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Member postings for John MC

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

Thread: Optimum products?
19/10/2020 12:34:44
Posted by Alan Ambrose on 19/10/2020 12:21:24:

For those people who have purchased Optimum products - did you source from a UK supplier or direct from Germany?


From Germany. I think there is (was?) a UK agent.

19/10/2020 07:27:32

I have an Optimum drill grinder purchased new in preference to the near identical Warco product, purely on the grounds of cost.

Its been reliable and, importantly, accurate. I've since been able to closely compare with a Warco grinder, appears to be identical apart from colour and some differences in the switch gear.

On the basis of this I think I would give "Optimum" machinery serious consideration if I an ever in the market for workshop equipment.


Thread: Diamond Like Carbon
17/10/2020 13:56:02

Ian B.'s comments on depositing gold on to things to examine in an electron microscope brings back memories of 10 or so happy years working in a metallurgy laboratory. Always done on non conducting specimens, a fly was always a good example to show visitors before getting down to the serious stuff!

There is a motorcycle chain new to the market that claims not to need lubrication on its sprocket interface surfaces. Also very much increased life. I wonder if that has a coating as described in this thread?


Thread: Big Bang : Tallboy bomb
14/10/2020 07:25:38

This may well be an apocryphal story but the Tallboy and Grand Slam bombs were the only bombs that the bomber crews were instructed to bring home if they couldn't find the target rather than dump due to the cost of each bomb. High grade steel for the case that wouldn't brake up on impact and some fancy machining on the nose of the weapon.

Another story in a similar vein was the "gate guardian" at an RAF base (Scampton?), a Tallboy that was thought to have been deactivated but was in fact still live!


Thread: Tapping Head Recommendations Please
08/10/2020 16:47:03

I have a "Vertex" 3 -12mm tapping attachment bought new some 25 years ago. I've used it right across the range and found it to be good. Tap wobbles a bit but doesn't seem to matter! It replaced an "Archer" head of similar capacity that was worn out. I have found vertex equipment good, I would suggest its middle quality equipment from the far east.

With any tapping head I think its vital to use a good quality tap.


Thread: Martin Cleeve Swing Clear Retracting Toolholder
04/10/2020 12:11:25

Any videos of the Martin Cleeve tool holder in action?


Thread: Where's this rust come from ?
01/10/2020 08:41:46
Posted by Paul Lousick on 01/10/2020 08:33:21:

A lovely piece of furniture but I don't think it was originally made for storing metal tools.. Buying second hand and not intended for a tool box, it is buyer beware and you cannot expect a refund.

Those Clarke toolboxes are available new at very reasonable prices, is the OP's box new?

There's one on display in the window of my local branch of Machine Mart (can I say that?).


Thread: The repair shop
01/10/2020 08:35:16
Posted by speelwerk on 30/09/2020 21:36:53:

I never hear anything about money cost of repair, do they work for free? Niko.

They do the work for free, its the "back story" of the piece being repaired that decides what is going to feature on the show, this approach has been well documented on t'web.

As has been mentioned, timescales have been compressed along with other things which, to me, make it look all too easy to do the work when clearly the work requires plenty of skill, knowledge and, possibly, a bit of luck. Reminds me of "Wheeler Dealers", Edd gets under a car, a squirt of penetrating oil and that nut and bolt that hasn't been touched for 30 years comes undone immediately. Anyone else and it would be a mornings work. That show must have been responsible for many failed attempts at vehicle restoration because they made it look easy.

Never the less, I enjoy watching the "Repair Shop".


Thread: Where's this rust come from ?
01/10/2020 08:22:19

Could it be the type of wood? Some types of wood can cause corrosion, I'm sure this has been discussed on the forum.

I have a wooden toolmakers cabinet (Union?) bought some 40 years ago, corrosion has never been a problem even when my workshop was a cold and damp wooden shed.


Thread: Use of 2 front wheeled motorcycles on the TdeF
15/09/2020 17:45:42

I don't think a 3 wheeled motorcycle will be any better there in those (exceptional) conditions. Whats needed there is a 4 wheeled motorcycle, aka a "car".

15/09/2020 11:50:50
Posted by ega on 15/09/2020 10:53:34:

Wasn't there a downpour on stage 1?

This edition has also included stretches of gravel and cobbles.

I stand corrected with regard to the rain, only the last 10Ks's though of the 3rd(?) stage.

The gravel isn't as bad as it sounds, I'm told the surface is fairly well sealed, I believe its an uphill section that won't trouble the riders, both powered and unpowered.

Gravel or not in the tour usually leads to some lively discussion. Having rode some of the gravelly bits of the tour they really don't make any difference as long as they are uphill, downhill then its mountain biking.


15/09/2020 10:08:13

Not been any wet, slippery or rough conditions in this years tour, yet. When there is it doesn't seem to bother the motorcyclists, I've always been impressed by their abilities. Far more impressed by the competitors abilities though. I'm done for after 45k's and 400m of climbing!

Some while ago a motorcycle magazine decided to see if it was possible to fall off a 3 wheel motorcycle in bad conditions, they used a Gilera I think. The test area was the very icy office car park. I recall the result was that it was just as easy to fall off 3 as 2 in those conditions. I suspect the test was done somewhat tongue in cheek.....


15/09/2020 08:25:38
Posted by Gerard O'Toole on 15/09/2020 08:03:18:
Posted by John MC on 15/09/2020 07:53:42:

Having ridden a Yamaha Niken I think this additional stability thing is just not noticeable while riding "normally". ....


