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Member postings for Alan Donovan

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

Thread: Myford ML7 headstock belt length
28/04/2021 18:03:47

Hi Rob.

My ML7 manual quotes the belt length as 23 inches, inside length.

Best regards.


Thread: Care home fees and what they want.'
28/04/2021 11:07:18

Good morning Peter.

Their information request seems exceptionally intrusive. The suggestion to seek some legal advice with respect to this issue is probably very good advice.

One issue that sprang immediately to mind is – has your mother left any money/possessions to you, siblings and/or grandchildren ‘In Trust’ or in her Will. It may be worth taking legal advice to ensure your mother’s wishes are adequately protected.

When seeking a placement for my father-in-law (diagnosed with dementia) we found social services very unhelpful. So to do ‘the best’ for my father-in-law, my wife and I had to become experts in the care system. This occurred in 2012 so my comments and experiences may not be quite so relevant now.

We found organisations such as quite useful, one of these organisations offers (or offered at the time) free legal advice. You have a limited time (30 minutes) to talk to the solicitor so be well prepared with your questions.

One ‘gem of information’ that came out of my conversation with that solicitor was that Care Home ‘Top-up fees’ (which are usually paid by relatives) are NOT compulsory. The phrase ‘emotional blackmail’ comes to mind here.

We didn’t pay any top-up fees (although they tried a second time to force the issue after my father-in-law was resident in the home), but we have had sight of a ‘Top-up fee’ agreement. If you choose to pay top-up fees, read the document very carefully, and make sure you understand the T&Cs – our experience is there is NO escaping the payments once you have signed – regardless of how your personal situation may change.

Lastly, if your mother is self-funding, may I suggest you keep control of when payments are made. My (ex)neighbour put her trust in her father’s care home to manage the self-funding payments as required and then later found that the payments made were in excess of the contracted amount. The excess fees were returned ......... eventually.

I accept that good care has a significant price tag attached to it, but the Care Home business is exactly that - a business, so unfortunately, in some organisations the ‘quality care/profit’ balance has become far too ‘profit orientated’.

I hope this has been helpful to you.

All the best to you at this difficult time.


Edited By Alan Donovan on 28/04/2021 11:17:25

Thread: Honda SL125 timing - SANITY CHECK.
12/04/2021 14:35:23

Hello again.

Thank you all for the responses to my question. It is very much appreciated.

Best regards to all and keep safe.


Thread: Cleaning a tacho glass
12/04/2021 14:30:21

Hi Hopper.

I did think it was a long shot, and that the use of a solvent was a non-starter, but I thought I would ask the question anyway.

I hadn't considered condensation as a possible cause rather than a soaking, but the reality is that although it 'works' I have no means of checking if it is accurate. I will probably just leave it 'as is' for the immediate future.

Thanks for your input.


12/04/2021 11:54:02

Hi all.

This may be a 'long shot'

I have a Honda (circa 1975) motorcycle tachometer which is dirty on the inside of the glass (which I would assume to be plastic). I looks like the tacho has had dirty water inside at some point. The unit appears to be of 'snap together' construction as there does not appear to be an obvious way to remove the glass. I would like to preserve the original part as it is, if I can, as it is still working.

Has anyone any experience of successfully cleaning the inside of a tacho glass using a non-aggressive method?

Initial thoughts are carefully pouring a suitable solvent (rather than soapy water) into the unit, through the hole for the night time illumination bulb, avoiding the tacho mechanism, and gently swilling around to remove the dirt. Has anyone any experience of this? Did it work?

It's not a big hinderance to leave it dirty, it is still readable - but it would be nice to have a clean glass.


All the best & thank you.


Edited By Alan Donovan on 12/04/2021 11:56:29

Edited By Alan Donovan on 12/04/2021 11:59:14

Thread: Honda SL125 timing - SANITY CHECK.
12/04/2021 10:43:25

Hello all.

May I have a 'sanity check' please!

From my last post on the Honda (re electrics), I mentioned that my timing may be 'out'. I have since checked the timing by two methods (instructions in the manual using feeler gauges and the T and F timing marks on the rotor, and a method using a multimeter) and both say it is OK.

