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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: Getting Old
15/03/2022 08:51:14


Somethings to aspire to.


Thread: Hello all
14/03/2022 09:05:10


The Bristol Society of Model and Experimental Engineers would make you most welcome. We do have a few ex-RR employees. The best way to contact us is through our website, as Jon Lewis's reply, but you could send me a PM.

I live within five of miles from you.


Thread: Screw cutting problem
13/03/2022 12:34:54

Nothing really to add to Tim's and Hopper's advice.

Before I start machining metal on a lathe or milling machine I try to do a zero cut. That is with the tool a couple of thou away from the surface to be cut. This just confirms (or otherwise) that everything is correct and I am not about to make a mess of things.


Thread: Is this distasteful
11/03/2022 11:26:50

This tea room business is easy: Either you sit all day chatting in the tea room or you don't and get some work done instead.

I like reading and writing on forums but they are a distaction from the real world which is the workshop.


The Lewis gun was not a variant of the Maxim. The former was gas operated and fired from an open breech, the latter was recoil operated and fired from a closed breech. The Vickers was the British version of the Maxim.

Edited By JA on 11/03/2022 11:31:38

Thread: First model recommendations
05/03/2022 13:25:56

My first model was a Stuart 7A, larger than a 10 and more than twice the price but less fiddly. I had to replace a casting after scrapping the original (easy but a bit of a wait).


What not to buy: Anthony Mount's models are very nice but you need a bit of experience. They are really second models. After that something like Hemingway's Hick Crank Over engine is for the experienced.


Thread: Buy a book or download free
04/03/2022 17:36:45

For an author there is one thing worse than having your book remaindered and that is to have it pulped. Somehow the publisher still makes money when books are pulped, In fact some publishers have used pulping of novels as a business model. Don't ask me how they can make money, I have no idea.


03/03/2022 16:36:42

If it is in copyright and in print you buy the book, new. This gives the author some money for his work.

I am biased since I receive some income, very small, from copyrighted material.


Thread: Greenwashing
03/03/2022 12:01:46

To-day' news:

JA (not a fan of Dyson)

Thread: serial number ...
25/02/2022 19:49:32

Have you looked at This is the first place to go to for such questions.

However my browser is blocking access to it at present.


Thread: stuff that came with my lathe ...
25/02/2022 13:15:19

Everything there I would consider as invaluable, absolutely necessary. However if you sold any of it you won't get very much money.


Thread: Songs about Engineering
23/02/2022 19:39:12

There is an amazing short piece of classical music called "The Iron Foundry". It was written in the early years of the Soviet Union, is very loud, cacophinous, and terrifying to play. I think the composer died in the Stalin purges.


23/02/2022 16:46:24

Again American, this time traditional - "John Henry".

This should have been an edit to my previous post.


Sorry, I have now managed to double post this!

Edited By JA on 23/02/2022 16:50:41

23/02/2022 16:40:09

Grateful Dead, again - "Monkey and the Engineer". I am sure the song preceded The Dead. They also did a few very good railroad songs.


Also American, traditional - "John Henry"

Edited By JA on 23/02/2022 16:49:24

Thread: Tracy Tools Delivery
19/02/2022 17:36:46
Posted by Mike Poole on 19/02/2022 17:16:39:

Our postie Tracey was out yesterday morning, the storm had yet to reach maximum power but still decidedly breezy.


Good for her!

I wish our's was that dedicated.


Thread: Plasma
18/02/2022 16:35:20

I am surprised that Polywater does not feature in the list. (Don't look for this in Wikipedia, try


Looking at the list there are some very obvious double entries

Edited By JA on 18/02/2022 16:37:23

17/02/2022 18:26:11

I don't know. I worked with ionised gases, flames, for more than half my working life and never thought of combustion in terms of a plasma.

Before the really bright members of the forum answer this, flames are ionised gases (free radicals) and conduct electricity. The temperatures we reached at work lead to the gases dissociating and start behaving strangely.


edit - I suspect that the mean free molecular path in a plasma is far larger than in a normal ionised gas.

Edited By JA on 17/02/2022 18:29:03

Edited By JA on 17/02/2022 18:30:58

Thread: Learn to use a metal lathe
16/02/2022 12:30:17

True, you can learn from your mistakes but there are many ways of learning including books, videos, teachers, experience etc and they are all useful.

The one that is not usually mention is imagination (or just thinking about what you are going to do). Before doing anything, particularly with a machine/power tool, think of the consequences if you have not got it right from the really dumb (leaving the key in a chuck) to the difficult (is the job and the tool held firm and tight?). Then you can start to think about trying to get the right shape and dimensions.

Eliza, I wish you every success.


Thread: Scam. Coincidence or worse?
11/02/2022 18:11:20

It may be coincidence or it may be an inside job. You will never know. If it is the latter Amazon, or Virgin, will soon find the person and sack him/her. But they won't tell you. I try very hard not to use Amazon or Virgin and I don't use eBay.

I downloaded an upgrade for my PC's graphic card from Lenovo/AMD a few weeks ago and something very nasty also arrived. It slowed my PC down, put a mask on my browser so it could read everything I typed onto the internet and disconnected me from my email providers. It took me an afternoon to cure and clean the computer but it has made me very jumpy. Lots of full virus scans have been done since then.

If you want security don't go on the internet. Even that is not foolproof as the Iranians found out.


Thread: Case Hardening
07/02/2022 12:05:38


Thanks for pointing out that Ferrocyanides (and Ferriccyanides) are not poisonous. The Ironcyanide radicals are very strong and can only be broken by high temperatures. They are less toxic than Sodium Chloride and are used to coat table salt to make it free running!

I don't think the chemical industry is really worried about moving extreme poisons around the country. They do risk assessments etc. and things like nasty cyanides are destroyed by nature quite rapidly (the bacteria that breaks down cow shit love cyanides). I have seen a railway tanker of HF parked up at Temple Meads, Bristol. It was about 30 years ago but .....

I suspect Kasenit stopped making case hardening compound because there was no demand.

I still have my tin of Kasenit, some used, bought about 15 years ago. And it works.


Thread: Engineering drawings
07/02/2022 09:05:51

I am almost with Paul on this.

Take them to your local print shop and get them scanned. They may have to go away if the shop does not have a large enough scanner. The scans can then be kept on your computer and backed-up.

The last time I did this, about half a year ago, the scans came back as .PDF files. I take .jpg scran shots of these and annotate them in Paint. At the moment I use A4 prints, often of just a part of the drawing, but the ideal would to display them on an old computer and monitor in the workshop.

I have photographed drawings in the past and found the results disappointing and hard to use.


Edited By JA on 07/02/2022 09:07:15

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