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Member postings for Ian P

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

Thread: B&D workmate
01/05/2021 15:46:31

ron hickman plaque.jpg

01/05/2021 15:43:37

Not actually a Workmate, but an accessory that Ron Hickman suggested I could to fasten to my workmate.

I met Ron a few times a Lotus related car shows and he sometimes carried a briefcase that contained a stock of plywood plaques and packets of small woodscrews.

Ian P

Thread: Can you suggest a better Bookbinding Glue?
29/04/2021 17:35:33

Not sure why yellowing or transparency would matter if its cloth glued to card, also nearly all adhesives are going to be flexible if they are just a very thin layer.

My suggestion.... try PVA

Thread: Small saw. Proxxon or something else
27/04/2021 21:08:18
Posted by John Smith 47 on 27/04/2021 20:30:01:

@Nicholas Farr - Thank you so much for trying the experiment! In truth it's to tell from looking at them. To get clear my problem is that I can't use kitchen foil because it's non-magnetic. i.e. Its a magnetic contact that I'm needing to create and even the slightest air gap is to be avoided if humanly possible.

Magnetic Contact?

I presume that its not an electrical contact, but rather you want the ferrous sheet material to be in full contact with something magnetic over its whole area. Two things come to mind regarding this.

If the magnet is strong then the thin plate will conform to a flat magnetic surface even if it has a slight curl or bow. Also unless the steel plate is bonded to something rigid its not going to be easy to remove without damaging it, a knife even with a with a very sharp edge will be needed to lift a corner and then the very act of lifting the sheet may bend it.

Obviously whatever you are developing needs to stay confidential but if it eventually becomes a commercial product these steel plates will probably need some type of protective coating. Paint might be too thick for your humanly possible minimum gap requirement so electroplating is probably best.

Ian P

Thread: Observations on mangling a DRO scale
26/04/2021 13:42:33

I must have been lucky (but I dont think so) when I modified three different 'Hardened' (cheap) calipers.

I used a hacksaw to cut off the jaws and ordinary HSS drills and taps for the mounting holes.

Key thing when drilling this stuff is slow speed and high pressure. I tapped M4 in a 3.5mm hole and dont recall any problems.

Ian P

Thread: Small saw. Proxxon or something else
22/04/2021 20:58:41

As I understand it the OP want to cut 0.1mm/0.004" sheet steel (into narrow strips?)

How narrow? how long? what kind of steel is this? how good does the cut edge need to be? lots of questions come to my mind but if I had to cut (what sounds like shimstock) I would never had thought of sawing.

Sawing such thin material is in watchmaking territory, it certainly can be done but the work has to be very well supported and doing this on a circular saw type machine where the blade comes through a slot in the table the edge of the slot is going to be further from the side of the blade than the material thickness.

For one-off or small quantity it might be best to bond the steel to a sacrificial plate (brass, steel or even a sheet of Formica) and use a mill or router to create the outline before separating the parts.

Other possible methods of making parts out of thin material include, laser or water-jet cutting or etching.

Ian P

Thread: Lathe DRO
21/04/2021 11:45:44

Forgive my ignorance, but what are 'triple angle revolving centres'?

If prices are coming down, are they a better bet than Pork Bellies?


Thread: Mystery Mains Connector
06/04/2021 17:25:59

Re 'milling machine' above. What about a Dremel on the recess of the iron?

A polarised connector is not needed so removing the whole male part of the V will not matter, Again, pin spacing and diameter on whatever lead you can find will determine what is possible.

Ian P

06/04/2021 16:35:31

That's one I've never seen before!

There are many similar ones, but the 'V' shaped notch is unusual. I would be tempted, because its low wattage, to find something like an old electric shaver lead and trim the moulding to suit the iron recess. Obviously the spacing and pin diameter need to be in the right ball-park.

Is the iron marked as double insulated? it should be really.

Ian P

Thread: Electric motors
06/04/2021 13:44:26

By far the best method is as John Haine suggests (although I would hide the VFD and have pot and switch in convenient location).

If the spindle drive is via a belt anyway then using a 'too powerful' motor does not matter. The cutter will only take what power it needs as the drive system incorporates the 'fuse'/ slipping clutch.

As may others have said before, you wont regret going three phase and VFD!

For watch/clock making machines relatively low power is needed, traditionally universal motors were the norm and still nothing wrong with them. They are probably quieter and have much less vibration than a single phase induction motor but a three phase motor would be my choice.

If your machines are staying in their own places on the bench then one motor could (via belts/countershafts) drive both of them, less convenient if you need to move them around or store them after use.

Ian P

Thread: SC4 Lathe chuck and Headstock size
04/04/2021 17:32:19

From your description Joe, the problem with your existing spindle is mainly the difficulty tightening the 5C nut.

Would not incorporating a spindle lock within the headstock solve that problem?

A 12mm or so hole in the spindle wall between the bearings with well supported plunger would not be difficult to arrange as would a few tommy bar holes in the handwheel.

