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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: Sealing Brass?
11/05/2022 18:08:48

If, as seems likely, the items are going to be exposed to the weather, the only real solution is lacquer. I can recommend Incralac. This was developed specifically for copper based alloys. A bit pricey, but good stuff. Available in tins or aerosol cans.


Thread: ER16 Collets from Ebay
08/04/2022 18:05:25

+1 for CTC. I bought from them a while back when they only listed on eBay, and had good experience. At the time the company was run by a German based in China, and I was pleased with the products and the service. When I wanted an extra collet which was outside the range normally supplied he was very helpful and supplied what I needed at very reasonable cost. Collets I bought all seemed to be within the stated DIN spec. on runout.


Thread: Liquid Plus Gas
29/03/2022 15:16:17

I haven't got round to trying it myself yet, but Ferrosol from Bilt Hamber gets some very good reviews. Seems to be much more than just a penetrating fluid.

I have used several Bilt Hamber products, mainly on the car, and they have all been excellent, so I would be surprised if this wasn't good as well.


Thread: Myford Super 7 gib screws
16/03/2022 13:43:32

Lathespares stock saddle gib adjusting screws for certain Super7 models, and there are pictures on their website.



Thread: Learn to use a metal lathe
15/02/2022 12:38:41


Where are you located exactly (nearest town)?


Thread: Rust Protection
26/01/2022 11:09:53

+1 for a dehumidifier. I use one in my unheated brickbuilt workshop (concrete floor), and I never see any rust. Cheap to run set to 70% humidity, and even generates a little heat. My wife also appreciates the endless supply of “distilled” water for her steam iron. I bought mine secondhand on eBay 10 years ago - best £30 I ever spent.

Thread: Meddings pillar drill value
16/01/2022 18:04:49

By coincidence I just noticed that there is a Fobco Star drill for sale by Bede Machine Tools, advertised on the HomeWorkshop website. Looks decent enough in the photos. £275, which is more like the sort of price I would expect, and pretty good for a trader. Even includes a drill vice.

11/01/2022 15:55:51

My view is similar to that of Martin King. £700 is top money for a machine like this, the sort of price you might expect to pay to a dealer. Privately you might expect to pay half this price. I would also prefer a machine with a rack to raise and lower the table.


Thread: Pump centre
22/11/2021 11:22:56

In his book "A Model Engineers Workshop Manual" G H Thomas discusses similar devices (page 27) and describes a neat design. I made one 20 odd years ago and use it from time to time. Like all GHT designs, it works beautifully. Could be made in an hour. GHT mentions that a commercial device used to be made by Starrett.


Thread: Myford question
13/11/2021 11:27:39

The maximum bore size in the small bore 7 series lathes is limited by the MT2 dimensions. The small end of a standard MT2 taper is .572 inch diameter, which is roughly 14.5 mm. The MT2 taper is .050 per inch, so if the bore is opened up to .625 (5/8 inch), roughly 16 mm, you lose about an inch of the taper. This seems to have been done on some late machines, but on my early ML7(long gone) and Super 7 the minimum bore is less than 15mm, though beyond the end of the morse taper the bore opens up to more like 16mm. Same story on the late model Speed 10 I had at one time.


Thread: Restoring the scale on engineering tools
05/11/2021 15:31:56

There are 3 techniques that I've used:

Firstly, you can fill the engraving with paint such as Humbrol, then wipe off the excess before the paint has fully dried. Trick is to use a piece of newspaper lightly soaked in white spirit as the wipe.. Done carefully, this will clean the surface and leave the filling intact.

Another method is to use engraving wax. Usual method for clock dials. Heat the surface until the wax will melt onto the surface, then when it's set hard you can scrape/sand the excess off. Warm up again to restore the gloss finish on the wax.

Last method is to immerse the item in blacking solution. After blacking, the surface can be polished up with very fine emery or wet&dry paper, leaving the scale blacked.

Example of a scale that I blacked using the last method:



Thread: Shim stock
03/10/2021 16:38:17

I have used material salvaged from old feeler gauge sets to make shims in the past when I didn’t have the right size shim stock to hand.

edit. Didn’t type fast enough……..

