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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: MYFORD
20/02/2018 13:07:22

My history as an ML7 owner/user is summarised in my profile so I won't repeat much of that.

At the time I bought the ML7, I didn't know about the Boxford or the Littlejohn or even the M-type, they were out of my financial reach and they weren't often mentioned in the pages (e.g. the small ads) of the Model Engineer. But the ML7 was mentioned frequently and I was already pre-conditioned by having read Laurence Sparey's book. I didn't fancy a Gamage or a Randa or the like, though I freely acknowledge that lots of people have produced good work and, not a trivial matter, had FUN with them.

In the 47 years I've had my ML7 it has accompanied me through three house moves (and three marriages!). It has done all I have asked of it and any problems I have had have usually been between the operator's ears. And I've had both fun and the joys of achievement with it.  Its capabilities now are no less than they were when I first acquired it, in fact with the accessories I've added it can do more.

Soon after buying the machine, I contacted Beeston Myford who sent me the 'Notes on Operation, Installation and Maintenance also Pictorial Parts List' enclosing an invoice and asking that I remit its cost 'at my convenience', how was that for a good start?!?! Subsequent dealings with Beeston Myford were always a pleasure. Because I had built up a good set of accessories before the change of ownership, I haven't had many dealings with Mytholmroyd Myford but those I have have been business-like and trouble-free. I do regret that the appearance on the market of far-eastern-made clones of Myford accessories probably hastened the end of the Beeston Myford era - I confess to having bought one or two.

Well, that's my two penneth.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

NOTE TO MODERATORS: Billy Bean posted his latest while I was typing this - please transfer to the new thread at your discretion.

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 20/02/2018 13:10:57

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 20/02/2018 13:12:59

Thread: What did you do Today 2018
17/02/2018 17:25:59

In my earlier post - for '780 MPH', please read '70 MPH'.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

17/02/2018 17:07:43
Posted by Joseph Noci 1 on 17/02/2018 14:16:28:

Don't get rid of those magnets!

Wrap each in some foam rubber, with insulation tape around, ie, make a sort of tennis ball size foam ball, wound stiffly with tape. Place a largish Sandwich type plastic bag into another, and place the ball within. Wrap the outer bag over, as you would a sandwich, and place the ball in the Swarf Tray..For steel swarf, it works a treat - just unwrap the outer bag, stretching it inside out, keeping all swarf within, and empty in the Swarf Bucket, and refit the bag, or replace if it has big holes..

The foam keeps the swarf from direct magnet contact, which makes it difficult to remove the swarf otherwise..

On the subject of the rubber gumming up..I have similar issues here at home - I suspect it is salt/humidity due to the proximity to the sea - 50meters from the ocean's edge, but not sure.

All the 'tactile' feel ( maybe a silicon based ) covering on the knobs of my oscilloscope have become sticky and can be squeezed off of the knob, between ones fingers. Ditto the rubberised coating on my Wine Corkscrew, and some pens, as well as the rubberised handle of my Bosch battery drill.....Very odd. First I thought it was maybe my sweaty hands ( can't be oily hands, least not on the 'scope and corkscrew!) , but parts of the drill body that are not in hand contact are even muckier..


edit - spelling..

Edited By Joseph Noci 1 on 17/02/2018 14:17:40

Edit - Sheesh! more spelling...personal note - engage spell checker before brain in neutral..

Edited By Joseph Noci 1 on 17/02/2018 14:18:54

Hi there, Joe,

Thank you for your response.

Since I posted my earlier message, I've encountered another pair of perished sleeves. These were on the two spacer pillars each end of a pair of magnets. They were far worse than 'gummy', more like the consistency of thixotropic bituminous paint. But my vodka is safe - I found that liquid 'soap' is good for cleaning the stuff off my fingers.

I seem to remember that I had a similar problem with some sleeves that were blue, rather than black - they perished after I'd removed them from the hard drives but I'd put them in the same container as the screws I'd salvaged from the drives.

