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: Is there a club in the southwest thatís not a Labour camp|
Been there, etc....
Over the years I have been on the committees of two caving-clubs and of my model-engineering society, doing a lot for all three both as an officer and more tangibly (though being a club magazine editor couldn't be much more tangible!). So I do feel some justification in letting others take the strain - and the train - though I still pitch in and help here and there.
Yes, despite the sizes, much of the background work does seem to fall on a faithful few, and therein lies the danger of entrenchment. If not kept in check that can lead to individuals becoming so proprietorial that they become unwelcoming to both potential club members and to possible candidates for committee posts.
The latter is also troubled by members at AGM time thinking, "Fred does a marvellous job as 'xxxx' so I'll propose him again rather than stand as 'xxxx' myself" . Despite Fred having warned three AGMs past that he intends standing down.
Even without these, a single bad encounter with one unfriendly type among the membership can deter anyone wishing to join the club.
I think this lay behind a strange conversation I had recently with someone, regarding asking local model-engineering clubs help re-allocate inherited assets; or we doing so of our own before Nature re-allocates us. He told me the largest society in his area was not interested, that most of its many members buy ready-to-run models and won't touch live steam due its "risks". By sheer chance I have since read news from this club, suggesting a different story indeed - perhaps my acquaintance had had the misfortune to meet its own Mr. Disgruntled.
Similarly, a member of a major caving-club once admitted to me its long-past unfriendly reputation was due to just two or three long-standing members having put so much effort into building its headquarters that they regarded it as their fiefdom. I also once saw so many unwelcoming "NO" signs on the door of an English climbing-club's Snowdonia "hut" that I wondered if it ever found new members.
Until a few years ago I was one of a group of volunteers maintaining part of a small museum dedicated to the site's commercial past. One day we just collected our personal effects - leaving its workshop rather bare - and drove away, no longer putting up with two individuals throwing their weight about and treating us like fools. Apparently, we were not the first, nor the last.
Such hazards can afflict any club of any size with any physical assets; and we need bear in mind that "bringing the club into disrepute" is not necessarily simply annoying the neighbours or slandering it.
I hope the OP does find a welcoming society that does not run almost entirely for the public (some are obligated so by land lease agreements). Mine is one, its public events are only a few a year and helping on them is voluntary not by decree.
On the other hand...
I think most of us lose contact very often and quite rapidly.
I retired almost 6 years ago. Since then I have met less than half a dozen former colleagues.
It is a bit worrying though when someone greets you by name and you stand there desperately trying to identify the individual, or even just recall his or her name although recognising the face; probably from some work-place in the distant past.
I believe the original working models Marc Brunel commissioned to demonstrate his block-making line are in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. They were featured in one of the London model-engineering exhibitions a good few years ago.
I think canvas and rope became the more common transmission-belt materials because they can be made in very long, continuous lengths to much more uniform quality. Hawser-lay rope for power-transmission and bell-ringing is joined by a "long splice" that passes easily over sheaves because it adds little to the rope's diameter - or rather, the circumference by which rope size was specified. I did have a special slide caliper, of hardwood and brass, for this measurement.
Going back to mass-production methods, a progenitor may have been the practice that evolved in the clock-making trade, wherein one man would make only the plates, another the wheels, and so on. It still relied heavily on individual making and fitting.
Did this idea go back even further though, in armaments? The name "Fletcher" refers to the maker of the "Fleche" on an arrow; its guide-feathers.
|Thread: Is there a club in the southwest thatís not a Labour camp|
I think my own Society - Weymouth & District - is among many in hosting few or no public running days on its own track.
Our ground-level 5" and 7-1/4" g. track, "table-top" 16mm-scale outdoor circuit and any amount of room for miniature traction-engines, are available to members and bona-fide guests on most Saturdays and Tuesday evenings.
Public running is limited to very rare side-shows to events in the school itself; very few and far between even "BC".
