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

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: Breaking bandsaw blades
03/12/2019 20:21:33

Thanks for your explanation about the wire Brian, that all makes perfect sense so I must find a length of wire and have a go with my machine.

I was watching a youtube video about silver soldering a broken blade recently and the chap did not scarf the joint but simply cut the ends carefully then fluxed and soldered them. The result seemed to be fine but I did wonder how strong silver solder is over such a small area. I may give it a go to see if it's just as good as a scarfed joint. It would be easier to prepare the ends and might help prevent thickening of the joint after soldering.


03/12/2019 14:21:05
Posted by Brian Wood on 02/12/2019 20:47:42:

The method is easy with a stretched wire round the blade wheels and through the guides, it will show those faults as in no other way. When I had put my guides right, blade breakage stopped as if a tap had been turned off.

Regards Brian

Brian, that sounds interesting, why is a wire better than a blade? Can you give more detail about how you set this up and what to look for by way of sorting out problems.


02/12/2019 17:59:30

Don't throw the blade away, you can silver solder it back together again. Plenty advice on youtube. I have also noticed the jumping as a blade is about to break and wonder if badly adjusted guides may cause this.


Thread: Recommend a Small Parts Lathe for 2k.
01/12/2019 15:12:32

The Myford ML10 or preferably Speed 10 is by no means perfect, but I have been using one for the past 30 years or so and rate it highly for what it is. It is compact, has a quality feel to all the controls and would be worth considering for the type of work required by the initial poster. I have nothing against the small Chinese lathes, and I have looked at a few in my time, but they don't have the same quality built into them.


Thread: ARC Catalogue No.11
28/11/2019 09:30:26

+1 for paper copy, it's just nice compared to a computer screen.


Thread: DRO on a Mill
26/11/2019 18:37:36

I find I use the Z axis 1 micron magnetic scale a lot on my mill, it is so handy in many ways. If you can fit one it is well worth it. A scale on the quill is also very handy but is no replacement for a Z axis scale.


Thread: Interface PCB for the ELS project
24/11/2019 11:51:05

While I chickened out from going ahead with the electronic leadscrew project, I have been using a stepper motor drive on the leadscrew for providing the feed on my lathe for a number of years. This is an excellent half way house for those like me who may have baulked at the complexity of going the whole hog.

With a relatively simple set up you can have variable feed rate without any change gears and I have also included a feature that has proved to be invaluable. This feature is an automatic stop which stops the leadscrew instantly when a microswitch is activated by a variable position control rod fixed to the carriage. This makes things like boring a blind hole a doddle. The microswitch is simply connected to the inhibit input on the stepper driver.

Clearly this is not as good as the ability to screwcut but has proved to be extremely useful in practice.


ps. Glad to hear the pcb arrived safely Anthony.

Thread: Royal Mail tracking
21/11/2019 09:22:15

I hate the modern practice of signing things with your finger. Perhaps it's just me but whenever I do this the signature just ends up as a scribble which could be forged by a blind cat.


Thread: Interface PCB for the ELS project
20/11/2019 18:08:26

Anthony is the lucky first responder so the board has a new owner. Good luck to all the brave people who are taking this project on, please let us know how you are getting on.


20/11/2019 15:57:21

Having taken a board from Phil and studied all the you-tube videos, I have decided it is going to be too much for me so won't be going any further with this project. As a result if anybody still needs a board, I have one looking for a good home. The board is free to anybody who wants it, just send me a pm with your address. The first person to respond gets it.


Thread: Grinding and cutoff discs for angle grinders
15/11/2019 20:13:42

This seems to be a well kept secret. I have never seen a reference to this and was totally unaware of the issue until now. I will certainly check out my stock and bin any that are too old. For such a potentially dangerous item there should be a bold warning on the discs themselves along with a reminder on the packaging.


Thread: Suitable metal / enclosure for project
11/11/2019 10:21:14

Just been watching this video and thought it contained a number of good ideas for fine grinding of carbide with a diamond lap.


Thread: new computer
08/11/2019 17:45:02
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 08/11/2019 11:36:30:
Posted by Douglas Johnston on 08/11/2019 09:52:14:

Spot on Robert, I am not a big computer user but wanted a reliable machine that was not too slow.


so for me I think I made the right choice. Time will tell.


