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Member postings for Clive Foster

Here is a list of all the postings Clive Foster has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Running M type motor underneath and what do I actually have?.
22/04/2019 21:35:56

Niels picture reminds me that I did a very simple semi overhead set up to put my Pools `Special lathe on that same 18" wide bench. I welded up a very simple rectangular angle iron frame arranged to pivot off the bench immediately behind the foot and central relative to the headstock pulleys. (This was the first application for my stiff, "car heater hose in a tube", vibration reducing pivots which worked very well proving the idea worth making note of.)

The countershaft ran in simple ball bearing plummer blocks as close tot eh top of the fame as could be managed whilst still providing pulley and belt clearance. The motor hung off the frame on simple pivoted, sheet brackets (more heater hose in tubes) on the bottom side of middle. Position chosen so the weight of the motor helped tension the primary drive belt and pulley that I happened to have about the place. The frame was leant back as far as possible given the need for clearance between belt and backgear. With a simple final drive belt guard fabricated from hardboard the whole thing had a vaguely Myford 7 ish air.


Thread: M&W Straight-Edge Set
22/04/2019 21:13:52


Its the case that is marked test piece not the glass itself. Pretty sure my personal set just has the naked glass but at least one of the guys at work had the glass in a separate case which, I think, was so marked.

Hafta say that I use mine so little that I haven't actually seen them for around 3 or 4 years! Box got moved around during a tidy up.


Thread: Running M type motor underneath and what do I actually have?.
22/04/2019 19:21:35


If you are planning to put your M type on a conventional flat top bench with its back against the wall rather than using legs of some description, whether standard castings or something functionally equivalent, the running the drive underneath is hardly worth the effort.

Especially if you use poly-Vee belts and pulleys.

The secret to a compact, above the bench, drive is to use a two stage primary drive so you don't need to accommodate unreasonably large pulleys. Use an L shape layout tucking the motor mostly underneath the back gear outrigger assembly with the first stage of the primary drive running away from the lathe towards the back of the bench. Second stage runs upwards to the countershaft proper at the same height as the lathe centreline so the final drive runs straight forward from countershaft to mandrel.

I have used variations of this layout on a couple of South-Bend 9" lathes to fit them onto an 18" wide bench. Admittedly with some cross slide overhang but the saddle hand wheels were within the width of the bench. Just! Back then I had to use A section Vee belts for the primary drives so smallest practical final drive pulleys could use were, from memory, about 8" diameter. Very small Vee pulleys are a waste of time due to power transmission issues. My small ones were probably around 3" or 3 1/2" diameter. About as small as makes sense for a good drive in A section. Countershaft speed probably around 250-300 rpm on the first effort. Later modified with a two speed and tight - slack belt clutch assembly. Some creativity was need to squeeze it all in but worth the effort.

If you use poly-Vee belts you can probably get down to 4" or so diameter pulleys so it all becomes smaller. Poly-Vee works better than flat belt on the final drive too.

I initially just hinged the motor off the bench for first stage belt tensioning with the second stage bearing assembly floating freely and a normal pivot arm mount for tensioning the final drive. For the second version I fixed the motor and arranged the second shaft to move under lever and spring control to act as a clutch. Robbed the nice cast alloy tube and shaft bearing assembly from a defunct spin drier to make the second shaft unit. My primary drive was pretty much in line with the chuck so a swarf shield was essential. Putting it the other way round got in the way of the drop gear banjo. Second stage was on the usual side.

Of course there is no reason why you couldn't do something similar with the motor under the bench with the second stage drive poking up through. Its little bit easier as there is more room but it doesn't really win much space as accommodating the final drive run and the drive pulley on the countershaft really defines the amount of room needed. Realistically 4" or 5" is the smallest drive pulley you can use so there will be space for the motor up on top.

Realistically a bench 18" wide from the wall is about as narrow as can accommodate this class of machine.


Thread: Viceroy AEW
22/04/2019 11:17:23

Worth remembering that the AEW and similar vertical mills are fundamentally small industrial types designed for a different style of work to Bridgeports and similar machines having quills with sensitive drilling capability.

Basically, on the shop floor, they were used like horizontal mills so great table to cutter depth and drilling capability are simply not needed. Oversimplifying the industrial advantage is primarily being able to cut to a square or defined angle corner. The disadvantage compared to horizontal mills is the inability to rapidly bury the operator in chips! A big horizontal wearing a slab or set of gang cutters run hard on piece work shifts metal at positively unreal rate.

