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Member postings for JA

Here is a list of all the postings JA has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: RR Merlin Scale Models
17/04/2021 13:51:41
Posted by Howard Lewis on 17/04/2021 12:20:48:

Try asking the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust. They may know its whereabouts..


You can try but they are dormant at present.

I may have a report on the talk given to the Bristol branch almost 40 years ago. The talk would have would have been film and that would be available in normal times. The engine (which one I do not know) was run at the end of the talk.


Thread: Covid
15/04/2021 11:26:03

Deliberately moving off subject:

How come all these useless media types wield so much power in society while those who are useful and actually work have none (other than the vote)?

I could think of many answers but I am taking this no further (before a Moderator steps on me).


Edited By JA on 15/04/2021 11:27:18

Edited By JA on 15/04/2021 11:29:08

Thread: Citric acid pickle
13/04/2021 12:51:55

CuPalloys sell cleaning salts which is citric acid based. I guess it is just the acid and a biocide. I have used it for years with made up solutions being re-used again and again and kept on the shelf in a glass jar. It does not produce a sludge or grow mold. After being used a number of times it does gain a nice bluey green colour.


Thread: Recommended suppliers and services
08/04/2021 12:48:45

I find this topic difficult. In most cases I don't believe recommendations come from logic, more likely it depends if you like the firm or not.

I have used a number of firms for ordinary engineering items, quite a few mentioned above, over the last year and all have given good service. By that I mean they have been able to supply the wanted items promptly (within a few days). This is what I would expect. For more specialist items, such as castings, I have had to wait which is also expected.

During this period I have found one firm, outside the model engineering fraternity, which does stand out - Drill Services (Horley) Ltd. Really they deal with industry but like most such firms if you place a sensible value order, say £50, you will be treated with respect. Their range of cutters, reamers etc is vast. Most are in stock and arrive next morning. For example I bought 3/64" HSS slot cutters, a 50mm long 4mm diameter countersink and a 70mm long small centre drill from them at very reasonable cost.


Thread: Myford Super 7 spanner sizes
07/04/2021 15:01:21


My ten year old Myford came with two open ended spanners - 3/16W & 1/4W, 5/16W & 3/8W - and two Allen keys - 3/16AF and 5/32AF. Other than an open ended 2BA spanner these are all I have needed. The same goes, if my memory serves me well, for my earlier Super 7 Myford (the one with the flooded headstock bearing).


Thread: Call me cynical / Call me thick ... but
06/04/2021 11:48:08

It does not make any difference to me. Time is something I loose by not being in the workshop. As I get older it speeds up.

I believe mass is now defined by the number of atoms in some lump of metal (I bet it is not cheap mild steel).


Thread: Building a small bench
05/04/2021 18:20:39

The problem has been cured by putting a small, single thickness, piece of inner tube rubber under each foot. It is now as sweet as a nut.


Thread: Macro-photography
05/04/2021 09:19:42

Needle and a hair

Needle and a hair (last December when I still had some).


Thread: Building a small bench
03/04/2021 18:26:08

I happily used the lathe this afternoon, turning mild steel at 280 and 880 rpm without any problems. The finish was good. It could have been improved to a good polish if I knew how to reduce the traverse speed (the joys of learning a new lathe). I could listen to the cut (I don't know where the idea of ear defenders came from).

I am happy and I think I have been too critical about resonace although Martin has a point about the backboard. It is the least stiff part of the bench.

At present the lathe is just sitting on the bench. When I return to it in a couple of days time I shall try rubber pads under the four corners.


Thread: Greenwood Tools
03/04/2021 12:26:10

I only used Greenwood Tools at shows and only bought drills and drill sets from him. These were about the best on the market and, so, not cheap. I ranked the company amongst the best suppliers of tools and consumables.

I wish Peter a happy and good retirement.


Thread: Building a small bench
02/04/2021 17:54:38

I have run the lathe over a number of speeds this afternoon and the bench resonance is not pronounced and only occurs at the lowest speed without back gearing. If it is there it is well damped and I have decided it is not a concern. I do suspect the bench top is vibrating but its Q factor would be very low. A cross member or another sheet of ply would shift the frequency higher.

The bench is very firmly on the ground.


02/04/2021 13:12:50

I have installed the lathe and used it.



