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: Is CAD for Me?
12/06/2019 09:14:51

I found this rather amusing, thanks to the last sentence:

Come learn with us!

We know getting started with 3D modeling can be tricky. Not to worry - we've got some great videos that assume you have no experience with CAD. They'll walk you through how to set up Alibre Atom3D, how to create your first model, and start teaching you the basics. You'll be savvy enough to be dangerous in no time!
It is from an unsolicited message from Alibre, which seems to have forgotten I never took up its offer to buy the software. A little learning is indeed a dangerous thing!
Below that paragraph, it does offer a pdf version of the tutorial.
Interesting experiences; and I envy your ability to learn these fiendishly difficult programmes.
Autodesk's own web-site might explain your observation that F360's 2D sketching is really excellent, but it's 2D drawing can only truthfully be described as "work in progress". The company's primary product appears to be the 2d AutoCAD, intended for industrial use. I am not sure how it sees Fusion360 but its own publicity appears to treat it as a separate line of business.
(Sorry about the strange font-size change, which appears to have been an effect of copying and pasting quotes.)
You found the TC User Guide rather good.
Could you please point me in the right direction? I have not managed to find a TC User Guide worthy of the name. It's most certainly not the haphazard tool-list masquerading as a " User's Guide " available as a pdf document via the Help function in TC 19 Deluxe!
Regarding changing the size of the mug-lid in TurboCAD, had you Added you the drawing's entities together? If so cannot change any of the original entities. I believe it is possible to Explode an Added drawing to its individual entities so you can change one part, but I am by no means sure how, particularly because TC uses at least 3 different ways to represent solids.
I no longer see the point of modelling anything in 3D anyway, certainly in TurboCAD, if you want also to make the item; but NOT because it is too difficult for me. It is, but in TurboCAD appears to offer no way to take the necessary orthographic workshop drawings from the 3D model. (As I understand of what little I found about it, Alibre Atom does give you that facility.)
11/06/2019 20:20:02

Thank you Peter.

I didn't find deleting OO difficult, just very laborious thanks to the sets of great long command-lines needed to winkle out even just one file! MS-DOS didn't let you delete a directory plus its files in one go.

At the time I was on various second-hand PCs. OO crippled one computer completely. I replaced that and tried again but spotted things were going wrong early enough to rescue the poor computer. It's this second one that I cleaned out by DOS.

I'm afraid all that OS manipulating and programme-translating you describe would be far beyond my IT knowledge and ability. It would be too risky - even after copying all my data first, I'd end up with an unusable computer, dead programmes and no internet access.



Thread: What Did You Do Today 2019
11/06/2019 17:52:27

Today - a trip to the doctor to confirm ultrasound results were clear so I don't have a thrombosis after my knee replacement.

Am slowly starting to become more mobile but am still on crutches, so my expeditions down the garden to the workshop are to still just refill the bird-feeder. Eating me out of house and home they are, the sparrows.

Still learning TurboCAD, but as the steam-wagon's part-finished cylinders and engine base-plate sit accusingly on the table next to the PC, this enforced indoor-engineering seems a good opportunity to use the former to assess what's next on the latter. (No original drawings exist.)

Or I could think the best approach to moving the Myford gear-box from the box under the settee, to the lathe itself. Not wanting to risk modifying the existing lead-screw, do I try to make the replacement, using the Harrison lathe; or try to obtain one second-hand?

Meanwhile, time to eat me out of house and home....

Thread: Electricity Supply
11/06/2019 16:44:08

It is indeed,Russell, but it is perhaps the hardest problem to crack, both socially and politically.

Not only that, but we cannot possibly blame all those many millions living in what we could regard as very poor conditions, for all wanting even some of what we take for granted.


Much of this thread has concentrated, understandable, on the engineering to solve the looming difficulties; but we also need political and social will; with real thought of all the implications, not just pleasing campaigners or election success; AND all of that to be backed not by semi-literate slogans but by genuine scientific and engineering understanding, even if a fairly basic, lay level.

