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Member postings for blowlamp

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

Thread: Painting cast iron - What have I done wrong?
26/04/2020 15:19:20

You could give Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer/sealer a go. I've got some and it sticks to just about anything - when it dries on a plastic roller tray, it is very, very difficult to remove.


Thread: BBC Micro Boxford TCL125
26/04/2020 15:01:25
Posted by Phill Spowart on 17/04/2020 22:49:33:

Just so happens I'm finishing up converting a Boxford TCL 160 to PlanetCNC control. Should be a handy machine. To build, the PlanetCNC stuff is excellent, and the support is good too. Only done a few test cuts so far, I need to get it some cutting tools and sort a decent CADCAM out. Hopefully I'll get it wrote up at some point.

If you don't go the 'free' Fusion 360 route, then I can recommend eCam for lathe. It has done everything I've needed it to do, including drilling, which I couldn't find as a separate machining operation within Fusion 360, but maybe it's just buried away somewhere or I couldn't see the wood for the trees.

eCam lathe is €150.


Thread: Myford fonts
24/04/2020 11:09:32

Because there aren't many words to do, I think an easy solution would be to trace the letters of the plate in a CAD app. From there, it's easy to copy & place as required.

For the numbers, I'm sure something near enough could be found to do the job, maybe already installed on your computer.


Thread: Oil at $10 a barrel... or less
22/04/2020 14:16:48
Posted by Tony Pratt 1 on 22/04/2020 13:48:40:
Posted by blowlamp on 22/04/2020 11:48:12:

Yes, it's part of the economic meltdown that's happening whilst the world's in lockdown. rainbow

Forgot to mention: Councils are now dishing out money like confetti. A one-man business owner I know has just recieved £10000.00 straight into his bank account with almost no questions asked and no restriction as to how he should spend it. You do need to confirm you aren't a criminal though.

Edited By blowlamp on 22/04/2020 12:17:17

What exact council is that?


The authority is Gedling Borough Council.

Thread: Whatever happened to...
22/04/2020 12:23:13

...the likely lads. indecision

Thread: Centroid Acorn experience
22/04/2020 12:05:43
Posted by Andrew Evans on 22/04/2020 09:48:51:

Martin - I got your settings file up and running and it helped me make a decision, thanks. I ordered a PlanetCNC setup yesterday for my Denford Orac conversion so it should be here next week hopefully. A 4 axis USB board, a board to control a VFD and a license. My plan is to get it running on a raspberry pi with a touchscreen and try to recreate the original Orac design that had a small VDU built into the base of the lathe.

BTW - if anyone is interested in Centroid Acorn I found a way to potentially get a discount, PM me for the details.

For this conversion the cheapest bit has been the lathe itself!

I can't imagine you having any major problems - I didn't, just a few frustrations of not being familiar enough with the product in the early stages of ownership.

It'll be interesting to me to hear how PlanetCNC runs under raspberry pi control. It could be a nice, compact setup you'll have there.


Thread: Oil at $10 a barrel... or less
22/04/2020 11:48:12

Yes, it's part of the economic meltdown that's happening whilst the world's in lockdown. rainbow


Forgot to mention: Councils are now dishing out money like confetti. A one-man business owner I know has just recieved £10000.00 straight into his bank account with almost no questions asked and no restriction as to how he should spend it. You do need to confirm you aren't a criminal though.

Edited By blowlamp on 22/04/2020 12:17:17

Thread: Whatever happened to...
20/04/2020 20:53:06

Rissoles. Heinz tinned beef burgers. Russian cake.

Edited By blowlamp on 20/04/2020 20:55:57

Thread: Central heating woes.
20/04/2020 09:13:42

Cancel your 'Homecare' policy before you do anything else.

Thread: Does CNC use a DRO
18/04/2020 15:11:09
Posted by John Haine on 18/04/2020 14:40:12:

I'm not quite sure what you're suggesting, Martin. Would this be for CNC? The problem is that all the easily available controllers think in terms of steps out and don't accommodate positional feedback. Youd be on your own or needing a much more expensive controller.


A hybrid stepper motor is fitted with a rotary encoder which sends its position back to its driver, but not the controller, so creating a feedback loop between motor & driver. It means we can be sure of motor position, but we can't be sure of table position.

I wanted to see if it were feasible to use a linear scale in place of the motor's encoder (1000 line) to feed back table position to the stepper driver (not controller).

To answer my own question:

Looking at the encoder wiring of a CL57T hybrid stepper driver, it seems that no index pulse is required, just the quadrature signals are necessary, which might mean it's something worth looking at further.


18/04/2020 14:24:03

Do these linear scales have the equivalent to an index pulse on a rotary encoder?