True, but the machine is only 'reliable' because it has given 9 years trouble free service. But don't forget it just failed!

Happened to be the hard-drive, but the fact of life is several other components are ageing too. Heat over time isn't good for electronics, and excess heat is likely if the cooling system is blocked with fluff or the cooling fan is past its best. Lots of things cause old computers to give way, sooner or later it will become 'Beyond Economic Repair'.

Professionally, laptops are usually lifed at 3 years, mainly because they get dropped, soaked or lost. Desktops are typically budgeted for replacement every 5 years, and Servers 7 years. Servers last longer than desktops because they run continually in a temperature controlled room - kept cool with hardly any power cycling.

Of course computers can and do last much longer, but statistically 9 year old computers are much less reliable than new ones. Computer reliability follows the bathtub curve. Due to a sprinkling of manufacturing faults brand new machines - less than 1% - are much more likely to fail than any that have run OK for a couple of months. Once they get to a certain age - perhaps 6 years - reliability gradually goes to pot, much as I'm doing. It's so sad - I used to have hair and run about!


I am a glass half full kind of chap and will take my chances with the reliability of the computer. I can understand that a 5 year cycle may well make sense in a commercial setting but in my position I am quite happy to take the risk of another breakdown. If such a breakdown occurs in the next year I will just take it on the chin and buy another computer, only having lost the repair cost which was less than one third of the price of a new machine. Anyway I would still have the 500Gb SSD which could have further uses. If on the other hand it lasts another 5 years, which is perfectly possible, I will be quids in (provided I too last another 5 years- but remember I am an optimist! )


08/11/2019 09:52:14

Spot on Robert, I am not a big computer user but wanted a reliable machine that was not too slow. With the work that was done on my machine I think I have achieved that objective. The computer runs like new and is a "green" alternative to buying a new machine. I don't think that buying a new computer would have got me a really noticeable improvement in performance for what I do, so for me I think I made the right choice. Time will tell.


07/11/2019 09:40:37

That's interesting about the defrag not being required, I must check to see if that needs disabling. With regard to changing the drive oneself, I could have saved a few quid but there could have been complications with a drive on its last legs and it is many years since I have delved inside a computer. In the past when money was a lot tighter I would probably have done it myself, but there is a lot to be said for the convenience of having it done by an expert.

When I had a look online about SSD's I did discover that they have a theoretical limited life but that does not seem to be a major issue for most users.


06/11/2019 20:42:47

Fortunately I was on the latest version of windows 10 before the hard drive showed signs of failing so my machine was returned exactly as it left me in terms of the operating system so no problems there. I have spent hours in the past sorting out computer problems myself ,so was delighted to have it all done for me this time. I might have tried replacing the hard drive myself but I had no experience of transferring the operating system ,so was best left to an expert.For the very reasonable cost it was well worth it.


06/11/2019 18:59:17

Yippee Yippee.. got my computer back this afternoon from my wee local repair shop and have just connected it back up. The guy fitted a 500Gb SSD, swapped the operating system and all my files, sorted a few other minor problems and all done in one day and the cost was very reasonable.

The result is very impressive with everything flying along at a good speed. You are absolutely right Emgee, it is good to support local small shops, the level of service is often far better than the big boys offer.


05/11/2019 19:05:59

Went into a small local PC repair shop this morning and the very helpful chap ran me through what he could do for me. I ended up leaving my machine with him to replace the hard drive with an SSD drive and swap the operating system and all other stuff onto the new drive. Provided I get a few more years out of it I will be happy.


04/11/2019 20:01:59

The hard drive is still working so it will be interesting to see how long it lasts. I am now considering replacing the drive rather than buying a new computer but wonder if my machine is too old (about 9 years ) to be able to fit a SSD rather than a HDD. The old motherboard might not be up to the task of running a SSD in which case I may revert to plan A and replace the computer.


03/11/2019 19:04:16

My windows 10 was obtained via the free conversion from an older version when Windows 10 was introduced, so where does the activation code come from? I assume there is software out there for cloning the operating system, I must have a look.


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 Engineering
Allendale Electronics
Eccentric July 5 2018
Tee London LMES 6th Dec
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