By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

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: Workshop Electrics
08/09/2014 20:28:39

I think the thing to remember in England it is now a criminal offence not to have electrical work certified..

No Bob , it isn't. There is much work that can be done that is outside part P, and I am afraid to tell you that quite a number of those "part P certified electricians" are unemployed window cleaners who have been on a FIVE WEEK!!! course. I am a fully qualified electrician, five year apprenticeship, 3 years tech college, City& Guilds National Diploma in electrical engineering, plus 40 years in the industry, and yet I cannot now wire a house without having my work checked by another and certified....or I can pay some money to join one of the "clubs" (£600-£800) and then pay them a yearly fee( £300) for nothing so that I can keep wiring houses (part P ONLY applies to domestic premises) Part P has already been watered down after much protest from the electrical industry, and most of the restrictions on kitchen work have gone, although bathrooms are still a restricted area. Having said that the requirements are not particularly onerous, you can get many online guides to part P requirements, and you can "do it yourself" If there was already a ring main in your workshop, even if it only had two sockets, you can extend it. If there is already a lighting circuit, you can add to it. There is no requirement to bring existing installations up to the latest standards, as long as they complied with the regs in force when they were installed and are in good condition they are fine. Domestic wiring is not rocket science, it is the very BOTTOM of the electrical skills level, and the overall effect of part P has been to make electrical installations in domestic premises less safe, not more safe as was supposed to the claimed reason for their introduction. For your personal protection I would use an RCD to protect the whole installation, and make sure that your machines are earthed , but I would still have rewireable fuses. The reason for this is simple, and it seems to have occurred to no one in the IET that RCD's and MCB's are not fail safe. In other words, if they become faulty in use, THEY DO NOT SWITCH OFF! Be careful out there people!

I think I would proceed as follows, if there is already a feed to the shed and a consumer unit in place, and you are confident you can do it safely, do it yourself and say nowt. If you need to obtain a feed from your existing consumer unit and run a new sub main, I would look for a friendly sparks who will do the connecting up for you and certify what you have done (they can do this now, another part of "P" that has been dumped) You could get your local electrical building inspector to come round, they inspect, but do not test or sign off work, you would have to do that yourself as a "competent person", and the new testing regime requires expensive equipment, and the knowledge to use it., and of course there is a fee! any advice needed< let me know.


Thread: Correcting worn slideways
03/09/2014 21:23:48

Have a look at "scraping mill slideways" on you tube


03/09/2014 20:56:28

Hi Ken,

You would need to take the table off, then use a long camelback type straightedge to blue up the dovetails to see where the wear is. It would then be a matter of scraping down the unworn section to get the ways straight and parralell again, then check the gybe for straightness and flatness and rebuild, there are several detailed how to's on 't web I will have a look and see if I can post you some links. It is doable, but requires patience and accuracy.


Thread: Crompton Parkinson 1/2 - 3/4 motor bearings
03/09/2014 20:41:17

Hi Phil, Yes, I read what you said, .012" out...........that is a long way and you would not expect it or anything like it on such a part. It sounds to me like you have done everything you should have. This is odd because I can't remember ever seeing this problem before, and we did do quite a few of these, and we used to literally bang them back together with no problems at all! Very annoying. I will wait for pics.


Thread: I've bought a 7R [ Myford, not AJS ]
03/09/2014 20:05:03

Aaah, the AJS 7R...........................I remember, I remember...............................drifts away!

Thread: Crompton Parkinson 1/2 - 3/4 motor bearings
03/09/2014 19:57:58

The bearings are Vandervell, not Vanwall, and they are still in business. although I am sure it is a long time since they made that type of bearing, you could ask them. Have you tried the new bearing in position and then rotated the motor end cap to see if the rotor frees off. Are the end caps pressed metal or cast, and what type of flange is there where the end cap meets the stator housing?They should align without any reaming, but it is possible that the end cap is distorted or the flange is damaged. I can remember that we used to bump the end caps with a rubber mallet whilst the through bolts were loose to line everything up. Is the binding in the bearing, or is it the squirrel cage touching the stator? I uset to service a lot of this type of Crompac motor which was fitted to all sorts of small industrial machinery. can you post some pics?


East Yorks.

Thread: Installing a new lathe
03/09/2014 09:21:43

Hi again Robin, It sounds like a beautiful old building, and having a level(even if cobbled) yard door entrance to the cellar is excellent. Remember that the secret to get rid of a lot of dampness is ventilation, if there is moisture in the air it will condense on any surface that is colder than the air, the trick is to get the air moving and keep it moving through and out of the building all the time. Low speed fans use very little energy and can move the damp air out of the building. Also something I forgot to put in my first post......Check all your rainwater downspouts and gulleys, and check that the undergound drains that take the surface water away are clear and not leaking anywhere. Some years ago a friend bought an old vicarage with a very damp cellar, and we found that most of the damp was actually coming from blocked surface water drains which were flooding over and letting the water go down between the ground and the house wall, We lifted some of the gulleys out of the ground as they had sunk, and found that the reason for this was that rainwater was going down between the gulley and the house wall and had washed all the fill out from under the gulley. When we put these right, the dampness dissapeared although it took about 6 months, and we did install some fans as well.Where in the country are you?


