By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

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: Coronavirus - How To Register as Vulnerable
08/04/2020 20:09:57


I've pruned the letters. The tv digibox has failed (new one on order) and whilst I agree that most of the tv offerings are utter rubbish, there are some gems available, eg the Jennifer Ehle/Colin Firth Pride & Prejudice which I've lost due to the failure. Perhaps a DVD set is indicated.

The trouble is, it took 2 or 3 months to get over the diagnostic shock, and then winter was upon us when even 4 KW of heat doesn't make much impression in my garage so I devoted a lot of time to genealogy, and now it's getting warmer and Covid-19 is upon us - just as we were thinking about getting the caravan out!

Classic FM. Totally agree.

Not sure about the 90's - it seems to me that a lot of people beyond the mid-80's start to lose quite a lot of ability, both mental & physical. My father managed to reach 91, but not without something of a struggle in his late 80's onwards, plus I knew a man who reached 94, but spent the last 2 or 3 years just waiting for death. My mother reached 85, but her memory was failing and had been for 2 or 3 years.

I've said this before - I've 13 year old granddaoghter who I'd like to see married, say in 10 years time eg my age 86, plus I've a 4 year old granddaughter who I'll never see married. That's my wish.

Peter G. Shaw

08/04/2020 19:28:36

Somewhat unfortunately I have had:

2 identical letters - one from the GP & one from the Health Authority;

1 from the Government (Hancock & Jenrick);

1 from Johnson;

1 from the GP (slightly different this time).

And I'm absolutely pig sick of being told what I knew before this lot blew up. As Neil knows, I was diagnosed with lung cancer 6 or 7 months ago, so it was darned obvious that I was going to be "at risk", and I don't need all this drumming into me! I'm also darned fed up of seeing earnest looking people on the box rubbing it in!

Now ok, perhaps I'm being a bit disingenous here, and perhaps I should be grateful for it all, but I do wonder how much energy, time & postage has been wasted on this. I'm actually reminded of an incident some 30+ years ago when the company I worked for was privatised. There was letters sent to each individual in the company about it; articles in the union and in-house magazines; notices on the notice boards, and then to cap it all, as a manager I was instructed to tell the staff about it. For heaven's sake why, can't they read? And if they choose to ignore it then that should be their lookout. Similar to this lot. If people haven't taken it in, which some appear not to have done, then by all means use the Police. But please stop lecturing everyone else.

I should point out that I'm also 76, and male (last time I looked anyway) so I'm right at the top of the list for early death, not that I'm looking forward to it, but it still does grate, especially as I had hoped to go on to say my mid '80's.

Final thought. Is there any point in starting any projects? Or attempting to complete existing projects?

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Large Crane
04/04/2020 19:51:33

My sister in Haugesund, Norway sent me this photo of a very large crane ship - 222 meters high!!giant crane.jpg

Photo courtesy Heather R Waage

She says that few docks can accommodate the ship, but "lil ol' Haugesund can!!!"

You can get some idea of the size of this thing by looking at the windows in the buildings, and an even better impression by using Google Street View to find the blue & yellow building adjacent to the crane, (Aibel, Nordsjohall).


Peter G. Shaw

Edited By Peter G. Shaw on 04/04/2020 19:55:44

Thread: Guidelines for which steel to use for projects
02/04/2020 10:31:46

Another useful book is Harold Hall's Metalworker's Data Book (WSP 42) in which pages 152 & 153 will be found helpful.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: DTI base
01/04/2020 12:04:59

Harold Hall in his book Model Engineers' Workshop Projects (WSP39) chapter 12 has some suggestions. MEW14, Dec 1992, through to April 1993, along with MEW151 & 152 (Jun & Jul 2009) are probably earlier versions of the same. (MEW151 & MEW152 are stated in my home made database to be metric versions of the original plus new photos.)

