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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: Milling on the Chester Craftsman
30/01/2019 19:57:38

From what I can remember of the Chester Craftsman lathe I am fairly sure that it's cross slide does have one short Tee slot that starts at the back and runs down the middle of the slide for a short distance. I think it is really just intended for a rear mounted toolpost.

Warco's version of the same lathe, the BH600, did have at least a couple of Tee slots machined across the width of the cross slide on some examples.

Edited By Lathejack on 30/01/2019 19:58:33

Thread: The Diamond Tool Holder
26/01/2019 02:32:42


Thanks for your reply. I feel a little better knowing that I am not really the only person to have one like this.

Looking at the tool holder there is no reason why it could not have been formed with the end cranked over a little more, so it does appear to have been a bit of an error in the original design.

Despite being very annoyed and irritated by it all these years, it is only after first reading this thread a couple of days ago that I thought to investigate and ask questions about it.

So rather than attempt to make another I am going to put this one right with some careful cutting, bending and Tig welding. I can then banish all the ill feeling I have for it, then use it much more often and finally get my money's worth out of it.

Edited By Lathejack on 26/01/2019 02:41:39

25/01/2019 20:22:23

I have been reading with interest all the comments about the Eccentric Engineering Diamond Toolholder, and they inspired me to nip into the workshop to dig out my hardly used example that I bought from the UK supplier maybe six years ago, it cost just over £60 from the Harrogate Show I think.

My Diamond Toolholder has a trailing cutting edge when the tool is mounted at 90 Degrees to the lathes axis. In order to be able to turn and face at the same setting I have to swivel the toolpost, which is just daft. Surely a cutting tool designed to turn and face should just simply mount at 90 degrees and only swivelled round if a trailing cutting edge is required. This aspect of the tool has always annoyed me which is why I have only used it a handful of times over the years. Other than that I agree it is an excellent tool.

So do I have a dud? Is mine made incorrectly? Or are there other examples out there made like mine? The first two photos I have posted show how my tool holder cutting edge trails when mounted at 90 Degrees, and also the angle it needs to be set in order to be able to turn and face at the same setting.


image.jpg..............I then found a test of the Eccentric Engineering Diamond Toolholder by Roger Bunce on the Model Engineering website. In it he does state that the original design had been modified by increasing the crank of the tool to allow it to turn and face when mounted at 90 Degrees. I don't know the date of the article or when the design was modified.

The last photo shows an image from Eccentric Engineerings website. With the cutter set to turn and face, the tool shank can just be seen and appears to be set at similar angle to mine. So maybe I was sold an early version.


Edited By Lathejack on 25/01/2019 20:27:38

Thread: Bought it, never used it.
23/12/2018 23:07:32
Posted by Gary Wooding on 23/12/2018 10:50:03:

Many years ago I went to the ME Exhibition at Picket's Lock, North London and treated myself to a 4x6 horizontal bandsaw, which was duly delivered in a crate to my address in the Midlands.

The crate was a bit bigger than I thought and was placed into a corner of my cellar workshop, next to the CH boiler, until I was able to clear a space for the machine. The years passed and every now and again I thought about opening it, but there was still not enough room.

Eventually, the 35 year old CH boiler gave up the ghost and the replacement condensing version had to be installed in the garage, which left a space for the bandsaw. A couple of years ago I got round to opening the crate and found the receipt, dated 1997 - only 19 years ago. The saw was still as-new and does sterling service.

Well, I have plenty of new stuff I've still not used, but never a machine still in its crate, unopened or used after almost 20 years!

As I read that the crate was bigger than you thought it would be I thought you were going to say that when you finaly opened it that it wasn't a bandsaw in there after all, but instead you had accidentally been sent a spanking new lathe with all the bells and whistles, power cross feed, screw cutting gearbox, steadies, and chucks.......result!

Good job the bandsaw wasn't faulty or damaged in any way, warranty long gone.

21/12/2018 23:23:58

Thanks Danny. Glad to hear they work well, and that the 80 grit wheels do give a good finish.

The 80x10x20 grinding wheels do not appear to be a standard off the shelf size, although a company I bought some internal wheels from did say they can produce some wheel sizes to special order. However I have also been thinking of ordering some finer grit wheels and spare drive belts from Little Machine Shop.

I don't have a Mini Lathe, so the grinder will hopefully successfully be used on my larger lathe to grind to size the hardened big end eye of some BSA motorcycle roller bearing big end conrods, and the rods from some old two stroke stationary engines. A Delapena honing machine would be preferable for this job, but I don't have the room.

Edited By Lathejack on 21/12/2018 23:25:04

21/12/2018 21:12:07

Yes, used Toolpost grinders are usually still quite expensive in the sizes we might use, especialy the Duplex brand.

The only other supplier to Model Engineers I can think of that have offered a Toolpost Grinder was Warco many years ago, I can't remember exactly what it looked like or what the price was, except it had their usual green paint job.

21/12/2018 20:30:08

I'me sure I am not the only one who has items of new tooling, some quite expensive, that still remain unused quite a number of years after purchase.

