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Member postings for Paul Lousick

Here is a list of all the postings Paul Lousick has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: DROs for an X2
23/12/2012 10:44:02

Hello Bob,

I have fitted inexpensive DRO's to my SX3 mill. Would like to use better ones but these are OK at the moment. Have had them for about a year now. Only had problems on a couple of occasions when the reading bars had some oil on them. A wipe over with a clean rag fixed the problem. If one does fail to work, I will replace it. They only cost me less than $80 each.

Also made a coolant system from a car windscreen washer pump.

Paul J.


Thread: J Weld Preparation
17/12/2012 21:09:59

Thanks Jason,

Grinding the corners of an old milling cutter is a good idea.

17/12/2012 11:30:19

What is the best way to machine a "J" preparation with a 3mm radius for welding 10, 12 and 16mm plate ?

I am building a 10" dia boiler for a 6" Ruston Proctor and have a Sieg SX3 mill.

My first thoughts were to make a special cutter or to use a bull nose cutter and tilt the milling head.


Thread: Home made lathe stand - need help!
06/12/2012 00:49:24

Hi Frank,

If you fabricate a stand for your lathe and cannot guarantee that it is perfectly flat, only securely bolt the lathe at the head end and leave the tail end bolts finger tight so no tensional load is imposed on the bed otherwise you may twist it.


Thread: DRO's
31/10/2012 08:51:58

I have 2 of the cheap DRO's fitted to my SX3 mill for the past year and have not had any problem with them. But at $70 each I will get a replacement if one fails. Like the $20 digital calipers they do not like getting wet. The only problem that I have had is with the one factory fitted to the Z-axis.

Even though they are not as robust as other DRO's and can only measure to 2 decimal places of a mm, they do make milling a lot easier.

Thread: Tool and Cutter Grinder
10/10/2012 10:05:53

Being new to machining I made HH's grinding rest. It is inexpensive to make and I learnt a lot of new skills while making it, giving me confidence to tackle bigger projects. I am now building a model traction engine.

Thread: Boiler Design
10/10/2012 09:52:27

As a previous reader has said that the Australian code favours boilers built like brick outhouses.

The Australian Miniature Boiler Safety Committe Code Part 2 is for steel boilers having a working pressure not exceeding 700 kPA and 50 litre capacity. (separate code for copper boilers).

Boilers built under this code are overdesigned for safety because they can be built by the hobbyist and can be inspected by boiler inspectors appointed by registerred clubs.

I have a design for a 6" traction engine which is certified for use in ther UK but does not comply with the Australian code. The Aus code has more requirements, thicker steel for the boiler barrel and tube plates and more inspection ports.


Thread: The Greatest Mechanical invention
10/10/2012 09:24:05

How about a lathe. A machine that can repair itself. Without it you could not make a tractor.

Thread: Foot pump type suds supply?
06/08/2012 11:19:38

I have been using a windscreen washer pump on my mill for the last 6 months and has been great. Power is from a small 12V battery via a variable resistor to adjust the speed and an old plugpack charger to top up the battery. Got the pump from a car parts supplier for about $10, an old 4 litre plastic bottle as a tank and a plastic water strainer from the local hardware.

Thread: Paper drawings to DWG possible??
06/08/2012 10:40:53

As Blowlamp has said, the original poster was asking about transferring paper drawings to CAD and I advised that they can be imported into vector format but will not be to scale. And if you check my first posting you will find that I did recommend that he use Draftsight. The following comments were intended to show that it was not the best product available but would be suitable for his project.

Draftsight is one of the better free CAD programs available but is not in the same league as others like Autocad. We have more than 120 licences of Autocad and 50+ copies of Draftsight but Draftsight is only used by our sales engineers and non-drafting personnell to view, print and make small changes to drawings. All of our professional drafters in our drawing department use Autocad or Solidworks because it is more efficient for full time use, far outweighing the extra cost. But for small projects where time is not a problem, use Draftsight. I could go on for a lot longer but am putting this discussion to rest. I am sure that you still have something to say, so will leave it to you.


05/08/2012 12:13:15


My original statement was for comments about CAD programs for which I have been using for over 20 years (Autocad Release 9 to Autocad 2012, Pro Engineer, Microstation, Solidworks) ,so I HAVE done my homework AND do have some experience in these matters. I stand by my statement that Autocad is far superior to Draftsight. It must be it's £5000 more expensive. If Draftsight was better Autodesk would be out of business. This in no way is "slagging" Draftsight. It is excelelnt value for money , its free to download. We even use it where I work for viewing and red-lining drawings.

And as I have previously said, Draftsight IS suitable for transferring paper files to CAD and exporting dxf files to CNC machines which only require 2D input (and minimal extra programming). It is not suitable for cutting complex shapes/contours,fillets, etc on a CNC milling machine without the input of a lot of extra programming.


