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Member postings for Nealeb

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

Thread: Loco hand pump casting from Reeves
20/05/2019 22:46:03

Baz - thanks for the note. Yes, I have identified the regulator on the drawings. When the castings originally arrived I did check them all against the list, but that was a while ago! What I didn't check was whether there was actually a tender hand pump on the drawings; looks like Reeves have added this of their own accord.

Thread: HSS or CS taps and dies
20/05/2019 16:18:52

The mention of spiral point and spiral flute drills is useful as these do not seem as well-known to the amateur (which I am as well - just had the good fortune to be told about these). Although nominally "machine taps", they work well for hand tapping as well, and generally are faster as you do not need anything like the same to-and-fro motion to break and clear chips or need swapping taper/second/plug. A while back, I had a fair number of M5 through holes to tap in something like 7mm mild steel. Spiral flute tap in cordless drill, touch of tapping compound for each hole, simple tapping guide to hold tap vertical (short stub of steel with clearance hole for tap and faced off square) and away I went. I use these down to M3 in preference to conventional hand taps. Spiral point for through holes, spiral flute for blind holes (although these do need a bit more care to stop chips jamming in the flutes - but still better than hand taps).

Thread: Loco hand pump casting from Reeves
20/05/2019 16:07:19

As a DY Black 5 builder, currently working on the tender, I'm confused as well! I ordered and received the full casting set from Reeves. One of these castings looks like the pump body shown above (but only one of them). I also received a similar size casting which I cannot immediately identify. Not sure if it is anything to do with the pump but Reeves do not supply images of all the castings which can make it difficult to identify some of them.


Rather more confusing, though, is that I cannot find any tender hand pump on my drawings (as bought from Reeves) or find reference to a hand pump in the manual (which is a PDF copy of the original articles in LLAS - and I know that these are authentic as I scanned them myself from a friend's collection). Well, there are two references - one says that you don't need to make a tender panel removable unless you are fitting a hand pump, and the other tells you to use the tender hand pump to pressurise the boiler for testing. But no drawings, no build instructions for said pump. I also have the tender drawings for the Alcock Galatea/Jubilee design and I plan to put his tender body on the DY chassis, and use Alcock's hand pump design which seems to be quite nicely done.

But DY tender hand pump for Black 5? Don't know where Reeves got the idea from!

Thread: The Chocolate Fireguard as designed by Mercedes Benz
19/05/2019 20:27:51
Posted by pgk pgk on 19/05/2019 20:13:44:

According to my newspaper the concept of smart meters should save the average household £300 a year.

Another of those suspicious statistics that has been hallowed by repetition. I had a phone call from my electricity supplier a little while ago to try to persuade me to allow them to install a "smart meter." I was happy to discuss, but the list of supposed advantages did not include money-saving. I queried this, and was told that they do not make claims that this is likely to save you money as there is no reliable data available on this. Which seems highly probable to me.

Main advantage of a smart meter to me seems to be when they can help me turn on and off appropriate appliances and energy-consuming equipment (including, perhaps one day, an electric car charger) based on the instantaneous price of energy. At the moment, they aren't smart enough to tell me that I have left on a phone charger against the background consumption due to a single room light. How they are supposed to save me energy in that case is not clear. "Alert! Alert! Your washing machine is not running on the most economical setting for the load you have just put in!"

10/05/2019 16:52:02

My mind is wandering off down a dark and dangerous path...

Did anyone hear the John Finnemore sketch on Radio 4 in which an autonomous car salesman (i.e. salesman of autonomous cars, to save any confusion...) was trying to sell to a customer?

"What if the car sees a choice between hitting a bridge at speed, or knocking down a pedestrian?"

"Ah, the moral decision circuits would choose the bridge."

"Can't you do anything about that?"

"For £10K more, this model would hit the pedestrian. But not a queue of elderly pensioners waiting at a bus stop."


"Yes, and for £20K more, this one would hit the bus stop queue - but not the petrol tanker parked outside a school"


I can see a day when the back-street car remappers move from tweaking timing and injection parameters to tweaking moral decision circuits - at a price...

Edited By Nealeb on 10/05/2019 16:52:29

08/05/2019 11:45:17

I'm amazed that we ever moved away from horse-drawn transport. When you look at the insuperable difficulties of the cost of early motor transport, available only to the wealthy, the need to establish an entire supply chain from exploration through extraction and processing then distribution of the necessary fuel and other infrastructure, it's a wonder that it ever took off at all.

27/04/2019 20:54:31

Don't forget that some of the features that people are complaining about here are added for good reasons. For example, in a number of cars (not all) you need to keep your foot on the brake to operate the engine start/stop feature, specifically to save some (admittedly small) amount of fuel but also to reduce the pollution pushed into the atmosphere, where the cumulative effect of a lot of cars is significant. Aren't high-level brake lights there so that the car behind the car or two behind you gets an early warning? If no-one is showing brake lights, who is going to warn the approaching BMW/white van/hate vehicle of the moment about to hit someone up the chuff?

