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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: Things to save from a CRT TV being scrapped
07/09/2016 18:42:18

Probably worth extracting all those old tv programmes before you scrap it. Well on second thoughts probably not because they have still playing been playing them recently

Thread: Tom Senior Light Vertical Milling Machine
02/09/2016 09:56:08

A while ago I fixed up my M1. I did not have a vertical head so I added a Dore Westbury head. This gives plenty of daylight.


head assembly - right side.jpg

Thread: How to seal a lathe headstock
09/05/2016 18:03:50

Hopper , Thanks for the plug, I have not fitted any seals at all. The mandrel fits closely in a recess about 0.250" deep in the headstock block bores with about 0,005" radial clearance. The bearings are grease lubricated and as yet it seems to work very well. There has been no grease leakage from the front or rear bearings and running the headstock for extended periods at speeds above 2000 rpm only gets the headstock hand warm. I have dismantled it occasionally and all seems well. I suppose if it was oil lubricated then it would need oil seals but grease does not create these problems.


Thread: What Did You Do Today (2016)
21/04/2016 10:39:20

I know how you feel Gordon, our kitchens is just as bad

Edited By Alan Jackson on 21/04/2016 10:40:17

Edited By Alan Jackson on 21/04/2016 10:42:03

Edited By Alan Jackson on 21/04/2016 10:43:29

Thread: Electronic Artisans ELS Article
26/03/2016 18:38:07


You can use TurboCNC which is a Dos program you can download, it will work from an older laptop with a printer port. It requires a spindle sensor showing one pulse per rev and a stepper motor and driver. I use it on my Stepperhead lathe and it works very well. It does not have the luxury of the more sophisticated systems mentioned on this thread but it is very suited to model engineers etc. I described it in more detail on my Stepperhead articles. Here it is on utube, you can hear a slight speed variation but this should not be of any real concern in most circumstances.


Thread: David Piddington
20/03/2016 11:00:48

Wish you all the best Dave. I do hope you can still enjoy the model engineer world, perhaps in other ways.


Thread: Daft question (maybe)
10/02/2016 11:37:05

I have an old Colchester Chipmaster (1956). It was removed from a university. I have fixed and modified it to increase its versatility, fitted a new motor and inverter drive. It works very well and is accurate. These lathes seem to be occasionally available on ebay for good prices compared to Myfords etc and I think they are well worth consideration if you are prepared/able to fix them up


Thread: Neil in for Overhaul
06/02/2016 11:19:02

Get well soon Neil, our company needs you.


Thread: supercharged V12 2 stroke
27/01/2016 10:46:32

Absolutely brilliant Dean, an inspiration.

Thank you


Thread: Myford rear toolpost
15/12/2015 10:23:24

I made a base with a slope so that the upper part can slide to the right height.

Alanrear toolpost2.jpg

Thread: BBC 2 - Looking for Backyard Engineers
24/11/2015 10:49:12

"The BBC should stick to broadcasting stuff the likes of us don't watch and shut down most of their radio, tv and website channels. Also scrap the licence fee, I object to about £150 a year so the wife can watch Eastenders.. "

And the like.

What a virtually unanimous response from every post and you have certainly got my vote.


Thread: What is the most useful workshop tool that you have made?
19/11/2015 12:57:08

Hi SteveM,

I have also added a detailed description in MEW 210,218 & 219 which also used a Lever locking topslide on the Stepperhead lathe. You may not also have these copies. I tried to copy a PDF file but could not work out how to do it.

If you look at my album you may see some more photos in the Myford and Chipmaster albums.

The toolpost is my version of the MLA toolpost you may be able to Google that.


19/11/2015 10:27:02

Hi Danny,

In MEW mags 119, 120 & 121, in 2005. I described it in great detail with variations for various lathes including Myfords. In the article I tried hard to describe the idea to the MEW world, and even had subsequent discussions with Mr Moore the Myford boss then, to no avail. The one in the photo is a newer version incorporating some other ideas, notably an oval gib, notice the absence of gib screws on the sides. This works very well and enables the slide to be locked along the full length if desired, virtually turning it into a form of Gibraltar toolpost. The flexibility enabled by being able to move, rotate and lock the topslide anywhere and easily remove the topslide from the cross slide cannot be overated. It really enhances the lathe operation.


18/11/2015 10:19:09

Mine is a Lever Locking Topslide. This is the latest version on a Chipmaster lathe. It is so useful to be able to position and angle the topslide anywhere on the cross slide and instantly lock it in position. It also has a screwcutting retract and a slide locking lever below the feed dial.


Thread: Home made rotating centre
15/11/2015 12:22:48

Michael, thank you for that here are the details of my version, discuss



15/11/2015 11:08:15


I made this centre about 40 years ago and it has been fantastic and never given rise to any of the problems you seemed to suffer. The hardened steel centre has a close running fit even today. It has been used and abused and very rarely lubricated. It does not suffer from chatter or affect the surface finish. Just does its job.


Ian P this is what I found on Ebay

Thread: Moving the Head on a Round Column Type Mill
15/11/2015 10:26:07

Your milling machine column will also have to be as vertical as your reference line otherwise your movements will not be in line with the column as it raises/lowers.


Thread: Home made rotating centre
14/11/2015 15:41:23


"Neat in the execution. I assume Stepperhead is continuing to earn its keep then?"

Yes, I used it to make the Morse taper by setting the X and Y axes to cut the taper and I also ground the points after hardening them using the milling head with a diamond grinding wheel.


Thread: Bee Keeping
14/11/2015 11:44:06

Geoff, Clive

Thank you for this interesting, amazing subject.


Thread: Home made rotating centre
14/11/2015 11:09:19

Hi All

Years ago I made a rotating lathe centre using a crowded needle roller bearing at the front with a ball thrust bearing behind. The outside diameter was just below 1" diameter as this avoided the restriction of the then conventional rotating centres featuring a large diameter body. This proved to be very useful over the years so recently I gave it a makeover and reground the point. I had a similar needle bearing and thrust bearing so I made another centre for my Stepperhead lathe. The reduced diameter body can retract into the tailstock barrel for maximum access. The reduced diameter point was just to see if it would be advantageous. The points can be exchanged if required. After doing all this I looked on Ebay and found that you can buy these quite cheaply, Ah well. I have added a couple of pics in my album.

AlanStepperhead Centre

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