Big basic industrial vertical mill do have significant workpiece depth capability but thats basically a byproduct of the size needed to handle large workpieces. The cutters are generally situ fairly short so you don't need huge movement to clear the job.

Some industrial types did have alternative vertical heads fitted with quills. Elliott / Victoria called theirs fine feed types. Usually tow or three inches of extra daylight compared to the standard vertical. Mostly found, as on the Elliot /Victoria range, on basic mills with relatively large table to spindle distance. Having played with the Elliott/Victoria 2 series the fine feed head is very good but the higher build of the machine is not an un-mixed blessing as compared to an Adcock Shipley. From an industrial point of view the Adcokc Shipley elevating head system can be a useful idea. But sensitive drilling is seriously not what its intended for.

Thread: Smart and brown lathe
18/04/2019 20:03:13


Mark 2. The apron control layout is diagnostic. See **LINK** . MK 1 has a simple lever to select saddle or cross slide power feed not the knob and dial that yours has.


Thread: Lathe controls position
17/04/2019 16:18:13


Headstock location of controls has always been normal due to mechanical constraints on the linkage between operating levers and the various headstock innards.

However the designers were generally well aware of the potential hazards and most industrial quality lathes of any pedigree are so called "three shaft" types where the clutch can be operated by a lever on the tailstock side of the saddle via a rod with an appropriate keyway or splines machined in it. No idea when this became normal but my P&W Model B 12 x 30, a wartime re-iteration of an early 1920's design, is so equipped. Starting the motor and speed selection has to be done at the headstock but no need to run the job up from potentially hazardous position. Most later, bigger machines have remote electrical start and stop controls on the saddle too.

About the only quality lathe I know of that doesn't so conform is my Smart & Brown 1024 VSL which has no clutch, just big green forward and reverse run buttons and an even bigger red stop one. Start-up can easily be done from outside of the line of fire but stopping if things go pear shaped mid job does require moving into the danger zone. One day I might fit a tramp bar.

When it comes to chuck guards I have zero confidence in these flimsy devices being able to stop anything other than fairly small parts making a bid for freedom. I might be more tolerant if they were any good at containing swarf but the usual "fixed to the headstock" arrangements pretty much precludes this over any useful length. On day I'll sort the one on the 1024 so it is properly useful and fit one to the P&W.

Hobby lathes swim in a different pool where performance and features are dictated by the shallowness of the first purchasers pocket. Can be hard enough for Mr Ordinary Home Shop guy (or gal) to afford the basics let alone sophistication.


Thread: Telescopic bore gauges
17/04/2019 09:27:15

Agreed. No substitute for quality.

I have the same full M&W set in a box as Emgee plus the smaller half set and a few odd ones from good makes, M&W, Starrett, B&S. Which all work very well indeed. With care better than half a thou. Repeatably. Makes boring holes for light running or light push fits almost easy. So much so that I've never bothered to sort out a gauge mount adapter to get the Baty dial gauge on a stick device I was given years ago. All good but stick and gauge don't match.

(When someone offers me tooling "Was gonna throw it out but thought you might be able to use it." I always say "Oh Yes please!" first and think later.)

Got a cheapie import set way back, blue wallet maybe Draper, when that was all I could afford. Which, as has been said, frankly doesn't really work well enough. Within two thou is about the best that can be done repeatably. Kept as a loan tool, its been gone about 5 years now but I know where it is should it ever be needed.

Those things have to work really smoothly to be accurate. I'd be unsurprised to discover that an older one, nicely run in after a decade or three of use is actually better than it was when new.


Edited By Clive Foster on 17/04/2019 09:27:36

Thread: Removing a grub screw
16/04/2019 22:24:45

Further to what Jeff says in previous post it would probably be sensible to use left handed drills with the drive in, splined shaft, extractors I linked to earlier. If you are lucky the drill will pull the bolt out. If not at least it won't go tighter.

Maybe I will get a box and some right size LH drills for mine then.


