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Member postings for Swarf, Mostly!

Here is a list of all the postings Swarf, Mostly! has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Stuck Morse Taper in Warco Major 3024YZ
17/08/2022 13:47:50

Good afternoon, Matthew,

I just want to make a plea that, when you do solve your problem (soon, I hope ), you will tell us and advise just which method eventually brought success.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: CO2 - Dumb question
16/08/2022 16:09:27
Posted by John Haine on 16/08/2022 15:19:55:


But this thread seems to be generating much more heat than light and I suggest that it be closed so people can get on with more useful stuff.

Edited By John Haine on 16/08/2022 15:44:08

I agree with John. All this thread is doing since about page 4 is filling up 0s and 1s in the server's 'bits of grit' and moving us closer to the day we have to subscribe to the forum via PayPal or equivalent.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Accuracy of steels stock
16/08/2022 16:05:10

Good afternoon, all,

Just about within topic:

Regarding silver steel, it was part of my upbringing that silver steel, being centreless ground, could often be trilobar, not perfectly round. So it would always measure the same 'diameter' with a micrometer but would reveal its trilobar shape if rotated between centres and clocked with a dial gauge.

I've never actually tried it - has anyone else? Is it an urban myth?

I've always regarded silver steel as 'too posh' for mere shafting.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Digital Micrometer Repair?
13/08/2022 15:37:50

Good afternoon, all,

There was recently a mention on another thread of a firm who repair digital instruments. I can't find the thread now.

Please can anyone help out?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Zinc-Rich Primer
13/08/2022 15:34:05

Good afternoon, all,

I have a rather tired half-full tin of Galvefroid zinc rich primer and a metal shed with a rusty roof.

I'm posting here in the hope that our numbers include a paint chemist or two who can advise me about this primer.

It has gone rather hard in the tin over the years since I last used it. Will it have cured irretrievably or might I be able to revive it by adding the right thinners and some elbow grease?

I'd much rather use it than scrap it. I'm fairly confident that white spirit (aka turps substitute) isn't the right thinners. I do have some Hammerite thinners, might that do?

I'm asking here in advance rather than proceeding on a 'suck it and see' basis - I fear that trying the wrong stuff might be irreversible!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Perhaps not the wildlife photograph of the year......
11/08/2022 19:10:44
Posted by vic newey on 11/08/2022 17:35:55:

Trouble is they usually end up getting worms from eating their catch, we had a neighbour once whose cat was either vomiting hair worms or had tape worms on it's backside or sometimes both. It was a friendly cat that spent time around us. They never bothered to treat the cat so we got some tablets and sorted the poor thing out ourselves.

I have great admiration for anyone who can get a worming tablet down a cat.

Our cat has emergency exit ports that form in his cheeks when required. That's 'required' by him, not by us.

At his recent annual check-up, the vet successfully got a worming tablet down him but, several years ago, even the senior vet needed several attempts and even then had to call for a second tablet after the first one got lost on the consulting room floor.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 11/08/2022 19:11:15

Thread: CO2 - Dumb question
10/08/2022 14:04:29

Good afternoon, Bob and Mark,

Carbon dioxide will diffuse in time, given the right energy and freedom of space. But it can build-up in other circumstances.

Bob, I think you sort-of referred to the case in Africa where some sort of volcanic activity sent a great quantity of undiluted carbon dioxide up through the bed of a lake. The lake water was retained by a natural dam and was at the top of a valley. Before it had time to diffuse, the mass of carbon dioxide, being heavier than air, spilt over the dam and flowed down the valley as an invisible cloud. It passed through a village, suffocating all the inhabitants, both human and livestock, all before it had the time and conditions to diffuse. It's diffused by now - every breath you take could contain a molecule or two of the carbon dioxide that came up through that lake!

Carbon dioxide build-up can be a danger in SCUBA equipment. Human exhalations contain lots of carbon dioxide. With the Cousteau-Gagnan Aqualung, the wearer breaths through a mouthpiece and the nose and eyes are separately covered by the diving mask. One-way valves in the breathing tubes achieve adequate 'traffic control' so you don't breathe in what you've just breathed out. Back in the 1960s/1970s there was a full face-mask, I forget the maker's name. With that gear, the wearer still breathed through a mouthpiece but wore a nose-clip to avoid breathing in any carbon dioxide build-up that might accumulate in the larger volume of the face-mask.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

P.S.: I see that Martin and I were typing at the same time.

Best regards, S,M!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 10/08/2022 14:06:06

Thread: What Did you do Today 2022
09/08/2022 14:36:35


Thank you for posting the pictures. That looks good, though you might need to keep your foot on one arm of the base to prevent a tip-over!

You mention 'drill-grinding jig': there was a recent mention on this forum of the Reliance drill-grinding jig. I have one complete with the instruction sheet - however, I've forgotten where I've put them (two different places). I blame my age!

Talking of age, I'm currently trying to downsize. You have to be hard as nails. The other day I took a bag of perfectly good castors to our local tip (oops! I mean 'Household Waste Recycling Centre' ) . I guess/hope they went into their shop, not into one of the skips.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

09/08/2022 09:01:43


Please may we have a photo of your skip find? Either 'as found' or 'as developed' or both?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

05/08/2022 16:43:03

I don't think I've ever posted on this thread before. My activities today are small but the culmination of a project I've been anxious to complete successfully.

First of all, a bit of background: some time ago I fitted a quick-change gear-box to my Myford ML7 lathe. I bought this particular gear-box second-hand - it had previously been fitted to a Super Seven. I was advised that the change gear backplate that came with the gear-box would fit the ML7 but that I would need a new change gear cover. (Is it OK to refer to them as 'change gears' when all they do is connect the tumbler gear to the input shaft of the gear-box? ) I was further advised that Mytholmroyd Myford were offering the correct cover but only as a raw casting, no holes drilled or tapped and no paint-job. Before yesterday, I had fettled the casting, drilled and tapped most of the holes and a kind neighbour had spray-painted the casting for me. All that remained was the fitting of the label within the cover.

Here's the first picture:


This morning, I fitted the label using the four 'brassed' drive screws. I had drilled the holes in the casting yesterday after taking some time deciding what depth they should be.

The photo shows that the label is fitted on the top of an 'island' in the casting of the gear cover. It's obviously desirable to avoid drilling the holes too deep and breaking out on the exterior surface of the cover. I had thought of posting this as a new thread entitled 'Using the drill-press as a depth gauge'; that's just what I had to do to discover how much meat there was in the casting.

Because of the depth of the cover casting, the thickness of the 'island' can't be measured with a micrometer or a vernier caliper. I have seen calipers with curved legs and that have a built-in dial gauge but I don't have one of those. The method I employed was as follows:
I mounted the drill in the chuck of the drill press and lowered it until it contacted the machine table gently but firmly. I then locked the drill quill and wound down the twin nuts of the depth gauge until they contacted the head-stock lug. I then released the quill and wangled the gear cover under the drill and lowered the quill again until the drill contacted the surface of the casting within the label mounting area. The space between the twin nuts and the headstock lug was now equal to the thickness of the casting. My vernier caliper wouldn't fit there because the tail of the caliper fouled various features of the drill-press headstock so I used a stack of feeler gauge blades to fill the gap and measured their total thickness using the caliper. By comparison of the length of the drive screws with the thickness of the label and the measurement previously described I decided I needed to limit the depth of my drilling to 200 thou. I reset the drill-press twin nuts accordingly, held my breath and drilled the four holes. I had actually performed the measurement process several times, using various probes in the drill press and had also considered several other procedures.

Lateral position of the holes was dictated by the four dimples that Beeston Myford considerately provided in the surface of the label 'island'. I checked the position of the drilled holes by laying the label in position and inserting four half-toothpicks through the label into the holes in the casting. That gave me the confidence to fit the four drive screws after which I emitted a big sigh of relief! The depth of the cover casting prevents the use of just a hammer - I used a punch. That necessitated assistance from SWMBO to hold the casting steady.

Regarding the painting part of the project: I bought half a litre of Myford Grey enamel, some thinners and some etch primer from Paragon Paints. I was amazed that my neighbour's spray painting used only a couple of eggcup-fulls of the enamel!

I admit that I was scared that I might drill too deep and break out on the exterior surface of the cover casting so I did try securing the label with double-sided adhesive tape. This didn't work because the tape and the painted surface of the 'island' weren't compatible. I think it would have worked if we'd masked -off the 'island'.

All you gurus are probably thinking 'this is trivial stuff, why is he making so much of it?'. Well, I'm jolly pleased with the result so here are some more photos:




Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 05/08/2022 16:49:41

Thread: Help with an ML7 dimension.
24/07/2022 14:04:01

I offer this in the hope it will help:


I cribbed it from G.H.Thomas' book - he recommended that we each maintain a version of this diagram corrected to show our own 'as-fitted' dimensions.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Grasshopper Beam Engine
19/07/2022 10:54:03

I've just had a bit of a search in the hope of finding some more information concerning the engine to which I referred.

