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Member postings for Brian G

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

Thread: Benchtop lathe with power cross feed, looking to buy
20/01/2021 13:59:54

A digital mike takes out most of the hassle of unit conversion on a lathe. Set it to the diameter you want in the drawing units, zero it and switch to the machine units. Then when you measure the diameter you can directly read the amount to come off. My son's Chester is graduated in mm off of the diameter, so there is no arithmetic at all (yet he still talks about adding a DRO).

Brian G

Thread: Mini lathe feed
14/01/2021 12:58:30
Posted by Darren Keats on 13/01/2021 17:44:29:
... did try to cut a bit too much on the part i was making and thats what made it stop operating properly ....

It might be worth looking at the support bracket at the right hand end in case it is adjustable, as with one half nut the leadscrew may just have been lifted out of place.

Brian G

Thread: VAT changes post Brexit
09/01/2021 10:11:19

Has anybody tried buying books from the EU since Brexit? I am hoping that there would be no problem as books are zero rated in the UK but would rather know before ordering as it may help me to talk somebody into shipping to this apparently outcast island as many sellers appear to have abandoned us.

My own stupid fault, I wanted the book (on Dutch trams) for months but forgot to order it in time despite expecting Brexit to be a total disaster.

Brian G

Thread: airfield white lines - is there a quick way ?
08/01/2021 18:14:35

Not a serious option for 50m of lines, but definitely the lazy man's option.

Brian G


Edited By Brian G on 08/01/2021 18:14:56

Edited By Brian G on 08/01/2021 18:15:37

Thread: Metric to imperial
05/01/2021 22:44:27

Make things easy on yourself by simplifying the arithmetic, You could try treating each division as 0.05 mm off of the diameter. That way, you are dividing 73 by 5 instead of 365/25.

As it is even easier to work in tens, you could do the calculation quicker if you double the amount you want off of the diameter and shift the decimal one place.

73 x 2 = 146

shift the decimal one place to get 14.6

Take of 14 1/2 divisions.

Brian G

Edit.  If you are happier with imperial you could switch to thou for a sense check.  0.73 x 40 is just under 30 thou, each division is about 1 thou (or 2 thou off of the diameter), so you are looking to move just under 15 divisions.

Edited By Brian G on 05/01/2021 22:54:38

Thread: Calor gas butane workshop radiant heater
24/12/2020 09:39:41

I got curious about how an oxygen depletion unit like this one from Hamilton Gas Products works, as it cannot be that complex if they can sell it for a tenner complete with thermocouple and spark plug. I'm still not sure, but it appears that the pilot flame itself acts as the sensor, and that at under 18% oxygen the pilot flame separates from the burner, and therefore lifts off of the thermocouple, shutting off the gas valve, which sound like what you are describing.

I would guess that adjustment instructions are not going to be generally available, and wouldn't personally consider trying to adjust the pilot other than perhaps checking for blockages, but according to this article, one reason for the flame lifting off and shutting down the unit can be high gas pressure, so perhaps changing the regulator might be worthwhile?

Brian G

Thread: Which Laptop
22/12/2020 12:13:48

Worth considering that a current core I3 may outperform an older I5, as although it will have a lower base clock, its turbo speed could be higher and it will have the same number of cores and threads as the older processor. My son was very pleasantly surprised with the performance improvement when he replaced his second generation I5 laptop with a modern I3.

The lower power consumption could prevent it throttling and extend the life of the battery (which isn't as easily swapped out as on older machines). As long as you don't often run processor intensive applications like 3D games, video transcoding, rendering or massive spreadsheets, you should find an I3 fine.

It may be worth looking at storage though, as although by the time you get to a Core I3 you should be getting a real SSD and not flash-based storage, the capacity may be limited. Lenovo appear to be quite good in this area, with some laptops having both M2 and SATA interfaces.

Brian G

Thread: Etching brass
18/12/2020 10:41:18
Posted by Robin Graham on 17/12/2020 21:42:02:

...I've had a look around on t'internet and the tutorials I've seen start with the assumption that the tutee has a laser printer. It seems that laser toner can be transferred to the the work to make the mask. But I haven't got a laser printer - just an inkjet...


Conventional photo copiers use exactly the same technology as laser printers, (more accurately laser printers use the same technology as photocopiers). Perhaps you can find a copy shop, post office or library that will let you photocopy your inkjet printed image onto either the special paper or transparency paper. Better yet, a copy shop could probably just print from your SD card or USB stick.

Brian G

Thread: Oil proof brush?
18/12/2020 10:25:44

Hog hair glue brushes seem to be immune to neatcut oil, but sadly not to milling cutters. I find they are just the right length not to tip over the oil pot (a small tomato puree tin with a magnet rescued from a fridge magnet glue to the bottom), but long enough that I can use them with the guards in place. Given my habit of collapsing, this last feature is vital

The ones I bought have lasted so long (despite standing continually in oil) that I cannot find the order, but they were similar to these (eBay).


Thread: Have You considered getting a 3D printer
11/12/2020 17:39:38

I suspect in a few years time the question "Have you ever considered getting a 3D printer for your workshop?" will seem as obvious as "Have you ever considered getting a lathe". I suffer episodes of paralysis and mine are ideal for my situation as they mean I can keep modelling or printing when I cannot safely use other tools.

Brian G

Thread: Carette Stork Leg
28/10/2020 11:37:44

Hi Alan

If your loco has the same valve gear as the one in this photo I found on you may find the naming of parts to be a problem as it doesn't resemble full-size practice but appears to use a slotted rod like John Turner's "Caledonia" to rock its expansion link.

Carette Stork Leg

I would suggest testing the operation of the safety valve before testing the boiler. If you fill it completely it should start to release water long before reaching boiling. Mark Horovitz says in "A Passion for Steam" and online that his oscillating example runs at 10 psi. Perhaps you could contact the person who posted this video on YouTube earlier this year to find if he can give any advice?

Brian G

Edited By Brian G on 28/10/2020 11:39:04

Thread: Advice on Collets
16/10/2020 12:12:42

Hi Chris

Before deciding on MT3 collets for your lathe, I would suggest checking that the carriage will go far enough that a tool can reach the end of the spindle. If your motor is behind the headstock it may restrict movement of the carriage and either make this difficult or require excessive overhang of the compound.

Brian G

Thread: Engineering Sights on Google Streetview
15/10/2020 09:51:12

Another steam hammer, this time in France **LINK**

Brian G

Thread: Grumpy old men
11/10/2020 19:39:58
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 11/10/2020 18:55:38:


In future the moderators will be rating all posts against the Guardian Style Guide...

That will stop us complaining about spelling mistakes then

Brian G

11/10/2020 09:14:58

"Enormity" as a synonym for vastness or immensity. I have even heard this on the BBC!

Brian G

Thread: Whitening
07/10/2020 12:21:23

Whiting in methylated spirit is a mild abrasive that may be used to clean silver or to prepare glass for gilding. In this case however could the whiting be there simply to protect the piston rings from corrosion until the engine is completed?

Brian G

Thread: Engineering Sights on Google Streetview
04/10/2020 10:54:32
Posted by Nigel McBurney 1 on 04/10/2020 09:13:41:

Portable boiler,found in dockyards to provide temporary steam supply to ships when under repair,

The one in Chatham Dockyard is a bit closer to home.

Which reminds me of this dual-purpose machine **LINK** 

Brian G

Edited twice due to error between chair and keyboard

Edited By Brian G on 04/10/2020 10:54:44

Edited By Brian G on 04/10/2020 10:55:37

Thread: 3/16 Cast Iron Rod
29/09/2020 15:56:34

I wonder if "glass hard" silver steel might break under the bending load?

Brian G

Thread: Living with a Chester DB10 super lathe
24/09/2020 17:31:04

My son has a DB10 Super and like any machine it is built to a price and has good and bad points.

On the plus side:

The power cross feed is really useful, and makes parting off a pleasure. Although the minimal gearbox isn't much help with screwcutting (most threads require exchange of the changewheels) it is handy to be able to switch feed rates on the fly (although the machine has to be stopped to do this).

The ball clutch on the separate feed shaft is adjustable and has prevented several jam-ups. This is a feature that we wouldn't have got on a leadscrew-only machine.

The work envelope is excellent for the price, especially on the long bed version which we have. Well worth the extra if only because the tailstock can be moved so far out of the way - a real luxury when moving up from a mini-lathe.

The motor is adequate but a bit gutless, especially at low speeds, whilst the lack of a backgear means that we tend to leave the machine in the low range. To be honest we expected this, but realised that even if we had to buy a larger motor and VFD later, it would still be cheaper than the equivalent from Warco (This isn't criticising Warco, our other lathe came from them).

The variable speed means that I can increase the speed as the diameter reduces when facing or parting.

The backplate design, which uses a rotating collar and three bolts, is almost as quick and easy to use as a camlock.

The slotted cross-slide means that it is possible to fit a rear toolpost or to bolt down a part for boring.

On the down side:

The emergency stop button on top of the headstock is awkwardly placed and duplicates the adjacent stop button. After we move I plan to relocate it to the tailstock end.

The motor is really gutless at low speeds (but on the plus side, providing you hit STOP immediately, a stall is less damaging than breaking things).

The toolpost sits on a boss which is integral with the compound slide, so that to fit an Aloris type toolpost you have to either bore out the toolpost body and cam (Chester will do this if you order the toolpost with the lathe), which can only be done with a piston type, or machine down the boss and make an extension for the stud. We chose the latter option, which means we can fit the wedge type later if we wish.

The lathe comes without a faceplate.

The swivel mounting for the compound slide is clamped down to the cross-slide with two bolts in the same way as a 9x20. As a result it is rather flexible, although to be fair, this seems to be the case with most (all?) similar lathes. Replacing this with a four bolt mounting is on our "to do" list.

The carriage does not move a full number of millimetres per revolution, and as a result the scale isn't as useful as we hoped, normally we set the tool to the end-point and just zero the scale.

The tailstock is designed to take a morse taper without a tang, and several millimetres of travel is lost if you use a drill with a tang. Worse than this however, the end of the screw is small enough to fit inside the thread of a drawbar type taper so that it cannot be ejected. Easily cured with a screw-in plug but annoying.

Are we happy with our choice?

Yes. The lathe is nice and solid with a work envelope that suits our needs. The machine was a good price, especially as it included the cabinets (even though in our case it it fixed to a workbench and the cabinets are stored in the loft). Its best features, the separate feed shaft with overload clutch, the chuck mounting and the basic screwcutting/feed gearbox are all things we couldn't add later, whilst its bad points can be fairly simply fixed (although I might try the low range conversion that was featured in MEW for a Warco before splashing out on a VFD).

Brian G

Thread: Mystery post
31/08/2020 09:04:50

It should be easy to eliminate tramways by comparing its location to the Barnsley and District or Dearne District routes. It it is on either of these, perhaps it is worth comparing it to the sawn-off traction poles that Wikipedia says are to be found in Upper Sheffield Road?

Brian G

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