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Member postings for Nigel McBurney 1

Here is a list of all the postings Nigel McBurney 1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Making mild steel look like cast iron
22/02/2021 17:29:29

I knew a fellow stationary engine owner who set out to make a cover for the hot bulb of an 1890s Hornsby hot bulb oil engine,the original cast cover was long gone ,so he welded and fabricated a cover from 1/4 steel pate ,its box shaped about 8/10 inches cubed ,open sided with 3 flat pieces and one curved part. to get a cast iron effect on the steel he got a 3/8 twist drill bit broke off a piece off the sharp end,put in an electric drill and with drill running just let the drill bit rattle around on the steel,when it blunted ,a bit more was broken off the drill and the process restarted and he carried on until the cover looked like a casting,and he made a very good replica of an iron casting,he was very skilled and had lots of patience. I have found that when making replicas the welding has to be very good and then ground down to a smooth finish to hide all the welding marks,if not the welds will show through any grit or bead blast finish . Though thinking back to my childhood,the fires in all the bedrooms were all cast and had a fairly smooth finish,should you bite the bullet and go for the pattern /then casting route,ask the foundry to avoid any runner and riser marks on the top visible surface and not trim too closely with an angle grinder when the risers are cut off by the fettlers,they are usually on bonus pay. Another way to get a cast effect would be glue or bond a layer of very fine sand over the surface and then paint it with blackboard paint,or semi gloss black paint which I use on large engine flywheels.A matt or semi gloss does not sparkle on the spokes like black gloss paint does on 3 ft cast flywheels.

Thread: Minnie 1" Traction Engine
22/02/2021 09:29:19

Cutting keyways,working days long ago,the company used to cut the occasional keyway in gears,on an 8 inch Wilson lathe using a toolbit held in a boring bar,we were trained to cut by winding the saddle forward,then wind the cross slide forward to relieve the tool from rubbing on the return out of the bore,if not the spring and rub on the tool wood break the cutting edge of the tool,first time I got the job I did as I was told and it went ok ,then got distracted and forgot to wind the tool forward on the return and promptly broke the cutting edge ,the tool was either 3/8 ot 7/16 wide and a bit less than 1/32 was broken right off across he cutting edge.Annoying as it took some time grinding a square toolbit too a very accurate width,only did it once and never forgot it. I can say that if you had a stack of steel gears,up to 1 1/2 inch thick it was hard work winding that big saddle back wards and forwards.i agree with the above comment that big slotters never appeared to have any form of tool back stroke relief unlike a shaper clapper box,any one on here worked on a big slotter,slotters were a rare sight in the south of England the only one I ever saw was in Portsmouth tech.Probably were used in the Southern railway works or dockyard but there was never a chance to look round. Now to get to the point I have an American book on machine practice and this shows how to cut keyways in gears etc, it recomends pointing the cutting tool upwards so the clapper box is not effective,and this practice is recomended to reduce chattering and poor surface finish,I tried this on my 18 inch shaper ,with the clapper box locked and it works there is no cutting edge damage to the tool,yet do the same in a big lathe and the tool edge disappears. Just do not know why. By the way how could be power feed be used to cut keyways in the average lathe ,power feed requires the spindle to be rotating.Traction engine alloy wheel rims ,be careful when rivetting,I was trying to get a good snap head form when rivetting over on the inside and cracked the rim,made new rims from steel.

Thread: Confusing t-slot dimensions
21/02/2021 09:16:51

Be careful using modified bolts etc instead of tee nuts,I have seen in my travels lumps taken out of Tee slots by using the "wrong " nuts, or even just overtightening ,rotary tables seem to suffer more than mill tables. I never really understood why manufacturers did not get together and come up with a standard series of T slots. And its not only mills,rotary tables,shapers,vertical slides, cross slides, lathe steady t slots (older Colchesters),drilling m/c tables and on and on ,they invariably have variations in tee slot dimensions ,then the commercial T nuts used BSF ,Whitworth,and unified threads plus newer nuts use various sizes of metric threads.The most annoying machine I have is the table on my one inch capacity Meddings pillar drill,it has two tee slots running back to front to back, The full depth of the tee slot is cast and it tapers,so a T nut is slack at one end and gets tighter towards the other end,and invariably jams on a bit of swarf. Should have taken the table off years ago,and machined the slot but was too busy getting a living and now I just live with it ,with a larger capacity drilling m/c I usually bolt down the work or vice when using drills over 1/2 inch, A m/c with 1 hp motor and high torque with belt and gear reduction does not slip.

Thread: Advice on benchtop milling machine
20/02/2021 11:40:21

i had a large universal mill and a large turret mill, due to a impending house move i got rid of these mills then the move fel through and selling our home proved a bit difficult so three years laters we are still here, A neighbour gave me an 00 Omnimill. O how I miss those two big mills,with weight,rigidity and larger spindles,though I do agree that a turret mill with a 50 inch table does need an operator with long arms,I would go for a smaller x y axis sub table set up ,though try to get a good one with good slideways, with this set up you still have the larger rigid spindle plus the extra table capacity when needed,I often thought the ideal arrangement was the German style arrangement with the shorter but wider table set up (eg Deckel fp3) plus power feed in all directions though at near 80 I did start to find winding up the table got a bit daunting.I have often wondered why most full size turret mills have such a narrow 9 or 10 inch table,12 inches with 4 tee slots would be a better table width,for vertical milling.

20/02/2021 11:40:21

i had a large universal mill and a large turret mill, due to a impending house move i got rid of these mills then the move fel through and selling our home proved a bit difficult so three years laters we are still here, A neighbour gave me an 00 Omnimill. O how I miss those two big mills,with weight,rigidity and larger spindles,though I do agree that a turret mill with a 50 inch table does need an operator with long arms,I would go for a smaller x y axis sub table set up ,though try to get a good one with good slideways, with this set up you still have the larger rigid spindle plus the extra table capacity when needed,I often thought the ideal arrangement was the German style arrangement with the shorter but wider table set up (eg Deckel fp3) plus power feed in all directions though at near 80 I did start to find winding up the table got a bit daunting.I have often wondered why most full size turret mills have such a narrow 9 or 10 inch table,12 inches with 4 tee slots would be a better table width,for vertical milling.

20/02/2021 11:40:20

i had a large universal mill and a large turret mill, due to a impending house move i got rid of these mills then the move fel through and selling our home proved a bit difficult so three years laters we are still here, A neighbour gave me an 00 Omnimill. O how I miss those two big mills,with weight,rigidity and larger spindles,though I do agree that a turret mill with a 50 inch table does need an operator with long arms,I would go for a smaller x y axis sub table set up ,though try to get a good one with good slideways, with this set up you still have the larger rigid spindle plus the extra table capacity when needed,I often thought the ideal arrangement was the German style arrangement with the shorter but wider table set up (eg Deckel fp3) plus power feed in all directions though at near 80 I did start to find winding up the table got a bit daunting.I have often wondered why most full size turret mills have such a narrow 9 or 10 inch table,12 inches with 4 tee slots would be a better table width,for vertical milling.

20/02/2021 11:40:19

i had a large universal mill and a large turret mill, due to a impending house move i got rid of these mills then the move fel through and selling our home proved a bit difficult so three years laters we are still here, A neighbour gave me an 00 Omnimill. O how I miss those two big mills,with weight,rigidity and larger spindles,though I do agree that a turret mill with a 50 inch table does need an operator with long arms,I would go for a smaller x y axis sub table set up ,though try to get a good one with good slideways, with this set up you still have the larger rigid spindle plus the extra table capacity when needed,I often thought the ideal arrangement was the German style arrangement with the shorter but wider table set up (eg Deckel fp3) plus power feed in all directions though at near 80 I did start to find winding up the table got a bit daunting.I have often wondered why most full size turret mills have such a narrow 9 or 10 inch table,12 inches with 4 tee slots would be a better table width,for vertical milling.

20/02/2021 11:40:18

i had a large universal mill and a large turret mill, due to a impending house move i got rid of these mills then the move fel through and selling our home proved a bit difficult so three years laters we are still here, A neighbour gave me an 00 Omnimill. O how I miss those two big mills,with weight,rigidity and larger spindles,though I do agree that a turret mill with a 50 inch table does need an operator with long arms,I would go for a smaller x y axis sub table set up ,though try to get a good one with good slideways, with this set up you still have the larger rigid spindle plus the extra table capacity when needed,I often thought the ideal arrangement was the German style arrangement with the shorter but wider table set up (eg Deckel fp3) plus power feed in all directions though at near 80 I did start to find winding up the table got a bit daunting.I have often wondered why most full size turret mills have such a narrow 9 or 10 inch table,12 inches with 4 tee slots would be a better table width,for vertical milling.

20/02/2021 11:40:18

i had a large universal mill and a large turret mill, due to a impending house move i got rid of these mills then the move fel through and selling our home proved a bit difficult so three years laters we are still here, A neighbour gave me an 00 Omnimill. O how I miss those two big mills,with weight,rigidity and larger spindles,though I do agree that a turret mill with a 50 inch table does need an operator with long arms,I would go for a smaller x y axis sub table set up ,though try to get a good one with good slideways, with this set up you still have the larger rigid spindle plus the extra table capacity when needed,I often thought the ideal arrangement was the German style arrangement with the shorter but wider table set up (eg Deckel fp3) plus power feed in all directions though at near 80 I did start to find winding up the table got a bit daunting.I have often wondered why most full size turret mills have such a narrow 9 or 10 inch table,12 inches with 4 tee slots would be a better table width,for vertical milling.

20/02/2021 11:40:17

i had a large universal mill and a large turret mill, due to a impending house move i got rid of these mills then the move fel through and selling our home proved a bit difficult so three years laters we are still here, A neighbour gave me an 00 Omnimill. O how I miss those two big mills,with weight,rigidity and larger spindles,though I do agree that a turret mill with a 50 inch table does need an operator with long arms,I would go for a smaller x y axis sub table set up ,though try to get a good one with good slideways, with this set up you still have the larger rigid spindle plus the extra table capacity when needed,I often thought the ideal arrangement was the German style arrangement with the shorter but wider table set up (eg Deckel fp3) plus power feed in all directions though at near 80 I did start to find winding up the table got a bit daunting.I have often wondered why most full size turret mills have such a narrow 9 or 10 inch table,12 inches with 4 tee slots would be a better table width,for vertical milling.

20/02/2021 11:40:16

i had a large universal mill and a large turret mill, due to a impending house move i got rid of these mills then the move fel through and selling our home proved a bit difficult so three years laters we are still here, A neighbour gave me an 00 Omnimill. O how I miss those two big mills,with weight,rigidity and larger spindles,though I do agree that a turret mill with a 50 inch table does need an operator with long arms,I would go for a smaller x y axis sub table set up ,though try to get a good one with good slideways, with this set up you still have the larger rigid spindle plus the extra table capacity when needed,I often thought the ideal arrangement was the German style arrangement with the shorter but wider table set up (eg Deckel fp3) plus power feed in all directions though at near 80 I did start to find winding up the table got a bit daunting.I have often wondered why most full size turret mills have such a narrow 9 or 10 inch table,12 inches with 4 tee slots would be a better table width,for vertical milling.

Thread: Newton Tesla Electric Drives
19/02/2021 11:24:27

I bought a Newton Tesla package two years ago, as i considered it was better to have a package plus customer service from one source rather than buy component parts,Had a problem with some damage to the control box in transit, NT promptly dealt with it. It has run ok ever since . It is a 1.5 hp unit to suit my Elliot omnimill. I have two 3 phase converters for some other machines and I think the vfd produces a better supply current. Plus the advantages of reverse,speed control,small size and the control box could be mounted to a more convenient position,the omnimills switch gear is mounted low down on the base below the swarf tray b--y stupid posn . The Omnimill came with an old corroded single phase motor for the vertical spindle which was on its last legs so I had to look at the options for motor replacement, original 1964 spec was 3 phase 3/4 hp which I considered not powerful enough ,1.5 was more suitable, but the machines bottom belt speed was far too high for tough materials and large diameter cutters.the vfd would overcome this major problem. The other 3 feedmotors a 2hp horizontal drive ,table feed and coolant pump,would have to be fed by the rotary converter. The horizontal spindle also had the speed problem ,lowest speed being too high.So after some deliberation I bought the VFD and its very good,just plug in and go.I have found that i can get a lower horizontal spindle speed by disconecting the motor belt and by swinging the vertical head around in two planes and a long belt I can drive the horizontal spindle via the vfd controlled vertical motor so can a slow drive for 6 inch dia cutters, ithe inconvenience of this long belt drive as I only need the slow speed say twice a year. The vfd was just over £400 but cant complain,the mill was a gift from a neighbour.

One thing I cannot really understand is the comments about noisy single phase motors which are supposed to vibrate which result in poor finishes,and moans about having to change belt pulleys, Back in the 1950s my father bought a combined wood lathe and saw bench I was about 12 at the time,it had a 1/2 hp Brook gryphon motor s/phase and soon learned how to use the lathe though I was banned from using the saw,I thought nothing about changing the 3 speed belt drive and the motor ran smoothly,later on it had to drive my EW lathe ,swapping the motor from from one machine to the other,at the time I could not afford my own motor for the EW. That Brook motor governor controlled starter is still running and powers my power hacksaw without complaint,My S7 has a 3/4 hp English motor supplied with the new lathe in 1974 still runs ok,and never any problem with work surface finish finish and i just change belts /back gear when I need to ,My Fobco new in 1967 has a good English made motor still runs ok.At my first job 3 lathes and two mills had all speeds changed by belt,no one complained about belt changing we just got on with it and they worked and kept on working,I dont remember reading in the ME many years back about any moaning about belt changing or noisy 3 phase motors. As I wrote above the vfd has its place ,can be very useful at some expense ,but is expensive. Though heres a thought how about going back to all belt driven machines via a line shaft and just have one vfd driving the shaft ,I just wait to see if someone asks whats a line shaft?

Thread: Confused ....Advice needed rotary table vs dividing head
15/02/2021 14:15:48

lots of statements,regarding dividing heads,and some are not entirley true. Comparing a rotary table to a dividing heads is ok but a rotary table with dividing plates or stepping drive can only be compared to a universal dividing head which has a full set of gears which increases the dividing range,carry out helical cutting for gears and threads . Spirals can be cut in a face ,silmilar to the scroll of a 3 jaw chuck,plus cams for auto lathes.I have dividing heads and rotary tables,though the most ffequently used indexing tool is a Marlco twenty four position indexer which is meant to be used with the chuck vertical though it can be used horizontally with an angle plate,24 positions allows indexing of 2,4,6,8,12,24 divisions there is an outer ring divided in degrees.An industrial quality device fitted with a 5 inch Burnerd chuck and an adapter plate to take a 5c collet chuck. Great for making brass fittings with hex features,old style whit nuts and bolts and lots of othe items which require indexing to a good quality but not quite to the precision of a good dividing head,and its quicker to set up and use plus it allows the dividing head to be only used for precise work thus reducing wear and maintaining accuracy.

Thread: Martin Evans, Royal Scot in gauge 0 - Walkerite sheet?
15/02/2021 08:59:56

I agree the gasket is intended to prevent heat transfer in this small engine,Why not use gasket paper,might have to use nearest metric equivalent for thickness,a local motor accessory shop sells a gasket paper which is very tough,it resists tearing much better than the old type gasket paper,or try to get some of the graphite coated,grey colour gasket material which has been asbestos free for many years,suppliers to the vintage vehicle owners is also good source ,I would suggest a visit to an auto jumble but thats not on at the moment with cov 19 lockdown.

Thread: Clarkson, Osborn and ER
12/02/2021 15:26:34

I was trained on Clarkson,at that time they were the preferred cutter holder,they just did not slip or pull out, Much later on I had 2 large mills at home On the universal mill I always used Clarkson holders and arbours. on the turret mill I had Clarkson and Bristol Erickson collet holders, the latter were quicker to change.I downsized in recent years to a single Omnimill so went from 30 int to 3 MT and a small Clarkson came with the mill,I tried some ER collets and found that they had a wide gripping range and a much better grip, I have retained my Clarkson holders and use them on jobs where if a cutter did pull out and wreck the job it would be a disaster.I still take on vintage work for customers so cannot take the risk of a cutter slip. The ER collets also grip plain shank carbide cutters and any drill size within the range of the collet.

Thread: Problems setting up myford ml7
12/02/2021 10:39:30

To test the lathe to produce a parallel cylinder,tailstock centres and steadies cannot be used, sugest use leaded en 1A mild steel and a really well ground HSS toolbit, check that the chuck jaws are not bell mouthed, I have a Colchester master with a well used 4 jaw chuck and brand 4 jaw. Try turning a length of 2 inch en 1a leaded in the old chuck and it will chatter like mad,use the same material ,tooling and lathe settings in the new chuck and the finish is excellent. To find if the ML7 chuck is causing the chatter,try turning the bar between two centres,not chuck and tailstock centre.If it turns with reduced chatter or no chatter then its the 3 jaw chuck jaw at fault.Also grind the HSS toolbit to a sharp point and just stone a small rad on the point.

Thread: Best lapping compound for cast iron
10/02/2021 11:08:38

When lapping cast iron pistons and cylinders for hot air engines I prefer to use a hone with fixed abrasive. To my mind loose abrasives are for grinding in valves.When working as an instrument maker on spectrometers with adjustable light slits to provide a parallel beam of light.the edges of the slits were lapped flat, flat circular cast iron lapping plates were used, the 3 plates were made perfectly flat by using lapping powder and the Whitworth method to lap each plate in turn with the others. The very fine abrasive in addition to grinding the plates flat,also became embedded in the cast iron ,the edges of the light slits were then held in a fixture and rubbed carefully on the plate,it was surprising how long the abrasive lasted and the number of slits lapped, The company owner was never in favour of using loose abrasive lo lap in circular or flat bearing surfaces,he said just look at how we lap in the slit jaws,just think what that would do to a bearing. The company also had a number of circular surface plates,these were produced in the same way as the lap plates in this case to "kill"the abrasive left in the cast iron ,the plates were rubbed with a flat oil stone .

Thread: crane uprate - where would you add some metal ?
10/02/2021 10:37:02

I have the one tonne folding crane,it worked ok for some time ,then I went to recover a stationary engine,so I laid the folded up crane on the floor of the trailer,and drove about 50 miles,when I got to the site the seller had a forklift so that was used to load the engine, when I went to use the crane again some time later the ram would either lift about half way and then fail or would not lift at all,the ball valves inside the ram were not sealing,and depite flushing out the ram and trying to remove the balls which were heavily staked in position,I finally decided it was easier to buy a new ram/pump assembly for just over £100 no doubt there was swarf or dirt inside the pump assembly right from manufacture and 100 miles of bumping around in the trailer had shook up this rubbish , Of course these cranes come in a box but do not get the shaking that it got in the trailer,so if any one wants to take their crane on a journey,take the ram off ,and keep it upright in your towing vehicle. Getting back to the main subject of this thread modifying or overloading these cranes has a further risk,consider also the value of the load being lifted ,drop a decent mill,lathe ,or stationary engine ,the resulting crash could wreck the load which may be ten or twenty times the cost of the crane.

09/02/2021 15:02:17

I had one of those plain bed Smart and brown lathes,the sub bed is heavy I admit ,welded 1/4 inch steel plate ,now a precision lathe of that type should NOT be removed from its sub bed,the top of the sub bed is machined level and the lathe is aligned and carefully fitted to it. You will find that a lathe bed of that precision is not soft cast iron as we know it ,but an alloy cast iron which is strong. and can e lifted carefully in one piece.I once scrapped a J &S surface grinder,the top table on these looks slim and fragile,try hitting it with a 14 lb sledge, the hammer just bounced off,amazingly strong.Thats what you get from good UK built machine tools.

Thread: Push broaches for square holes
09/02/2021 14:13:00

Try the used tool and machinery dealers,or give Tracy tools phone call. I have cut a lot of keyways in cast iron gears and pulleys,no trouble with break out.I use a hydraulic press,cut cast iron dry,

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