Edited By Mike Crossfield on 03/10/2021 16:40:00

Thread: Silver soldering cast iron
03/09/2021 17:41:25

Just wanted to say thank you again for all the advice. I used the method suggested by David and Keith using silver solder, and to my pleasant surprise it worked a treat. I tinned the 4 surfaces, clamped the two parts together, then reflowed, adding some more flux and solder. Flowed nicely and gave good strong joints. After cleaning and a coat of matt black heatproof paint the repair is almost invisible


29/08/2021 12:48:35

Many thanks for all the good advice and generous offers of materials.

In the first instance I will try with the materials I have to hand, but if that doesn’t work I will be in contact with one of more if you to take up the offer!

Best wishes


28/08/2021 22:50:45

Thanks all. I’m sufficiently encouraged to give it a go.

if the silver soldering doesn’t work out I’ll dig out the stick welder and try that with some suitable rods.


28/08/2021 14:14:00

A friend has asked me if I can repair on the cast iron grid from the top of her range cooker. New parts are not available, so few options. The grid is in the form of an outside frame, with internal arms to support pans. The frame is broken in half. The section of the frame is about 12mm x12mm. There have been a few threads on the forum which suggest that cast iron can be silver soldered if it is first heated to red to burn off the carbon from the surface, so I am planning to give this try. The reason for the post is to seek out advice as to whether I am wasting my time trying to effect a repair with solder. If not, would it be better to tin the broken surfaces first, then bring them together and reheat, or to flux them and run in solder after bringing them together and heating.

Advice from anyone who has successfully repaired cast iron would be appreciated.


Thread: Consequences of Machining Cast Iron
12/08/2021 23:31:04

I keep a bottle of Jenolite rust remover under the stainless sink in my utility room, and when I see the dreaded red spots a quick rub with a few drops on a cloth soon removes them. The key ingredient of Jenolite is phosphoric acid.

Thread: Royal Mail Tracking Numbers!
23/07/2021 13:12:04

Like you, I have found RM pretty reliable in the past, but I had a problem with the last parcel I sent. This was about 3 weeks ago. I paid for Signed For delivery, but 3 days after the recipient received the parcel the tracking service was still showing it as undelivered. I complained to RM, and they refunded the postage cost (in stamps). First time I ever had a problem like this.


Thread: New Chuck won’t screw on
22/07/2021 10:57:05

-Are you quite sure that the problem is with the thread? I agree that it is most likely the thread being tight, but I have seen situations where the problem was with the register on the backplate being a tinch (technical term) too small. In fact in the "old days" Myford used to supply chucks with registers which needed to be lightly scraped to suit individual spindles. Since it would be quick and easy to check by knocking up a gauge with exactly the same diameter as that of your spindle, why not try it, if only to rule this out as the problem?


Thread: E10 Petrol
21/07/2021 13:18:04

Yet another change quietly slipped in by the government in the name of emission reductions without proper consideration.

E5 and the soon-to-be introduced E10 are gifts to the fuel companies. Alcohol is cheaper than petrol, so they make more profit/gallon. Anyone seen any suggestion of petrol companies passing any of this on to the customer - no, I thought not. Alcohol is also less calorific than petrol, so E10 gives fewer mpg, leading to more sales for the petrol companies. Win/win.

Alcohol attacks certain plastics and rubbers, so if your vehicle is more than a few years old, and wasn’t designed in anticipation of alcohol in fuel, there is a real risk of damage to fuel system components. This can be expensive and difficult to rectify. If your motorcycle has a plastic tank, watch out, it may slowly dissolve.

Alcohol also readily absorbs water, so if you use your vehicle infrequently there is risk of corrosion attacking the tank and any internal fuel pump. There are also chemical reactions which can occur creating acids which lead to bacteriological black slime creation in the tank. I’ve had personal experience of this with E5 in a classic mini, and E10 will be worse. Adding a fuel stabiliser goes some way to reducing the problem, but there is a non-trivial cost involved.

And there will surely be ecological issues involved in producing the vast amounts of cheap alcohol required.

Since petrol engines vehicles will be phased out in the next few years, wouldn’t it have made sense to leave things are they were for the interim, or at least make alcohol-free fuel available for those who need it for their old vehicles?


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