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Member postings for Peter G. Shaw

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

Thread: Not Your Modern Lathe Tools
31/08/2019 10:57:00

Ok, I'm going to bite.

Are we saying that The Freeman family made both a lathe, a mechanical engineering device, AND, a food stuff known as Henderson's Relish in the same factory, albeit on different floors?

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Dumb question from a none driver
31/08/2019 10:45:39

Talk to CAB. Your situation will not be unique.

A receipt from the sellar isn't going to be much good, after all anyone can draw up a piece of paper stating that I, Joe Bloggs, T/A Dodgy Cars Ltd, have this day sold a van bearing registration plate ABC123 to Mark Smith 20.

The V5C is of no use in this respect - it is purely a DVLA document concerned with the Registered Keeper and contains no information on purchase or other prices.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Equity release!
31/08/2019 10:32:10

I understand the logic behind it but I really do wonder if it is the best policy.

As the years go by, you may find yourself in need of good quality care. Wouldn't it be better to be able to pick and choose rather than be dependant on "the council" to do it for you? Along the same lines what if you suddenly need a major operation and decide that you would prefer a centre of excellence rather than the local NHS hospital?

You have no dependants. But what about any other relatives? Now ok, I do understand that you might not want to subsidise your more feckless relatives, but you may have some responsible relatives who would appreciate a legup when the time comes.

What about any favourite charities? But in this context note that fixed sums are, I understand, better than percentages. Apparently, some charities, if left a percentage pore over the executors accounts to ensure that they, the charity, have extracted the maximum amount possible.

On a personal note, I would fight tooth and nail against equity release - it's my house and I neither want nor need someone else laying down the law. But then I do have a reasonable income and I appreciate that not everyone is as fortunate as me.

I think that what it boils down to is, do you want to risk spending up, and then throwing yourself onto "the council" bearing in mind that there are rules about asset deprivation.

Otherwise, I wish you well.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: What started your interest?
23/07/2019 10:29:41

In the late 1950's, whilst still at secondary school, I was shown how to braze, tin solder, screwcut using a tap & die, and how to use a lathe, both a belt driven job which I understand was the property of the craftwork teacher and a Portass lathe.

Many years later, as described on another thread, I wished to make some replacement 00gauge wheels. A lathe was the obvious requirement and having gone through an attempt at homemade lathe, and a Unimat 1, I ended up with a Hobbymat MD65 with which I started doing other things, eg making a replacement axle for my son's bicycle (wrong steel, but that's by the by). Realising the possibilities together with a book recommendation from a work colleague and the discovery of places like Blackgates Engineering, I started taking much more interest in what I was doing. Ultimately, after getting sick of catching my hand on the Hobbymat tailstock, and finding the Hobbymat too small for some of the things I tried to do, I bought the Warco 220. That was in 1994.

I realized early on that I didn't really have any specific reason for the lathe, just an interest in learning how to use it - Self Education by Experimentation - and that still stands today. Obviously, it isn't only self-education because I do also make or repair articles for which I have a need.

Originally, I had no intention of writing anything for the magazine, I had sent in a small number of letters to ME which got published. One of these lead to some correspondence with one of the ME regulars, hence when one of Neil's pre-decessors in the Editorial chair kept making requests for articles and as I had successfully completed a self-releasing mandrel handle, I submitted it, and much to my surprise it got published. And that lead in turn to me submitting what in effect is a very slow blog about what I have done, mostly about the Warco 220, but along the way some other repair jobs.

One thing that I have realized is that I simply do not have the knowledge or the abiity of some of the other magazine contributors. As a result, my articles are always aimed showing how I did it, what compromises I had to make, and the mistakes I made, believing as I do, that not all of us are capable of turning out first class work first time.

All in all though, I do find it satisfying to accomplish something, no matter how small or insignificant.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: What lathes have you had?
22/07/2019 20:02:09

Ok, time for a laugh!

Initially, I wanted to make some replacement wheels for a Mainline 00 gauge Class 45 diesel outline locomotive. So I set about making my own lathe. You can guess the rest!

Realizing that I didn't know what I was doing, and still obsessed with making those wheels, I bought a Unimat 1. Made a start, but then realized the lathe was only a toy.

Went out and bought a second hand Hobbymat MD65. Discovered it was facing convex, removed the speed chart plate to discover a large casting flaw. Machine changed by the importers. Frightened myself silly trying to screwcut at minimum speed - 250rpm so bought the Essel Engineering speed reducer kit and also made a mandrel handle. Then I got sick of catching my hand on the tailstock so decided to buy a new lathe on the grounds that I now knew enough to know that I didn't know enough. Yes, I know that sounds odd, but break it down into clauses and it might start to make sense.

Looked around and ended up with a choice of three - 910 type lathe, Warco 220 & Myford series 7. Decided that the 910 offered too much for the money hence it was cut down in a number of respects. Quickly came to the conclusion that the Myford was way outside my budget. That left the Warco 220.

That was in 1994, since which time the 220 has served me well in that I have learned a lot, including the fact that the 220 isn't the best lathe in the world. Nevertheless I have achieved various things with it. Unfortunately, I have also found a few problems which I have lived with, but recently I seem to have developed some problems with bearings. Not sure what, but if I can't improve it, then it might be lathe change time and so far I'm fancying one of the WM250 series. Which will be something of a pity given the accessories I've got and made for the 220.

Oh, and by the way, I never did make those wheels. In fact, the locomotive, and indeed all the 00 gauge stuff I had went to my elder son many years ago, so those wheels never will be made.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Surplus subjects learnt at school.
20/07/2019 20:20:23

I attended a small Yorkshire Grammar School in the late 1950’s. The most subjects I could have taken was eight – provided I stayed in the A stream. I didn’t, so the quantity was reduced to seven, the Maths syllabus was changed (no Calculus, I think) and fortunately, a different Maths teacher. Of the seven subjects, I only passed three – Maths, Physics & Geography, and failed English Language, English Literature, French & one other subject which I cannot for the life of me remember what it was. Along the way I took, and dropped, Latin, History, Chemistry, Art & possibly RE. Metalwork/Woodwork was only taught for the first four years, but it did give me an initial introduction to engineering.

At the end of the five years, I left school, applied to join the General Post Office as an apprentice telephone engineer, and following a suggestion from the Youth Employment Office applied to the CEGB and the local electricity board, YEB. YEB didn’t want me, CEGB said yes provided I got four O levels to include English, whilst the GPO had it’s own entrance exam and wasn’t the least bit concerned about O level results. I duly had a career with the GPO/POT/BT ending up as an exchange dimensioning and routing planning manager.

So, what was of use for me. Maths & Physics gave me a pass into the second year of the City & Guilds Telecoms Technicians Course and ultimately I obtained the top level Full Technological Certificate in Electronics & Telephony. I have never missed the lack of an English O level pass: indeed some years ago I astounded a lady with a Phd in English Literature who commended me for my writing abilities. Woodwork/Metalwork gave me an insight into constructional methods in both subjects which eventually became of use in a personal capacity, ie DIY. The one and only time I could have used French my mind went completely blank!!! Latin was of some use mainly for pronunciation when I was singing, whilst the rest was of no use whatsover.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Best way to cut HSS tool blanks from bar?
16/07/2019 13:18:15


As I understand it, HSS was formulated to avoid the softening that occurs when its predecessor, high carbon steel (silver steel), is subjected to heat. According to T.D. Walshaw (Tubal Cain) some grades of HSS will still work when red hot. Which rather suggests that in the home workshop it will not be that easy to soften HSS! So, as Vic says, go ahead, you won't hurt it.

If you are at all worried, you could do what I did when cutting up an old carbon steel file to use as lathe tools - keep a watering can of cold water handy and flood the job every few seconds.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Any other business?
16/07/2019 09:41:24

Auto-pilot! Happens to me quite frequently, especially when walking a set route. Mind you, I do not like walking, I find it boring, and only do it for health reasons.

But the funniest event that I experienced was when going to pick up the then girl friend. I found myself a good half-mile past her house! Maybe my sub-concious was trying to tell me something as we did, eventually, part company.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Gibraltar Toolpost
16/07/2019 09:36:29

My homemade database gives MEW139, page 31, dated Jun 2008.

My notes say:

The author came actoss Tubal Cain's Gibralter toolpost and decided to make his own from mild steel (instead of cast iron or buying) and included a modification for quick change tool holders.

Is this the one you want?

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: What do you use your lathe for?
03/07/2019 09:11:29

Self education by experimentation!

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Side Cut Angle on HSS Tool Bits
27/06/2019 09:20:28

Peter Wright's book on Model Engineering page 303 explains it. In effect that if taking heavy cuts, the width of the chip is reduced thus making it easier on the lathe.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Illegal CD copy
13/06/2019 20:51:52

As someone who has had a few articles published, may I say that I'm in it for two reasons:

1. For the joy and delight of seeing my name in print as the author, especially as I have no training in engineering, nor of writing technical articles; and,

2. To support a choral society that I was a member of for 21 years until hearing problems put paid to my singing. In this instance, the payments go directly to the society, and I make nothing from it.

I suppose it could be argued that I am doing it for the money, albeit to support the choral society. On a personal basis, I don't need the money, hence the choral society benefitting.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Is CAD for Me?
11/06/2019 19:29:59


I must admit to being somewaht puzzled by your inability to easily delete Open Office. I used to use DOS and could quite easily remove trees. Ok, there were occasional problems caused by certain files being read-only and/or hidden, but I soon learned how to get round them. (From memory I think the command was Attrib *.* -R -H which removed the problem attributes.)

May I recommend Libre Office, the better successor to Open Office, and which can be used in either a Windows flavour or a Linux flavour.

