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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: 'average model engineer'
20/08/2014 21:53:17

Firstly, I am definitely not a model engineer. This thread seems to me to be very straightforward. If you operate a manual machine to make a part, then YOU have made it. The machine could not make it without you. A cnc machine could make the part without any input, apart from its program, and being provided with the right tooling and raw materials. In effect, the machine has made the part, YOU did not. That is why centre lathe turners are "skilled" and CNC minders are not. It is only neccasary for someone, somewhere to write the software for the machine to make the parts to be asembled into a model, but the machine made it, the operator merely pressed the start button. CNC is generally not used for prototyping or "one off" jobs, it is a tool of mass production, It makes millions of parts at the lowest possible price, and mass production is about as far away from model engineering as the work I do building prototype machines is.For most of the components I require, by the time I had written and debugged a program, I could have made the part! the chances of me ever needing another identical part are virtually nil. As to paying someone else to do the donkey work, well, model engineers have been buying unmachined and semi machined castings for years. It is all a matter of skill, or de-skilling, it all depends whether you want to be an engineer or a computer programmer. Good cnc machines are not cheap, cheap cnc machines are not good! I saw someone complaining that all the 3D printer groups have died off and I really can't say I am surprised. Everyone was lured in to the sc-fi "thing maker" dream, and now the reality that you can make anything you want, as long as it is in (very expensive feedstock) plastic, has come home to roost. 3d printing of course has some uses, especially in the medical field, using hugely expensive machines and clean room technology, but at the other end of the scale they are useless. If you look at the hours put into the "worlds first plastic gun" (trust the Yanks to make a gun!) you could, in the same time have made many real guns,on machinery made and designed hundreds of years ago, and you could have fired them more than once as well!!

When computers first entered the education system, there was much talk of how they would "revolutionise" simply hasn't happened. Exam results are certainly no better today than they were in the pre computer era, and many claim they are worse (my wife is a degree level mathmetician and teaches advanced maths at secondary school) All the metalwork and woodwork shop equipment was sold off (I know, I bought it and replaced with a subject called (in our local school) Resistant Materials, where little Johnny would "design" a camera, or at least the SHAPE of a camera on 3D cad which would then be chewed out of plastic billet by something from Denfords, and little Johnny would get his CAD/CAM certificate, which was of course completely worthless as by the time he left school all the CAD/CAM had gone overseas. Computers are a clever bit of innovation, but they themselves cannot innovate, only WE can. If we want a better computer, or a better anything, WE have to innovate and engineer it into existence. Only then can we set the CNC machines to mass produce it.

It all depends whether you want to be a skilled innovator, or an unskilled machine minder. I know which appeals to me!. If you are in the other camp, why not get an interweb connection straight into your shed, write a bit of software to search the net for cad plans, then you would only have to go there once a week to load new stock, and you could pay someone to do that, and the assembly for you. Then you wouldnt have to dirty your hands or waste time on such a tedious hobby.

I am wearing a fully fireproof suit, asbestos underwear, safety boots and a welding helmet, FLAME AWAY

Thread: Removing piston rings
20/08/2014 20:23:10

Dunk the pistons in boiling soapy water, they usually come loose after a few boils, pistons expand far more than the rings. If they are really stuck in with oil varnish you could try an overnight soak in acetone or some such solvent, then try the boiling water.



Thread: British machine tools
10/08/2014 15:46:18

I agree absolutely bob, and at least when "something drastic" happens, you have got something that is worth repairing, I have yet to see anything from china/taiwan/far east that can hold a candle anywhere near a British machine for accuracy and build quality. Myfords always were overpriced, and over rated anyway ( asbestos undies firmly on). A good man on a Boxford can make just the same parts, and have a LOT of change to spend on tooling! Harrison are still plentiful, and I don't see any shortage of Colchesters either. You can do small work on a bigger lathe far easier than you can do big work on a small lathe. Having made all these inflammatory comments I will miss the "war" as I am now going to spend the next week at the green man festival in wet Welsh Wales, which will include a trip into Abergavenny on the wednesday for the Awesome fleamarket in the market hall.There is a tool stall or three, the quality is good, and the prices too!, be back next Monday with trench foot and rising damp up ter me knees! Remember the old adage, " if you build it right, its not cheap, if you build it cheap, it's not right. The rain has stopped, and I going to load my trailer.


Thread: valve grinding suction pads
09/08/2014 21:14:13

there used to be available a T shaped handle that clamped to the stem of the valve after it had been inserted into the guide, you could then pull it onto the seat and recut with grinding paste You could make something up like that?. even if you find a sucker that size it will be virtually useless, the big ones can be a P ing the A.