A subsequent check using a timing strobe 'suggests' it is way out - but I have now come to the conclusion that the instruction manual is a little ambiguous. The manual instruction (5) says when using a timing light ............ The two marks on the rotor should swing around and line up with the pointer when the engine is revved.

What the manual doesn't say is that it is specifically referring to the two marks WITHOUT the T and F annotation. If it is referring to these unannotated marks then my timing is correct using the strobe light.

Have I now interpreted that correctly?

Please find the relevant extracts from the manual below.



Best regards & many thanks.


Thread: Honda 125 electrics
02/04/2021 18:38:44

Hi All.

Here is some feedback on the Honda SL125.

Checked and cleaned the earths, and ran some extra earth wires from the indicators (belt & braces). Started the SL125's engine and made the light/indicator checks with engine running.

With the engine running you are able to have both indicators and the headlamp on (as suggested by a few of you), but I did note that even with the engine running the headlamp did 'dim' a little as they came on. Also the indicator flash rate seemed OK to me. From the consensus of opinion on 'vintage Honda electrical technology' I am happy with the result.

The timing is not quite right (according to the strobe), so that is tomorrows project all being well.

Many thanks to everyone with their views and advice. Keep safe.

All the best. Alan.

29/03/2021 18:15:37

Hi All.

Thank you all for your advice and guidance.

I will check the system out with the engine running and also check out or provide new earth connections. It seems to be the general opinion that 6 volt systems are pretty poor and I should not expect too much of an improvement unless I change to 12 volt system. Thinking back to my Lambretta days (late 60s), I seem to remember that had a 6 volt system and that was not brilliant. 12 volt conversions were 'all the rage' then.

With respect to the availability of spares, I did manage to buy a number of spare bulbs and plugs of the correct specification via the on-line auction house.

Tim Stevens - you have certainly given me an alternative option and I shall not discount converting to a 12 volt system.

Best regards to all. Alan.

28/03/2021 20:23:45


Thank you all so much for your input, I really appreciate your help.

I will try the lights with the engine running first, as that is an easy thing to do. Regardless of the result, it may be worth checking the cleanliness of the 'earth paths' anyway, as the bike is still a 'work in progress', and I wish the bike to be in the best condition for road use.

From the comments so far I have plenty to consider, and I will be so much wiser (I hope) about motorcycle electrical systems.

All the best and thank you all.


28/03/2021 17:24:10

Hello all.

I am coming to the latter stages of restoring a 1975 Honda SL125.

The original indicators were beyond being salvaged and have been replaced with aftermarket parts. All electrical connections have been made. The bike has a 6 volt battery and 6 volt electrical system as per original design.

The bike has a new battery and it is fully charged. With the battery in this condition the indicators work as I would expect. Bright lights with a respectable flash rate. With the battery half charged the lights appear a little 'sluggish' to illuminate and the flash rate seems slower. Also, in both scenarios, the neutral indicator light dims when the indicator flashes. I would expect this to be normal performance - but I am happy to be corrected on this.

This is where it goes further astray.

The problem is when I switch on the headlight this seems to 'suck' the power from the battery such that the indicators are feeble to none-existent. The indicator circuit is getting something as the the headlight dims in unison with the indicator relay. I assume this is not normal performance and that the indicators and headlamps should perform together as needed.

May I ask for suggestions as to what may be the cause of this, and how it may be corrected.

I have not check this out with the engine running - if that is relevant.

Apologies for the 'long ramble' but I am trying to give as much information to you as possible.

Many thanks in advance to anybody who responds.

Best regards. Alan.

Thread: New member
09/02/2021 18:19:34

Sorry to heard about your problems.

First off, did you have the lathe actually running when you friend switched on the Milling machine. If so maybe it’s a simple case of a blown fuse somewhere due to an overloaded circuit. I assume you have already checked this, but I feel it is worth reminding ourselves of the basics. Is there the possibility that there is a second fuse in the circuit? Just a thought.

Secondly, have you spoken to the previous owner/user, maybe he can offer advise as (I assume) he was the installer of the equipment.

Best of luck and I hope you are ’up and running’ very shortly.

Lastly - welcome to the forum.


Thread: 00 Gauge Live Steam Locomotives
04/02/2021 07:49:19

Hi James.

I cannot help with your original question, but there is a society for those interested in these models.

This may be a good place to start.

Best regards & keep safe. Alan

PS.  Please report back what you find as I am sure others will be interested. 

Edited By Alan Donovan on 04/02/2021 07:51:50

Thread: ML7 left to run for 72hrs accidentally - what to check?
28/01/2021 15:50:40

Hi William.

My view would be that 72 hours of 'no load' running on a Myford is not really a problem, especially as you normally keep it well lubricated. The key thing here is that it was 'no load' running. These machines suffer much worse abuse in industry and survive.

Tony Pratt 1 mentioned that the countershaft bearings were phosphor bronze, that is correct but the original fit were sintered bronze bearings (which are porous to retain some of the oil) manufactured by 'Oilite'. A 'trawl' of the internet suggests that these bearings (in imperial sizes) are still available, should they be needed.

Best regards Alan.

Thread: That very light, brown rust / discolouration
25/01/2021 14:14:23

Hi there.

If I have something that is ‘rusty / discoloured’ that I want to clean up, but not remove metal in the process. I use a worn out ‘green scouring cloth’ (the type used to remove burnt on food from cookware) lubricated with oil and rub the affected area. If it is a stubborn stain I may use a new scourer, but still lubricate it with oil.

I frequently remove the ‘dirty oil’ and re-oil as I feel the removed rust is probably quite abrasive anyway. It seems to work but does require some ‘elbow grease’.

Just one suggestion - I am sure other methods will be along in a few minutes.

Best regards. Alan.

Thread: Deckel fp1 feed gears
19/01/2021 10:38:24

Hi David.

Have sent you a personal message re Deckel gears.


Thread: Butch - can it come back to life?
19/01/2021 10:21:51

Hi Phil.

I have just been through a similar experience myself so maybe my experiences may help you. My experiences relate to the refurbishment of LBSC's 'Betty'.

To aid the rebuild I purchased the plan set, so that I would know how the engine internals were constructed. Reasonable logic, but the original builder had his own design of regulator. I didn't realise this until I had managed to damage it. One of the main cylinders had a different size bore (much more than a couple of thou.), that may have been a machining error, or more likely to remove a 'blow hole' in the casting. There were other items that had that 'individual touch', but these were obvious before being dismantled.

So to sum up, my advice would be to buy the plans, but be VERY aware, that whatever the plans may say the actual build could be VERY different. As you said earlier, label everything and take plenty of photos and go slow - so you can think through the 'problems'.

You will have both frustration and fun, but you will learn so much. But the main achievement will be you will have a loco to be proud of and to remember your uncle by.

Best of luck. Alan.

Thread: garden tractor wheel lug nuts and studs
21/10/2020 08:14:52


If you visit the Loctite company website you will find their complete range of products, complete with instructions for use and what situations they should be used in. A visit to the website would ensure you are using the correct product for your application.
Loctite do manufacture a couple of ‘general multipurpose’ grades as well as specific grades for specific applications. One of their multipurpose grades would probably suit most home workshop situations, and would probably be available from most DIY or ME outlets.

I hope that helps.

Keep safe. Alan

Thread: In flight social distancing
16/10/2020 12:15:28

Hello again.

Thank you all for your views and input to my question, a very interesting read.

Best regards to all & stay safe.


16/10/2020 04:42:39

Hi. - A tea room question..

I note from the Ryanair website video that social distancing (re Covid 19) is to be maintained pre and post flight, but there is no specific mention of social distancing actually being maintained while seated within the aircraft.

I am curious to know if ‘in flight’ social distancing is maintained during the flight (which means that passenger numbers are substantially under capacity) Can anybody advise?

Best regards. A.

Edited By Alan Donovan on 16/10/2020 04:46:27

Thread: Myford Super 7 Leadscrew
10/10/2020 08:21:03


2.7mm end float is far far too much. It should be approaching zero mm and ‘free to rotate’, not clamping the lead screw.
I do not know enough about S7s to advise you what to do exactly, but someone else will. It would be useful to know if the machine is fitted with a quick change gearbox, and also provide photos of the bracket / lead screw arrangements at both ends of the lead screw, if that is possible.

Best regards.


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