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Member postings for Stub Mandrel

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

Thread: How To Post Pictures/Photographs and Create Albums
19/11/2018 15:08:03
Looks like only plain text posting on Android. Using Firefox on my phone.
Thread: How to maximise material removal rate on a mini lathe?
01/06/2018 19:57:09

I think the question was rhetorical? Rainbows seems to have demonstrated just how much you can hack off with a mini lathe.

(Not often I see a lathe in more of a mess than mine)

Only comments, CCMT best for that sort of abuse, the geometry is stronger and will blunt less rapidly - it also heats the steel which makes cutting easier - if the feedrate is OK. Don't forget to speed up as the diameter drops.

CCGT better for finishing.

With CCMT in particular you need to make sure that as much as possible, if not all, of the corner radius is in the cut.

Took a 3-4mm deep cut in medium carbon steel on the SC4 for the last lathework series episode with a CCMT insert and it left a satin finish on steel that tends to look like a ploughed field.

CCGT are ground to sharp edges so you can more easily get away with the light cuts and lower speeds usually used with HSS.

The mechanics of a mini-lathe can easily cope with 3mm cuts in mild steel, but whether or not the electrics can depends on the types of motor, quality of control board tool, quality of tool and experience of user...

Toolpost angle should be chosen to present the tool edge as well as possible while avoiding any risk of hitting those nasty whirly jaw-bits.


Thread: best machine tools for lathe
17/03/2018 10:55:30

There's a good article in another place

17/03/2018 10:50:40
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 16/03/2018 18:00:12:

Glad to hear it, Neil yes

Note: I did, cautiously, use the phrase "It looks like" ... [which it still does]


If it was my old set, you would probably have been right..

I'm not paying for a copy of DIN4980 to find out exactly what the specification is. I note that while some beautifully finished brazed tip tooling costs more than the typical set used by hobbyists, some 'professional supplies' sites sell supposedly 'precision ground' DIN4980 tools that have the entire carbide tip completely covered in paint...


Thread: Myford chuck 'oiling point'
25/01/2018 09:21:07

The oil needs to be fluid enough to spread through the chuck from the oiling point.

Thread: Article Suggestion "White Elephant & Why"
16/11/2017 20:54:42

My workshop has an Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant*.


*Google it

01/06/2017 18:48:55

e bourdons patent compound gauge.jpg


Woe is Stub, I don't get any rotate options!

Edited By Stub Mandrel on 01/06/2017 18:49:40

Thread: Electronic water softeners.
11/01/2016 13:17:24

Fit one to your waterworks and it will make your wee smell of roses


Thread: CM10 Mill Gears
22/11/2015 09:54:07

If it's a flame cut blank the edges may be partially hardened, it's possible to grind off the skin.


Thread: Quick Change Toolpost and Holder systems
20/11/2015 06:54:30

Thanks, sorted now - I thought I had already sorted it but must have got them muddled.


19/11/2015 20:55:25

Just in case anyone wants to build the 'Improved Nakamura' QCTP toolpost design and can't access the back issues of MEW, there's a description of how to make it and a set of toolholders and a download of the plans HERE


Thread: What is normal quill play?
06/09/2014 15:25:04

Quill play is seen as rather unusual by most people, but it is perfectly acceptable behaviour for two consenting adults - just don't bring it up at a dinner party unless you know your hosts very well indeed.

Aunty Stub.

Thread: Wheel Bolts - best steel to use
04/08/2014 14:39:47

I need to replace a left-hand thread wheel bolt and nut for an LDV van.

They are no longer manufactured and the odd ones available are for double rear wheels and no nuts...

I'm quite capable of making a suitable stud and nut, but what would be the best choice of steel?

My guess is EN24T would e better than EN19T?


Thread: Helping young people
12/05/2014 18:07:05

A rare post from Stub Mandrel...

Having run an organisation that dealt with all these issues, and part of a bigger federation that probably did as many activities with school age young people as any other in the UK, I can say this thread is a mine of both truth and total mis-information.

I had staff who were continually frustrated by schools who used CRB checks of people who had no contact with pupils (let alone the recurring contact which is supposed to be needed) as a proxy for effective and sensible child safety policies. This was brought home to me when I went to visit a school. I turned up at the door, pressed the buzzer, and a disembodied voice asked what I want. I said 'I have an appointment with <the head teacher>'. The door buzzed and unlocked and I was given directions, without even being asked for my name.

I could have been a parent with a restriction on access to their child, I could have been anyone capable of reading the Head's name on the notice outside. I bet they had all the requisite checks and policies in place when inspected by OFSTED.

