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Member postings for Chris Trice

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

Thread: Compact 5 lathe questions
29/05/2010 23:37:28
... and yes, apparently the plastic gib strips are standard.
Thread: Lathes??
29/05/2010 23:27:17
You generally get what you pay for. I'd recommend getting the largest lathe you can afford. If space is a premium but you still need a lathe with some grunt, consider a second hand quality lathe like a Myford ML10. Bide your time and you can pick these up on eBay with a good smattering of accessories for around £500 (there's a couple on there now). If you need something more portable then look at the smaller lathes from the far east but as mentioned, the quality and finish may need some attention. You pays your money and takes your choice.
Thread: Poor surface finish using Myford
29/05/2010 11:52:42
I'm surprised no one has asked how long the piece of steel is projecting from the chuck and what type of steel it is. A 1/2" diameter piece should project no more than about 2" without using the tailstock centre to support it. Is it free cutting mild steel or just a bit of cast fabrication steel? Steel also likes a cutting fluid. WD40 would do just for this initial testing phase. You'll also get a better finish by engaging the power feed rather than trying to advance the saddle by hand or at least use the leadscrew handle to turn the leadscrew. RPM for 1/2" mild steel on a home machine should be around the 500 number give or take.
Thread: Harrogate show
24/05/2010 22:31:36
I buy regularly from EKP so can also endorse them.
Can I ask anyone who went to the Harrogate show if they remember which small company were demonstrating laser cutters?
Thread: Compact 5 lathe questions
24/05/2010 22:22:11
I've just bought a Compact 5 lathe without instruction book and although much of the lathes operation is obvious there are a few surprises I wasn't expecting. Firstly, the bed is cast in an apparently hard grade of iron and beautifully ground but the saddle and its  veeways appears to be cast in Mazak/Zamak and similarly, the base of the topslide. In addition, the gib strips under the adjusting screws appear to be made of a hard engineering plastic akin to nylon, presumably because anything harder is likely to wear the Mazak components. It seems to machine fine but being used to heavier lathes with all iron and steel construction, what is people's opinions and experience with regards to rigidity and longevity of a Compact 5?
Thread: What type of "plastic" rod machines best?
05/05/2010 01:15:17
For what it's worth, I've never had a problem with Acetal. I use the glass filled version where I can. I work in the film industry building animatronic and mechanical rigs and have used these materials a lot. Nylon on the other hand is another matter. I generally avoid it. BTW, the correct term for the less wise armchair experts is 'hygroscopic' with a 'g'. I know it's counter-intuitive given that we're discussing water being absorbed but it's NOT 'hydroscopic'. Occasionally we have rigs that need to be submersed in water for long periods and nylon is generally avoided.
Thread: RDG Myford Quick Change Tool Post
19/04/2010 00:55:54
I must confess, I love mine. I've got a genuine one with a selection of tools on my Super 7 and a cheaper clone set from Chronos which went on my ML10. The ones I have are fully interchangeable between kits and the only real giveaway is the unimportant back face of the cheaper toolholders is a rougher finish than the Dickson ones. My only beef with a couple of the cheaper ones, that is easily fixed, is the allen screw which locks the height adjuster in place isn't long enough or the thread it engages with doesn't go all the way through the knurled adjuster and it tightens up before doing the job it's intended to do. Considering the set was at least half the price of the Dickson item, and as much as I love and admire Myford tooling, I'm not completely immune to 'market forces' and so far the cheaper ones have proved fine.

Edited By Chris Trice on 19/04/2010 00:56:53

Thread: Old lathe, chuck accuracy
19/04/2010 00:34:04
Both my chucks are fitted to backplates that have the shoulder turned a thou or two undersize. It took great care but I added long grubs screws to the rear edge of the chuck body at the north, south, east and west positions that bear on the shoulder of the backplate and the clearance allows a little bit of adjustment. It's like a cruder form of Griptru chuck. Tighten the bolts enough initially to hold the chuck in place against the backplate but not so firm that the grubscrews can't adjust the axial position. Once adjusted using a dial test indicator, you can then tighten the bolts to make the position secure. As a result I now have two Pratt Bernerd 4" chucks that hold consistently well across their entire gripping range with an accuracy around .0002" although I should emphasise the chucks are relatively new.
A point worth noting that although some chucks hold work inaccurately, they hold it consistently inaccurately so if, for example, you mark the piece of work with a small centre punch mark at the number 1 jaw position, providing you return the work to the chuck with the mark in the same position, it should run fairly true to its original position. However jaws that no longer hold the work tight at the front end can't be relied on and should be trued up by regrinding.
Having said all that, if you need real accuracy, forget the SC chuck. Use collets or the most unbeatable solution is to turn between centres.

