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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)
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

Thread: 'average model engineer'
16/08/2014 22:21:01

I don't think there is any such thing as an "average" model engineer Cyril - we are all quite unique in my experience!



Thread: Tangential lathe tool holder
14/08/2014 10:04:47

Or it's been sandblasted perhaps?


Thread: ARC - PayPal and Credit Cards
07/08/2014 16:32:48

As a comment - All the holiday and airline companies I deal with have a flat 2% Credit Card charge (or it's free with a Debit Card) and most times (when the kitty is in good nick) I pay by DC to avoid the CC surcharge - which can mount up on overseas trips. I like to pay off my credit card every month, so this only brings the 'cash-out' forward 2 or 3 weeks on average, so is not really such an issue for me.

Here (with ARC) I have a simpler choice - pay by Debit Card or pay a £1.00 flat charge to use a Credit Card. I suppose this is a >2% fee for purchases under £50 but then it reduces with anything over it. It seems quite fair to me and I wish the travel company we use most often offered us the same deal.

I've been a customer of ARC for some years now, as have both of my sons in fact.

Of course, my sons have no interest in anything "engineering". They only use ARC because their thoughtful Dad sends them Birthday (& Christmas) present links which saves them the dreadful trouble of worrying about what to buy the poor old guy. These helpful hints do seem very much appreciated and certainly save me the deeply uncomfortable hypocrisy involved in thanking other relatives for things like DVD box-sets of old US rom-com series that I am never, ever going to watch! (Although the lady at the Charity shop always seems quite pleased ....)

Anyway, I digress - (unusually for me) - most of our purchases are quite small (I don't like to skin the boys too much) but I've always been very happy with the goods, prices and service received. I think the £1.00 CC deal is very fair but (being "careful" )  I will probably just use my Debit Card instead. However, I doubt my sons will even notice any 'small print'...because they are not that "careful" yet - (and apparently it's not that fashionable these days either).

However, whilst I'm here, there's just one more thing I should also say.......

ARC - best website, reasonable prices, good quality and above all - excellent service.

Very well done Ketan & Thank You.

from another of your satisfied customers (and his sons) wink

Edited By IanT on 07/08/2014 16:34:38

Thread: 1/8th pipe fittings
24/07/2014 18:10:02

I generally tend to make most of my own boiler fittings & pumps etc. (being fiscally cautious by nature) but I do buy in nipples and union nuts, which are fiddly and time-consuming to make - and obviously the pipe and other raw materials. I've always used Bruce Engineering (now owned [?] by Polly Model Engineering). There's a very helpful Lady there who doesn't seem to mind taking my 'modest' orders on the phone and delivery has always been very prompt. Their copper washers are very handy to help seal such steam and water fittings btw.

You can download a PDF catalogue (with prices) here - it's well worth a browse. You'll find 1/8th" pipe fittings there.


I've no connection with Polly other than as a satisfied customer.



Thread: Truing up the shaper v ways
21/07/2014 21:08:43

I'm with Brian on this one Lee.

By all means give the ram a deep clean, change the felts and (re)adjust the gibs but then see how she runs. You don't mention what make/model your shaper is but these were generally machines made to do hard work and they had long life almost built in. I wouldn't do anything too drastic until I had very good evidence it was required.



Thread: Which ER32 Collett For a Myford ML7?
11/07/2014 21:52:46

And just for info - the photo is of my EW 2.5" lathe with the ER32 chuck mounted. The Diamond Tool Holder was/is really too big for the little EW (the DTH bottom edge was tight up against the EW top-slide in this photo) but did get used in the early days before I fixed up a QCTH for the EW. Be good to make a small tangential holder for the EW.

Let's see that's number XXX in the "Must do that One Day" list....




11/07/2014 21:42:42

Hi Matt,

I have ER32 chucks for both my main lathes (Myford S7 & EW) and use the kind that requires a backplate as they were very quick to fit and easy to adjust true. Over time I've acquired a range of other ER32 "stuff" including Collet Blocks and a Spin Indexer (both 5C devices with ER32 adaptors). Most recently I've purchased an MT2 ER32 chuck for use on my small horizontal mill (which could also be used in the tailstock of the S7 I guess?) but you cannot pass material through this of course (as you can with the screw-on and backplate types)

I mention this because I use the ER32 chucks for both tool and work holding and therefore have (and use) a full set of collets. I've also got a Taig ER16 milling head. I'm therefore using ER16 as my 'secondary/small' collet system. I've only a few ER16 collets as I only use a limited 'size' of tooling in the ER16 systems (and do no work holding). A small ER16 based drilling/milling spindle is also being "thought" about....

One other advantage of using the backplate type of ER chuck is that you can move them between machines if needed (albeit with a new backplate) which you cannot do with the screw-on type. I've thought about moving the Myfords ER32 chuck to my Lorch Schmit AB for instance (as I have a spare Lorch backplate). Once the new backplate was drilled, it wouldn't take too long to remount it on the Myford if required - although with the MT2 ER chuck now available, it might not be required that often...mmmmnn there's a thought.

EW Views



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