Thread: British machine tools
09/08/2014 20:44:55

I think one of the mistakes we have made is to compete on price rather than quality, It is noticeable that DS&G, who built "nowt but lathes" and always were top quality, are still in business. Britain was always good at innovating, and making the very best, we should give that a try. competeing on price is a non starter with our cost of living!


07/08/2014 19:23:18

Just two commentsm as I seem to have triggered a Hi-fi debate in an engineering site, which I never intended to do,

1) Music IS analogue, it is a collection of complex rising and falling sine waves, so no matter how often you sample it, you still lose something

2) Colchester always had hand wheel on other side of cross slide.

Not correct, straight bed machines had the handwheel on the left of the cross slide, gap bed handwheel was on the right.

What I wanted to highlight was that generations are being educated to accept that only the most modern product is any good, and anything that is newer MUST be better. Things do improve eventually, in the 60's the japanese produced tinny transistor radios that sounded awful, by the seventies they made some of the worlds best hi-fi. In the same period the Taiwanese made some awful machine tools, but they have got better. Look at what happened to the british motorcycle industry and the car industry too. The chinese machines may improve (by all accounts they need to) But who would buy one when it seems there is virtually no quality control, and a good machine is followed off the production line by a bad one. Give me old Britsh anytime. I do have a Warco Taiwan floor standing drill given to me by a relative, but you need ear defenders to use it, and it was bought new, and little used by its previous owner. Its accuracy is suspect to say the least. My other stand drill is a Grafton (USA i think), probably 1940's/50's and hums away quietly and accurately. I also have A Colchester student Mk1, an early Covmac(Coventry machine tools) 13" geared head lathe, a Raglan V mill (in bits) A harrison 1970's metric H mill and an Alfred Herbert precision drill awaiting restoration. I can live with a drill press from the colonies, but British Iron rules for me!

05/08/2014 14:04:20

Not only that Russel, we are being trained to accept poor quality and generally a dumbed down experience of what things used to be like. Apart from machine tools, look at the audio people accept today as good, without exception, anyone under 30 used to listening to phone/player quality audio is blown away by the sound quality of my 1970's stereo system playing vinyl! It is all very sad, but the people who profit from industry can make more profit from cheaply made third world goods, made where there is no health and safety regs, and working conditions are poor, as long as we can be persuaded that the vastly reduced quality is " the very latest thing" and also that it is better than anything that came before it. I well remember a comment on one of these machinery sites made by a tech school instructor when someone noticed that his shop had two distinct areas containing different eras of machinery. He said " I start the new kids off on the crap modern machines made after 1970, and when the have made all their mistakes, I let them use the good stuff that was made before, that way I don't feel really bad if they crash a machine and wreck it"

It is all very sad, as in a few generations, not only the machinery, but also the skills to use it could be lost, and this process is speeding up, it is very noticeable that almost anything you buy today to replace something made even ten years ago is of inferior quality, poorer performance, and more expensive. Things are marketed under "brands" that have no connection to the item, Since when did Caterpillar make power tools? of course, they don't, they are chinese sourced tools marketed under a brand that gives them a fake association with a name synonymous with a tough quality product. To see the names of Harrison and Colchester going down this route ( though perhaps not as far, yet) is sickening. Mind you think for a moment of the virtual immpossibility of getting any sort of foundry past the health and safety police nowadays and you begin to understand some of what is going on.

Phil, East Yorkshire

03/08/2014 20:49:01

Colchester and harrison are now parts of the 600 group, and still make a range of lathes,

Thread: motor giving problems
26/07/2014 21:12:39

Without seeing the lathe I couldnt tell, but if it is a Brooke Crompton 1 hp single phase the chances are it is a 1440 rpm, and doubling the speed most certainly won't do the lathe any good, and could overspeed and burst the chuck! More poles does not neccasarily mean more torque. Can you send a pic of the IXL lathe, I have had a look on google images, and they mostly look like they need a 2 to 3 hp motor... Do you have the countershaft with the fast and loose pulley as described on this page: If you do you should be starting the lathe with the belt on the loose pulley so that the notor gets up to speed before you put load on it. If the centrifugal switch is now working and it still blows fuses there is a fault somewhere, unless it is starting into a load it can't handle. Try starting with the belt on a different speed position. Has this motor worked ok on this lathe before, and the fault has just occured, or has the motor just been fitted?


26/07/2014 12:53:50

the number of poles is directly related to the speed, which is a function of the frequency of the supply.. In a full cycle a 2 pole motor will make one revolution per cycle so 50 x 60seconds is 3000 rpm, knock off a bit for various losses and you get an average speed of about 2850 rpm. A 4 pole motor will make 1/2 a revolution per cycle so the speed will be a theoretical 1500 rpm, which usually averages out at about 1440 rpm, the most common speed. If your motor is running at 1440 (check the rating plate on the motor) it is a 4 pole. The rotor moves one pole for every completed cycle of the supply. less the "slip" the formula is 120 x frequency over number of poles. The centrifugal switch switches off the start winding when the motor is up to full speed, if the switch was stuck in the on position it is possible that the start winding is burnt out.