Edited By Chris Trice on 19/04/2010 00:38:17

Thread: raising blocks
16/04/2010 22:31:01
Some later machines use metric threads throughout so worth checking with some pitch gauges.
Thread: DTI Dovetails?
16/04/2010 22:28:10
Thanks guys. Yes, they are Verdict DTI's so both links are quite relevant. If you copy and paste that first link, it works fine. Thanks again.
15/04/2010 23:44:05
On the basis that no question is too stupid, on both  the DTI's I own, the bodies have slotted dovetails, presumably for mounting in an appropriate dovetailed fitting but I can't find any information on the fittings or how they're mount onto a lathe/mill. Fortunately both come with a little black arm I can fit into the toolpost of the lathe and there's a stem at the top which I can mount in the chuck/collet of the milling machine but I was curious to the use of the dovetail and if it's worth investing in the extras?
Thread: Does Anyone offer a Lathe Add-on CNC Kits?
14/04/2010 23:17:21
It's the obvious question. Does anyone know of a supplier of a complete quality CNC package/kit designed with fitting to a Myford Super 7 in mind? Changing leadscrews and bracket engineering I expect but an off the shelf kit for the software, suitable stepper motors and electronics would be great. Metal fettling I can deal with. The electronics side of things not so much.
Thread: "Precision" or "does NOT do what it says on the tin"
28/03/2010 19:54:03
Posted by peter walton on 28/03/2010 12:23:10:
Just a question to the OP, how do you know that at 5 - 6 inches your lathe is running parallel the lathe bed.
I would like to know as I am not sure how one is supposed to check this if there is no prior knowledge to the present chucks accuracy!

In the context of this thread, the problem is that the collet refuses to hold the piece inline with the headstocks axis of rotation because the tailend of the collet is (was) too small and unsupported, hence it wobbles. If the collet and chuck were accurate, the test piece wouldn't wobble. The headstock axis not being parallel with the lathe bed is a different issue which would cause any workpiece to be turned tapered but it would be a true running taper. I'm making a huge assumption that you might be not understanding the problem so apologies in advance if you're just posing a question about checking parallelism generally.

28/03/2010 11:41:52
Posted by JasonB on 28/03/2010 07:45:28:
I don't know how you thought it was a Vertex rotary table as the cataloge picture clearly has a big Ax*******er Lable on it
True but sticking your own label on something that comes from the same factory is not uncommon. I made the mistake of assuming it came from the same factory but it didn't. it was a poor quality and deliberate imitation. That's fine and I'm a fool to fall for it but the result is that I still feel duped and won't be trusting anything in the catalogue again. I've learnt you generally get what you pay for.
I also agree that things coming from the far east can be good quality. Most of the major electronic companies like Sony and Canon produce a large proportion of their products in the far east. In the case of the mandrels, again I don't feel there was much point returning since it seemed fair to assume that any replacements would be of identical quality unless the product varies that much in which case I'm not into playing roulette when buying something. Besides by that time, I was stuck with having to use them to do the job they'd been bought for so couldn't send them back in the condition they were recieved in. No, I exercise my right as a customer that while I could complain or ask for a refund, I'm content to be annoyed by receiving poorer standards goods than I was expecting and exercising my rights to buy elsewhere in future. I don't believe in buying stuff on a trial and error basis in the hope of getting a good one. Reliable brands from now on or good second hand.
27/03/2010 23:55:08
As a first time poster, another Chris with similar problems. I can sympathise entirely.
I bought a budget 1/2" bore R8 collet from a forgotten dealer at a show that was so far out it wasn't funny. I ended up simply throwing it away rather than confuse it with the good ones. Like a previous poster, I can't see how this could possibly get past even the laxest quality control.
I bought a set of expanding mandrels from a company who's name is reminiscent of part of a circle and they were best described as 'rough'. I couldn't in all honesty return them as faulty but the quality was very poor in that instance and IMPO not reminiscent of the finish they appeared to have in the catalogue.
I bought a 6" rotary table from a company in Devon more at home with woodworking equipment, believing from the catalogue that it was a Vertex item only to discover it was a far eastern or indian copy of far inferior quality. It was adequate (just) for the job it was intended for but I still felt deceived even if by the letter of the law, I hadn't been. In all cases, had I known what I was going to receive, I wouldn't have bought. The upshot is that apart from these early sales, I'm extremely unlikely to return as a regular customer.
However, the ironic thing is that these bad experiences have become learning experiences. I would now far rather buy quality branded good second hand tooling than touch the latest piece of metal from the Hokey Kokey P'nom Ping machine company, no matter how cheap. It's also made me perform remedial work to cheap disappointing bought items that, while not always successful, have taking me into areas of engineering I wouldn't otherwise have ventured. I'm not sure if that is a sufficiently satisfying result to offset the annoyance value and the time needed to be invested but it is a small silver lining to the dark cloud. 
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