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Member postings for Phil Whitley

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

Thread: CovMac Lathes
11/08/2019 12:25:49

Here is the comparison, and the old single phase motor is only 2hp! Speed adjustment wheel (just behind terminal box) moves the brushes around the armature, the motor speed slows right down to a halt, then restarts in the opposite direction! Note that on this side, the "drip proof" vent at the rear has been fitted upsode down because of the position of the motor when mounted on the lathe. I think that the motor mounting plate on the lathe, which is solid cast iron, probably weighs more than the new motor. If you look on at the Covmac page, the 3hp 750 rpm is the original recomendation for the lathe, although I shall probably never manage to overload it!! the FLA of the new motor is only 5.5a.

Edited By Phil Whitley on 11/08/2019 12:35:20

11/08/2019 12:10:28

Churchill cub, very well made machine, especially the later ones, what model (Mk) is it ? pics? There was one for sale on ebay which was just outside Beverley, my brother was interested in it, and was going to go for a look, but didn't bother when the guy told him how much interest he had in it! Needles to say, it sold "well".


10/08/2019 13:13:18

Hi Brian, when I got the lathe it had an ancient repulsion induction single phase variable speed motor on it, which weighed about four times what the motor now fitted weighs, so I have swapped it for a three phase 3hp 750 rpm motor. The pulley is the original off the old motor, bored out to fit the new one, and rekeyed on the shaper. The five belt set up is original to the machine. If all goes well I should get it up and running next week!

09/08/2019 20:16:59

Back on the Covmac, and this time it is to the finish!, got the motor cabled up, and new belts sized up, just working on modifying the belt guards, should have chips next week!

belt guard

Thread: Solving Engineering Mistakes
24/07/2019 20:59:31

I always find the problem is making more than one of anything! If you are making say, three, number three is always slightly better than number one, and so the temptation is to remake number one, and try to bring number two up to number three's standard, and it is quite possible to disappear down the rabbit hole of perfection trying to make three identically good items, and completely forget about the purpose those items are going to serve. If it is a part for a model or machine that is going to be admired as an excercise in perfection, then you have to scrap a lot of parts and start again, if it is a shelf bracket etc, then you have to decide if the function/appearance balance is acceptable. A tale from the "one guy from Barlick" forum tells of the Rolls Royce Barnoldswick factory, which was right next to the canal, and the answer to all cock ups was "Chuck it in the cut" You could have a field day fishing there!

Thread: Pittler lathes information needed
07/07/2019 16:42:00

email, if he doesn't have one in his collection, he will know someone who has!

07/07/2019 13:19:48 is a good start.

Thread: Microns ...
07/07/2019 13:16:42

So, how many angels will actually fit on the head of a pin.........................

Thread: What method do you use to find center height for your lathe bit?
27/06/2019 18:34:55

I eyeball it to a centre in the tailstock, but I also use the 6" rulle method. First job you do turning is to face off, so you will know if you got it right or not, or you could face off a bit of scrap bar...............but what counts as scrap in the home workshop? surely it's all metal you haven't decided a use for yet?

Thread: Metal de-coroder
22/06/2019 11:05:57

I use home brewed cider vinegar, and it is VERY effective, and free, and doent seem to attack the base metal. I have managed to save things that I had really written off due to rust, like some old thread guages, which are now like new, apart from some pitting where the rust had gone deep, but prefectly readable engraving on them, which was invisible before. Electrolysis in a bath of washing soda is also good, but gives off hydrogen, so beware of flammability. Some people also use white vinegar, or vinegar and salt.

Thread: Hello from East Yorkshire
20/06/2019 18:53:50

Hi and Welcome Mark, whereabouts in East Yorks are you? I am in Driffield.


Thread: water supply
18/06/2019 20:47:15

There is a large undergorund beehive cistern under my workshop, a left over from the previous victorian (or earlier) buildings. It is fed from the roof gutters ,it is BIG and thanks to our new wetter climate, stays full constantly. I have a pumped pressure system that flushes both toilets, and supplys water for handwashing to one instantaneous and one storage water heater. I also have a raw water tap for pressure washing. The only water charges I pay is the one to put your surface water into the sewer. I pay no sewage charge whatsoever, as sewage charge is based on a percentage of the water that goes through my meter, and as that water does not feed the toilets cisterns, they cannot make a sewage charge. I negotiated this deal with Yorkshire water, it was not a problem although they tried to make me pay a sewage charge untill they realised that I Knew they couldnt! You own the water that falls on your property and every Sq ft of roof provides .6 of a gallon per inch of rainfall!

