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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: 5-40 machine screw
17/02/2022 15:35:48

I guess switching to numbers avoids silly complicated fractions on smaller sizes.

Same reason for BA being numbered I guess.

Naming and identification systems need to be clear and not easily mis-understood. Not slaves to theoretical rules.

Metric way is nicely tied to rules but in practice it can be less than clear. Decimal points are easily missed or mis-read.

Simple M for standard metric coarse then M diameter ... x ... pitch for fine or constant pitch switches horses in a bad, confusing way.

Should have followed the old American convention of NC, NF, NS diameter ... x ... tpi so MC diameter for standard coarse, MF for standard fine and MS diameter ... x ... pitch for anything non standard such as the various permitted constant pitch sizes.

Much clearer and its obvious when you have a weird one to deal with.


Thread: Plasma cutter at lidl
17/02/2022 15:22:36

Yep, I did.

6 in the basket at 10.30 am.

No £162 of council tax to pay this month so I figure its cost me less than nowt! Couple of jobs to do on a farm so I might even get paid too.

The little 12V, 10 mm capacity drill driver set for £59.99 looks very impressive value. I like the idea of being able to pull the chuck assembly off for lightness and compactness. I have all shall ever need in that line but for afirst time battery person its excellent.


Thread: 5C collet chucks
16/02/2022 23:44:43


Edited By Clive Foster on 16/02/2022 23:45:28

16/02/2022 23:44:41


I also have found Jasons method to true the base works well.

Make sure the collet stays nice and tight if you need another cut or two. Usual rules :- if you check it will be tight, if you don't it will slack off just enough to upset things when almost done.

It might be prudent to make the trued up supporting bar long enough to have a centre drill hole put in the end so it can be supported by the tailstock centre. A great help in keeping things stable should the chuck material prove a to be a bit on the obdurate side. Extra support helps you take a proper cut too. I'm not a fan of uber fine cuts when trimming true. Tool needs a few thou to get nicely into the job.

A sufficiently similar job involved getting through a case hardened skin before machining to size so I arranged internal support at the cutting end too. Which took some creativity to retain alignment. Job went fine. Albeit the first cut to shift the hardening gave a fine fireworks display and killed an insert edge.


Thread: Boxford AUD Chuck Quandary
16/02/2022 19:23:21


Get a backplate from ARC and go for it. Most backplates have enough meat on them to be re-machined more than once for new chucks so, at worst, think of it as practice. You will need to get a backplate as well if you do just go and buy a new-new chuck.

I have a backplate that has worn at least four different chucks, maybe more as at least one set of holes has been enlarged or shifted. I've modified it twice more so far!

A 3 jaw isn't a precision device when it comes to maintaining concentricity when removing and replacing parts so odds are your YAMA will work perfectly well for all normal jobs. Even if it is a bit out when compared to a high end precision version. Being new its going to grip better than an old, worn chuck. Which is much more important.

Hafta say that at the lower end of the market there is a good deal of luck involved in how good and how concentric the chuck is.

I have a cheap, Chinese made, small chuck on a 5C mount bought many years ago back in the days when low end import was a serious lottery to use on a Spindexer. Finish is OK but everything about the design screams cheap-cheap-cheap. Right down to the short 2 1/2 ring scroll. Plugged into the 5C native spindle of my Smart & Brown 1024 its performance isn't far short of the precision Pratt Bernerd the machine normally wears which was something like10 times the price.


Edited By Clive Foster on 16/02/2022 19:23:42

Thread: Acoustic Damping/Attenuation
15/02/2022 09:31:14

Fix depends on whether the sound is being transmitted through the panels and vents or comes via excitation of vibration modes in the sheet metal panels.

Acoustic foam and similar absorbing / deadening materials are good for direct air transmission through vents and panels as they reduce the energy bouncing around in the air inside the cabinet before it can escape.

Panel vibration modes need the panel stiffened to prevent it shaking. Although lead sheet is the traditional way pretty much anything reasonably stiff will do. Lead works primarily by adding mass so iut takes much more energy to excite the panel and, usually, alters the frequency response. Biggest advantage is that a thin layer makes a decent difference. Direct stiffening by gluing a layer of plywood or similar works fine but does need to be thicker. Couple of inches of rigid foam sheet combines both strategies and is effective but usually the thickness needed cant be accommodated.