Thank you for your suggestion regarding the magnets. Some time ago, we listed some on ebay. They were bought by a motorcyclist to replace the magnets in his 'tank-bag'. He came back later full of thanks and praise and said the magnets were very good - his tank-bag stayed on the tank at over 100 MPH! In view of our 780 MPH speed limit, I didn't risk becoming an accessory after the fact by asking him how he knew!!!!!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

17/02/2018 13:37:25

Not today but two or three days ago - it being a cold and wet afternoon I decided to dismantle some ancient computer hard drives ready for submission to the scrap metal man.

Depending on the particular model, some of these have black synthetic rubber sleeves round steel pillars. One of the drives in this latest batch had such a buffer sleeve but when I tried to remove it I discovered that it had changed with age to a sticky black glutinous consistency that abandoned its sleeve-like shape the moment it was touched. The resulting messy fingers needed copious applications of meths/IPA/surgical spirit/vodka with kitchen roll and I still had to lose most of the clippable part of one thumb nail!!!!!

I post this as a warning to other would-be HDD recyclers. Has anyone else encountered this pitfall? This type of deterioration isn't universal, some sleeves still behave like rubber. I wonder if it is a cause of hard drive failure? The drives I was dismantling had all their gaskets and seals intact until the moment they came 'under the knife' .

While I'm posting this, I'm surprised that there doesn't seem to be any recycling channel for the Neodymium/Iron/Boron magnets. Comments welcome.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Australia is not a country???
12/02/2018 10:36:10
Posted by peak4 on 12/02/2018 10:04:16:

I'd always thought that;

Great Britain comprises of England, Scotland, and Wales. i.e. the mainland.

The UK, i.e. "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", by definition and name, obviously follows on and includes NI.

The British Isles, is more of a geographic than sovereign/political description, and includes all of the above, plus Eire, The Isle of Man, The Channel islands etc.


Edited By peak4 on 12/02/2018 10:04:41

That works for me!

Note: 'England, Scotland and Wales' - in alphabetic order, diplomatically avoiding implications of alleged merit!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 12/02/2018 10:39:48

Thread: Making an alloy gear knob, help needed
02/01/2018 13:58:42
Posted by petro1head on 01/01/2018 17:50:05:

It’s not for a car but a racing sim Ihave in the loft.

Can’t decide if it’s the correct one, or should I make it out of nylon instead of ally

I'm quite happy with the knob that Citroen provided (234,000-ish miles on the clock).

But, were a replacement ever needed, it would be a choice between fabric-based Tufnol or some off-cuts from an ex London Underground railway sleeper, Jarrah wood, polishes and waxes up nicely to a rich deep red/brown.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Sad but true!
31/12/2017 14:29:02
Posted by Robbo on 31/12/2017 10:01:49:
Posted by steamdave on 30/12/2017 23:36:00:
Posted by XD 351 on 30/12/2017 23:15:38:

A book full of faces . 😄

Careful with the spelling.

The Emerald Isle

Yes, I noticed XD 351 missed out the other "e"

Quite right too, it would have been off-topic - the word WITH the 'e' is the plural of 'fax'.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: 'Free-Wheeling' a Steam Loco?
29/12/2017 15:34:46

Hi there, all,

Some time ago there was a TV programme about two UK-built locos being repatriated. They didn't travel under their own steam but were included in 'trains of opportunity'.

For some reason (maybe the result of over-festivity!) the thought I had then re-surfaced a few days ago:

How do you 'free-wheel' a steam loco? The pistons are still coupled to the wheels, there's no clutch. I can visualise that what was the exhaust stroke would proceed although there would be fluid dynamic losses. I can't understand how what was the power stroke proceeds - where does it get its air to fill the cylinder?