Even our portable railway for external, fund-raising events is used fewer than 10 times a year; but does rely on the goodwill of volunteers to transport and operate it.
Much of the non-running activities on site is maintenance - including gardening that seeded our internal joke about adding that to the society's name. A few members do both: attending on a Saturday to use either railway, and to engage in permanent-way or horticultural care.
A member who once complained that these days are not "model-engineering", was soon reminded that we don't have a fully-equipped club workshop, so do our model-engineering at home. The club site is for operating the models and testing boilers, but importantly, also the social forum, based around a small club-room with basic kitchen facilities.
As for the all-important tea-&-biccies, we don't give them away, but invite donations of either comestibles or the heady sum of.... 20p!
So you are welcome here to use the track as often or little as you wish, and whilst hoping you would also lend a hand with looking after the facilities, you need not fear spending every weekend driving public trains round and round!
(On club days. The secure school grounds and minimum-two attendees rule, are their own restrictions; and the site's management also decrees at least one first-aider among attendees, of any organisation, using the grounds.)
|Thread: latest issue|
Seems to have been a printing & finishing hiccup with one batch.
Mine is All Present And Correct although oddly, p.219, and only that one (carrying the private ads.) is bereft of its footer.
Pages not fully cut as JA reports, is not an uncommon fault.
Weary - Why classicmagazines for a replacement? Not Mortons?
|Thread: Is there a club in the southwest thatís not a Labour camp|
"Labour?" or "labour"?
Right, for one thing, do you want to join a model-engineering society or not?
You seem determined to want to join a society but then to deter invitations!
Now, you say you "don't mind doing your bit" , which is a positive point. After all, there is little point in joining any club for any hobby unless you are willing to put something into it to help its continuation. The world is full of societies running on a high proportion of their full membership doing nothing to help it, so burdening needlessly the active members who do care about the club enough to be involved in its public events, maintenance, etc.
There are clubs that do have tracks but are not tied to public running-days, or have only a few a year; and even in those that are tied I expect they have members who only use the railway outside of those events.
My own club is in the South-West, ish, depending where you class that region; and we use our ground-level track only very rarely for public events (and have reduced the portable-track events); but I am afraid your comment about "labour camps" makes me wonder about what you want from any club.
Looks a worthwhile read. I have another of Simon Winchester's book, that on the gigantic Krakatoa / Krakatau eruption in 1883; and he dose have a flair for describing technical subjects well to non-specialists without patronising them.
I may well buy it but from a regular shop, not some dubious US Internet-based corporation. Even if slightly more expensive... or would it be by the time you've lumped in shipping-costs and trying to circumvent the Wall Street types?
|Thread: Do you "still" enjoy driving?|
I've a somewhat similar distance trip tomorrow (Monday), and from Weymouth; but both ways - to one of this forum's private sellers so at least it's workshop-related.
No, I don't enjoy driving very much, most of the time. It's the object of the journey that matters.
Even so there are times when it's pleasurable. For example, when I go away, rarely now, for a weekend at my NW Yorkshire-based caving-club sometimes I return via the Border Counties (Shropshire etc.) as although slower and probably longer than using the M6 / M5 it's far less monotonous and stressful - two aspects that can both be very tiring. It also passes through lovely scenery.
Similarly, my direct Fosse Way route to the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre is a lot more pleasant then via the motorways - the latter being probably the further anyway although with the advantage of bypassing Bath and Bristol. (Would I also now need pay a congestion-charge for crossing Bath on the Frome - Moreton route?)
' ' '
(Re the motorways... Any planners here please note: the Cheshire Plain would look even nicer without the rash of tacky advertising hoardings on old lorry trailers; and who the hell gave permission for those awful digital ad displays on poles in West Bromwich, and the wilfully eye-sore waste-incinerator in the Gloucestershire countryside?)
|Thread: What would you ban and why? (Definitely tearoom!)|
Steven Vine -
The 'phones at shop tills yes, I go with that one, but I think you've rather shot yourself in the foot by wanting to ban shop workers having Sundays off. Does anyone genuinely need go shopping on a Sunday?