East Yorkshire

02/09/2014 13:12:36

Hi Robin, I am just completing a very similar job, and this is what I did. It is not in a cellar, it is a house in East Yorks that is built on solid chalk, and also built into a chalk bank up to the depth of the first floor. The down stairs floor was victorian clay tiles on top of fine chalk gravel which was underlayed by solid layered chalk. Needless to say it was very damp. The tile floor was taken up and dug down 6" it was then levelled, a damp membrane was put down, followed by 2" jablite insulation, Which was also placed round the wall edges to a height of 6" as perimeter insulation, another membrane, and 4" of concrete. Both membranes are folded in the corners, not cut, and made big enough to go about 2 feet up the walls all round. I then screwed 1" x 2" tanalised lath (tile lath) to the walls, placing a layer of plastic (for brickwork) DPC behind the lath. 2" jablite was fitted between the laths and fitted tight up to the perimeter insulation.The entire wall is then covered with DPM which goes behind the overlap from the underfloor membrane so that any moisture drains down into the subfloor and percolates away The walls can then be finished with plasterboard or whatever you like. It is quite a lot of work, but it has turned a damp, smelly, unusable building into a warm dry area that can now be used for any purpose, and the cost of materials, even using readymix concrete was under £1000.. I have some pictures if you are interested, and if I can work out how to post them!


Thread: 'average model engineer'
23/08/2014 18:49:39

Whilst I don't consider buying castings cheating , some of the models made by the late B. Terry Aspin (The Backyard Foundry/ Foundrywork For The Amatuer) with his home made castings both large and small scale are nothing short of astounding but not everyone has the room to build a cupola type furnace, Or the bottle to pour cast iron! whereas one man in his shed with a lathe and someone elses castings can make beautiful models. By the way, I am a Yorkshireman, but I do have a lathe made by the soft southern B*stards in Colchester., my other lathe was made in Cleckheaton (even though it is badged "Covmac"

Thread: Fitting QCTP to Colchester Student Lathe
22/08/2014 22:09:02

there is an alternative topslide with a T slot available if you can find one, there was one on ebay a couple of months ago, but I missed it.It was one of the options most often fitted to the gap bed models, but coulld be had on the straight bed as an option, they are about.

Thread: 'average model engineer'
22/08/2014 21:53:58

But Andrew......................those are all the challenges I enjoy solving;-}

22/08/2014 21:09:47

I think it all depends on what you want from your engineering. I love owning and using my manual machines, as well as building the things I make with the parts made on those machines. I would find CNC programming totally boring and tedious. I appreciate the fact that for the production of nameplates and the like, going direct from computer to cnc is the way to go, as to use the old fasioned pantograph type engraver, you needed the skill to make the master first. I do use 3D to work out designs, and I find sketchup a good "fast and dirty" tool for using at home, but I am only at one with the universe when I am covered in crap in my workshop! I am no luddite or computer phobic, I have been on the internet since 1996 when Demon first started home connections, and ended up as a director of a company (which I had started) installing wireless broadband in remote rural areas. I don't love computers, or electronics, the PC at best is a compromise built to try to be all things to all people, but the present iterations are quite reliable tools. I do love the internet and I do love using well made British manual machinery. Many top flight engineers have also been model makers, and didn't need cnc to produce some of the finest models that the world has ever seen, As I said before am not a model maker, but I can spend hours admiring the beauty and precision of their work, all done on manual machines and much by hand. Using cnc somehow suggests that your hobby is model making rather than model engineering, cnc is sort of.........................cheating?


Thread: Asbestos in English Electric ML7 Motor?
20/08/2014 22:36:52

Sorry bandersnatch, but the quality of the old motors far and away exceeds that of the new ones, and even if there is an insulation fault, I would rather have a rewound old motor any day. To the OP, There is a test you can apply to the fibers found in the motor, simply see if they burn, if they do, they are not asbestos. The asbestos in common use in electrical equipment is generally woven white or slightly greyish white fibres. It is quite safe as long as it is not friable or dusty, it is the airborne dust from asbestos that is dangerous when breathed in. It is very rare to find asbestos in a motor wound after about 1920 unless it was for a special purpose.

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

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Rapid RC
Eccentric Engineering
Eccentric July 5 2018
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest