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Member postings for Brian Wood

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

Thread: An Uninvited Guest!
26/10/2021 18:07:47


I regret to say horsetail is notoriously difficult to eradicate. It dates back to the age of the dinosaurs and has learned some survival tricks. Fossils are frequently found in coal measures.

RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate had it in their rockery, a very big rockery and the whole lot had to be dug up with excavators to a depth of maybe 20 feet to reach the base of the roots.

Selective weedkillers do not touch it either so I fear you have few options.

Best of luck Brian

Thread: Lathe Drilling
26/10/2021 14:39:20

Hello Squarepeg,

Your post opens by saying that you are getting these rogue results recently. Does this mean the problem has developed or is it a case of trying drilling for the first time? I find the latter hard to believe.

You say that you father also gets wander using your drills and drill chuck on his identical lathe when he normally get good results. Have you tried things the other way round and used his gear on your lathe?

For my money this is beginning to look like a fault in your drill chuck, worn jaws, swarf inside or some such fault

Regards Brian

Thread: Pratt Burnerd 4 Jaw Chuck
24/10/2021 13:51:58


Be aware that they are hardened, it might well influence your holding method and it would be interesting to know how you intend to hold them for lapping.

You might want to change your mind. the method used by Pratt is long established.


Thread: Mag chuck dismantling
23/10/2021 20:36:47


The handle on mine is a lift off key, square form male into a socket if I remember correctly without going out to check it. The handle itself is die cast carburettor metal which will not take severe torque on the small area of the square key. I have used total immersion methods in kerosene to free off seized or partially seized mechanisms, leave it overnight to give it a chance to creep inside.


PS My wife is frequently of the same opinion but we still get along well together!

23/10/2021 17:36:38


You are either being very brave or something less flattering!

Eclipse mark these chucks as having no user servicable parts inside and probably for very good reason. I suspect that if you can separate the two haves, getting it back together again will be a real nightmare without appropriate jibs etc that are available at the factory.

Before you go any further with the job, I assume you have given the operating shaft a good soaking in easing oil, and if not I would try that with hot air warming to get it to penetrate.



Thread: Hi all, newbie with first lathe, rare one i think.
22/10/2021 19:22:28

OK, I understand you are gathering information, I guessed wrongly at your response re. spindle bearings.

I used 10W-50 oil in my recent restoration, a geared head lathe made in 1947 so not that unlike yours. Plain SAE 30 horticultural oil would also be a good choice. Avoid gear oils and very thin hydraulic oils, they would both be wrong for differing reasons.


Edit. Look underneath the headstock, there might be a drain plug there.

Edited By Brian Wood on 22/10/2021 19:23:18

22/10/2021 17:51:56

I would be very reluctant at this stage in your knowledge of this lathe and it's potential habits to strip it down just to establish what sort of bearings the spindle runs in. Not only will you disturb any preload setting, without knowing what it should be set back to afterwards, but you run the risk of introducing foreign bodies into the bearings in taking it apart and putting it together.

Does it really matter that much what the bearings are? Spindle speeds are given on the information plate and I would stick to those as a guide to see how the lathe performs before any such invasive surgery.

Thus far I don't think you have cut any metal on it yet.


Edited By Brian Wood on 22/10/2021 17:54:13

20/10/2021 09:25:07

You could make an intelligent guess at the one on the leadscrew by measuring the diameter and seeing what you do have that is about half that diameter.

You might be lucky and find it is 127 teeth in which case the metric side of the threading table also becomes available in the threads that the lathe can screw cut. The best result of course is to count the teeth, then you know for certain what it is and can mark it accordingly.


19/10/2021 16:45:41

The video shown by NDIY gives a lovely clear picture of the threading plate which, when frozen, confirms that the leadscrew is indeed of English pitch at 4TPI

No need for Wayne to post a picture, the information is all there


19/10/2021 09:55:51

6 threads and 1.25 inches. Means nothing at all.

A more meaningful result would be to measure as best as you can the carriage travel for10 full turns of the leadscrew to reduce reading errors

I suspect it will be some metric value. The other feed screws may have been replaced with imperial versions by the previous owner, a relatively simple modification when compared to changing the leadscrew as that would also change all the results for screwcutting from the gearing tables giving the various arrangements and their results in thread pitch.

18/10/2021 18:20:13

Well then, Andrew at Suffolk Steam is the man to ask for any other information, the rest of us are floundering about without a lot to go on


Edited By Brian Wood on 18/10/2021 18:20:34

18/10/2021 16:35:10

Google has some information from Suffolk Steam on this particular lathe, It is demonstrated in a video

The nose thread is 60 mm O/D, pitch 5.5 mm with a through bore of 40 mm and 5 MT nose taper. From the size of the bearing housing I would guess at a taper roller bearing support at the chuck end and probably a plain roller bearing at the far end of the spindle

Old Mart recommends a decent quality oil in the headstock. I agree with him and used a semi-synthetic 10W-50 oil made by Morris Lubricants in a recent restoration of a Churchill Cub lathe of 1947 vintage. It seems to like it and runs very well at all speeds.


17/10/2021 18:42:39

Hello Wayne,

This particular lathe is the very one pictured in Tony Griffiths excellent archive website Other than confirming it came off a WW2 German warship and having a spindle height of about 7 inches from the bed, he has rather uncharacteristically little do add, except to say the factory produced quality work.

There are no technical details that you can refer to. The view inside the headstock is of a clean machine in good shape.

Enjoy your purchase, it should serve you well


Thread: 316 Stainless
15/10/2021 10:55:44

Try carbide tips Steve, not at high speed and keep the feed on, don't allow the tip to dwell as that induces work hardening in the material.

You should get a decent finish straight from the tool and stringy swarf, which is sharp and bitey!



Edited By Brian Wood on 15/10/2021 10:56:06

Thread: HELP needed
08/10/2021 10:02:00

Hello Steve,

I can't help as I am not a model builder but there are plenty of others on the forum who would be able to tell you. This will bring it back to to their attention.



Thread: Workshop lighting / energy costs
05/10/2021 10:13:20

My average electricity consumption in an old house is close to that of Andrew at about 2800/3000 Kwh per year, some of which [400+] is used by a converter heater in the inner sanctum which I try to keep a shade warmer in the cooler months.

We are gradually switching to LED lighting in the house from earlier miniature fluorescents, the difference in light output is really noticeable as these things begin to age.

I too am careful about switching things off after use and have some interesting stand-by loading figures to add to the discussion. A domestic shredder uses about 15 watts when not in use, the extractor unit over the kitchen hob gobbles 45 watts on stand-by. The unit I have used for such measurements is a Brennenstuhl PM 230 which has a number of functions such as current demand, power factor, voltage, frequency drop and so on of things that are plugged into it.


Thread: Solar Panel Slew bearing, van hub?
21/09/2021 17:56:26

Maybe the fairground equipment supply people have something larger that could be used as a slewing bearing, it does I think need to be broad to help with damping down the effects of "panting" of the structure in windy conditions

21/09/2021 10:09:17
Posted by not done it yet on 21/09/2021 09:59:06:
Posted by Peter Cook 6 on 20/09/2021 23:07:29:

Have you considered a washing machine drum spider. Three legs as a tripod base, and fixings for a couple of substantial bearings. The one on my old Bosch is a substantial lump of steel. Try the local scrapyard for an old (or not so old) machine.

This could be an area of seven square metres, or more. I don’t think a washing machine component is built for the side forces which may be encountered.

With five photovoltaic panels, I would be grid tying them with an inverter and use the 240V 50Hz power, instead of from the grid, with only surplus going to an immersion heater. Seven panels is likely near 200V DC on open circuit and possibly well over 100V at full power (depends on how the panels are connected and the number of cells per panel, of course). High voltage DC is not a recommended route for me - lethal electrocution danger and increased risk of fire in the case of a fault condition within the circuit.

Is this a single or dual axis tracker ? I’m guessing again that it is single axis. Even so, I reckon four square metres is quite a large area to control from a single fulcrum post unless rotating at ground level (with possible support at the outer corners).

Flutter in a gale is going to be a serious problem, the OP has talked about having this pole mounted so it will be single point fixing. PV panels do not like being flexed so the whole thing needs a substantial frame to control that adding significant weight to an unstable system. I have seen small shed roofs torn off in windy conditions, gusting would make any structure the size of a garage door mounted centrally on a single support vibrate and suffer rapidly from feedback damage.

20/09/2021 18:33:22

Hello Peter,

From my experience over many years now, I think you might do better in terms of extracted energy by fitting a stainless steel sheet behind the tubes to reflect the light that passes between the tubes back onto the underside of them. I increased the output on my single panel of 20 tubes by about 25% in capturing that.

The sheet doesn't have to be mirror finish either, heating wavelengths are tolerant to a standard mill finish on cold rolled sheet.



Thread: Harrison’s Wooden long-case Clock
08/09/2021 11:41:51

Michael ,

A good few years ago my wife and I visited Nostell and without us realising it, the visit just happened to coincide with the weekly winding ceremony. They were using a nicely fashioned boxwood key with a gear wheel business end to engage with internal gears, the ports through which it is fitted are normally hidden behind the fancy spandrels on the lower front of the clock.

We, the observers, were told that this key was already a copy of an earlier one and as far as Nostell knew it was the last of it's kind. To cut a long story short, I offered to make them a working version in modern materials to preserve the precious wooden one and was duly invited back to take the measurements I needed

The finished key, with spare parts, was duly posted to them and to this day there has never been a word of thanks from the National Trust. I had to phone the clock conservator to find out if it had been received . It had but the spare parts had already been lost and I still have no idea if it is ever used.

A rather sad reflection on the manners of the organisation I fear. We have not been back since.




Edited By Brian Wood on 08/09/2021 11:42:42

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