Thread: Motor mountings
16/04/2019 12:35:28

Thick wall "rubber" hose makes a pretty good vibration absorbing bobbin when forced into a reasonably thick substrate. Make the hole a touch undersize so the rubber is a tight fit. Cut the rubber overlong so it squidges out to make a flexible rim when things are tightened down. Through bolt needs to be a tight fit with large stout washers between it and the rubber so things squidge nicely. Best to use nylock or similar locking nuts so the squidge can be adjusted to tune things for best performance.

Generally I reckon 1/4" overlength each side works well enough with 3/4" to 1" thick substrates using my stash of thick wall car heater hose.

Similar technique without the squidge works well for stiff, shake free, pivots and hinges on things that only move occasionally.


Thread: Poor finish using indexable lathe tools on steel
16/04/2019 00:34:06

Start by finding out what the official makers data-sheet figures for speed, feed and depth of cut are. Carbide insert tooling does generally need to be worked hard to get a good finish but that doesn't always mean very high speed. Some of the ones intended for use on manual machines have surprisingly low surface speed requirements.

For example I have some rhombic inserts made by Sandvick grade H10F, type CNMG 0432-23 whose book surface speed range is 85 - 100 ft/min. Go much faster and the edge disappears. Feed is 5 to 9 thou per rev and depth of cut range 14 to 145 thou, 100 thou is suggested as a typical depth of cut to start with. Basically you play with the depth of cut to get nice short tightly curled blue chips leaving a good finish.

I have others specified for 500 to 1000 ft / min which is more what folk expect and one finishing type that works best at approaching 1,500 ft/m albeit with a recommended feed of around 6 thou per rev at 14 thou depth of cut. Somebody read the ft/min as m/min when purchasing. Ooops! So they need to go three times as fast as I expected. Difference between mildly scary and seriously frightening. Chip blizzards are bad enough in brass. Blue hot steel is much worse. Awesome finish tho'.


Edited By Clive Foster on 16/04/2019 00:34:34

Thread: Removing a grub screw
15/04/2019 18:44:41

There are Easi-Outs and proper extractors!

The conical left hand thread, uber hard, screw in until it (usually) breaks breed are indeed a monument to the creativity of Beezlbub and his minions in devising ways to frustrate humanity.

The drive in splined shaft variety on the other hand do generally work as the hole is sized so that the splines displace material from the seized bolt around the main shaft to give the tool something to grip on rather than expanding the remains of the broken bolt more tightly into the threaded hole. Basically the professional, sorted, version of batter in a Torx bit, cut off allen key, file tang or whatever is this weeks favourite thing with sharp edges.

I got Numbers 1 to 5 of the original breed made by Ridgid tools from the Snap On man longer ago than I care to admit. Very much not cheap then but effective. See **LINK** for the current UK source. The basic extractor sets sans drills, guides and snazzy box are, I think, quite affordable. Its nice that you can buy them individually should you break one. I'm on my third No 1 (the teeny one) and second No 2.

These days Snap-On sell their own BluePoint brand sets, even more not cheap, and there are various less expensive knock-offs. Some no-name imports, probably of "are you feeling lucky" quality judging by the price, others from respected brands such as Sykes Pickavant. I'm periodically tempted to get the cheapest set I can find for the box, drills and guides but having managed just fine without box, guides or dedicated drills for "mumble-mumble" years splashing out on extractor numbers 6, 7 and (maybe) 8 is more likely. No 8 is serious money but it is a big brute needing a 16 mm Ø hole. If you need the No 8 you are likely snorkel deep in the kitty litter!


Thread: Does a 1600rpm bantam have a single v belt?
15/04/2019 11:08:36


I think its safe to say that any dual voltage Brook Crompton motor modern enough to be a 90 or other post imperial frame size will be perfectly happy running on an inverter. Especially if you stick to the old conservative ± 1/3 rd of data plate speed range. No cooling fan issues, no significant torque loss at lower speed issues (in home shop use anyway) and no odd internal electrical / magnetic interactions to upset things. Although the latter is more likely with a budget "count the turns near enough" re-wind. These things were designed to run on nice 50 or 60 hz sine waves using, by modern standards, pretty basic formulae so no sense in pushing the envelope.

In your position I'd seriously consider altering the pulley sizes to lower the gearing a little and make better use of the high speed end of the inverter drive range. Take a good look at the speeds you tend to use and try to set the gearing to minimise gear changing.