I found it amusing (don't know why) that the Niken will not stand up without a conventional stand.


I had wondered about that.

Was it more stable than a normal motorcycle at slow speeds? I could see that being an advantage on TdeF

Not something I noticed as being that much better the a conventional motorcycle, it still needs input from the rider to keep it upright.

To get a motorcycle to track straight at very low speed, say less than 6-7mph, the technique is to move the handlebars side to side, only a small amount but this will keep the bike moving in a straight line without weaving. This is something I have noticed some support riders doing at cycling events when progress slows to these sorts of speeds, which isn't very often! I think control at very slow speeds comes more from rider experience than having an extra front wheel.


15/09/2020 07:53:42

Having ridden a Yamaha Niken I think this additional stability thing is just not noticeable while riding "normally". The bike rode well, but most do these days. I think the additional stability would help out in difficult conditions, slippery roads for instance, or when a rider exceeds their ability.

Very comfortable though and plenty of room for a pillion. These points, I think, would make it appeal to the riders providing support for Le Tour. Yamaha are making the most of an opportunity here.

I found it amusing (don't know why) that the Niken will not stand up without a conventional stand.


Thread: Strength of Beams
11/09/2020 13:16:12
Posted by JA on 11/09/2020 08:16:52:
Posted by John MC on 11/09/2020 07:25:30:

For a book that would help with the calculation side of this topic I would heartily recommend "Strength of Materials" by Geoffrey H Ryder. I've had a copy most of my working life. Still using it now.

I've also used Roark's and Shipley's books on the subject.


Ryder took me through college and then I sold it. It is one of the few text books I wish I had kept.


Have a look at the secondhand copies for sale on Amazon, postage costs more than the book.

I worked with Geoff Ryder, the author, for a few years. With out a doubt an extremely intelligent man who could right a very good book, but ask him to explain something verbally, oh dear......


11/09/2020 07:25:30

For a book that would help with the calculation side of this topic I would heartily recommend "Strength of Materials" by Geoffrey H Ryder. I've had a copy most of my working life. Still using it now.

I've also used Roark's and Shipley's books on the subject.


Thread: Do you clean the workshop up every day?
22/08/2020 08:45:10
Posted by Paul Lousick on 21/08/2020 23:40:01:

I have a good clean up every now and again but more important to me is to finish what I am making. My man cave is a workshop, not a show room. Also do a clean when I have trouble finding what I'm looking for. (like the floor) teeth 2


Same here, life's too short! I like to put equipment away, not so much to be tidy but able to find it for next time! I leave machines set up as they were, next job often requires a similar setup. If, for instance, a vice has been on the mill table for a few weeks and I remove it, there will be a stain on the table where the vice was fitted. So what? Doesn't affect the machine in anyway. Neither does it bit of swarf lying around.

I was recently invited in to a workshop to look at the guys latest project. What stood out was how tidy and clean the workshop was, immaculate wouldn't be an understatement. Each machine stripped of its equipment after every job and cleaned after every operation, even the lathe chucks are removed. Each to his own I suppose. I did notice a couple of sight glasses indicating low oil levels. I pointed this out and he said he didn't fill them up because oil would leak out and make the machine look messy. I will reciprocate his kind invitation soon, he's not going to like the state of my workshop!

Reminds me of the car "enthusiast" who washes, polishes and vacuums the car weekly but rarely, if ever, does the important things, oil level, tyre pressures etc.

As an apprentice we were told to keep the machines clean. But when we moved in to the real world cleaning a machine became very much less frequent. Turning out the work, and keeping the machinery in good order were far more important.


Thread: Who trains these ideots?
19/08/2020 08:32:10

Had many experiences of gas boilers failing, thats why I eventually changed to solid fuel.

The lack of skill in repairing them was staggering, whether it be a one man outfit or one of the large organisations. Off the cover would come, poke about a bit, step outside to make a phone call, order bits that didn't fix it.

Eventually fixed at great expense, usually not for long, repeat above. Was I just unlucky with gas boilers?

My parents had a gas boiler that performed with total reliability for 30 years. Only replaced because of asbestos based insulation.

On the electrical side just the opposite, what little work I've needed to be done was done quickly and well, as far as I could tell. One electrician sticks in my mind, a young lad was sent to change the meter, less than straightforward because of leaky old type insulation. Did a great job, made it look easy, a sure sign of great competency!

I think we can still train people to do a good job. Having said that its as much to do with the trainee wanting to learn as it is to do with the length and quality of the teaching

Thread: Coal Supplies!!!!
16/08/2020 18:55:10

I am going to disagree, sort of, with SOD, at the moment and for a few years yet it is okay to burn anthracite, the government say so! Then on to ground source heat pump for me, probably, if I'm still here.

But I agree with the point that nothing stays the same. If, a few years ago, I told myself in 2020/21 I would be considering some form of hybrid or gone back to petrol from diesel for my daily driver I would have not believed me.


16/08/2020 12:20:05

Coal can be loosely grouped as hard and soft, its the soft stuff thats being banned. Hard coal, anthracite is okay for burning. Interestingly my modern solid fuel central heating boiler is A rated when burning anthracite.

Wood for burning needs to be properly dried to comply with the regulations, moisture content less than 20% I believe.

Some of the posts here come across as tabloid sensationalism. Next it will be petrol sales to be banned from 2023!


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