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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: Invention and technical development .
06/03/2011 13:41:15
Well standards of living (and therefore wages) across the world will equalise over time (maybe not in my lifetime though).
This means the Chinese (and other so-called third world nations) will want higher pay and we may have to start accepting less. As the price of oil continues to rise it will also cost a lot more to ship stuff around the world.
So for many reasons, imports are likely to cost more and the steady deflation we've seen in prices for manufactured goods (for instance machine tools?) over the last 20-30 years will end.
Then I expect interest in making things for ourselves (as a nation) will increase - and perhaps we'll even start training our young in useful skills that help keep the wheels of our society turning - like repairing things rather than throwing them away when a minor part breaks.
You never know it might even be affordable (and even neccessary) to 'Buy British' again.
Thread: Mystery Tools
06/03/2011 13:19:59
They look like "spear" point drills - probably a watchmakers set
Thread: Stringer EW lathe
27/02/2011 14:48:07
It sounds like your Dads got a really good deal there Steve.
The small "economy" QCTH will fit the EW quite simply and does make life easier. I've got mine fitted with my 'brass' tooling (i.e. no top rake) but I still use the original toolholder set-up for my 'Diamond' and other tooling better suited to steel.
I suspect the chuck that came with the lathe is a "scroll" type - there will be a knurled outside and no chuck key as such? Rather like a large self-locking drill chuck? They are usually of very good quality (I've never seen a cheap imported one) and if it has not been abused then should still give very good service.
Anyway - I'm sure your Dad will enjoy his new lathe - the EW is an ideal size for clock-making, being large enough for most (if not all) work in this area.
I've just been re-reading the John Wilding 'beginner' articles from ME (about 1980'ish?) and although I don't make clocks - his advice has been very useful with my own work. I will admit that I had thought clockmakers used tiny lathes ('turns') but JW says not, only for pivots etc - he actually seems to use a Myford Super7 but I'm sure he would approve of the EW for this work too!
Please give your Dad our best wishes.
Ian T
Thread: silver solder with butane
27/02/2011 14:24:00
For small items/fabrications - you can add some heat quite simply if you have a gas hob.
I have a steel plate about 150mm x 100 mm by 5-6mm thick that I place on the gas hob and use to 'pre-heat' any small items I intend to solder. This heats everything up very nicely - although I don't let the plate get "red" hot (or anywhere near it).
For soft soldering that's all that is needed but it also helps get the general temperature up for silver soldering too. I've used both small butane and propane gas burners using this method and it definitely helps and it also keeps the cost of replacing gas cylinders down.
Ian T
Thread: Drill Chuck Keys
11/02/2011 09:55:04
Thank you for the feedback - the 'Jacobs' website has some useful info on their product range & I now have a PDF that lists their keyed chuck sizes with holding range. The key for each chuck is also listed as being "Kxx" but no dimensions are given - perhaps unsuprisingly.
Can anyone point me to the main dimensions of these keys - i.e. key 'pitch' & peg diameter?
Ian T
Thread: Stringer EW lathe
10/02/2011 14:49:09
Hi Keith - and welcome to the EW Owners Club!
The EW had no clutch fitted as such - the leadscrew is permanently engaged as built. This was addressed by Martin Cleeve in his ME articles on "upgrading" the EW by modifying the leadscrew and fitting a dog-clutch. This has the added advantage of helping screwcut more easily - as you don't need a thread gauge on the leadscrew to pick up a thread correctly. MC was a big fan of (single tooth) dog clutches for this reason alone.
We (the other members of this exclusive club) have been sharing information off-line - and if you would like to read the MC articles for instance - that can be arranged.
Suggest you email me if you want to know more.
Ian T
PS I know Ruaidhri - I guess you would liike the other bits scanned too?
Thread: Drill Chuck Keys
10/02/2011 10:26:38
I have a small drill chuck - pre mounted on an MT2 taper - that unlike my other drill chucks wil take fairly small drill bits. It also seems to be a quality product. So it would normally be getting well used.
It is however missing the chuck key and search as I may at shows etc - I've never found one with the right tooth/hole combination.
Obviously 'Jacobs' drill chucks had different sized keys - but I've never seen their dimensions published. And did other manufacturers use Jacobs as a guide - or was it just suit themselves?
Any ideas!
Ian T
Thread: Stringer EW lathe
03/02/2011 16:10:11
I don't see them advertised too often Tony - but I'm sure there must be a few around.
It's possible they are being passed around in 'Modelling' circles as treasured possessions. They are a good sized little lathe for any railway or marine modeller.
Why not try the ME "Wanted" list on here - maybe an Model 'Engineer' will have moved up in lathe sizes and has an EW lying around not doing too much these days?
Worth a try & doesn't cost anything either. Perfect!
Ian T
Thread: Flycutter with 2 Morse taper and M10 thread
20/01/2011 19:32:34
Hi David,
I had the same problem (e.g. my Flycutter had a 3/8 thread)- and I simply made an adaptor (3/8" > M10). It lives permanently on the end of the morse taper and Iuse the one M10 drawbar for everything.
Thread: Stringer EW lathe
17/01/2011 17:07:43
That's beginning to look a lot better Ruaidhri!
Interesting to see the original countershaft in more detail. If I need better bearings (than the plain 'Picadors') I might build a Mark 2 C/S and that looks like a neat arrangement - how does the "tensioner" work do you think?.
BTW - If you do have the original motor and pulleys - I'd be interested in what you think the original available "speeds" were (as sold). I'm probably running mine a bit fast.
16/01/2011 17:11:18
Hi Tony,
I've posted some photos as promised. Please note that these pictures are ALL posed - I was starting to strip the lathe down, so I've just placed things in postion (mostly) to give you some idea of what the tool is capable of.

