By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

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: Stringer EW lathe
31/08/2021 18:02:23

Nicely set up, Jamie.

One point to note... a contributor much earlier mentioned "self-act". The facsimile literature from Tony Griffiths stresses that the EW is not intended for that in its standard form. Its change-wheels are for screw-cutting "only", and theoretically only to TPI standards.

Yet it did me proud when I used it to make a special CO2 cartridge connector having a non-standard metric thread!

It also came into its own even before I'd mounted it on a bench with motor etc. I needed to make a strainer from PVC pipe, by hand-drilling over 100 holes, with a battery-drill, through a guide-block clamped on the cross-slide; and indexed for both radial and length by sighting to felt-tip pen marks on a large change-wheel.

Long prior to buying a similar QCTP set I made a set of tool-holders from m.s. rectangular bar, to take bits ground from broken or worn-out centre-drills and the like. Though not having the QCTP repeatability it still saves a lot of shim-shuffling at each change.

No-one seems to have the change-wheel guard on theirs. Nor does mine although I have all the rest of the listed extras. It could be that few people bought them new so the ones we find never had one in the first place!

Mine lives on a trolley made from angle-steel topped with a sheet of a very hard material rather like one of the Tufnol SRBP range, an off-cut from a laboratory bench at work. My 18th birthday-present and second-hand then, it too is intended as the "indoor lathe" when the nights are too dark and cold to encourage an expedition to the workshop; but the poor old thing needs some serious attention to bring it back into proper trim.

Thread: Bassett Lowke "Eclipse"
31/08/2021 17:30:57

Good to see these old designs given a new lease of life.

It's a simple, attractive design and one open to all sorts, such as making a twin-cylinder version.

How did you convert the numbers? Simply by remembering as I do several nearest equivalents (e.g. 5/16" ~ 8mm) then basic mental arithmetic for the in-betweens? (5/32 ~ 4mm, etc.) A lot of the BAs have close though not exact M equivalents too. (5BA ~ M3).

Thread: Sheet metal saw.
31/08/2021 17:05:44

I've found that too, and it seems tightening to just under flexing the plate is the only option. So I'd be glad too if someone can give us the proper solution.

Thread: THE NUMBER 9 !
24/08/2021 21:54:34

Thank you Duncan.

I'm glad I was not the only one who'd not spotted the invisible brackets that make it work. 

I've never seen a clock like that previously.

Anti-clockwise clocks yes.

A clock with its otherwise plain dial given coloured segments to show pub opening times, yes.

A clock with fancy single-digit sums though.... No. I like it!

Edited By Nigel Graham 2 on 24/08/2021 21:55:11

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2021
24/08/2021 21:45:27

Completed, apart from painting, the upper part of the choke for my steam-wagon's chimney.

I had sought advice on here ooh, quite a while ago now, about designing these things so thank you to those who responded!

Time will tell how effective it is, but it's a fabrication of thin sheet-steel (ex- central-heating boiler panel) for the cone, a top ring and flange, both turned from solid; the latter for screwing it to a flange on the of the petticoat pipe.

MIG-welded together. Sort of. Luckily it will be concealed in the depths of the high "stove-pipe" outer chimney.


Then a pleasant evening at the club track. The evenings are certainly drawing in!

Thread: THE NUMBER 9 !
24/08/2021 15:04:06

Hee-hee! I like it!

I'm baffled by the 5 o'clock one though.

How does the square-root of 9! = 6 as I read it; or come to that the square-root of 8! = 5?

Nor does it work by the factorial of the square-root of nine.

Thread: Brainteaser
24/08/2021 14:56:02

You don't need apologise, Michael! I was not offended or anything! smiley

24/08/2021 11:54:19

Michael -

I know the word sought had nothing to do with engineering.

Splitting co-gnoman into cog-noman is a typical cross-word play on words, in this case using the mechanical suggestion as "A submarine specimen misleadingly listing to port"!

Thread: Midlands Exhibition
24/08/2021 11:43:08

JA -

That has always been the primary purpose of exhibiyions devoted to amateur arts and crafts; but the venues have to be paid for somehow.

It seems one reason the larger traders have been ceasing their show activities is that is just so expensive.