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Box-Ford travelling steady
31/03/2020 13:45:14

Don't forget that Boxford was originally an off-shoot from Denford of Brighouse when lathe production moved, or was setup in Boxtree mills, Halifax, hence Box-Ford.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: A bit of light relief No. 1
28/03/2020 19:34:10

Another comical story.

Same farm, same farmer. Reared a young bull with the intention of breeding from it and allowed it to run with some heifers for a while whilst the farmer waited to see when it started showing interest in the cows. Amongst these heifers was, I suppose for a bull, a particularly winsome heifer. Fairly obviously both young bull and young heifer were old enough because before long the heifer started showing unmistakable signs of pregnancy which left the farmer in a quandary because he had no idea of the due date. His only comment was "I didn't know that bull was old enough!".

So it isn't only humans that get up to mischief when the elders aren't looking!

Peter G. Shaw

28/03/2020 15:12:03

Story No.2 Sorry no photos. Incidently, the episode above probably dates from around 1960, maybe earlier, as does this one.

In the Mistal, at times we would not have too much to do as the two milking machines would be clacking away unaided whilst the other 8 cows awaited their turn. On one occasion, I sat down on a window ledge and picked up the Curry Comb, only to discover that a rather large Ayrshire cow, complete with large horns went mad. I replaced the comb, and the cow quietened. Picked it up and she went mad again. By that I mean she started tossing her head, and jumping around, all the time whilst watching me. I then walked across to her whilst carrying the comb, and again she quietened. Needless to say, what she wanted was combing, and she stood perfectly still whilst watching me comb all over her backend and even down her rear legs, even to the extent that she put up no resistance to me holding her tail. Remember, had she taken a dislike, I would have been over the other side of the Mistal following a hefty kick.

Dumb beasts they may be, but on occasion they can make their needs & wants known.

Peter G. Shaw

28/03/2020 14:56:08

On another thread, there have been a few comments about converting old slides to digital. Well, here is something similar, but with a light-hearted touch.

Meet Herbert!



Now, as you can see, Herbert is a Shorthorn Bull, and although it doesn't show, he was "entire". He even had his horns - about 5 inches long, straight, about 1.5 inch dia at the base and tapering to a point.

During the Winter months he was kept in a single stall in what was called the Stable along with 4 of his "harem" who occupied two adjacent double stalls. Now at Herbert's left was a hefty steel construction which served as a barrier between the stalls, but at least allowed Herbert to see his harem. (The remaining beasts were in the Mistal and out of sight.) To Herbert's right was a brick wall, about a metre or slightly more high which served to separate Herbert from the alleyway running to the store room. During these months, all the beasts, including Herbert, were fed some rations - corn, sugarbeet, etc which appeared to be loved by the animals,  at least the lick buckets were always scrupulously clean. Herbert was always fed at the same time as the adjacent cows.

One day, whilst the farmer and I were in the adjacent Mistal, there arose a most tremendous racket, so I rather casually wandered into the stable to see what was going on - only to find that poor old Herbert had somehow managed to hook his nosering onto the end of the lick bucket handle. He was most displeased, hence the racket. Now I don't know about you, but I'm not about to walk up the side of a rather angry Shorthorn bull, so I left him to it whilst I cast around for inspiration. This turned out to be an old walking stick, turn it round, hook the bucket handle, and draw towards you whilst leaning over wall. I was thus able to release Herbert from his torment.

Did he thank me? Did he heck! Ungrateful beast!

Peter G. Shaw

Edited By Peter G. Shaw on 28/03/2020 14:58:50

Thread: Keeping busy
28/03/2020 09:11:56

According to my records, mine cost £60 from Aldi in 2013. sad Hardly a cheapo version, but as I recall, cheaper than others on the market at the time. Ah well, you can't win 'em all.

Peter G. Shaw

27/03/2020 20:19:39


Thanks for the compliment.


I don't have a projector. Also, whilst the A640 is quite good, it's not the best.


That is far, far better than anything my cheapo version produced. I haven't opened it up (can't be bothered), but I have a suspicion that mine has a single light source in the middle of, I assume, the rear of the film. Certainly on a lot of photos, I got excess lightness in the middle.

To all,

The A640 is a 10MegaPixel camera with a 4X zoom lens and f/2.8 - f/4.1. Maximum image size is 3648 x 2736 pixels. It can be used in Auto mode or in a wide variety of modes including Macro and Fixed Distance (I think that's somewhat right). Anyway, it took a lot of experimenting both with the lightbox and the camera, and involved making a standoff to always set the camera at a fixed distance. Too near, and I lost some of the information, too far away and I got a large black border around the photo. The standoff represented what I thought was the best compromise, and using software I used to crop the photo to remove the top & bottom black borders, then used Lens Distortion to correct the barrel distortion followed by careful copy & paste to get rid of mucky marks etc. I did use a soft brush on the slides to remove some of the dust etc before taking the photo, but even so I still had to use software to clean them.

Bearing in mind that some of the slides date from 1965, most were, eventually, corrected to a reasonable condition, ok, maybe not as original, but what was lost didn't really matter. I did have a few failures which were too far gone to do anything with, and I did have one that although too poor to be satisfactorily corrected, I was only able to determine the location by looking at the others taken at the same time, noting that there was a recognisable feature on the horizon, and then realizing that the carpet factory in the foreground had been replaced by housing!

I did wonder about a scanner adaptor, but didn't think they were justified for a one-off event. Filmwise, most were Kodak 64 colour reversal slides (hang-on, that doesn't sound correct, so let's just say Kodak 64), whilst a few were Agfa.

Peter G. Shaw

p.s. One thing I do now regret was in chucking out some photos taken in the early years with the Cosmic 35. I seem to recall that some of them were of, shall we say, early girlfriends.

Thread: Coronavirus
26/03/2020 10:16:34

Incidently, I seem to be hearing a lot of exhortations to stay indoors! Why? Shouldn't it be to avoid other people? Or is there an increased risk with being outside?

The reason why I'm asking is that from our front wall to the public highway is about five yards/meters. Furthermore, the front faces SouthWest so sitting out on an afternoon can be quite pleasant and comfortably exeeds the 2 meter rule. And yet, and yet, I'm wondering if there's something I've missed, or that "they" are not telling us.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: A sight for sore eyes
26/03/2020 10:08:48

Well life does indeed make fools of us! Earlier in this thread I commented that there used to be a female refuse collection vehicle driver but I hadn't seen her for a while. Guess who turned up this morning - a very blonde pony tailed femail refuse collection vehicle driver!

Oh well, can't win 'em all.

Peter G. Shaw

Thread: Keeping busy
25/03/2020 11:48:51

re 35mm slides.

I've tried one of these scanning devices and found it useless. In the end I followed Harold Hall's advice which was to make a lightbox (3mm white faced MDF, white to the inside & 2 x 25W candle bulbs), a piece of white translucent plastic & a support/guide for the slides. The slides were then rephotographed by my Canon A640 camera, transferred into the computer and then corrected by Gimp (barrel distortion, dirt, hairs, colour correction, sharpened if necessary by means of Unsharp Mask).

Here are three versions of a photo subjected to this treatment a few years ago:



Note the distortion & bad colour.

Intermerdiate correction.


Notice the improvement, but still slightly blurred.

Final after using Unsharp mask


Early results were poor because I didn't understand what I was doing, but even then, the results were better. Oh I must point out that these are 50 years old.

Once I got into the swing of things, I found it quite fascinating to see how much I, a rank amateur could improve these old clapped out photos. Even more interesting was trying to determine just where they were taken - and that lead to a few surprises. eg one that I thought was at the top of Scotland was actually on Skye, and Google Street View has an almost identical version of a waterfall up Glen Nevis.


