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Member postings for Tomfilery

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

Thread: Not the time to be complacent about Covid
17/11/2021 17:02:16

Whilst various people are enthusiastically agreeing with PatJ, it seems to me that we shouldn't take too much notice of someone who has not posted on any other subject and who merely seems to be spouting the conspiracy theory nonsense which seems to be so prevalent in the US currently. Perhaps a Moderator would like to check this and, if deemed necessary, take appropriate action.


Thread: An Uninvited Guest!
30/10/2021 10:00:59

Re Michael G's horsetail problem:-

We moved into our house 5 years ago and had major building work undertaken to both house and garden (including retaining walls to terrace the garden). During the building phase, we allowed the horsetails in the lower part of the garden to get really well established - definitely a bad move!

Once building works were complete and we got around to sorting out the garden (primarily for lawn with borders) we dug over the ground to a depth of 8 -10 inches and tried to remove every last bit of black horsetail root (as well as all the larger stones, bricks, etc.). As you'd expect, it was impossible to get every piece of root and some of them were literally feet long!

So, we still get a few horsetails popping up through the lawn, but pull them out whenever we see them. They still return, but are getting noticeably weedier (no pun intended). Some had been like thin asparagus, but we seem to have stopped them coming back. I can't imagine we'll totally eradicate them, but we're definitely winning. It is the "hoeing" principle - keep cutting them down and depleting their root energy supply. They are really sneaky though, and like to hide in the midst of other plants.

Good luck.


Thread: Multi-part assembly drawing
08/05/2021 10:22:55


Picking up on your comment to Peter:-

"My comment about scaling came from the printer-setting menus I find. They seem all to work as dividers, down to 1:1; of large objects. I could not see how to enlarge the image to scale and without the dimensions following suit, so for example scaling up by 10 would print something 0.1" wide, 1" wide and dimensioned as 1" wide."

Turbocad will do what you want, but you have to know how! You can insert a "Viewport" in your Model and open a "View" in a paper space which links to the model. When setting up the "Viewport" (and the "View" - so be careful you can put magnification, or reduction, factors in both) you can tell TC to make the items in the "Paper" space as large, or small, as you want. TC links the dimensions to the "Viewport" and displays dimensions in the "View" as per the full size version, irrespective of the magnification/ reduction.

Of course, this can sometimes work against you, e.g. when you draw an object full size and want the paper space item to show scaled down dimensions for model building purposes. In that case, it is possible to break the link with the Model space item and so show the dimensions in scale size. Using this technique you could draw an item full size and then produce Paper spaces for multiple scales.

Oh, and one other point - if using a Viewport any changes you make in the Model space within the Viewport are automatically reflected in the individual, or multiple, paper spaces.

I suggest you might need to investigate further.

Regards Tom

Thread: TurboCAD Query - Copying Between Drawings
02/05/2021 19:40:36


I wonder if you have accidently locked the layer which contains the drawing part you can't copy? I'm sorry if this is a red herring, as I don't know whether this would cause the problem you describe and I haven't tried it myself. As others have said already, one can normally easily select drawing parts and then copy and paste between drawings.

If the layer is locked, then selecting an item on that layer and clicking the little lock button on the toolbar should set it back to normal. Alternatively go to the Options menu, select Layers and do it from there.

Regards Tom

Thread: Newbie needs Advice
02/05/2021 17:31:16


I would strongly suggest that you should do some further online research as to what you need! You have got slightly the wrong end of the stick.

There are three basic stages to driving a CNC machine.

1. CAD (Computer Aided Design) - a program you use to draw the parts you want to machine.

2. CAM (Computer Aided Machining) - a program which takes your drawing file and which YOU tell where and how you wish to machine the part(s). The output of this program is the g code you feed to stage 3.

3. A machine controller which accepts your g code file and drives the stepper motors and spindle on your milling machine.

There are lots of options for each stage of the process. I use, respectively, TurboCad, CamBam and Mach3. Some people use programs which combine the first 2 stages, but a lot depends on what hardware you want to run the cnc machine form (more choices I'm afraid). You don't need to really get into writing g code, but would need to get to grips with the software associated with each stage.

There have been some recent threads regarding choice of cnc systems on here and I'd recommend you search for these and read up on what people have said.