Showing my crude (but useable countershaft and the backgear arrangement. The change wheel quadrant is not fitted. I have a full set of (steel) change wheels though. And yes, the wiring will be tidied up and everything enclosed!

4-Jaw with economy QCTH in place - boiler fitting in progress!

Side view of lathe - very solid cast iron construction - MT1 head and tailstock

The ER32 collett chuck works well - the diamond tool (from my Myford) is a bit big and therefore has limited travel - but is easy to sharpen and gives an excellent finish.

Didn't actually fit them - but you can see that the boring table and vertical slide (with the ER chuck) will provide a useful milling facility for small parts

I mentioned this in an earlier post I think - but here is the Gauge 3 'Sterling' driving wheel leaning against the EW 5" faceplate. The casting is 118mm in diameter and in backgear with a tipped tool - I think I could turn this on the EW if I had to. I'd probably use a mandrel mounted in the collet chuck though..
So I hope this gives you some idea of what a potentially useful small machine the EW is and why I think it would be just fine for the majority of your modelling needs.
Ian T
16/01/2011 15:52:28
Hi Tony,
Any lathe will have what you might call an ideal "range" - so if your needs include a very wide range of material sizes to be machined - then one machine may not meet them all.
The Cowells for instance is a 1.75" x 8" lathe (88.9mm x 203mm) lathe and is often described as a "minature lathe". Some versions can run up to 4,000 rpm - very useful for some fine drilling operations. It would tend to be more useful for "watchmaking" than a larger lathe - and if your modelling included a great deal of 'watchmaking' sized operations, then it might be ideal. Since you wish to turn OD 85mm brass - then with a total swing of 89mm - this is probably not the one for you.
The EW should handle this however - as I'm sure most other larger lathes would also do, including the EMCO. It's Horses for Courses. There is also the small matter of cost.
Chris make a good point about how much metal you can remove with a smaller lathe - but "all day" might be an exageration. Rex Tingey (of Unimat fame) used to recommend that a hacksaw was a very useful accessory for a Unimat - and he used to roughly cut away unwanted material before he started to machine down to final finish dimensions. I find this very good advice and have been known to do the same (even on work being done on the Myford S7). 
I've started to strip the EW down for cleaning and rust removal - but will set some shots up to give you an idea.
Ian T
PS Ruaidhri - I'll get some more MC articles to you before too long.
14/01/2011 15:52:35
Hi Tony,
I model in Gauge '3' (at 13.5mm to the foot and 63.5mm gauge) and I don't think there is very much that I couldn't do on the EW if I really needed to.
In fact, from curiosity, I've just looked at a wheel casting that I have for an 8' Stirling 4-2-2  and at 115mm diameter - this casting will fit onto the EW faceplate or (with a mandrel) onto my ER32 chuck (that I've just fitted to the EW). So I could swing it.
I'd probably still use the Myford - partly because I already have one but also because the cast iron would most likely make a mess that is best kept in the workshop. But the EW would be capable of turning this in backgear with a bit of thought and a slightly different toolpost set-up (The swing is one issue in determining cutting diameter - the cross-slide travel is another)
Larger lathes are certainly useful to have sometimes but you can't normally pick them up to move them about, generally don't use them indoors and good "big" ones tend to cost a lot more than good "little-ens"  (especially good Myfords).
Assuming that you want a lathe to build in a model railway scale smaller than Gauge '3' - then I can see no reason why an EW (or similar) would not be a good & affordable choice.
Regards,  Ian T
14/01/2011 13:59:07
I cannot tell you what prices EW lathes command generally Tony - but I'm happy to tell you what I paid for mine.
The lathe with compound top-slide, 3-jaw, 4-jaw, MT1 Drill chuck, vertical slide, boring table, backgear assembly, pulleys, driving plate for between centres turning, 125mm diameter faceplate, "economy" QCTH (with one toolholder) and a box of bits and pieces cost 250 GBP. This was last Autumn from a well known tool-dealer, so included VAT (at 17.5%). (See the photo in the thread above for "an as purchased" photo)
I was very happy to pay this price and consider the machine excellent value. I've had to build a countershaft (but used the picador bearings and pulleys sold with the lathe). I had a small fractional HP capacitor start motor in my scrap bin. I suspect the lack of motor etc was reflected in the price - but it was not a big issue for me. In terms of size the EW is larger than a Sieg C0 and very slightly smaller (in swing) than the C1. I have not used either of these machines - but the EW has some very solid castings and there is nothing i can't repair or replace if I need to.
You can buy a new baby C0 for just over 200GBP and a C1 for just under 300GBP. I have not tried to cost all the EW accessories - but they would certainly add up. So the best I can suggest is that the Chinese lathes do seem to be keeping these older machines at afforable prices and that I am very pleased with my machine. A very good buy as far as I am concerned.
Ian T
14/01/2011 10:43:37
Hi Tony,
I'm afraid I cannot tell you too much about the Cowell 90ME - although Cowells had a very good reputation. What I can tell you is that the EW is a very well made and robust little lathe that I think is an ideal size for "Railway Modelling". I already have a Myford Super 7 (albeit a bit long in the tooth) and an even older Lorch. Both of these have needed some patience to bring them "up" and in my experience it tends to be a circular experience (e.g make some improvements - solve some problems - find some new issues - resolve them etc etc).
My EW came assembled but with everything "loose" and with no countershaft or motor. I've built a Mk1 Countershaft (still needs some work & couild be improved) but it has been enough to get the EW running. I've also been able to fit an ER32 collet chuck to an existing backplate and fit my 'Diamond' tool on the EW topslide. I've made some simple boiler fittings (I build in Gauge '3'  and I am very happy with the results. I was able to sit inside in the warm - and I am much more likely to do work now  - rather than go down to my resonably well equipped (but pretty frosty) workshop.
Since this post started I have also been in contact with Ruaidhri and another EW owner. Some years ago Martin Cleeeve published quite a collection of articles over several tears on improving the EW and these are a very useful resource in my view.
In terms of 'swing' the EW centre height is just over 60mm - so in theory you could turn upto 120mm but you are limited by the topslide movement. A Reg Tingey "round the corner" toolholder (as he describes for the Unimat) would help the EW here.
Bit busy this morning but I will post more if you are interested.
03/01/2011 11:05:23
I've been working on the countershaft for my EW.
It came with two Picador bearings and the pulleys but nothing else. I decided to use these initially and see if they performed OK.
I've used two lengths of approx 20mm square tube as the uprights and joined them with a piece of 1/8" plate from the scrap box. To this I've screwed an ordinary door hinge and above that a length of steel angle - about 40mm x 40mm. To this a pltwood 'platform' is bolted on to act as a motor platform.
The intention is that the weight of the hinged motor will tension the drive belt.
Going to try it later...  