Rubber feet and similar mounts are primarily to reduce coupling into the structure that the unit is standing on. Structural coupling can give vey unexpected effects.

A few months back I moved my hydrovane compressor from the hutch outside into the sectioned off garden shed part of the workshop building and hit a resonance. Despite still being on the same concrete slab. Probably due to the sectioning wall being only single skin chipboard. Fixed by standing on a pallet style structure. The wood sections and joints absorbed the vibration before it got to the floor. Old tyres laid flat on the floor with a plywood top for the offending unit to stand on are really good at this job but hardly practical for your situation. Small pallet style base sitting on a carpet off-cut could probably be made aesthetically acceptable if structural coupling is the issue.


Thread: Plasma cutter at lidl
13/02/2022 15:36:29

I think Robert overstates the practical implications of the issue.

Most likely, as with so much affordable equipment out of China, its never been tested. Assuming halfway sane design its going to be at least close to the regulations and probably inside them for normal use. With EMC its generally the edge cases that catch you out with excessive emission if the basic design is sound.

If it really is well out LiDL are liable under the wider sales of goods act provisions as its not suitable for the purpose its sold for and is misleadingly described. Needs at least a big "for industrial use only, not to be used in a domestic environment" banner on the box to get out of that one. Anything in a supermarket has to be considered consumer goods and any outfit the size of LiDL has to be considered an expert supplier.

Be most interested to see what the version sold in German stores has to say about itself.

I do wonder if there is a suitable "universal" filter that can go on the workshop (or house) incomer to stamp out anything trying to go back upstream to the supplier. VFD driven washing machines et al are becoming more and more common. Not to mention umpteen (cheap!) switch mode power supplies which can be worse. Solar panel inverters probably aren't blameless either.


Thread: EMCO FB2 origin drift due to heat
12/02/2022 14:43:57

Standard industrial way of dealing with thermal drift is to run the machine until its fully warmed up and re-zero before starting critical jobs. Which may take a while.

Perhaps arrange some sort of heating to bring the ehad up to temperature quickly and stabilise it during breaks in work.


Thread: Gauge Ball Sets
11/02/2022 11:44:55

Seems odd that the set has pairs of each size, presumably in 1 mm increments.

Standard practice used to be three of each size to allow stable set-ups on surface plates or inside bores to measure groove width with the aid of a gauge pin.

Short discussion here :- **LINK**

Professional version with more notes on applications here :- **LINK**

For far more than you ever wanted to know on the subject :- **LINK**


Thread: Tee slot clamps similar to mole grips
10/02/2022 10:20:43

Be prepared to tighten up the pivot points. Both rivet and getting a better match between the folded body and pivoting component in between. Often the body fold isn't perfectly parallel so the in between part only touches at the outer edge. Not good for stability. Take a good look at the one for the long jaw. Any slackness and such devices can be worryingly floppy. Enough to reduce the grip or make it likely to slide sideways.

I've not had experience with those particular devices and brands but all the inexpensive "modified jaw" Mole style locking wrench devices I've had through my hands got some attention. As received quality has varied from "so floppy that the jaws slide past each other when loaded", a small extended jaw version out of a LiDL three pack, to "works well enough that normal folk will be happy but I want it right", the big one out of that same LiDL pack.

Usually as delivered quality is in the OK(ish) to adequately functional range so they can be used straight out of the box but might need a bit of extra care, skilled tweaking or whatever under some circumstances. Bit of a faff making up devices to tighten the pivots but, in my view worth it. That clamp arm is a long way from its pivot! Firming up the pivots improves the locking action too. A forked welding clamp version was very squidgy and imprecise when locking as delivered. The business end was wonderfully firm tho'.

No need to overdo things. Generally only a little nip does the deed. Given the price differential between the inexpensive versions and the professional ones there is no way I'm complaining about doing a bit of tweaking. Especially as I rarely use any of my collection. But when I need them I need them.


Thread: Help buying multifunction Compound 2 Axis 4 Ways Working milling table
06/02/2022 16:38:14

Nice jobs Wayne

Some years ago I used a combination of Stuarts indexing peg idea and the X-axis DRO on my Bridgeport milling machine to produce lines of holes 4 inches apart on two 14 ft long 2 inch square tubes and four 2" x 3" (nominal) timbers of similar length. These were to be the hinge carriers of a large 9 ft high x 14 ft long American style horizontally hinged, vertical opening, bifold garage door. The 26 1/2" X-axis travel of the power feed Bridgeport let me do 5 holes at a setting.

Although the process worked well enough it was not as fast as I'd anticipated and handling the large, quite heavy, overhang as I got towards the end was not trivial. Anticipating the possibility of overhung jobs I'd designed my workshop so the secondary door and milling machine were placed so as to allow long jobs to project over the vegetable plot! But I'd not anticipated something that far overhung!

Although acceptable for a one (OK, four !) off job I'd not consider that type of method acceptable for commercial or regular use. The inevitably short table of a 2 axis cross slide would make handling long materials even harder than it was on my mill. One job was quite enough thank you.

If I ever do that type of job again I shall make a specialist "rail-bench" long enough to hold the complete part with a suitable indexing guide, either integrated or bolt on, and use a magnetic drill to make the holes. Maybe an RSJ or steel box section on legs for the bench. Mag drill running on spring loaded wheels so its easy to shift along. A fixed chain makes an effective indexing system if the link spacing happens to work right.

My door.

garage door r.jpg

Hope this helps.


Edited By Clive Foster on 06/02/2022 16:41:21

Thread: Drilling deep holes - 10x drill diameter - Runout?
06/02/2022 10:03:37

Another job where having access to a first class drill sharpener like my Clarkson helps.

Minor wear or even tiny damage to the drill on a scale essentially invisible to anything short of a really forensic examination can make all the difference between a true true running, on size, hole and one close but no cigar.

Now I have my Clarkson set up I routinely re-sharpen a drill before any critical holes. However good it looks. I used to manage pretty well before but did get the odd few that weren't up to scratch. With a resharpened drill I know it will do the job right unless I cock-up.

Best results if you can follow book speeds and feeds but that needs a properly sharp drill too.

MT taper drill will behave better than an ordinary straight shank one in a chuck. I've invested in one or two odd sizes that had to be right.


Thread: A puzzle and small disaster
05/02/2022 09:18:10

I'm with Jason on not being a fan of mounting flywheels or any other relatively large diameter component on a mandrel. Not only do you risk chatter but the constant tiny vibrations produced when machining can work the thing on until its really tight making it hard to remove without risk of breaking.

Although cast iron has high damping its inherently granular so the cutting forces aren't smooth. If you have something that machines nicely with a continuous chip the steady force tends to screw the component on tighter.

For parallel mandrels there seems to be a fine balance between tight enough to hold yet not so tight that it can work on hard. There is a reason why the professionals make them with a very fine taper.

A few cycles of gentle warming and cooling over a few cycles can release such stuck components. Best if you can arrange something to apply a little push or pull force in the right direction. Don't get rush-headed. Even if it takes as long to get the bits unstuck as it did to get them jammed in the first place you are still ahead.

I prefer to use a spindle collet and faceplate set-up for such things. Nice sliding, shake free, fit mandrel in the spindle collet to align the part. Strap it to the faceplate to hold it for machining. Aligning things on face plates is well off the bottom of my "liked jobs" list. Most especially if I have more than one the same.

But, having spent far too many £ over far too many years, I have the gear.

Assuming a morse taper in the spindle a blank end arbor turned to size or sleeved up as appropriate is as effective as a mandrel and collet.

Considerably more wallet friendly than my full sets of imperial (by 1/64 ths) and metric (by 0.5 mm) 5C collets too.

A blank arbor or two of appropriate sizes immediately to hand for modification into semi-sacrificial tooling is an essential part of any normally impecunious Model Engineer or Home Workshop persons toolkit. Building up to size with weld or sticking bits on when its gotten too small is perfectly acceptable!


