By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

Member postings for John Olsen

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

Thread: Alba 1A advice
15/07/2020 00:31:02

It is interesting that there are differences in the castings like that, you would think that once you had a set of patterns they would keep being used.

My one is painted red inside, but I can't be sure if that is original or not since I think the outside had been painted by the last owner. It is a nice eggshell blue hammerite finish.

I'm a bit far away to be able to help with the machining, the nearest river being the Waikato rather than the Tees. It does look like you have got a good vice with it.



Thread: Colchester Student Mk1 Won't Start
13/07/2020 01:02:46

1/12 of a degree would be five minutes. (of arc, not of time!) So if you are planning to work in degrees, minutes, and seconds it makes sense, not so much if you would prefer decimal fractions of a degree. I blame the Babylonians myself.


Thread: Classic Cars - Driving London to Edinburgh in Top Gear
12/07/2020 01:09:43

I once had a gearbox failure on an 1800cc Ford/Mazda van, while towing s light trailer. I drove it about 60 miles to where I could work on it with only fourth gear. (The direct drive gear, it had an overdrive fifth which I didn't try.) The towns I passed through were the only difficult part, especially the traffic light in the last one. So long as you can keep rolling it is all good.

Not really a very good idea, since a gearbox that is mangling itself inside may decide to seize up, which would lock up the back wheels, possibly at a bad moment. But open road running with only one gear is not all that hard, unless you have a real mountain road to drive, which luckily I didn't. Since Britain doesn't actually have any real mountains it should be easy there!

The old manual advance retard did allow avoiding gear changes at times, my Dad used to talk about doing it with a prewar BSA 250.


Thread: Lamp Post Engine
08/07/2020 23:01:27

There is a pack that Neil Wyatt could email to you with all the information you need, including forms to provide the detail they need to pay you. Yes, they do pay for articles, you would probably not want to live only on the proceeds of writing for ME or MEW, but it does make a nice little incentive.

You could write this up in several different ways, for example a short article with a few photos of the finished article, or a longer series with drawings. For the latter you would want some photos of the various machining setups, which can be awkward if you didn't take them at the time.

Sometimes people are a bit shy about writing, which is a pity as I think we miss out on some interesting stuff because of this. You don't have to be Shakespeare to write for these magazines, so don't be afraid to give it a go. It is a nice model.



Thread: Alba 1A advice
06/07/2020 01:14:59

Hi Geoff, I've sent you a personal message as well



06/07/2020 00:19:30

OK, some points arising from various posts...

Looks to me like Geoffs machine is the later model, as is mine.

The dating trick does not seem to work on mine, since the number ends with 16/99 I suppose that might mean machine number 99 from 61, eg 1961, but I dunno.

I've made a pretty horrible sketch of the clutch inner which I hope will help Geoff. The vertical dimensions were taken with a Vernier height scale, I would trust them to within about 5 thou or so. The others are with digital calipers so are probably a little better. The smudged one is 6 inches.



05/07/2020 11:06:47

All i know about dates is what it says on

So somewhere between the 30's and the 70's


Thread: LED GLS bulbs
05/07/2020 00:41:29

My experience suggests that it is usually the little power supply that fails. I suppose they would argue that the light itself is still fine....


Thread: Alba 1A advice
05/07/2020 00:34:10

Hi Geoff, Well, your clutch is definitely a stranger. As you will see from the photos, it is supposed to be a cone clutch. Presumably it was giving trouble and someone has gone to a lot of bother to fit something different. I don't know why, since the original works quite well, and it would be easier to fix that if it wore I should think.

The way it works is that the pushrod from the other side pushes on a pin that goes through the spline part of the clutch inner and works in a slot through the splines on the shaft. So the big spring on the end is pushing the inner part into the cone on the big pulley when the clutch is driving. All very simple. I know cone clutches fell out of favour very quickly on early cars, but for the loads and speeds here it seems very adequate. After all, mine must be well over fifty years old now and works fine.

I hope the pictures are reasonably self explanatory. As for the way forward getting parts is likely to be a problem unless you are prepared to make them. If you would just like to get it going for a trial, you could just try locking up the clutch somehow, and just switch the power off when you need to. That is more starting loads on the motor, but would be OK for moderate use.




03/07/2020 23:25:56

I have an Alba 1A myself. It was ex school and had been cleaned up by the fellow club member who had bought it from the school, so I have not needed to get inside much. They are a good machine, a handy size for the home workshop, so depending on how much work is needed it could be well worth the trouble. Do you need me to take a look at the clutch bits on mine to see how they compare? I think I can find you a photocopy of the owners manual somewhere.



Thread: Tungsten carbide for shapers
02/07/2020 22:51:56

I've used carbide quite a lot on my shapers, with very good results. The tips I have used are uncoated triangular inserts with no hole and no chip breaker shaping, brazed onto a key steel shank. I have a diamond wheel tool sharpening machine which I use to sharpen them. The inserts were being given away at the club because they had been found to be unsatisfactory at someones work, but the3y work great for me. They don't seem to mind being dragged backwards along the job. I haven't tried replaceable inserts in a holder.


Thread: Thread identification
30/06/2020 11:31:23

My experience of Hondas around the seventies was that all the general fasteners were ISO metric standard, That would not of course necessarily apply to special ones like the swingarm above, but nuts and screws were readily available. I changed all those cross point ones to allan screws..

One handy feature, on all the ones I ever had occasion to play with, is that the back axle could be used as an extractor to take the permanent magnet alternator rotor off the crankshaft. You took the screw out of the crankshaft, then screwed the axle into the female thread on the alternator, tap the end a bit and wiggle it, and the taper would let go and the rotor would come off. One less special tool needed!


Thread: Perfecto 5 hand shaper
21/06/2020 14:39:54

That is supposed to be the idea of a swan neck, however there is no guarantee that it will bend in the direction desired. If the tip has too much rake it will try to pull the tool into the job, while if it has too little it will be pushed out. I've found that the best result come from everything being as rigid as possible and the tool as sharp as possible. That keeps the cutting forces low. Flexible things like goose necks will bend in whatever direction the forces pushes them.

The cycle crank type is not too hard to make, the main point being to find a steel crank, since they are mostly alloy these days. The rest is mostly si9mple turning, apart from the square hole for the tool bit, and you could use round hss for that. It is actually a fairly close copy of a commercial type, I have one for my largest shaper, made by jones and Shipman. (the tool, not the shaper.) It lets you adjust the angle of the toolbit, which can be handy, but the bit has to be quite long to be usable. There are also conventional jones and Shipman type tool holders for shapers. The difference from the lathe ones is that there is no built in rake. I have one, but it is too big for any of my shapers, it needs about a 24 inch shaper. My biggest one is 18 inch.


20/06/2020 16:33:37

A few points relating to some of the posts above:

Assuming the clapper box pivot does not have too much slack, the only flex we need to worry about is the projecting part of the tool. In theory, when this bends with the cutting load, it can tend to make the cut deeper. In practice, this does not seem to be a big problem. Keeping your tools really sharp will greatly reduce the cutting load, which will also reduce the effort needed on a manual shaper. I have played with tool holders that put the cutting edge about level with the clamping face of the clapper box, but it does not seem to make a great deal of difference. I've also got a pair of toolholders that were made for a lathe with one of my shapers, they have built in rake, which is all wrong for a shaper but actually works fine in practice.

I have used a goose necked tool, my first shaper came with one, since sadly broken when it fell on the floor. Again, it did not seem to give better results than a conventional straight tool, and actually the geometry would seem to permit more flex in the digging in direction.

If you are cutting on the return stroke with a power shaper, you should ideally reverse the direction of the motor. If it is not easy to do, I would not worry too much, especially if the stroke is short.

There are possible cuts where you might need to lock the clapper box, although mostly you can get the clearance by angling the clapper box. For instance, when cutting a dovetail, the downslide will be angled to the angle of the dovetail, and the clapper box should then be angled a little more, so that when the tool moves it comes away from the overhung face being cut.



Thread: Covid19 - Overseas Subscriptions
05/06/2020 05:44:28

Well, I would really like to eventually receive the issues that my article was in. (Building Dancer, in Model Engineer.) I'd also like to keep my collection complete, since it runs from 1944 to about April this year at present.

Some mail services are running a bit slow. I'm tracking one from the states that has taken a month to get from Florida to Los Angeles, but it does seem to be moving. I've also had a package from China a couple of weeks back, that did not seem excessively slow.


14/05/2020 04:49:47

Strange leadscrews does seem to be a feature with some shapers. My AMMCO came with a 13 tpi downfeed, with a V thread form, which looked to be original. (Half inch Sellers thread.) Someone had fitted a calibrated dial with 62.5 divisions, which might have been helpful if the screw had been 16 tpi. I found a nice 10 tpi one from an old lathe cross slide and fitted that.


Thread: Ball Nose End Mill / 10V Bearings Question
14/05/2020 02:43:06

Reaming the bearings as you describe will be fine. There is another approach that you can use if you ever make an engine where the bearings are spaced wider than the length of a reamer. You make a jig to fit on the faceplate or a chuck that has the seat to screw the bearing down on. Then you can bore and ream all the bearings to be identical. I did this when I had four bearings to do for a Stuart triple.


Thread: Tig Welder recommendation
13/05/2020 21:43:39

Having got into Tig late last year, I would agree with those who suggest getting something more than just the minimal machine. There are a couple of reasons for this. Although you might start out with a few limited sorts of work in mind, once you start to realise the possibilities, you will want to do more. One aspect of this is aluminium may not need to do it right now, but if you are going to have a tig machine and a gas bottle, it would be a pity not to have the capability. The other thing is that as with any welding, as amateurs we are not doing it all the time, so tend not to build up the skills of the full time welder. So the more the machine can help, with features like HF start, the better. I've also found recently that a glass cup is nice, it lets me see better.

What I bought is a 200A machine that does AC and DC, with HF start and with pulse capability. It can also do MMA (stick) welding, as is usual for most machines. This is about as much current as you will be able to get on a single phase machine. The actual brand name is not likely to help you, but there is sure to be something similar available where you are. Actually I found a better manual for the same machine as mine on line under a different name. The one thing that it can't do that some similar machines can is vary the AC can vary the pulse frequency but not the AC. But while that would be nice to have, I am getting by fine without that refinement.


Thread: Morse tapers
09/05/2020 05:56:03

It is usually possible to add a tapped hole for a drawbar if needed. The commercial Morse tapers that I have done this to were surface hardened, possibly nitrided, so grinding off the end surface exposes the softer core, which can be drilled and tapped. It does tend to be tough material, but it can be done. I've also got a MT3 to MT2 adapter with a tang on it that I have managed to put a drawbar hole through. That lets me use a MT2 ER16 chuck on the milling machine.


Thread: Balancing IC engine
07/05/2020 08:05:48

So far as I can recall, the Brough V twins were bought in, rather than making their own. I could be wrong, and I don't recall which suppliers they used, but there were several suppliers back in the day, including Matchless and JAP for a start.

Phil Irvings book on motorcycle design is a good read, a bit dated now of course. His opinion on Featherbed frames is likely to upset a few!


Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
Allendale Electronics
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest