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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: Music in the Workshop
03/08/2020 11:53:38

One of the problems I now have is how to access these stations being mentioned above, and, for that matter, what all the TLA's mean. EG, TMS, which I now understand to be Test Match Special. But what about CFM? I suppose given my initial post, it refers to ClassicFM, but unfortunately, up here where I live, CFM actually refers to a local radio station, Cumbria FM, which "serves Cumbria & SW Scotland".

But, in the workshop I only have an old, or maybe that should be ancient, analogue cassette/radio which has MW/LW/VHF radio bands, none of your digital broadcasting here. So the likes of Scala Radio, iDagio etc are unavailable to me, and no, I'm not going to scrap a perfectly good VHF/FM radio for the supposed advantages of digital. Incidently, the workshop is more or less the only place I can indulge in classical music since herself doesn't like it.

Some of the other stuff mentioned I'm afraid I won't even give the time of day to - I left pop music behind 50 or more years ago, and as for cricket, well, words fail me, never have a seen a more boring, useless, uninteresting and dangerous game. So there!

I do agree though, that there is a lot more pleasant music than purely classical, G&S (Gilbert & Sullivan) for example, some country music (Everly Bros anyone?) and yes, there is some dire stuff in the classical repertoire which is really why I like ClassicFM - because it plays the best bits.

Cheers & happy listening,

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Waiting for my copy of MEW
03/08/2020 10:36:39

My report was aimed at being helpful to Jason B, and, because there seemed to be a slight amount of possible confusion over dates, included the issue month, and a reference to one item mentioned on the front page along with a reference to the previous issue month of issue. Fair enough I didn't give the issue number for June, as I assumed it would be obvious.

That's all,

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Social Distancing
02/08/2020 14:11:03


Thanks for that.


For myself, I find myself in a very strange situation. As someone who is clinically vulnerable and in my late 70's what do I do? Do I follow the crowd and ignore it? Or do I follow the government instructions? The former looks set to likely kill me, whilst the latter might not. And all the while knowing that whatever I do, my time is drawing to an end anyway.

But it's worse than that. How do I persuade other people with whom I have contact to take care to protect me? They have their own views, which I perhaps don't agree with, just as I have my views. It is a minefield and unlike some of the people whose comments I read (elsewhere by the way), I know I have insufficient knowledge to be able to make a reasoned decision.

My personal opinion is that there is a large number of very selfish people around who either through ignorance or maybe even deliberately, who simply do not care about other people, just as long as they are not inconvenienced. It also seems that there is another group of people who through force of circumstances are unable to follow whatever guidelines are being issued and this is in turn leading to these spikes.

In short, it's a mess.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Music in the Workshop
02/08/2020 11:15:13

Hello folks,

I'm one of those who like to have ClassicFM burbling away in the background when in the workshop, and have noticed a change these last few months, indeed ClassicFM themselves are trumpeting that they have cut down on the chit-chat and upped the music. Great, I like it, although it does concern me a little bit about the costs of providing such a service without ads to pay for it. They have even started playing music without announcing it first, but I think they have always done that to a limited extent.

Anyway, yesterday, they surpassed themselves. About 16:20, they started playing Beethoven's 6th Symphony, The Pastoral, and they didn't finish until a little before 17:00 hours. Superb, the full symphony, uncluttered with extraneous unneeded comments, no ads, no break at 16:30, as the saying goes, The Full Monty. Absolutely wonderful to have such fine music filling the workshop. Thanks ClassicFM.

There is, for me anyway, a downside in that I find my attention drifting from the work in hand whilst I listen to the music which obviously delays completion of the project, but I wonder, do other people have this problem or is it just me?

There is, of course, some so-called clasical music which I do not like, eg Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue which I absolutely detest - it leaves me shaky, so much so that now I switch off the radio as soon as iI hear the introductory notes. I also find that some of this so-called English music, eg George Butterworth's Banks of Green Willows just boring, on the other hand Mozart cannot do any wrong.

What do other people think about classical music, pet hates & dislikes, and likes. Over to you.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Coping with deafness
02/08/2020 10:54:01

Re ear syringing etc.

I've had syringing done twice with no ill after effects and certainly with improved hearing. But, my understanding now is that the NHS in the UK has decided that it is not a NHS function, and that GP surgeries are no longer offering it. I believe the idea is to use ear drops from the chemist to soften it whereupon the wax etc will make its own way out. I'm willing to be corrected on that.

Peter G. Shaw


Edited By Peter G. Shaw on 02/08/2020 10:54:38

Thread: Social Distancing
02/08/2020 10:48:16


I agree totally with your comments, but could I ask just what's going on in Victoria? The reports I have seen say that a state of Disaster has been declared which seems rather extreme.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Waiting for my copy of MEW
02/08/2020 10:45:20

I've had issue 295 for perhaps 2 or 3 weeks now. Sufficiently long for me to have entered the details into my articles database, copied an article ready for making and then filing the magazine. It is marked as the July issue, and the previous issue was the June issue. Just to be absolutely certain, mine contains the second part of the Cherry Hill interview.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Opions sought on using the USB Photo Stick for photo storage
30/07/2020 09:07:52

I have what is essentially a manual system based around two computers along with their internal hard disks, and two external hard drives.

The original idea was to have a spare computer just in case the main computer failed. The system then blossomed into a system whereby there are two copies of everything I want to save associated with each of the two computers, one on the machine itself and one on an external hard drive. So four copies in all. Both computers, although not identical machines, are more or less identical in terms of software.

Photos, including some ancient & clapped out 35mm colour slides which have been transferred to electronic & cleaned up, are kept in a single folder with sub folders for various categories. Probably the biggest problem I have is determining where a particular photo was taken - to this day I have a slide photo of our two eldest children along with a caravan somewhere, and I cannot determine where or when it was taken.

The actual duplication of files for backup purposes, and let's face it, when I'm gone, it is unlikely that anyone else will wnat this stuff so it's mainly for my security, takes about 2 hours once a week.

Happy snapping,

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Identifying some steel
24/07/2020 21:07:04

Hello Nick,

I did have a look on the internet looking in particular for Stubs Silver Steel because my understanding is that Stubs do annotate their bars of Silver Steel, but to no avail.

Of course, not being an engineer per se, it may be that I haven't understood what was there.

Anyway, not to worry, the proper stuff is turning rather better.


Peter G. Shaw

24/07/2020 14:52:27

This steel is stamped on one end with either 09 or 60 depending how you look at it. It came out of my silver steel drawer, but I now think it isn't silver steel as although I have had it through the usual softening routine, I am finding it very difficult to turn. I suppose the question really is, does anyone recognise the numbers?

I have tried the spark test to no avail - it doesn't seem to spark like other genuine silver steel, yet doesn't quite give the same spark as manganese steel. In fact it seems to be a cross between medium carbon steel & "cast" steel (high carbon steel) using the designations in Tubal Cain's Model Engineers Handbook. (A second look at the spark test suggests possibly nearer manganese steel - in other words, I don't bloomin well know!)

It is magnetic, can be filed, and can be hacksawed with a junior hacksaw, but does skate about before getting a grip - unless it is the scale resulting from heating that's causing that.

I have to admit that I am ready for scrapping it - it is only 30mm long - in favour of some known silver steel, but would like to know what the numbers mean.


Peter G. Shaw


Edited By Peter G. Shaw on 24/07/2020 14:59:10

Thread: Trembling laptop
16/07/2020 17:28:48


I agree when it comes to gas - it's something I do not know about, or perhaps I should say that I do know enough about it to severely leave it alone.

Perhaps unfortunately, having had 35 years in the telecoms industry, I do have electrical knowledge, ok, maybe not to Regs 18 or whatever, but having seen what some of these so-called electricians do, I would much rather trust myself than them.

It's very unfortunate that my experience of the average so-called British workman is such that I now have a deep mistrust of them and as a result have ended up doing all my own technical work for many a year, that is everything from car maintenance to rewiring my own houses to repairing tv's, radios and other household appliances. Unfortunately, I am now of an age where it is becoming difficult to do it myself, so I am forced into a situation whereby I have to trust people. Maybe I've been lucky but where I now live, a rural location, I have managed to find reliable people, something that would have been difficult at my previous location.

A quote from my garage mechanic: "Living in a village means that I have to do a good job otherwise word quickly gets round and I go out of business." I think that may be why I find the quality of the workforce here so much higher.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Welding precautions
16/07/2020 16:22:10

I used to have a Maxi which had a slight petrol leak. Wasn't much, but when I went for a new exhaust and the people approached with a lit welding torch, I slowly drifted outside, just in case you understand. Fortunately, nothing did happen, but it was something of a worry.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Trembling laptop
16/07/2020 11:47:50

I’m going to say something which will, I know, raise the ire of certain of our contributors, but first I wish to relate a personal anecdote. It does have a bearing on things, but initially it may not seem so.

50 or more years ago I casually mentioned at work that I was doing something either at home or at the church I attended in those days, and promptly got verbally jumped on by one of my colleagues. He claimed that I was taking work from someone else, and how would I like it if someone off the street came in and started doing my job? A silly argument because for anyone else to do my job presupposes that the “comer-in” knew what he/she was doing, that he/she had spent some considerable time being trained.

Interestingly, work in the home for that particular job, although reserved at that time to the company, may now be done by anyone, but that is unimportant at the present time.

Fairly obviously, my colleague was a union man through & through, and we all know about the stranglehold the unions had over industry back then, ie, pick up the nut you’ve just dropped, and cause an all-out strike!

So, back to today. I wonder how much of the present restrictions on home electrics has been caused by electrician unions persuading polititians, who are not necessarily the best technical people in the world, that electricity is too dangerous to be left to people who do not have the requisite pieces of paper to show that they have attended some sort of course. I’m sure we all know the stories of the house holder, someone with a degree in high voltage electrical planning, but did not have the requisite piece of paper, so wasn’t allowed to rewire his own house, or the polititian who got himself shocked by a faulty washing machine, etc., whilst there is a story of a qualified electrician who could not find the fault, and had to rely on the householder to do the faultfinding. Ok, maybe exaggerated perhaps, but like a lot of things, perhaps with a grain of truth therein.

It does seem to me that more and more we are being told to leave it to the experts, when in reality, anyone with even just a smidgeon of common sense could do the job easily and more cheaply.


Peter G. Shaw

Edited to remove a superfluous postscript.

Edited By Peter G. Shaw on 16/07/2020 11:48:35

16/07/2020 11:03:34


You are not alone, I too thought it meanst some sort of vibration.


News to me, but then what do I know!

I have experienced slight mains leakages which have felt like what they were - electricity, and which showed up on the mains testing screwdriver. No comments please about that one. I wonder if in fact it is very individualistic, ie only certain people can feel it.


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: The 2038 computer bug
15/07/2020 10:53:02


Normally I would agree with you, but such is the way of our hobby that there is always a tendency to want to improve and my drill could certainly do with some improvement, eg to reduce the sideways slop in the quill. In fact, I've a sneaky suspicion that I have seen someone else with exactly the same problem and which was written up for either ME or MEW. That solution was to make a cut in the housing and then clamp it up thus reducing the sideways slop. At least, I think that was it, although I do remember the cutting bit. I must admit that the writer was a braver man than me!


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Basic Electrics
13/07/2020 14:54:05

In fact, the present mains drill was on offer, maybe it was shop soiled, B&D H68V, 1/2 in chuck, 2 mechanical speeds, trigger speed controller, drill or drill + hammer selector. Prior to this one I have had a B&D 720 which I managed to burn out a few times, and a B&D 820, can't remember what happened to that, but the present one has done very well for me.

The first drill was bought for my 21st birthday back in the days when being 21 meant something.

If anyone's interested, the H68V came from Arnold Laver in Bradford.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Classic Cars - Driving London to Edinburgh in Top Gear
13/07/2020 11:32:34

The trouble with buses and their 5 speed gearboxes was that 1st gear, certainly on what I think of as semi-automatics, ie with an automatic clutch, was that 1st gear required the operation of two levers simultaneously, one of the levers being, as far as I could tell a device to prevent accidental engagement. The problem then, was that lazy drivers who could not be bothered to engage 1st gear would subject the bus, and passengers, to a form of physical abuse. What happened was that on steepish inclines, the driver would engage 2nd gear, press the accelerator whereupon the engine would speed up, the automatic clutch start to engage, and the vehicle start to move. However, as the clutch fully engaged, the engine could not generate enough power so the speed dropped, the clutch started to disengage, the engine then speeding up etc etc. The resultant ride was a series of jerks until such time as the bus reached more level ground. It was noticeable how much smoother the ride was when the driver knew what he was doing and used 1st.

Another nasty habit these lazy drivers had was to slam the gear lever from 2nd to 3rd, ie straight across the gate, without pausing. Again, the poor old bus, and the passengers, were subjected to a mighty jerk as the gears/clutch changed.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Tufnol Tumbler Gear
13/07/2020 11:13:47

Frankly, I think well done. And even if it's relatively short lived, you have at least achieved something, and can do it again if necessary.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: The 2038 computer bug
13/07/2020 11:10:59

Yay, 18 years to go. Good grief, I'll be er, damn near 100, certainly mid 90's, that is, if I'm still here which is very unlikely.

Let's assume I am here. And that I am still sufficiently mobile. And sufficiently strong enough to manhandle pieces of metal. Will I still be using my Warco 220 lathe? Possibly as it's a reasonably simple (like it's owner) machine. And my Sieg X2 clone milling machine? Now that might survive, but the track record of the electronics would suggest not. And then there's the NuTool vertical drill. Basic simple machine using a fractional horsepower single phase motor, no fancy electronics here. I rather fancy it might well be clapped out as it isn't that good now and it's only 26 years old. What about my computers? Ah, now there's a thing. I have a 12 year old Toshiba main machine, a slightly newer Toshiba backup machine, and a rescued from on its way to the tip Advent, all being laptops, and all running Linux Mint and all showing some physical damage. Perhaps they'll be operated by brain waves?

But much more to the point, my grandsons will be 43 and 41, whilst my granddaughters will be 31 and 22. Perhaps I'll have great grandchildren. Nice to think so, but I rather think that any great grandchildren will be wondering who is that drooling old man in the corner!

Enough, must stop rambling on,

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Basic Electrics
13/07/2020 09:07:45

And not so old machines at that, eg the oldest I have is 25 years old. And there is the pistol drill at probably 35 to 40 years old (and which still makes the battery powered things look puny!)

Yes, sometimes, especially as age creeps up, some of us just cannot be bothered with these new-fangled devices, and in any case, these electronic add-ons are sometimes worth more than the machine.


Peter G. Shaw

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