Still, it's heartening to read that you are so busy on Sundays (in your workshop presumably) that you've failed to notice that Sing Something Simple has ceased to be.... probably still in Light Programme days!
(To my relief. I never liked that bland, angelic-choir / barbershop style. And no, I do not advocate banning it!)
|Thread: British Homes Have Air Conditioning ?|
A bit rich of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to make those remarks about eliminating the impossible and seeing but not observing.
This was the man who changed the abandoned ship's name to its French equivalent (Marie Celeste) in trying to obfuscate the incident as much as he could. And who also played a large part in spinning the Cottingley Fairies practical joke out of the control of the girls who'd perpetrated it.
The latter was a classic case of people so fooled by evidence real in itself, that they failed to think clearly of what it was actually evidence. The girls had suspended cut-out pictures of fairies by fine threads from a tree, photographed them and claimed the images were of real fairies. The photos (the seen evidence) were real...
|Thread: What would you ban and why? (Definitely tearoom!)|
In the interest of balance...
I'd ban customers so gormless that they have no:
- idea what they want, pick up things and abandon them randomly in totally unconnected displays. Want a yoghurt? Oh, there's one between the screwdriver sets and plastic garden clogs!
- respect for the staff's display work. Plastic garden clogs? They were easy to search for your size until made a chaos emulating that among the T-shirts. Oh - that pair I espy all lonely on the loo roll stack might be my size.
- ability to understand the photograph and text on the carton, so when you arrive home and think where to install that shiny wall-lamp you realise one such type has already opened the box and lost the crucial little mounting-bracket, so has closed the box and put it back. Hopefully in the original basket, not among the yoghurts or clogs.
The last happened to me. I took the receipt and lamp back, and suggested I search under the baskets. Sure enough, there was the lost part, huddled together with waifs and strays from other goods.
A staff member (sorry, 'colleague' ) in Aldi or Lidl told me it can take over an hour after closing to replace all the displaced goods and tidy the messed-up displays.
If I may suggest....
A photo is good for the initial information, but let down in this instance. Although taking pictures in a cramped home workshop can be very difficult, items photographed for sale should not be partially hidden by extraneous clutter and poor lighting, as in those two examples.
Why is that mill table buried under irrelevant boxes? Why is there a pretty picnic-basket in the lathe chip-tray? The lathe headstock is not the place to store loose, large boxes, for safety. Nor should there be electrical leads wrapped around the saddle.
These sort of things do not show the goods to advantage and worse, however wrong they may be, viewers might worry what is really there. I'm afraid that however tidy the machines underneath look, and these do, points like that can question the owner's general approach to his workshop equipment nearly as much as if they were covered in swarf and over-run scars.
|Thread: WD40 alternative - any good?|
You can't always blame the user for mis-using WD-40. Just look at what this Water-Dispersant's own labels claim!
It reminds me of the old Fred Wedlock song about the "Best Universal Grit Grime and Effluent Remover, Known". (Err, this being a family forum......)
An old method for preserving steel wire rope is to soak it in a solution of lanolin in meths or white spirit, then allow it to drain and dry. Lanolin, or wool-fat, is not a lubricant but is a tenacious water-proofer, and has the further advantage of being normally harmless to the skin.
(Well, it must be. Have you ever seen a rusty sheep on't fell, down, ben or mynydd?)
|Thread: What Did you do Today 2022|
Used a dividing-head fully (with the holey discs rather than in just rotary-table on its side mode) for the first time !
With grateful thanks to those on here who helped me sort why I could not make 50 go into 360º. The problem proved a mixture of my wonky arithmetic and a minor fault on the dividing-head itself, preventing the index-fingers closing that last little bit.
This was to engrave the lines on two hand-wheels, for a 'Stent' tool-&-cutter grinder I'd bought unfinished, second-hand oh, umm, quite a while ago and am slowly finishing alongside other projects.
