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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: Covid 19 and the DVLA
24/03/2021 10:07:34


I wouldn't get over concerned about the delays to your license, I am in a similar boat to you and battled by letter with them on the previous renewal in 2017. They are completely hidebound and inflexible and will only take the results from their selected opticians, namely Specsavers.

The LEGAL eyesight requirement, as defined in their last letter to me in September 2020 in that you must be able to meet their standard test of being able to read a car number plate at a distance of 20 meters [ Snellen 0.5] with or without using glasses.. That is the only test that meets their requirements and being able to declare that level of eyesight achievement with a clear conscience seems to be good enough. I can meet that so I am continuing to drive. In the meantime I await their arrangements at Specsavers; the branch they deal with is cross country and 35 miles away, others are nearer!

Unlike some of the other medical questions that can now be answered on their website by a simple reply on whether the condition has worsened, those involving eyesight still need to plod through this tedious and frustrating route. If you are unsure about your ability to meet that test, any optician can check that for you

I hope that helps reduce your blood pressure somewhat

Regards Brian

Thread: Using a mill for slotting
18/03/2021 11:39:40


You may well find the teeth were hardened in the first place. It might be altogether easier to make a copy in gauge plate, harden and temper that and bolt it on in place Look at the state of the indexing pawl as well, that might even be bent..

Regards Brian

PS The mill would handle the job I think, but it could be noisy and hard work/ expensive on the cutters.

Thread: Gasket jointing compound
18/03/2021 11:30:33

On good joints just plain translucent silicone sealing compound It was recommended in the installation instructions for flue gas sealing on the joints in the pipework on an oil boiler I installed in our previous house

My Dad made up a head gasket for a 2 stroke Atco lawnmower many many years ago using brown paper, it was an old motor bike trick of the time

Regards Brian

Thread: Portass dreadnought restoration
17/03/2021 19:44:02

My apologies Carl for inadvertently leading you astray. Clearly the Dreadnought is a very different lathe to the ordinary Portass versions which were I believe Myford clones.

Regards Brian.

Thread: Old portass dreadnought rebuild help
17/03/2021 09:28:53

Hello again Carl,

There were other similarities with Myford lathes, things like change wheels for example will all be 20 DP and to 14.5 degree pressure angle. The bores may not match but that is a relatively easy thing to cope with.

More importantly, you may be able to graft a Myford tailstock on to your Portass and likewise a top slide, both of which you are going to need before you can use the lathe properly

So all may not be lost and those spares are more readily found on sale sites like eBay. Take a good look at the information on Portass lathes on Tony Griffiths excellent website where you will find other interesting information.

Enjoy returning an old warrior to useful life again, it is both challenging and fun to do having recently brought an old Churchill lathe back to useful life in my workshop

Regards Brian

16/03/2021 10:55:32

Hello Carl,

I don't know Portass lathes well but I have a feeling they were rather similar to early Myfords. Headstocks on those were bolted about 2/3 rds the way along the casting below the spindle as well as having two bolts below the front spindle bearing

I suspect you will need to remove the spindle to get proper access to the middle bolt

Regards Brian

Thread: Accuracy to be expected from a 0-1" travel DTI
16/03/2021 10:14:14

Hello Greensands,

DTIs are not intended to be used as measuring instruments, they are however very good at indicating a departure from the setting reference. You can't rely on the indicated travel as a true measure of displacement so I am not surprised at your findings.

Regards Brian

Thread: Pools Special Back Gear
14/03/2021 17:50:30

Hello Howard,

I beg to differ, surely the press should go just over the indicated mid point to allow for spring in the material.

Regards as always


Thread: A question for the Chemists ...
14/03/2021 13:56:11

Hello Bill,

Your memory of sodium thiosulphate's use in photography is as mine, but I do also recall it being used in hand warmers that were activated by kneading the sachet. As usual, the contents of those things was not disclosed to the buying public and that was what I had been told at the time.

Regards Brian

Thread: Pools Special Back Gear
14/03/2021 12:29:49

If the Professor will forgive me for the intrusion,


You can recover a bent shaft readily enough, even a short one like a back gear shaft. It is hard work mind but perseverse.

