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Member postings for Richard Parsons

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

Thread: Grinding lathe tools
23/07/2012 16:18:50

May I put in my ½ pen’oth (In old money where 1/2d was 1” Dia).

I never regrind the indexable tipped tools. I will touch them up with a solid flat diamond file or on a diamond plate, taking care to keep the surface dead flat. I also just touch the finished edge with the diamond to ‘break the kerf’ NB take of no more than 0.001 mm)

Brazed tips I will touch up with the same diamond tools mentioned above. If they become badly chipped I clean them up with a 60 or 80 grit diamond stone cutting wheel which is backed up with a disk of ½” thick alloy to stop it flexing. Here I make no more than 3 passes before I dip in the water tin. I long ago abandoned ‘Green (bauxite) wheels, they made too much dust and mess. Diamond stone cutting wheels are dirt cheap and last a very long time

HSS tools are sharpened or rather honed as for indexed tips on diamonds/carborundem oil stones. If they are too far gone for that or are badly chipped I use my little 'off hand' grinder with 120 grit wheel to re-set them. Two passes then dip in the water and repeat. I finish them by honing as above. Do I use the sides of my wheels? Yes I do, and I also use the front of the wheel taking care to use the whole face to stop groves forming. I also use one of several rests. I have made one set at 10° below the right angle, one at a right angle and one at 2° above the right angle the stone.

To grind a new tool from a new bit of HSS stock by the hand held method can take an hour or more. For this I use the coarse (80 grit) stone to get the general shape. I bought my little grinder in 1970 and have as yet not had to get new wheels for it! This shows just how light my touch is.

The secret is like many other things “Softly softly catchee monkey” slow and easy. You do not need to be a gorillaoid to grind and sharpen lathe (or any other tools for that. A light touch, a good look and a little patience is good.



How do I know my tools are sharp? I touch them gently on my thumb nail!. Try it you will soon see when they are sharp.

Thread: Chuck change - what were you taught?
12/07/2012 18:02:44

I use a ‘Chuck board’. This is a lump of wood which sits on the bed and snugly supports the chuck taking its weight. I then do as David suggests but my spacer is a lump of alloy . I also 'dotted the chuck and backplate so that I always refit them the same way round

Thread: You know you are an engineer when...
12/07/2012 17:53:56

Bats, Bats? I thought the lived in 'Belfries' and were self reproducing. (I do not know which is which but they do !)



Thread: Link belt on Myford
12/07/2012 17:46:36


I used an old length of ‘T’ Link belting on my Super-7 it worked well till a 'Gnome' from ‘Elfinsafety’ inspected my workroom in the back of my second garage. The Gnome cut the thing and took it away. He did so he said there was no electric interlock on the Myford’s belt covers so if I opened them with the motor running I might hurt myself.

Oh local 'Elfinsafety' were involved because I would not rent my garages to the City Council for the asylum seekers cars which littered the streets. Well my car was in one of them and my workroom was in the other. Yes i called the place a 'Gentleman's hobby workroom'. That did not stop the beggers. As a 'legal Eagle' said "i will go for them and win if you have £5,000-£10,000 to throw away".

The belt came from my late father’s stock and was old ‘A’ type and was a rusty red in colour and dated from the late 60’s



Edited By Richard Parsons on 12/07/2012 17:49:37

Thread: Drilling out Grubscrews?
12/07/2012 17:13:18

I would do a ‘Google search’ for a “A Simple Self-Acting Spark Erosion Machine” by Derek Lynas. It is in the form of a pdf file and is a simple bit of kit. I am waiting for the bits to come from R.S.  The link I added did not work  but the Google search did.

No it does not use microprocessors and will live quit happily on the shelf until you need it



Edited By Richard Parsons on 12/07/2012 17:17:35

Thread: Fan motor
11/07/2012 14:39:31

The failure of a small component is very common. The usual sort of thing is the failure of a small coil in the motor in washing machine controllers or the motor which spins the turn table in a microwave oven. The cost a about1 penny for a half dozen of these coils.

