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Member postings for Douglas Johnston

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

Thread: Postal Imports ... Notice 143
01/01/2021 17:02:33

I think we will only know how this will work after a few brave souls try buying things from outside the UK and report back. Ebay seems to be saying they will be responsible for collecting VAT, but import duties are another matter.

I will hold back until I see how things are working.


Thread: A white xmas
29/12/2020 13:54:24

After years of defrosting the freezer I finally bought one that defrosted itself. I have no idea how it works but it is a modern marvel.


Thread: Message from ARC to our customers in the E.U.
10/12/2020 18:06:26
Posted by Dave Halford on 10/12/2020 16:20:12:
Posted by Douglas Johnston on 10/12/2020 14:03:33:

Taxman has just given me a refund smiley.

Merry Christmas,


I had one of those tax man messages on my phone - funny thing is the tax man hasn't got my number and when i did get a real refund it was a cheque in the post.

Yes I got a real cheque in the post.


10/12/2020 14:03:33

Brexit crying Pandemic crying Getting old crying Taxman has just given me a refund smiley.

Merry Christmas,


Thread: using spotting drills for countersinking
22/11/2020 11:50:24

Having spent many a long year getting frustrated by countersink tools that never seem to work well for me, I recently discovered something that I should have realized a long time ago. It started when I needed to make a number of countersunk holes that went deep enough to sink the screw heads about 1mm below the surface.

I had recently bought a set of 90 degree spotting drills from the place I cannot mention lest I be struck down, and realized that they make ideal countersinks. I was using M6 screws which had a maximum head diameter of just under 12mm, so by using a 12mm spotting drill I produced very nice countersunk holes to the correct depth. The cutting was very smooth indeed and much nicer than a conventional countersink bit.

I am probably the last person to realize this use for a spotting drill, but in case not, I thought I would give it a mention.


Thread: Ball ended handle - how to
22/11/2020 11:27:21

When I built my Quorn grinder many years ago I spent ages making the ball handles. It was a great exercise and the end result was a joy to look at. Over the next few years, however, I replaced most of them with commercial adjustable handles which were much easier to use. I think it is a case of style over substance when it comes to ball handles.


Thread: grease for instrument control knobs
03/11/2020 15:57:07

I acquired a tube of kilopoise grease years ago and have used it now and again to produce that silky movement you talk about.


Thread: Gib Screw Locking Methods
01/11/2020 11:53:39

+1 for dowels to locate gibs, it made a huge difference on my Speed 10 lathe. Hex grub screws to replace the standard screws and use some method of eliminating the backlash on the threads of the screws so you get very precise movement of the screws. I used a small dab of hotmelt glue on the threads of the screws to eliminate the backlash but there are other techniques for this. Provided the anti-backlash technique makes the screw movement a little stiff you don't even need locknuts.


Thread: For the latest in PC fashion! (Anyone here with a Master's Degree?)
28/10/2020 10:27:09

Just because we have used certain terms all our lives and don't think about them as being linked to things like slavery, perhaps we should move away from some of the old terms which clearly cause offence to others.


Thread: Gone to the great workshop in the sky
27/10/2020 19:45:23

Another idea is to use a local general auction house. My local one has an auction every fortnight and there is always a good selection of tools for sale. I am often very surprised by the high prices people are willing to pay for such stuff. The advantage is that you don't need to know what things are since the public can make their mind up on viewing days before the auction. The downside can be the charges made by the auction house, but on the other hand heavy items don't need to be delivered to a buyer.


Thread: Adjustable angle plate
27/10/2020 11:00:08
Posted by John Hinkley on 27/10/2020 09:15:04:

You may be averse to purchasing imported goods, for whatever reason, but they can be made to function accurately, if that is your concern, as shown by Stefan Gotteswinter in his short video series on YouTube, starting here.

Just what sort of accuracy are you looking for? And to what use will it be put?


Last year I did exactly what John suggested and reworked one of the Chinese imports after seeing the youtube by Stefan Gotteswinter. In its original condition the device was pretty rough although the castings were quite substantial. It took a lot of work to turn it into the proverbial silk purse but made an interesting project. The end result was well worth the effort for me as I was doing it for my own amusement, but could never be considered a practical solution for most people due to the time it took to complete.


Thread: Putting the clocks back
26/10/2020 11:27:48

I have a couple of these radio controlled clocks which worked fine for a few years then one of them started to slowly gain about two seconds a month and refused to change time when the clocks changed. I tried moving the clock into various locations and changed the batteries but nothing would make it work properly. On the point of throwing it out I tried one last location on the roof of my outside workshop. Next morning the clock had adjusted itself correctly, but I have to do this every 6 months to keep the right time.


Thread: Kerr's Minature railway closing
04/10/2020 11:32:43

So sad to read this since I live only a dozen miles from the railway and had many wonderful rides on it as a child. I hope someone buys the track and trains to set up elsewhere so future generations can benefit from it. As if we needed more bad news crying


Thread: Threading trouble
03/10/2020 12:06:53

A hand crank is a real asset when threading. I nearly always do it that way, it is much more relaxing than doing it under power. A bit of a pain for long threads, but they can often be done under power. Carbide thread cutting inserts don't seem to mind the slow cutting speed.


Thread: What cleaning solution?
03/10/2020 10:54:39

Lidl in the UK sell 1 litre tins of universal solvent at a cheap price. I think it is mainly acetone and probably makes a good solvent for hammerite paint since branded hammerite thinners cost an arm and a leg.


Thread: Where's this rust come from ?
01/10/2020 11:10:22

I store any items like V blocks in individual small plastic containers. It is not a perfect solution but does keep them safe from mechanical damage and rust. The little plastic pots sold in supermarkets for storing food are perfect and not expensive.


Thread: interest renewed
19/09/2020 15:24:04
Posted by Peter Etherington 2 on 19/09/2020 09:49:10:

dscf1856.jpgMany thanks for all the advice, I shall have to give this some serious thought. The work I will be doing on my lathe is only light (making 16mm scale steam locos) so a vertical slide might just get the work done without having to go cap in hand to she who must be obeyed for the best part of a grand for a mill. The thought never crossed my mind about chucking. Once again thanks for your time and valuable information. Peter. PS I dont think I have room for a mill in the shed.

Edited By Peter Etherington 2 on 19/09/2020 09:53:27

Very impressive use of space, puts my shed to shame. Is that a canoe in the rafters?


Thread: scraping technique
18/09/2020 09:47:11

Looks like I have been doing things the right way then. I just wondered if there was any special reason why bluing the part rather than the surface plate is advocated at all by some people.


17/09/2020 10:34:51

There is some confusion in my mind about the best technique for scraping a flat surface. I have in the past put the blue dye on a surface plate and then carefully moved the object to be tested over the surface plate. On lifting the item off the plate I scrape the spots which have picked up the blue dye.

Other people seem to put the blue dye on the surface to be checked, leaving the surface plate clean, then move the item over the clean surface plate. On lifting the item the scraping takes place on the areas where the dye has been removed.

I suppose both techniques amount to the same thing but is there any reason to use one technique over the other?


Thread: Myford speed10 / ml10 apron disassembly
16/09/2020 14:32:57

As Clive has said there is not a lot involved in dismantling the carriage. The allen screws are imperial so use the correct key. I dismantle mine every year or two and clean out any swarf that has managed to get trapped under the carriage. I then run a very fine slip stone over the top of the flat bed to remove any minor dings before reassembly. Slideway oil seems to work fine on the bed and leadscrew. I found swarf on the leadscrew was a problem before I fitted a cover to protect it.


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