7 Jon. I didn't pay a lot for it but it did need some attention and at that time I had more time than money. It's now usable for most of the things I need of it.

There are still a few things that could be much improved and (every now and again) I'll have a rush of blood and actually do something about one of them. However, it's an old machine and there's a degree of wear (and other problems) that I will probably never now spend the time or money fixing.

If I was thinking of going through the hassle of changing out my S7 for another lathe, I think I'd just find a new Chinese machine that fitted the available space and suited my pocket.

BTW - I had an old ML4 (with a missing cross-slide) that I gave to a friends son, who has a young family and a large mortgage. He's a clever lad, found the missing parts on eBay and has done a lovely job of restoring it.



Thread: Bassett-Lowke A1 restoration as a static - help / advice needed
04/02/2021 13:20:50

Tony - Just to re-state that your engine was basically not designed for passenger/driver hauling - which is essentially the difference between the N2.5GA (who driver haul) and the Gauge '3' Society (who don't).

I am a member of both the N2.5GA and the G3S but would suggest that your engine is essentially a vintage Gauge '3' locomotive and is best considered as such. The G3S have their own Boiler Inspectors (I am one) who would be very happy to test your G3 engine's boiler without any pre-conditions or charge. We are very keen to keep these vintage models in running condition (and use) whenever possible.

The Gauge '3' Society normally holds Get Togethers (GTGs) throughout the warmer months and I'm very sure that there will be members at some of those events who both own and operate Basset-Lowke (meths-fired) FS engines who would be delighted to meet you and offer advice. Hopefully, GTGs will restart before too long...

Without wanting to cause any furore, you might also find that the BI's in some MES will be reluctant to test your boiler without at least your joining their Society and perhaps showing a degree of 'active' membership. This is understandable given that their services can be abused by people looking to 'trade' an old engine on eBay (preferably with a boiler certificate) and who have no intention of actually participating in the Society activities.

However, I do think that your decision on how best to 'restore' your engine should be (at least partially) guided by the condition of the boiler - so I'd suggest that this should be your priority.

You can find our more about the Gauge '3' Society here:

The Gauge '3' Society

But please feel free to PM me - I'd be happy to discuss this further with you offline.




Thread: Pennsylvania A3 Switcher
03/02/2021 23:14:46

Nice fabrications - coming along very nicely Mark.



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