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Member postings for Ray Lyons

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

Thread: Dimmer Switch
14/11/2013 07:37:19

Hi Alan, I source most of my supplies from the car boot sale so it all has to be overhauled/modified before use. Never gave any thought to the fuse, just the standard 13amp in the plugtopand left the pump setting at max. I bought the pump for £3 which had 22mm connecting pipes, so that made it easier to connect. A 2 gal plastic container is used for the tank. I located the outlet about 2" from the bottom using a 15mm tank connector and then a 15mm flex with suitable connectors to the pump. On the pump discharge, the pipe is reduced to 10mm and a length of soft poly pipe goes from there to the lathe. I used the flexible "clicklok" system which came with a valve and nozzle to complete. To fit it in the lathe, a piece of scrap alloy bar is used about 1"x3/4" X4", drilled to make what I can only describe as an internal elbow. the holes were tapped to take a threaded spigot to which the poly tube is attached. The other end is threaded to take the valve, which I find can be controlled over quite a range of flow. My local £1 stall at the market have magnetic coat hooks which consist of a round magnet with a 3mm tapped spigot in the centre and supplied in packs of 2. Using a 3mm bolt the magnet is attached to the underside if the alloy bar which allows the coolant outlet to be positioned .

For the return to the tank, it is just a short length of garden hose feeding into a kitchen flour sieve to catch most of the crud. So far, I have not experienced any problems but after all this time, there must be a build up of gunge below the tank outlet which will have to be tackled eventually. For now, I prefer to leave as it is on the basis if it is not broken, why fix it.


13/11/2013 11:32:52

I have been running my suds system based on an old CH pump for 6 years without trouble. Flow adjustment is a small tap in the line to give from a mere trickle to a full blown wash. I didn't seen the need for complicated electrical circuits. Keep it simple, just switch on and it goes. (having said that it is bound to break down tomorrow)


Thread: Increasing Costs
31/10/2013 19:16:38

Ian, I remember those. The last one disappeared from here about 20 years ago. You din't just get a pack of nails but weighed out on the scale and put into a paper bag for about 1/2 the price of the DIY merchants. Well worth looking after the local HW shop while you can.

30/10/2013 19:18:12

A couple of weeks ago, I ran out of Mapps Gas. I have a torch which fits directly onto the cannister and used for jobs requiring quite a lot of heat such as brazing and tempering. I live only a short walk from my local B&Q store so strolled along to get a new bottle. I was a bit surprised at the cost, £18.98. Now I know that it is some time ago since I last bought a cannister but at that time it was about £11, so accepting that perhaps the price was following all things in energy, I decided to wait until Wednesday to get a 10% discount. In the meantime, I looked up the price at Screwfix where it is £4 less but is for pick up only. Eventually I bought a cannister on EBay for £12.87 including postage.

Again the other evening, I was soldering a piece of tinplate and went to the drawer where I keep my solders only to find that the little pot of flux was missing. Rather than messing about looking, I popped along to B&Q (we old ones never learn) and was amazed to see that the only soldering flux in stock was £12.98 for a 100g pot. Perhaps I am out of touch with todays prices but that was too much so I decided to wait until the next day and visit the local plumber's shop. As soon as I decided this course of action, the penny dropped and I hastened home to check my plumber's toolbox. Of course, where else would I keep a pot of flux.

Is this a ripoff or is it that I have just lost touch. (could be with the approaching festive season I caught a touch of the Scrooges)

Thread: Warwickshire Show.
21/10/2013 17:15:57

Quite a mixed selection of views on the show. I went there 4 years ago and had planned another visit this year but unfortunately had to cancel. I recall that when I was there it was very crowded and noisy but also enjoyable. Too much to see in one day so I had planned to stay overnight and go for two days this year - now maybe 2014.

I recall seeing a demonstration of a gearcutting machine. The chap doing the demo was about my vintage and like myself, a bit hard of hearing so trying to communicate above the background noise, we ended up shouting to each other. I agree that there is a lack of seating for us older metalbashers. The floors seem to get harder after a couple of hours. Anthony Wedgewood - Benn designed a holdall with a built in seat which is appealing, could put all the bits of metal in the bag and then sit when the going gets tough Even better if it was fitted with wheels

Thread: #209 - new look
21/10/2013 16:55:58


When I click on the MEW illustration the contents are displayed without problem. Must be a glitch with my computer but I don't want to dig too deep. Last time I downloaded some viruses and my best option was to replace the hard disk.

Number 209 dropped through my letterbox this morning. As usual, first class for contents and design. Anyone grumbling about the present magazine should look back at ME in the 40s and 50s to see how things have improved. For me, that thump on the doormat means a long coffee break and a very pleasant hour for the first reading.

21/10/2013 06:55:21

Tried that, still does not work.Windows needing to go online to find the programme so I just gave up. Dont want another load of rubbish downloads to clutter up my computer

20/10/2013 20:51:06

For many years I subscribed to ME but when MEW came along I dropped ME and only buy when it contains something to interest me. I notice now that with the change to this site we can no longer browse the contents page of the magazines as before so I guess that I will have to join the thumbing brigade at WHS

Thread: Accolade to suppliers
17/08/2013 19:59:50

I went to the Bristol Show on Friday, as usual thoroughly enjoyable. My first call was at the RGD stand to ask for a 3/4" x 20 tpi die. None on stand but they took my order. It arrived by post today which I think is Ist class service. Nice to still have reliable, friendly retailers supplying the model industry.