05/08/2012 09:25:25

I disagree that 90% of CNC parts are produced from 2D Cad drawings, more like 9%. The example shown is no more complex than profile cutting from plate which only reqiured a 2D drawing Anything more complex which does not have the same profile all of the way thru cannot be made this way. For example machining an engibe block or a making case for a mobile phone cannot be done from a 2D drawing.

CNC milling machines, pattern making machines for castings and machining centres to name a few can produce complex angular and curved shapes which are imposible to make without a 3D model. But as I have said earlier if the reqirement is only to convert paper drawings to 2D CAD for controlling a profile cutter for cutting steel plate then DraftSight should be OK.

Thread: Converting CAD files to PDF
04/08/2012 10:58:54

CutePDF installs as if it was any other printer and can be used by any windows program (not sure about Apple). I use it all of the time with Autocad and MS office. After you print it askes you where you want to save the pdf file.

Autocad cannot open a pdf file and therefore it will not show up when using the Autocad file open function. PDF files can however be inserted into an Autocad drawing by pasting from the clipboard. It is displayed as like jpg image and not to scale. The individlual lines cannot be selected.

It is possible to trace over this imported image but the drawing produced is not very accurate.

Regards, Paul.

Thread: Paper drawings to DWG possible??
04/08/2012 09:32:01

Autocad is a far superior product to DraftSight. I have been using it for more than 20 years as a mechanical drughtsman, also 3D programs like solidworks and Pro Engineer. DraftSight is slightly similar but lacks many of the features of Autocad.

Paper drawings can be scanned and converted to vector format for use in CAD programs but they are not drawn to scale and are useless for exporting to CNC machines,

BUT if you are not familiar to either program and only want to convert paper drawings to CAD, I would go for DrastSight because it is free. Even Autocad LT (cut down version) is still expensive.

Remeber though that Draftsight is only a 2D CAD program and the DXF files which it could export can only be used in 2D machines such as profile cutting steel plate.

If you want to make files suitable for use in CNC milling machine you will have to have a program that models in 3D such as Solidworks, Pro Engineer or Inventor.

Hope this was useful, Paul

Thread: How do I stop old drawings curling up?
26/07/2012 09:23:55

Hi Andy,

Filing a thousand drawings is a little harder than a few hundred.Vertical Plan Cabinets

A horizontal filing cabinet is not suitable because the drawings have to be lifted to get at the individual drawings. They can easily get damaged by doing this.

A vertical plan cabinet is a better option. Each drawing is hung from its edge on a set of pins. One set is attached to the back of the cabinand another from the front hinged door. It is easy to flick thru them to find the one you want. Self adhesive plastic strips are available for attaching to the drawing sheets. Do a search on the internet for "vertical plan cabinet" . You should be able to pick up a cabinet for a song as the they are outdated because everyone is going digital. They will also stop your drawings fron curling.


25/07/2012 10:51:33

Hello Andy, I have worked as a draughtsman for the past 40 years and have had to store thousands of drawings. The horizontal plan cabinets are good for storing drawings, especially those which are used often but they can still be damaged by constant use. The best way is to have them professionally scanned and use a copy for day to day use. They can then be printed as full size, A3 or A4 for easy reference. If you damage a print just print it again. Store your originals in a sealed tube in a dry place. I have tried photographing them myself but you do not get the quality of scanning.

Drawings should be scanned in TIF4 format to get the best quality prints. Jpeg format compresses the image to reduce the file size and expands them when opened for printing. Each time a jpg image is opened and saved it loses resolution quality because of the compression algarithm used.

Copy the scanned files onto DVD not CD. DVD's are more resistant to damage. Make several copies as backup in case something goes wrong.

I recently had a number of A1 size drawings professionallyscanned for about $3 (Australian) each. Laminating an A1 print was about $5 each.

Hope that this was useful, Paul

Thread: Engineer's Blue
29/05/2012 13:16:04

The mension of printers ink gave me an idea and I tried ink from a ball point pen,

Cut the end of the pen and extract the ink and wipe over the plate with a cloth.

Works a treat in an emergency for small jobs.

A standard pen holds enough ink to cover an area 100mm x 100mm.

One of the larger "Parker" type pens would do a bigger area.


Edited By Paul Lousick on 29/05/2012 13:21:07

Thread: Coolant system for milling machine
25/05/2012 11:34:39

I have set up a simple flood coolant system on my SX3 mill using a 5 litre plasic bottle as a tank and a car winscreen washer pump. Power is from a 12v battery and a plug-pack charger.

You will need to make some sort of tray and splash guards to collect the used coolant and drain it back to the tank.


Thread: Rotary encoder for spindle speed
11/05/2012 09:20:04

Sorry, forgot to add the address

Have a look athis site.

They sell a tachometer suitable for a mill or lathe.

You can buy it complete or build your own.

Paul J

11/05/2012 09:16:28

Have a look athis site.

They sell a tachometer suitable for a mill or lathe.

You can buy it complete or build your own.

Paul J

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