The "school-kids" Michael says will be running the country, will hopefully have grown out of choosing to be no more than foul-mouthed brats; but more to the point will they actually have had any technical education worth the name?

Thread: Is CAD for Me?
11/06/2019 16:28:05

I agree - I think the software is developed so rapidly that it would be very difficult to publish printed manuals that won't be out of date very quickly.

I tried searching a second-hand book shop that takes a lot of technical books (Books Afloat, in Weymouth), and found very few of anything IT-related. The shop-keeper said they are rarely worth him stocking, for that reason.

However, some reasonably comprehensive books on CAD generally would not come amiss.

It would help even more if the manufacturers do issue decent manuals on-line so you can find the information you need, while the publishers can produce relevant version without having to re-write the lot and have it re-printed.

I realise the trap of equating software cost (usually related to contents if nothing else) with personal needs; but that's true of most commercial software. I don't suppose I have ever used more than a fraction of what Word and Excel offer, even when I used them at work; and I expect this would be case with TurboCAD or any other CAD package.

The real costs for anyone will come when everything becomes by subscription-only...

I once had a brush with Open Office, but it was an utter disaster; and I could delete its 150+ files and dense directory-tree, only by DOS command-lines, one at a time. As far as I know, this option is no longer available, or if it is, only to the real OS-editing experts. I don't use Linux because I know nothing about manipulating operating-systems, so dare not risk trying it.

Thread: Electricity Supply
10/06/2019 18:06:46

New buildings... The ones that will in future also have to be heated entirely by electricity?

Chargers on lamp-posts would surely mean having to install extra supplies, but they will only be any good to those who can park right by the post, and there are very many areas that not only have on-street parking only but also the street-lamps are a long way apart.

What might usefully happen is the many rural garages forced by commercial and fiscal pressure to stop selling fuel and concentrate on servicing and sales, will find it worthwhile fitting chargers on the former pump-islands. Until the Government slaps corresponding tax rates on vehicle electricity so making this service in turn, uneconomical for small businesses to provide.

The dream of autonomy... Just how many cars, and parked where, will be needed to make it even slightly useful? It might work for the occasional shopping-trip, but not much else.

I think in future, car ownership will revert 100 years to the luxury of the wealthy.

Thread: Is CAD for Me?
10/06/2019 16:58:14

Thank you Paul!

Eight-inch floppy discs... I can recall seeing one or two of these about when a new employment in 1989 brought me into contact with these' ere electronic "confusers" for the first time. Generally we used the very latest 5" discs... Previously I'd operated the materials store for a screen-printing machine manufacturer, where my response to anyone suggesting a computer might help my work was,

"Aye, but will it unload full lengths of 3-inch diameter steel bar covered in black grease from a lorry in the pouring rain, and bring through the building to my store?"

Apparently it would not...


I have been accused of trying to see 3D CAD modelling though orthographic glasses, but that was not so. I knew it is an entirely different art; but I am used to seeing 2D mapping of 3D objects, from a mousetrap to a mountain.

Though lacking your luxury of two computers side-by-side, that is not my problem with videos.

Instead, I find they don't explain to me what I need to do. They show me someone else using the software, in a single, linear progression. It's even worse when the demonstrator does not move the cursor incisively, but wiggles it in circles around the scenery while talking.

I need step-by-step static instructions, and printed, so I easily can stop at any point and go back to definite steps; much more difficult with a video. I also need to know why I am doing whatever is needed, and what conditions have to have been embedded in the drawing so far for later moves to work, perhaps many steps later.

I might be influenced by accustomed use. At work I spent 20-odd years using a mixture of computers and sophisticated electronic equipment, but it all came with proper manuals I could augment by notes of my own at my own speed, and direct personal help.


Regarding the drawing exercises, I am not sure if drawing a "real" object is a good idea or not. Most of own TurboCAD exercises are simply regular 2D and 3D shapes concentrating on the techniques.

Curiously this is opposite to my trying to learn Mathematics, far easier when the exercises use real-life things rather than being pure technique exercises.


