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Member postings for Nigel Graham 2

Here is a list of all the postings Nigel Graham 2 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: 2D and 3D Cad Software Recommendations
25/10/2021 17:29:32

SolidEdge CE:

For anyone inspired as I was by the various posts above, to try it.

It requires WIN 10 at least.

Siemens does not instal any of their software on any MS operating system after MS stops supporting that. The site does say that up-dates to suit WIN 11 will be available next year.

(As I have just found only after entering my details and confirming I-Am-Not-A-Robot, on my W7-Pro PC. )

Thread: From where I might be able to source some 1300 micron (1.3mm) mild steel sheet?
20/10/2021 22:38:52

If I recall correctly, the sheet material used in motor and transformer laminations is not steel.

It is pure iron, which allows the magnetism induced in it to rise and fall closely with the current cycles.

I do not know if or how this will affect your design but it may be a point to consider.

Thread: Painted granite surface plate
20/10/2021 22:32:10

When we talk about "Scotch-brite" are we talking of wire- or plastic- wool?

Genuine basalt (the dark-grey, sparkly surface-plate stuff) and indeed granite (lighter-coloured, highly-mottled, kerb-stone stuff) are extremely hard. Basalt is even melted and cast into liners for industrial plant handling very abrasive slurries and powders (MP about that of cast-iron, but more viscous.)

So although I advise against making it a habit, I can't imagine a single, gentle cleaning with a plastic scouring-pad or even a wet, soapy 'Brillo' pad will really damage either rock beyond interferometry-test depth.

For normal cleaning use white spirit, meths or kitchen work-top cleanser, on cloth.

(Both rocks are made of silica, second in hardness to diamond; and metal-silicates, a bit softer but generally still harder than steel.)


Just don't use scourers on your shove-ha'penny slate though....

Thread: gas burners
20/10/2021 21:55:20

John -

I wondered what might be the nearest standard metric drill equivalent for that #67

It is 0.8mm, only 0.13mm smaller. (2% reduction in area if my sums are right: the ratio of the [diameters squared] ).


Giving drill, wire and sheet-thickness sizes in number and letter series probably goes back to the 19C; and yes, the Americans do have their own sizes for them! It probably did simplify things then, by establishing standards from contemporary trades' practices.

They have been obsolescent for quite a while now, for even without metrimification, as you say, a normal linear dimension, inch or mm, is much more logical and simple!

Even for BS, BSP and BA threads or their American equivalents the normal 0.1mm-increment twist-drills cover their tapping and clearance sizes well enough. (BA of course, is metric although specified in "thous" .)

Letter and Number drills are still obtainable; but I forget when I last used mine, and the fractional-inch and millimetric drills are those specified for screws by the Tracy Tools chart and the Book of Zeus.

Thread: Hi Far from new/poorly bench top lathe
19/10/2021 23:01:19

Nick -

I've looked back through Tony Griffiths' archive, and I see what you mean.

I no longer have the lathe but have identified it as matching the 1908 catalogue photo, with internal drive-shaft and leadscrew, compound slide and that elegantly arched head end of the bed. However, further down the page we find a heading, "Drummond B-Type circa 1906" - but also with the internal shafts.


Chris -

Whatever "M" stood for or meant, it was neither "Military" nor "Metric".

Not metric because 0.125" does not = 3mm. As few as 10 revolutions of an 8TPI screw gives a travel of 31.75mm, not 30, with correspondingly significant errors possible in any screws intended as metric but cut with the standard inch-thread change-wheels.

Metric screw-cutting from an 8TPI leadscrew on a lathe too small to cary a 127T conversion change-wheel normally demands a 63 or 32T change-wheel in the combination, even then producing approximations close only over fairly short distances. The Myford ML7 gives several metric pitches with its normal inch-pitch wheels, but the necessary compound train might not be possible on the Drummond.

Why the letter? Seems a puzzle as the 'M' was developed in the early 1920s, and not originally for the Services particularly.

Drummonds later made a version for the Admiralty, with powered cross as well as long feed, but called it the "BS". The loop over the headstock was really for rigidity but may well have found a second career as a rather hazardous hand-hold for a "tiffy" using the lathe aboard a destroyer bouncing around the Atlantic in a SSW Force 7!

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2021
19/10/2021 21:56:10

Last night actually -

Fly-cut the base of an otherwise good milling-vice, below the floor of a lot of milling-scars. I'm guilty of the odd accidental over-cut, but this was far worse, making setting-up difficult. Why do people so abuse vices so badly? I'd bought the vice from one fo the second-hand tool-dealers at one of the Midlands exhibitions.


Today -

Found the real value of the " Come-in-Handy" box.

To move a heavy, 10" dia rotary-table with only a very narrow, plain base flange, needs a lifting-plate screwed to the four T-nuts I'd modified for it. (One thing leads to another...) I estimated that as its weight is around my safe manual lifting limit, it should not be hurt by evenly loading reasonably well-fitting nuts at the same radius about half-way along all four, thick-roofed T-slots.

Rooting around produced a thick steel disc some 8" dia - and thanks-be, with 8 not 6 peripheral holes. All it needs is a central hole for an appropriate eye-bolt, for manipulating with the overhead travelling-hoist I built last year. (Year before? Losing count!)

The disc was from a bereavement sale within the club some years ago now. I knew it could be useful for something one day!

Thread: Painted granite surface plate
18/10/2021 18:46:59

No - repaired it if anything! The material is igneous rock and not many things dissolve that.

I wonder why it had been painted, unless perhaps as a surface-protection for transport.

Actually black granite surface-plates are not granite, but probably basalt - the masonry trade and tool-suppliers tend to classify hard rock that can be polished as "granite", and soft rock that can be polished as "marble", irrespective of geology.

Granite generally is very coarely crystalline and lighter-coloured. Basalt-class stones are finely-crystalline and very dark grey with a sparkly look.

Torville and Dean pickled on ice.... the mind boggles !

Thread: Hi Far from new/poorly bench top lathe
18/10/2021 18:37:10

It does look like a Drummond but 'B' type? I think the leadscrew runs through the centre of the bed, not along the front, on the 'B'.

It certainly did on one I had, though it appeared to be a sort of transition model as if Drummond was using up a stock of earlier parts first. Also yours has a much chunkier bed - my specimen was of the earlier pattern with its curvaceous cantilever bed. An early 'M'?

The loop over the headstock is a late 'B' pattern but the bed much more the 'M'. The apron does not seem to match Tony Griffith's photos, but might be a previous owner's modification.

My thought is that this too is a transition or mid-development lathe, from late-B to early-M when it would appear the Drummond Bros were busy developing the machine overall. Have you established its age, assuming the serial number is still on the machine?

Something the Drummond lathes sported was a self-acting feed-trip, and I am suprised Myfords did not fit this to their lathes.

I still have and occasionally use my other Drummond machine, a manual shaper.

Would be good to see the old gal back in service, anyway!

Thread: Accuracy of Hand Drilled holes
15/10/2021 19:16:04

I wonder how advanced the Ancient Greek craftsmen were in maths, compared to the philosophers of the time. The philsosophers with all their Theorems and things tended to believe their knowledge mystical so kept it hermetic.

Perhaps the artisans worked out the practical geometry themselves but the Euclids and Platos stole the glory so 20C school-children could enjoy having to prove some random shape is a Cycling Quadri-thingummybob!

Thread: Randa lathe has me much confused
13/10/2021 22:12:47

You probably will use the back-gear if you do any screw-cutting, as it allows the tool to amble along the work at a rate allowing you to knock the feed off at the end of the thread (unless the lathe has an automatic trip for that purpose).

I also use the back-gear when turning something awkwardly-shaped and relatively large on the faceplate.

The banjo hold the change-wheels for screw-cutting and self-acting feeds; a separate function from the back-gear. When using a change-wheel set-up it is driven by the pinion on the outside end of the spindle, and that rotates whether in direct or back-gear mode.

Thread: DIY metric dial conversion and feedscrew upgrade on ML7
12/10/2021 22:53:16

Yes, that is always a problem, the material lost by having to cut a billet from a longer stock bar! I've sometimes lessened the waste by using a fixed steady but it's more clutter on the lathe.

The problem of the tailstock obstructing the top-slide is by no means confined to the Myford lathes. (I own both an ML7 and a Harrison L5 - same difficulty on both.)

I wonder if the stainless-steel you were using was one of the less free-cutting grades. I think what happened there was work-hardening. The tool needs to keep cutting. Let it rub by pause or by the edge wearing on a material prone to work-hardening, and the material will win.

It's even more of a problem with a delicate thing like a parting-tool, for which sharpness, tool-setting and rigidity are particularly important. Also, for an HSS parting-tool the edge must be square across. If ground at an angle to the lathe axis, the cutting edge length hence swarf width exceeds the blade and kerf width, greatly increasing the risk of jamming. (Moulded carbide parting inserts are not only square-tipped but also have a chip-breaker groove along their tops.)

Also keep the tool and work well lubricated with cutting-fluid. I apply it with an old paint-brush.


if you turn a stringy material, watch where the ribbons are going.... Machining phosphor-bronze one day, I was happy to see the very long helices were falling to the front of the lathe, but failed to spot one exploring the back of the lathe until "POP!", and that was it. It had found a gap past a rather inadequate guard, and wormed itself into the 3-phase motor I'd fitted. Though it did not damage the motor it wrecked the inverter!

Thread: Cladding material
12/10/2021 22:19:37

Galvanising (and electroplated zinc?) is not very receptive to ordinary primer, but appropriate primers are readily available.

Thread: Grinding Tool Bits from Cylindrical HSS Blanks
11/10/2021 19:06:53

A simple grinding-holder made by appropriately drilling and tapping a short length of square-section bar to hold the tool-bit protruding from its end, will help make the process easier, safer and more accurate.

It helps too if the grinder's tool-rest is a larger plate than the usual bit of strip-steel, if yours is a basic bench-grinder (as mine is).

Thread: Transporting 5 inch live steam loco
11/10/2021 18:28:42

John =

For transport, one way is to fit a length of simple track to a broad base-board. The rails could be square-section steel tube with radiussed edges but avoid sharp edges or angle-steels with an upright web.

Provide the board with suitably-placed eye-bolts and hold the loco to them with appropriate rope or tape slings, protecting thin plate-work and the paint with suitable padding. They are best arranged diagonally or at low compound angles to give lateral and longitudinal security as well as preventing over-turning.

Wooden, clip-on stop-blocks against the buffers wil add rigidity.

Old blankets or similar under the base board will give some insulation from road shocks.

Oh - and hide the loco while it's in the car.....

Thread: Solid Edge - Community Edition
11/10/2021 18:15:14

Interesting review, Ian. Thank you.

It is good that Siemens have now recognised the private user, even if with an ulterior motive of making life simpler for students. It did publish a schools version (I was told by a teacher) with the idea of turning out young engineers already introduced to SW... and only SW, while pushing to be industry's leading CAD choice.

When I did my shopping around the Siemens SW/SE site implied the software was intended purely for commercial and academic customers - no mention of prices or amateur / student use.


Can ANother drawings be opened in Solid-xxxx, if necessary converted to a standard format in their parent programme?

I assume ANother is a leading make, not some obscure WWW freebie or heavily pruned schools version.


What training aids are available?

I can't learn from videos, and find YouTube an utter pain now anyway. One strength of buying TurboCAD as I did, was its accompanying CD training manual in pdf form.


I use TurboCAD 18 Pro but almost entirely in its orthogonal mode, rarely trying the far harder isometric option. Does SW allow that direct choice or is it like Fusion and Alibre, forcing isometric "modelling" automatically?

If I decided to switch I'd certainly consider TurboCAD's new version for continuity but would not close my mind to trying Solid Edge. Naturally this is provided both will work on WIN 7 Pro.

Had this happened before I retired I'd have had a works drawing-office full of SW users to pester for ..... Hellllp!


A point regarding Fusion 360 files. It may have been changed since but at the time I tried it, probably 3 or 4 years ago now, it did discreetly offer a local-storage option. I don 't know if it was secretly also storing them on-line anyway!

Thread: cutting spur gears on a mill
10/10/2021 00:01:52

Going back a bit nearer topic I am fairly sure the Myford manuals tell you the gear standards, so you don't need resort to measuring etc.

I must admit I have never thought the headstock gears and the change-wheels on my ML7 either "crude" or "square"; whatever those were meant to mean. If my screw-cutting comes out ragged, I blame the operator not the machine!

Or stray tardigrades....

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2021
08/10/2021 00:09:28

I finished fitting a screw-cutting gearbox to my Mydord ML7.

It's an early-pattern box with the fixed-centre drive-train (with the wheels reversible to give two feed ranges), and the cut leadscrew terminating within the box.

I had to buy the 25/12T tumbler-output pinion. For anything below I think 32tpi, it can be used with the 24T wheel already there, by remembering to set the controls for twice the tpi.

Rather than cut the existing leadscrew I bought a length of ACME rod from HPC (not cheap though!) and made the special new screw. I'd not bargained for a dedendum on the thread, giving a barber's-pole effect, shallow groove on the section within the gear-box, but I don't think it will hurt.

This pattern has its leadscrew pinion behind a small cover on the working end of the gearbox. I made the seating, keyway and key for the pinion longer, allowing disengaging it to use the leadscrew with the calibrated handwheel without dragging the works round with it.

One task remains. The last modification makes the pinion and leadscrew end vulnerable to eating swarf so I need make a local cover, perhaps fitting the bed gap. I may use the 3mm PVC sheet I found excellent for fabricating the lathe's complete splash-back / motor cover.

The original lead-screw, banjo etc will be carefully stored against any possible reversion... though enquiries on that might need be to my Executors!

Acknowledgements -

I thank others here for some helpful advice, though not covering the older type gearbox. However I was able to obtain a photocopy of the Myford manual for the gearbox from, and this covers both patterns.

Thread: Hi from the sunny south coast of Dorset
07/10/2021 22:40:38

And there is an ME club in Weymouth!

Also , if you are nearer them, one in Bournemouth and I think another in Wimborne.

06/10/2021 23:30:42

Greetings John!

We look forwards to progress reports!

Certainly was sunny today - I quite enjoyed being playing grockle on this T-shirt weather afternoon by walking along the sea-front and harbour of my own town (Weymouth).

Before burrowing into the depths of my workshop to continue fitting a gearbox to my elderly Myford lathe.

Thread: Walker Midgley Prize Draw for Model Engineers
06/10/2021 23:25:52

And at least the advertisers on here are relevant to engineering!

We ought also remember that one or two regular advertisers also give us technical advice - it's in their interest as well as ours that we obtain the best results we can from using their products.

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