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Member postings for Mark Rand

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

Thread: Feed screw lube
17/07/2022 17:00:40

Use way oil. Far better...

Thread: Diy Magnetic table with permanent magnets
15/07/2022 18:09:46

The magnets should not be 'shorted' by any steel. The thickness of the brass blocks should be about the same as that of the magnets. The sliding steel pieces must be in good contact with the steel bars in the face of the table and the magnets.

Thread: online upgrades: Is it broken, a disabled feature, or customer gouging
15/07/2022 18:05:29

I'm currently rather annoyed with Renault/Dacia. The dashboard has a spanner shaped service light position. Unfortunately, they decided to use the general engine fault warning light to indicate that a service is desired (as well as indicating that one might actually have an engine fault). This means that one needs to use an OBD2 reader to make sure that the car isn't complaining about being broken when it just thinks you need to pay for a service. To add insult to injury, the light can only be reset with Renault's proprietary software, which independant garages cannot get access to.

I have a feeling that this actually contravenes the 'right to repair' laws...

Thread: Hinckley C
09/07/2022 20:44:21

Apart from the generation efficiency, there are also a vast amount more capital and operation costs in generating and distributing electricity compared with distributing gas.

06/07/2022 14:56:41

Mayhap if 'twer covered in brown paper and placed on the top shelf, it would attact more sales. laugh

Thread: Casting Advice (no laughing please)
03/07/2022 21:25:12
Posted by Steve355 on 02/07/2022 15:27:19:


I see, thanks.

I think I have realised that I’m barking up the wrong tree with this particular part, because of shrinkage. It’s actually supposed to be a precision part, with the arcs on the picture being 60° of a 2 inch circle, plus and minus 15 thou for sandpaper. The reason I wanted to cast it, was because I couldn’t see a way to machine it with the machines I have. But casting just isn’t gonna give the accuracy I need. We live and learn!

Never mind, I have another pattern printed for a different thing, a stamp for wood.

I am determined to crack this though, so many possibilities open up if one can cast parts then machine them.

<Photo snipped>

I think what I’m going to do, is order some proper greensand from sdts (actually not as expensive as I thought) then I’m off abroad for work for a couple of weeks, then I’ll come back to it.

Thanks for your help

thanks for your help



Steve, What machines, if any do you have for machining or are you only set up for wood-spoiling instead of metal-spoiling?

If it's SDTS in Nuneaton that you are using, I'm in Rugby. If you want to try making a casting that's a tad larger in all dimensions, I could mill it to the desired final dimensions.

Thread: Lifting milling vice off mill table
03/07/2022 20:58:18

I suppose if the only problem is the 'suction' of the oil later, then a lever with a pin through it would do. The lever would reach under the edge of the vice through a T slot, with a pin through it to provide leverage against the table. This could break the vice away from the table an allow it to be picked up.

Alternatively, use a T bolt or similar held in the vice and <something in the spindle>. Either lower the table or raise the head, as appropriate to the mill. Then a bit of wood can be slid under the vice and it can be released from the spindle and hauled out of the way.

Thread: What does your casting setup look like, and results?
03/07/2022 12:25:37

I'm very much a beginner, but have a number of things in the to-do list if I ever get around to them. Only poured aluminium thus far and have more learning to do before I advance on to other alloys:-

The furnace is an EBay Amal find that had seen some use but has more life in it. The burner is a home made naturally aspirated venturi propane burner with the mixture controlled by sliding the gas injector in or out of the venturi's throat.


The first operation was to turn a large collection of hard disks, plus a couple of scrap castings into ingots. The ingot moulds are welded up from steel channel with the natural draft of the channel, plus sloped ends. Ingots can be knocked out almost as soon s they've solidified..

ingot moulds.jpg

This was the result of the first day's operation. 35kg of ingots and a lot of dross. For subsequent pours, I used a drossing flux and the dross was just dross and not mostly aluminium. The ingots are stamped up as to what they came from to allow me a choice of alloys.


The flasks, so far have been made from wood and were about the right size for the desired castings. Sand is EBay Mansbond oil bonded sand.


The first pour. I had a few problems initially but did better with later attempts (that disn't get photographed).


One if my first successful casting, from a small number in total. It's a switch box for my Beaver milling machine, since the replacement switch was much deeper than the original. A building sand and sodium silicate core was used.


Thread: Quality of 316 stainless
01/07/2022 19:48:13

Another small point is that stainless steels need passivating to avoid rust spots when exposed to corrosive conditions. Pickling in sulfuric and or nitric acid is a good way to get rid of iron on the surface, which leads to rust spots..

Thread: Flared Pipe Connections?
01/07/2022 09:45:42

I've got a Sykes Pickavant Flaremaster that I don't need anymore. I was going to put it on John's Lad's Homeworkshop site in the hope that someoune can use it. It worked very well doing Monel brake lines for a Mini and an Escort.

Thread: Casting copper hammer heads ?
01/07/2022 09:38:05
Posted by Simon Williams 3 on 30/06/2022 19:42:57:

FWIW I played much the same tune on an old (hammer), though my ambition fell short of casting copper . But I did discover that their fitting is essentially a one trick pony, as the cast iron head is crimped around the copper insert to hold it in place. Un crimping cast iron isn't going to work.

They're malleable iron, not grey iron. Thor give a drawing of a suitable press tool for expanding and contracting the heads with their fitting instructions on the web site.

I do find that the rawhide ends are more useful for a lot of things than the copper ends.

The youf of today look at you askance when you talk about 'soft hammers' laugh

Thread: Lifting milling vice off mill table
30/06/2022 21:00:45

I'm ashamed to say that I often use a crane. The 6" vice isn't too bad, but the 6" vice and its swiveling base is a bit more, the rotary table with its over sized chuck is definitely dangerous and the tilting table is an accident waiting to happen.

I've cut the pieces up and am waiting for an opportunity to weld together a number of arms to mount on the side of the mill to hold the vices, table etc. Then I'll be able to put them on and off the table by raising and lowering the knee.

Thread: For all you Myford owners
28/06/2022 18:08:39

On the comments about the poor perception of flat ways compared with prismatic ways, I'd suggest that the 80 tonne capacity flat bed Waldrich Seigen at work was a far better machine than the two prismatic way Ravensbergs. laugh

It was a bit bigger as well,

V-flat and prismatic bed lathes are poorly suited for milling, which was a major capability for the 7 series.

28/06/2022 12:24:33

Twelve miles each way. I'd be a fool not to invest in a litre and a half of Diesel, wouldn't I?

Thread: Telephone Ringback Code?
23/06/2022 17:56:52

Do you know what the combined REN (Ringer equivalence number) or the impedance of the combined phones in the property are? The standard allowance for BT landlines was 4, which equates to an impedance of 1000 Ohms. Can you selectively remove phones from the network until you get a ringing working?

Thread: There are locomotives.... and there are locomotives.
23/06/2022 10:22:50

While we're nitpicking, It would have been so much simpler and more elegant to have made slip eccentrics as used on some gauge 0 locos than the belt reverser. crying

Thread: All things Beaver Mill
20/06/2022 12:33:04

Need a ventilation cowl on the roof, just above the spindle. laugh

Thread: Edge finder lubrication
19/06/2022 21:15:58
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 19/06/2022 17:09:11:

I'm not sure about Mark Rand's "anything toxic" remark though; and his cleansing of everything in acetone. Toxic to him or to the edge-finder?

As far as I'm concerned, WD40 and 3-in-one oil are products that have no place in any workshop as lubricants. They both end up, after time, leaving a sticky mess that defeats the functioning of any fine mechanism.

If you want something that doesn't gum things up, you need something that is pretty much all straight alkanes. Try PlusGas for very low viscosity, medicinal paraffin or hydraulic oil for higher viscosities.

Thread: Thoriated tungsten electrodes
18/06/2022 19:44:04

In the early '80s we had 400kg of mercury in the stores, but we had stopped using manometers for flowmeter and condenser vacuum measurements in steam turbine performance testing.

I proposed to our management that we should sell the mercury, since it was valuable, but we had no further use for more than about 20kg of it. I was informed by a very unimpressed departmental manager that the company as a whole would get the benefit and that neither the department or our small section would see anything from it, other than the hassle of the sale. So it was not allowed.

A decade later, a large sum of money had to be paid out to dispose of 400kg of toxic waste!

Thread: Edge finder lubrication
18/06/2022 15:16:12

Absolutely nothing. That seems to work very well with my edge finders... If they got contaminated with anything toxic, like WD40, 3-in-1 or similar, they'd get cleaned with acetone, then allowed to dry.


Note:- my shed is dry and has a stable temperature.

Edited By Mark Rand on 18/06/2022 15:17:01

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