On paying for software, I am happy about an honest, single, all-time purchase. If I can't afford it I go without. If I can, once bought, it's bought.

Unfortunately a lot of software is being moved to so-called "subscriptions" so you soon pay well over its direct-sale price, and are far more subject to commercial whims and entrapment. I wonder if Microsoft, Google, etc. will do that once MS has killed all pre-WIN10 systems; at £several-10 / month.

Thread: Electricity Supply
09/06/2019 22:11:35

A terrifying prospect, John.

Not only are new reserves harder to find they are also, unsurprisingly, in areas harder physically to exploit.

I wonder if China's massive international investments now, are in advance of these threats?

It won't want nuclear war if it can get what it wants without fighting, because it knows what would happen to it in return; but everything else it is doing points to a very carefully planned strategy for self-preservation with economic development and political influence as part of that strategy. Its leaders may be a bunch of ruthless old die-hard dogmatists, but they are not fools...

Somehow I am glad I am 66 not 16.

Thread: Is CAD for Me?
09/06/2019 20:01:17

DAVE - I see what you mean.

A teacher I know, of "Design and Technology" (who invents this jargon?) says his school uses one leading CAD make's school version written and sold very deliberately with that commercial imperative.

Using the unfortunate users to discover the accidental or merely sloppy mistakes, and attempts to enforce its programmers' tastes, is not new of course - Microsoft acquired that reputation a long time ago. You can't tell 'em though as they live behind a firewall opening only its sales department.

I used MS Excel's graph routines regularly at work. Its Cartesian graphs could be edited to decent quality, but MS never ensured that with its so-called "Radar" (polar) "Charts". I had to plot typically to 5º or even finer intervals but the label and axis editing was a desperate chore. It even made the 0º and 360º points, separate ones.


However, there is far more to it than the programmers' style. That controls ease of use, but for its buyer, succeeding is still by personal ability, plus Machiavellian cunning in deciphering the designer's intentions. However I accept someone who finds one make impossible might manage to learn a comparable rival.



I am afraid I do not understand those design aspects, though I can see why shared deep-level software. The mathematics and electronics must be basically similar.

I am limited in training options because I cannot learn from videos, the only available formal training is costly and AutoCAD-only, and no text-books exist for specific software. I have a few bits of printed material for TurboCAD, and do use its Forum, but am not making any 3D progress.

If an employer does see a CAD product is fading away, in reality or not, does he not then risk having to spend a lot of money not only replacing perfectly useable software, but also in re-training his drawing-office staff, plus the consequent temporary dip in productivity?

Thread: Electricity Supply
09/06/2019 18:42:53

I notice how everyone talks of "fossil fuels".

Crude oil, and to a lesser extent, coal, are not fossil "fuels" per se although you can burn both as they are. They are indeed fossil materials, but are resources for many chemicals as well as fuels. Unfortunately the politicians, Press and campaigners either forget, ignore or frankly, do not know this. Or do know but want us to ignore it.

No-one stops to think, what would really happen when the oil, the greater resource for these, runs out.

Yes, we might have cracked the problem of generating gigantic quantities of electricity, of producing and using hydrogen in a non-polluting way*, etc.

We might have solved or accepted the huge social upsets brought about by it all....

But we have NOT solved the problem of replacing sensibly, the chemical feed-stock from petroleum necessary for a vast array of materials we take for granted, and on which all these absurdly-called "renewable energy" systems rely. And once used, unlike metals, most of these materials cannot be salvaged for re-use. Coal might supply some of these, but not all, but that will run out too, eventually.

Wind turbines? You could use vegetable oil derivatives for their lubrication and hydraulic controls, but what of the synthetic resins used in making their blades, the marine-grade paint protecting their steel columns, insulating the cables, cooling the transformers?

Solar panels? From what are the panels actually made, as well as the opto-sensitive ones?

Electrical distribution; and electrical equipment in homes, businesses, transport, public-services, etc ? Does the world have enough rubber and gutta percha for insulation, and lead for cable-sheathing?

Building? No lead for flashing because that's all gone to make cable sheathing. No PVC window-frames, fascias, rainwater goods, plumbing....

We'd still have metals, which are recoverable... Yes, but these take enormous amounts of heat energy, usually at very high temperatures to process from ore or from scrap; ores are usually nowhere near end-use so need transporting... etc.

And concrete. Oh, another non-recoverable use of enormous amounts of clay, limestone and fuel; and their transport. The most you can do with used concrete is crush it to aggregate and hard-core.


Ah yes but it's offset by more local working, working at home thanks to the Internet, etc. Really? THINK! Only a fraction of the whole spread of employment can be carried out by home-based loners for a start. Sitting in your lounge, tapping a keyboard, won't make others' food or your clothes, build their homes, make them better when ill or injured, etc. The most you might do is provide them with passive entertainment while you buy and sell their money for you.

Further, the vast amount of electricity being taken by the increasing rise in modern telecomms - yes including social fora- is itself now being seen as much a problem as the obvious areas like transport and heating buildings. It comes in both diffuse consumption (the home PC, the so-called "mobile" phone) and the prodigious concentrated use by the huge Internet servers.

So we still need transport then. Yes - even if becomes a rare luxury for most people - but see above.

Right, so more isolated communities, less transport. More local manufacturing and food production? Yes, if we still have anyone with the skills to make objects and grow foodstuffs 'cos as we all know, we are officially a so-called "service economy" in which we need plumbers and hairdressers, but no-one actually to make the pipe-fittings and hair-scissors.... Pipe-fittings, err. See above.


Also see above re exhaustion of the non-re-useable raw materials for the equipment itself, especially in profligate societies that encourage the "ever-new, always-latest, never-repair" mentality.


Pretty bleak outlook then? YES! Whatever people like that naive Swedish girl tell equally naive politicians who can't see what's wrong in catch-phrases like "zero carbon", "renewable energy" and "saving the planet"; bleak indeed because such naivety shows THEY DO NOT THINK.

The foremost problem at present IS of pollution and waste, but that is NOT the only one at all.

All right, do I have the answers? I can suggest only partial solutions at best, partly implicit in some of my remarks above, but many of those paid to understand it seem not to do even that. They ignore the scientists and engineers who do think, when it's easier to hide behind comfortable catch-phrases, pat answers and quick results.


* Burning hydrogen in air as some suggest doing, produces no CO2, but still produced nitrous oxides.

Thread: Is CAD for Me?
09/06/2019 13:24:31

I'd understood it as free to home users too, but when I read its webs-site yesterday it seemed to imply a 3-year limit. I could well have misinterpreted it, but it is a point anyone considering taking up Fusion 360 would want to clarify.

The fact that the browser elicited such questions on this shows that AutoDESK has not made it clear on its own site!

However I take your point about Autodesk having nothing to lose offering for free something it knows few people could afford at full price. I am a bit surprised SolidWorks has not cottoned onto this, but it's probably making enough money from its trade sales not to worry about students and private users.

A lot of software now is becoming sold by a so-called "subscription", which basically means you pay for the retail price and then handsomely more, possibly for software you need only now and then, such as WINzip and Adobe. The latter Adobe appears to be the only software that will convert pdf files from images to editable formats - do you also need it to release docx and xlsx files? I was caught by these sneaky new formats when in preparation for retiring I tried to send documents relating to my pensions home from my works PC. (Oh, and lunch-time "bunnies" like change-wheel calculators and other model-engineering files!)


"Overall concepts are the same..."

To what extent? This is important when trying to choose your "right" make of CAD. The programmes do the same things, at least at code level because computers all work in much the same way. However, what you actually see on the screen is very different.

I tried both Alibre and Fusion, admittedly briefly, and whilst the general appearance of the 3D model itself is superficially similar the controls are presented very differently; and very differently again from TurboCAD. So the natural similarities in concepts are not at all obvious.

I did not explore them deeply enough to find out, but do Alibre and Fusion use the same 3D solids-generating methods as TurboCAD? TC uses 3 (at least) separate forms of "solid": Extrusion, ACIS Solid and TC Solid. I do not know what the abbreviations mean, but they differ significantly in their properties hence reactions to editing. Alibre and Fusion appeared not to use such a system. They might "behind the screen" but with coherent controls working on all types. TurboCAD needs a deep understanding of those solid types, properties and appropriate tools; and this is one of my main obstacles to it.


The publicity rather suggests Fusion 360 is a 3D modelling capability Autodesk has grafted onto its primary industrial product, the AutoCAD 2D set. Learning AutoCAD itself may help you learn Fusion, but I'm not convinced it would help you learn any other make.

Thread: Electricity Supply
08/06/2019 22:39:40

Lots of rosie figures on range, but in what conditions?

My first thoughts on this came when on a long drive in wet, cold dark conditions on a busy M6 & M6.

Yes, the lamps would be le.d. units so not taking a huge wattage; but in a battery-only car what supplies the wipers, screen-washers and demister / heater? What effect does that have on the range?

The service stations are at various distances apart but typically 20 -30 miles on that route. Some motorways have few or no service-stations. How much congestion and hours lost will result from the queues for chargers, even if a service area has, say, 30 units? How many motorists might be caught out, leading to a steady trade for the recovery services?

What's noticeable in all the public utterances from the Press and politicians is that they concentrate on commuting and shopping, local or fairly short-range trips.

I think a lot of people will be unable to travel longer distances for leisure and social purposes unless public transport is feasible for the particular journeys: in very many cases it is not. This will please the environmental campaigners who apparently never go anywhere (unless to demonstrate); but warding off changing the climate will have a huge, deleterious effect on the nation's cultural life and the multitudinous trades that support it.

The more remote areas of the country are likely to become more isolated, less populated and poorer if tourism is a major source, as that and its supporting services die off.

In many respects life will return to something like Edwardian times, when either you were wealthy enough to own a motor-car, or you went by train or charabanc so were limited in choice of destinations and their environs.

Will these battery cars be able to tow anything? If not that will make the Jeremy Clarksons of the world delirious with delight at the reduction in caravans and probably motor-caravans, and the employment supporting these interests; but remember towing also includes trailers for boats and other large outdoor-pursuits equipment, vintage vehicles and machinery, large-scale miniature engines....

Will there be trains? The Government has been chuntering about wanting diesel traction ended in the next decade or so; but will it ensure full replacements on the thousands of miles of non-electrified line? Does it have an electrification plan more cohesive than the rich variety of remarkably heavy-duty overhead wiring columns now used? Or will it just close these routes - so no passengers and freight West of Bristol and Weymouth (losing their direct connection too), and Salisbury; none in Wales except perhaps Bristol to Cardiff and Swansea, none North of Scotland's two primary cities; none in sizeable other English regions?

Or it electrifies them but how does it propose supplying them?

Meanwhile, Brexit or not, the EU is allegedly considering cutting European air lines to a minimum, with obvious effects on both business and tourism.

I think as reality dawns the Governments of the next few decades will find themselves very unpopular and faced with considerable opposition however well-meaning and necessary the restrictions.

(One review in the 1970s or 8os apparently called for closing almost the entire UK rail network, either directly or by cutting so many through-routes they would become short branch-lines that inevitably would wither way whilst also starving the remaining main lines of passengers. The Government of the day quietly shelved it. Sorry, I forget the name above its title.)

Thread: Drip feed oiler plans
08/06/2019 21:35:41

From a very quick look, try this:

"Here is how I make drip feed oilers for my model engines. The design can be scaled up to suit a full size engine if required.
I have edited out the parts where I am measuring the work as the video was running too long.
Free plans are available for this this project. More information at **LINK**

I don't know if that link's useable from here.

Thread: Is CAD for Me?
08/06/2019 19:45:44


I was certainly in my late 50s when I bought TurboCAD, and I have certainly "got stuck in" but you need far more than just the drive. You need aptitude too. You can't learn something too hard for you, no matter how much you try.


Bandersnatch and David -

Good suggestion but I am afraid not practicably. I am retired now but my employer did send me on other computing courses - 'Word', 'Excel' and 'Access'. However, even if any colleges anywhere near me do teach CAD it's likely to be prices industry would think "competitive" (i.e. stiff), and I thought not in TurboCAD or Alibre.

My local college used to teach a range of technical subjects. In fact it was South Dorset Technical College (in Weymouth) back in the 1960s and 70s; but nowadays the nearest you'd get to engineering there might still be car maintenance; and to images, hobby photo-faffing.

However, I looked up "CAD courses in Dorset" on-line, and was surprised to find that Bournemouth & Poole College, only 30 miles away, offers a 9-week evening-class introduction to AutoCAD 2012. Its entry requirement is quite modest, just familiarity with MS Windows applications and no previous CAD experience. Obviously at £350 and no concessions, it's really for industrial trainees.

Which is all very well but if AutoCAD is as different from TurboCAD and Alibre as they are from each other, I would merely dent my pensions!

And AutoCAD 2012 costs...? Prohibitive. AutoDesk itself uses only very expensive subscriptions, but Cadstore is selling off its AutoCAD LT 2016 copies for a mere £349. Plus VAT I expect. This is 2D only, so would I be saving anything? After all, Alibre Atom 3 is £100 less than that, though primarily 3D.

I may as well use the AutoCAD 2000 I already have, accept it is a lot slimmer than more modern CAD packages and try to translate what I know so far with TurboCAD, to that. I have installed it on my spare, off-line computer, running WIN XP for older software and files.

Yet if AutoCAD's even vaguely low-cost software is 2D only anyway, it's far more sensible to stay with TurboCAD, especially given my steam-wagon drawings are TC files. And I have its 3D option if I am brave / daft enough to try again. It's possible my TC 2D level is nearer that AutoCAD introductory course than I think, especially as any engineering or technical drawing knowledge is, oddly, not a stated course pre-requisite.

If the software differences from non-Autodesk products are very large, as likely, I would not gain much from that course. Of AutoDESK, Fusion 360 is a 3D modeller, AutoCAD Inventor is industrial 2D. Fusion is free for private use, but only for 3 years, presumably for standard degree courses.

No-one seems to offer Alibre and TurboCAD courses except their own agents, and then expensively, for professionals and probably a long way from here. I have not investigated SolidWorks but one or two of my model-engineering club members do use it professionally. It is trade/ educational only.

Thread: Electricity Supply
08/06/2019 16:24:12

One thing I don't recall the Government saying is how it intends to recoup all that lost [Excise + Cost]+VAT income from liquid fuels.

My guess is that it will place equivalent taxes on the electricity (via separate so-called "smart" meters in homes and work-places); but not until the whole process is at a stage when this will be politically feasible. Too early would simply delay their aims.

Someone was asked about "recycling" worn-out car batteries, and he said they could be used in domestic storage equipment. Yes, but when they are too worn-out for that?

Essentially, I do not believe at all that the politicians pushing this have the slightest technical knowledge or appreciation of the practical, financial and social problems it will bring.

Whether these will actually bring the environmental benefits they claim, is another matter, but as I suspect the Powers-That-Be barely know fuel from power from energy, I do not believe they can consider that in any constructive manner at all. They'd far rather listen to self-important schoolchildren and Extinction Rebellion types.

One enormous bird coming home to roost is that Britain could have taken a far greater lead in developing the engineering needed; but over the last 40 years or so an unholy combination of successive industrial internal problems, governments, the money trade and media have together, basically sacrificed all on the triple altars of "service economy", technical ignorance and "inward investment".

Only time will tell if everyone is doing the right thing or not, but even if human activities are affecting the climate, whilst we cannot be complacent we are only accelerating the inevitable and totally uncontrollable. We are IN an Ice Age (a climatic oscillation with periods of some 200 000 years or so); either still thawing from the last glaciation, or warming "permanently" (for millions of years to come) as the Ice Age ends.

Meanwhile I think very vary large numbers of people will no longer be able to own a car. It will be too expensive and impracticable, and the notion of widespread shared or on-demand vehicle use, chimerical.

Chimerical too is the notion engendered by the "lifestyle-journalists' " Great Family We-All, that "most of us" will be working at or from home (not synonyms). Working on what? Trading in others' money perhaps. Certainly not transplanting organs, laying bricks, driving trains and buses, making car-batteries, performing scientific research, servicing the National Grid, making and delivering foods, household goods and medicines; being active in the Emergency Services and Armed Forces ..., ...

Bleak whichever way you look at things........

Thread: Coolant Flow Rates
08/06/2019 15:42:35

It seems impressive but I can't help thinking you need the machine to be heavily enclosed so you don't merely leave a nice clean milling-machine with everything around it plastered with wet swarf and coolant.

I think for my modest means and cramped workshop, I'd better with a simple stream of coolant driven by a small pump, not the complexities of an aerosol system and compressor. It would still need guards to keep the chips and suds under control, but be a lot easier to set up, not needing all that attention to nozzle sizes etc..

Thread: Internal grooving help required.
08/06/2019 13:09:58

My first choice would be a tool similar to the one shown by Paul, and it can be in HSS: a standard boring tool. Ensure the face of the tool is parallel to the axis to give the groove equal depth along its width.

The type Jeff illustrates is fine but does need plenty of room beyond the groove. A long-proven alternative capable of working right into the corner of a blind bore, holds the cutter in a hole at 45º across the end of the bar, with a grub-screw that protrudes less than the cutter. Obviously for a square-section groove the cutter itself is ground back at the corresponding 45º.

Tasks like this would be greatly facilitated by saddle or cross-slide stops in both directions. (Depending on lathe and set-up, the rear stop could be the tailstock, or a bar held in it.)


Recently I carried a somewhat similar task in PVC, where I needed not a groove but a narrow ridge, to make a special clamp with partially-closed bore for a corrugated plastic hose.

I experimented with something like that shown by Paul, by turning and filing, then hardening and tempering, a silver-steel cutter held by central countersunk screw onto the end of an existing mild-steel boring-bar. It was not very successful, but I think only due either to the "insert" shape not being quite right, or it slipping.

Certainly a field for further experimenting, but not original. I'd copied the idea from a trade text book from pre-carbide insert days, for a HSS-equivalent in profiling and threading tools.

Thread: Coolant Flow Rates
08/06/2019 10:45:11

This is very interesting to me, as I had not previously heard of mist-spraying coolant.

It's either manual brushing, squirting lubricant from an aerosol can or washing-up liquid bottle; or the all-out fire-hosing of suds on industrial CNC machine-tools.

I take it the basic principle is an air-blast to clear the swarf and cool the metal, and just enough liquid to help the cooling while lubricating the cutting itself?



Thank you for that information. I suspect those drills are not quite home workshop tools - probably very costly and definitely designed for fully-equipped NC machining-centres!

Perhaps more feasible for us would be a small-diameter tube clipped in some way alongside an indexable tool-holder to deliver pumped coolant / cutting-fluid into deep bores and recesses. It might not need play onto the tip itself as the confined conditions would distribute the liquid over the bore wall.

Thread: Is CAD for Me?
08/06/2019 10:27:46

Colin -

Thank you for the supporting comments! I was beginning to feel only I cannot learn something everyone else finds easy.

Yes, I find TurboCAD very non-intuitive. Very confusing, too.

Someone referred me to a TC 3D exercise whose subject was completely random, but with some useful concepts. Unfortunately it was for TC 15, too different from my 19 Deluxe edition to be very helpful.

Another problem is the TC 19 Deluxe's own " manual ". It is very poorly, haphazardly written and arranged, explains little, even contains notes on tools it admits not in that version of TC! Being a .pdf document, you cannot search it by text, only page number. However, I overcame that by making a printed, alphabetical index to it.

Fusion deterred me completely. I completed the first Alibre instalment, missed the next two, could have caught up but see no advantages in that; and frankly, now think any 3D CAD system is beyond me.


Colour-blindness: May I make a suggestion? This won't help you read the drawings in the magazine, but for your own creations, could you select from the available palette colours you can differentiate easily, and note their names, for regular use? This would particularly help if Alibre allows custom templates as TurboCAD does, including I think, line thicknesses and colours.


Baz' suggestion: I agree in principle but really its examples ought cover a reasonable range of interests within model-engineering, and be paralleled by articles in other editions for TurboCAD and Fusion. The exercises can be from real projects but should be seen as just CAD exercises. It would be worth stressing that expertise in CAD can trap you into designing objects difficult or impossible to make - even professional draughts-people fall into that trap.

I don't know of any other worth-while CAD makes used by amateur engineers. SolidWorks is used widely in industry but not sold to hobby users; AutoCAD is similarly limited... and no doubt both are commercially "economical"! I think this only from their web-sites: it might be worth asking them.

07/06/2019 20:46:30


Thank you for that offer of help.

First though, I know the scribing-block was simply an exercise! So was that crankshaft.

That does not matter. Most of my TurboCAD 3D drawings are merely simple geometrical figures, to try to understand how to use the programme. Real objects are for IF I can draw them.

I know I could have obtained the back-editions of MEW, and the offered manual; but I had lost heart by then and realised I am better with a scrappy knowledge of TurboCAD in 2D, than risking a complete new start with no real hope of better success.


I was in a sort of cleft stick.

Alibre Atom is totally different from TC. It was offered by Alibre hoping for sales of full versions to those who are confident enough from the MEW course, to take it much further.

I did not realise I'd missed anything until my first subscription edition of MEW revealed the gap in the Alibre serial. I thought I had started my subscription correctly, but the coversoon showed not.

I was finding TC's 3D world ever more confusing, and I feared any other CAD would be no better; with the text seeming to me the cosily reassurance of painting-by-numbers.

Select this, enter that value, click here... And it works, but what have I actually done or understood more fundamentally than following an exercise by rote?

Hence the cleft stick, if not trident. I bought TurboCAD in the first place partly because I wanted genuinely to draw in both 2D and 3D. I did not know then the experts insist on 3D-first then extract the elevations; but that might not have mattered. (I don't know if TurboCAD offers that - but it does offer the straight 2D/3D choice).

Do I catch up on Alibre with two possible outcomes, or cut my losses so far? My two likely Alibre outcomes would be completing that one exercise without understanding it, before the trial offer expired; or being lulled by completing the series into buying the costly full version then finding it too hard for any practical use.

TurboCAD 3D is too difficult beyond a very simple level of non-dimensioned pictures of little practical value, of very simple items. I had no guarantee, evidence or belief any other 3D CAD is any easier.

Yet I can produce just-adequate 2D drawings in TurboCAD, good enough for my own use; so why risk all that money and time chasing such an uncertainty despite my original wishes?


I have to admit I do not have the intellect for 3D CAD, in any make. It's just too difficult.


Regarding your kind offer, thank you very much but I have no information that would allow anyone to help me. I have to complete designing my wagon's engine and transmission, and details including the steering-gear and boiler fittings. Much of it is design-on-the-fly; I may have to re-work some areas made too many years ago. There are no extant works drawings, but I have found a model engine whose geometry is close enough to be adapted; and have its GA in hand, orthographic of course.

I don't recall that earlier discussion but I did appeal for some TurboCAD help when I temporarily lost contact with its users' forum.

I know that I cannot use 3D in designing any of what my own project still needs; but I am afraid someone giving me a nice 3D CAD image of it would only stress my own inability in such drawing .

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
walker midge
Eccentric July 5 2018
JD Metals
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