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Member postings for Stueeee

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

Thread: Smart and brown model 'L' lathe- opinions, please?
01/11/2021 21:33:14

It might be worth mentioning that the late model 'L' lathes use the readily available 5C collets rather than the hard to come by 2804 collets that the models M & A use. I have a 1977 model 'L'; a really good machine for small diameter work having a top spindle speed of somewhere around 3000 RPM. When I need screwcutting etc. I use one of my other lathes.

Thread: Valve seat cutters?
14/10/2021 19:39:17
Posted by John MC on 14/10/2021 15:00:41:

I too was a great fan of Neway valve seat cutters until I acquired a Wolf valve seat grinding set. Overall much lower in cost than the Neway kit and easier to use especially if there is a lot of material to shift. These wolf sets come up for sale on Ebay regularly and new stone are available. Dressing the stone for truth and shape is easy. The photo shows a spindle that fits in to the valve guide, stone turns on that. The thing that looks like an electric drill (it's not) spins the stone at ~10000rpm.


John MC almost certainly knows this already, but for the information of other interested parties, the Wolf and Black & Decker grindstones are interchangeable, both have the same 9/16" OD thread. The valve guide mandrels are also interchangeable @ 3/8" diameter. But the 'ball hexagon' driver and hexagon socket on the Wolf grinder kit are smaller than the B & D one, so don't happily interchange. I had both sets at one time, but sold the Wolf kit on to avoid (my) confusion.

14/10/2021 14:11:23

What material are/will the valve seats be made of? The Sykes Pickavant set I still have somewhere is OK on cast iron, but won't touch the seat inserts that modern production motors use. The carbide seat cutters are supposed to be good for the hard seats, but even the Indian made ones aren't cheap.

You could use a single point pilot cutter tool providing that you can secure the block/head casting to the table with the valve guide true to the cutter pilot. I made this one with a carbide toolbit to reshape the cast in 'valve guides' on a vintage motor. It wouldn't be difficult to produce a single point cutter with the correct 30 or 45 degree angle to do the valve seat in the same way.

I do quite a bit of work on old cars, so bought a Black & Decker 'Vibro Centric' seat grinding kit along with the valve grinder. Once the stones are dressed with a Diamond, they produce excellent results. I've seen the Vibro Centric kits sell for not much money at boot fairs, they seem to be a bit spendy when they turn up on ebay though.

Thread: Crankshaft Factory
03/10/2021 13:23:19
Posted by Peter Cook 6 on 03/10/2021 11:37:03:
Posted by ega on 03/10/2021 10:59:54:

What was the process involving rotating a batch inside an enclosure? I thought it looked like some form of heat treatment.

I assumed it was shot blasting given the surface finish that came out.


Shot peening, the bag the bloke emptied was full of round shot. Shot peening increases the fatigue life of the unmachined surfaces.

For old car projects, I've had several "one off" cranks made here in the UK, other than starting out as a piece of round billet EN40B, none of the machining processes are any different to those in the YouTube video. These cranks are always Nitrided before final finish grinding.


Edited By Stueeee on 03/10/2021 13:24:55

Thread: What Material for this Application Please?
01/10/2021 08:46:17

If that windbreak is not in a very sheltered position I think I would use 40mm box section for the frame rather than 25mm. There's quite a square footage of screen/sail there which could buckle the frame in a storm.

re. the finish, If you used aluminium sheet, you could get it treated with a translucent copper powder coat like this: weblink which should give an approximation of clean copper without the eye watering cost.

Thread: Back to Imperial
23/09/2021 19:30:39
Posted by Colin Whittaker on 18/09/2021 04:54:04:

16 fl oz to a US pint and 20 fl oz to an imperial pint.

2 US pints to a US quart, 2 Imperial pints to an Imperial quart.

4 US quarts to a US gallon, 4 Imperial quarts to an Imperial gallon.

Having spent a bit of time in the US both working and holidaying, I found that many of the bars that sell British beer -yes there are some - often offered the option of a "20 oz glass instead of a 16 oz" -so a proper imperial pint- when I ordered. Unfortunate that the bitter was invariably over chilled, and the bartender occasionally would want to get a frosted glass out of the freezer to put it in, and would be nonplussed when I said that I wanted to taste the beer, so no frozen glass please.

I have an old Chevrolet pickup truck, of course, the "16 gallon tank" seems to be 3 or so gallons short 'over here'

On the subject of metric Vs. imperial, I did all my GCE O levels in imperial units including applied maths , and when I pitched up at college for day release as an apprentice, suddenly everything was metric. Took me a while to acclimatise to the lack of Poundals and Horsepower.

