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Member postings for Alan Jackson

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

Thread: TTFN
18/07/2019 19:26:10

Hi Andrew,

I will also miss your very interesting posts. Such a shame that narrow minds seem to be so vocal. Enjoy your good efforts, but I will be saddened by not seeing them here.



Thread: More mystery tools
13/07/2019 10:29:44


Thread: Unsolicited email from SOLIDWORKS
07/07/2019 10:51:48


If you search for this on ebay there are many video teachings. This worked for me


Thread: Myford Super 7 Top Slide Base - Alternatives?
26/06/2019 17:37:11

How about converting it to a Lever locking topslide?



Thread: Colchester Lathe Factory
31/05/2019 11:07:01

I visited the factory as an apprentice in about 1957, so this video reminds me of that visit. I think the whole factory was very proud of the machines they produced. Here is a photo of my Chipmaster, still going well.

I have rebuilt this old lathe and I think it now runs nearly as good as it ever did. Replaced the speed variator with an inverter, modified the cross slide and added a new lever locking top slide, plus the capstan feed tailstockall cleaned up.jpg


30/05/2019 11:54:37

I have just seen this on youtube


Thread: Chernobyl TV Series
29/05/2019 17:52:49

I think that Russia pressganged people from the Baltic states to do some of the work


Thread: What a brilliant young man
19/04/2019 11:36:34

Just look at this



Thread: Lathe controls position
18/04/2019 12:25:44


"Good idea with all those uncovered belts and pulleys down the other endwink 2"

Only one belt, and it could have a belt guard but that would deny the easy use of the large pulley being used for many applications like holding the spindle for collet locking/unlocking, Threading etc. I much prefer the open arrangement, but it is up to the operator/constructor to do what they want. What about that rotating chuck as well?


17/04/2019 18:23:24

I purposely located the controls for the Stepperhead at the tailstock end for safety


Thread: Folding Bike design & build
11/04/2019 16:53:09

Hi Bill Phinn

"Would it be possible to fit clipless MTB-style pedals and still be able to fold them in?"

You could fit normal fixed or folded pedals, but they still stick out too much even when folded.

What you see on my bike are purpose made cranks where the pedals fold 180 degrees inwards.


Edited By Alan Jackson on 11/04/2019 17:06:54

11/04/2019 16:46:01


I started out with a patent agent but had to dump him because he complicated things too much and would not change some claims because he said the controller would not like it. I contacted the controller and he said it was not a problem. So that saved me money and I eventually got the best out of a bad job.


11/04/2019 12:45:33

Hi ega


11/04/2019 10:52:48

Hi ega, Rod, John, not done yet, perko7, and all

I had to go through the patent process just to be able to show it to others. It is a necessary requirement, otherwise nobody is interested and/or will copy if they want: that really only suits big industry, so unlike the copyright process which costs nothing can be drawn on a fag packet and now lasts 70 years the world over. The whole bike has been reduced where possible. The wheelbase is minimalised. The rider is positioned midway between the wheels and there is little tendency to tip backwards over the rear wheel without intentionally trying to. The pedal crank length has been reduced allowing the whole bike to be lower while still keeping the necessary clearance for the pedals etc. This means an average person can put both feet on the ground when stationary. I have included in the design provision for a gas strut to be incorporated into the seatpost support. The frame locking arrangement enables the seatpost to pivot a without affecting the locking mechanism. The wheels are disc because that is what I could make to keep them slim. Spokes or ribbed discs can be used and also be stiffer and lighter. As to mudguards luggage racks lights etc. they can all be added, but It depends on what you want. I was trying to design a minimum mode for a distance of about 2 or three miles or so. As to ride quality which is subjective I have ridden a Brompton which was ok but not wonderful. A humming bird was a hard unforgiving ride and a clumsy fold.


10/04/2019 11:36:04

Thank you for your kind comments and as to the Dahon reference, I too have shown this to some manufacturers who have shown a similar response. They liked it, but also said it would cost a lot to develop etc. They were generally too risk averse and conventional. Most folding bikes are just a reassembly of many standard parts on a hinged frame. On this bike I disregarded convention (Threw caution to the wind, as they say) but convention and caution rule. The gear ratio is about 50 gear inches, which suits a midrange ratio for general purposes. The hard part of any design is to set the design requirements. The phrase you can only have any two of the following, springs to mind: Time, Quality, Cost.

On this bike I wanted about a three to one gear ration for the small wheels. Using a conventional chain of 0.500” pitch will give a large minimum 48 tooth chainwheel. I chose an 8mm pitch chain which reduces the chainwheel size massively. I calculated that with a slightly reduced pedal crank length (Which even expert cyclists failed to notice) driving a smaller wheel diameter it would take a 400lb person, standing on one pedal, (mustn’t just say man) to break the chain. And if that was not enough safety factor, then a duplex 8mm chain could be used with minimal width increase, which, would have the same strength as a 0.500” chain. However, this seemed too big a risk for very conventional, cautious minds. The Chain runs in angle section frame members, thus using the frame as a chain guard. As to handlebar adjustment the bike is designed around an average sized adult.

The handlebars are fixed in position, but the saddle can be easily adjusted. There has to be compromises or it will only fold up badly. Look at a Brompton, the horizontal distance between the saddle and handlebars is controlled by having to accommodate the rear wheel in the folded position. My biased view is that the handlebars seem to be too far forward. Hub gears could be used but this will add up more weight. Dureillier style gears are light but mean an exposed chain which is not good when folded in crowded places. My problem is that I am now too old, but when I was younger, I was much more interested in other wasteful pursuits.

Edited By Alan Jackson on 10/04/2019 11:59:03

09/04/2019 17:21:43

I know this is not Model Engineering but it certainly kept me occupied in my workshop so I hope it is not too off topic a subject here. For years I have been trying to design and build a folding bike that can be folded easily into a slim and manageable folded package and have now patented the idea. The idea was to try to get to a small slim suitcase arrangement that can be carried close to the body or wheeled on the front wheel when folded, using the seatpost extended, in a similar way as a suitcase is wheeled at airports etc. Most folding bikes fold in the centre of the frame on a vertical hinge that brings the wheels side by side. Then the handlebars are folded alongside the folded assembly. This results in a smaller side view envelope but a much wider end view envelope due to the wheel widths, pedals and handlebars. Making generally a wide package of about 350 to 400mm.This is difficult to carry because it must be held away from the body, giving the upper arm muscle a severe work out. In the folded position they are usually wheeled on additional small castor wheels, which are only suitable for smooth surfaces. So over any uneven terrain they must be carried. The width also limits loading more than one bike in many vehicles.

This bike uses the frame components to actuate the folding mechanics, avoiding, tough to operate, overcentre clamps etc. There are only two hand operated clamps, one at the rear stay and one for front wheel. The seatpost actuates a strong locking method and the seat tube is unlocked when the rear stay is folded. The handlebars are automatically unlocked when they are set in the folded position. When folded, the seat post can be withdrawn freely up to a limiting stop, and used as an extended handle, as with a suitcase. The brake cables are hidden inside the handlebars to give a clean uncluttered look. The folded handlebars lock under the rear wheel rim enabling the package to be carried, using the steering tube as a lifting handle. The pedals can be folded inside the package, the lower pedal acts as a stand for the folded bike. The low frame enables easy mounting avoiding the rider having to cock their leg over the saddle. The folded dimensions are 720mm long, 520mm high, and 160mm wide, with 16inch wheels. The bike weighs 10kg (22lbs) but this could be reduced with better materials. The frame components are only mild steel rectangular box section, so there is much scope here.

There are some more pics in my album




top view folded.jpg

Edited By Alan Jackson on 09/04/2019 17:22:29

Thread: Low rate automatic house plant watering system
03/03/2019 12:44:59

watering system.jpgHi Colin,

Here an evaporation controlled irrigation system. Wen the water in the top dish evaporates the water flows out then replenishes the tank for the next go.


distribution pipe.jpg

03/03/2019 10:28:04

Hi Colin

I spent many hours trying to make a plant watering system. I eventually made a system that used evaporation to instigate watering, which I patented, now long expired. I will try to upload some photos into an album, but will have to do it later when the slow internet I have is less busy.


Thread: Trends in Radio Ads
07/02/2019 10:24:33

I watch some programmes on Quest etc like "How its made" but just do not understand why they have to play loud irritating rock music while the commentator tries to talk over it. Do the programme makers think what they are showing is so boring that the music!!! will make things better?


Thread: Mini Mill Belt drive conversion
04/11/2018 18:38:51

Thank you all for your replies. I have forwarded them on to my friend and hope he carries out the conversion you have gone to the trouble to explain. Thanks again


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