After a brief search of my workshop I found and opened this box, to reveal one such item still new and unused since I bought it years ago from Arceurotrade when I visited their premises.


...............I can't remember for sure how long ago I bought this C3 Mini Lathe Toolpost grinder from Arc, but at the time I was told that from them it was a discontinued item. I think Little Machine Shop in the USA still offer it, plus a slightly larger model.

image.jpg..............I now have a job for it, and plan to make a short internal grinding spindle for it. The 80mm diameter grinding wheels that came with it are all 80 grit, I wonder what sort of finish they will produce.

Has anyone else used one of these little Toolpost grinders? It has a 250 Watt motor, with a grinding spindle speed of 6000 RPM. It all seems fairly well made.

Edited By Lathejack on 21/12/2018 20:32:55

Edited By Lathejack on 21/12/2018 21:01:01

Thread: "CESTRIAN" Multi-Function Metal-Working Machine
16/11/2018 02:23:08

Well I can clearly remember when the Cestrian was being offered by Chester Machine Tools all those years ago, it had a blue paint job and I think at the time it was priced at £1995.

I can also clearly remember examining and fiddling with the Cestrian at an engineering show, then walking a short distance to examine the genuine GOLmatic being offered by another company who also had Emco machines, it might have been Speedwell or maybe Pro Machine Tools.

One item I remember is the tailstock attachment fitted on both machines for use when in lathe mode. The tailstock had a large diameter outer quill that contained a smaller diameter inner quill. The outer quill was slid quickly into position by hand through the tailstock casting, then clamped in position. The inner quill was then operated by a feedscrew and handwheel in the usual fashion. On the GOLmatic the outer quill slid through the casting smoothly without a hint of play, on the Chester Cestrian the outer quill was quite a sloppy fit in the casting and rattled its way along when it was pushed through. This isn't a criticism of the Cestrian, it's just the way it was.

All other areas on the Cestrian looked very good, the table operated smoothly and the quill in the mill head casting was a good fit, and all ground parts looked excellent. I did quite like it.

i wonder if Chester sold many or any, I have never come across a Cestrian other than the ones Chester had on display.


Edited By Lathejack on 16/11/2018 02:26:20

Edited By Lathejack on 16/11/2018 02:30:58

Thread: Small twin cylinder compressor pump identification.
28/09/2018 22:30:24

Thanks very much MichaelG, that's the one.

I did Google 'Stuart compressor pump' a couple of days ago but didn't get any images of it, so I thought I must be mistaken. I also imagined that the pump I thought Stuart might have once offered was smaller, but not so.

Thanks for the links.

28/09/2018 22:06:17

Thanks Chris, interesting that it may have been a student project, and that you have a set of castings for one.

I took a peek inside, this shows the crankshaft supported on ball race bearings at each end. Bronze connecting rods with oil dippers, and the split big end caps with wired on screws.


.............The separate base casting formed with an oil sump, dip stick and drain plug.A peep inside.


................Unfortunately part of one of the lower piston rings and land has broken off one piston. Probably caused by the fact that the lower ring land comes out of the cylinder bore at the bottom of the Pistons stroke.A breakage!

Edited By Lathejack on 28/09/2018 22:33:07

28/09/2018 21:40:18

Can anyone identify this cute little twin cylinder compressor pump I bought from the Autojumble last week?

It is 150mm high, 100mm long and made from cast iron. The cylinders are cast integral with the crankcases, and the separate base casting contains an oil sump. There is no makers name or mark on it at all, not sure if it is a model pump made from a kit. It does work quit well.

twin cylinder pump unit.image.jpg

Thread: Motorcycle General Discussion
17/09/2018 17:04:41

Tonight at 7:45 pm on Talkink Pictures channel is a short film with a young Charles Hawtry made in the 1940's entitled 'How To Refuel Your Two Stroke Motorcycle Engine'.

I wonder what smokey old two stroke he is riding.

Thread: What did you do Today 2018
15/08/2018 20:34:43

I've made a bit more progress on the full size Burrell. The brake drum was worn and pitted with corrosion in places, so it was mounted on the trusty Churchill Redmond lathe for a clean up.image.jpg...............A special cranked and beefed up cutting tool was knocked up to reach across the brake surface.image.jpg..............The surface machined up nicely, after the wide brazed tip parting tool had a small notch ground into its cutting edge to eliminate slight chatter.image.jpg

Thread: Alba 1A Shaper.
27/05/2018 10:55:30

I saw Nettlehams website a couple of years ago, I'm sure it's just a ghost site. I seem to remember they had an auction of all their stock, and the buildings were then demolished. I think the front of the original entrance still remains, and it's now called Marshalls Yard.

I seem to recall that the owners office was all decked out in wooden paneling from an old ship. They were pleasant people to deal with, and I really miss the place.

26/05/2018 22:09:31

Regarding the lack of a table support, I plan to build one in when I get round to fabricating a heavy steel chip tray. It would be handy to know the measurements of the original chip tray fitted to these early type Alba machines.

Years ago I used to visit Nettleham Engineering in Gainsborough, they were a machine tool dealer at the old large Marshall works. Every couple of months I would pop in to browse through their stock of used machinery, spread throughout the huge building. I still have an Elliot pillar drill and Smart & Brown lathe supplied by them. Shame they and the buildings are all long gone now.

I remember the rows of used, and seemingly unwanted, shapers. They always had quite a few Boxford models in stock.

26/05/2018 20:44:24
Posted by Mick Henshall on 26/05/2018 19:40:04:

Like it, my Boxford is taking down a 3"×3"× 2" Mild steel to make a rigid toolpost for the lathe to replace the compound, played around with depth of cut eventually tried 100 thou went fine until the scotch yoke bit that sets the stroke slipped, I hadn't tightened it up properly I think I'll stick to 10 -20 thou cuts,it ain't a race is it, good luck with yours


What a great idea, I have often thought about making a solid toolpost to replace the topslide, particularly for large boring bars. Now you've mentioned it, I might as well use the shaper to hog it out of a lump of steel rather than use the milling machine.

26/05/2018 18:15:51

..A couple of months ago I was given this Alba shaper, it would have been rude to refuse it.

The rather dodgy position of the motor and the unguarded drive belts will need altering. The cast iron chip tray that sits between the upper and lower main castings is missing, so a new steel one will be fabricated at some point. For now it has just had stuck parts freed off, some of the surface rust removed and a good oil up.

image.jpgimage.jpg.................It is located at my place of work, alongside the Burrell Showmans Engine who's flywheel can be seen in the background.

After machining a couple of test pieces it was soon put to work machining a new key for the Burrells steering worm wheel. I had never used a shaper before, and found this machine to be a delight to use.

It has a facility for auto rise and fall of the table, but the single ratchet mechanism has to be swaped over from the cross feed shaft. The factory illustration shows two ratchet mechanisms geared together drawn in, but I have not seen any with two ratchets fitted. So another future job will be to make another drive ratchet assembly and a pair of gears to mesh them together.image.jpg

Thread: What did you do Today 2018
23/05/2018 22:35:58
Posted by martin perman on 23/05/2018 20:49:47:


May I ask the name of the engine.

Martin P


The engine was partly dismantled before I started on it. The canopy and all cladding was removed and stored away, so I haven't seen a name plate for it, I will try and find out when I return to work.

Another chap has been in to work on the boiler, and stripped out all the old fire tubes.image.jpg.

..................The engine, complete with temporary rear axle, was then towed across the works to have the boiler flushed out with the jet wash.image.jpg

23/05/2018 20:11:58

I've been doing a little more restoration of the full size Burrell Showmans Engine. After drilling through the centre of the flywheels six inch long key, then using the Oxy/Acetylene torch to burn it away, the four feet diameter flywheel was finally separated from the crankshaft.image.jpg

..................The crank was then mounted on our large old lathe, the worn and scored main bearing surfaces were then skimmed and polished up. While in the lathe all the old paint and rust was removed, it's amazing what dirt and filth some people will paint over.image.jpgimage.jpg

....................The 78mm big end journal was in a bad state, badly scored and worn barrel shaped with a diameter measuring 1.3mm larger in the middle than the sides. It had also worn into the large radius in each corner. It could not be set up in this lathe to machine the crankpin, so I was all set to crate it up and have it sent away for regrinding. But in the end I decided to have a go at it with the crank mounted as shown.image.jpg.

....................After several hours work using hand tools and strips of abrasive tape the big end was restored to a smooth, parallel and round journal, quite tricky when rotating with a 12 inch stroke.image.jpg

28/02/2018 21:57:39

Over the last several months, including today, along with other jobs I have also been working on the full size engines at work.

One task was to cut out and replace the worn out thread in the top of the firebox crown that takes the fusible plug. I had to do this job on this Burrell Showmans and the Burrell Roller engines. I used my excellent Chinese made 200 amp Tig welding set, which, as on other occasions, ran for hours on end without trouble.

image.jpgimage.jpg..........I first machined up a couple of flanged threaded steel plugs, then used a Lenox hole saw to cut out the worn out section around the original threaded hole in the top of the firebox.image.jpg..........The beveled hole is notched either side to allow the new flanged plug to be popped through into the boiler and to drop flat and seat on its flange. The V weld prep and gap wil hopefully give a strong reliable weld.image.jpg...........The finished job, it wasn't pleasant working in the cramped confined space, particularly as all the work was overhead.image.jpg............Another job was to bore out the rear axle bearing castings on the Burrell Showmans for the fitting of new bushes. I did this job on our large old Churchill Redmond flat bed lathe.image.jpg............The rather slim long boring bar has been reinforced along its length, it then cut cleanly without any chatter.image.jpg...........I also did a trial fitting of the steering drum worm I made. The steering chains wrapped around it ok and the steering worked fine, I was a little worried it might not work too well, so it is a relief it seems to be ok after all that work to make it.image.jpg

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