(Not an inverter I know but the high speed range of Reeves varispeed drive on my S&B 1024 often drives me nuts because bottom direct drive speed is 330 rpm or so when 200 or thereabouts would avoid a lot of switching in and out of back gear. I'd never miss the difference between 2400 and 2200 at the top.)


Edited By Clive Foster on 15/04/2019 11:09:09

Edited By Clive Foster on 15/04/2019 11:09:32

Edited By Clive Foster on 15/04/2019 11:09:55

Thread: Smart and brown lathe
14/04/2019 09:44:48

Another 1024 VSL owner. Also slightly scruffy. Native metric and very accurate. Drives Direct 10 HP plug and play inverter powers everything in the workshop, one machine or one machine and the Hydrovane compressor at a time.

Being clutchless can be a bit irritating but simplicity of design is very attractive on an older machine. Stuff that isn't fitted can't wear out or go wrong. Expanding / contacting pulley pair gives mechanical varispeed drive and smooth flat belt to the spindle. Simples and effective.

One thing that really annoyed me was the general fuss and messing about needed to change from metric to imperial threading. Standard intermediate gear on the banjo is on a nice roller bearing stud. But as built you have to pull the banjo off and change the stud to a plain one for the compound conversion gear. Bolting the 127 gear to the standard roller bearing intermediate gear via a suitable spacer sorted that. Took about 3 DP and 3 fine BA threads off the list but I can live with that. Don't think I've ever seen a DP thread or any of the really fine BA ones.


Thread: Knurling Tool for Mini Lathe
13/04/2019 13:26:16


If you are able to make your own tool the three wheeled, hand squeezed, "nutcracker" type is more appropriate to a mini lathe as the lathe only has to handle rotational forces. The various fits and alignments are a little less critical too as the tool tends to settle itself in alignment with the job regardless so small errors.

The fundamental issue with conventional knurling is that considerable forces are required which are essentially independent of the size of the machine. Inevitably a big, hefty, machine is much better able to handle the loads than a small mini-lathe. When it comes to stiffness size counts double. Doesn't help that a mini-lathe size knurling tool has to be smaller to fit so its inevitably less stout. To work reliably the pivots and arms should be closely fitted with minimal shake which is hard to do at a price the typical min-lathe user can afford. A decently made tool fitted with good quality knurls can work quite well but this is definitely not a place where low bid rules. All other things being equal shorter arms are better. There is a picture on an earlier thread of one with nice short stiff'n stubby arms.

Don't know if you can still get them but my two P&W, underslung pivot, push type knurling tools have narrowed knurl faces. The wheels are the usual 3/8" (ish) width but the actual knurl part is only around 1/8" wide, plus a bit for edge chamfers. The forces involved are much less than that needed with a conventional tool. Partly due to the underslung pivot and partly due to the narrow knurls.


Edited By Clive Foster on 13/04/2019 13:29:23

Thread: ECLIPSE No 39 Drill Bit Sharpener
11/04/2019 21:53:24

one pound

I think Oliver has the one in the top two pictures. Its basically a copy of the original PlasPlugs multi-sharp system.

I've have a PlasPlugs version for many years. It works well but relies on special size grinding wheels and has no compensation for wheel wear. Not that I've had an issue after sharpening, probably, something like 100 drills. I bought a spare wheel when I got it too.

More out of curiosity to see how well the diamond wheel worked than anything else, only £15 after all, I got one of the LiDL ones when they first appeared. Diamond wheel is definitely on the cheap'n cheerful side. Well it would be for that money. One on mine didn't run particularly true. The spacing between wheel and drill pivot point was clearly a little out as it didn't give a properly shaped point. Would cut but not as good as the PlasPlugs original. If you consider the design of the system that pivot point to wheel face spacing is pretty critical. Maybe under 1 mm tolerance zone. I think that's asking lot of economical, mass produced, plastic components.

Bottom line is this sort of system works very well indeed if that spacing is right. But I suspect hitting the price point may require more open tolerances than is desirable. From an engineering viewpoint I'd like to see shims behind the grinding wheel so it can be set just so. But that isn't appropriate to the target market.