Here's one reference:


Scroll down to the 'SU' section.

I also discovered that what I described as a 'chain ferry' is alternatively described as a 'floating bridge'. The eastern end of the one I labelled as 'Southampton' was at Woolston, next to the now removed Vosper Thornycroft works.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 19/07/2022 10:54:41

19/07/2022 10:26:43

I recently added my congratulations to Mark Rea's thread concerning his first model - a Grasshopper Beam Engine.

In my post, I referred to the Grasshopper engine that originally powered the chain ferry across the River Itchen in Southampton.

It was my further intention to add a picture of that engine, I have one somewhere but, as of writing this, I can't find it! What I did find was a list of references to the Grasshopper Engine in the pages of Model Engineer. Here it is:

grasshopper refs. #01.jpg

It was easier to add the list as a scan than to retype it in this post! There may be other references since 1958. If I can find the picture of the Southampton engine, I will add it to this thread.

I've chosen to start a new thread rather than adding to Mark's thread in the hope that it will be easier for the search function to find the information.

Mark refers to his engine as 'Elmer's Grasshopper'; most of the references I have are to the 'Easton-Amos Grasshopper'. Comments welcome.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: My first build
17/07/2022 16:11:53


I congratulate you on your Grasshopper build.

For various reasons, despite being a reader of ME for a long time and a member of this forum, also for a long time, and having made a great deal of swarf, I have never built an engine! If I had, my first choice would have been a Grasshopper; I still have an envelope of drawings for one in my filing 'system'.

You refer to the 'Elmer's Grasshopper', ought I to know about the 'Elmer' part of the description? How many variations are there on the Grasshopper theme?

In Southampton, there used to be a chain ferry across the River Itchen, just downstream of where the Itchen Bridge is now. When the ferry was taken out of service, its Grasshopper engine was removed and, the last time I heard, was preserved in one of Southampton City Council's cavernous store-rooms. I left Southampton in year 2000 so I am not up-to-date but I believe, in pre-lockdown times, that engine could be viewed by arrangement?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 17/07/2022 16:13:13

Thread: Chattering when cutting with countersink tool on lathe
11/07/2022 09:12:07
Posted by Y C Lui on 11/07/2022 03:57:59:


( 13 mm ? The lathe is an Emco Compact 8.

On this forum, ALWAYS type a space before typing a right bracket. That way, the smiley gremlins don't wake up!! That's, of course, assuming that you don't actually want a smiley!!!!

And, ALWAYS hit the right arrow key before replying to a quote. That way the cursor moves into virgin territory and the left-hand margin line ends where the quote ends and doesn't follow your reply to the bottom of the post.

Suggestion to Moderators: I seem to post these tips quite often - maybe they could be posted close to the advice on posting photos?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Burnerd chuck backplate screws
09/07/2022 12:56:27


Please forgive me if I'm 'teaching Grannie how to suck eggs'!

Starting from the lathe mandrel:

The chuck back-plate should be located radially by the register on the lathe mandrel nose.

The chuck should be located radially on the back-plate by the male register you machine onto the face of the back-plate so that it is a precise fit into the female register on the rear face of the actual chuck.

The fixing screws are responsible for securing the chuck to the back-plate to prevent relative rotation or axial play: they should play no part in radial location and so can be a comfortable clearance fit in the holes in the chuck.

5/16" BSF or M8 sound about right to me for an M-type or an ML7 machine. Choice of thread depends upon what size cap-heads you can most easily obtain and what taps you have.

Machining of the face of the back-plate should include a face skim (outboard of the central register ) so that the chuck will seat so its axis and the lathe mandrel axis are parallel, i.e. no relative squint. The register on the back-plate should almost, but not quite, fill the female register in the back of the chuck, it should not bottom-out.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

P.S.: you don't need to make your own fixing screws - eBay is full of sellers offering all sizes and lengths and thread types of cap-head screws.

Swarf, Mostly!

P.P.S.:  when I wrote the above, I was assuming we were discussing a three-jaw self-centring chuck.  I have now tried Alec's link and see we're actually discussing ain independent four-jaw chuck.  I think virtually all I wrote is still valid.

Swarf, Mostly!


Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 09/07/2022 13:03:02

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 09/07/2022 13:08:38

Thread: Used Myford S7 makes 8k at auction!
02/07/2022 09:35:32


I joke about having an 'every day chuck' and a 'Sunday chuck' (both three jaw) but it looks as though the owner of that lathe can have a different chuck for each day of the week and two on Sunday.

Shame about all the plastic.

There seems to be brass swarf so not a virgin machine.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Telephone Ringback Code?
27/06/2022 14:14:03
Posted by Frances IoM on 27/06/2022 13:56:12:
my memory may be at fault but one key difference between a Master and a slave socket was the Master had I think a 2microfarad capacitor that allowed the ringing signal to pass but to block the dc that signalled on/off hook - the old BT phone sounds as though it predates the use of master slave and has a capacitor so the bell rings - all the newer ones are missing this capacitor - the bell is brought out to one of the pins on the plug but without a master socket anywhere the ring signal is not connected to that pin - solution buy a master socket and replace any of the slave sockets with it - all bells should now be wired in parallel and subject to the REN limit will all ring.


Thank you for your post. I'll ponder thereon.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

27/06/2022 14:07:38

Posted by David Jupp on 27/06/2022 13:08:00:


EDIT - just looked back, you say your 'master' socket wasn't master by function - so I wonder how the ring wire was powered previously?

Edited By David Jupp on 27/06/2022 13:16:21

Good afternoon, again, David,

Thank you for your interest and for your posts.

Regarding the 'master' socket in our original Virgin landline installation:

It isn't a 'master line-box'. It looks like any other surface mounting single 631A or 431A phone socket.

I've always accepted the regulation that subscribers/customers are not permitted to tamper with the phone supplier's wiring.

I would certainly never tamper in the extreme way that regulation was intended to prevent - if, for example, mains voltage gets on to the phone network, there may be no local evidence of a problem yet some poor BT/Open Reach/Virgin linesman sat on the edge of a cable pit may be the one who suffers the consequences.

My practice, in three residences in turn now, has been to install a socket adjacent to the company's 'master' socket and to wire my extension tree from there. Most of 'my' wiring is 6-core phone cable, some buried in the wall plaster and some routed beneath the upstairs floor-boards. Its configuration is part 'daisy-chain' and some branches. I've installed a 631A plug on a short flexible pigtail out of the side of my basic box and connect to the company's system by plugging that pigtail into their master box. This configuration permits simple and complete disconnection of my wiring from theirs in the event that troubleshooting is required. I believe that Nick has the same set-up. Maybe I should take and post a photo.

In the current situation, the old landline master socket (and my base box) are at the opposite end of the living room from the position of the hub (router). Neither is at all simple to move. So when appropriate, I have bridged from the Virgin adaptor to my pigtail using a six metre 4-core flexible extension cable. (And, at different times, a 6-core flexible extension cable, no difference in system behaviour.)

We have four phones, two labelled REN=1, the other two unlabelled. I beleive that the unlabelled phones are also nominally REN=1 each. My hunch is that our hub is a bit deficient in the ring department and the actual ring load is pulling down the delivered ring drive signal to the point where only a single phone that happens to have a very low real REN will ring. The phone that does actually ring isn't doing so as stridently as it did before the chengeover.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 27/06/2022 14:15:25

27/06/2022 13:30:18
Posted by David Jupp on 27/06/2022 13:08:00:

My guess would be that the ring signal wire isn't being powered - usually handled by the master socket. Sounds like one of the phones has a built in ringer capacitor (so will ring), and the others don't.

That doesn't explain what has gone wrong with the wiring. Could the ringer wire (usually orange/white) have been disturbed when making connection to the router? Phone extension cable is typically solid core - quite easy to damage, and the IDC connectors often used aren't always the most reliable.

Good afternoon, David,

Thank you for your post.

Are you familiar with the Virgin fibre-phone system to which we're being changed over?

There isn't a master socket in the traditional sense. Before I go further, please forgive me if I don't use the correct designations for plug vs socket with these telephone connectors. The basic source of the telephone system is an RJ11 socket in the rear panel of the hub (aka 'router' ). Virgin have sent out an adaptor comprising an RJ11 plug, two inches of four-core cable and a 431A socket. This adaptor plugs into the RJ11 socket on the hub. The phone that rings does so when plugged directly into that adaptor or, after reconnecting the domestic network, into any of the other sockets. The phones that don't ring, don't ring anywhere on our domestic system or when plugged, alone, into that adaptor.

Our whole system was working properly a week ago, the day prior to the changeover.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

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