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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: Milling Machine Table Repairs
06/07/2020 19:51:43


Why not snatch victory from disaster and thread them instead for additional clamping variations?

Regards Brian

Thread: Smart and Brown Sabel
03/07/2020 18:39:57

Old Mart,

They are close down cast iron bearings, not lift off caps. It is though possible to set them very finely.


The oiling wicks can be held down with needles through the drain holes at the bottom of the bearings; it makes the job of inserting the spindle possible without trapping them as you slide it in from the front. It is still a fiddle to get it home successfully.

Regards Brian

Thread: Elliott M10 Tapered Ram and slideways
02/07/2020 16:52:43

Hello Steven,

I'm sorry but I can't do much more than bump this up for you to refresh it to the current page.

Maybe it is as well you got this machine cheaply, The previous owner went a long way towards turning it into scrap. Reshaping the main dovetail guide surface on the clutch control lever side of the body will be a really tricky one, likewise the ram dovetails.

Even if you can find a machine shop willing and capable of taking it on, don't expect a lightweight bill.

It might be more sensible to cut your losses before going any further and sell it on for spares

Regards Brian

Thread: Halifax 524 Headstock
24/06/2020 18:11:33

Hello again David,

I was laid low yesterday recovering from a brief attack of food poisoning so I had plenty of time to contemplate your situation.

As Phil has said, you now have little to lose.

Michael G got there there ahead of me by suggesting filling the underspace with resin mix; the granite version would add very useful weight and damping as if the space was occupied by cast iron.

I would recommend first fitting the front guide block as well as you can, leaving the adhesive to harden fully and drill through into the headstock to increase the depth of the tapping, finishing by opening out the existing tapped hole to a little more than clearance size to prevent any further disturbance of the piece in later bolting down.

A strongback across the underside of the bed at the far end, into which you can fit the two headstock bolts will hold that end down but again I would recommend drilling out the threaded holes in the broken sections of the bed so that they become precision clamping spacers instead and prevent bolting strain on the headstock at that point.

I am so sorry you have had this truly unpleasant experience; was there no sign at all of headstock movement or vibration when the lathe was run up? They could of course have fiddled that with slack belts to hide it.

Best of luck Brian.

22/06/2020 18:17:40

Hello David,

I hope you get some satisfaction out of this, I cannot believe damage of this kind would go unnoticed.

As for a solution I fear it has gone beyond economic repair. Even if it can be cobbled together it will be most unlikely to turn out decent work and you will be left with the unenviable task of selling it on ' for spares'

I wish you well


22/06/2020 17:24:13

Hello David,

Oh dear, it just gets worse I'm sad to say.

To be honest I really don't know what to advise. My suspicion that force has been used to lever up the front of the headstock seems to be confirmed by the broken off corners at the other end which look as though they have failed downwards by leverage from the bolts..

I find it hard to believe the vendor was ignorant of the situation, there was in effect nothing holding the headstock in position other than gravity. Do you have any hope of recompense with him?

Kind regards Brian.

Edit. Perhaps a more likely cause was that the front bolt was pulled up so hard it broke off the mounting but the lathe was used after that and belt tension would have completed the damage at the far end 

Edited By Brian Wood on 22/06/2020 17:44:57

22/06/2020 14:38:41


What rotten luck for you..

From what I was able to judge from the pictures you have in your album it looks to be the location/alignment tongue between the bedways that has separated from the headstock casting.

I fear you may need some professional help to replace the tongue with a piece let into and secured to the underside of the headstock. I imagine there will be alignment screws bearing on the tongue through, most probably, the rear shear so that the headstock can be slewed slightly and correctly aimed along the bed, using a test bar in the spindle socket to check progress.

All this will need to be done cold I think. With the greatest regard for a skilled welder, any concentrated heat in the area will introduce stress and potentially add to the damage.

Before any salvage work can be done you need to remove the headstock to assess the full extent of the cracking but before you proceed with that, are you quite positive that this is not some local feature masquerading as a crack in bad lighting? .It does seem to have an unlikely form to my eye.

Regards Brian

Edit. Looking again at picture 2 I can see a gap between the headstock and the bed which is of similar width to the crack and what seems to be a clamp strip below the tongue. It is almost as if the headstock and bed have been forced apart and torn off the tongue in the process.


Edited By Brian Wood on 22/06/2020 15:14:48

Thread: Constantly Having To Log In To The Website
22/06/2020 10:00:06

Mike Poole,

My experience was from several months before the lock down and from some of the stories I have read in the posting inactive connections seems to have no bearing on the situation, see Brytech for example


22/06/2020 09:25:29

I went through a long patch of this kind of frustration as well, then found I could no longer log in either. I tried repeatedly to do so but each attempt failed with the message that my log in details were not recognised. Many times I asked for a manual reset but that produced no tangible result

Finally I gave up and renewed my membership of the Forum. Weeks later I found my new password in my Spam box, I have always up until then had messages etc direct to my email address, but not as a result of this nonsense

Once that was used I was back in business again as if nothing had happened

All very curious Brian

Thread: Smart and Brown Sabel
18/06/2020 10:02:39

Hello Jim,

I took all the saddle components to pieces and put them together again when I first acquired my Sabel but sadly I can't recall the sort of detail you are asking for, the description is rather vague. It is not particularly difficult though, perhaps a bit fiddly here and there. There are some oil ways that will need poking through, they were rather choked on my lathe. I remember some wicks in one or two of those as well. They clean up OK and can be refitted

From the memories I have, the internals are logical. The interlocks are positive and easy to see how they work.

The clutch, a drum shaped component, works by compressing a disc spring using the star wheel to do so. That causes two shoes [ I think there are two] to expand into the the rim of the drum and provide the drive for either facing or turning as selected by the lever on the apron front

I don't know if that answers your query, try me again if not.

Regards Brian

Thread: Hello from South Wales
17/06/2020 09:58:55

Welcome to the Forum Andy.

Perhaps you should graduate to machining metal on your machines, wood dust is a very poor lubricant and might actually make your ML7 even older with it's effect on the white metal bearings. I think it would pay you dividends to clean things thoroughly before you make that change.

Your project sounds ambitious, is this to make a road use bike? There are plenty of bike enthusiasts on the Forum who will I'm sure be happy to pass on their experience.

Regards Brian

Thread: Wot's this for ? help please
17/06/2020 09:17:37


I looks as though it should retain a bearing, perhaps the right hand one on the mounting block that doesn't look as though it is fully home.

Other views may help

Regards Brian

15/06/2020 09:02:34

Gary's story just confirms what I have always thought to be the case with these bandsaws, in a paraphase of Tony Blair's triple 'Education' speech-----alignment; alignment; alignment.

Another pitfall I have experienced is cutting near a weld where a hard spot often lurks. That will ruin a blade in seconds by blunting the teeth on one side,. It will struggle ever after and be cursed with curved cutting if you are lucky. I have also learned that any attempt at cutting spring steel bar is doomed

Regards Brian

PS Thank you Ega for refreshing my memory

14/06/2020 20:50:12

Thank you for the input Ega and yes I did go into the subject at some length but I can't now recall the title of the posting I was responding to!.

And yes, the 'notch' is the flange/rim transition on the blade wheels. Getting the blade to sit correctly against that and avoid poor steering from the guide that directs the cutting blade back onto the driving wheel are the two critical factors in making these mass produced saws work as intended.

Regards Brian

13/06/2020 18:59:25

Hello Rob,

Your problem is almost certainly caused by incorrect tracking having disturbed the bearing guide blocks. My saw came for Axminster but they are all of similar design, The fitting on my guide blocks was truly awful, cast surfaces straight onto other cast surfaces for example.

In the end I not only suffered blade run offs but breakages. I stripped out the entire blade guide system, milled decent fitting and bolting surfaces on them and rebuilt it all using a taut wire round the blade wheels so that the guide nearest the power wheel in particular steered the wire into the 'notch' on the rim for want of a better description That gave me the proper position for the rear of the cutting blade.

With a blade fitted the saw was transformed, no more running off the blade wheels and proper guidance by the ball bearings in the blocks

I hope that help Brian

Thread: How to secure a Piston Rod in the Piston
12/06/2020 19:41:13


Is there any chance of increasing the diameter of the 1/8 dimension of the rod where it is inserted into the piston by heavy knurling to improve the centreing of the two components. You will need a knurl with opposed rollers to do that successfully so that they squeeze the job..

After that and rather than hammering over the end like a rivet, may I suggest you centre punch in at least three positions to swell the rod into a tight fit in the piston? Quite why the joint was made that way with such a poor fit I don't understand.

Regards Brian

Edited By Brian Wood on 12/06/2020 19:41:42

Thread: Smart and Brown Sabel
12/06/2020 10:23:02


The 'damage' on the spindle seems superficial to me although I would use a stone or well worn smooth flat file to remove any peaks that are present. The corresponding bearing looks OK and I would leave it severely alone.

The thrust bearing can be washed out in kerosene, the two thrust washers will tell you by the polish marks the balls have made if they are in good condition. If all that is satisfactory I suggest you re-use it. Boxford may also stock the felts, they too copied the Southbend lathe in their clones.

Before you rebuild the lathe it might pay you to look at the condition of the 4 step pulley on the countershaft driven by the motor. I was plagued by belt slip for some time before I spotted that the grooves had worn into J shapes and the belt was running on the bottom. Like you I had a cannibalised machine that came with my purchase which still had the cast iron 4 step pulley for the lathe spindle. It wasn't very difficult to machine up a sleeve from aluminium so that it could be fitted in place of the worn version. I also had to re-cut the grooves in the motor pulley for the same reason, just to reshape the sides was enough in that case

Assembling the spindle again [holding the lubrication springs and felts down is helped a lot with needles through the drainage holes at the side of the bearings and makes that bit easy enough], but fiddling all the diameters into the right place to slide the spindle home will test the patience of a saint. Do make sure you have everything in the right place when you do so, you really only want to endure the experience once and once only!

Regards Brian

Thread: Jumping in
11/06/2020 14:32:18

Thanks for taking it so well Ian, I could be have been diving for cover!

On a serious note, I'm sure you will find the lathe absorbing and rewarding. Good luck with getting it operational again.

Kind regards Brian

11/06/2020 14:19:23

Hello Ian,

Welcome to the Forum, I'm sure you will find it of great use and interest and sometimes even gentle banter.

" Error in judgement" --- placed where the phrase is in your posting it could be interpreted in ways other than the one I'm sure you intended!

Mischievously Brian

Thread: Myford ML4 leadscrew dials
10/06/2020 18:55:41
Posted by Rod Renshaw on 10/06/2020 14:52:13:

Hi all

I can't remember where I got the idea but I have always understood that the reasons the ML1-4 were rejected for war time work was that they were regarded as too insubstantial for factory production work,


That may be true Rod but I have a photo (in colour !) of a Mrs Luscombe who is featured machining a batch of Sten Gun firing pins. The lathe is quite clearly an ML4 in a back yard workshop so the work was being done by non factory based operators. She has had her hair done just for the picture too.


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