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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
15/11/2014 22:34:43

If you send me a pic of the motor, or post one up, I will be better able to tell you.. Basic stuff, as it has been unused for some time, put it somwhere dry and warm if possible, to thoroughly dry it out. Spin the shaft whilst listening to the bearings with a long screwdriver, metal end on the bearing, handle placed onto your ear (not a joke, you will be amazed what you can hear). If the motor is totally enclosed, give the bearings a couple of shots with a grease gun. and then get it "megger" tested to check the integrity of the insulation. If the motor is a vented frame, have a look through the vents for dust, dead mice etc, and blow through the vents with compressed air to clean it out.


Thread: Setting up the lathe accurately
15/11/2014 22:25:54

Yes Dave, It is possible, but it is not paticularly easy, and requires patience.You need to learn your machine, and start making or turning things on it. You will know when the lathe is less accurate that you are. As I said before, don't get hung up on accuracy, just have fun, play, and you will get better and more accurate. Do you have anything you want to make? What do you intend to use the lathe for? I will stick my neck out and say that a twenty year old Harrison is better than a new one because it was all made in England! If I am wrong, I am sure someone on here will correct me


15/11/2014 20:12:45

Yes Alan, you are right, but is this an old lathe or a new one?, and it has just been moved and installed. If it is old, we don't know the state of wear, if it is new, it is likely that the bed was cast in china, and finish machined and assembled in the UK. Bed castings used to be matured for 5 or ten years to alow them to normallise, this is no longer done. A machine tool Manufactured to "Schlesinger" limits will not retain those limits if it transported and resited badly. The OP is merely trying to do the job properly My Colchester manual goes into detail on siting the machine, levelling, performing these tests, and how to correct any errors found. This should be done with every machine tool, new or old, after delivery and installation


Thread: Vapour barrier and insulation for new workshop
15/11/2014 19:46:18

Hi Nick, I wouldnt use rockwool as you only have 3" to play with, you need to leave a gap against your outer skin and if you compress the rockwool, you squeeze the air out of it, and it is the air that does the insulating, use 2" jablite (polystyrene) or 2" kingspan/cellotex if you are feeling flush with cash! As peter says, breathable membrane on the cold (outer) side of the insulation, or visqueen dpm on the warm side of the insulation. Plasterboard is cheap, but cold, and absorbs moisture, I am using 3.5 mm wbp plywood on my ceiling in the workshop, in the form of damaged caravan/portakabin sheets 7x4 available form the surplus suppliers, they have bumped corners and some banding marks, but they are new, and about £3 to £4 each.. I am putting in 3" jablite between the roof joists, 2" jablite between the wall ones leaving 1" gap against the outer caldding, then a visqueen membrane (builders polythene) and finally the inner skin.

Thread: CovMac Lathes
15/11/2014 19:28:08

No problem Chris, any excuse to play with "toys" and I'm there! The camera is really nothing special, it is an Acer solid fun CL6330, but I do use the macro setting for close shots. The problem with the fixing bolt shots is that it is dark inside the gearbox, so the camera cannot "see" enough to focus properly. Also checked my new outside auto lights while I was there the second time, first one comes on as I park the car, second one as I arrive at the door.................Perfic!


Thread: Setting up the lathe accurately
15/11/2014 18:30:22

Exactly right Dave, it is a job that requires time and concentration, and it can be very rewarding, but always have in mind the accuracy you NEED to achieve as opposed to that which you WISH to achieve. If you shim with ally beercan you will find that an extra tweak on the holding down bolts makes an adjustment, but above all, don't sweat it! engineers work to a tolerance, not perfection!


15/11/2014 18:06:03

Forgot to say you need to lock the carriage and cross slide (tighten gybs if no lock) and use the compund slide, which must have minimal play in it!


15/11/2014 18:00:49

Have you checked the runout on the three jaw chuck? Even the best new 3 jaw chucks are only good to about 3 thou concentricity. Find a good parralell round bar of 3/4 or more, set it up in a 4 jaw with a clock guage to as near to zero runout as you can, then do the turning test, and remember the old adage "the most accuraute chuck you have is a 4 jaw"

Is this a new m300?. If you mean the leveling screws on the pressed metal cabinet, they are for levelling the bed only, not taking twist out of the bed. If you suspect the bed, do the above with a 4 jaw, and then slacken the bolts that attach the lathe to the cabinet and see if there is a difference. Try placing a bar of known goodness between centres and then running the DTI along it from end to end (lathe stationary). now tighten the bolts that hold lathe to cabinet whilst watching the DTI and see if there is aany movement on the dti. If there is you need to place shims under the bolts, and watch again as you tighten down. Ideally there should be no movement from the dti as you tighten the bolts, which means that the bed is not being twisted as they tighten. Now you have the bed in its "relaxed position, try the turning test, work out which way the bed needs to twist to improve the readings, and adjust the shimming to suit.