To get 10, 5s and 1s lines of their equal lengths I improvised a simple stop on the milling machine, having removed the original stop so I could fit a DRO magnetic-strip in its T-slot. To answer the obvious question... for a repetition task like this it is far easier to work to a physical stop than trying to match numbers!
The cutter is a broken end-mill ground approximately to engraving-cutter form. It works so can't be that approximate!
Even before that, I had successfully completed making the "Tool Holder Body" for the same machine.
This required turning a mild-steel cylinder to be a smooth sliding fit in the already made mounting-block, and boring it to a similar fit around a one-inch diameter holder. I used as bore-gauge a big milling-cutter's shank, having a ground finish far more accurate and smooth than anything I could have achieved.
Screw-cutting a non-standard Whitworth-form thread on the end, using an insert thread-form tool; and making a nut to fit by single-point steel tool, was also a bit more advanced than my previous turning experience.
The two threads were slightly rough with a tight spot, but careful mutual lapping, by hand, with fine-grade valve-grinding paste corrected that. Followed by thorough washing in white-spirit and an aerosol solvent cleaner, and temporary protective coat of WD-40.
The drawings call for knurling both components. Such a shame to rough up the beautiful lathe finish I succeeded in obtaining, using HSS tools, but anyway I think they might be too large for my knurling-tool, so I will have to flute them instead.
I have no idea what its grade is, but the "pre-loved" steel I used machined superbly on the elderly Harrison L5. The HSS tooling gave a lovely finish, better than that from the carbide tips I used for the bore and male thread. I will keep the off-cut, about 3/8" thick, as a one-inch ring-gauge.
How to protect the finished parts before assembly? Petroleum-jelly then e.g. bubble-wrap or the mesh bags sold wrapped around tangerines.
After all those adventures with screw-cutting and rings of holes I felt the "Nineteenth Hole" calling, to celebrate and relax with one of my caving-club magazines and a very pleasant pint of Copper Brewery's Scramasax pale ale, a light, slightly dry session brew of 4.2ABV. Well, two pints to make sure I was right about the first. They also had Proper Job (St Austell's?) on the beer-engines, and I do like it; but the other was new to me so, like dividing-head arcanities, there to be tried.
|Thread: British Homes Have Air Conditioning ?|
"They" being whom, exactly?
I think the proper term was always climate change, with "global warming" holding a grain of truth but otherwise coined to help politicians, journalists and former Hollywood types, of whom few would know a Watt from a Joule, and think a "file" is how a computer stores a balance-sheet.
I do though, grant you (Pat) that all this heading off one lot of environmental disasters does risk bringing others of its own; and this is a serious aspect attracting too little attention - or too much wilful ignoring.
Meanwhile.... I spent a very productive several hours in the workshop today and celebrated with a drink... or two, this evening. So I agree with you too on the merits of another drink. Cheers!
".... ain't got no hubs here mister..."
That Cornish? Sounds more East Lunnon than West Country, guv!
The colder times in the past, such as you mention, and other warmer ones, are the sort of things I call "ripples" in the general trend. They are of small magnitude and short duration - decades, maybe a century or so, perhaps a bit longer - but in the grand scheme of natural things they are no more than minor fluctuations.
The recognition that accumulating carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere would warm the climate generally seems to be made in the late19C or early-1900s, but I don't know actually by whom and when.
I don't know where the thing about sun-spots come from but since they are normal events that wax and wane over mere 11-year cycles I am puzzled why anyone even thought they have any serious long-term effect on the climate. There are complex astronomical cycles that affect it, but over very long times.
I think some of the difficulties many people have in grasping the concept is from:
- That term-of-convenience, "global warming" - as tacky a phrase as "zero carbon" and "nett zero". The air and seas are warming but by only a very few degrees Celsius; and this leads to......
- That apparently tiny temperature rise seeming nothing to worry about, to those who don't understand the difference between heat and temperature; so don't understand that it is both a mean world-wide rise in temperature and though of small intensity itself it represents a huge and growing amount of surplus heat available to drive the climate and weather.
- Though I think the same people might not also appreciate the difference between climate and weather of course; let alone climatic context over huge spans of time.
Or the fact that we are in an Ice Age so whatever we do will either greatly accelerate what might happen naturally, or will simply delay the inevitable by restoring its natural rate of change. The difference being the former giving a century or less to catastrophe, versus the latter's millennia allowing a more considered response among many serious and looming problems for humanity generally.
Re your comparison (Pat), it is surprising just where places with very different climates, are, relatively to each other by latitude.
The British Isles' moderately high latitudes are level with many regions extremely cold in Winter but hot in Summers. The difference is by our surrounding sea, the NE corner of the Atlantic, so mild "maritime" temperate climate.
Much of that is from the North Atlantic Drift as I believe the Gulf Stream is now called; also keeping the Norwegian coast largely ice-free. We are also influenced by the extent of land not far from our Eastern and Southern coasts; giving us cold, dry Easterly winds in Winter, and sometimes areas of hot air from the South in Summer. As we've just seen.
Also, continents tend to have greater spans of climate than do islands, with wider temperature extremes.
The typical response to climate in British housing developed over the centuries as:
- Steeply-pitched roofs, shedding rain and snow easily.
- Open coal fires in most rooms, until well into the 20C - and making homes very draughty.
- The "range" : open fireplace between integral water-heating tank, and an oven. Their modern equivalent is the oil- or gas- fired Aga or Rayburn.
- In the 20C: central-heating, circulating water through a "boiler" using coal/coke, gas or oil. Many were "back boilers", forming the back of an open fireplace; with a central flue controlled by a damper.
- Central-heating systems with "indirect" heating tanks for the hot tap water. The tank contains a coiled tube carrying the central-heating water, heating the surrounding water topped up from a header tank often in the roof space above the hot tank. An electric immersion-heater with thermostat, augments the heat-exchanger; especially when the central-heating is off anyway.
- Solid-fuel fires now usually are just "features"; replaced typically by a gas-fired "combination boiler". This both heats the closed-circuit central-heating water; and by separate, mains-fed heat exchanger, the hot-tap water on demand, no storage. (Some homes use electrically-heated "instant" showers).
- Future? The UK government hopes for all-electric homes, with air-source heat-pumps (also needing indirect hot tank with immersion-heater), and battery-car chargers. Possible for new homes, not for vast numbers of existing ones. Hydrogen? The manufacturers are already making new boilers easily adjusted from fully natural-gas to blend and eventually, only hydrogen.
The boiler is rarely in a "basement". It is fairly compact, usually in the kitchen or a utility-room. (Mine is on the kitchen wall above the work-top, a very common practice.)
Most UK homes have no basement, but a few exploit a slope for useable space below the ground floor. Many 18-19C town houses were built with cellars, providing coal stores fed through an external hatch. The occupants had to lug buckets of coal up the internal stairs to the fireplaces.
The other big 20C developments were:
- Insulating the loft, the home's largest heat loser. Some houses also have their external brick wall cavities filled with plastic foam insulation.
- Double glazing. The single-layer windows were the second biggest heat drain. Very cold Winter countries typically use triple-glazing.
I do not know if any homes in the UK use circulated hot-air heating, American style. Some might, but it is rare.
Most British homes have mains water and electricity - a few remote rural ones have private water bore-holes. However, unlike in towns, they commonly use overhead electricity lines vulnerable to storm damage possibly taking some days to restore if widespread and the roads are blocked.
Many rural homes have no gas mains so use oil or LPG.
The allegedly-bucolic "off-grid" existence? "Grid" here describes the primary, interconnected distribution systems of electricity and gas, and to some extent water. The suppliers use "network" for the end systems.
Time will tell if right or wrong on climate change (not "global warming" though that temperature rise indicates the vast accumulation of heat). It needs governments to be guided by scientists and engineers, but without the ugly politicising and money-grubbing with which it has become too widely larded.