And, what about lubrication?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Ball Bearing Speed Reducer
27/12/2017 13:04:53

Hi there, all,

The start of this thread reminded me of a gizmo described in the trade press back in the 1970s, the 'Cyclo' speed reducer. I've been a bit busy being festive for the last few days but I found time this morning to root out the demonstrator I received back then in response to my ringing the appropriate number on the magazine response card.

Here are a couple of photos of the demonstrator:

cyclo reducer #01.jpg

cyclo reducer #02.jpg

and here are scans of the accompanying leaflet (I'm sorry but I can't offer a translation):

cyclo leaflet #01a.jpg

cyclo leaflet #02a.jpg

Here's a YouTube video with an animation showing the operation of the device:


Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

25/12/2017 15:06:34

Apologies to Neil for going off-topic.


I've referred to that Paul James description myself in the past but I only noticed this morning what he says about the fine focus. What I wrote about the 'epicyclic ball drive' contradicts his description so I withdraw my assertion pending a check.

I bought a Patholette but the seller didn't immobilise the stage when packing the instrument for shipping. So it arrived with the focus lever in two parts, broken at the ball-headed screw pivot hole! That was a CTS Patholette - after the Vickers merger/takeover, the arm was 'beefed-up' in that area. I stripped the damaged instrument for spares and should still have the focus mechanism somewhere. I'll dig it out and check it.

Maybe in 2018 the focus block of my Ortholux (with the solidified grease) will get to the top of the to-do list!!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

24/12/2017 19:23:47
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 24/12/2017 17:31:39:
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 24/12/2017 14:25:36:

A ball bearing speed reducer works like a sun and planet gear box crossed with a normal ball race.

Used to operate a focuser or radio tuner the outer race is fixed. As I understand it, a knob attached to the ball carrier (and shaft) gives high speed and one attached to the inner race is the slow-speed.

But it's frying my brain trying to figure out how they are actually fixed into place so they can be adjusted easily. Photos of partly dis-assembled ones don't help much.

I can't find a sectional view on google, can anyone help?



I've got one of the 'tuner' ones tucked away somewhere, Neil

It might be a few days before I can locate it ...

If I recall correctly, the knobs are concentric, and the device fixes in place like a normal 'pot' on a panel.



Edit: just found this, which may help


Edited By Michael Gilligan on 24/12/2017 17:37:50


The focus control on a Vickers Patholette microscope uses what I was taught to call an 'epicyclic ball drive'.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Layout Blue
09/12/2017 14:25:39

Don't do as I did!!!

After using layout blue, I used to clean the brush with methylated spirits and then pour the used meths back into the layout blue bottle. (Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time! ) It didn't become unusably thin, BUT ...

Using layout blue from that bottle after a break of some years, I found to my horror that it only partially dried, leaving a nasty sticky surface.

Nowadays, I don't bother to clean the brush - the next use softens it up very quickly. (That particular brush is kept exclusively for use with layout blue. )

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 09/12/2017 14:26:07

Thread: Boring the MT2 on spindle
17/11/2017 14:02:04

Hi there, Sean,

Here is a photo of a female 2MT blank end arbor:

blank end arbor #01.jpg

The dimensions are as follows:

Overall length: 8½ inches,
Maximum diameter: 1¼ inches,
Reduced section diameter: 1.188 inches,
Length of reduced section: 3¾ inches.

As you can see from the photo, there is a slot for an ejector wedge/drift. The 2MT centred plug is rather long compared to the one I bought all those years ago in Buck & Ryan's. The back end of the arbor does have a centre drilling.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly! (aka, in some quarters, 'Smaug' )

17/11/2017 09:18:48
Posted by sean logie on 16/11/2017 20:00:04:
Posted by Swarf, Mostly! on 16/11/2017 19:55:41:
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 16/11/2017 19:30:23:


My first thought would be to bore/ream the taper socket first [in an oversize blank] and then turn the rest of the job between centres.


Or you could cheat and use a 'blank end arbor'. Arc sell the male 2MT type - the 2MT female type used to be an 'over the counter' stock item at big ironmongers/tool merchants. I bought one years ago from Buck & Ryan in Tottenham Court Road but the female version seems to have become a rarity in recent years.

The female arbor should come with a short MT plug with a centre drilling to permit the entire arbor to be machined between centres. Such a plug would continue to be useful for other projects once machining of its 'arbor of origin' is complete.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

I'm not sure I follow you Swarf . Any photos or illustrations .


The female MT blank end arbor is a length of mild steel bar with a female morse taper socket ready-machined in one end. It comes with a short plug fitting the MT socket and centre-drilled. The other end of the bar is (if I remember correctly) also centre-drilled so that the whole can be machined between centres. Apart from that, the other end is blank - hence the name, 'blank end arbor'.

I think I have one in my stash somewhere (sorry, not for sale - they don't call me 'Smaug' for nothing !), If I can find it, I'll post some dimensions and/or a photo.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

16/11/2017 19:55:41
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 16/11/2017 19:30:23:


My first thought would be to bore/ream the taper socket first [in an oversize blank] and then turn the rest of the job between centres.


Or you could cheat and use a 'blank end arbor'. Arc sell the male 2MT type - the 2MT female type used to be an 'over the counter' stock item at big ironmongers/tool merchants. I bought one years ago from Buck & Ryan in Tottenham Court Road but the female version seems to have become a rarity in recent years.

The female arbor should come with a short MT plug with a centre drilling to permit the entire arbor to be machined between centres. Such a plug would continue to be useful for other projects once machining of its 'arbor of origin' is complete.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Condensation
30/10/2017 17:19:31

Hi there, Mick,

NDIY, above, has said 'Compressor dehumidifiers don't work too well at low temperatures' - I'd put it stronger than that. Unless you can get the temperature up you won't get your money's worth from a dehumidifier.

You need to check that your space isn't too well ventilated or your dehumidifier will be trying to dehumidify the UK!!!

I've personally found that the Myford plastic cover has done a good job of keeping my ML7 rust-free - other folks have reported that they make things worse!?!?

If you're shopping for Kingspan or Cellotex, have a look at 'Seconds and Co Ltd.', they might be cheaper than your local Builders' Merchant despite their having to ship to your door. I bought 3½ sheets of 3" from them and was pleased with what I got.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 30/10/2017 17:20:24 (to correct thickness)

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 30/10/2017 17:21:31

Thread: Are you offended when the media poke fun at your hobby?
27/10/2017 11:07:10

Commenting/criticising other people's hobbies and interests isn't a one-way street:

Work colleague to me: 'You should take up bridge'.

Me: 'No thanks, I don't believe in games of chance'.

Colleague (outraged): 'Bridge isn't a game of chance!!'

Me: 'It would be, the way I'd play it!!!'

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

26/10/2017 19:56:02
Posted by David Standing 1 on 26/10/2017 18:25:28:

My main hobby is shooting - from paper target shooting, to clay pigeons, to deer stalking, and lots in between.

There is probably more ignorance, hype, threats, police/government and EU intervention, to name just a few, in this area than in all the other hobbies put together!

The hassle required to get planning permission for a simple six over six 2 metre yagi on the gable end of the house must follow a close second!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

(Long since QRT! )

Thread: Hello All,
23/10/2017 09:41:48
Posted by Trevor Harris on 23/10/2017 09:04:21:

Hi Neil,


If you did not have lathe in the shed at home projects were often done as 'Government Work' in the lunch hour away from the Foreman's eyes.


I don't believe that the foremen were oblivious of the 'Home Office' jobs - after all, they hadn't always been foremen. As long as the 'Home Office' jobs were pursued with discretion they were classed as training exercises.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Weird triple flute drills
21/10/2017 15:02:11

Hi there, all,

Does anyone have any experience of, or comments on, the business of sharpening core drills?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

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