Thread: would this vintage machine be a basis for building a great little lathe ?
10/07/2013 15:33:27

I think you are right to cut your losses and sell this lathe. I recall about 50 years ago, I bought one as my first lathe. The condition was worse than yours, no sprindle or bearings. I made up a temporary head with a sprindle from a motorcycle wheel and over several weeks, turned a sprindle to fit the head. When cutting the thread on the nose, I found that all was not well and cut what appeared to be a double thread. The problem turned out to be a badly worn leadscrew nut. At that stage, I was almost on the point of giving up but eventually managed to make a new nut, sprindle and bearings. Not a perfect machine but for some years it gave good service and I learned a lot about using a small lathe. Especially liked the way the headstock could be adjusted to cut short tapers and the dog clutch was great when cutting shoulders or threading.

I thing you would be better off either buying a new import or a good used British machine. Saves a lot of frustration.

Good luck with the auction


Thread: Anyone wear Vari-focal specs?
15/06/2013 06:58:39

I know its a pain but I prefer two pairs of glasses and switch as needed. My wife has for many years been using varifocals, usually things are ok but she has to be careful when approaching kerbs or steps. I have seen a few people have nasty falls as a result of misjudging the pavement edge.

Thread: Are Dremel's worth the money
09/05/2013 16:32:57

I have 3 (greedy so and so). The first one is a present from my son about 5 years ago purchased from Woolworths. The inner flex drive gave up on that some time ago. I have some ex aircraft inner flexes which need to be cut to length but don't know how to reshape the end square to fit the drive. The tool itself hangs on a clip in the shed roof where it is connected to the mains and is used quite often.

The other two were purchased, one from Woolworths at their closing down sale and the other from Aldi both still in their boxes unused. Could be I was just lucky. All 3 have cost much less that a new Dremel.

Thread: Cutter and lathe tool grinder advice need
27/02/2013 11:04:03

Have a look at the Colyer/Caseley cutter grinder featured in MEW a couple of years ago. Very much like the Quorn but much easier to construct.

It is a project I intend starting when the weather permits. Drawings are available from at £12.50 a set, including postage.

I will look up the MEW issue later and let you know.

Cheers, Ray

Thread: MEW200
10/02/2013 07:10:02

Surely the car item is in the wrong magazine. There are any number of publications on the newsagents shelves covering such subjects. I only see 6 precious pages of my model engineering magazine lost to something which is better covered elsewhere.

Thread: Cheap surface plate ?
28/12/2012 07:43:47

Sorry Peter,

Since my posting on using the glass from a TV screen I have been in bed with the mother and father of all colds. A disaster for Christmas. During the 90s my son ran a TV repair business and he had many different types of CRT sets in for repair. A few had a sheet of plate glass in front of the CTR which as many have remarked is made of very thick glass and unlikely to to be damaged in an accident with a broom handle.

I remember the one from which I salvaged my surface plate was from a set where the the colour had gone and a new tube cost more than a (then) modern TV. Most of the later CRT sets did not have protective glass screens. I guess the change to a more "square" tube made it neccessary to use thicker glass and therefore no need for the additional protective screen.


25/12/2012 07:20:20

I use a piece of plate glass from the front of an old TV. It is tough and all the edges are ground. Fits nicely on the bench and just slides down by the side when not in use.

Thread: Welding Gas
14/08/2012 18:42:41

I found paying a rental for an Argon 10L bottle from BOC was expensive at about £60 a year plus handling charge when refilling. Very handy for me since the depot is only a short walk down the road.

Now changed to Barnet Welding Supplies. A 10L cylinder of Argon costs £54.50 + Vat and Oxygen is £37 + vat . Lifetime refundable deposit on each cylinder is £60 and delivery for two cylinders was £15.50 including Vat. I use Oxy/Propane for brazing since most of my welding is now electric.

Thread: Sash weights.
02/08/2012 15:26:31

Mention of sash weights takes me back a bit. Sixty years ago, I was an apprentice working on a large manor house restoration. One job was to replace all the sash cords before the decorators came and the job fell to me. (assume it was not because I was the best but at 17, the cheapest on the job). Never thought that weights could be any good as turning material. I have seen many in the past but not lately. Now that I have access to a lathe I will keep a look out at my local demolition yard.

Don't know if you can soften cast iron by heating in a fire but worth a try. I picked up a couple of weighing scale 4Lb weights recently and those turned up nicely. Ideal for flywheels on small engines.

Thread: Solar Power for the Workshop
29/06/2012 17:25:27

I had a 4kw system fitted before the reduction of the FIT and although this year has been poor for sunshine, the output has been 1500 KW in four months. Before Installing, I saw a programme on TV which described a wind and panel system which was fitted with a "smart" meter which went backwards if the power generated was greater than used in the house but my electricity supplier now says that they estiminate that 50% of power generated is returned to the grid and base their charges on that figure. I also read that our 43.3P FIT is much less than that paid in Germany,Spain and Italy, yet our government thinks it is too generous.

I have thought of using solar power in the workshop but only for heating. Reading some of the web sites on the subject it is quite easy to make your own panels. Plenty of cells and other bits are available on EBay. For the next winter, I hope to make a panel up to charge a 12V battery and from this use one or two 12V car heaters to keep the rust at bay.

Thread: Better Photos
14/06/2012 14:39:04

Hi All,

Sorry I have been out until now, trying to get some work done before the forecast storm. It has started raining now so back indoors.

Thanks for all your help. On looking at my camera now I find that my white balance is set on auto. I left it there believing that it would adjust for any light, so still learning. I will look at my pictures taken at previous shows and see if I can filter out the orange.


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