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Member postings for Lathejack

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

Thread: Cheap drill bit sets
09/03/2020 18:38:13

We buy new Dormer drill bits at work, from 1/16 up to 1/2 inch, these are mostly made in Brazil and are always excellent, but they sometimes turn up made in the UK and also Spain.

At home I also have sets of the low cost drill bits that I bought several years ago, 1-6 & 6-10mm in 0.1 steps, which both come in a nice fold up steel box and cost around £18 per set.

These are still quite good drill bits having a bright ground finish shank and ground flutes, but the cutting face on the end has clearly been ground by hand held methods. They all cut but the point is not always central due to uneven grinding of the cutting edges, which results in an oversize hole if drilled without a pilot hole, one of the 6mm drills produced a perfect 1/4 inch hole.

Thread: Amadeal Lathe failed - customer service appalling!
07/03/2020 09:44:51

I have seen the same problem with a new Clarke CL500 combo machine at a Machine Mart showroom in Mansfield. The headstock spindle was stiff when rotated and very notchy, so possibly the taper roller spindle bearings were full of muck or more likely way over tightened with preload. It certainly wouldn't have worked well at all, or for very long, in the state it was in.

Thread: warco lathes.
07/03/2020 00:47:18

Yes I did have to fix the faulty carraige lock on my 1330 lathe, it's a stepped steel plate but I cannot remember if I remachined the original one or made another, it was over 14 years ago when I did it. I also fitted an adjustable 'Bristol' type handle while I was at it.

The lock is well in from the edge of the saddle and I'm sure you can't get at it without separating the apron from the saddle. I fixed the lock on mine when I had the apron off to fix a manufacturing fault on the power feed shaft gearing at the back, and also the saddle off to correct the dreadfully rough bearing surface of the vee way on the under side of the saddle that was beginning to damage the surface of the lathe bed after only several hours of use.

06/03/2020 22:52:40

I've had a Warco GH1330 for over 15 years, it also has the apron handwheel on the left side with the powerfeeds lever and leadscrew clasp nut lever on the right side. I would hate it to be the opposite way round, and I am right handed.

I find it far easier and natural to control the carraige when using powerfeeds or screwcutting with the control levers on the right hand side of the apron using my right hand. The carraige handwheel is only really used to quickly bring the carraige into position, or to quickly rough out a very short length of machining on a component, so it's position on the left side is unimportant, or is that just me!

My old Smart and Brown Model A lathe also thankfully has the apron handwheel on the left side. The Chinese lathe manufacturers do produce machines with the option of the apron handwheel on the left or the right. I remember that for many years most of the lathes offered by Chester Machine Tools had the apron handwheel on the right, while the equivalent lathe from Warco usually had the handwheel on the left, such as the Chester Crafstman and the discontineud Coventry machines which were the equivalent of Warco's BH600 and GH1322 & 1330 lathes, not sure if that is still the case.

Thread: Should my pistons be round
29/02/2020 13:23:02

The Pistons for my BSA's are slightly tapered, being round at the crown across the piston ring lands and oval towards the skirt. The oval section is narrower across the gudgeon pin axis, and wider from front to back at the bottom af the skirt, which is common on many Alluminium alloy Pistons for internal combustion engines.

I remember the oval pistoned NR750 road bikes when they first appeared, I think they cost around £37,000 back then, with a Titanium ignition key costing about £200 for a replacement, if any owner ever actually used it.

Thread: Colchester rescue.
18/01/2020 18:46:32

The screwcutting gearbox joystick gate had one broken locating lug. This is also made from cast Alluminium, so I built up a new lug using the Tig, then reshaped it with a die grinder.  


..............A look inside the headstock revealed internals in excellent condition.image.jpgEdited By Lathejack on 18/01/2020 18:47:50

Edited By Lathejack on 18/01/2020 18:56:52

Edited By Lathejack on 18/01/2020 18:57:53

18/01/2020 18:38:10

I am not sure how the lathe was moved, but the way some items were damaged suggests that it was dropped from some hight, allowing the machine to rotate before it hit the ground. Or maybe once it was on its side they were a little rough using the truck to stand it back up.

The smashed cast Alluminium headstock control levers were stripped of their plastic coating and cleaned up ready for Tig welding.

.image.jpg.................I welded up the cast levers without any problems, thankfully they were made from Alluminium Alloy and not some Nast Zinc Alloy.image.jpg.................After a little fettling the levers fitted back fine, followed by the colour coded covers that were pinned back on.image.jpgimage.jpg

11/01/2020 19:53:44

I knew that new spare parts for some British lathes were expensive, but a resent search revealed just how lunatic the prices are, even for the most simple of items. In the case of this Colchester it only requires the cost of less than half a dozen replacement parts to render the machine a write off.

Some of the damaged parts, the crosslide dial is the duel metric and imperial reading type which has badly damaged internal gearing for the duel dials. I have already done a weld repair on the broken hollow shaft with the gear teeth on the end, this slides onto the splined end of the crosslide feed screw.

The broken headstock levers, and the snapped off end of one of the screw cutting box levers were found amongst the wreckage.

image.jpg.................The aprons cast iron handwheel was smashed into three pieces, with a break running through the full length of the centre of the threaded hole for the handle. I welded it all back together with the Tig welder using some nickel iron electrodes as filler rods. The two halves of the threaded hole joined back up nicely with the handle screwing straight back in.


image.jpgEdited By Lathejack on 11/01/2020 19:55:57

Edited By Lathejack on 11/01/2020 19:57:07

Edited By Lathejack on 11/01/2020 19:57:58

Edited By Lathejack on 11/01/2020 20:00:49

11/01/2020 17:22:19

This poor Colchester Student 1800 was damaged in several places after it was dropped while being moved. It sat uncovered in our works yard for a few weeks, awaiting its fate in the scrap skip.

I suggested I try to fix it, but there was no interest, it being deemed uneconomical to repair. So I kept squirting oil on it every now and then, and salvaged some parts off it, but unable to bear the site of it decaying in the rain no longer I then suggested I put it under cover in a lean to in order to salvage other parts off it. From there it discreetly made its way into our steam engine workshop for some TLC every now and then when time allowed..image.jpg...............I have repaired the smashed cast iron apron hand wheel, and removed the damaged crosslide dial, thankfully the crosslide feed screw appears to be undamaged..image.jpg................The Alluminium Alloy headstock speed control levers are smashed, also a bent joystick lever on the screwcutting gearbox plus a broken joystick locating lug.image.jpg..

Thread: Swisstec machines from Pro Machine Tools
08/01/2020 22:22:05

I visited Pro Machine Tools a few years ago, mainly to have a look at the Ceriani lathe they offer. While there I took a close look at all the machines on display, and in particular a Swisstec 10x22 lathe.

The Swisstec lathe I examined was the common Chinese made 10x22 machine sold by many other suppliers, with variable speed, a quick change gearbox with three feed rates, and powered cross and longitudinal fine feed. This one also had a headstock spindle flange with a quick release mechanism also found on just some of the other 10x22 lathes.

The build, fit and detailing was certainly no better than other machines offered by Warco, Chester, SPG or Amadeal etc. In fact the rotating knurled collar that operates the spindle quick release was rather thin on this SwissTec lathe, and was slightly buckled where it was pinched by the three securing nuts.

I had a chat with the pleasant chap there, and he did agree that he wasn't particularly convinced that SwissTec were anything special.

Thread: The Engineers Emporium - Red Wing hit and miss engine
28/12/2019 10:58:45

Yes Jason I'm sure that is correct, it's what I was told when I bought my engine.

Because the chap at Engineers Emporium wouldn't sell me the crank and conrod castings I ended up buying the two items from Forest Classics, who were happy to supply them even though I hadn't bought the engine from them.

27/12/2019 22:15:54

Forest Classics also offer the Red Wing engine, so it might be worth comparing their engine kit with the one from The Engineers Emporium.

There is only a £10 difference in the listed price from both companies, Engineers Emporium list 9 Iron & 10 brass castings with the kit, but Forest Classics list 11 of both.

i bought the water cooled Red Wing kit from Engineers Emporium several years ago. Overall the kit was fine but at that time did not include the conrod or crankshaft casting. They did include them later but when I spoke to the chap at the Harrogate show and asked if I could buy the conrod and crank for the engine I had bought from them he replied with a rather blunt NO without explanation. But they were very helpful when I asked them if they would replace the two flywheel castings which were both badly misaligned each side of the casting joint line, and they replaced them at the Harrogate show 18 months after I originaly purchased the kit.

 When the Forest Classics Red Wing Kit appeared it did did look to be a slightly neater kit with much better brass or bronze castings, and a few extra parts included, but the Engineers Emporium version might have improved since I bought mine from them.

 That reminds me, I still haven't finished this engine, so I must root out all the parts and jolly well get on and finish it.


Edited By Lathejack on 27/12/2019 22:25:39

Thread: Hobbymat MD65 clone tailstock alignemnt
10/11/2019 22:34:04

Clones of the Hobbymat MD65 were produced in China, I think listed as the BL130 or something similar. I examined one at a machine tool dealers some years ago, it was marketed by Chester machine tools. It had the same paint job and info plate as a genuine Hobbymat and looked just the same, but was rather rough and ready with poor detailing.

Warco also once sold a version of the Hobbymat that looked quite good, but this one had two round bars for the bed, one larger diameter than the other.

Thread: Boring bar toolpost.
05/11/2019 18:59:57
Posted by John MC on 04/11/2019 08:02:27

When you say off centre do you mean parallel error, up to 20 off centre but still parallel to the original bore. Or, the cylinder is leaning over? That is to say an error in perpendicularity.

As i said in my previous post, off centre error, a few thou is unimportant, perpendicularity is very important.


Yes I know that a little off centre is not a problem, and that perpendicularly is important, you're right, and I agree. As I previously mentioned, the fixture ensures that the cylinders are bored square to the base mating face. But it also ensures the bore is on the original centre line, regardless of how important that is.

The bored off centre cylinders were square to the base, and appeared to have been running happily in that state. There's usually enough clearance between gudgeon pin bosses and the sides of the conrod little end for a little side to side offset, and a little front to back offset certainly won't matter, but there is no reason not to try and bore on the original centre line if possible.

The BSA cylinders are still on standard bore, but worn.

03/11/2019 19:33:26
Posted by old mart on 03/11/2019 18:31:23:

I know what a B50 barrel is made of................

Yes, but you also said that you wouldn't use that tool to bore the cylinder unless there were inserts suitable for Alluminium available for it. Which suggested that you thought it was going to bore out an Alluminium cylinder.

We still use these types of inserts on various cutters at work on Bronze, Alluminium, Cast Iron and various grades of Steel, with different grades of inserts still available.

Edited By Lathejack on 03/11/2019 19:34:55

03/11/2019 18:02:22
Posted by old mart on 03/11/2019 17:47:27:

If I was going to attempt that boring of the cylinder, I would not use that tool, unless there are inserts suitable for aluminium available for it. The aluminium grade inserts are sharp, and can be used with very small depth of cut, which would significantly reduce the forces on the bar. I would get one of these which use WNMG 08 inserts. I have some cheap Chinese inserts for aluminium which are surprisingly good when used on steel and CI with small cuts, right down to 0.0005".

The cylinder Barrell is light Alluminium Alloy, but it is fitted with a cast Iron liner that is to be bored out by 0.5mm. In any case the cutting tip is simply what was fitted when I bought it.

03/11/2019 17:56:41
Posted by peak4 on 03/11/2019 17:44:54:

The topic on hand is interesting in terms of the boring bar size and usage, but the thing that really grabs me is the T slotted cross slide on a GH1330; mine's plain.


The tee slotted crosslide shown on my Warco 1330 lathe is a Myford 280 item that I bought and slightly modified to fit my 1330 several years ago. I had planned to machine some Myford size tee slots in the 1330's original crosslide, but when I removed it I found that they have been cast with a large cavity on the underside, so machining it didn't look to be a good idea.

in my original post I mistakenly refer to the topslide being from a Myford 280, when I actually mean the crosslide.

03/11/2019 17:39:18
Posted by DC31k on 03/11/2019 16:31:48:

This may be a wildly foolish idea, but if there is any uncertainty over deflection, could you put gussets under and behind the bar?

How much is there between the outer face of the bar and the point of the tip? You could shrink or loctite on a sleeve that increases its effective diameter. Even an eccentrically-bored one so that the under and back get more meat than the front.

No it's not a foolish idea. Here are two examples of an old 25mm boring bar that has been lengthened and reinforced by a length of thick flat bar at the back, and it cuts cleanly without the slightest chatter.The bores being machined on these full size Traction engine parts are deeper and larger in diameter than my BSA cylinders. I won't be doing this to my nice 32mm boring bar, but I have already started to make a sleave to stiffen it up when extended to 5x its diameter.image.jpgimage.jpg

03/11/2019 12:09:53

The boring bar I have is 32mm. The bored out cylinders I've had in the past were upto 20 thou off centre, so not ideal. I'm certainly not risking my precious BSA cylinders being done the same way.

i have also bored out motorcyle cylinders on the lathe before, including two stroke cylinders with all their ports. The lathe does a perfectly good job whatever the bore being machined is for, as long as the tool is ridgid enough and the lathe cuts parallel.

03/11/2019 11:01:47

Holding the cylinder in a fixture mounted on the headstock spindle will ensure that it is bored accurately on the centre line, and also bored square to the cylinder base mating face.

I have come across several cylinder barrells that have been bored off the original centre line, even though they were machined by firms using equipment made for the purpose.

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