One excellent venue jacked up its hire costs so much it was no longer affordable for show organisers and their traders; and one has to ask why its owners would want to drive away trade in such a cack-handed way. Business ineptitude mixed with greed? Or because they see the site as potential, prime housing-estate land if its primary purpse fails? Hard to know, especially in a world where it seems every Tom, Dick and Harry can own a British company as long as they are not British. Howver, the place is advertising its major, county agricultural show for 2022 so it does seem secure.

Otherwise the reasons are pretty obvious even to someone who is simply a ticket-buying visitor:

- Several members of staff on overtime, needing hotel accommodation and living expenses far from home for several nights.

- Days spent preparing for the exhibition - selecting and packing goods and display units, packing the for-collection orders, driving to the venue and setting-up. Then the reverse afterwards. I don't know but would guess a major 3 or 4 day exhibition for a large machine-tool company means the best part of two weeks' work dedicated to it, while still running the firm's normal business. It might be easier for the smaller firms - they seem more able to stay with the big shows.

- Very high floor-area costs due to the hall-hire fees.

- And now in London the costly congestion-charge I believe has been, or is to be, extended right out to the M25; far out from the city - obviouly also affecting we paying visitors.

It may be that the days of the very large hobby shows , and not just model-engineering, are drawing to a close; but there is still plenty of scope for the smaller regional and club. exhibitions and its is surprising what they can do.

I would cite 2 examples.

One is the Model Road Steam Vehicle Society's annual rally (plagues permitting, as with everyhting and everyone else). Though I admit to a certain bias... The second was the exhibitions that Taunton MES held for several years running; until I think the school it used became no longer available.

Both clubs invite(d) others as guest exhibitors, and traders able to mount small displays where if nothing else they can show their faces and take orders. I was surprised to see Reeves' stall at Taunton - not their full stand but enough to sell consumables and small sundries but perhaps more importantly able to take large orders. Western Steam's stand there, admittedly much closer to its home geographically, meant I could discuss and place the order for my steam-wagon's boiler. I collected it at the following year's show... and still to have to wrap enough lorry around it for it to take water and coal! (Expecting the gauge-glass protector in today's post...)


One aspect of the big shows that is oft-discussed is whether related guest hobbies have a place at them. I think they do, on a public-relations footing for our hobby and a chance to for us to see what other model-makers create.

(One of the longest discussions I recall having with an exhibitor at Taunton was not about a steam-engine or machine-tool accessory, but her miniature doll's-house and its furnishings and fittings she scratch-built!)

So we still want and need the exhibitions and it would a great loss if the major ones disappeared. I don't think they will in the foreseeable future; but they may have to adapt. I do think the society and smaller regional shows could have a very important role, and long may they.

23/08/2021 23:32:21

I was looking forwards to the show as visitor, exhibitor and club stand-helper, and a few years ago I found a cheap, basic camp-site only a few miles from the exhibition-centre (and short walk from a good pub!).

I was though wondering what attendance would be like; whether many would be reluctant to attend, how the Centre would managed the rather deceptively spacious cafeteria on the balcony.

At least most of our traders can offer mail-order services, and I and several fellow club members have noticed even before the Coronavirus' world tour the larger suppliers are appearing less frequently at the big shows, presumably for reasons we guessed and can understand (the sheer cost for them).

I wonder too, how things are faring for other big hobby and trade exhibitions.


On my "days off" in Warwickshire I have generally explored Stratford-on-Avon, finding among other things a lovely walk partly along streets down the right bank of the river to a footbridge over to the left bank for the return through that long park.


Oh, and the three or four conkers I collected from the Centre in 2018 did not survive, though one produced a sapling about 6" high before it expired.

Thread: Brainteaser
23/08/2021 23:11:13

That baffled me - but I don't recall ever seeing the word "cognomen" anyway!

My local paper changed its puzzle page somewhat - or the syndicating publisher did - a while ago and the cryptic crossword went up a notch or two in difficulty with it.

I've cracked some of the new compiler's tricks but at times when I see the missed solutions next day there are still one or two that appear to bear no relation to their clues.

Hmmm. Cog - nomen. Well, let's face it, we here know those toothed wheels as 'gears' not 'cogs', so that's us at a disadvantage to the non-engineering readership. Unless we are millwrights in which case the teeth morticed into the wheel rims are 'cogs'.

Thread: Jammed shaft key removal
23/08/2021 22:54:16

If a Woodruff key these are made to standard sizes and some of "our " suppliers stock them. I think Modelfixings is one though possibly not up to the size you need.

Yes you can make Woodruff keys... but for the effort and electricity used, is it worth it?

Thread: Milling machine
19/08/2021 23:49:31

To be fair to the seller of the machine photographed, the ':L'-plate might be appropriate! It looks as if does take a pride in his machine-tools but was genuinely either unaware of what he was doing, or doing the best he could at the time.

It is fine as what it is - a very good drilling-machine with a co-ordinate table, and possibly fitted with a raising-block to compensate for the table-height.

It most definitely is NOT for milling though. No drilling-machine is.

I'm a bit wary of that motor-frame too. It is difficult to make out but does it rely on tilting the frame to tension the belt; in a direction that would pull the belt out of line with the Vee-grooves? Not good for the belt, pulleys or bearings. I would have bolted the machine's stand to the floor and the motor-frame to the wall or to pillars rising from the stand, with a different tensioning arrangement.

Up-grading to a Centec? Yes, that is a proper milling-machine but with a much smaller table and travels than on that drill.

Thread: Myford VM-C - Good machine
19/08/2021 23:27:16

Thank you Lathejack.

Yes, it is a VMC. The quill was stiff when I bought it, and has not improved with use. I am fairly sure the quill lock does work as it should. It certainly locks but you may be right that it's not unlocking sufficiently. Its handle is a bit of a pain, incidentally, as it often fouls the depth-stop.

The quill moves smoothly through its range so it is not damaged; just gripped by something with the same force all the way up and down.

I've tightened the coil-spring up a bit, with no real difference. I know springs of that type are dangerous things, and I don't have the tools and knowledge to handle them safely.

There is no obvious access to the innards of the head. I have tried slackening the covers on both ends of the pinion-shaft to see if that gave any hints, but it did not.

The manual's sectional drawing suggests a large opening in the back of the head, accessible only by removing the unit from the machine - a fairly major task. I may have to take the plunge though as the spindle is also beginning to leak oil (or melted grease).


The 3-phase set on my Harrison L5 allows with the gears, a spindle speed down to roughly 70rpm, gauged by watching it revolve, with the speed knob on the controller still well up the green sector, ~ 900-1000rpm on the motor. I mounted the motor frame above the headstock, and the controller above and behind the tailstock. So both are well away from swarf and dirt, and the controls distant from the chuck. (Though the clutch-lever is still in its horrible original position, over the head-stock.)

Thread: Keeping fit and the economy
19/08/2021 22:50:17

lycra... runner beans...

No good, we're going to have to have Fashion and Gardening groups!

Pgk Pgk - I note you advise the hand-cranked bean-slicer. Fitness and the environment sorted in one go and not even holding up a single motorcyclist.

Thread: Clinging to the Past
19/08/2021 22:44:40

"hate" is rather a strong word, John!

There is a case for using decimal fractions of degrees, yes, but the angular degree as 1/360 of a complete roat6ion has a great many geometrical advantages over a base-10 primary angle unit. I think the French tried a 100º right-angle but it was soon dropped because it is clumsy, with fewer factors.

(I know the "official" SI angle-unit is the radian but while that greatly facilitates many physics and engineering calculations it is not a very practical unit for manufacturing objects, navigation etc. So the degree is accepted by the SI: you use the better for the application.)

Surely though, if we avoid the sort of new-broom traps Mick B1 reports being so common in computer-programming, the whole point of Engineering is not to cling to the past?

Read an Edwardian engineers' reference-book or machine-tool catalogue and you are just as likely to see adjectives like "modern" and "latest" as you would in a comparable publication now; 100 years later.

If a craftsman from the Middle Ages were to come back and see a modern workshop in his own trade he would certainly recognise many of the hand-tools and soon see the principles of what the machines are doing. That is because no-one has invented better types of saw, hammer, chisel, files, square, dividers; simply improved their materials and a few details. However, once convinced that this strange elektrickery stuff is not magick, I reckon he'd wish they'd had such things in his day!

Thread: Myford VM-C - Good machine
18/08/2021 22:36:20

Go for it!

My VM-C and Harrison L5 keep each other company very happily!

The one thing it isn't, is as it was apparently advertised new, a "turret" mill. The head can be tilted in one plane, but is of fixed radius.


Yours having a DRO installed is a bonus. I treated mine to a Machine-DRO 3-axis set, which was not easy because the milling-machine was not designed for simply bolting such things straight on; and I had to sacrifice the long-travel stops to fit the scale and reader. (Some would aver I no longer need them, but I disagree.)


I've also treated it (and the lathe) to a Newton-Tesla 3-phase motor etc but still use the belt-drive on the mill (and the lathe's headstock gears) as the speed-range on the electrics is not sufficiently wide for many operations. The conbination gives a fine-&-coarse range, keeps the torque-multiplier and keeps the motor happily fast at low spindle speeds.


The one drawback is that when using diving-heads, rotary tables etc the cutter headroom evaporates, but this is probably true of most medium to small milling-machines.

Milling-machines sprawl! The width it occupies is the table length over both of the handles, plus its long travel, and symmetrical with the column - but don't forget you need space to turn said handles; and to be able to reach the space round the sides generally.

Also think about head-room above the machine. You need clearance to open the belt-guard fully, when it stands upright on its side.

Exanine the swinging-arm that carries the belt-drive's idler pulley. If its fulcrum works loose the arm can flop about, making the drive noisy and not doing it any good. It is easy enough to re-tighten but remember it is tapped into an aluminium-alloy casting.


I've not found the lack of a fine down-feed a problem. I work around it easily enough.

The two problems I do have with my VM-C are both quill-related, though.

- The quill is so stiff the return-spring won't return, making sensitive drilling rather fraught. Despite studying the drawings in the fasimile manual, and asking for help on here, I have found no obvious way to investigate and rectify it. The rack and pinion and the axial bearings might simply be bunged up with congealed grease, but are all inaccessible.

- It is sometimes very difficult to engage the R8 tooling correctly. I do not know if the spindle has a pin or a rectangular key but it seems either damaged or loose. That inaccessibility leaves it an irritating mystery; but a touch of oil on the collet's key-way helps.

Obe good point though, I found serendipitously I could make a self-ejecting draw-bar; having lost the plain draw-bar that came with my second-hand mill. The sectional drawing suggested as later proved, the spindle has a break of internal diameter allowing an ejecting draw-bar to work. I don't know if that was in fact the original idea.

Thread: Yet another scam
17/08/2021 22:27:05

The international telephone networks have a quirk by which one party ending the call does not terminate the connection immediately, and the scammers used this for their false instruction to ring a certain number while they stay on the line. They've also been known to use recorded dialling-tones to make you think the line is clear.

I believe BT and other companies have now managed to cut the delay from a couple of minutes to seconds.

Thread: Not One but Two Odd items!
17/08/2021 17:51:24

Thank you Martin.

I could not see the relationship between the last photos, or the last one's scale; and thought it larger than you say. I'd also read your notes as if showing more than two items.

In which case I wonder if it was some sort of lubricator, or as I first suggested a fluid-metering feed on some process or otther.


Hair singeing? I dimly recall seeing that on the price-list at the barber's, back in the 1960s when finishing a "short-back-&-sides" with a good rubbing-in of Brylcreem was the height of sophistication for a ten-year-old. Or stopped our heads going rusty when we walked to school in the rain. I never saw anyone have his hair singed so I can't identify the tool as for that.

Thread: Converting fractions to decimals
17/08/2021 17:38:13

There's much shorter approach by calculator than that shown; as Tug describes and I would do it:

1) Divide 11 by 16.

2) Add 1.

3) Multiply by 25.4.

= 42.8625


1) Divide 27 by 16. (27 = 16 + 11; simple enough for mental arithmetic more rapid than Steps 1) and 2) above.

2) Multiply by 25.4.

= 42.8625

On some calculators you may need use the equals sign at the appropriate point in either method.

A waltz and a two-step! Not sure what the photographed umpteen-step example is on that theme... More like Strictly Come Dancing.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
rapid Direct
Eccentric July 5 2018
JD Metals
walker midge
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest