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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: What did you do today? (2014)
18/10/2014 10:58:02

Have you built it to anyone's particular plans/design Ed?

(Very nice work BTW!)



Thread: Cutting T slots
14/10/2014 00:20:49

I understand the purpose of your cunningly disguised question Rob - I just think it's probably the wrong one to ask.

Just about any mill should be capable of cutting a T-slot 15mm x 25mm x 12mm high in mild steel. Of course, most smaller machines will never do it in a single pass (or even in just a few passes come to that) and depending how rigid the set-up is - will also depend on the final finish and actual accuracy of the T-slot.

It's a bit like asking what size of lathe do I need to cut 2" diameter mild steel down to 1" diameter - and the first question I'd have is "how many passes do you want to make?" e.g. what depth of cut are we talking about?). Because I could do this on my EW or on the Colchester I first learned on but I know for sure which one would do the job the fastest. In other words, I can machine most things to size (provided it fits the machine's work envelope) but it might take me a very long time on a smaller machine versus a larger one - and the end result might not be so good because of lack of rigidity etc.

So my cunningly disguised answer (and I don't have an X3 - and it's many years since I've used a Bridgeport) is that (provided the work will fit the mill's table) an X3 should be able to mill this T-slot but I wouldn't expect it to be able to do it as fast as a larger machine. So if you have this size of T-slot to machine very regularly - then get a bigger mill (it will be quicker and more rigid) but if this is going to be a once in a 'Blue Moon' need - and the rest of the time you are normally working on smaller jobs - then I'm sure the X3 would be just fine.

In other words - tell us what you will normally use this mill for - what type and size of work - and whether you are going into full production - or just doing the odd job in your spare time. You might get some more informed advice.




Thread: Turning down weld
12/10/2014 11:59:19

Thanks John,

I will try that at the short end - but I think I'll try another approach at the longer (and 'keyed'  ) end. I've got a few other things to do before I get around to this but I will update this thread on what I actually did (and how successful it was) when I do get around to it.

Got to be worth a try, the motor is a write-off otherwise and a new B56 type 'replacement' will be about £130 (ish).



Edited By IanT on 12/10/2014 11:59:43

Thread: McMaster - Any Old Iron?
12/10/2014 11:50:34

Well the problem is that I do need to move it around Ian - if only to fit everything inside my Shed! smiley

My larger machines are placed pretty much where I can easily use them - that includes the two larger lathes (on their own benches), my two mills and the shaper. No wheels there - they do get moved - but generally on rollers with a wrecking bar, so it's not done very often if I can possibly avoid it. The workbenches are also fixed, as are the taller (Dexion) storage shelves.

My larger woodworking machines (Inca bandsaw, 10" saw & Coronet) are on wheels because I much prefer to make sawdust outside the workshop (same as grinding) weather permitting. They have some heavy bits/accessories stored on the lower shelves to help keep the centre of gravity down. They are 'parked' by the main door (with the 30" Hayter verge cutter) so can be moved outside easily in good weather.

Other 'wheeled' units include two large storage/worktop units, my Warco 12 speed drill (and now the McMaster) because otherwise it would be hard to fit everything in and still be able to move around. Most times - it is simply a matter of moving one or two units 4-5 foot sideways - as I'm usually only working in one area at a time. It's simply done when you've placed your larger items in such a way that other bulky stuff can be moved in and out of position down access lanes.

I take your point about spreading the width and keeping the height down but it does cause problems with 'bit's sticking out that snag when being moved. The wheels on the McMaster are right underneath its legs and it doesn't feel unstable when being moved. However, if it does prove unstable in use then it will have to be found a more permanent home without the wheels. But in the meantime - it's really useful to be able to move it around easily (just the base and two leg units are too heavy for me to lift).

As always, it's a matter of looking at any particular machine (it's size, weight, footprint, access required etc) and deciding what the best solution for it is in terms of ease of use/access versus stability/safety. All my larger/heavier machines are just sat on the floor (or benches) for this reason.



Thread: Turning down weld
11/10/2014 18:18:47

I've got a B56 type AC motor with a very worn shaft (both ends) and I'm afraid I don't think I'm up to the 'MIG & Turn' solution. I'm thinking about something more within my skill set. On one end (the short one) I think a simple 'sleeve' might work but for the other (longer) one, I am playing with the idea of turning a fairly deep 'trench' and fitting a split sleeve into it. I would epoxy it on - just sufficient to turn it gently down to size. My "theory" is that once in place, the outer bearing surface will hold it all in position (epoxy or not).

I understand the shaft will be weakened but if it works - it's saved a new motor and if it doesn't - I'm no worse off (I hope!). Anyone tried this approach before?



Thread: McMaster - Any Old Iron?
11/10/2014 17:53:41

mcmaster - 101014 002.jpg

My Shed hasn't seen too much of me this Summer (my Manager had other plans for me!) but I'm trying to get down there before it gets too cold again. Picking up projects after you've been away for a while is quite a challenge (particularly if you start off a bit scatter brained to begin with).

The last few days I've been trying to move my McMaster Power Hacksaw "project" on a bit. I managed to completely strip it down earlier this year and found various problems. The motor is in a bad way, with a lot of wear on the shaft. If I could MIG weld, I might be tempted to try a John S type of repair but I don't have a MIG welder and doubt my welding skills are up to that anyway. There are other problems (wear in sliding surfaces & bearings) that I can do something about though.

Having everything in bits, it was all cleaned and stripped right back to bare metal. I also built a wheeled trolley for it (as I couldn't move the base once the legs were bolted on - it's very heavy). That was about where it all stopped for summer.

I've now rebuilt the gearbox, repainted everything and started putting it all back together. I've decided I can probably get away with turning the worn 'gibs' (they are more like retaining strips) over and using the (less worn) reverse side (possible because the parts are symmetrical). Plus I've found what appear to be some small 'adjusters' that might help take up some slack..

Anyway - for lovers of Old Iron - here is the McMaster, hopefully looking a bit more respectable now. Still be a while before we can cut metal in anger with her but a very useful machine is starting to emerge from the rust!

PS Sorry but I cannot get the photos in the correct chronological order - but hopefully it will be fairly obvious.




mcmaster rebuild - May 2014 mcmaster restore - painting oct 2014 001.jpg

mcmaster - 101014 001.jpgmcmaster restore - painting oct 2014 002.jpg

Edited By IanT on 11/10/2014 17:58:14

Thread: Revitalising a lathe - but what is it???
10/10/2014 23:42:02

I wouldn't worry too much about screw cutting on your Perfecto lathe Iain.

There is a great deal you can do without a S/C facility and for much small model work, you won't need it at all. What you might find will come in useful is a tailstock die & tap holder. The screw sizes you will need in modelling (BA & ME) can be simply cut with taps and dies and will be so much better if guided true by the tailstock.

I think you have a No 1 Morse taper in your tailstock - so get yourself a blank MT1 arbor & stick a 2.5" extension in it. Then turn yourself a simple cylindrical die holder to slide up and down on that extension. You may need an MT2 to MT1 adaptor for your Perfecto, as I think the tapers are different at each end. In other words, worry about the basic kitting out of your new lathe before bothering about screw cutting.

Good luck with your lathe.



Thread: What did you do today? (2014)
07/10/2014 23:29:42

What I did in the Shed this afternoon was machine a part very similar to the one that I machined yesterday - except that today I correctly read the writing (on the back of my hand) as being "Width 29mm" and not the "27mm" I thought it said yesterday. Could be poor eyesight, a 'smudged' number or perhaps I'm just going daft in my old age.

I did mange to remember a few choice words yesterday though...


Thread: Rubber Sheeting on Offer
02/10/2014 15:49:25

Hi Ian,

Two sheets for please. I will PM you my details.



Thread: How I made 55 gib strips for my Sieg X1
29/09/2014 13:59:25

I've never examined an X1 closely Russ and I wasn't certain exactly what the 'gib' arrangements were but if Martin's method is useful, then that's good.

It occurs to me that some reading this might not know the difference between gib "strips" and gib "pieces". Older machines often had solid gibs (there was no "strip" as such) that directly bolted to the main assembly. They still needed some form of fine adjustment but once set, solid gibs keep their adjustment very well (they don't flex or move). In some ways gib 'strips' are a backward step but I guess are simpler to (mass) manufacture (less parts?)

However, for anyone making 'custom' slides (especially those with limited resources) solid gibs are easier to build in my view. No need to machine two matching dovetails - requiring dovetail cutters. Gib pieces can simply be screwed to a flat surface, although another plain (fixed) strip is required to take the adjusting screws for the movable piece. Where greater strength is required, the gib pieces can be set in a simple milled channel with the adjusting screws tapped into one edge of that channel. This is the way many lathe and mill slides were built at one time.

Martins method will of course work for 'strips' too but I think I'd sandwich thinner material between two (sacrificial) clamps and avoid any holes in the strip!. Hope this is of interest.



28/09/2014 10:14:58

gib strip 4 - oct 2012.jpggib strip 3 - oct 2012.jpggib strip 1 - oct 2012.jpg

I've made gib 'pieces' for small tools and fixtures occasionally and used the method described by Martin Cleeves in ME many years ago. I've posted this idea before but in case some haven't seen it, please forgive the repetition.

A length of Hex rod is drilled & tapped on one face to taking clamping bolts. The bar is then screwed to a faceplate with the clamping face at an angle (60 degrees in this case) to the faceplate surface. The gibs to be machined are either clamped or directly bolted to the Hex bar and aligned using a DTI or simple pointer on one end (and swinging the work through 180 degrees).

The work is then simply faced to the required depth. It's actually quite quick and very simple to do. Small slides can be easily made using this method. I'm not sure how critical the 5 degree difference would be in this case - but not much on a thin strip I'd guess. I think I'd probably just adjust the width of the strip slightly. You could also use this method on a mill table of course.

Regards, IanT

PS I don't seem to be able to get the photos in the correct order but I hope the idea is clear enough

gib strip 6 - oct 2012.jpg

Edited By IanT on 28/09/2014 10:16:05

Thread: Indoor Lathe
23/09/2014 18:41:06


I build in Gauge 3 (2.5" gauge) and the EW can probably handle most things in G3 (it's slightly larger than a Unimat or Cowells) but a 5" engine would be a real stretch on any smaller lathe, although you might just manage a small 0-4-0 on one.

If you really want to build in the larger gauges (and I view 5" as being "larger"  ) then you want to look to a larger lathe if at all possible. Of course you could also divide the work up if you can find someone/somewhere to do the larger pieces, as many turned loco parts are not that large and could be handled on a small lathe if you can do the 'bigger' bits elsewhere.

This is essentially what I do. The EW is good for smaller parts (such as boiler fittings) and the larger ones (such as wheel castings) get done on the S7. One thought, some ME Societies have their own workshops where you might find a larger lathe that you can use. Smaller turning work and any erecting and/or bench work could still be done at home until you have more room. And you will want somewhere to run your new engine once it's built of joining a local MES could be a good investment


Edited By IanT on 23/09/2014 18:41:35

Thread: Dental drill turbine shaper
23/09/2014 18:12:19

I have a No 2 Adept but I'm pretty sure that's a No 1 Adept.


Thread: Indoor Lathe
23/09/2014 17:54:13

I would think any small lathe would do Dominic - either one of the new Chinese mini's or something a little older - Unimat, Cowells or similar. As always it somewhat depends on what you want to make with it.

I have a small EW lathe (2.5in) that is gradually evolving over time and it is very useful for smaller inside work during the Winter, although I have the benefit of a Super 7 and Lorch in the Shed. With a little bit of ingenuity you can do a lot of work on a small lathe - just don't expect it to remove metal fast....

Mine is mounted on an old printer table and has recently grown some shelving and a small milling attachment.


ew with taig mill mounted - 091113.jpgew - july 2013 2.jpg

Edited By IanT on 23/09/2014 17:54:48

Thread: protecting from rust
22/09/2014 09:55:45

My shed remains unheated throughout the year and is also quite damp - so rust is a real problem.

I cannot say what the best solution is - only what I do myself.

I own mainly older machines, which are heavy cast iron lumps and take some time to adjust to the ambient temperature. The first thing I do is paint any surfaces that do not need to be bare metal (e.g. reference surfaces). Next I routinely wipe things with a well oiled rag whenever I'm using a tool (or have used it) & it becomes a habit. My wife isn't impressed by the state of my hands most days - but they haven't rusted either (thus far).

Finally, anything not in immediate use is covered in plastic sheet (as closely as possible to prevent air movement, if possible stuck to the metal by the oil surface) and then covered in a sheet or blanket. My other tooling is generally kept in sealed plastic boxes and/or bags and all my more prized ferrous stock & scrap is oiled and wrapped in plastic sheet or cling film - as are some tools. My larger 'fixtures' are wooden boxed but oiled and wrapped in cling film too. My really delicate/expensive measuring and other 'fine' tooling is kept in the house and taken down to do specific tasks. I have a "work-box" that I use to move things between the two places - I try to plan a job and make sure I have the required things before I go down to the shed (well mostly!)

You have to be vigilant and anything missed or left in a corner will rust pretty quickly, particularly in the Spring, when the machines/tools are cold and it's warming up outside after a damp start. I have a large (30in x 24in ) cast iron surface table and this is kept well oiled and a thin plastic sheet is then smoothed down over the top surface and edges - before a wooden top cover is placed over it. This Spring I had water (condensation) actually dripping off the edges but the combination of painted lower body and well oiled surface seems to have prevented any serious damage. It takes some time to clean each time I need it but I have a smaller one indoors, and like so many things - it's very useful, very occasionally - so prepping & cleaning it is a small but necessary overhead.

I'm sure some here will have very different views but this is what I do. I have a small "indoor" workshop - as I cannot take the cold too well these days. I do tend to wrap things up a bit more 'pre-winter' if I'm not expecting to use them for a while. It takes a bit of effort but is the only thing that seems to work in my circumstances (e.g. an unheated and damp workshop).

One day (on downsizing) I will probably have a smaller workshop space, hopefully attached to any new house and it's central heating - but that's not possible just now.




Edited By IanT on 22/09/2014 10:03:47

Edited By IanT on 22/09/2014 10:04:33

Thread: Adcock& Shipley horizontal Mill
09/09/2014 18:33:35

Not knowing any better Mick (and having one missing at the time) I just turned a replacement up from some scrap mild steel for use on my elderly Victoria Horizontal. I now know (of course) that my 'copy' was just a pale imitation of the real thing (it's not ground, not hardened and probably not to microns accuracy either). It's just a steel cylinder faced at each end with a 1" hole bored through it....which might sound simple enough to do (if you take a bit of care) but clearly there must be more to it....?

Well, now I'm somewhat older (but much wiser - at least in my opinion) and I now know that you clearly need all the 'precision' that the Far East is capable of throwing at such objects (special steels, induction hardening, ground surfaces, not to mention enormous cost). Perish the thought that you could actually make something (almost) as good in your Shed!! No special steels, no hardening, no ground surfaces....sounds like some form of engineering heresy (fleeting image of self burning at stake).

The funny thing is that mine (against all the odds) seems to work quite well. I was looking at the arbor just now and I couldn't immediately spot which one was 'my' spacer ... although I'm afraid they are all showing their age somewhat.

Anyway, enough. With a bit of effort I'm sure it will be £30 very well spent. Horizontals are very handy machines (for those that appreciate them e.g. learn to use them well) and once set-up and equipped your A&S will be a very useful tool indeed. Please let us know how you get on with it.



Thread: Machine vice - Vertex/Arc Euro Trade/Gloster?
09/09/2014 17:30:07

I thought - "That's a nice looking vice" Vic - and then I looked at the price!!

Fortunately (for me) I have an original Abwood (albeit with a few bits carved out the top) which even so - I may now start storing in the family vault for safe keeping!



Thread: Issue 220
29/08/2014 10:28:27

I've known Des for some years Neil - and seeing his workshop photo on the front cover, I eagerly paged through the magazine to see more of his workshop (not that I'm normally 'nosey' of course!). wink

When I didn't find any "Des Workshop" article the first time through, I went right through the magazine again, certain that I'd somehow missed it. I finally found the front cover note on the inside page....well, "disappointment" doesn't quite describe it!

But maybe this could be a great idea for a whole series of MEW articles - a workshop/shed version of "Through the Keyhole". You show us the workshop (and all the machinery & "junk" in it) and then we have to guess who the 'Celebrity' Engineer is (and what they do in there - apart from drink coffee of course)


PS If this concept goes viral and Channel 4 decide to buy the TV rights of "Celebrity Workshop" (It's got to be bigger than Big Brother!) - I'd like my share of any royalties please.

Thread: Not a "modeller"!
25/08/2014 10:32:11

Second mug of coffee this morning so I've enough caffeine in my system to pitch in....

It appears that I am the "Modeller" in question - as there apparently aren't too many others of us around (according to some here). I would also be very happy answer to the title "Model Engineer", although in my case it might not be well deserved (Model Engineering Apprentice?).

I don't really care what you call ME or MEW - although I don't see any point in changing the titles either. 'Model Engineer' has served pretty well for a hundred years or so and seems perfectly OK to me. In fact I get fed up with things getting changed just for the - what is the right word here? - well - just because we can perhaps... Never mind the history, culture or anything else.

What I do care about is the content of these two magazines and generally I manage to find something of interest to me in most issues. I understand that there are others who do not share my particular passions (I don't understand why this might be so - but I do accept the possibility) and the Editor has to cater for them too.

Anyway - I'm a 'Modeller' and (would-be) 'Model Engineer'

My current modelling "Hero" is a German guy by the name of Jurgen Eichardt. He is a 'Marine' modeller and although I'm not - I've spent some time looking at his website (via Google Translate). Having looked at his US Minesweeper - I've decided I'm still very much the Student and not the Master.... Inspiring and a bit depressing at the same time!

If there are any other "Modellers" here (one or two perhaps?) - then they might find this of interest


I've also just purchased his two "milling" books and just from the diagrams, I'm going to learn something - I will also have a lot of laughs translating the technical German I suspect.



23/08/2014 18:12:50

...perfectly formed Russell? laugh

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