What actually worries me is that quite of a lot of features are added and are going to be added to cars to overcome the deficiencies of drivers. Automatic braking, speed limiters, etc, come into this category. The average level of driving ability is not that high. And by definition, half the drivers on the road are below that level...

Thread: Page errors in 4610
27/04/2019 16:36:28

I rang subs over a fortnight ago and am still waiting for the replacement that was going to arrive "in a few days." Has anyone else received theirs?

Thread: The Chocolate Fireguard as designed by Mercedes Benz
27/04/2019 12:54:34

Certainly true that these driver aids are not 100% reliable. I suspect that most of the complaints about them here are coming from technically-aware people who take driving seriously and can do better (although my Audi auto headlights and wipers do work pretty well, pretty much all the time. And I know how to override them if needed).

Regrettably, these driver aids are still more reliable and accurate than the average driver. Most drivers do not even realise how little they know, not just about their cars but also their driving ability.

Thread: Smart and brown lathe
14/04/2019 09:13:00

I have a 1024 VSL, a bit scruffy but bought with lots of extra toys. Three-phase but now running from external inverter. After my Myford, the bed of this one looks like the deck of an aircraft carrier...

Thread: Page errors in 4610
12/04/2019 18:15:38

I suspected that I wasn't the only one! Already rung Subs who tell me that replacement is on its way. Wonder who has all the copies with the duplicated pages missing from ours?

Thread: Dishwasher detergents
31/03/2019 10:17:17

A large proportion of the mince pies eaten in the UK at Christmas come from the Mr Kipling factory in Hampshire. In fact, they have probably already started making them, as they get shipped to enormous cold stores around the country to await the Christmas season. About October, usually...

However, although Mr Kipling makes mince pies for a number of brands, in-store own brands and so on, they are actually made to different recipes. Economy of scale in that the "making" equipment is well-used that way, but that doesn't mean that you can't use a bit more or a bit less of various ingredients, or add/remove some of them according to taste/preference/price point. Taking a look at the stacks waiting for loading and distribution and seeing various brand labels doesn't mean that they are the same inside.

I have bought an unbranded component for an Audi (rear screen wiper motor) which claimed to come from the same factory as the originals. Although it arrived in a non-Audi box, it was pretty much identical to the original (barring a small improvement or two which was also true of the current Audi replacement) - but about 70% the price.

Problem is - how do you tell? Same factory could mean different product, or same product/different brand, or possibly something altogether inferior. Tricky one!

31/03/2019 08:05:37

...but why use tablets? That way, you use the amount the tablet manufacturer decrees, irrespective of the greasiness, etc, of the washing up. Use powder, and you can not only use less than the manufacturer recommends, but even reduce that if there's nothing too greasy in there. Tested by experiment over a number of years...

We are in a very soft water area, so no salt needed, and the machine uses rinse aid but fairly sparingly.

Reminds me of the Calgon nonsense - compare its constituents with those of a typical washing powder. You are just adding more of the same.

Thread: D1-4 Camlock cams - where to find them!
31/01/2019 14:53:01

I have a Smart and Brown lathe with D1-4 spindle nose. Unfortunately (and in common with a number of old lathes I have seen!) one or two of the cams in the spindle nose have started to split around the square hole which takes the key. Evidence of a hard former life - I can imagine the tube over the chuck key for that extra little bit of tightening...

I have found one source online for replacements (and I gather that replacement is pretty straightforward) but that is in the US with carriage costs to match. I wonder if anyone knows of a UK supplier of such things?

Thanks in advance,

Thread: Workshop headphones
04/01/2019 09:52:03

Clearly, a wide range of personal views - who would have expected that from this forum!

There is a broad division between "no distractions" and "background music or speech radio as accompaniment". I'm in the latter group - I find that quietly singing along to familiar music, for example, is sometimes an aid to concentration while watching a machine as it stops my mind wandering on to other things, and I can just stop listening when required.

The other broad division comes down to need for ear protection. For me, lathe work or hand work at the bench is relatively quiet - no ear protection needed, background radio adequate. Milling machine - noisier, ear protection not needed, but too loud to hear radio. CNC router - similar to milling machine, quite often, until I turn on vacuum cleaner/dust extractor when hearing protection needed. Given that a run on this machine could be 30-60 mins, that's the situation I had in mind - standing there machine-minding while the electronics does its thing is rather tedious, does not need high levels of concentration especially with repetitive use of a tested tool path, and radio or whatever helps entertain.

Thanks for all comments, and some useful pointers to go and explore.

02/01/2019 19:19:16

In a single-user workshop, hearing other machines is not really an issue, but I don't want to go as far as full noise-cancelling headphones because I do want to hear the machine in front of me! And the phone if my wife calls me to say that the kettle's boiled!I tried a pair of full noise-cancelling cans a few years ago - like sitting in an anechoic chamber - very weird sensation. I believe that the French officially ban headsets in motorcycle helmets, presumably so that you can hear the horns of motorists around you but I wear ear plugs on the bike (or I wouldn't be able to hear anything after a few hours) and are deaf riders banned as well? Sometimes the rules don't make a lot of sense...

One of my favourite workshop listening items is by Fairport Convention, starting with a track by Sandy Denny. Does that count?

There seems to be quite a few commercial workshop-type wireless ear defenders, but at quite a price compared with the "domestic" versions. Might be because the domestic versions don't come with specs for noise reduction, as that's not their official purpose? The reason I started this thread was to find out if anyone had experience of using the domestic versions - for example, Panasonic and Sennheiser make them with dedicated wireless base stations (as my favourite workshop radio does not do Bluetooth and adding an adaptor seems a bit more complicated).

02/01/2019 16:58:40

Kind-of workshop tooling, anyway!

I like to listen to the radio and/or streaming music while working in the workshop. However, with a number of tools I need ear defenders - for the dust extractor/vacuum cleaner, if not the machine itself. While browsing in a local electrical shop earlier today I saw a range of wireless headphones and I was wondering if I could find something with enough acoustic isolation to protect my hearing while listening to radio, etc, and at the same time allow enough sound through to enable me to hear the cutting operation - even with CNC cutting, the sound it makes gives a useful guide to how cutting is going.

I was wondering if anyone has gone down this path already, and if anyone has any comments to make. Needs to be wireless to avoid trailing leads, I think, and be able to plug into a standard 3.5mm jack socket. Mains power available.


Thread: Draft Site G code generator
30/05/2018 20:07:16

Used to be that you installed trial version of F360, and when it was getting towards the end, it would ask if you wanted to buy a licence or continue with free "home/hobby" user licence. Can't tell if it still does, but I believe that's the way to go.

Thread: Dividing by difficult ratios
29/04/2018 20:33:54

I had a look at this problem a little while ago when I was musing on making prime-number divisions. Looks to me as if most of the usual approximations assume the usual approach of "same number of holes each time". If you are prepared to drop this, then I think it isn't too difficult to get better approximations, using that modern workshop tool of a spreadsheet!

Start with the concept of "total number of holes for one rotation of workpiece". That is, number of holes in chosen circle times division ratio of worm (typically 40, 60, or 90). Say, biggest circle is 57 holes, for the sake of an example. So total number of holes (for my dividing head) is 57*60 = 3420. Using the OP's number, how can we divide into 133 divisions? For each successive cut, we need to move by 3420/133 holes, that is, 25.7142857. Can't do non-integer number of holes, so for the first move the nearest "whole number" (pardon the pun) is 26 holes. Next move would be 2*25.71etc, giving 51. Note that you must do the multiplication first (step number * exact number of holes complete with decimal places), then round to the nearest integer - which is a trivial job to do if you use a spreadsheet to do the sums for you and give a list of hole movements to use. What you find in this case is that about 2 out of 3 steps, you move 26 holes, and the rest 25. However, you will be minimising the error at each step, and errors will be small and scattered through the entire workpiece. In fact, the very worst error possible with this method is equal to a half-hole step, which would be 360/114deg on the plate,. and therefore 360/114min (60:1 division ratio) at the workpiece. It is possible to do a bit of analysis and maybe find a hole circle which could do better - and again, very easily done with a spreadsheet.

If the 3 minute or so error above is too great, then as mentioned the "two-step" approach will significantly reduce this, down to the point that the errors in your dividing worm wheel are probably the limiting factor.

Advantage of this method is that you can very quickly try all the hole circle numbers in whatever plates you have and see which gives the minimum error. But as I haven't actually needed to make a prime-number-divided circle yet, this is a rather theoretical approach at the moment!

Edited By Nealeb on 29/04/2018 20:35:57

Thread: BA versus metric reduced-head fastenings
27/04/2018 14:58:03

Richard - I agree completely with you, but it's a bit clumsy to talk about "the first metric thread system" and "the second metric thread system"! Sometimes it's just easier to go with common convention. Personally, I have no particular axe to grind one way or the other - I'm really happy that both lathe and vertical mill have DROs that switch between metric and imperial units, so I can mix systems even when working on a single piece of work. The only issue is whether there are fixings in any of the systems that combine diameter/pitch/head size etc that work in a given situation. I don't know what is used commercially these days in the situations for which the BA threads were defined.

As an aside, I love it that the Americans are so wedded to an "imperial" system!

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