Regards Tom

Thread: Piston Valves - much ado about nothing?
23/02/2021 15:37:44


I suggest you look up John "Bogstandard"'s Paddleduck engine for a place to start.

You didn't say how big a loco you are thinking of building and John's is a small marine engine for driving a small paddle steamer. It was aimed at beginners, so provides a lot of good constructional detail and advice.

Regards Tom

Thread: Not the only president causing problems.
15/01/2021 09:45:57


Many thanks for taking the time to respond. Yes, that is all perfectly clear - thank you. I had thought that was probably how you did it.

I asked for clarification because I'd seen previous references to using eccentric bushes, with the implication that they allowed some degree of adjustment when fitting. I could see how being able to turn a bush in the rod, before final fixing, might allow a little adjustment, but couldn't see how you could avoid also introducing unwanted adjustment in the vertical direction as well as the horizontal.

Please keep up the good work and continue posting.

Regards Tom

14/01/2021 09:42:54


That's looking great!

How did you use the eccentric bushes, to correct the misdrilled coupling rod spacing? I can see how they would work, but was wondering how you adjusted them. Do they have spanner flats behind the rods, or did you install the bushes and then drill them to suit the crankpin spacing?

Regards Tom

Thread: Cleaning Brass?
08/01/2021 10:28:23

Re Bob S and Ian B's comments re citric acid.

Freshly mixed citric acid will not make your brass go pink - I use it regularly for cleaning small rivets before soft soldering. However, once you have put copper in it, any brass then dipped will turn pink. So if you've pickled some copper then don't use the pickle to clean brass!

I don't make, or restore, clocks and it may be that certain grades of brass react differently.

Just my experience from observation.


Thread: TurboCAD Layers & Dimensions - Help Please
17/10/2020 12:01:23


Re Dimensions in TC.

Select the dimensions button and draw one on your drawing (don't worry about it's style for the moment).

Once done, click on the "selector" button.

Click on the dimension to select it.

Click on the "properties" button (looks like a list, on a page) and this will give you access to changing the settings for the dimensions (including fonts, arrow sizes, etc).

Once you are done and exit "properties" your dimension will have the new properties, however, this will NOT become the new default. I assume there is a way of including this a default, by creating a new template which includes the setting, however, I've never successfully done this, except by adding a dimensioned line to the template, so that whenever you open a new drawing, you have one pre-formatted dimension to copy subsequently.

So, what I do is (having formatted one dimension), I draw in all the others I require, using the existing default dimension properties (i.e. NOT the ones you really want). Next click on the "format painter" (paintbrush button) and click on the dimension which does contain the formatting you want - this sets the format you will now "paint" onto the other dimensions. Now click on each dimension you want to modify, in turn, and your new format is painted onto them.

I know it sounds a faff, but it is a lot quicker to do, than to write up. I normally don't dimension the model space, instead, copy the component to a paper space and dimension it there. Helps minimise the clutter.

Similarly, re layers, draw something, select it and THEN tell the object which layer you want it to be. Once you have a number of layers in the drawing, you have to be carefull that you ensure the correct one is set, when drawing new lines - though you can easily change the properties afterwards, if you get it wrong. I have loco drawings where chassis, boiler, frames, etc. are all on different layers, so that I can readily work on parts without the other bits cluttering the work area.

Hope this helps.

Regards Tom

Thread: What is this?
05/10/2020 11:53:01


Would it wedge into the top of the pulley housing (once the belt cover is open), allowing the pointer to be engaged with the bull wheel gear for basic indexing?

Regards Tom

Thread: BT
13/08/2020 19:26:41


I agree with you re the BT website tariffs and contracts - funny how they never manage to show you exactly what tariff you are on and the benefits you get so that you could compare it with the new proposal.

When I got the same letter, I rang them and told them that I felt their charges were outrageous and that I didn't want to pay them a penny more than currently. They looked at my phone usage and decided that there was an alternative to the tariff proposed and they added the technical help as well - something they've been trying to give me for ages at extra cost. My experience has been that every contract tweak doesn't necessarily cost me less, but I'm now at the stage where I refuse to pay more.

You may wish to consider adopting the same approach and should they subsequently ask you to provide feedback, give them both barrels (obviously not the call handler, but definitely the company).

