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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: Bench grinder
25/08/2018 13:29:08

I suggest that it's important to take the power rating into account when assessing the value of a bench grinder. One with a 350 Watt motor for £35 could be a bargain - one with a 170 watt motor for £35 is likely to be a frustrating nuisance! Especially with 8" wheels.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Correct name for this item please?
20/08/2018 09:35:53

I do admire the way the design separates the pillar guidance from the clamping action.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: ML10 spanners
09/07/2018 16:49:03


The rule for Beeston Myford lathes is that threads smaller than ¼" are B.A. and all those ¼" or bigger are BSF. That was the British Standards Institute recommendations at the time.

To identify the spanners you need, I suggest that you search on-line for a comprehensive thread table for B.S.F threads that includes the across flats sizes (preferably in inches! ) for the nuts and bolt heads.

I'd go and check my ML7 but the interior of my workshop is currently above melting point!!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Is this true..?
29/06/2018 14:02:25

Plus one for 'Structures' by Prof. J.E.Gordon.

A good read throughout.

One gem I was pleased to find was what he says about the English longbow being made from MEDITERRANEAN yew. Yet that same Mediterranean yew doesn't work in the Mediterranean region because the climate is too hot. My father, a skilled woodworker, always asserted that our English yew was too splitty and windy-grained to be any good for making a bow. He would have been pleased to read the book.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Microscope Equipment, What is it please?
13/06/2018 16:35:02

Hi there, Martin,

I wonder if I shall beat Michael to the draw?!?

Your kit is a hardness testing set. The cylindrical gizmo is a hydraulic (I think) indenter. The Vernier eyepiece is fitted to the (a? ) microscope and used to measure the diameter of the indentation. This is looked-up in Tables to translate to hardness.

I guess it has to be hardness on the Vickers scale.

Did you receive the microscope with it?

What else did you get?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 13/06/2018 16:37:52

Thread: Fitting nuts in awkward spaces
13/06/2018 15:11:23

I recently had to refit the fixing screws & nuts securing a multi-pole connector into a tightly packed electrical unit (all low voltage).

The heads of the screws were on the exterior of the unit enclosure. I was able to get the externally-serrated spring washers on to the screws using a pair of tweezers. However, the nuts (actually half-nuts) wouldn't stay in the tweezers or in the jaws of my narrow nosed pliers. (If Carlsberg made narrow nosed pliers they'd have a parallel action!) In any case, there wasn't room for the pliers.

My successful method was to cut down the flat wooden stick from an iced lolly to a suitable width and then to attach each nut in turn to the end of the stick with double-sided tape. Once the spring washer was in position I offered the nut to the end of the screw and turned the screw to engage the thread. Having removed the lolly stick, a little finger pressure held the nut while I turned the screw some more. Then the washer held the nut well enough for the final tightening.

This method worked because I was able to turn the screw from outside the enclosure.  However, I'm sure it could be adapted for use where the male part is a fixed stud.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 13/06/2018 15:13:50

Thread: What did you do Today 2018
10/05/2018 15:52:50
Posted by Howard Lewis on 10/05/2018 11:48:50:

Yesterday afternoon, actually, milled two rows of 12mm diameter hemispheres (37 each side) into a large (by my standards) plastic disc, for the rotor of a model Pelton Wheel, that I am hoping to complete for The WaterWorks Museum in Hereford. It needs to be finished and operative before September when Pelton Wheels will be the feature one week end.

While there on Monday, I repainted the rotor, and sealed leaks, on a small one that originally drove a fan, at a country house. At least that made more sense than using a hot air engine to drive a fan to keep the room cool!



Hi there, Howard,

Your post reminded me of something concerning Pelton Wheels that I was told many years ago. Even longer ago than that, domestic wireless broadcast receivers were usually battery powered, domestic mains electricity was rare and differed in characteristics (e.g. voltage, frequency, AC or DC etc) from district to district. The high tension ('H.T.' ) battery was a block of small zinc alkali based cells while the low tension ('L.T.' ) source was a single lead-acid rechargeable. It was, strictly speaking, a 'cell' but was colloquially referred to as 'the L.T. battery'. The wireless receivers of that era used thermionic valves with 2 Volt filaments. It was intended that when the 'L.T. battery' was flat it would be taken to a local shop and exchanged for a charged one. Some people found this to be a nuisance. For the reasons given above, mains re-charging was not feasible. So many wireless listeners used a charging set comprising a small dynamo driven by a Pelton Wheel attached to the kitchen cold water tap. Domestic water supply wasn't metered in those days but was charged according to the rateable value of the house. So the 'L.T. battery' was recharged apparently for free but actually at a cost to the Water Company's pump prime mover.

However, the Water Companies were alert to any sort of waste water (the official jargon for the overflow pipe from the domestic cistern in your roof is 'indicator pipe' ). It seems that the pulsating back pressure from the Pelton Wheel buckets and nozzle propagated quite well back up the water main and was very audible to the Water Company's inspectors using their simple sounding rod.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 10/05/2018 15:53:37

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 10/05/2018 15:54:00

Thread: How to remove a chuck from a Boxford model A
04/05/2018 11:00:35


I hope that your efforts will be successful.

When you get there, please be sure to come back and share the conclusion - please don't leave the thread hanging!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Lifting or hoisting a Myford Super 7
31/03/2018 09:00:05

I've moved my ML7 three times since I first installed it.

Removing it from and replacing it on its stand is affected by whether it's a peninsular location (accessible both front and rear) or against the wall with no rear access. With no rear access it seems best to avoid having to refit the motor - re-aligning the motor while leaning over the machine from the front is not a happy process! However, lifting with the motor fitted demands the right approach to avoid being taken by surprise.

What I'm leading up to is that the weight of the motor can suddenly try to take charge when the machine is halfway up the raising block studs. The machine tries to roll over towards the rear. This can bend the studs. If there's space for the lifter at the head-stock end to stand, they should stand end-on to the line of the bed (i.e. with their chest/stomach against the change-gear cover) but slightly to the rear, supporting the weight of the motor with their left hand. In my experience, lifting with the motor fitted and with both lifters in front of the machine stand is difficult.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 31/03/2018 09:01:59

Thread: What did you do Today 2018
30/03/2018 13:02:35
Posted by Baz on 30/03/2018 10:39:18:

I quit five years ago at 60.


I picked up my coat, raised two fingers in salute and walked out, and have never regretted it


I hate to say this but that may well be just what 'they' wanted you to do. Your post suggests a clash of culture/ethics was brewing and provoking you to leave saved them the cost of a redundancy package. It does happen!

Very unpleasant at the time but often a blessing in disguise.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Help identify Changewheels
30/03/2018 10:22:17

If I might chip in:

Coil-winding machines have change-wheels. They are set up to control the pitch of the winding as the former rotates under the wire feed. In a transformer, the pitch is such as to lay successive turns in contact. In a 'wave-wound' coil for radio purposes, the pitch is greater. There is usually a trip mechanism to control the width of each layer of the winding, reversing the feed when the edge of the winding is reached.

These change-wheels are usually smaller than those used on hobby lathes - 24 DP doesn't sound unreasonable.

See the following: 

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 30/03/2018 10:29:10

Thread: Curious omission??
15/03/2018 11:26:10

Hi there, Bill,

I think that lathe is one of a batch that Myford made for a manufacturer of motor car brakes, I forget which one.

The extra height was to permit the lathe to be used for skimming brake drums.

I believe they used to be mentioned on Tony's web-site but last time I looked I couldn't find any mention of that particular variant. (Maybe I was looking through the wrong half of my bifocals!! )

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: What did you do Today 2018
13/03/2018 14:55:32
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 13/03/2018 13:54:26:

Went to the tip to recycle various bin bags full of swarf and was challenged by a man in uniform - 'this is for metal mate'.

Expecting in the best traditions of this forum to have a blazing row with a jumped up facist jobs-worth, I said it was metal. Bad news ; on seeing the bags were full of swarf he and I had a pleasant chat about the pleasures of lathe ownership.





Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 13/03/2018 13:55:13

Dave, I'm happy for you that your visit turned out that way. I have, in the past, witnessed attendants at the tip (Oops! 'Household Waste Recycling Centre' ) accuse people of bringing 'trade waste'.

In this modern age, when it seems to be rare for people to actually make things, I feel it is important for us all to assert that running a home workshop (not for profit) is a bone fide hobby activity and, hence, is DOMESTIC, aka HOUSEHOLD. Just because we're not as much in the public's view (or do I mean officialdom's view? ) as some hobbies it's not obvious to them how common our hobby is nor how established are our traditions.

I belong to a microscopy club (The Quekett - Google it) which is a registered charity. One of the club's stated aims is to acquaint the public with the benefits of microscopy and to facilitate their learning the art. To that end, members and local groups who hold microscopy events that include public access are urged by Quekett HQ to submit reports of those events so that they can be shown to the Charities Commission as evidence that the club is pursuing its aims. I am not a member of an ME Society but I hope that the various ME Societies around the country might consider adding similar clauses to their Constitutions if they are not already there.

Might there be such a clause in the Constitution of the S.M.E.E ?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 13/03/2018 14:58:04

Thread: ML 7 - Adaptation for wide ange cones
08/03/2018 21:09:40

Hi there, Martin,

I made an intermediate plate that bolted to the existing top-slide tee-nuts and provided a second set of mountings to take the top-slide at 90 degrees to its normal position. You need to lose a bit of space under the tool but that's feasible if the original Myford tool-holder is used with an HSS tool-bit - just discard some of the packing.

I hope that helps.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Maplin
28/02/2018 16:50:49

For me, the 'tipping point' in DIY electronics came when components got to be too small either to see properly or to insert by hand.

The slippery slope got steeper when thru-hole components were superseded by surface mount.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

P.S.: Does anyone want a litre of WW2 vintage moulded mica capacitors?


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

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