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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
25/09/2014 18:30:18

Hi Brian, well, it had me fooled, but as soon as I looked at it I thought "that is not 4 tpi" It is actually a 6 tpi leadscrew. on the Covmac.


24/09/2014 17:53:17

Hi Brian, I knew there was something I had forgotten, I am there again tomorrow, will check it out for you (leadscrew TPI)


23/09/2014 20:49:18

Hi Chris, Yes they are the spindle bearings, they will be some sort of bearing bronze. Yes very easy to replace, but quite a bit harder to scrape to size and get the spindle running right. The great thing about these machines is that you can make most of the parts that wear out in a basic machine shop.


23/09/2014 19:47:23

Hi Guys, here are the pics as promised, Chris, top and bottom view of the oil cap from the main bearings, Brian pics showing the position markings on the screwcutting gearbox. Looking at pic 5 it looks like the cover will come off without disturbing the bearings.( I think this is what you wanted, if not ask away) I got the Varnish on, rain arrived early evening as you predicted. Probably at the shop tomorrow, then again friday, Thursday it's back to Jims as he has screwed his central heating, and I have to fix it, so if I am good, and it doesn't take all day, we might get a play in his workshop.


22/09/2014 19:46:58

Hi Brian, I am in Driffield, where are you in North Yorks?


22/09/2014 18:32:29

Sorry chaps, only spent 5 minutes at the workshop today, was at home this morning, and spent the afternoon burning off, sanding and varnishing my mothers front door frame (did the door last week). She told me she had a go at sanding it down, but didn't like balancing on the stepladder to do it. Well, she is 84 after all, and she has made some concessions to her age, she only works at Cambrai covers mornings now ( unless she is going out on a measuring with my brother, which is usually a 6am start to anywhere in the country, and often get back after midnight) She fussed and made endless cups of tea whilst I cursed the paint and burnt my fingers on the hot air gun, but by 5-30 it was all done with the first coat on! I will go back tomorrow, put a second coat on, and then I WILL GO TO THE WORKSHOP!!!


22/09/2014 10:11:49

Hi Brian,

the only ones I use regularly are the Colchester and the Grafton Drill, When I have finished the workshop refurb (soon) all the machines will move to the other end of the shop into the "new" machine shop Then I will have "space"and probably grow a final front ear! I am embarrassed to post pics of it, but at the mo I am having a big tidy, and when that is finished, I will. I am actually very lucky because it is a big workshop which we originally built in the 1970's on half of a piece of land we paid £150 for!!! Them were't days!


21/09/2014 20:26:50

I will sort all this out tomorrow chaps, but the right hand headstock lever on mine (spindle lever) has only two driving positions, and is in effect the high/low shift. It may have a centre neutral, can't remember at the moment. the left hand lever gives the four speeds ABCD,. So effectively, four in high ratio, and another four in low, making eight speeds in all. The banjo and the gears are off at the moment, but I have them all, but no 127 conversion gear, but if I need metric I use the Colchester. I haven't used the covmac yet, because it is in bits in the corner of what will be the "blacksmiths shop" although at the moment I call it the "machine shop", It actually looks more like a ragshop[! there is my Colchester student, a Harrison H mill, a Raglen V mill, and Alba No1 shaper,the Covmac and a Grafton drill press, Hidden away also in there is A startrite bandsaw, a floor standing Warco drill press, an Alfred Herbert precision drill press, and a brazing hearth. That's all the big stuff that I can think of at the moment anyway, all in a space a bit smaller than a single garage I can use the Colchester, the Grafton drill, and the Harrison provided I don't need too much table movement. The raglan is mid rebuild, as is a B&S dividing head, but I have forced myself to stop all non profit engineering until the building work is finished, So I have plenty of projects, and if you add to that the Fordson Major in the main workshop, the four2cv's inside, and another four outside, I am not going to be bored for the next couple of years at least!


21/09/2014 17:12:04

Looking at the pics on, the oil caps look like they are original.


21/09/2014 16:50:37

You can see the main bearing oil cap in this pic, I will take one tomorrow of the cap itself, keep your eyes peeled for them when you are there next


21/09/2014 16:21:21

Hi Chris,

The main bearing oilers on mine are just two metal drop in plugs, which I thought a bit odd, but they are both painted red like all my oilers, so they date from at least the recon at IL Berridge (1954) I will take some pics of them, as they might be in the chip tray, or somewhere else in the shed where the lathe is.


21/09/2014 15:42:21

Hi Brian, I am back at workshop tomorrow, I think you are right, I remember it as 4tpi, but will check tomorrow for you, anything else, just let me know. I was struck by the thought last week that I have finished the majority of the workshop rebuild, and soon I will be able to actually play with machines again, and build some heating "machines" for the workshop before the worst of winter sets in.


20/09/2014 20:13:19

Here you go chaps! Sorry about the flash flare.

20/09/2014 19:59:03

No trouble Chris, I was going anyway, we had a torrential downpour last night and I wanted to pick up all the "rainfall" apples and take them to the cider man! Also showing the latest progress to the wife!


20/09/2014 14:23:29

covmac 016.jpgHi Chris, Is the knurled knob on the right hand scewcutting lever able to rotate? If it isn't and the knob won't pull out against the spring, the pin will not release from the hole, and it will not move, I am going to my workshop later, I will check on mine.


OK, I Bin an gon an Dun it!

here are a couple of pics, you can see the amount it needs to pull out to disengage the pin from the casing, mine moves freely between the three positions without having to turn the gearbox over, but yours has been stood a long time and may need a turn to free the gears, The knurled knob should rotate freely, and pull out approximately 3/4"

Philcovmac 017.jpg

20/09/2014 11:20:54

Hi Chris, Is the knurled knob on the right hand scewcutting lever able to rotate? If it isn't and the knob won't pull out against the spring, the pin will not release from the hole, and it will not move, I am going to my workshop later, I will check on mine.


18/09/2014 21:32:56

Is that piece of wood a roof support? I want to go there and tidy up! I looks like he has lots of interesting bits and bobs I could put to good use.


16/09/2014 09:28:25

Right!! I am going to ask the question here and all the other sites I frequent, Is there anyone out there who owns, or knows of the existence of a Covmac 17" Lathe as illustrated here

We don't want to buy it, but would love some photos and history if known..


Thread: Installing a new lathe
16/09/2014 07:54:52

It is always cheaper to build you own house, and especially so if you already own the land, providing it is land that you can get planning permission on. beware, there are a lot of land scammers about who buy cheap agricultural land, and sell it as an investment which matures on the day planning permission is granted on that land. Of course there is no chance of planning ever being granted, that is why the land seems so cheap! If you own the land outright, and you build a ready made design of house on it (ie you do not need to employ an architect) then you will find that the major costs are electrical, plumbing and getting services like sewers etc connected to the property. The actual construction in brick, timber and other materials is relatively cheap. The housing boom has been created artificially for reasons too complex to go into here, save to say that the main purpose is to create debt in the form of mortgage. There is supposedly a "brick shortage" at the moment, this is actually caused by demand being so low that the brick works have shut kilns down to cut overheads. The answer is to build in old brick, or rendered blockwork and use as many recycled materials as possible. I have built houses like this, so I know it can be done. There are no huge taxes that I know of, perhaps Bazyle could elaborate?


15/09/2014 21:44:23

For Robin, and anyone else contemplating a building project, do it in this order, and you won't go far wrong. It may seem obvious, but you would be amazed at how many people don't and pay the price.


Roof internal and external

gutters downspouts and drains Barge boards and fascias

walls brickwork and pointing

external windows and doors

then move indoors!!!


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