Just a thought anyway.

Ian P

Thread: Tyre Guage DRO - capacitance issues?
03/04/2021 17:09:11

I'm sure Malcolm is right regarding why this particular unit is failing.

Digital capacitive based calipers and DRO scale invariably have 'Hardened' Stainless bodies and beams. The important capacitive action takes place on the rear of the display PCB and the PCB pattern on the moving beam (which is backed by the metal of the beam).

The important bits then are only a few thou apart and quite well screened in the assembled sandwich and usually impervious to any external influence.

In the case of the tyre tread gauge, the beam is usually made from plastic so the moving PCB track and the rear of the main PCB have no connected screening.

Not in current use now but I have butchered about six digital calipers to use as simple DRO's. non have ever so much as blinked. I do have a (plastic) tyre tread gauge but its travel is too short to be usefull.

Ian p

03/04/2021 16:46:37
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 03/04/2021 11:21:18:

Simple fact:

In 2012, the inventor of the capacitative scale concluded his post with ...

“I wouldn't want them on a machine tool.”


My inference from that is that the successful implementations are fortuitous, and we should not be surprised by the failures.


That a little cruel

Successful products are more likely the result of hard work by clever engineerssmiley

The inventor's comments were specifically relating to early examples of the genre, also apart from the ESD aspect (should not affect well designed products) (he mentions ground loops and I took it that was referring to DIY modifications involving external wiring and ground loops.

Ian P

Thread: A Radio Oddity
03/04/2021 16:29:30
Posted by Nicholas Farr on 03/04/2021 11:10:31:

Hi Ian P, my clock didn't go from full brightness to full dimness, it was on a sliding scale. In good daylight it would be at it's brightest, but would dim down just a little if the curtains were drawn and at dusk it wouldn't be as dim as it was in total darkness. I think I remember it being a LCD display and the bars were green in colour and boasted the latest technology and all that flannel, but it was just an affordable alarm clock to me.

Regards Nick.

I would imagine that all auto dimming displays would have an analogue response to changes in ambient light, its the step change than Nigel experiences that is unusual. We dont know if his is a bedside radio so his radio might not have auto dimming.

Ian P

03/04/2021 10:52:01

Reading Nigel's post again, the description he give of the effect does not fit into the usual auto-dimming feature, in fact his sounds like an auto-brightening!

Step change in brightness is odd one too. Might be worth trying the radio in a dark location and waving a flashlamp around so see if that helps diagnosis.

No connection to Nigel's clock, but a bedside 'projection clock' that came from the Science Museum shop incorporated some sort of proximity device that when you waved your hand over it switched on the projected display for a few seconds. The clock went to WEEE and I never got the chance to examine it closely but the 'sensor' appeared to be just a small (1.5mm) hole in the top surface. I thought it might be a photodetector but since it functioned in total darkness that's unlikely, I now presume it is a simple PIR device.

Ian P

03/04/2021 09:55:22
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 03/04/2021 09:24:09:


So I suspect either an oscillator fault responding to hand capacitance, or - more likely - a deliberate design feature. As I can't think of a good reason for dimming the display temporarily, could be a faulty deliberate design feature!



Clue to dimming reason is 'Bedside' radio. Some displays at brightness to be visible in a sunlit room would keep one awake all night!

Ian P

03/04/2021 08:42:16

Just from your description of the radio I took it to be a bedside clock/radio.

If it is then many did/do have self dimming features for the display, so what yours does is quite normal,

Ian P

Thread: Tyre Guage DRO - capacitance issues?
02/04/2021 20:08:42

There are millions of devices in use that use the same capacitive encoders for linear measurement. I have never heard of one being sensitive to any external (capacitive) influence.

Very noisy electrical fields might disturb them but none of the ones I have are even bothered by my high power demagnetiser, they just display the same readings whether its on or off.

Does you depth gauge work OK if its off the machine?

Ian P

Thread: 1960's Car Steering Wheel Taper Angle
26/03/2021 15:24:28

Might be changing the subject a little, but...

That woodrim steering wheel appears to be a good quality one and whilst I'm all for having a smart looking workshop it looks a little over specified for a mandrel handle. The main point is that it will definitely have a commercial value especially if it has some age. Steering wheels from some 60s (not just exotics/Ferarri's) cars fetch four figures.

Ian P

26/03/2021 14:40:04
Posted by Dr_GMJN on 26/03/2021 13:58:41:

As per the title really - does anyone know what the taper angle is inside a car steering wheel? The taper is adjacent to the splines. I'm assuming it's some kind of standard.

I'm making a shaft to fit on an old 1962 MGB steering wheel, and want to machine a matching taper.

Is there a good method of determining taper if it's not a standard?


I dont know of where you might find published details of what was used on an MGB but even when you know the taper angle (not too difficult to measure if you have the steering column) determining the spline details will be much harder.

(Did you mean 'on' a steering wheel or in?)

Ian P

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