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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: What Did You Do Today 2019
24/10/2019 10:27:22

That looks like a good repair.

However, I hope that piece of hard wood isn't oak. If it is, I'd advise a coat of varnish, pdq!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: ML7
28/09/2019 20:26:05

I've done some milling in my ML7 using the vertical slide. I managed, with care, to achieve quite acceptable results.

The main draw-back to that method is that setting up can be difficult because gravity pulls the work-piece 'sideways' .

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Unusual GPO hammer?
28/09/2019 20:19:56

Back in the 1960s one of my work colleagues had previously been a GPO Linesman. He told us that his toolkit included a hammer, I don't know what it looked like. He said that the most important use of that hammer was, before climbing a telegraph pole, to give the base of the pole a smart wallop. If the resulting sound was 'dead' you didn't 'go up the stick' . The 'dead' sound indicated a rotten pole.

My apologies if I've misused any technical terms - I'm reporting second hand and it was a long time ago!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2019
22/09/2019 19:12:30
Posted by Bazyle on 22/09/2019 14:00:55:

Went up to the track (35minutes) in time to help clear up and empty the fire buckets (30 minutes) and returned home (35 minutes).


I don't remember who asked "Who else but the English would write 'FIRE' on a bucket and then fill it with water?!?! ".

Do yours have the hemispherical bottoms?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Are there any left?
11/09/2019 16:22:06
Posted by Bryan Cedar 1 on 11/09/2019 13:28:40:

Does anybody remember Arthur T Sallis in Brighton opposite the swimming baths in North Road. I used to visit it every time we went swimming. Rembember bying a 1154 Aircraft transmitter there, now worth a lot of money. Thaat was back in the early 50's.

I used to visit his shop whenever I was in the vicinity. The last time I called, he was somewhat agitated - apparently he had a fairly large warehouse full of stock (someway from the shop) but Brighton Council were intending to compulsorily purchase it, bulldoze it and build a car-park on the site.  Wherever was he going to rehouse all that stock!  I remember that there was a shop across the road that sold all sorts, shapes and sizes of corks.  They had a cork lathe in the shop window but I never saw it in operation.

Another emporium that suffered a sad fate was in New Oxford Street, London. Apparently the proprietor died but the local council (Holborn? ) withheld permission for lorries to park outside the premises so that the stock could be removed! I never did hear how that situation was resolved.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 11/09/2019 16:23:56

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 11/09/2019 16:25:27

Thread: Equity release!
31/08/2019 18:54:51

Hi there, all,

A widowed and childless uncle of mine did the equity release thing several years ago. I never discussed it with him so I don't have much detail of his experience.

One bit I do remember, though, is that the organisation concerned imposed very stringent house maintenance requirements - obviously they don't want their investment to deteriorate through wear and tear. Still, complete exterior decoration annually seems a bit extreme!

A topic worth pursuing before signing up.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Garden shed find
18/08/2019 19:24:46

Hi there, Geoff,

Congratulations on your acquisition.

Since my brief sojourn in the Trainee Model Shop in 1955, I've always lusted after a drilling machine with real back-gear. It's so much better for cutting large circular holes in sheet metal using a trepanning tool. For example, making mounting holes for meters in electronic device front panels. I've always been suspicious of belt slip and insufficient available speed reduction with the drilling machines that employ three cone pulleys.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Grid Frequency [mains electricity]
13/08/2019 10:12:55
Posted by Mike Poole on 13/08/2019 09:40:21:

I am under the impression that the supply also guarantees to supply the correct number of cycles per day to avoid clocks accumulating an error.


As a result largely of the campaigning by Mr. Frank Hope-Jones, of Synchronome fame.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Dam Solution?
05/08/2019 11:12:58

Hi there, all,

I recommend this YouTube channel. **LINK**

Juan Brown gave the most objective running account I was able to find throughout the Oroville Dam situation.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Surplus subjects learnt at school.
20/07/2019 15:48:28

First of all, my apologies to NDIY for misreading his post.

On the subject of Latin, I was in the Latin stream from 2nd form to 5th form. We were taught (with varying degrees of success) both Latin language and Latin literature.

The only remaining trace of the latter is a line from Catullus, 'Alas, my purse is full of cobwebs'. Now, why ever should that line have remained in my memory?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

19/07/2019 21:00:50
Posted by not done it yet on 19/07/2019 20:45:31NIP.

Until 1963, the grammar school did not have any wood or metal working facilities - we went over to the secondary mod school for a double lesson in woodwork once a week while the girls did domestic science.


I have to disagree with you there.

I attended Woking County Grammar School for Boys (to give it its full title) between 1947 and 1954. On the lowest floor of the school building there were an active woodwork shop and an active metalwork shop. There was also a third shop known as 'the Plumbing shop' though I have to admit that that one was only used as a miscellaneous storage space.

That building is a Police Station nowadays - re-purposing it must have been quite a challenge for the architects concerned.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Wood in small (or large) amounts
18/07/2019 16:05:35

I used to live in Romford in Essex. Many of the residential streets there were lined with mature lime trees. Lots of those trees fell casualty to 'the great October gale'. The Council guys turned out with their chainsaws and cut the trunks into short enough lengths to be man-handled out of the way so the milkmen and Postmen could get through!

I know that lime trees are best avoided when choosing a parking place because of their sticky sap. Having taken insufficient notice when my father was trying to pass on his woodworking skills, I've no idea of the merits of lime wood for woodwork - however, I did think it was tragic that those fallen trees couldn't have been removed some other way that would have preserved their usefulness.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 18/07/2019 16:05:54

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 18/07/2019 16:06:29

Thread: TTFN
18/07/2019 15:57:11

Please, Andrew,

Don't let the trolls win!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2019
15/07/2019 13:31:32

As for using Oak on a nicely made scale model the grain is of the open type and can look wrong on a small scaled model, personally I would have used a closer grained wood for appearances and then stain it Oak coloured.

Edited By Derek Lane 2 on 15/07/2019 10:43:17

I hope the following won't be considered Off-Topic:

When I lived in Essex, one of my regular Saturday morning errands used to be a visit to Brown's Corner in Loughton. They had a large room full of ex-Government surplus tools for all trades, including plumbers. They often had the egg-shaped wooden tool that plumbers use (used) to flare the end of lead pipe. These were usually of box wood, occasionally of lignum vitae. I used to buy the box wood ones for a work colleague whose hobby was making detailed scale models of the ships of Nelson's Navy, he used them as a source of material for making the blocks for his rigging.

I fear it is a forlorn hope but maybe, just maybe, there might still be some of that sort of stuff about, if only one knows where to look!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Aircraft radio scanner
14/07/2019 19:09:30


To complement whatever equipment you buy, I suggest that you familiarise yourself with the relationship between height and the distance to the radio horizon. Signals are receivable at quite long range if the source is high enough.

Nuff said.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Myford Vice for Vertical Slide
14/07/2019 19:01:50

My vice is a genuine (Beeston) Myford item, I bought it in the early 1970s. It has the radius at the foot of the fixed jaw.

I use it with a packing piece, a length of 5/16" diameter rod with a flat machined along its length, but a bit of flat strip would do. I usually grip a steel rule in the jaws, on the packing piece, and offer the rule up to the face-plate (fitted temporarily) before tightening the securing bolts that attach the vertical slide to the cross-slide. It works for me.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: What are these used for please?
07/07/2019 14:30:44

In a ribbon microphone a metallic ribbon is suspended between the poles of a permanent magnet. To give the ribbon compliance in the appropriate axis, it is usually corrugated.

The gizmo with the two gear wheels hinged together could be used to form suitable corrugations.

I believe that there was also a ribbon loudspeaker offered on the hi-fi market at one time.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Is it bad practice to lock my Myford lathe using the slow speed lever
24/06/2019 18:04:49

Next time I need to remove my ML7 mandrel from the head-stock (e.g. to fit new vee belt ), I intend to drill a ¼" hole through the bull wheel diametrically opposite the lock to the pulley gear. The plan is then to make a sort of spanner with a transverse dowel (to fit in that hole) and a handle suitably shaped to lock over the edge of the head-stock casting.

I don't think such a hole is going to cause significant out-of-balance problems.

To complement that, I'll use a bit of hex bar gripped in the chuck and a suitable spanner.

The slight problem with this project is that it has been on my to-do list almost as long as the project to make a mandrel handle!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Gents impulse clock
14/06/2019 17:01:49

Slightly off-topic because this thread is principally about Gents rather than Synchronome.

I was told by Barry (he of Barry's Virtual Clock Museum ) that the Kerplllunk emitted every 30 seconds by a Synchronome master clock installed in domestic premises has been known to sunder marriages!!!!!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Noise Cameras
10/06/2019 10:44:10

According to what I was taught about acoustics, any microphone comparable in size to a speed camera will be omni-directional at all the frequencies emitted by motor vehicles, especially the lower frequencies that convey most of the emitted acoustic energy. So the device could be receiving noise from sources far removed from the angular coverage of the video camera section of the device.

I'm ruling out devices such as 'rifle mikes' as incompatible with the 'box on a pole' on both dimensional and cost & complexity grounds.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

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