Thread: CovMac Lathes
15/11/2014 17:36:07

Hi Chris, Brian and Martin,

Hope these pics will help,


Half nuts disengaged.

Half nut engaged, but I note that your lever is in a different position to mine on the shaft, so I will add "move clockwise to engage the half nuts with the lead screw, anticlockwise to disengage"!

Lower fixing bolt, you can see half of it peeking out from behind the selector lever/spindle

You can see all of the bolt head here( rusty blurry as it is!), with the selector moved to the other end, you may be able to get a socket onto it with a ratchet and a universal joint, but you cant get to the right hand one anyway so it will be best to remove the bottom plate.

Hope this helps guys! I had to go for some firewood then I forgot which way round the lever worked, so I had to go back again, but I have had a message to say that Richard the joiner is coming in the morning (Sunday!) to fit the new front door and frame, which is excellent, so I needed to check if I had enough cement, know what I mean!


14/11/2014 17:22:46

Hi Chris, I will be there Monday, and will have a look.


14/11/2014 16:28:46

Hi Chris, an example of the hole and bar lifting system used on a very heavy bit of kit!


13/11/2014 18:12:18

Hi Chris,

From what you say about the carriage, it sounds like the carriage has dropped enough to jam the upper half nut at least partially into engagement with the leadscrew, which is preventing the carriage going back onto the rack, I am going to be Mr Pedantic and suggest that you try and get the carriage back onto the rack before you move it as the weight of the carriage is on the leadscrew/halfnut interface, and the bump and grind of being transported could damage it. If you place a block of wood across the bed where the headstock was fitted and then use a longish (2-3 foot) lever to gently lift the edge of the carriage whils also jiggling the half nut lever and winding the handwheel(two persons needed) it should go back on. If it really won't go back, after it is loaded on the transport, place a wedge under the carriage behind the handwheel, and tap another wedge in to take the weight of the carriage off the leadscrew/halfnut (this is also an alternative way of getting the carriage back on, as it may have fallen more at the front than the back. leadscrews/ half nuts are rare and expensive! Damn! I wish I didn't live at the other end of the country and/or wasn't so busy, Unfortunately I have been south of Watford twice this year already and my annoying Yorkshireman visa has expired!


12/11/2014 21:40:53

And I think you are teasing us with the photos!

12/11/2014 21:32:23

Hi Chris, I like the look of that engine creane, and I am glad it is all safely on the deck with nothing broken and all fingers present and correct. I think 1.4 tons sounds about right. When Steve at landylift was moving mine, the jib extended quite a bit in order to lift the machine clear at its balance point, which is why his 2 ton hiab was struggling a bit, although we didnt manage to set the alarm going, it was getting near capacity.. Well done!


Thread: oil and lube
29/10/2014 18:55:58

Hi Frank,

Totally agree, over the years you collect all sorts of different lubes, and as I am going through a ratification of junk at the moment, I am going down the road you suggest. +1 for the chainsaw oil, it really keeps on the slides and screws, and you can feel the difference!



Thread: CovMac Lathes
17/10/2014 11:29:05

Good news about the move Chris, I await the photos with baited breath!!


Thread: What should I budget for getting a workshop wired up?
13/10/2014 16:28:57

Interesting theory John, but I am very fa,iliar ith fuse fatigue, tht doesnt explain why the replacement fuse blew as well, unless it was also fatigued. Love te student tale!


13/10/2014 14:22:10

Hi Circlip,

I didnt say it didnt happen, what I was trying to expleain is that there is more to it than meets the eye, with wiring ony 5 years old that is even more worrying, thank the lord you are not there anymorre


12/10/2014 21:04:12

Hi Emgee

"For several years this type has not complied with the regulations",

This means nothing really, although you are correct to say it is voltage operated, not current. It complied with the regulations in force when it was fitted, if it is still in working order, that is all that is required of it. There is absolutely no requirement to bring installations up to compliance with modern regulations unless major works are undertaken or the equipment is faulty. There are still hundreds of thousands of this type of equipment in use, providing perfectly adequate protection provided they are tested by the householder (just like the RCD's are supposed to be). The IET will tell you that the more modern RCD's and MCB's provide better protection, but as I have said above, like this ELCB they do not fail safe, and therefore in the event of internal failure of the trip itself, the power stays on, and under the new system, there is no seperate fusing, only the cutout fuse at 60 to 100 amps. As an electrical engineer with over 40 years experience I do not consider this type of protection to be better, I find it to be much worse.

Thread: Milling M/C
12/10/2014 20:48:38

There is also a Tom Senior Yahoo group with lots of info, and some very knowlegable members too.


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