Nor can it solved in only a few years, despite strident campaigns. Or without risking consequences perhaps not yet realised.
Natural climate cycles occur, by forces far more than mere 11-year sunspot cycles. No-one denies that; nor suggests that ripples like the Roman warmer, and 18C cooler, episodes cover it all. The major cycles are so slow in our terms, it is easy to cite ripples. Scientific consensus is that "we" are over-riding what ought be very slow overall but ripply, warming. Nature does not use mathematical regularity, but leaves traces of larger pictures over longer times.
What is happening now was predicted about 100 years ago!
The scientists could use only contemporary population and coal consumption; putting their danger point far enough ahead to ignore, or to label "pending". We were "taming" Nature then; not being part of it but not right good for it.
(Reported in ME some time ago, last year maybe, after somebody found a Press cutting about it.)
Who mentioned "earthquakes" ? Not strictly relevant here; but earthquakes are very common in Britain. Most are too small to be noticeable but show on seismographs.
|Thread: Bridge load calculations (for the inept)|
It would seem the state of the timber, that is the problem, not the beams unless they are corroded through in areas you can't see.
You first paragraph is illuminating That (and later explanations) make fairly clear this all your property.
" The deck is 2 [in a poor condition and " a few planks at one end have been bodge-replaced by another user. She regularly crosses it with a side by side ATV sometimes towing a small box trailer with a few sheep. "
So the bodging is hers? Then if they fail and dump her, ATV and sheep in the stream, it is her fault, surely? Though her "defence" might be that you allowed her to "repair" it then failed to maintain it.
Is there another, legal route this woman can use to reach her sheep, avoiding the bridge?
Do you need it to be vehicle width?
Can you practicably narrow it to be negotiable by a person or a flock of sheep in single-file?
I'd be tempted to tell her that you consider your bridge on your land to be unsafe for further vehicular use, and that her "repairs" have proven unsatisfactory; and that you will give her a month to find new accommodation for her animals, negotiate a new route or share the costs of professional inspection; after which you will narrow it to sheep-width footbridge only.
The problem of course might be that she'd simply find some fording-point nearby and cause a lot of damage to your fields by it.
|Thread: Unimat 3 Restoration|
Have you sent photos of the finished item and its cabinet to Emco? I think they'd very happy to see it given a new lease of life.
I hope it inspires me to achieve something towards that quality when I come to restore my always-loved but well-worn EW lathe.
That presently has a modern motor, but still like its predecessor, a 230V AC one. Your comments about treating your Emco to D.C. drive makes me think that route for my machine.
|Thread: British Homes Have Air Conditioning ?|
Air-conditioning is common now in British factories and office-blocks but a lot of the latter especially is necessitated by the 1960s-70s mania for building them more or less as greenhouses. They were incredibly wasteful at the time, even frequently leaving all the lights on day and night irrespective of need.
It has never been needed in British homes though. That may change if spells of unusually hot weather become much more frequent, but to be any use they would be expensive to install and run.
We do hear lots of curious tips people have developed, fondly imagining they work, like hanging up wet washing indoors to dry. It reminds me of some nonsense I read in a magazine from which I would have expected better, about putting a big bottle of cold tap-water in the fridge to "help it generate cold". Some show only how little basic science their proponents remember from school, such as the differences between heat and temperature, and between energy and power.
The one that is fairly effective is to open the windows at night, too cool the interior, then close them and draw the curtains first thing in the morning. It relies on decent insulation and double-glazing but most homes here now have the latter at least. It also helps moderate the home's internal temperature anyway.
An important point that some architects have shown but largely ignored by the property-speculators, is that for centuries homes have always been built in ways that help cope with their usual regional climate and other physical-geographical controls. That is changing, in some ways at least, in Britain, if only to cope with environmental laws including a drive to run the whole country on electricity alone; but how effectively - and economically for home-owners - remains to be seen.
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