That said, with staff who have the right attitude and understanding of child safety issues, the sky is the limit and you can do adventurous and rewarding activities with young people safely.

Neil (in civvies).

Thread: Announcement re: Model Engineers' Workshop
10/02/2014 18:56:15

Hello to all members of the Forum,

I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to edit a publication with the status of Model Engineers’ Workshop. I’d like to start by thanking David Clark for all he has done for MEW, and for helping me to get off to a good start.

As Diane has said, many of you will already be familiar with my postings as Stub Mandrel on this forum. I suppose I’ll have to be a little less irreverent now.

MEW has a few decades or more to go to equal the track record of its illustrious companion, Model Engineer. Nonetheless, the first issue was in 1990 so next year will mark a quarter century of MEW. My predecessors, Stan Bray, Harold Hall, Geoff Sheppard, David Fenner and David Clark have all proven to be talented writers and engineers. I hope I can live up to the standards they have set. While I am not an engineer by training (I’m an ecologist and environmentalist), I am an enthusiastic model engineer, and I have, on and off, been involved with editing a variety of publications over the last thirty years.

Like the previous editors, I hope I will be able to stamp my own character on MEW without fundamentally changing what the magazine is about. There’s no doubt it has evolved considerably since the first issue - Stan Bray’s original vision was an occasional special, rather than a regular monthly magazine.

Those first issues were more or less quarterly, so serials were problematic, and many of the articles in issue one were very straightforward examples workshop tooling. One stand out article in issue one comprises two pages on ‘engineering of the future’ – it’s in the archive at

My aim will be to give all readers, both regular subscribers and those who just pick up the occasional copy, an engaging, informative and entertaining read. I look forward to hearing from readers and subscribers in my new role. I’ll probably start a few discussions going on this forum, but if anyone wants to contact me on a specific (including suggestions and offers of future articles) I’m happy to be contacted by email at

I started with a thank you, I’ll finish some. Thanks to Diane and everyone at MyTimeMedia who has helped me climb the start of a really steep learning curve. Thanks to Mike Chrisp for publishing my first articles in ME – which gave me a great boost, and encouraged me to try more challenging projects and write about them. I hope I can encourage some beginners in the same way. Finally, thank you to all of MEW’s readers and contributors over the years. It’s your interest and contributions that really make the magazine and I look forward to getting to know many of you over my tenure as editor.


P.S. I hadn't the faintest idea this might happen when I posted the link Michael refers to. It looks like I've given you all plenty of rope to hang me by if I get it wrong!

Thread: Cutting parallel tooth gears
10/02/2014 11:57:12

I found that home made cutters struggle with the higher alloy steels like EN24T as well. There's a minimum speed you need to keep the cutter from stalling and that can be high enough to take the corners of the tool, and once they have gone you get rapid overheating and then more and more wear.

I imagine that multi-point cutters would be much better in such steels. Perhaps one day I will make a 'eureka'!


Thread: Thickness of Bahco Sandflex 12" hacksaw blade.
10/02/2014 11:47:16

The set, which determines the width of the cut or kerf, will depend on the number of teeth per inch of the blade. A coarser blade will have a greater set and produce a wider kerf.

As you've probably noticed the set on a hacksaw blade is produced by giving it a wavy edge, rather than by bending the teeth to the left and right as on a wood saw.

Axminster do them in 18, 24 and 32 tpi at £1.44 each, including VAT.

Personally i swear by Starrett blades, when I can get them.


Thread: what's the best mini mill
10/02/2014 10:12:02

> What's the best mini-mill?

The self-cleaning one.


Thread: Myford S7 jamming when using live centre
10/02/2014 10:10:28

> As far as I'm aware, a live centre is one that doesn't use the workpiece as the bearing for its rotation.

My understanding is that the definition goes back to the days before chucks.

A 'dead centre lathe' is one that has two non-rotating centres, on at each end, like a watchmaker's turns or a bodger's pole lathe. Don't dismiss these as primitive as inherently they produce truly circular work.

The 'live centre lathe' is therefore one with a spindle in the headstock and therefore the point fitted in the spindle is the 'live centre'.

Live and dead in this context mean rotating or fixed, just as fast and loose do with pulleys.

Personally, I like the way specialist uses keep old meanings of words alive.


Thread: what's the best mini mill
09/02/2014 18:24:41

> Something Like this then Neil?

Probably a bit ore modest than that

Before the new column appeared, I was thinking of making a grinding head with an MT3 taper on it that dangled below the spindle (locked) on the X2.

You will have a pm soon.


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