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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: From the ground up!
03/04/2019 15:32:28

I'm sure we all look forwards to seeing the poor old thing back as it should be!

It's noticeably far worse from saddle to tail end - under a leaking roof?

The right-hand faceplate looks Drummond-pattern though the Myford name's clear on the guard.

The four small holes in that - and those two in the cross-slide - look as if user-drilled to hold specific work-pieces or accessories, but overall it does look as if that user was a careful one - no obvious "oops" grooves in the faceplates, or missing teeth visible in the headstock wheels.

Thread: Denbugh Mill Paint Colour?
03/04/2019 15:19:59

Correction, with apologies:

"an extension lead-screw" to "lead-screw handle extension".

The photo in the magazine makes it clear.

03/04/2019 15:15:33

It is hardly the end of the world if the next machine patiently awaiting returning to service in my workshop end up in the "wrong" colour as long as its sensibly "machine-shop", but....

It is a Denbigh H4 Horizontal Milling-machine, on its original stand although that is a slightly different shape to the identifying, ex-catalogue photo in The Oracles. Date: probably 1930s-40s, possibly as modern as 1950s (which would be as modern as me!).

It does appear never to have had the cast surfaces filled, but it's probably seen a few re-paints and looks very Gloomy and Sad. It came to me in fetching shades of vaguely-green, iron-patina and ferrous-brown with hints of gunge. I gave it a quick tidy-and-protect coat of light-green household gloss.

Does anyone know what colours Denbigh might have used? It would be nice to be at least somewhere near its original livery! As long as it wasn't black...


A photo of a very added-to Denbigh H4 (but??) in MEW April 2019 - illustrates Ian Strickland's Readers Tips, for an extension lead-screw. He names it as a "Trident" but when I saw it at Sandown I immediately recognised it as a brother to mine, suggesting it was one of the machines Denbigh made under dealer's badges (nothing new there!).

Mr Strickland has painted his milling-machine and its accessories mid- (Myford?) green, and to show-room standard. My thoughts were a similar green or perhaps grey for my example, but it would be fitting to if something more certainly Denbigh. And perhaps pick out the embossed-cast name and Staffordshire Knot in white or red!


Mine has an oddity: two of its lead-screws are 6tpi. I wonder if that was to special order, as apparently Denbigh could accommodate that. Perhaps for a printing-equipment manufacturer?

Thread: shaper machine unknown accessory
03/04/2019 14:34:13

Well, you could, and I did think that with my Drummond, making a fitting to take a small milling/ drilling -head - mounted directly on the clapper-box stud and set-screw so without permanently altering the machine itself. It would be quite limited in scope, though.

I still think it more likely it was for hand-control finer than the machine itself can give, very possibly as Neil suggests - working to blind ends - but it would be a very slow way to do any sizeable cutting like gear-teeth and splines. If I was to make a compound gear I think if the design allows, I'd rather screw two separate wheels together face-to-face.

If it is possible I'd ask the machine's previous owner but I am aware this may have come from a dealer, or a bereavement sale.

Thread: Centec raising block
03/04/2019 14:22:10

Thank you amplifying things, Frank.

My own machine was indeed fitted with a raising-block, and that was cast-iron though as it is rarely moved and then only to position it, there's no reason it can't be mild-steel or aluminium - but grease the joint well to guard against corrosion.

One way you can simply make dovetails, is to make the dovetailed part by chamfering the sides of a flat bar that is then screwed on to the main block. My Harrison lathe and Drummond shaper uses the same principle, altbeit for rectangular rather than dove-tailed slides. This need only ordinary end-mills.

Beware though that if you use a single, full-length BMS bar it could warp from milling along its length.

Thread: shaper machine unknown accessory
03/04/2019 09:49:02

I reckon you've guessed right with what that screw drives, in those last photos, Jordi.


Definitions first:

The sliding mass on the shaper is its Ram.

The Clapper-Box is as it says, the hinged block that holds the tooling.

That add-on does not reach the clapper box, and I can't see why you need to limit its return arc. In fact I'd consider that bad practice. You control the tool geometry by grinding it appropriately.

The only time you lock the clapper-box, is when cutting internal key-ways etc. Those are normally draw-cut, necessitating that locking. One way that avoids modifying the machine is to use a tool-holder fitted with a jacking-screw in an extension above the clapper-box top.

So why this accessory?

First what it is NOT. It is not a stroke-limiter - not on a power-driven machine! That is the task of the crank adjustments and nothing should obstruct the ram acting as the crank stroke and relative position give.

Therefore, I think it was intended to give a fine, short-stroke hand feed. Hard to see where that might be used, but one guess is for engraving scales when you'd want to cut only short, fine grooves under close control.

Thread: Centec raising block
03/04/2019 09:22:31

I would urge you NOT to modify any of the original parts. If you want to sell the machine on at any time it will be far more attractive in original condition plus extras, than modified. Also, chopping the existing over-arm as you proposed would mean you could no longer use the machine for horizontal milling - why disable its primary function instead of adding a second?

I owned a Centec 2 for a while, and I did buy a raising block from Tony Griffiths. That pattern does not make any other part "redundant". because the original top-slide fits the block.

To allow horizontal milling while leaving the raising-block and vertical head in place, I made a second, deeper drop-bracket from steel plate, using a small boring-head to cut the bearing hole in-situ by connecting the work-piece to the table with an angle-plate, and with the top slide slackened just enough for free movement. If I remember correctly, I applied gentle hand pressure to the front of the raising-block to ease the strain on the cross-feed, and took very gentle cuts. The bearing itself was a bronze bush - I may have used n "Oilite" one.

If you have one cast, one company used to handling orders from model-engineers is Bridport Foundry, which now makes the Stuart range.

I would suggest fabricating one otherwise, not from a single lump of solid bar though! And make an extended bearing bracket as above, for the horizontal arbor.

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2019
02/04/2019 23:00:36

They look good, Nick!

I spent more time trying to fit the DRO encoder to the milling-machine. Machine-DRO's instructions recommend keeping the sensor and cable out of the reach of swarf and cutting-fluid. The magnetic strip and encoder, yes, but the cable? Although in a metal hose? Bit tricky that.

After searching the B&Q< Screwfix and Tool Station catalogues without success, for plastic hose of >21mm bore, I remembered one of my local sources of engineering materials is the camp-site shop. Oh, I do buy camping requisites there too.

Sure enough, I came home with 10 metres of very flexible, corrugated water-hose. It's actually intended for caravan sink wastes. The shop staff were intrigued by my intention, and my testing the diameter and length with one of the encoders and its very long lead.

Made new mounting-block for the sensor. Still not happy with how it came out... At least I have identified why not, and can carry out more discerning measurements, a bit of lateral thinking, and try v.3.

Thence to the model-engineering club's meeting-room for an interesting talk by one member, on his experiences of working on refuelling Royal Naval nuclear-powered submarines.

Thread: Rulers - my pet peeve
02/04/2019 00:43:08

It's not only rules whose graduations shrink with age. Try reading one of the original Myford die-cast dials in anything but perfect lighting!

Really, the answer is good light and magnifying-glass.

Not long ago, in Aldis or Lidls, I picked up a neat illuminated lens, about 100mm dia., on an adjustable stand combined with a soldering-iron rest. The engineering is rough-and-ready but optically it is of fair standard for the price, and lit by a self-contained l.e.d. unit with AA or AAA cells. I forget what I paid, but I'm fairly sure it was well <£30.

The magnifier can be removed from the stand and replaced without harm to either, so could readily be fitted to a magnetic dial-indicator stand or other appropriate column for machine-tool or marking-out viewing.


One of my most useful rules is part of a delightfully antique-looking combination-square, and only 4" long by about 1/2" wide; with the 90/45º square sized pro-rata! I do not know its provenance, or if it ever had a protractor. It is very compact for measuring on the lathe or mill, but for easier reading, if the work-piece geometry allows, I sometimes use it on its square as a depth-rule.

Thread: Have your fathers habits rubbed off on you. Just for fun
01/04/2019 23:50:36

Well, I've certainly inherited the practical gene. Some of it anyway.

My Dad was a Chartered Electrical Engineer, but as he was an MoD scientist I don't know what he actually did to help Defend the Realm, only that Electrical Engineering is lots of Very Hard Sums. That was an ability I didn't inherit!

Dad did encourage me though, and my 18th birthday-present from my parents was an EW 2.5" BGSC lathe he'd bought from a work colleague. I still have it, but the poor thing has a very basic, rather flimsy headstock now quite noticeably worn (you can see the chuck jumping about), and I'd love to bring it back into proper condition but am not sure how without excessively compromising its strength and design integrity. Consulting the Oracles (aka Tony Griffiths), I was delighted to find my example has all of the optional-extras offered by EW Stringer, except the change-wheel guard.

Yet the engineering side of the family was Mum's: her brother was a professional engineer in British Railway's Technical Centre in Derby - and Hon. Sec. of Nottingham SMEE for many years. The first miniature loco I drove was on that Society's original track, for a lap or two. While Mam's father or grandfather (I forget which) was the Kay of the eponymous bicycle manufactured in the Nottingham factory he established.

Our Mam always reckoned we're descended from John Kay of very early Industrial Revolution fame, though we've not been able to verify this family legend, and apparently there were two, non-related but more or less contemporary, John Kays separately inventing early textile machinery!

Thread: Telephone / Internet Scams
01/04/2019 00:19:10

re Ian Parkin's caller being selective.

One of the oddest I've received was selective by sex rather than age:

I had answered the call itself as I usually do: just "Hello?"

"Is that Mrs. Graham?" a man with a British accent asked.

"No, I'm Mr. Gra.." Click! He rang off so fast I barely finished my name. Err, do I sound female on the phone?

Goodness why he wanted my wife not me, or what he wanted to ask / sell. Still, he'd proved he didn't know my marital status.

(A status at least making the Domestic Management's permission to bake a 4"-scale steam-wagon's steel tyres at Regulo 9 for 30 minutes to shrink-fit them, readily obtainable!)

I turned the tables once on a YL with an Asian accent, trying to sell me a 'phone contract. The initial caller had been male, but clearly unable to convince me a monthly £8 contract was cheaper than my £5 max / month PAYG rate, had transferred to her, hoping she'd sweet-talk me into complying.

I soon moved the conversation away from phone contracts, and "Angel" and I enjoyed not just that first but two more very pleasurable, social conversations, one a week, all at her firms' expense. Then it stopped. I hope they'd not twigged our game and had fired her.

31/03/2019 23:53:42

Some of those telephone calls telling you "... press 1 now." are not directly from people but are recorded messages, complete with background sounds to suggest a call-centre.

It's easy to establish that: just talk to it. A human will respond, a recorder won't.

My usual response to the "... from the Windows Corporation " or some other dubiously-named organisation is to tell the caller, "No you are not, Windows is a Microsoft trade-mark, and oh, by the way, I work in IT Security. Goodbye", and then it's a race to see who hangs up first.

The alarming ones are not those, but the silent calls probably from some automatic ring-round system, because you can never know their origins and purposes.

There's a grain of truth in my "IT Security" claim... A very small grain, from my last couple of years at work. You'd be surprised how many examples of cardboard origami and polystyrene packing the IT people can accumulate in their security-locked server room; for me as a "lift-and-shift" gang member given appropriate access, to remove for proper disposal!

Thread: Non-Drip Gloss Paint
31/03/2019 00:39:22

Steel swarf?

I don't generate vast amounts anyway, but often ram it down into emptied and rinsed-out food tins, crush the tops closed a bit and put them in the salvage bin. It's the same metal, sorted by magnet I presume.

Thread: Dishwasher detergents
31/03/2019 00:32:37

It's worse with the cars, and possibly some other goods, thanks to the OEM scam.

The manufacturers use many components common across makes and models but hide them behind complicated part-numbers, badged packaging and intimidating warnings about fitting only "original genuine parts" - then price them pro-rata with the vehicle's retail price.

I encountered this first back in the 1970 or 80s when someone published a book of cross-referenced parts tables: original, not pattern, parts, too. The review in my local paper's motoring pages highlighted one example, the brake disc for a particular BMW costing twice that for a particular Ford... it was the same disc, made in the same brake-parts factory.

More recently a VW main dealer told me that the company had two big central warehouses of spares, one labelled Audi, the other VW... again with big price differences for the same pieces of metal, merely for being in boxes with the different names.

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2019
31/03/2019 00:15:33

Nicholas and Martin -

One of the delights of the MSRVS Rally in Tewkesbury is the venue being close to the Abbey, so a striking clock, and the ringing on the Sunday morning.

I was in Alston, up in the Northern Pennines, for a weekend a couple of years ago, and was surprised to hear a definite melody from the church bells on the Sunday morning. I remembered it as a hymn-tune, but also remembered a friend who is a Tower Captain telling me tune-ringing is not done in England. (She told me this when showing me the bells in her local church, in Somerset.) So I investigated: the tower is no longer able to take manual-ringing stresses so the peal was converted to a carillon. I can't recall when, but I think it must be unique in this country.

A break from the workshop today; caving instead.

Only not quite away from model-engineering as we were using a winch I'd made from, among other materials, some lengths of scrap 7-1/4"g track rails long past their best for railway use; and I collected some angle-iron from a club clear-out to make a trolley for my small horizontal miller! (So I can push it back against a wall when not in use, as my workshop is becoming quite cramped.)

Also realising I may need thin, non-magnetic shim / feeler-gauge material for setting the Myford mill's DRO pick-ups, I went round the house with a micrometer, investigating assorted plastic items...

A lid from a "bread-grease" tub, a B&Q store-card, even last year's British Caving Association membership card (similar to a bank card but without the chip and embossing). Best not cut up the B&Q card but otherwise, all viable shim material <1mm thick!

30/03/2019 07:12:38

Don't worry - a push mower doesn't make much noise, and my lawn's quite small!

Unfortunately I can't hear my local church bells from home - just a bit too far away and shielded by houses.

29/03/2019 20:09:53

Mowing the lawn...

I think that will Sunday's task! In the coming months I have to be careful doing that not to kill any of the frogs that have adopted my garden. They hide in long grass.

Bit more accomplished with fitting the "Machine-DRO" set to the Myford mill, still so far on the X-travel. Allendale obligingly supply some die-cast allow brackets and plates with assorted slot to help the task, but I still had to mill rebates on one so it would fit the front face of the cross-feed saddle.

Also rang Allendale because the digital micrometer I had bought, would not switch off. Well, it would but as soon as I so much as looked at, it would come back on. After a couple of phone calls between their very helpful sales staff and me, they established that movement of the barrel over-rides the ON switch, and it takes the barest movement, too. Lock the barrel and it stays off.

(I do have manual mics too, but these days their little divisions are smaller and fainter, rather like the "thirty-tooths" on steel rules.)

Thread: TurboCAD Dimensions Query
28/03/2019 21:28:25

Thank you Tom.

Sorry about the slow response.

Since then I've regained access to its own users' forum.

Thread: More Workshop space, shall I or not..?
28/03/2019 21:19:17

I know the feeling! I never thought an Edwardian end-of-terrace 2-up,2-down + a bit out the back (the kitchen and its en-suite bathroom) could shrink, but it has - even though I viewed it still furnished and occupied by a family.

Mind you, an industrial-pattern A0 drawing-board on its stand does rather dominate the dining-room, albeit that it's set nearly vertically. There is some room in the centre for the dining-table, surrounded by a motley collection of tools and equipment.

Meanwhile the 16ft X 6ft concrete-block shed that clinched my buying the home has also shrunk. Hacking the motor-box off the back of the Harrison L5 lathe's cabinet and putting the new motor on a frame above the headstock gained some useful width. A half-built steam-wagon right inside the door, and a Clarke band-saw on a trolley filling much of the gap between the Myford ML7 and the bench that holds a Meddings bench-drill and Drummond hand-shaper, don't help.

I put the band-saw on a proper trolley, replacing the, frankly awful, pair of wheels it had when I bought it "pre-loved". All I've to find room for, are a small Denbigh horizontal-mill, another drilling-machine, an engraver, a small fly-press, the lawn-mower, smaller gardening tools....

Most of these smaller machines will also go on trolleys so they can be pushed back into corners when not in use.

Oh sorry, belay the last. The lawn-mower's standing on two tool-boxes, in the dining-room, and the other garden tools are in the bathroom. Don't worry, I oiled their blades to protect against rust.

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2019
28/03/2019 20:55:30

Finished the special V-nuts needed, and fitted the long-axis magnetic strip for the DRO to the Myford VM-C milling-machine table with them.

This means the table no longer has travel-stops because the only way to fit the profile was by the V-nuts in their slot, and of course the stop-block had to come off too.

These strips have to be fitted to quite close parallelism but I think I managed it eventually. The drawback with that design of encoder strip is that you cannot remove it from the machine without destroying the magnetic strip itself, because it is stuck on across the mounting-screws.

While at it I tried adjusting the gib. That proved problematical, with very little available travel on the adjusters, and the two locking-screws doing nothing at all. I took the screws out... Someone had sawn them short!. I made up little steel slugs to take up the space, so I can now lock the table's long travel at least.

The Myford mill is not designed to take DRO encoders, though a 2-axis system is listed in the service-manual as an accessory. My thinking with the Y and Z travels is to put the strips on backing bars screwed to the machine outside the profile's width, since there are no machines surfaces available for them and I will probably need to make special spacers. The Z-axix encoder strip will be the worst thanks to the shape of the machine body.

There is another advantage to that approach. I can assemble the profile and its backing bars(s) in comfort and good light on the table, rather than in the very awkward, cramped, gloomy and grubby conditions around the machine.

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