Support the two ends in wooden Vee blocks, sitting on a concrete floor, rotate the shaft so that the high point is uppermost and belt the hell out of it with a lump hammer down a length of 3 X 2 timber. Check it from time to time by gripping one end in your 3 jaw chuck and rotate it to see how you are doing.

Realign as necessary on your 'Vee' blocks and chase the high spot out until you can get the shaft to run true within a few thou over it's length

I have recovered a 3/4 inch diameter gear box shaft by this method.

If you have access to a press, it will save you some effort but check very frequently if using that approach since you have no 'feel' about how the metal is yielding and it would be all too easy to overshoot the sweet spot.

Regards Brian

Thread: A question for the Chemists ...
14/03/2021 12:10:56

Hello Michael,

From the dim past I recall the material within is Sodium Thiosulphate. It was used to yield an exothermic release of heat on recrystalliization, usually initiated by kneading the bag it is contained in. Maybe your 'clicker' doesn't work, I don't remember that as the reaction initiator

As for your supplementary questions, maybe Wikipedia has the answers.

Regards Brian

Thread: zyto lathe ?
12/03/2021 09:24:47

Hello Martin,

The usual recommendation for setting the headstock bearings correctly is rather long winded but it does save the castings.

Adjust as normal to get a satisfactory running clearance on the spindle and measure the gap at the bolting point with feeler gauges. Make an spacer, aluminium is a good choice, slightly thicker than your gauged value, drill it for clearance on the bolt and lap it down, fine sand paper will do nicely, to close to gauge thickness. Fit it and test the spindle clearance when pulled down tight.

Repeat the lapping until that is correct and then do it all again for the second bearing.

I did mention it is a rather laborious business didn't I !

Regards Brian

Thread: Plugging incorrect holes
12/03/2021 09:12:53

Hello Peter,

They should do unless the originals are very shallow. Give the Loctite about 24 hours to really get to full strength before you run and tap the new holes.

Regards Brian

Thread: Smart and Brown Sabel
11/03/2021 17:41:20

Alan Hands

Not a dumb question at all, the Model A was a different machine altogether, but it was made by Smart and Brown

Regards Brian

Thread: How do I get the bearings out of this?
08/03/2021 17:23:23

Is it a screwed in cover and the three holes are there to fit a pin spanner?

Regards Brian

Thread: Junior hacksaw blades
06/03/2021 17:56:55

Thank you gentlemen for suggesting the blade works better on the pull stroke, I now agree after trying it out

Regards Brian

Thread: Superglue and Oil?
06/03/2021 17:54:01

Brian H

Loctite make an oil tolerant 603 retaining compound which should work in your case.

Regards Brian [another]

Thread: Clarke CL250M Spindle too Stiff?
06/03/2021 14:05:40

Hello again Ian,

That sounds like good news but I fear the episode may well have shortened the life of the bearings anyway. Roller bearings, by virtue of line contact, are more forgiving than ball bearings in the same situation, as the balls concentrate any overloading and indent the bearing race(s). The process is known as brinelling. In severe cases the bearing feels decidedly 'digital' as it is rolled round and corresponding flats will have formed on the balls as well. The life left in such a bearing is indeed short.

I would still take Ady1's advice and get a new set in from ARC, the investment is quite tolerable and then you have them ready for change at a time to suit you.

Regards Brian

06/03/2021 11:12:47

Hello again Ian,

I believe ARC have a procedure for pulling the spindles on mini lathes which would be helpful for you.

If they are as you suspect taper bearings, with the spindle out it should then be obvious how the outer races can be extracted from their pockets

Regards Brian

06/03/2021 09:16:42

Hello Ian,

Thank you for the feedback, at least you will not be surprised by your findings, As Ady1 says, clearly the time has come to change them, they probably had too much preload applied right from the start.

It's easy to overdo it too, just enough to take out end float and then a bit more to the point where drag can just be detected on rotation. Back off a trifle on that and fix

Regards Brian

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