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

Member postings for Mike

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

Thread: Electric motors
19/09/2009 16:18:00

Hi everybody:

I have now finished the construction of my light milling machine based on an old Amolco attachment left over from the days when I owned a Myford. I still don't have a motor, but at least I now know what I want.


Thought you guys might like to see it. The base was built up out of a slab of very hard 3/4" plywood bolted to the bench top. On top of this is an 8mm layer of a very hard industrial plastic and, finally, two 3/8" x 3" x 12" strips of bright mild steel stiffened with a couple of lengths of 1" steel angle. The X-Y table was bought from a ME advertiser.

Will this Heath Robinson arrangement be stiff enough? Well, a 30lb lateral force applied to the tool tip produces a movement of 0.0003" measured with an accurate dial gauge, so I have high hopes.

One snag: the X-Y table is graduated in mm, while vertical movement is in inches. I shall have to sharpen up my maths!
Thread: Metric vs Imperial - Practical or Traditional?
05/09/2009 15:51:29
I spent all my working life in the publishing industry, and used to design newspaper pages using another Imperial measurement - ems and points (72 points to an inch, I recall). When the industry changed to the metric standard, I remember going to our suppliers and asking for "a metric ruler about two feet long, please." Points, of course, still survive in the height of computer typefaces. Surprising the "metricate everything" mob haven't got their sticky fingers on that.
Even after more than 30 years working to metric standards, I still think in Imperial. Just an old fogey, maybe!
Thread: Hot air and stirling engines
26/08/2009 15:49:49
Hi Ian,
Greetings to NZ from Banffshire! That's very interesting about the hydrogen - you have had me racking my brains to recall conversations of around 30 years ago. Can't check with my old pal, because when I moved 500 miles north to Scotland 14 years ago we lost touch, and I believe he has now passed away.
However, I now recall he said the engine could be modified to run on pretty well anything available locally that would burn with enough heat, which leads me to believe you are right about the hydrogen being the gas inside the engine rather than the fuel.
I also wonder if, after a further 30 years of development of high-temperature steels and maybe ceramic substances, the design could be worthy of another look. - Mike
26/08/2009 12:44:30
Hi everybody: Very interesting, all this stuff about Stirling engines. Makes me think I would like to have a go! Of course, they don't have to be tiny or low-powered. I think it was in the early 1980s that I had a pal who worked for Perkins diesel in Peterborough, and he was involved in the design of one big enough to power a truck. As I recall the fuel of choice was hydrogen. Don't know whether a prototype was ever built, but the project was abandoned, I believe, because of the availability and high cost of suitable materials to stand up to the high temperatures. A lot of cobalt steel was required, I think.
Nowadays this would be the ultimate "green machine!"
In the same era, Perkins built an experimental gas turbine lorry, which was often seen on test around Peterborough. The exhaust was a huge vertical pipe behind the cab, which gave out a massive heat haze and a smell of burnt paraffin. Alas, another project which came to nought - although its acceleration with a full load was most impressive. I once tried to beat it away from the lights in a 2-litre Cortina!
Thread: lathe tool cutting oils
23/08/2009 12:06:02
Years ago I built a gravity-feed coolant system for my Myford out of little more than scrap - two 5-litre oil cans, a few odd bits of brass tube, a length of fine neoprene tube from an aquarium shop, an old gas tap and a length of hosepipe.
Briefly, one can was mounted on a high shelf above the lathe, and this fed coolant via the neoprene tube to the gas tap, which was fixed to the cross slide by an improvised bracket and a T-nut. The tap allowed anything from a drip to full stream.
The length of hosepipe was connected to the drain hole in the chip tray, and fed the used fluid into the second can, which was on the floor.
When the upper can was empty, the fluid in the lower can could be filtered and used again.
Hope this is helpful. It is certainly a cheap solution!
Regards to all.
Thread: Magazine supplies from Smiths reduced in 15% of stores
29/07/2009 15:57:58
As a retired editor of specialist-interest magazines, I can tell you that this is not a new tactic by W.H. Smith - they have been doing it, on and off, for the last 20 years at least. I seem to recall they once withdrew all magazines with a monthly circulation of fewer than 15,000 - thereby ensuring that small magazines never grew.
All retail newsagents, and particularly the big chains, should remember that they rely on the publishing industry to make a living, by taking their own cut out of every sale, but instead you get the impression that some of them feel they are doing the publishing trade a huge favour by selling their products.
Up here in the north of Scotland you very rarely see ME on sale. I took out a subscription a year ago, and certainly don't regret it.
Thread: Long term rust prevention
12/07/2009 09:36:06
You might look at gun care products from Napier ( These products are available from most UK gun shops, and I have found that they do work.
Thread: Electric motors
11/07/2009 16:49:37
After no response to my original posting for weeks, you guys have suddenly given me some very useful ideas. Thanks a million from the far North of Scotland!
11/07/2009 11:14:34
That's great, Andy P. I have such a bench grinder that doesn't cause the generator to hiccup, so I'll get another. Problem solved! Aren't these forums great!
11/07/2009 10:38:05
Thanks Ian Abbott. I'd thought of this, but on investigation the innards of the old 1/3hp motor proved to be corroded beyond sensible safety limits - the result of 15 years storage in a damp garage on the sea shore! One thought is an old washing machine motor - any ideas from you guys?
10/07/2009 16:26:07
Cheers, Ian - this is pretty much what I expected. I'll look at the brush-type motors first: high revs don't matter, as I can use suitable pulleys to reduce to about 300 or so, which would be fine. I had also thought of a 12v or 24v electric motor, so will give that a try if all else fails.
Thanks again for your helpful reply.
12/06/2009 12:03:46
My workshop is 60 yards away from my house, and I can't get a mains electricity supply to it without spending a fortune. As a consequence, electric power is supplied by a 3.2KVa petrol-powered generator. This provides power for lighting and a small lathe and drilling machine, and powered hand tools. Now for the problem: I have constructed a light milling machine based on an old Amolco milling attachment acquired in the days when I had a Myford lathe. I now need a motor of around 1/4 to 1/3 HP to power it. I have tried a couple which should be well within the capacity of the generator, but they cause the generator to all but stall when the capacitor starts engage. Is there a type of motor available which will not do this? I don't mind waiting while the revs build up. I am a reasonably experienced amateir mechanical engineer, but a real dimbo when it comes to electrics!
Thread: British Gunmakers screw threads
12/06/2009 11:41:17

Hi Dave,

In the days when most guns were hand made, most individual gunmakers had their own threads. Male threads were struck by hand in the lathe, and they made their own taps. As a consequence, on very old guns you will find some really weird threads! Not very helpful to you, I'm afraid! - Mike George, Technical Editor, Sporting Gun Magazine

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
Rapid RC
Eccentric Engineering
Eccentric July 5 2018
Subscription Offer

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