Thread: beginner problem with qctp
03/02/2022 18:24:53


The trick to minimising the locking cam effects is to snug things up a touch so the holder doesn't rock as you adjust the tool position upwards using the screw. The smoothness or otherwise of movement when doing this is a good test for the quality of manufacture of the set. Piston types are generally easiest to get smooth with a sensible drag but they also tend to be a little less secure. But cheaper. Wedge locking types tend to be most fussy about setting to get the right drag but they are more secure than the piston ones.

Dickson styles have a nasty habit of self adjusting when the locking device is turned if you don't snug the adjuster up properly. Dickson styles are also major league fine swarf magnets. Any locking issues developing in use are almost invariably due to fine swarf building up inside. But dis-assembly to clean out is a total doddle.

I've not seriously used Multifix styles so can't advise on those.

There is a reason why professional standard QC systems are so expensive. It takes serious precision to bridge the gap between "right every time, 24/7 and still working OK when the lathe is worn out" which is what the professional needs and "works fine but need to be aware of its little foibles" which is just fine for folk like us. At 10 to 20 % of the professional price a foible or two is fine by me.

There are numerous types of tool height gauge.

I'm a fan of the simple optical type.

Basically a transparent plastic blade 1/4" - 6 mm or more thick sat vertically on a base small enough to sit easily on the machine and heavy enough to be stable. Use a sharp fixed centre in the lathe headstock to scribe a line at centre height on both sides of the blade. Looking through the blade the tool tip is on centre height if both lines merge into one and are aligned with the tip. Or you can just use one line when working from the tool side.

I have two sets of lines on mine. One for the base sat on the bed and one for it sat on the cross slide. I also have a mirror attachment os I can set things remotely by looking down onto the mirror to see the lines and tool tip. My blade is only 1/4" thick. A thicker one 3/8" or 10 mm would be more sensitive to errors if not looking dead level to merge both lines. Re-making mine has been on the list for over 20 years now!


Thread: Help buying multifunction Compound 2 Axis 4 Ways Working milling table
03/02/2022 16:47:19


Is that the blue one that can be got from several suppliers?

If it is I'd be worried that the "same" thing can be found at prices from £110 (ish) to £270 (ish) with the rotating base and down to £70 (ish) without. Even the pictures are the same.

My guess is its likely to be pretty good value for money at under £150 delivered but "some fettling" required. At least the basic castings and design look workmanlike sturdy. Some of the other affordable ones are just too much made down to a price so a degree of flippity flop has to be accepted.


Thread: Workshop Flooring Advice
31/01/2022 15:22:02


Looking at similar tiles to do my garage once I've found someone to lay some extra concrete on the floor to get my car and bike lifts flush.

Will yours stand up to motorcycle centre stands. In my case around 500 lb of Norton Commander rotary and 630 lb of Yamaha GTS 1000 "funny front end". Dont really want to add load plates because the whole idea is to reclaim all the garage space.


Thread: How many remember this
31/01/2022 12:12:55

I still have a part used O ring kit in a red box got from RS Components many years ago.

Agree that it was pretty much only good for gasket type applications. Stretching over something to sit in a groove in a shaft was possible but very hit and miss. Even with a washer in the way slipping over a bolt was almost certain to break the joint. I had some success in countersunk holes but the O ring usually came out broken on dis-assembly. Held together long enough to squidge down to form a seal tho' which was good enough for me.


Thread: Right to Repair
30/01/2022 22:24:59


Is this link of any help :- **LINK**


Thread: Jib Crane
30/01/2022 19:00:46


Seeing your extended beam scaffold hoist set up reminds me that I considered mounting my loft hoist upside down on top of the beam with a couple of pulleys to guide the cable out to the end. More headroom at the cost of extra complexity.

Pretty much immediately decided that it would be more trouble than it was worth to sort the cable guides so I abandoned the idea without proper consideration. Which may have been a mistake.


Thread: Workshop Flooring Advice
30/01/2022 17:43:56

I used the green moisture resistant "P5" tongue and groove boards for my workshop floor. Laid direct on nicely tamped down concrete, not screeded and leveled.

18 years and counting.

Bit faded and a few marks but still eminently sound. Serious machinery on top, Smart & Brown 1024, Pratt & Whitney B, Bridgeport in the ton and over class.

I do some stick and MIG welding. No burn mark troubles working at "bench height". Working at floor level will most likely produce burns as the splatter won't have time to cool.


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