I thinking about fitting hybrid steppers & drivers to my milling machine and wonder if the rotary encoder could be disconnected and its function replaced by a linear scale to achieve a closed-loop system that actually relates to table movement - anyone think it worth persuing?


Thread: Centroid Acorn experience
17/04/2020 12:10:44
Posted by Andrew Evans on 16/04/2020 17:21:07:

MASSO have a UK supplier - the lathe version is £640 which is 1 to 1 with the $, so again much more expensive in this country.

Blowlamp - i will use your files and have a play.

I hope they help you make a decision.

The documentation is definitely 'to the point', but is helpful non the less. If you haven't noticed yet, the User Manual & G-Code Manual can be accessed from the Help menu.

The board manuals can be missed quite easily on their website, so here is a link if you need it.


16/04/2020 11:47:51
Posted by Andrew Evans on 16/04/2020 09:15:27:

I contacted PlanetCNC and got a quick reply, a motion control board, a board to control spindle speed and a software license comes in at about £250. So much cheaper than Centroid Acorn. PlanetCNC software can also run on Linux, Mac or a Raspberry PI whilst Acorn needs a fast PC with Windows 10 - so a potential big cost saving there. I presume a power supply is needed for the board too. Documentation seems somewhat sparse so I assume support is via a forum but that is also the case for Centroid Acorn.

I downloaded the software and gave it a quick trial, it seems very simple and obvious to use. It seems set up for mill or router use with 4 axes displayed and a 3D view of the part. I could not see any way to customise or get a lathe centric view - it must be possible though as you have that in your video Blowlamp, was that a simple job to customise?


If you go to my post (No 12) on CNCZone, you can download my lathe profile plus some lathe gcode to try. Just go to File > Import Profile ... and load it in. Your software will then have the same settings as mine.

The way to customise PlanetCNC for your machine would be through the Settings ... option under the File menu - it's very comprehensive!

It's quite straightforward to set up - start at the top of Settings and work your way down. wink

A separate power supply is needed, so I use a 12vdc 'wall wart' type that cost about £6 if I remember correctly.


PS. If you try that gcode and some arcs are incorrectly displayed, that is due to a mod I asked for that required a further tweak to get right. The devs have fixed it now and will be in the next release.

To show correctly for now, go to: File > Settings ... Scroll down to User Interface then click 3D & scroll down to the Properties section and untick Show Offset.

Thread: Further Adventures with the Sieg KX3 & KX1
16/04/2020 00:15:21

In Fusion 360, Steep & Shallow toolpath strategy seems to give good results for this kind of job.


Thread: Centroid Acorn experience
14/04/2020 18:25:28
Posted by Bazyle on 14/04/2020 17:59:33:

BTW I saw a thread about PlanetCNC where there are Chinese clones that don't work with updated planet software. There was a response from Planet that they were only selling only selling hardware to work with their software or it might have been only software to make their hardware work. Either way you were totally tied and no support was given for third party products.

Why would a business support an inferior ripoff of its products?

PlanetCNC provides a combined hardware/sofware package to ensure things work as they should, that's all. I think Centroid does too.

13/04/2020 22:33:39

I don't have a Centroid setup, my Denford lathe has been changed to PlanetCNC control hardware/software.

Here's a video of it running some lathe code and showing some features on my 'indoors' laptop in simulation mode, but it works exactly the same as on the workshop computer, except for screwcutting as there is obviously no attached spindle encoder without the lathe itself being present.

Just to give an alternative if you are interested.


Thread: Will cash become obsolete ?
13/04/2020 20:23:54
07/04/2020 22:39:17
Posted by Mike Poole on 07/04/2020 17:59:31:

... A visit to the pub usually converts my paper money into a pocket full of change,...



Take that loose change to the supermarket with you and pour it into the self-checkout till - there's no need to count it or sort out foreign coins as the till does this for you. Put notes in after coins and leave it to the till's logic as what mix of coins/notes it returns in change. You might get a few coins back on some occasions, but it's a good way to rid yourself of shrapnel.


07/04/2020 20:25:08

To go cashless suggests banks might be needed.

This financial crash we're going through might well bring some banks and other financial institutions to their knees, whilst taking a proportion of depositors money in the process.

It'll be interesting to see what reaction that provokes from people that are currently sitting comfortably but suddenly find themselves out of pocket by such bail-ins or by massive tax hikes.

07/04/2020 14:17:29
Posted by duncan webster on 07/04/2020 14:04:26:

That sounds pretty unlikely, who would carry the vinegar up to such an out of the way place, and as it rarely stops raining in the Pennines, surely it would be diluted to the point of useless in short order.

According to **LINK** the stone is actually the base for a twin shaft wayside cross

I know, but who'd have thunk you could print debt out of thin air?

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