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Member postings for Mike Crossfield

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

Thread: Paint recommendations
31/05/2020 08:35:16

+1 for Tractol. High pigment content so covers well, and tough as old boots. Good for brushing because it dries slowly, which means there is no problem keeping a wet edge, and brush marks tend to flow out leaving a very good finish. Need to be careful to avoid dust though. When fully cured it can be cut back and polished to a very high gloss. Smith and Allen keep a wide range of colours, and I think they also supply it in spray cans.

Thread: Needle File Recommendations?
13/05/2020 13:29:14


I can recommend the Tome Feteira Swiss pattern needle files sold by Arceurotrade. IMHO close to Vallorbe quality, but at a more acceptable price. Set of 6 was about £38 pounds last time I looked, though I prefer to buy just the shapes and cuts I need.


Thread: Amolco DRO
17/04/2020 11:40:19


Rather baffled by your comments. What was the problem viewing the pictures in my album?

Also don't understand the reference to Arc. As far I am aware Arc don't sell magnetic DROs.

17/04/2020 08:33:36

Magnetic scales and read heads are more compact than optical equivalents, and therefore easier to install if space is tight. I used M-DRO magnetic scales for the install on my Dore Westbury mill, and they fitted in quite nicely after I designed my own mounting brackets. There are some photos in my album.


Thread: Myford Super 7 clutch MK 1
07/03/2020 17:55:29


by remarkable coincidence someone called Shaun has just posted an identical request on the Myford-lathes group on A responder has posted drawing of the trunions in the files section Join the group and get the info you need!



Thread: Alexander engraving machine
03/03/2020 20:43:15


you could try speaking to Pantograph Services. . They were very helpful to me when I needed assistance with my Taylor Hobson engraver. Even if they don’t have what you need, they may know someone who can help.


Thread: Powder coating
03/03/2020 09:51:25

A very interesting thread which is very timely for me. The alloy wheels on my wife's car willl need renovating soon, and I have been advised that powder coating will be much tougher than paint in this challenging application. A number of local wheel refurbishment specialists companies offer it, and it is more expensive than paint.

Is it all a con then?

Thread: Tooling and Feedscrew Clutch
20/02/2020 12:53:43


Since no-one has answered your specific question about the benefits of the lead screw clutch I thought I'd chip in.

The handle on the saddle which moves the saddle along the bed is quite highly geared. It's fine for making coarse movements of the saddle, but not very good if you want to manually fine-feed the saddle to make delicate cuts. The solution is to engage the half-nuts, and move the saddle using the handle on the end of the lead screw. The fly in the ointment is that if the change wheels have been set up to provide self-feed or cut screw threads, the lead screw will be constantly rotating. Even if you disengage the gearing, which is inconvenient, then depending on how you do it, it may still be difficult to turn the handle because you may be trying to drive part of he gear train backwards. With the lead screw clutch you can instantly disengage the lead screw from the change wheels and overcome the problem.



Thread: Cleaning an old lathe
13/02/2020 20:29:44

I’ve always found that white spirit is the best common solvent for cleaning up old machinery. Helps to let it soak in well before scrubbing off. Old tooth brush is a good tool for this job.

+1 For Elbow Grease. A good general purpose water-based degreaser in a spray bottle, and cheap as chips. I used to stock up on it every time I went North to visit my old Mum in Lancashire, but since her demise I despaired of finding it in my adopted South. However I was delighted to find recently that my local Range stocks it. £1 a bottle.

Thread: Myford S7 headstock on ML7 bed
07/02/2020 17:38:11

When I bought my early Super 7 twenty-odd years ago the bed was well worn, but it came with the remains of an ML7 capstan lathe. The bed on this was unworn (since it just served as the base for the capstan assembly). I believe the ML7 capstan lathe used a standard ML7 bed. I rebuilt the Super 7 using this bed, and it has served me very well ever since. If you want to go down this route, I.e. a Super 7 headstock on an ML7 bed, bear in mind that you will need not just the bare headstock but also the complete countershaft assembly, motor and double pulley, motor bracket, tumbler and change gears, banjo, covers and back plates etc. There might also be an issue with interfacing with the leadscrew, which may be a different diameter to that used on the Super7. If you have all these parts it’s pretty straightforward. Aside from checking tailstock height as has already been mentioned, the only other issues I remember were that the countershaft arm required a new fixing hole drilling and tapping in the back of the bed, and the mounting holes for the saddle rack were in the wrong places, and needed redrilling and tapping. This latter point may be related to the age of my Super 7 and/or the fact that the bed came from a capstan lathe.

Hope this helps


Thread: Message for Andy regarding book for sale
19/01/2020 11:06:01


The advertised book is still for sale as of 11.00 today, but I cannot contact you because your message does not include an email address or other contact details. Please reply with your details if you are still interested.

Thread: Brass sheet
24/10/2019 20:03:59

Despite the name of his website, Ian Cobb supplies a range of different brass, not just engraving brass.


24/10/2019 17:54:00


Try Ian T Cobb at He stocks a wide range and will cut to pretty much any size.


Thread: Cheap ER collet advice please
13/10/2019 23:03:41

I’ve bought ER25 collets a couple of times from CTC and been very happy with the quality and price. The chap running the operation in China, a German, was very helpful when I had some queries and wanted a special size. In my experience, accuracy doesn’t seems to be far from the stated 0.4 thou runout with everything carefully cleaned.


Thread: Cutters
30/07/2019 14:40:39


I make all the wheels (and pinions for that matter) for my clocks using home-made cutters. I use a variation of the “button” method to make the cutters. I start out with a cutter in the form of a parting tool ground to an accurate width with a semicircular tip. I use this to cut the wheel/pinion cutter from round silver steel. The centre fixing hole is offset to create cutting clearance. After parting off, a segment of the disc is removed to create the cutting edge, and the cutter is hardened and tempered. Then away you go. Brass wheels are easy to cut in a single pass with the mill running flat out (2000 rpm). Steel pinions are harder, and I typically take 3 or 4 passes running at 200rpm, and using lots of cutting oil. I get all my cutter geometry data from the very useful table in the Meadows and Passmore catalogue

Examples of a wheel cutter, a pinion cutter, and some wheels and pinions cut for my latest clock are shown below.




Thread: Up and over door seal
30/07/2019 11:51:01

I have a strip of the damp proof plastic membrane that bricklayers use fixed to the bottom inside face of my up and over garage doors. I used self tappers and washers to fix. Very flexible, weather-proof and cheap as chips. Works a treat for keeping out wind blown rain and leaves.


Thread: ML7 lathe carriage
30/07/2019 11:42:01

I dowelled the saddle gib on my early Super 7 about 20 years ago after reading an item by either GHT or Jack Redford. It was certainly an improvement, and allowed the gib to be set very closely without tightening up when the saddle was moved. Interestingly, Myford changed the gib design on later models so that one of the screws provided the equivalent of a dowel function. However I don’t believe this was carried across to the ML7.


Thread: What method do you use to find center height for your lathe bit?
27/06/2019 07:26:09

20-odd years ago I made George Thomas’ centre height gauge. Very nice design which can be used from the bed or the top of the cross slide. I use it all the time and can highly recommend it.

Thread: Sino SDS-2MS Dro problems
13/06/2019 14:34:07


Yes, I did sort it out. What I found was that when you enter the PCD Function and the CT POS display comes up you MUST enter values for X and Y, even if they are both zero and the display is already showing zero. You can’t just press enter and move on to the next setting. To be fair it does show this in the manual (steps 3 and 4 in the version I have), but it wasn’t clear - to me at least - that you need to enter zero if the display is already showing zero.

Hope this works for you too.


Thread: What are you using for Lathe Way Oil?
02/06/2019 10:58:43

I use 68 grade Slideway Oil. As with all my lubricants, I buy it from Smith and Allan. Great service and low prices. 5 litres Slideway Oil is £11.55 plus vat and carriage. 5 litres lasts me 5 years+. I try to order a number of items (Slideway oil, cutting oil, spindle oil, paint etc) at the same time to spread carriage cost.

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