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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: My first ball-turning job
05/11/2014 09:42:50

I have the same tool Ken - and the first time I used it - I discovered that if the 'ball' was too near the chuck face - the tool holder base fouled the chuck (true for both my 3 and 4 jaws). As I normally like to hold work 'short' (to aid with any parting off and general rigidity). I had to start over with a new piece as the first one was too short to extend enough and still hold securely.

Of course, I now know that the work has to stick out a bit. For the amount of ball turning I do, it's not really a great problem for me and the tool otherwise works well within it's limits.

However, for some people's needs, it might be a problem and an "up and over" ball turning design might perhaps be a better cholice.



Thread: LH countershaft bearing getting on S7
03/11/2014 18:30:21

I don't have a S7 so cannot advise directly Thomas - however I've always understood that you shouldn't try to machine (or ream) Oilite bearings - but I think you know this already.

Whenever I have a problem like this on my older machines (especially after I've been working on them) my first reaction is always to step back (e.g. strip things back down) and do a visual and "touch" check (fingers can be remarkably sensitive test instruments) for anything that just seems 'wrong'. From what you've said - you did this but...

Quite often - I've done something daft which is usually easy to spot and remedy. If not, then I'd reassemble as carefully as possible (in single steps - one thing at a time) and check things as I go along. Sorry if this sounds like "teaching Granny egg sucking" but you seem to have only started having problems after stripping your clutch unit and re-assembling it. I strip my older machines quite a bit - and if something isn't quite right afterwards, it's usually something I've done.

Do you still have the old bearings - and are they 'handed' for instance - what happens if you swop them over? It's silly things like this that often cause me problems. If it was working - and isn't now - what did I do to change it?

Quite often it's something fairly simple/obvious but I'm afraid to admit that sometimes it takes me quite a while to spot it.



Thread: arduino uses ?
01/11/2014 14:06:17

Well the price is right Michael - cheap enough to just play with for learning & experimental uses.

I've other 'job' priorities at the moment but I would be most interested to hear what you think of them (and what steppers you match them to as well).



Thread: BA, ME, Metric Coarse or Imperial : which taps and dies to buy ?
01/11/2014 13:55:01

Beat me to it Michael - but being "careful" I have a stock of tin sheet (cut with snips from old biscuit tins) for jobs like this and other uses - to protect work held in the chuck jaws for instance. Always useful stuff to have around.

Also completely agree with Michael G's earlier diagnosis by the way Brain. Either your die is defective or it's a problem of technique, which would boil down to patience and practice. Anyway - good luck, it's all part of the fun!



Thread: Soldering/brazing a boiler.
01/11/2014 11:02:00

The fact is that what you do in the privacy of your own home is pretty much up to you Brian. But as pointed out in an earlier post, relying on the pipe "blowing off" may work in practice but will be messy and could result in scalds.

So, it would be very good practice to fit a safety valve and I imagine that the Mamod valve would be a simple solution in this case.



Thread: Revitalising a lathe - but what is it???
01/11/2014 10:52:17

I've used the NVR switches from Axminster with complete satisfaction and they are reasonably priced.


These not have a reversing facility but personally, I don't reverse my lathes as they all use 'screwed' chucks. But I do have a mandrel handle for some screw cutting work and a rear-mounted parting tool holder - so I don't really need to reverse the motor.




Edited By IanT on 01/11/2014 10:52:39

Edited By IanT on 01/11/2014 10:53:20

Edited By IanT on 01/11/2014 10:53:56

Thread: BA, ME, Metric Coarse or Imperial : which taps and dies to buy ?
01/11/2014 10:43:23


It's possible Russell didn't cut his brass jig in half with a hacksaw - he may have just clamped two pieces of brass together and then drilled them to carefully placed centre punch marks.

I don't know what Russell actually did - but it's what I'd probably do.


31/10/2014 10:44:13

Well Brian, generally if I was working on 'tube' (and it depends on its diameter and length) I'd be holding it in a lathe collet chuck and threading it with a die or tap held in the tailstock guide. But you don't have a lathe and sometimes it's not possible to do this anyway.

I have a set of fibre jaws on my vice that grip most things fairly well - but round objects do tend to slip when twisting forces are applied. With thin tube it's also possible to crush the work if too much grip is applied. So (assuming I'm using the correct die/tap and the tube wall was thick enough) in this case I would probably find it easier to simply drill a cross-hole and slip a pin in (the work of a minute or two) rather than make a custom 'holder' of some form. Of course sometimes this isn't possible (larger diameters, thin wall, already finished to length etc.), so other means would be required. There are a lot of "ifs", "buts" and "maybes" because everything I make is one-off generally - all my jobs tend to be different.

So, no, this may not be what "most people do" but it is what I have done occasionally and it does work. Given your problem and available resources - it might also work for you too. laugh



Thread: arduino uses ?
31/10/2014 10:04:23

I'm not into CNC myself yet John - but as I've mentioned, I do play around with micros and need to connect to them.

I have one (very old) desktop but four (still functioning) laptops of varying age. I have a parallel port on the desktop and the very oldest laptop but I don't really want to look backwards in technology terms. All of my PCs have USB and in terms of portability and having a 'dedicated' controller/display - the laptops are available and effectively free. So I can develop on my newest (up to date OS and relatively secure online - which my XP based machines may not be by now) but the older laptops are perfectly safe for this application because they can be used standalone (no internet connections etc)

So given that I have a number of devices already available (Laptops & Arduinos etc) a 'soft' solution is the one for me for CNC or any other control type application. I'm also (secretly) hoping that someone else will come up with the solution to this problem - I'm sure there are many others already working on it. I just need to be patient.

Of course others may want to push on now - so will have to use available solutions. But USB is clearly here to stay and all of my devices are equipped with some form of it....





Edited By IanT on 31/10/2014 10:17:08

Thread: Soldering/brazing a boiler.
31/10/2014 09:45:33

I think it would be a very good practice to silver solder your boiler Brain and to also fit some form of simple safety valve. But if you only need 15psi - why not set the safety at just above this (and not twice)?


Thread: BA, ME, Metric Coarse or Imperial : which taps and dies to buy ?
31/10/2014 09:35:23

I'm not sure I've seen what size your brass tube is Brian (or the thread you are trying to cut) but one other idea that may (or may not) help you. If you are cutting the thread on tube which has not yet been cut to final length, then you could possibly drill a hole just past where you will eventually cut it off and place a pin through it to stop any rotation (again assuming the tube is not really long). Works for rod too. Personally, I don't generally use any cutting pastes on brass but the taps/dies do need to be sharp.

Sorry, sometimes hard to help when you are not actually present to touch and see the work! sad



30/10/2014 19:02:50

Sorry Brian - I've just tapped some tube (as an extension handle) and my 'brain' was still in tapping mode (e.g. internal threads)

However, dies also cut easier if the thread engagement is lower. If you had a lathe you could have tried 'easing' the tube diameter slightly - or if you are using a split die then you could try opening it up (over size) to get the thread started and use several passes as suggested by Bayzle.

Better and/or stronger work holding may well be the solution to your problem here but whenever I find myself having to use (excessive) force, it's normally time for me to stop and think again. Are you sure your tube diameter is the same as the nominal size of the die or is it just over?

It doesn't take too much 'over' to start causing problems. Just a thought.


Thread: Gauge Blocks
30/10/2014 09:31:40

Nice things to have occasionally (for my uses) and do come under the heading "Likely to be unaffordable"


Thread: BA, ME, Metric Coarse or Imperial : which taps and dies to buy ?
30/10/2014 09:27:39


You don't say what size of tube you are trying to tap - but one thing I've motioned here recently, is that it does make quite a difference what tapping drill size you use. Industry use high thread engagements (100-95%) whereas 70-65% is good enough for our uses generally. You will really will feel the difference.

I purchased an inexpensive tap & drill set form Lidl's a year or so ago and used the drills provided without too much thought but found the larger ones really hard work. I checked the sizes against Tubal Cain recommendations and started to use larger tapping drills. Life became much easier. I guess I should have replaced the drills - but just printed a reminder for the box instead.



arbor & drawbar.jpg

Thread: 3 1/2 inch small boilered TICH
30/10/2014 09:13:48

You are welcome Graham.

As a suggestion - I keep my ME taps purely for non-ferrous (mainly brass) materials. Once taps or dies are used on ferrous metals they don't seem to cut brass quite as well again. So I generally use (cheaper) metric taps these days on any ferrous work - except where I'm working on a model (my G3 engines & rolling stock) where I will tend to use BA taps - but even here I use new ones on brass for as long as possible - and only "older" ones on mild steel etc.

My better 'fine' files are the same (especially my Swiss files) - just used on brass. They will last a long time used like this. I use cheaper (or worn) files for any ferrous work and they have a blob of blue paint on them.

This might seem to be a bit nit picking but does repay the effort over time and soon becomes second nature.



29/10/2014 17:19:51

PS But of course when using a die - the material should be the same diameter as the nominal size of the die.

However, one small suggestion if you haven't done this too often. It can help to machine a slightly narrower 'lead-in' (when possible) to help the die get started. Of course a tail-stock die (and tap) holder is also a great help to keep the thread straight.


29/10/2014 17:06:50

There's no stupid questions Graham (not if you don't know the answer anyway)

Yes, the drill for tapping will be smaller than the given size of the thread. The only question for Whit & Metric threads really is the percentage of thread engagement you require. Industry use quite high percentages but for amateur use - lower percentages (e.g 70-65%) are easier to tap, lower the risk of breaking the tap and are quite strong enough.

So I use Tubal Cain's recommendations generally - and in this case for a 1/4" 40tpi (ME) thread I would therefore drill 5.8mm tapping - as he gives in his "Model Engineers Handbook" (a recommended reference for us Amateurs!).




Edited By IanT on 29/10/2014 17:10:45

Thread: Radiussed ends by mill and file
29/10/2014 16:50:02

Clever idea Ken - thanks for sharing it.


Thread: Small machine vice for lathe vertical slide
28/10/2014 10:21:43

Nice job Ryan. Thanks for sharing.


Thread: Micrometer Oil
28/10/2014 10:14:52

Well, always things to learn - as I didn't know that you needed to oil your Micrometers.

I have several smaller Mics (0-1" & 0-25mm) but earlier this year I needed to 'compare' something to better accuracy than I could mange with my vernier calipers. So I bid on a large micrometer and (whilst at it) made some silly bids for the ones 'in-between' (M&W). To my surprise, I won them all, possibly because they didn't look too good in the photos supplied and were not in boxes.

On receipt i decided to clean them up (this is probably complete heresy to some on here!) and stripped them back to bare metal and re-sprayed them (after careful masking). They look much nicer now - and although I have no idea if they are accurately calibrated (and have no means of doing so) I don't see why they can not be used as 'comparators' (which is what I needed one for).

So I just need to make some boxes now - and maybe oil them a little too!

Regards, IanT

micrometers 1 - 160314.jpg

micrometers 2 - 160314.jpg

micrometers 3 - 160314.jpg

micrometers 4 - 180314.jpg

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