08/12/2010 21:15:31
And for those who do not know what we are talking about - here she is:

08/12/2010 20:55:12
I've recently acquired an EW in pretty good shape - with all of the "extras" as far as I can tell (from Lathes UK site that is).
I had already read the Martin Cleeve articles on the EW - so I recognised it straight way when I saw it for sale. It appears to be a very robust little machine and is destined to be my "Winter Warmer" (inside lathe) for when it's too blooming cold to go down the workshop and fire up the Myford (such as right now!)
It needs motorising and I've already built a simple countershaft but need to add a mount at the back for the salvaged cap-start motor I'm going to use (currently awaiting delivery of a new capaciator). I think it will be a very useful tool once set up. I didn't design in a clutch just yet but will add the Martin Cleeve dog-clutch for the leadscrew I think.
Although it might sound much too large - I've also asked Santa for a small diameter ER32 chuck to mount on the EW. I have standardised on ER32 on my larger machines and decided that it was much cheaper to stick with the larger collects (which I already have) for this one too. An economy QC toolholder is also on its way - and if I can mount if further back from the current postion - my diamond toolholder can also be used for some smaller work. Lot's of new things to play with!!     
Good luck with your EW Ruaidhrí
PS I've been looking for any documentation for the EW (mine cakme with none) and I would very much appreciate any scans or copies of any EW reference materials if you have them.
Thread: Dangerous Practices
14/09/2010 16:57:24
I've just received my ME - and what suprised me  - was not the photos mentioned at the start of this post - but photo 24 - clearly showing parting-off using tailstock support.
I was always told NEVER to use any tailstock support when parting off and I have never done so - so I cannot tell you what kind of trouble it might cause you but I am very sure that the old guy who told me this knew what he was doing!
Anyone want to enlighten me?
Thread: Making studs
08/09/2010 12:31:37
One more thought - you could also make your own simple collets from brass rod or tube if the ID is Ok. Drill the rod for the required stud and then cutting a couple of slots down most (but not all) of the length. Then you will be able to hold your studs without damage in a 3 jaw - but collets are easier to use and have other applications.

Edited By IanT on 08/09/2010 12:37:21

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