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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: 3 1/2 inch small boilered TICH
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

Thread: Own Brand Tools!
28/10/2014 09:41:44

None the less - a useful thing to point out Izack - so thank you.

And whilst I agree with Howard about making your own 'Brand' (sometimes simply because sometimes you cannot find what you really need) I do buy a lot of small tooling of FE origin. Most of this stuff is quite good enough for my needs (which I will admit are not always that demanding) but if not - they can usually be improved with a bit of effort.

Indeed, I've been thinking about 'improving' the larger of my two compound drill vices recently (as I'm not confident the ways are actually 'square' to each other - and I use it a lot). However, when I think about what it cost me, I got some fairly hefty lumps of (pre-machined) cast iron, with most of the heavy work already done and there is potentially a more accurate tool hiding in there somewhere if I need it. So this can be a kind of half-way house to completely scratch building.

I have a belt sander similar to Izack's - and the table on mine is somewhat 'flexible' in use. I think it's probably much easier to make a stronger support arm than to build a completely new table. But it's another thing to do and mostly I can live with it, so maybe it won't get done for a while.....

So many jobs - so little time (heavy sigh) ! wink



Thread: Small brass turning
26/10/2014 22:20:26

Neat looking lock though...


Thread: Stringer EW lathe
26/10/2014 20:40:15

Hallo Ruaidhri - long time since we heard from you but I hope this finds you well.

And yes Michael - that's Alan Smith's work - I recognised his EW clutch immediately and he's made a super job of his slow speed banjo too. Nice to hear from them both after all this time.

I've just checked... Ruaidhri - your first post on this EW thread was in December 2010




Thread: arduino uses ?
26/10/2014 14:55:42

You are way in front of me Les but there's a lot here to look at and consider.

Thank you for sharing.


26/10/2014 14:20:04

Sorry Jason - I didn't understand what you were getting at.

And you are correct of course Bazyle, Microsoft don't produce real-time systems - and in fact it's quite hard to get their operating systems talking to the real world. Hence my 'intelligent controller' idea. However, most people have access to a PC - so it really is a 'universal screwdriver' for software in some senses.

I like the idea of using my PC to show digital readouts, store different machining configurations, keep count of things - there are many possibilities open if I can hook it up.

Arduino isn't R/T either of course but it does potentially enable a lot of the more repetitive workload to be offloaded to a dedicated CPU, leaving the PC to do what it does best (mass storage, user interface, comms. etc)

I did see the JS gear cutter and commented on it at the time. If I get around to trying the gear synching idea on the Shaper, I think there will be plenty of time to drive any rotary movement on the return stroke of the ram though.

In 'Shaper-Time' - things are a lot more relaxed !



26/10/2014 12:23:54

Hi Jason,

As I mentioned earlier, the technology keeps moving along and you certainly don't need to be limited to 30Kb memories with your Ardunio either.

Have a look at this link from Microchip (from 2011):


The Max32 Ardunio has 512Kb flash storage and 128kb of RAM.- all on chip.

It's also probably an order of magnitude faster than the Amtel chip in my Uno (assuming the PIC can pipeline effectively). I must admit I haven't really been watching this area too much lately - but I did notice recently that there was an Ardunio (PIC32 based) I/O board available to hook up to the 'Pi' for instance. The Pi acts as the "PC" in this case, hosting the Arduino development software. The PIC32 gives the Pi an impressive extra I/O capability.


More possibilities.



26/10/2014 11:28:18

I think there are probably quite a few things that an Arduino could be used for Nigel.

Much machining these days can be carried out using existing CNC software (on both the lathe and mill) but I think there are quite a few 'mechanical' applications where something more "application specific" would be easier to implement or the only alternative available to a purely 'mechanical' linkage. Your example above is a bit different to what I had in mind but is still a very good illustration of the automation potential of these devices.

One of the applications I might try when I get the time - is to shape gears on my shaper. There is a well known method that involves a mechanical linkage (wire and cylinder) to the table that turns the blank as the ram moves over the table. Some form of rotary holding device, driven by a stepper motor would have a few uses in my workshop and from there it might be possible to (electronically) synch the work to the shapers table. It's just a thought - and the 'wire' may prove to be a much simpler solution!


26/10/2014 09:44:31

Hi Michael,

Yes, I think the concept of an intelligent controller is an interesting one and there could be many applications of it's use to the ME community..

I've not ventured into CNC (thus far) but I believe that connecting 'newer' PCs (that only have USB connections) has caused problems in the past for some CNC users - as the Parallel Port has been phased out.

I understand that devices such as the 'Smoothstepper' have been developed to sit between the PC and the stepper motor drivers via a USB connection. I think with sufficient compute power, an intelligent controller could function as a 'smooth stepper' and then be redeployed for any other uses (as required) at the click of a mouse button. Unfortunately, I don't have the skills (or time) to do this myself, my efforts will be a lot more modest I'm afraid

By the \way, my Uno came with the 'blink' sketch already installed (it's the "Hallo World" programme of the Arduino movement). So my first attempt at tinkering was to alter the 'blink' sketch very slightly - to change the blink rate - and then download my 'new' programme.

One other thing I might mention, is that most 'sketches' seen on the web can be simply copied (as a text file) and pasted into the Arduino editor on your PC. This may seem pretty normal to (younger?) readers but for me it was a revelation. I remember (all too well) typing Basic and Assembler listings from the popular 'Micro' magazines into my Z-80 system (Nascom II). Being a two-fingered typist - this used to take forever....



Thread: Sentinel 4wVBT GA? - Or Sentinel Trust?
26/10/2014 09:17:49

Excellent Diane,

That was really the contact information I needed. I thought that someone here would know who best to talk to.

I'll try contacting Richard directly now I know who to ask for. All I have to do is to get my 'collaborators' to agree as to which 'No' engine we will be building...


Thanks again.



Thread: arduino uses ?
25/10/2014 18:27:20

Just a few more Arduino thoughts for anyone in the slightest bit interested...

I brought an Arduino Uno a year or so ago and amused myself making the LED blink on and off for a while. I think the real advantage is that all you need to "play" with it is a PC (laptop in my case) and a USB lead. It connects to (and is powered by) the PC and it is pretty simple to programme. It has quite a useful set of library functions that can be simply recycled into your own sketches (programmes). In essence this is a small embedded system designed to be hooked up to the real world - be that an analogue or a digital one (or both).

The Uno I have is pretty basic in terms of memory size & compute power but only cost about £20 and it was useable straight out of the box. If I wanted to use these devices for my own 'embedded' applications - then it is possible to buy just the Atmel 'chip' and download the Arduino software into it. MERG published a simple way to (using a Uno) programme the Atmel chips last year. An embedded 'Arduino' chip would cost about £3 a time on this basis. In my view this is a better solution (than a PIC for instance) for many potential users, especially for one or two-off type projects.

I also happen to have a PIC32 (Starter kit II) and this is a very powerful micro-system with lots of memory, I/O and capable of some very serious processing power. As the PIC32 is also available in an Arduino compatible package it means that I can upgrade to a more powerful Arduino based system should I need to do so. In other words there are upgrade paths already available.

So what use is all this technology?

Well (for instance) it's actually not that easy to connect a PC or Laptop to the real world and there are all sorts of USB to Serial and USB to parallel port boards available to help do it. It occurred to me quite recently to dig out the Uno and try to talk to it using my PC (Forth) based system. I was delighted to find that it was pretty simple get the Uno to talk to my PC system via just the USB link (Of course other languages could be used - C, Basic, Processing etc but I used Win32Forth).

I've not had time to explore this further as yet but (in principle) I can connect my laptop very simply to the real world via the (tethered) Uno - with all it's I/O capability available to me. I could therefore do most of the 'compute' work on the PC (with all its storage, graphics and connectivity wi-fi etc) and connect to other "things" via the Uno. It's a just a serial link but as I intend to pass high level commands between the two devices I don't think this will be a problem.

In summary, the Arduino will be acting as a very simple interface between my laptop and anything else I want to connect to and control. Eventually I hope to have a general interface programme running in the Arduino and run different 'control' programmes from my laptop for different devices/applications.

A kind of universal (PC based) controller just using an Arduino.

However (back to reality) - I've a few other things to work on (and finish!!) before I get too involved in anything else right now but I think this idea is interesting and I hope it will encourage others to explore the possibilities.



Thread: Sentinel 4wVBT GA? - Or Sentinel Trust?
25/10/2014 17:15:53

Hi Howard,

I had the same thought but an enquiry on their Forum has not produced any replies at all - but I will try emailing them as you suggest (& thanks for the correction Jason).

I'm sure someone there must know what happened to the "Sentinel Trust" .You'd think 'The Drivers Club' would be a fairly exclusive band of people who are probably very well informed about all things Sentinel' - but they may not be into 'webs' and 'forums' - and all these other new fangled (non-steam driven) things....




22/10/2014 10:14:42

Thank you for the scans Ady - appreciate you taking the trouble.



Thread: metric drawings imperial workshop
21/10/2014 23:33:13

PS I'm also struggling with my technical German Martin.

A while ago I discovered the web site of a very talented German marine modeller, Jurgen Eichart and spent some time reading his website via Bing Translate. I was interested enough in his techniques to buy his two 'milling' books from Amazon UK. { Fräsen für Modellbauer (Volumes 1 & 2) by Jürgen Eichardt } . Very useful for any small scale modeller...he states his methods for machining small items are a viable alternative to etching for instance...

Unfortunately - it's not quite so easy to translate a book (as it is a web-page) so I'm having to work on my German. Anyone who wants a peek at his work should start here:




21/10/2014 23:13:34

Hi Martin,

I don't think that you would have any problems at all.

Most of my machines are 'Imperial' but I use quite a mix of imperial & metric tooling (increasingly metric - because it's cheaper here in UK). I tend to move between the two systems according to what I'm working on. If I'm working on an older machine - I'm thinking 'fractional' generally (Whit nuts & bolts etc), if I'm working on a 'published' 2.5" engine design it will probably be imperial (and I'm into thous & BA threads) but any new tooling or designs I make/design are in metric (mm) because its generally cheaper to use metric materials, fittings, taps/dies etc. these days.

I've been working on drawings for my Sentinel (that I've mentioned elsewhere - seeking a GA) this evening and I prefer to start with a full sized drawing (where 1ft = 12" ) and then scale it down to G3 (1:22.6). Once scaled (it's still in inches) I then convert the drawing to metric (mm). It's very easy to move between the two systems when you have a CAD system - or even a calculator !.

In the workshop, it's still pretty simple. I know that 1mm = 40 thou (well near enough for my purposes) - so even I can do most of the required math in my head. Working out that 0.5mm = 20thou or that 0.2mm = 8thou is really not that hard once you start doing it routinely...

So my advice is convert your drawing directly into whatever system you prefer (or need to use) BUT if it specifies (say) metric fixings - then use them. Don't try going to "near equivalents" - use the material stated but convert the 'machined' sizes to suit yourself and/or your machines

Hope this makes's getting late - so time for bed.



Thread: Sentinel 4wVBT GA? - Or Sentinel Trust?
21/10/2014 20:05:29

Thanks Ady - I will see if I have them.

Anyone else here know if the Sentinel Trust is still around?



21/10/2014 12:56:20

I am in the process of designing a Gauge '3' version of the Sentinel 4wVBT (100hp) and have been seeking as much information as possible - including if at all possible a GA of the engine.

I have collected a number of very good photos and also have the ME Series on the 5" Sirena which looks to be very useful. This was a live steam version based on a Stuart twin engine - although mine will be battery electric.

Through this article, I also found a pretty good drawing from an ME in 1951 which has a lot of info (but also lacks quite a lot too). I could of course simply rescale 'Sirena' - but then I would copy any compromises the designer might have made (and there are usually some) when he drew up his model.

What I would really like therefore is the original GA and I understand that the Sentinel Trust used to have these. Unfortunately, I cannot find any contact details for the ST - just the Sentinel Drivers Club (and an enquiry there about the ST hasn't produced any response).

So if any kind soul can send me a scan of the Sentinal 4wVBT GA - or provide a contact for the Sentinel Trust (if it still exists?) - I'd be very grateful.



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