I think this is the sixth bench I have built in the workshop during the last 26 years. All have been good and substantial but only two remained before starting this one. A workshop space is a dynamic, changing, environment and things come and go including benches.

The bench is solid and good. The Bisley cabinet has given me more storage room than expected. The fact that I can put the lab stool (I have two in the workshop) under the bench is a real bonus.

With all three strip lights on I have too much light. I have become aware of a flicker from the lights. This is slight and does not seem to have a stroboscopic effect. However my little workshop camera does not like it. There seems to be some resonance of the bench top when the lathe is running. I do not know how important or inconvenient this may be.


I started this blog in response to comments on the forum, particularly that there too few blogs. Over time I realised that the forum is dominated by questions and answers and tea room ramblings. There is nothing wrong with either of these and I am a culprit as far as the latter. The blog subject was deliberating mundane given the general nature of the forum and I was expecting more replies, particularly sarcky ones. Given the number of replies I am pleasantly surprised by how many people have been reading the blog.

Enough said.


Thread: Electric Smart Meters
02/04/2021 09:02:17
Posted by Mike Poole on 01/04/2021 08:24:52:

I think my smart meter may have developed a sense of humour or it’s not very smart.


Yesterday was 1 April!


Thread: A new job
30/03/2021 11:40:37


Has the little green scooter got a stiffened frame?


Thread: Little nuts.......big fingers.
29/03/2021 13:39:33

I suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome in the right hand. One’s sense of touch in the thumb and first two fingers is masked by the noise from the trapped nerve.

I manage to manipulate nuts down to 12BA using nut runners, tweezers, shanks of small drills and, particularly, jewellers’ screwdrivers. However patience is the most important tool. Without practice it took me an hour to fit six 10 BA nuts and screws holding two flanges together with poor access.


Thread: Barrier Creams
26/03/2021 12:00:27


Thanks for re-starting the topic. My 2 litre tub of barrier cream is almost empty and the dregs are going moldy.

I will try Derma Shiel lotion.


Thread: Which lathe to purchase
25/03/2021 12:18:26

I guess this is the most popular question on the forum and the one that really divides opinions.

As already mentioned the knowledge, flexibility and years of support is a plus for a post-war Myford. An additional advantage are Geo. H. Thomas's two books on advanced (and not so advanced) tooling and modifications to ML7 and S7 lathes.

Have you looked at the website


Thread: Building a small bench
24/03/2021 12:40:26

Painting etc:

Except for the backboard all the plywood was painted with two coats of white paint before fitting (not quite true).

The timber was painted with “what have you” paint. I realised that all my half used tins of paint had long since found a good home down the local tip. I found one unopened tin of bright red paint which gave two coats of paint on the timber and bottom half of the backboard. The access provided by not having the front runner in place proved invaluable during the painting and when fixing the cabinet shelf board in placed. Once the paint had dried the top of the backboard was painted white, two coats. The front runner and the front leg, now vertical, were coated with two coats of paint.


The first sheet of the bench top was glued and screwed to the runners and rails followed by the second sheet with a lot more glue and screws that passed through the first sheet and into the runners and rails. Mitred strips of 18mm x 8mm of PAR timber were glued and nailed to the top to seal the gap between the top and vertical surfaces. The backboard and sealing strips were then given two coats of white paint.



I gave this a lot of thought. After fitting a kitchen cabinet LED strip light, 230V, above my existing lathe I decided to do likewise with the bench. I found that the strip light I had used was not longer available and the available strips were of a lower power and longer. I fitted three 900mm long, 10W, 900 lm TED strips on a frame about 550mm above the bench. The tubes are about 200 mm apart to reduce shadows. I believe it is possible to have too much light so tubes can be switch on/off individually.


I now have a small usable bench.


Thread: What's the general consensus please?
24/03/2021 12:35:00


I replaced my pillar drill by a milling machine and had the same problem as you, space. I gave the drill away, or sold it for very little money. I have not missed it since it went sixteen years ago.

I never drill "free hand" and have never used the full capacity of the mill for drilling.


Thread: 3-Jaw Chuck not running true - how to fix
21/03/2021 17:57:23

New lathes are sold with three jaw chucks. Why? Because the order for an independent four jaw chuck will arrive a few months later.

My three jaw chuck for the Myford lacked its backplate for years. I just did not use it. It was refitted about four months ago to hold a fly cutter. I would not use it for anything else.


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