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Member postings for David Taylor

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

Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
03/09/2018 08:30:55

Put the rivets in the plate in front of the smokebox and spotted, drilled, and tapped holes in the smokebox sides (below the footplates) so the smokebox is now attached properly.

It's about 2mm too far back because the exhaust manifold turned out that way. I'll live with it!


Thread: What did you do Today 2018
03/09/2018 08:27:50

I moved the milling machine. Couldn't find a better place for it so I'll try this.

Thanks Perko. It wobbles at the moment so needs shimming under the cabinets. But it also needs to move towards the camera in the photo below now the milling machine has been placed. The bench needs to come towards the camera too, the vice is barely usable now and I'm left-handed.


I also did some work on the 5" mogul and tried an example file in Cut2D. The Tormach post-processor has something nasty in the preamble code that plunged my slot drill right through my workpiece, which luckily was thick wood, hanging off the end of the vice! I copied the preamble from a Fusion generated file and things got better. I still didn't get to the E-stop in time, even though I was expecting trouble and had slowed the machine moves down... I think the problem is you don't want to wait forever so set the moving height to say 20mm, but that doesn't give you enough time to kill it if it continues to rapid move down.

Thread: Locomotive wheels
30/08/2018 02:56:18

Following many clubmates before me I turned the tires on the iron castings and once they wear out I'll turn them down flat and fit steel tyres.

My running loco has steel tyres fixed with loctite. One of them came loose once but that's not bad in about 8 years. I doubt it was the super strong loctite.

Thread: What did you do Today 2018
27/08/2018 10:27:13

With the help of a club member who used to be a rigger we got the lathe back on its feet and onto the stand. I'd still like an opinion on the hardwood under the stand - will the lathe just fall off?

I brought the 5" mogul back from the father-in-law's workshop where it has been resting while my new workshop was built.


Also trying to make a house number faux cast sign. I can't get the rest machining operation to remove all the bits left over from the previous pocket operation. Plan B is to make the 2nd operation a normal pocket cutting mostly air and let it run for hours.


Thread: Setting a Machine Vice Parallel on the Mill
27/08/2018 10:14:09

Well, a rear moving jaw probably would cause some confusion amongst most of us once we'd put it away for a while and forgot about it!

It's a worry how long simple problems take to clarify sometimes.

Thread: What did you do Today 2018
27/08/2018 00:40:04

Thanks for the info Murray.

27/08/2018 00:37:53

Posted by Andrew Johnston on 26/08/2018 21:57:06:

I also changed some of the small areas to offset rather than radial machining as it was much quicker ... sanity check of the G-code in a backplotting program I went for it.

Great result!

What do offset and radial machining mean, and what is a backplotting program?

I don't have a high speed spindle. Do you think it makes much difference? You're spinning the cutter almost 5 times faster than I can.

26/08/2018 23:52:05
Posted by Robin on 26/08/2018 08:59:01:

I discovered that engine hoists are not 100% solid, dented the floor, missed the car by inches...

Ouch! I'm glad you missed the car.

I reckon if the castors turned more easily it would help - I really have to put some force into mine to get it to turn or move, and that doesn't help stability.

Barrels ok?

26/08/2018 23:44:47
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 26/08/2018 08:48:29:

There but for the grace of God go I!

Lathes are often very top-heavy and much inclined to roll over when lifted. I guess you were on your own when it flipped? Two people make lifting a lathe a lot easier because one keeps it balanced while the other works the crane. Doing both jobs yourself is tricky!

Hope it's easily repaired; they're sturdy beasts.

Thanks Dave. I'm hoping the only damage is to the electrical cabinet. I was on my own and as you say that's a difficult way to do it.

The real problem was how I had the straps connected to the hoist. The hoist has a tiny hook that you can't fit the strap ends into. I must have done it a bit differently to how I usually do it, which is sketchy at the best of times.

Needless to say, later I thought of a better way I could have done it using some parts of the Tormach lifting kit.


26/08/2018 07:46:53

Following my recent theme of stress in the workshop and being sick of moving machines, this is what I did today. Hopefully the only damage is to the electrical box. A club member who knows about moving things said he'd come and help me get it back on its feet tomorrow.

Note the hardwood blocks under the lathe stand cabinets to raise the working height. What's the opinion on that?

Will they be strong enough, or will they or the cabinet sag? I made a hell of a mess dressing them so they're the same height, give or take 0.5mm, as well as you can with wood. The floor probably has more variation than that!




22/08/2018 03:14:12

Ron, thanks for the tip about carpet tape.

Andrew, do you need to use coolant on brass? I never do. You could stand there and blow the chips away with an air nozzle which I did for the steel parts. That was just to ensure the cutter was only cutting 'new' metal.

I found with the GWizard software the feeds and speeds it gave me basically melted my cutters on the 1.6mm steel parts. Perhaps it assumes coolant. I did specify HSS cutters. I dialed things way back to basically what I'd do on the manual machine and the steel parts went smoothly (if slowly).

Thread: Getting a Tormach off its pallet and base
22/08/2018 02:52:20

I agree there probably isn't much the suppliers or shipping companies can do about making it easier. The crate has to be big enough to go around the whole machine. The shipping company gets a crate on a pallet and is told to drop it off somewhere. My driveway has a very low (2m) carport which means the truck can't get anywhere near the workshop, so the drivers do their best but it's pretty limited.

I have a dedicated 15A circuit for the primary power which I guess is just the spindle via the VFD. The secondary power for everything else is just from the workshops general purpose 10A circuits. The 15A was a bit of a pain as by law the sparky had to put a residual current detector on the circuit which the Tormach manual specifically says will not work. So they did what they had to, then had to come back and replace it with a circuit breaker instead.

I have looked at photos of the electrical cabinet for 110v and 220v versions of the series 3 and they are different so I guess Tormach made the changes due to increasing non-US sales.

The PDB is really good. I have sometimes thought about how different it would be without it while stepping on the pedal and swapping tools, and am sure I made the right choice in getting it and installing it before even switching the machine on.

Martin, while all this was happening I was tempted to put a match to it all, but when you've just spent 1/3 your annual wage on the damned thing you have second thoughts on how you treat it. If I stuff up on my manual machines I can get quite angry. This thing is just too expensive to lose my temper around. Dropping it 100mm quickly just wasn't an option! I made a lot of mistakes very quickly when making my first parts, even allowing for the months I spent tinkering with Fusion360 CAM and cutting air first, etc. I just walked away if I had to.

21/08/2018 11:54:35

Thanks Andrew, very interesting.

I see you too have the splay legged engine lifter, although mine is only rated 1 ton with 250kg at the longest extension.

So you did just chop the pallet to pieces. Well done How did you get over the gravel and up the step into your garage? I had a similar problem, solved by a chain of phone calls to strangers ending at someone with a bobcat with forklift tines on it. Who offered to come around immediately on his way to another job!

I bought their stand but it doesn't seem to have anything to do with power. What I did have to do was:

Get a 240v machine - it looks like the big electronics board inside the cabinet has some different components. But it still has US style power plugs under the cabinet.

Flick the switch on the PP computer power supply to 220v.

Splice in an Australian 12v wall-wart for the power draw bar to replace the US one supplied.

Buy the coolant pump upgrade because it can run from 240v if you change the jumpers in its control box.

I think I had to ensure the auto-oiler pump was 240v rather than 110v too.

This is where the importer had a lot of good advice - he's set many machines up down here so warned me where the tricks with power would be.

Ready-to-use 110v transformers to take US plugs seem to be really expensive down here. I assume there is nothing in there except the transformer and appropriate plugs.

21/08/2018 09:59:09


I have recently taken delivery of a Tormach 1100. It came on a truck, on a pallet, with the create of wood the machine was bolted into on top of the pallet. Neither me nor the delivery guys had any simple way to lift the machine and get the pallet out from under it.

In every delivery video and photo sequence I've seen, no-one else has had a pallet under their machine - just the piece of wood that forms the bottom of the crate!

Tormach (and others) show how you cut down the wooden base to fit a parallel legged engine stand in there to lift the thing.

I couldn't do this because I'd have to cut a shipping pallet and the wooden crate base.

It was a hell of a performance involving false raised floors, jacks, and all sorts of other nonsense to get the damned thing off this double height, too wide, platform.

Has anyone else been left with a pallet under the crate to contend with?

Even better, the first one was delivered broken which I didn't notice until it was on the stand! So I had to get it off the stand to the floor, repeat the whole performance with the new one, then get the broken one back on the double height base... I was thoroughly sick of the sight of both of them it by the time I'd finished. And it's still taking up a quarter of my workshop waiting to be picked up.


Thread: What did you do Today 2018
21/08/2018 09:50:06

I wonder if 5 minute epoxy might work better? Superglue does seem to be really strong in some circumstances and useless in others.

Has anyone tried double-sided tape? I can't find any that isn't thick and spongy so probably not what I'm looking for.

Thread: How long to build?
20/08/2018 23:40:20

I'm over 5 years into a 5" gauge 2-6-0. Previous experience was building a few missing bits for a loco I bought in parts, and the maintenance of that loco over about 8 years now.

For the new loco, the tender was built first to get it out of the way and that took about 3 years.

The loco is running on air and the boiler was finished in April this year. So hopefully that's most of the hard stuff done!

I have a very supportive wife who encourages me to work on the project, good drawings straight from the designer, and the designer lives in the same town I do. So ideal circumstances and no hold-ups there!

I've done nothing since April as I've had the workshop rebuilt (completed a couple of weeks ago) so it is much nicer to be in than a steel garage. It started snowing the other day (rare around here) and I didn't notice.

I work pretty slowly because I hate the idea of scrapping a part or having to do it again.

I can usually do only do a few hours at a time because by the end of it if I haven't made a mistake I'm stressed enough that I will do so soon or just need to stop.

I get sick of the project and stop for weeks or months at a time.

So probably ten years for this one. The designer did it in about 18 months I think, but he had a lot of other work on meanwhile.

I'd like to push on and get it done but I just don't enjoy the process that much. I like the results, I like looking at something and thinking "I made that", and I want to make my own loco rather than buy one, but I find it very stressful. The workshop isn't a relaxing retreat for me!


Thread: What did you do Today 2018
20/08/2018 23:14:12
Wow, that's neat. What's the size and what size cutter did you use? I'm in the process of designing the inner nameplate ring for my traction engine; I'm not sure yet whether I'll use a 1/32" or 1mm endmill. One issue is how to ensure the plate is flat to start; with a 0.1mm or 0.2mm DOC flat is good! How did you deal with it? I'll be doing the machining on my Tormach.

Thanks Andrew!

The plates are 40x150mm, the engraving is 0.75mm deep. I used a pocket operations with first 4mm then 2mm end mills with 0.25mm DOC, then finished off with a profile operation using a 1.5mm endmill at full DOC. I'm happy with the result with the paint hiding most of the machining marks. I cut the brass to size first so could hold it in the vise.

As for holding stock flat, I'm stumped so far. The next job was to cut some brackets out for my new loco and I couldn't hold the 1.6mm steel flat. I just clamped it down and hoped for the best in that case. Of course that played havoc with the final profile passes, cut-through, and tabbing but I got away with it.

I've been thinking about it for a few days any can only think good quality double sided tape or the superglue trick might do it, but I haven't found any locally. A vacuum table or magnetic chuck isn't on my horizon.

I'm leery of superglue because I tried it recently in the lathe for a copper disc, and had tailstock clamping too, and it still flung out and put a hole in my new workshop wall


20/08/2018 10:15:43

I made some nameplates for my 0-4-0. They are my first parts on a newly installed Tormach 1100.



Thread: A New Way To Cut Gummy Metals
22/07/2018 03:22:48

Looks like they made a shaper out of a Tormach 770.

Thread: What did you do Today 2018
17/07/2018 08:23:10

I made a couple of dust covers for the bearings on top of the milling machine head, and replacement gear selector handles. The originals got mangled from years of excess force getting unstuck from between gears when one of the gear clusters jammed on the key of its shaft.

I've also spent much time tuning the quill fine feed mechanism to get rid of tight spots. It remains a mystery to me how the fine feed works without the spacer I've had to add in front of the big worm wheel to stop it binding to the worm.

I've spent 1/2 the cost of a new machine fixing this one up, replacing a number of gears and most of the bearings. It's always been a real dog but it's getting better I hope.




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