Regards Tom

Thread: GWR Dart Part built value (estimate)
05/08/2020 08:45:10


Apologies because it doesn't answer your question, but there's a Bridget in 7.25" on eBay at the moment with a current bid of 3999.00.

Hope this helps.

Regards Tom

Thread: CMD10/SeigX1 query
30/04/2020 10:50:32


I don't have the Clarke, but do have an Axminster Micromill, which is basically the same machine.

Mine doesn't have the plate with slotted holes, but does have the allen screw screw you have labelled "1" and it is this which is definitely the quill lock! I replaced the allen screw with a handle, on mine.

The other socket screw, with locknut, is set to minimise the play on the quill I believe - the screw bears in a slot which runs down the length of the quill, hence why it locks the quill when tightened. I'd use the other one as a lock, if I were you.

Hope this helps.

Regards Tom

Thread: Hello from the North East
12/01/2020 14:43:40

Paul Humphries,

You have a Private Message from me.

Regards Tom

Thread: Imperial supplies of mild steel
04/01/2020 10:08:42


You can still buy "key steel" in imperial sizes, but it will be expensive.

I assume it is used for keys to fix gears to shafts, so may not come in the exact size you need.

Regards Tom

Thread: TiN coated twist drills
04/01/2020 09:59:44


One other option (along the lines of your reground masonry drill) would be "locksmiths drills" which are normally ground drills, but with a carbide tip.

Got mine off ebay for £2-4 a piece and have been handy when drilling harder materials (or drilling out broken screws, etc.).

Regards Tom

Thread: Choice between cheap mini milling machines.
04/01/2020 09:56:31


The trouble is is all depends upon what you want to use it for and what your expectations are!

I have an Axminster micro mill, which I've owned for quite a few years and which has dome pretty much everything I wanted of it. I would have liked the longer table (which wasn't available at the time I bought mine), but have rarely really needed it.

I've done loads of drilling (usually in the range 1-6mm) and quite a lot of milling and it is Ok. As ever, on those occasions you want to take a deeper cut, or use a larger milling cutter, it will show it's deficiencies. I once broke one of the nylon gears when using a dovetail cutter too large for the machine to drive reasonably and got a spare from Axminster by return post - which I thought a bonus!

Most of my work is in respect of narrow gauge railway models at 16mm/ft.

Regards Tom

Thread: Broken drill bit in hole
11/12/2019 11:17:48


As you are making a boiler, and therefore have pickle for cleaning it up, just put your boiler in the pickle and leave it overnight. You will likely find your drill will have disintegrated, or can readily be removed the next morning.

I first tried this with a similarly sized broken drill in brass and, much to my surprise, found the drill was broken up the next day and basically dropped out of the hole. I used clean citric acid (i.e. which had not had copper in it) as I didn't want a layer of copper depositing on my brass.

Regards Tom

Thread: Making Progress with TurboCAD
09/12/2019 11:28:46


Like IanT I too have used TC for many years and am reasonably proficient with it, using it primarily to draw 16mm/ft railway wagons and locos.

I never use construction lines and rarely use a viewport (though it is particularly useful if you want to scale down a drawing (in model space) you have drawn full size to build a model in a different scale, or want to rescale an existing model to something else).

To reduce the scale of an image in a viewport simply enter the scale you want i.e. 1:19.05 (for 16mm/ft). Getting dimensions in the viewport to appear as scale dimensions is a little involved, but readily doable.

Your observation re grouped objects is absolutely correct. To change the whole object to a different layer you have to:- highlight the object; select "edit group content" - the object opens in a different screen; select everything (CTRL A does it); then select the layer you want it to belong to - and the colour (if you don't have colour by layer selected); once it is as you want select "finish edit to group content" and you are done!

I tend to use Ubuntu for most things, these days and run my TC from Ubuntu, by use of VirtualBox but, like you have looked for alternatives. One of the big stumbling blocks for me is that I use a lot of keyboard commands with TC e.g. in "draw" I'll click on the end of an existing line then tab to the Line length box; enter the length I want; tab to the angle box and enter the angle of the line; then hit enter to finish. I find this save loads of time, over carefully positioning lines with the mouse and allows you to not have to rely upon the grid.

Hope this helps you get over your frustrations.

Regards Tom.

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