Peter G. Shaw

Thread: A sight for sore eyes
21/03/2020 22:01:41

Nothing to do with the ladies, but more to do with loss of strength. We have a caravan and we use 7Kg Calor gas bottles. Unfortunately Calor give the weight of the empty bottle in lbs, but the heaviest I have come across was a 20lb bottle, maybe slightly more. This equates to about 9.1 Kg which along with the gas makes it about 16Kg. We also have a good quality leisure battery which weighs 18Kg. Both of these do now take a certain amount of puff to move. And yet, I can remember years ago when we used to go camping with a 35Kg bottle! Oh for a new body!

Peter G. Shaw.

p.s. Asking for a new body reminds me of when I turned up at my chemo centre to collect my next set of pills, and being somewhat, well a lot actually, out of puff, I said I needed a new body - only to be told by the nurses to get to the back of the queue after them!

21/03/2020 16:28:12


I did wonder if it was something like that.


50Kg for who? Everyone? Or just certain sections of society? I have in front of me an invoice from my coal merchant which states "Take notice that you are to receive herewith, in sacks, and each sack containing 50 Kilos." I've had a quick look at the HSE website and am surprised to find that there are NO legal limits to manual handling of loads. There are diagrams which suggest limits, but these are NOT legal requirements. I must admit that like you, I thought there were different limits for fully grown men and for youths & women. It seems that all the HSE require is that the employer examines the procedures concerned and makes his own rules to suit the circumstances.

To both of you,

It still doesn't explain why there are no ladies doing these jobs: in the coal sacks case, it would be reasonably easy to use 25Kg sacks, although perhaps not as efficient. And in the refuse collection ladies are still able to run.

Peter G. Shaw

21/03/2020 15:17:39

Just to expand a little on my first paragraph above:

We have a 3 person refuse collection crew. All, as far as I know, male, one of whom drives the vehicle whilst the other two run, yes run, to the next pickup point. At break times, the two "runners" sit in the cab eating & drinking whilst the driver did the job singlehandedly. Now we did have a woman vehicle driver a few years ago, but I never saw her out of the cab. Neither have I a seen female "runner". In these days of so-called equality, why not? After all, with wheelie bins, and powered lifts, there is no really heavy lifting to do is there?

We also have coal delivered (yes, yes I know so no comments please about pollution) by a (guessing) in his 30's or 'early 40's man who casually humps 50Kg sacks on his back round to our bin before tipping it into the bin. Now in the 25 years we've had this system we have had, I think, 4 different delivery people - all male. Are there any female delivery people? Or is 50Kg too much for them?

At the moment these are the two worst examples I can think of where ladies are conspicuous by their absence, yet, on daily basis, or so it seems according to the "box", there are young(ish) women running companies, in positions of authority, spouting about glass ceilings etc. So what about the glass floor? Lets have more equalty all round with ladies sharing the hard work, and being seen to be doing so.

Peter G. Shaw

19/03/2020 16:05:06

And about time too. If they, the ladies that is, want equal parity with men, then they should be seen to be doing the unpleasant, hard jobs as well as the nice boardroom jobs.

Peter G. Shaw.

p.s I am not a misogynist. I have a daughter who worked for the HMRC and ended up doing VAT inspections until her accident. She is now working for the local Police doing I know not what in an admin roll. I also have a daughter-in-law who is, I think, an Llb. Or is it LLB? Except that she doesn't use it as such. I also have a lovely beautiful 13 year-old grandaughter who for the last 6 years has more than adequately shown to me that it won't be long before she will be able to wipe the floor with her two brothers. I've another 4 year-old grandaughter who hasn't yet shown what she is capable of. In theory, it should be a lot being the daughter of the LLB above and her husband who holds a Masters degree in Physics.

Thread: Electrolytic capacitor
17/03/2020 11:54:05

I've just been reading, but not necessarily understanding, the Wikipedia entry for supercapacitors.

Suffice to say that I don't really know what I'm talking about in this respect!

Peter G. Shaw

Edited By Peter G. Shaw on 17/03/2020 12:04:43

17/03/2020 11:11:06


Shouldn't the capacitors have been "in parallel" rather than "in series"?

Peter G. Shaw

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
Allendale Electronics
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest