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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: 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.

Thread: Not One but Two Odd items!
17/08/2021 17:17:31

I wonder if the gas-burner is for paint-stripping.

Item 2 I'd say a sight-glass as well, though not for a steam-engine's boiler. Catering or brewing equipment perhaps. The two lines may be max/min levels but could also be for metering a small quantity of fluid into some other vessesl.

Item 3, hard to make out and I can't establish the scale, but it looks to me like the generator for a small acetylene lamp, still with the calcium oxide residue in the upper part (the part you are holding). It look similar to the "Premier" carbide cap-lamp once used in non-gaseous mines, and until around the 1970s, by cavers: I still have two or three of these.

If so the calcium carbide was placed in the lower section, and water (the reagent) in the upper half. There would be a small valve in the central tube somewhere to give a slow drip-feed of water, perhaps in the reservoir; and the cork (or felt) plug is a filter to keep carbide debris out of the gas outlet leading to the jet. The action is similar to the Kipps [Gas] Generator used in chemistry laboratories

A photograph of it assembled and standing upright next to a rule or scale-object would help, if you can, please.

Thread: Filling the boiler
16/08/2021 23:03:24

Through the injector?

I'd have thought the overflow valve would prevent that? It opens to outwards flow, not inwards.

Having recently helped repair a boiler with worn out safety-valve threads I'd certainly always use either a dedicated fitting on a pump plumbing, or the blow-down valve. The valve's short outlet pipe is usually sufficient for a push-fitted hose but there is no reason it could not be a screwed fitting to take a pump hose.

I have used this route without a pump, but a large funnel and short plastic tube. It was a bit slow but effective.

There is another problem with using the safety-valve bushes for filling, that if simply via a funnel any water escaping around the spout ends up inside the cladding.


That boiler incidentally was given a "new" 2X hydraulic test as it had been modified.

Thread: Problems in bending sheet aluminium to a 90 deg angle
12/08/2021 13:53:22

If that a ngle is hot-rolled it will have a radiused edge, so having reversed it so the upright is at the back, you might find it won't need chamfering.

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2021
05/08/2021 16:46:00

.....For a little injector attention.....

Oh Dear!

Time I went to my workshop....

Thread: EV Charging Hacks
04/08/2021 22:43:41

"...electrification of the battlefield..... also reducing carbon emissions."

Seen it all now.

Death and destruction all around, HE fumes wafting across the land, blazing vehicles and buildings.... but no soot from the tanks. (He said 'carbon', not 'carbon dioxide'.)

Look as if yon Colonel has been practicing how to impress business chaps. Usually, senior officers are exemplars of concise, plain speaking, not "managementese".


One or two on this thread have pointed out that we are engineers and so should appreciate the technical problems and practical solutions, which only scientists and engineers can develop.

I agree entirely but I think it misses the point. The barrier between them and society at large is the policy-makers, of whom most give the impression of not knowing power from energy, or which way to turn a spanner.

Thread: 6" vertical boiler cladding and testing
04/08/2021 22:19:54

Matt -

Have a look at Luker's post on here introducing his Ballaarat construction series.

He includes photos of the preserved original and of his replica, showing that has wooden cladding with just three fairly broad brass retaining bands: one each end, the other in the middle.

04/08/2021 22:14:15

Neat way of doing it, Rod!

I find card cut from cereal packets quite good for templates and test developments, though the box seams can make folding awkward.

04/08/2021 17:02:57

Fine work!

Mahogany has a very attractive dark reddish-brown colour but its main advantage is being strong and close-grained.

I'd think there is any hard and fast rule about spacing the lagging bands, but start with one round the top and the bottom of the wood (the lower being the foundation-ring level unless you intend taking it full-depth for better appearance).

Then I'd have one each at the thrids points but that might be very easy here due to all the fittings, fire-hole etc. I'd be inclined to experiment to see what is most pleasing as well as mechanically sound. You might find a single central band would both look and work well.

The method you describe for joining the ends of the bands is as common and as good as any. A solid but neat block on each end is certainly better than simply folding the strip up, which the screw would try to straighten out so look poor.

Under the wood? You won't have much room but a thin insulating layer will certainly do no harm. The total thickness of blanket and wood is largely dictated by the fittings and their bushes, allowing you to remove a fitting if necessary without having to disturb the woodwork.

It may well be better not to glue the boards together. I'd be tempted to machine a very shallow rebate, fractionally under the band thickness, on each end of each board to engage the rings, to stop the boards moving vertically.


On boiler testing, as this is copper it should be inspected first un-clad, but not need the cladding removing in future. I'm not sure but I don't think setting the safety-valves hydraulically works all that well. I think you'd still need re-adjust them during the steam-test, so they match the red line on the gauge.

Thread: Milling machine identification - "Deutsche Waffen Und Munitionsfabriken"
01/08/2021 19:49:52

I've just examined the Denbigh section again, and its text reveals this:

"Long a common practice in many spheres of industry, Denbigh also made batches of un-branded milling and other machines for distribution by third parties. ... some ... millers differed from the regular Denbigh specification with some obviously ... to a customer's particular requirements."

(ack. Tony Griffiths)

None of his illustrations, apparently all from catalogues, show the left-hand drive, single-slotted table though some captions refer to that under photos of machine with clearly, 3-slot tables (as mine has).

Rainbows' rescuee might have been exported legitimately to Germany, before Hitler came to power or at least before any such exports stopped. Although not giving dates, does state the H-series milling-machines were produced from pre-WW2 onwards.

My reasoning:

".... stolen by an englishman circa 1918. "

Too early for Denbigh H-series mills although Denbigh and DWM were both long established by then.

So what does Wikipedia tell us? Firstly that the name-plate was not a Nazi-government armaments organisation but a commercial company heavily involved in supplying the armed services except between 1922 and the later 1930s. It had been founded as a gun-maker, in 1896. ("Waffen" is a military, but not Nazi, word.)

According to that Wikipedia article the German firm was banned from armaments production after WW1 (though still did in small, secretive ways). After a period of take-over and re-naming, it reverted to its original name in 1936, in Third Reich days; though it had become Quandt-owned in 1929.


So when that milling-machine Rainbows found was actually made, and where it has been all these years, is still something of a puzzle, not least because Mr. Griffiths tantalisingly does not tell us when the model was first made - except that the first, the very basic little H1, was created in the 1920s. Nor does he say when Denbigh was established. Maybe you have to buy one of his catalogue facsimiles to find out more closely!

Piecing things together, I suggest this example, which looks capable of being restored to fully serviceable condition, could have been a legitimate export to Germany in the late 1920s or early 1930s before the DWM name was revived. The DWM plate could have been added later.

The name-plate is not of a Third Reich organisation as such, leaving two possibilities if the firm at some stage had bought the machine new and not looted it in WW2 from an occupied land.

DWM may have owned and used the milling-machine all along, later possibly helping arm the regime; or had sold it but left their asset-plate on it, during the company's inter-War upheavals including the munitions ban.


To summarise, this machine could have been bought innocently by former-DVM in the 1920s or early-30s, between the machine's introduction and Quandt eventually reviving the name.

Since the DWM plate/s (I think there is one on both sides) are where Denbigh embossed its trade-mark, but not name, and given the above Denbigh marketing details, it's tempting to wonder if any name or mark lies below it or them. The plates may have been old ones that had languished in a store for that gap of up to about 14 years.


After WW2 what had been DWM became a railway rolling-stock builder under a new name with the same DWM initials. What became eventually left of it, became absorbed into an Austrian firm now making robotics equipment.


While at it, I went and re-measured the table screw on my Denbigh H4. Yes, it is of 6tpi, not 4mm lead, eventually confirmed after inconclusive attempts with a DTI, by measuring longer distances by pencil-mark and a word-processing rule's twelfths-inch scale. (24 turns of the handle, which has no dial, moves the table 4".)

From above, it's possible this odd pitch was to special order - for the printing industry perhaps?

Thread: Greenly Reverser
01/08/2021 17:25:02

I'd already suggested that, Duncan!

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2021
31/07/2021 22:18:07

Oh, I am sorry to read that. I assume you were in the audience!

It can't be easy matching an orchestra to a huge instrument whose player cannot alter the volume of any but the Swell ranks, and (he explained in interview) cannot see the conductor except by a mirror above the console!

The festival also includes some organ recitals I believe. There is one tomorrow morning.

Thread: EV Charging Hacks
31/07/2021 22:03:26

I'm assuming this is for home chargers, not public ones.

I can't help thinking the most secure option is a wired-in cable and connector only outside, with the charger on a simple time-switch, full-charge sensor and manually re-settable NVR; all electrically shielded and inside the house. The trip is to prevent unauthorised swapping of car or cable; and to protect the equipment from open-circuit faults or indeed theft.

No "computers",. no "smart"-phones, "wi-fiddlesticks", fruit-pies, or anything like that!

It is a battery-charger, albeit a high-voltage, high-current one, for goodness' sake!

Thread: Greenly Reverser
31/07/2021 21:47:37

A suggestion if your enquiry draws a blank.

Essentially, design and make a half-nut held on a die-block working in a slot in the reversing-lever, to accomodate the vertical displacement due to the lever's arc. The nut would be operated from the trigger that would otherwise operate the quadrant catch; the thread itself giving the notches on a "quadrant" of infinite radius. (c.f. the toothed rack)

Provided the engagement is sufficiently positive, you should need only the upper half of the nut, otherwise you are looking at a clasp-nut worked by a cam or double-ended lever, similar to that on a lathe.

The thread would probably have to be of square form to remove any ramp-climbing tendency, and the lever preferably double-sided over the screw to support the die-block from both sides.

Have you tried contacting the RH&DR for information?


I believe there was an early 19C standard-gauge design for such a combined control, but which overcame the arc displacement problem by using a barrel-shaped screw. I think it was found too difficult to make economically; but I imagine it would have required either a thread-milling capacity very advanced for its time, or much simpler and much more likely, a centre-lathe fitted with a profile-follower.

I do not know how it handled the question of thread-flanks not radial to the reverser-lever fulcrum / screw-radius centre. A profiled thread perhaps; the half-nut or catch made to swing about its own centre, or the nut "thread" being horizontal pins like a segment of a lantern-gear.

Thread: Death of a scammer
30/07/2021 22:15:48

Have they established how he aquired the money, yet?

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