As your ‘service man will say ‘they are not serviceable parts sir’. You will have to buy a new …what ever. They cost £ big and I have to fit them you are not allowed to by law (normal burble about Elfin Safety/Electricity Suppliers do not allow it. You will find it is often cheaper to buy a new one.

Clive your motor is probably a shaded pole type. They are often easily dismantled. I suspect that the problem is Tar and carbon from the oil. A good old clean up and a liberal application of something which will get rid of the dirt (over here in Hungary –if you know who has it- a smidgen of ‘tric’ (trichloroethylene).. Once cleaned up I would use synthetic clock oil. It has low stickiness, oxidises very slowly and high slipperiness

Good luck


Thread: Foot pump type suds supply?
10/07/2012 12:22:06

Mine cost me nowt. I took a washed out bean tin. pinched two holes in it. I soldered a bit of broken clothes hanger into it. sharpened a bit of fire wood to a point which I poked into the other hole.

The wood is adjusted so the cutting oil oozes down the wood onto the wire and drips off the end onto the work piece.

Cost 2 pence for the soap and 1 penny for the solder.

Thread: You know you are an engineer when...
10/07/2012 12:10:17

When a Manager says “You cannot do/make that that it will not work” The Engineer is the person who replies “I wish you had told me that last week I would not have wasted my time making two of them” and then adding “Oh by the way they work!”.

Thread: Haimer Measurement Probes
03/07/2012 07:52:44

Ah Andrew you have run into that problem. I call it ‘Zoning’. It is probably illegal in the E.U. as it is a restrictive practice preventing the true open market. If I want something which either I cannot get in Hungary (the local agents do not stock it and do not want the bother of ordering it), or they have a minimum order quantity I sometimes go to Becs (Vienna). There I can buy it if it is in stock. They ask me for an address for the paper work I have to given an Austrian address or the sale gets cancelled and that is it. Their reasons range from “we cannot support you” to “it outside out licence. You will have to use the Hungarian main agent etc”. Actually the Germans are the worst they will not even talk with you if you do not speak German.

But all is not lost, petition the European Parliament to investigate a case of ‘Restriction of Trade’ quoting what has happened etc and wait. The Hungarians got a slapping for doing it as did the French suppliers. I know it will not help you as it will not change anything, but you get a warm glow when you read the results.

Thread: Reaming Brass
28/06/2012 12:02:51

Yes I often use tool maker's broaches unhardened. I also hone the small ones in a clock makers screwdrivers honing jig I can get them razor sharp that way.

a 4mm hole 12 mm deep is a doodle. But go slow and use only a light pressure they can be greedy things.



28/06/2012 08:42:11

How many 'blades' do your reamers have/ I was always taught that whilst you cannot 'mike' a 5 bladed reamer it cuts better and gives a better finish.

I have some 6 bladed reamers but you have to use them at the right speed to get them not to chatter.

To clean up a 0.05 mm hole I would use a tool makers broach. This is a bit of bar of the right size which has been slash cut across irs end at about 10 degrees. If it is well polishes with sharp edges it leaves a beautiful finish, but take it slowly with lots of oil.



Thread: Machining Titanium
23/06/2012 09:25:36


We had one shop which worked exclusively in Titanium. There was a very strict anti fire policy and there were special fire extinguishers everywhere. All the staff were specially trained as firemen.

What I am saying is be careful and clean up very well every day and put the swaff and dust well away form anything you care about



Thread: Login prompt
18/06/2012 14:19:38

David I have just noticed (yesterday) that the little box that had a rubric “Keep me Logged in” has VANISHED. Is this a new ‘escape’ of the software? I find it most annoying



Thread: Subscriptions access and free gifts
18/06/2012 14:14:06

David How would you like to give (as an incentive to subscribe) something which costs nowt, but is worth something to the recipient. If so P.M. me and I will explain the idea.



Thread: Help with dismantling solid riveted lathe stand
11/06/2012 17:40:34


I used to live in a similar house. I would only remove enough of the rivets to let you fold the legs under the base. it will then go up easily.

On the stairs have a good look round and there were always little 'niches' in the walls. these were generally about 1' 6" high (460 mm) and 3" to 6" deep (76 to 152mm). These were automatically built into the house and are called "Coffin ledges" ('Box ledges' if ladies are present) These were put there to let you get an empty coffin up and a full one back down. You may have to 'tap' for them as they may have been plastered over but they will be there. The Victorians were very practical folk.



Thread: Online Resource
10/06/2012 23:32:35

Bazyle Yes it could be. Perhaps someone who wants to could write a short series or a little booklet for sale by My Hobby Store or W.H.S.

With modern bubble jet inks you can print on plastic. I once did a little job for a bus company’ they were supposed to cut the letters out and use what was left as a stencil. They actually cut the letters out and stuck them on the bus.

In the matter of the dog and the person who was belly-aching I pointed out to the lad who made the model that if the complainant looked carefully he would see in Hungarian ‘Wet Paint’ so the dog was only obeying orders. (Actually in Hungarian ‘that cat would not have jumped’ as they write ‘ Vigyázat Mázalov’ which means ‘watch it’!)

10/06/2012 21:31:37

Stub Mandrel

Over here in Hungary ‘N’ gauge is very poplar so as a treat for a few quid I bought them a CD, ok U.K line side things, which like anything not Hungarian they discarded. This is normal anything not invented or known in Hungary does not exist. However one lad wanted to model a particular station. he spoke enough english so I suggested that he took his digital camera and with a bit of ‘tricky-dickey’ stuff he used it to get images onto his computer.

The ‘tricky-dickey’ stuff involves the use of the viewfinder to nearly fill it with the image you want, then you pace out the building (write this down) re-pace so that you are at about the middle of the building and take a ‘happy snap’. You do this on all 4 (or however many faces you need) . Now comes the work, first you scale the thing you want to the correct(ish) size adjusting the other view to fit. Sometimes it takes a bit of use of the old ‘grey cells’ especially with roofs etc and then you add the ‘key pieces’ and away you go. The lad successfully made a model of Albertirsa Station on the Budapest to Szeged line. Unfortunately it included a dog doing something on three legs at the booking office door. This was only spotted by a ‘nurk’ at the exhibition.

V8Eng I always used ‘Secotine’ it was all I could scrounge. I used modified wooden spring clothes pegs to hold bits together.

10/06/2012 10:28:33

Stub Mandrel Have a Google for Micromodels. I ues to buy these things for 1/3d (or less.) You can still get them ob C.Ds



Thread: Making Reamers particularly tapered reamers
05/06/2012 21:28:57

Actually I would measure the taper and then do a bit of research in the books/Google. I will bet you a single knob of dog biscuit to a pinch of snuff that the thing is a known standard. I do not know what the size is but manufacturers always to use ‘standard tooling’ if they can.

There is another way. Set your compound (or taper attachment if you have one) as Gordon W describes. Turn a plain taper next put a small end mill in your tool post milling attachment (mine is the headstock from my first lathe a Unimat SL) I was planning to ft an overhead shaft system but the builder fitted a cavity ceiling when he was told not to. He did so because he said a plain concrete ceiling would not look nice.

With the mill make 6 passes down the work piece so that you have now a 6 sides broach. Harden and lap in the usual way.



Thread: Cylinder Boring Techniques for Steam Engines
02/06/2012 08:05:57

I think that Rolls Royce used to bore their cylinders a few thou over size and then with a fine knurl make the bore a few thou undersize. After that they stuffed a a ball ground to size down the bore. This left a fine set of pockets for oil.

Hope this helps


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