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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
01/10/2016 11:38:24

Yes, that is the big one I think the 17" geared head model, looks in good nick, and it seems to have the war finish plaque on it, which will reveal who actually made it, but can't read it from the pictures, more at


16/09/2016 18:50:03

Heres mine, which is an Alba 1A and has just come out of it's hiding place for an oil up in order to cut an internal keyway for the little red tractor in the background. Why did I buy it? It was a good price, and I have never forgiven myself for turning down an Alba No 2 (maybe3) from a local school because at that time I had nowhere to put it. I did buy a HarrisonH mill and a Raglan V mill though, but the poor old Alba, went for scrap....................I still have sleepless nights


Thread: boxford model A lathe
09/09/2016 21:55:18

sorry, Z is the other end of the START winding!!!

09/09/2016 21:54:32

A is one end of the run winding, AZ is the other end of the run winding and the start winding together. Z is the other end of the run winding, not familiar with T unless it is Terre, as in ground or earth? doesn't sound right though, pics will he4lp, where was the motor made3, and aprox how old is it? Colonel Crompton is long gone, but they still make motors in his name!


Thread: Hinkley C
04/09/2016 16:24:48

Not done it yet.

While I agree wholeheartedly - more renewables and lots of storage required (pumped, battery, hydrogen and any others) - do remember that those 30 turbines will not be running at full power, most of the time they are turning.

The first two turbines I pass are a pair at a farm,rated at 55kW nominal, 77kw peak, giving a full power output of 154kW These are small compared with the rest, and according to the guy who runs them, they are peaking about 60% of the time. The problem is the gold plated deal that the nuclear industry has with the grid, they will buy EVERY watt the nuclear industry produces, and then trim renewables to match the peak load at the top end. This is why you see turbines idle on breezy days. If the grid offered this deal to wind and other renewables we would be using far more green energy, because there is far more available, but it is shut down so the nuclear industry gets the biggest bite of the cake. The problem is, offering this deal to wind would put the nuclear industry out of business, and they know it, that is why they are running scared of renewables. Remember, the nuclear industry can only provide about 24% of the peak load with all their power stations running flat out, something which hardly ever happens!! see At the moment nuclear is producing 34% of the very low sunday load, CCGT is picking up 47% with the rest being produced by wind. this tends to give people the idea that wind produces a very small amount of energy, whereas what you actually see at gridwatch is the amount of wind energy that is being used, not the amount that is available!

Thread: LIDL drill sharpener
03/09/2016 20:01:18

I bought one in a moment of madness, helped along by the three year warranty!! they actually work reasonably well, and will put an edge back on a drill that will drill steel no problem, but can be improved upon with a bit of off hand work. The same cannot be said for the set of drills which comes bundled with the sharpener, which seem to be made from tin coated putty! The fact that they come with a spare grindstone leads me to believe that the stone will wear out fairly fast, but you do get the whole lot for under £20. I also bought a set of metric drills in a metal fold out case for £11-99 or thereabouts, they are my only set of metric drills, and I have not had to sharpen one yet, but they are used mainly in a drill press, which helps.


Thread: Hinkley C
03/09/2016 19:46:01

All these comments have not mentioned that we do not need this grossly expensive technological white elephant at all. The reason that EDF are faltering is that the French Government has refused to underwrite the project, the demand for electricity in the UK is falling NOT rising, and the fact is that if it is ever completed (which I doubt) it will not provide any extra capacity for the grid, it will only generate 7% of the peak load and it will only replace other reactors which will then be taken off line and scrapped at HUGE cost to the taxpayer The clean up in Cumbria is slated to cost 70 Billion, is three years behind schedule, and the consortium involved in it have admitted that there are parts of the site that they have no ideas as to how, or even IF they can clean it up. If this stupidly large amount of money were put into wind, and tidal energy, we would get a huge amount more generating capacity, and would be feeding it into the grid all over the country, instead of at a few huge power stations, which would help to minimise the 20% grid losses. Anyone repeating the Nuclear industry propaganda which states that "The wind only blows 20% of the time" will be dealt with accordingly. My 6 mile drive to my work in East Yorkshire passes about 30 wind turbines, including some very big ones, and they are running about 90% of the time!

Thread: Is CNC cheating
01/09/2016 16:46:14

Nicholas Wheeler 1

It's not as as if cranking handles on manual machines is a romantic mystical process tinged with magic. It's just work.


Perhaps I am weird (some have said it!) but that is exactly the opposite to how I feel when I am machining! Perhaps Nick needs a different hobby!


01/09/2016 16:30:47
Posted by Bandersnatch on 31/08/2016 23:07:11:
Posted by Phil Whitley on 31/08/2016 22:21:42:

Totally agree with you about converting Michael,,

Don't worry, Phil, we'll figure it out. There are only 5 Michaels contributing to this thread so far.


Sorry, my bad, it was to Michael Topping.

31/08/2016 22:21:42

Totally agree with you about converting Michael,, but it is a different skill. Look at all the models made on early machines which probably had far less versatility than the manual machines we use. Maudsley chiselled and filed his early lead screws, then used them to make better ones on the machine, but he was still operating the machine. With CNC, the computer operates the machine, and the computer is totally stupid, as can be seen by some of the CNC crashes on many websites! I take your point, when you just have a job where you are hogging out metal to achieve a desired shape, the CNC is quicker, but needs a much less skilled operator, and most designs today are done direct on to the computer in 3d software. It just doesn't appeal to me one bit, but I am not working to a deadline, and I am not making 1000 off! Is your connecting rod job made harder because you are using a machine that is perhaps a mite to small for the job? I would bet there were no CNC machines in Gresleys day, and they were working 1:1!

31/08/2016 21:45:24

I'm 100% with Fizzy on this, although I am not a model maker as such. I have a shop full of manual machines, and if they were CNC instead, I wouldn't bother going to work. If it is CNC, you didn't make it, the machine did. After all, you could load the machines, download the CAD/CAM , and let the machines get on with it. You could even take up another hobby in the time you would save! You would however learn very little, apart from perhaps how to fix recalcitrant CNC machines. After all, you can learn to load and operate a CNC machine very quickly, it is classed as a semi skilled job, but a proper toolmakers apprenticeship (if such a thing exists today) is seven years.


Thread: What would you ban and why? (Definitely tearoom!)
21/08/2016 18:21:59


Thread: eBay P&P (Barrack Room Lawyer)
21/08/2016 18:19:15

How would they enforce or obtain it? How would they even know the seller had made a margin on P&P? the charge is for post and packing, and the seller may charge what they like for packing, up to the maximum stated in the advert. Please quote the case law involved!

Thread: Little LEC 2016 Video
14/08/2016 19:56:07

Very interesting, seeing as I have been to Driffield steam rally today, well it is my home town so it would be rude not to.saw some amazing steam cars, one of which (the Doble, ex Howard Hughes) was reputedly clocked at 133mph by the texas highway patrol in 1926! very impressive acceleration even as the drove round the arena. If only steam engine development had continued, who knows where we would be today!

Thread: CovMac Lathes
14/08/2016 18:25:26 This is a fairly good explanation of 2 phase (they call it split phase, and they are the IET, so they should know (LOL) Derived from a transformer on a single phase MV line.

14/08/2016 18:16:54

14/08/2016 18:15:21

Incidentally, I wasn't the OP .My Covmac uses a variable speed single phase induction repulsion (commutator) motor, which must be 1930,s vintage, and weighs in at about 3 cwt!

14/08/2016 18:12:25

PS, I liked the light bulbs idea,, very old school, safe, and it works! We used to carry test lamps for that very purpose, used to put one on each phase line connected between phase and earth, then start all the motors, and see if we could detect any flickering under load, which was usually an indication of bad line tap connections on overheads or elsewhere. We used this met5hod of fault detection with installations that were constantly blowing the same phase fuse, but had no apparent motor or control gear faults.

14/08/2016 17:54:48

Hi Bob, no problem, when I was serving my apprenticeship (late sixties in East Yorkshire) as an electrical engineer, there were a couple of remote farms that used, and for all I know still use , a 2 phase system. I remember lots of big capacitors, some for starting, and some for PFC,I also remember we had to search the country for motors and starters to install a fairly simple mill and mixer set up to produce animal feed from the farmers own crops. I believe it was derived from a line transformer situated on an 11kv line, but cannot remember the exact details, although I do remember the voltage rating of the motors was higher than the normal 415 volts from "normal" three phase. I think it was 460/480, but it was a long time ago!!


14/08/2016 12:07:49

Hi 9fingers, the motor is marked as dual voltage, not series/ parralel starting, it may start that way, it may not. If you try to run that motor with the windings in series you will be feeding a 460/480 volt (2 phase) winding on 240v, which won't work.

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