In respect of Linux, I use Linux Mint and it is quite possible to use it in a similar manner to Windows without ever using the command line. For example, Internet Explorer can be replaced by Firefox, Outlook Express (or whatever they call it today) by Thunderbird, Microsoft Office by Libre Office etc. In all the cases mentioned, there is both a Windows version and a Linux version and it is quite easy to use the Windows versions to get an idea of how to use the programs before actually taking the plunge and transferring to Linux.

Of course, you may have one or more programs for which there is no Linux equivalent, in which case, there is a problem, but even so, there are workarounds involving Wine or Oracle's Virtual Box. In my case, I use a Win32 bit CAD program via Wine, and a DOS based database program via DOSemu.

It's true that the Linux Fanboys will act all dismissively if you mention Windows and Linux in the same sentence in their hearing, but really, those people just need ignoring. (Been there, received the abuse, and now ignore them!) It's also true that a lot of the Linux Fanboys will tell you to use the command line because it's faster, because you can do more, because...... Etc. Again ignore them, use it like Windows.

Frankly, once the transfer to Linux has been made, you will eventually wonder why it took you so long.

Please, please, take it from one who hesitated, who was very careful when transferring, and who successfully transferred without a problem, even to the extent of transferring all the data successfully. (At one point I had two computers, both running identical versions of XP, and both running identical versions of Linux Mint, and all four operating systems accessing the same data.)


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: 4 jaw chucks
09/06/2019 10:08:00

For what it's worth, my lathe has a 160mm 4 jaw chuck which uses a backplate with a three hole fixing onto the mandrel.

Actually, it's worse than that as the mandrel has a set of 6 tapped holes in it onto which is bolted a chuck adaptor plate. This plate has three holes which allow for a three hole fixing 3 jaw to be directly attached to it. The 4 jaw chuck then uses a 4 hole to 3 hole back plate between the chuck and the adaptor plate. Seems to work ok. And, many years ago, I made an aluminium backplate to enable me to use an 80mm 4 jaw chuck.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Is CAD for Me?
09/06/2019 09:51:59

Thanks Brian.

No point in taking that any further then.


08/06/2019 19:24:11


Just as an aside. Do you use DesignCad? If so which version? And under Windows or Linux?

I have v.17.3 which I have managed to get working quite well, say 98% under Linux. I understand that someone has got v24 working under Linux.

Peter G. Shaw

Edited to add a little extra. (Sorry Tesco!)

Edited By Peter G. Shaw on 08/06/2019 19:25:24

08/06/2019 18:49:07


I am not going to comment on 3D as I cannot, as yet see a use for it for me.

In respect of TurboCad, for what it's worth, I too found it very difficult to use - it simply wasn't intuitive. And from what you are saying, it would seem that it still isn't intuitive. Unfortunately, during my early trawls around the CAD landscape I did come across a forum entry on the DesignCad forum (another CAD program now owned and sold by the same people who own and sell TurboCad) in which it was said that this was a common problem with TurboCad. So don't despair.

If you fancy doing some internet trawling, and possibly having to persuade Windows that you know best, there is a very old 2D CAD program called Draft Choice which has what I found to be an excellent introduction to using, ok Draft Choice (!), a CAD program. From that, I ended up with DesignCad Pro 3D which I then found very easy to use. I was lucky, I found what I now believe was an end of line sell-off at a ridiculously cheap price for a fully functional 2D/3D program. Unfortunately, DesignCad does not seem to be readily available in the UK.

Good luck,

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Anglepoise Lamps & CFL/LED lamps
07/05/2019 09:20:25

Ok folks, thanks for those comments.

I think the first idea might be to cart the lamp down to my nearest lighting retailer and try some other bulbs to see what happens. If I can find one that works ok, weight wise that is, then that might be the way to go. Otherwise I'll have to see about getting a set of spare springs and modifying those - I'm very relectant to mangle the originals in case I reduce the lamp to scrap.

Peter G. Shaw

05/05/2019 19:33:55

Following on from the thread about Lathe Lights & the Anglepoise copy. I have a many year old genuine Anglepoise which was originally designed to take either 40W or 60W, can't remember which, incandescent lamps.

At the moment I have a 9W LED installed which is somewhat heavier than the incandescents such that the springs are just that bit too weak to hold it in the set position and the light slowly but surely drifts downwards.

Thoughts please.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: "Screwing" a car round a corner!
04/05/2019 14:05:56

Was that the one where gears 1 & 3 and 2 & 4 were reversed? Or was it the J4? Whichever it was , one of my colleagues was sat in the middle of a minivan (you can tell how long ago that was - no seatbelts & no one batted an eye at three people in the front) and he was operating the gear lever on command from the driver. Unfortunately he had been driving one of the J2's or J4's all day and when asked to move into 3rd, somehow managed to get it into 1st! And no, he didn't strip the gearbox.

Which reminds me of another tale. Another of my colleagues rebuilt a 2 stroke scooter engine and got the timing slightly out - at least, I think that's what it was. Anyway, stopped at traffic lights, the engine coughed, and carried on running. My colleague let the clutch out, and promptly went backwards into the vehicle behind!

Peter G. Shaw

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