Thread: Should I have 3 phase supplied to my house?
11/06/2019 19:58:58

Three phase is very convenient, and there are power loss drawbacks with inverters, and it means that your three phase machinery is no longer plug and play, but I think £3100+ vat is very toppy when you have done the trenching on your property, and all they have to do is a joint and cable, and then fit meters. It would be a day job for two men, possibly three, but there is usually a fee to pay for opening a pavement too. In the days of the nationalised electricity boards, they had an incentive, as you would use more power when it was made available, but now the utilitys are seperate, and the cable installs are done by a differnt company to the one selling the power, the incentive is gone. Some thing did work better as nationalised industries!

Thread: Aluminium cylinder blocks
09/06/2019 13:23:19

I am not a steamie or a Smee, but what about aluminium bronze, good wear and corrosion resistance, light, and although expensive, you could make your own aluminium/copper alloy.

Thread: Oh bugger, I told you I was ill
08/06/2019 15:34:49

Lie still and think of Wentworth!!devil


Thread: Electricity Supply
08/06/2019 15:25:53
Posted by vintage engineer on 08/06/2019 10:00:23:

My neighbour is a retired electrical engineer and confirmed my thoughts. The power cable in our road was installed in 1919 and no way can support the current draw if every house in the road fits a fast charge system. He also said we cannot produce enough electricity to meet demand now, so what the hell are we going to do in the future!

This is totally wrong, we hit peak demand in the late sixties/early seventirs at about 68gW, today, after de industrialisation and massive drives toward energy efficiency, peak demand is around 45gW. Demand has fallen 15% in the last decade, and is continuing to fall as street,commercial and domestic lighting is converted to LED.

Robert Atkinson 2,

"There is also the question of where the electricity will come from. We need more (next generation) nuclear power".

Unfortunately even next generation nuclear power (should it ever be built) will not provide any extra capacity. It is only being built to replace existing nuclear stations that are long past their sell by date, and will be shut down if the new stations are ever completed. The remarkable reluctance to get on with new nuclear is due to the companies who are supposed to be building them getting cold feet about the possibility of them ever getting their money back, even at the (double todays) tariffs they have been told they will be paid for the power they produce. Add to this that nuclear stations use steam turbines, which are at best 33% efficient, whereas combined cycle gas turbines, which produce the huge bulk of todays electricity, are approaching 50% efficient. The comments about the infrastructure not being able to stand the extra load are quite relevant, but there will be very little extra load, as most people will not be able to afford solely battery powered cars, and there is little chance of a second hand market developing due to the poor battery life.

The recent "first two weeks without coal generation" is a bit hollow when you look at the tiny percentage that coal provides even when it is used! As I write this the figures for the major share of demand are CCGT 27.29%, Wind 23.6%, solar 17.71%, Nuclear 16.1%, Coal 0%. Nuclear is clearly becoming an also ran in the energy stakes!

Thread: Where is best to buy??
06/06/2019 21:10:04

If you want the best price, buy direct from the maker, third parties often charge more for acces to their selling vehicle than the maker makes on his product!

Thread: Oh bugger, I told you I was ill
05/06/2019 19:24:39

What an Ebay hero!, I have met the surgeons knife many times, but it gets no less nerve wracking1 It is done now, take it easy and allow yourself time to recover. Good luck young man!

Thread: Rage Evolution sliding saws
01/06/2019 16:16:14

For the price of these saws of dubious Quality you could pobably get a single phase Manchester Rapidor, which is vastly superior, provided you have the floor space, and will cut anything you can put in its vice, and the blades last for ever!

Thread: Should I have 3 phase supplied to my house?
30/05/2019 20:52:00
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 30/05/2019 11:59:00:

I stand by what I wrote in the thread quoted above. The installation was expensive, but partly justified by updating an inadequate single phase supply.

I have recently had to change the single phase consumer unit that was installed as part of the 3-phase installation. The old one was plastic (as recommended by the regulations of the time) and replaced a metal one. The new one is metal again (as now recommended), as the plastic ones were found to have a tendency to catch fire in the event of a fault. So much for the ex-spurts.


The reason we have gone back to all metal clad CU's is that the ex-spurts did not realise that when an rcd or mcb fails, as all mechanical devices eventually do, they do not fail safe, and catch fire! A fuse always fails safe, but they are the EX-spurts, so they must know best. Pity the poor people who have just paid out a fortune to have their old wylex removed, and replaced by a brand new plastic CU. Good business for the fire brigades I suppose. Never known in 50 odd years experience for a consumer unit to catch fire with fuses in it, even when some idiot connects a 10kW shower to an old wylex, all they do is smoulder and give off a really offensive odout which leaves one in no doubt that something is wrong!

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