Thread: New Member, New Lathe. Smart & Brown Model A (Mk 1/1.5?)
06/09/2021 14:00:22
Posted by Jinks on 06/09/2021 11:57:21:
Posted by Stueeee on 06/09/2021 11:17:37:

So your inner and outer spindles are not being locked together by the dog clutch when the back gear is disengaged?....

As I'm sure you've seen already on your machine, the lever that engages the backgear also operates a fork that engages/disengages the dog clutch. ....

Exactly right on the first one

No, not at all, in fact that was the question I was going to ask, as I cant see any way a clutch could be engaged at the moment.


As below, the "In/out" lever looks to turn the shaft in red below which in turn rotates the eccentric (blue) onto which the backgear gears are mounted - there doesn't appear to be any forks anywhere to operate the dog clutch and I haven't noticed them on the drawings - is there any chance you could indicate on one of these drawing roughly where I should be looking for it?

headstock backgear.jpg


From this photo I can see that you have the Mk1 backgear setup, I hadn't noticed that detail in your first batch of photos. So, Martin Connelly's photo looks to be what you should have.


This is the Mk 2 setup with the fork that engages/disengages the dog clutch as well as engaging/disengaging the back gear when the in/out lever is operated. Apologies for any confusion caused.

Edited By Stueeee on 06/09/2021 14:02:38

Edited By Stueeee on 06/09/2021 14:03:47

06/09/2021 11:17:37

So your inner and outer spindles are not being locked together by the dog clutch when the back gear is disengaged? If that's your problem, the dog clutch either isn't being engaged when the machine is in direct belt drive mode or the dog clutch is engaged but the retaining capscrews that live inside the headstock pulley are either missing or have sheared off.

My problem was that the capscrew remnant in the dog clutch was keeping the inner and outer spindle locked together when the backgear was engaged. This of course meant that the headstock would not rotate when the lathe was in backgear mode.

As I'm sure you've seen already on your machine, the lever that engages the backgear also operates a fork that engages/disengages the dog clutch. The dog clutch needs to be disengaged when the machine is 'back gear' mode and engaged when it is in 'direct drive' mode.

06/09/2021 09:59:18

Does look like a Mk 1.5 machine having the later back gear engagement but sat on the earlier style cabinet. If your problem is getting the back gear to disengage properly, you might have the same issue that I did 30 or so years ago with my Mk 2.

Operated via the backgear lever, there is a multi tooth dog clutch inside the headstock pulley; this is held in place by three or four 3/16" BSF capscrews. If one of these breaks; as it did on mine there isn't the room for the screw remnant to escape completely, but it will often/most of the time keep the backgear from fully disengaging when the screwhead gets stuck in one of the opposing dog clutch teeth. An exploded diagram is pretty much essential as an aid to stripping the spindle down in order to get access to replace the capscrews. Being as I hadn't seen a manual and it was pre 'internet ubiquity' when I did this repair, I puzzled for many hours stripping it down before I found a hidden tiny pin which retained one of the many spur gears on the rear of the spindle.

These are superb machines IMO. Of the lathes I used as an apprentice, an S & B model M was easily the best, The Model A has the same accuracy and rigidity, but has the added advantage of the Norton style gearbox too.

Thread: Mounting stuff to a Faceplate
31/08/2021 14:28:06
Posted by Nick Welburn on 30/08/2021 20:47:15:

Is it the done thing to drill and tap the face plate or do big boys manage with the existing holes?

I have seen faceplates that look like a swiss cheese with holes all over which will put the plate out of balance at least, and weaken it significantly at worst. One solution I have often used to the awkward shapes/jobs with holes in inconvenient places problem is to bolt an old brake disc to your faceplate, once you've given that a light skim it will run true and you can drill holes anywhere, even weld brackets to it if necessary- brake discs are made from Meehanite which welds OK with MIG, never tried any other process for this.

You can see a brake disc being used in this photo.

If you don't have any old brake discs, your local garage will probably fish you several out of the bin for a small donation to their tea club.

Thread: Dipping a toe in TIG - what do I need (apart from skill)?
10/08/2021 08:57:27
Posted by Dave S on 09/08/2021 19:34:02:

A foot pedal is on my list to organise, but it’s not super useful when lying on the floor…

I was going to look at a torch mounted slider but I’ve not got round to it yet


On a couple of occasions I have had the foot pedal between my knees when doing positional welding with my my TIG, would agree though that a torch mounted slider is a more comfortable option for positional work. But I would be surprised if any scratch start TIG had the facility for either option.

Thread: Machining D2 Steel?
29/07/2021 15:29:17

If you use a CBN (Cubic Boron Nitride) tool you will be able to machine D2 even when it's been heat treated. Here's a ball race I Machined a few weeks ago, according to the bearing manufacturer, the hardness is 60+ Rockwell C.

Pretty much a mirror finish, machining needs to be done "dry" as coolant will cause the insert to crack.

Thread: Silver Solder Stocks
29/07/2021 15:07:56
Posted by Rik Shaw on 29/07/2021 14:07:03:

After having read through this thread it seems that my job lot of Easi-Flo 2 might be difficult/illegal to sell if I decided to move it on. Or is the scaremongrel cocking his leg on some of these posts?


You'll have to make your own mind up on the last point; I know what I think.

Would the same police force who just issued a crime number when my workshop was burgled and a lot of expensive stuff stolen decide to launch a full investigation if you sold some of that Silver Solder. Would they or the DPP office pay for spectroscopic analysis to prove the presence of Cadmium?

On the subject of the legality and consequences of purchasing a boiler or such which has been silver soldered with Cadmium bearing silver solder. It was dinned into me during British Constitution and law lessons at school that "ignorance is no defence in the eyes of the law" so, if Dave (SoD) is right, maybe a lot of Model Engineers could be doing some porridge in future after unknowingly having bought a boiler or such. However, ISTR that official advice at the time of the ban was that it was OK to use up existing stocks of Silver solder, it would be perverse to then legislate that you couldn't do anything with the constructed items that resulted.

29/07/2021 11:28:30
Posted by Brian H on 28/07/2021 22:26:55:

I'm beginning to feel guilty for starting this, which seems to have wandered a LONG way off track.


Absolutely not your fault Brian. And I certainly wasn't expecting the level of controversy that my post regarding the recent availability of Cadmium bearing Silver solders has caused.

In my experience practical engineers come across all sorts of hazardous material from time to time and make an informed decision as to safety precautions required for their use and whether a substitute product would work as well or better.

24/07/2021 08:54:29
Posted by Nicholas Farr on 24/07/2021 07:50:44:

Hi, but there is still at least one in the UK on Ebay selling some and openly states that it contains Cadmium and described as good old fashioned Easy-Flo No.1. You would have thought that someone at Ebay would know this is illegal.

Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 24/07/2021 07:53:12

At the time of writing that's true. Apparently a crime being committed. From my experience, I can state that the product arrives with Johnson Matthey's paperwork pointing out precautions to be taken in use, the product's unsuitability for use in a food environment etc. So where is the victim here? Some people don't want to use Cadmium bearing Silver solder. Fine, don't buy it.

23/07/2021 14:36:14
Posted by JasonB on 23/07/2021 13:14:28:
Posted by Keith Hale on 23/07/2021 12:17:32:

Following a phone call to the supplier concerned in the Northants area, yes it's right.

42% silver cadmium bearing silver solder rod, as of 11.00am, was available......................

Keith did you question the supplier about the legality of what he is selling? Would be interested in what he said.

I'm presuming the answer to Jason's question is a 'yes' as the webpage with said product has been taken down.

On a broader point regarding Cadmium content, I use quite a lot of Aerospace fasteners in my hobby, these are often Cadmium plated. I also wonder at what compliance issues there may be with substituting modern silver solder on fittings etc. for aircraft where an Easy-Flow solder would have been originally specified. I wouldn't be surprised to find that it's similar to the AVGAS situation where Tetra ethyl lead is present in abundance in our 'lead-free' world.

23/07/2021 10:12:28

Keith, and other interested members, I didn't put the hyperlinks up simply because there seem to be convoluted rules about such things on this site. However, putting this search term on UK ebay should find it:

Mod Edit Search phrases removed as they will take you to illegal sales.

I found the the other supplier from this Google search:

For me, the supplier came up as the third or fourth result.

Cadmium bearing Silver Solder is still available in the USA, but I didn't find anywhere that had it in stock when I was last out there in 2019. Lucas Milhaupt are a major manufacturer in the US and their HQ was on my doorstep, but their 'customer service' people turned out to worse than useless with my product specific query.

