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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: Starrett Vice hold Downs
03/04/2014 17:50:19

The work piece shown in the diagram is (relatively) thin Peter and the hold-downs are enabling the whole top surface to be machined (shaped in this case) whilst still clearing the vice jaws. The work is also fully supported on it's lower/under side. Your Starrett's will be fully hardened and (should you not need them) I imagine that they will worth a reasonable amount if you can find the right buyer.



03/04/2014 16:44:50

As ever, where Shaping is concerned, 'Delmar' is your friend! I think this shows the (correct) use of hold-downs pretty well.



delmar 186.jpg

03/04/2014 16:22:39

They were (are?) commonly used in Shaper vices to hold work flat/down in the vice Peter.

I seem to recall someone wrote some articles in ME about using the Shaper, where his first 'project' was a pair of hold-downs for it.



Thread: Wire stripper repair or bin?
03/04/2014 16:07:39

"The tool is die-cast, and no doubt from the Far East as is the norm nowadays"

You knew the correct answer in advance really Geoff didn't you? laugh


Sympathy with your back by the way.

Thread: Imperial fractions on drawings.
03/04/2014 15:59:26


Just about all my machines and measuring devices are Imperial but my favourite Vernier (the non-digital one!) has both Inch & mm scales. For some reason I find it much easier to read just the 'mils' off it these days. I also tend to draw (CAD) any new designs in metric/mm as I'm increasingly using metric fasteners and materials.

However, when turning (or milling) my machine dials are imperial, so of course it's natural to use Thou's but it runs a bit deeper than that. I still "think" in Thou's (probably always will do so) but it's not really a problem in practice. For most purposes (e.g. small distances) 0.1 mm is the same as 4 thou and I can do simple conversions in my head (so I can't be completely daft just yet!).

Whilst I do have full sets of Imperial drills (fractional, letter, No.) that will probably last me my lifetime, I now also have a full set of metric drills in 0.1mm steps up to 10mm that I find myself using more and more. And of course for larger dimensions they have these wonderful things called 'Calculators' to let you move quickly & accurately between the two systems.

As for tolerances - sorry but I don't do them. Generally I make a hole to roughly the required size and then make another bit to fit into it. If I want a very good fit (VG Fit?) - then I might ream or D-bit the hole first or if I want a really, really good fit (RRG Fit?), then a bit of lapping might occur (but I'm normally much too idle!). Fortunately, I don't work for Rolls Royce and it takes me quite long enough to build things as it is! But as usual, different horses for different courses - and everyone to their own..



Thread: Repton RT1 Ball Turning Tool
28/03/2014 21:11:15

Like Norman, I too have the ball turner from RDG - another Christmas present (as I've already got lots of socks) !

Seems to work well enough (used on free-cutting steel) but my first job was to round one end of a centre nut for a Finger Plate I'd been making. I'd already turned and tapped it in anticipation of Father Christmas coming up with the goods but found that the front of the ball turner fouled the bottom of the chuck I was using on my Super 7. So it couldn't reach the work to round it.

I just found a longer length of bar and chucked it sticking out 2-3 inches. Turned & tapped it and I was then able to 'round' it OK, then part the new nut off. As I normally keep unsupported work as close to the chuck face as possible, it's something I will have to bear in mind when using this device. An "Up & Over" ball turner probably wouldn't suffer from this problem.

Thinking about it now (Note to Self !) I might also be able to get closer to short work (with the ball turner) using my ER32 chuck to hold the work as there is more clearance under it.



Thread: What's wrong with T nuts? (compared to T Bolts)
27/03/2014 09:14:58

I can see the concern that with a T-Nut the bolt might be forced through the bottom and jack everything up - whereas a T-Bolt cannot do this. I guess it could happen - although never to me.

My understanding has always been that "best practice" is to make sure that the T-Nut/Bolt actually fits the T-Slot well and (where possible) is also supported on the top of the T-Slot. This clearly happens where (for instance) a flat block is bolted directly to the table and the base of it directly covers the top of the slot. However, it is also possible to clamp indirectly by the use of an auxiliary table or (for instance) the rather nice 1-2-3 blocks I got for Christmas (still finding different uses for them JS!). Both of these will help support the top of the T-Slot and have the added benefit of preventing distortion on a slotted lathe cross-slide for instance

However, I think the best practical advice is to use as many clamps as possible, don't over-tighten them and rather than go heavy with the clamps - just take a lighter cut. If you are worried enough to want to really tighten up your T-bolts/nuts - then perhaps it's time to stop and re-think your clamping arrangements.



Thread: Running Down Tool
26/03/2014 09:31:26

I've got one similar to the Chronos one John (I may have brought it from them in fact) but it occurred to me later that it should be possible to modify one of my standard toolholders to take a front guide extension.