24/07/2014 20:49:11

OK, just got the last post and see it was stuck bob weights on the CF switch! that explains it!!

24/07/2014 20:47:09

Whoaa there lads! A 1hp motor will draw more than its rated current on starting, but should not draw anywhere near enough to blow a 13a fuse. There is something wrong here! Are you starting the motor on load IE turning the lathe gearbox all the way to the chuck? If you are you either need a bigger motor, or you need to start the motor, then put the load on using a clutch or jockey pulley. Is the motor single phase? does it have a capacitor to start it? Can you send a pic of the set up. Roughly speaking, 1hp=746 watts=3.1 amps on 240Volts, you would expect a surge of maybe 6 to 8 amps on start up, but no way should it clear a 13A cartridge fuse. My clarke compressor blows a fuse on odd occasions if the unloader valve fails, but it is 3hp, so right at the limit of a 13A fuse anyway. Incidentally, fusing factor for a 15A fuse wire is about 1.5 times the rated current, so a 15 amp wire should blow instantly at 22.5 amps, not 32A. Hope this helps, More info will help to sort this problem.


Thread: Notes to self
04/06/2014 11:14:53

Lines I had to write at school still apply after 50 years have got behind me.

I must concentrate on the job in hand!

Can also be seen in those (like me) who find solving other peoples problems easier and more enjoyable than solving your own. Sometimes this is because you enjoy the company! I still think it is because you can walk away from other peoples problems, but you are usually stuck solving your own problems by yourself. Hope that is not to deep or non understandable for this thread.


Thread: Lathe work light broken how to fix
17/05/2014 19:20:45

The wiring in the stem will only be 12v insulation rated, and the 240V halogen GU10 type get incredibly hot. This is not a safe conversion at all. BIN IT!

Thread: Hoover electric motor/Denford Educator
07/05/2014 18:50:16

Is it out of a school? Most ex school kit is three phase, and it sounds very much like this is too. I will wait for the pictures, can you take the motor terminal box cover off and see if there is a diagram inside, and take a pic of the inside as well, also the motor rating plate if it has one. Red white and blue were used in uk three phase flex in the same era as the lathe is from. Is there any control gear, like a starter or isolator on the lathe? looking in there would give a clue too.


Thread: Star Trek - inventing the Universe
07/05/2014 11:35:17

Saw this on the news this morning, interesting! I wonder if it could be used to give a reading of pest/herbicide levels in foods. It could put the junk food manufacturers out of business.


Thread: Myford ML7 replacement motor.
04/05/2014 12:47:37

Ok, single phase motor, to reverse you need to reverse the polarity of the start winding. The start winding is the red and black wires. You need to disconnect the red and black from the terminals and extend the two wires to the existing reversing switch, bring another two wires back from the reversing switch and connect them to terminals 5 and A, then wire the reversing switch so that it reverses the connections. I can't tell you how to do that untill I have a wiring diagram of the switch as I am not familiar with the Dewhurst type switches. If you can post it up I can work it out.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing! it probably would have been cheaper to rewind the old motor, epecially seeing as you have been ripped for the new one! I recently bought a recon motor for my compressor from a local rewinder for £60, single phase 3hp. Never mind, you have bought it now, go with it.


Thread: German Manufacturing Corporate Video Fail
03/05/2014 14:03:47

SCHIESE! Das ist leiben!

Been there! and have burnt ended screwdrivers to prove it, and I am, an electrical engineer. The trick is to keep alive! thats why you used to see engineers working on live equipment working with one hand in their pocket. Of course no one works on live equipment any they?

This actually looks like he forgot to switch off, his hand goes to the isolater pretty quick. I suppose it could have been left in as an attempt at german humour


Thread: Electric Motor
28/04/2014 22:02:54

I see on one of the wires it says Z2, the usual set uo for this notation is A1 and A2 are the run winding. Z1 and Z2 are the start winding. to reverse the motor reverse Z1 and Z2. It is a "Kapak stayrite" motor made after GEC merged with AEI as "stayrite" was an AEI "brand", continously rated (will run continously without overheating). Are the two red/orange wires the capacitor? Google Kapak stayrite and you get lots of pics and info.


Thread: Antique oil can
28/04/2014 21:27:13

Hi, The Valve spout is the cap on the end of the spout which when tightened on to the spout, stops the flow of oil. when released it opens again. small brass knurled spout. Like this one!


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