Edited By JasonB on 23/07/2021 10:25:15

23/07/2021 08:20:20
Posted by Martin Kyte on 22/07/2021 22:36:13:

Why is it that when something hazardous is taken off the market and replaced with a safer product there is alwys a group who immidiately want to use the old stuff?

regards Martin


I can't answer that from a group perspective. From my personal perspective, I like to use Cadmium bearing Silver Solder because it has always produced better joints than the 'Cadmium Free' replacements. Practical engineers use hazardous materials and/or processes on a regular basis, the key to keeping safe whilst doing so is to understand the risk and mitigate it; Johnson Matthey's paperwork for these products has always recommended localised fume extraction, which is a good idea for most/all hot work.

WRT Pero's comment, I have never had a joint failure with a Cadmium Silver Soldered Stainless steel yet, but if very high joint strength was the key requirement I would be inclined to TIG weld it.

Edited By Stueeee on 23/07/2021 08:21:37

Edited By Stueeee on 23/07/2021 08:41:41

22/07/2021 19:28:28

Exhuming this ancient thread as it seemed worth noting that Cadmium bearing Silver Solder does seem to be appearing for sale in a few places in the UK now. I'm presuming it's now OK to sell it again as we aren't members of the the EU who banned the sale of Cadmium bearing Silver Solder noted in previous posts. Recently I was down to my last couple of inches of "old stock" Easy-Flo rod, IMO, the difference in the results with this product and the 55% "Cadmium Free" replacement is night and day, especially on difficult joints/materials.

At ebay I've just bought a 250 gram reel of 5 x 1 mm Cadmium bearing Easy-Flo. Was a bit of a challenge to cut a 600mm or so long 1mm wide strip off it, but well worth the effort when I came to use it on a Stainless Steel joint the other night. The stuff I bought proclaims to be old stock but looks to be in as new condition. A quick google brings up cadmium bearing Easy-Flo 2 as being available from a UK based Model Engineering supplier, albeit at what looks like a rather stiff price.

Hopefully this product range will be come more generally available in time.

Thread: Machining Cylinder Head Chamber Roof - DIY or Shop Tool
02/07/2021 14:32:43
Posted by William Harvey 1 on 02/07/2021 10:27:05:
Posted by Stueeee on 01/07/2021 21:35:14:

I am a little confused with the shape of the actual cutting bit and what I should use to make it.

In your reply you said:

"Re. grinding the toolbit, to produce a flat cut, the cutting edge needs to be at 90 degrees to the pilot. Orientate the tool bit in the hole so that it has zero or negative rake, otherwise the toolbit will 'dig in' while you're cutting."

So the cutting face would be along the bottom edge of the cutting bit in the image above.

Here is another scan from the same source showing the cutting bit (albeit not for the use I need, but I can use it to describe what I think you mean)

In the image above I assume we are looking towards the tool and the tool bit is facing us.

If I understand correctly the rake shown above is positive and will dig in, however you are suggesting the opposite? I can't get my head around how a tool with a negative rake will cut, but I found this explanation and negative rake seems to be better for harder materials such as steel (and I guess cast iron?).

Without having any clear guidance on tool dimensions (as the detail is unclear in the scan) I will for the time being start with the following:

Shank Length - 70mm (long enough to fit tightly in the chuck)

Tool Head (The part the cutting bit is mounted in) - Dia less than valve throat, length 35mm (about 4 times bigger that the diameter of the cutting tool?)

Pilot Size: Dia 9/32", Length 80mm (about the thickness of the cylinder head)

For the diameter of the tool head, inlet valves are considerably larger than exhaust, could I make the tool suitable for exhaust throats but also use it on an inlet by moving the tool bit out to suit?

Edited By William Harvey 1 on 02/07/2021 10:29:11

Edited By William Harvey 1 on 02/07/2021 10:32:05

Hi William, yes, the cutting edge would be along the bottom of the tool in the example I gave. If you haven't come across negative rake as a machining concept, just think of how someone scrapes the butter off a block of the stuff, the knife rake is negative but you get a nice curl of butter on the knife without it digging in. As Nicholas Wheeler says, the radius tool in Vizard's book is intended to radius the top and bottom edges of a 45 degree valve seat and pre-dates the modern implementation of three angle valve seats.

I can't say for the factory fitted hard valve seats in the late A series motors, but the ones I have dealt with in other motors can certainly be cut with a sharp HSS tool.

Re. the steel you have, if it has a bright finish, it is almost certainly an engineering steel; having come from a fabricators, anything with scale on it might be 'black mild' and not really very suitable for machining. There are lots of sellers on ebay who should be able to sell you a known quantity.

If you haven't done head work before on an A series motor, this Vizard book would probably be worth a read, there's some good stuff on porting, although I don't remember Vizard having cottoned on to the importance of the 'short side radius' as against the rest of the inlet valve throat as regards gas flow. **LINK**

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