The flip over Vee drill carrier and drill projection setting system is excellent. Something of that ilk would sort all the issues with Picador and Spiralux/General swing across the wheel sharpeners whilst avoiding the expense and complexity of the built in gauges on Reliance and Atlas types. I imagine the effective gauging range is limited so you'd probably need two to cover the 1/8" to 1/2" range. Which would probably make the set too expensive. The PlasPlugs and LiDL sharpeners only go to 3/8" and, realistically are struggling by then. I don't go above 1/4", Picador does the larger ones.

Seems to be impossible to market a decent, modestly priced, drill sharpening system. Either they are proper industrial and way too expensive for Home Shop Harry / Harriet. Or they are made too cheap so DIY Doug / Denise will buy without wincing at the price and hence flatter somewhat to deceive.

The Eclipse system mentioned by then OP does work to sharpen drills providing you can keep the abrasive paper flat and the wheels rolling properly. Which is rather harder than the instructions might suggest. A friend struggled with one around about the time I got some thin, one inch wide, diamond "file" blades with a magnetic handle. I suggested that he got one, cut the handle down and sank the blade carrier bit in a wooden block to use the diamond blades with the Eclipse device. I suspect it would have worked very well. But an extra tenner to make it work was too much so it was binned.

Design awards are for making it, apparently, clever and cheaper. Not for working better. Usually evidence of something to be avoided.


Thread: anealing piano wire
10/04/2019 16:48:23

Allegedly 450 degrees for 4 hours softens it enough to be quite easily workable. American forum source which doesn't say whether °F or °C. Probably C as 450°F is very low although numerically plausible.

Trouble is you will never get it back to anything like the original strength and hardness. Piano wire is cold drawn. Its properties come from the elongated crystal structure produced by drawing process not heat treatment.

But I see you don't need to reharden.


Edited By Clive Foster on 10/04/2019 16:50:03

Thread: Colchester Triumph 7.5" (Round Head) Lathe
06/04/2019 19:39:30


Are there two different headstock gear set-ups for the roundhead Student? The Student manual I have shows a very different gear arrangement to that Triumph.


06/04/2019 18:48:40

Unfortunately thats a manual I don't have. Never managed to find a downloadble copy either.

Re-mastered (?) copy of the manual and parts list on E-Bay right now for £ 7.50. Seller is fazerblazer (Premier Machine tools). Gotta be worth it.

I've bought from him before, albeit tooling not a book, and found him a decent man to deal with so would be confident that quality is OK.


Thread: Jarvis Tapper
06/04/2019 16:01:12

Wonder how difficult it would be to make some more jaws that close up more. In principle same as what you have but wider and coming down thinner at the inside end ought to work.

Swopping over might well be a pain unless you can figure a way to hold the jaws together in the correct orientation against the springs whilst slipping them in. One of my Pollards had one distorted spring that stopped the chuck working properly. Finding a suitable replacement was bad enough but keeping three jaws and three springs aligned so as to slide into the cone needed verbal encouragement. Lots and lots of high power verbal encouragement.

One of my Pollards has been fitted an ordinary key type chuck instead of the proper driver unit. Which is pretty much useless. Looked into making a new end of proper style using a chuck off a big "gut buster" style hand drill. Then another one same complete with proper driver turned up at less than"wince" price so I bought that and figured I had the best of the bargain.


06/04/2019 12:54:59

Almost certainly yes to using different size collets if such can be got. But identifying the collet size and type will probably be challenging.

I believe Procunier and (some?) Ettco metal collets can still be bought new but there are a number of variants which rapidly get confusing. Fortunately most are obviously different when you look at the picture or drawing.

Tapmatic use a cone device that looks very similar to Jacobs Rubberflex, but much smaller. The inserts can be got for approaching £50 via MSC, example here **LINK** . Suitable holder looks like something that could be made at home, basically a conical receiving hole with a suitable screw on cap. Well into "how badly do you want this" territory.

All but the very smallest Pollard (licence built Ettco) heads have a simple chuck to hold the tap aligned. Looks just like the old style cheap hand drill ones. Three triangular jaws spring loaded apart in a screw-down cone. Does the deed just fine as the actual driving is done by the square.

Retro-fit may be possible if the existing drive end can be removed.

Simplest way is to make some tap carriers to fit the existing collet. If yours has a square driver that closes right up, like my Pollards, a simple split sleeve around the tap shank might suffice. Probably need to be afairly long tap tho'. Dunno that I'd care to go below 3/16 " or 5 mm with ahead that size tho'.


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