This would be a flat plate screwed to the front that could be simply bored to take the guides. I'd set the holder to centre height with the tool inserted, remove the tool, then screw the holder on and bore it at that height, I think it would probably work just fine.



Thread: Myford Paint (Grey)
24/03/2014 14:05:42

Have a look at the spec on the engine enamel Adam - it's downloadable in PDF format. I think it will do and you can ask for any particular colour you need - including Myford.

It's also £6.68 per litre (34%) cheaper than the other one mentioned. My Grandmother wasn't Scottish but I'm sure I must have some Scottish ancestry somewhere?



24/03/2014 12:16:40

You don't need two part for this Adam. If you are not going to strip right back, then do as Roy suggests and rub it down and then infill with car body filler. Rub this down again and then repaint the whole area with a good (oil-resistant) paint. I've used these people below before (no connection) and their engine enamel seems good enough for my needs.


If you don't want to strip your machine into separate parts, then you might get away with very careful masking off with tape (and old newspaper) if you take your time and cover everything up but it's much easier to work on separate components (and even then I mask up anything I don't want paint on - including inside the holes etc.)



Thread: Pottyengineering Cutter Grinder
23/03/2014 10:14:38

Hi Stuart,

Like Rod, I have also just acquired a part-built Stent, so this would be useful for me too. As mentioned elsewhere, I have too much going on at the moment but better tool sharpening is quite high up my 'Tuit' list, so I'll PM you as well if that's OK.



Thread: Elliot Omnimil
23/03/2014 10:06:03

Ok Bazyle. Thanks.

I already have several large lumps in pieces at the moment, which I'm tending to trip over with predictable regularity. So I'm trying very hard to focus my wandering attention (think butterfly on caffeine) and make some actual progress on just one or two major things. The better weather is helping but it was still a bit nippy down the Shed yesterday. So gas springs are clearly something for the back burner just now.

There's a pleasant thought, as it implies that I must have some kind of "Front" burner! Maybe there's hope for me yet.



22/03/2014 16:13:44

No Bazyle, that's never occurred to me.

I did think about some form of counter-springing/weights briefly but it never even reached the "Tuit" list. It got bogged down at the "Pondering" stage. Any reference material on this idea you can point me at?



22/03/2014 11:45:53

Hallo Mark,

The H0 is a very solid bit of kit but even so (at 5ft) one of the smaller horizontal mills around (of the non-bench mounting kind that is). I do have the vertical head and the knee can be heavy but I just take it slow & easy. I find a bigger problem is making very fine adjustments to cutter height, as it's not exactly sensitive (undoubtedly mine also has some wear) and of course you can't drill as there is no quill. However, I have other (smaller) machines, so in the past I've usually been able to work around any problems in practice, even though it can involve more effort on secondary work setting. As this doesn't happen very often, it's not been a problem for me, whereas the large table and heavy build is often a very useful asset to have.

I have no DRO's fitted but I have just acquired a small 100mm Vertical Linear Digital Scale (guess from where & how?). I'm thinking of using it as a 'fitting' to help me finesse a bit more accuracy in setting up any finishing cuts. I haven't worked out the detail yet but I think it will be a helpful thing to have and I hope to make it easy/quick to fit (& remove). This will also make it portable and useable on my other machines.

The HO has a powered table (as standard) and I do use it, although it can sometimes seem a tad fast on some settings/cuts. I still use hand feed for work where I need more 'feel' for the cut. The powered table is very useful for long steady (multiple) cuts though. My Victoria is very similar to the one at the bottom of this page on "Lathes" ,and my 'Vikky' is probably also long overdue a good clean-up & repaint.




21/03/2014 10:13:34

Very much admire your work on the anti-backlash nut Mark. Good idea and great execution!

Thanks for the drawings and photo, they made things much clearer.

(I have a Victoria H0 btw)



Thread: Which do you prefer
18/03/2014 09:21:46

The Atlantic!


Thread: Murad Cadet Lathe
15/03/2014 14:13:36

I've just noticed Bazyle's reply to you above Peter - and I think this is where we would have to differ. No disrespect to him but he mentions £500-£1000 as a potential ball park figure. He may well be right and you could find someone willing to pay this amount but it certainly wouldn't be me.

As one potential benchmark - I can purchase a new Super C3 lathe complete for under £600. No need to refurbish it (well hopefully not!) and it has a motor already fitted. You do not give too many details but your lathe seems to need attention and has no motor. This is what I was referring to when I mentioned eBay encouraging "inflated" prices. Of course, if you can sell your lathe for this sort of money, then good luck to you.

For me, these old tools are only bargains if the price compares favourably to the new alternative. If it doesn't then you must either want that particular model very badly - or it has moved into the realms of being a collectable (such as ornamental lathes for instance).

I do tend to refer to my machinery as "Antique" (but with my tongue firmly in one cheek). The reality is that they started out as verging on being junk (or scrap metal). I guess we do live in a funny old world though - where there are very few "Junk" Shops left any more. They tend to all call themselves "Antique" Shops these days.




15/03/2014 12:53:41


I guess the best answer is that your lathe is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Unfortunately, with the advent of eBay (and such like) people without any knowledge often pay far too much for machinery they haven't even seen. This makes for inflated prices and disappointed buyers.

I like old machinery (I've was talking about this earlier on here) but since I'm going to put some time and effort into them, I don't expect to pay silly prices. The same goes for "second-user" locomotives. A good friend of mine who used to trade in this area (sadly no longer with us) always maintained that many s/h engines were only worth the value of the castings used (and sometimes not even that). It's not a bad measure for some old tools either.

My advice would be to decide a price that you are happy with and place it at that price on somewhere like **LINK** and see if it sells (also have a look for comparable "Sold" lathes for an idea of value) . If it doesn't sell then you know your price is probably too high - or no-one wants your particular lathe. If it does sell, then you should be happy that you achieved your price and that the lathe is going to a (hopefully) good home.



Thread: McMaster - Any Old Iron?
15/03/2014 10:40:28

That is a very nice looking job Edward. I shall be happy if mine looks as good when I've finished with it - or at least got it working.

Jumping off at a slight tangent, I was thinking about this whole "restoration" thing last night. I do envy those people with the skills (and patience) to completely restore their machines to 'as new' (or even better) condition. I've never managed that myself on any of my machinery. I know some folk like to immediately strip their new acquisitions and completely rebuild them. I generally don't do that - I try to get them working first and then see what I need to do, at least enough to meet my immediate requirements.

The McMaster had to be dissembled to move it but it clearly also needs some immediate attention. But my Mk1 Super 7 has had quite a few small improvements over the years. To put this in perspective, I purchased this lathe from Mr Moore off the back of his lorry (at Guildford MES) some years ago and I could immediately see that it hadn't had a happy life. There was a large 'cheesy' cut out of the cross-slide front and the bull gear had some teeth missing. However the price reflected this (I doubt Myfords often sold many lathes for the price I paid!).

Getting home I discovered the motor appeared shot (but it was simply stuffed full of sawdust) and that the clutch made strange rattling noises and would not engage. The motor was cleaned and the clutch dissembled and a new actuating pin made - which solved the problem. The lathe was used for some time exactly like that. It was only a few years later that I replaced the bull gear as mostly I managed to work around it (I'm afraid to admit that I rarely use back-gear still to this day). Last year I replaced the cross-slide with a new (used) one off eBay. It doesn't work any better but it certainly has improved the look and (most importantly!) it pleases me.

I know my Myford doesn't face completely flat (in fact very slightly convex) and that the bed is worn. So one day I may well modify the saddle to use another part of the bed for guidance etc. but for now I can live with it and therefore do so. You may have also detected a level of idleness in this approach (which I usually tell myself is a sign of a maturing intelligence) and you may well be right. By the way, I had a good laugh not too long ago when someone here described 'Myford Owners' as "Elitist". I suspect he wouldn't make remarks like that it he'd ever seen the inside of my Shed!

So to bring these meanderings to an end, many of these old (worn out) machines still have plenty of use left in them, quite enough for many peoples 'amateur' needs. They can often be put back into usable condition (enough for their owners needs) incrementally e.g. as required. If like me, you also quite enjoy working on your 'antiques' then it's not really a chore either. If the budget is tight, this approach can save you a good deal of money and even if you do spend some more pennies over time, it does make everything seem more affordable when spread out over months or years. As I've said before, old machinery is not for everyone (especially if you are eager to get on with a specific "project" ) but if the 'Price is Right' then it certainly should be a consideration for some here.



14/03/2014 18:38:41

Last year I had to hacksaw through several blocks of 2" Square mild steel using just my "Armstrong" (which isn't quite what it used to be). As a result I decided that some form of metal cutting machine was really required. I looked at various metal bandsaws but I also recalled using a large power hacksaw at college (and how well it worked).

The upshot was that when I saw a McMaster power hacksaw advertised at an affordable price, I was tempted. Of course when the vendor switched it on, it sounded like someone was bouncing a tin bucket full of old bolts around! However, the price was right and it was clearly built like the proverbial brick outhouse.

This afternoon, the sun was shining so I decided to start cleaning up the disassembled bits (I had to take it to bits to lift it out of the car boot) and I spent a pleasant hour or so up to my elbows in soapy hot water, scrapping off the dried grease and hardened swarf. The hacksaw is clearly well worn in places but it occurred to me that I simply needed to 'adjust' my attitude towards the old brute. It's not a worn-out old machine tool after all. Once you start viewing it as "a part-machined set of power hacksaw castings" then I've probably got myself a real bargain!




mcmaster - first pass clean 140314.jpg

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