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What Did You Do Today 2020

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John Hinkley17/05/2020 14:40:23
850 forum posts
286 photos

Some while ago, now, I bought eight mini over-centre clamps from an eBay seller, just to see what use they might be. They got stuck in a drawer and forgotten about until I finished the mini pallet for the mill (above). Today I raided the scrap bin and found some 25mm wide steel. Chopped it up into suitable lengths and cleaned them up all round. Drilled and tapped four mounting holes and a 6mm central hole. (Broke my new 4mm spiral flute tap while over-enthusiastically machine tapping - two new ones ordered from Arc). Countersunk one side for the central mounting hole and reduced the size of the screw to sit flush. This is a before and after picture:

Kit of bits and a finished one

Kit of bits on the left and assembled fixture on the right. Mounted it on the mini pallet to see what sort of grip it gave - surprisingly good, actually. Hope to finished three more tomorrow, carefully using my remaining straight-flute tap set!

Mounted on the pallet:

Clamp in use

Used in multiples, they should be OK for light work.


Peter Spink17/05/2020 20:00:40
87 forum posts
37 photos

First time machining cams and something I'd not been looking forward to.
Boring head and rotary table seemed like the best approach for me but problem was lack of headroom on the mill so had to machine up cam blanks to fit directly into the table.

Waste of metal for such small parts but once set up a very easy process and pleased with the end result!

Cam set up1.jpeg

Cam set up 2.jpeg

Cam 5.jpeg

Ready for parting off and finishing.

Iain Downs19/05/2020 20:08:14
622 forum posts
539 photos

Some time back I made what I called a 'poor man's broach', This was a piece of rod of the correct diameter with a bit of tool steel sticking out, pushed up by a set screw. this I hammered through a dozen times raising the tool bit 0.1mm or so each time. THis worked but keeping it aligned was a challenge.

I had occasion to broach a keyway of a different size so I thought I'd make another, but improved.

the only difference is that there is a raisable guide at the front which leads the broach in correctly.

poor mans broach.jpg

The other improvement was that I used the mill spindle to press the broach through. This worked fine on ally, but I'm not sure I'try it that way on steel.

The other thing I might do is to drill a 'spoils pit' in front of the blade. If I went too wild with how much I took off the swarf could clog up the front of the tool.


Windy19/05/2020 20:09:16
779 forum posts
152 photos

Done some more on the countershaft

countershaft blank

countershaft machining 008.jpg

Another stage


polished countershaft0005.jpg

polished countershaft0006.jpg

V8Eng19/05/2020 20:25:38
1409 forum posts
27 photos

Very good looking work there Windy well done.

Edited By V8Eng on 19/05/2020 20:26:19

Mark Rand19/05/2020 23:24:51
875 forum posts
3 photos

Started off setting up a casting to be machined in the mill. Centred it, did some calculations, then set up the DRO for a bolt circle.

At this point, I somehow got completely distracted. I disassembled and cleaned the Hardinge 5" three jaw chuck off the lathe.

Assuming that it's the same age as the lathe is and it hadn't been opened before (didn't look like it), then it's not surprising that the grease had turned to varnish after a mere 68 years...

Everything moves a lot more freely now. I might even get a new set of jaws for it (maybe some false teeth as well laugh)

Nigel Graham 219/05/2020 23:27:13
585 forum posts

Planted a squash seedling my neighbour gave me, improved the plumbing on one of the water-butts, fought back brambles trying to muscle in on the competition between a climbing rose and self-settled hawthorn.

Then back to the serious stuff.

Finished erecting the workshop travelling-crane beam, load tested it by an arms pull-up while looking for any visible deflection (I weigh a little over 1cwt); applied primer to a few patches of paint damaged in erecting the assembly..

I've still to make the crab but the cross-beam is useable by hanging a block-and-tackle from a bar placed across the rails.

I'm building the whole thing in 3 phases: the rails first so I could use them to support a simple scaffold-tube with the tackle hung from that. The last 6 feet of rails needs fitting up yet but they are at the less important end.

Then the cross-beam just erected. Next will be the crab, after a break to resume trying to build the steam-wagon.


The paint, by the way, is Rustins "Small Jobs" range gloss. Their only green - "Buckingham Green" - is too dark for my liking; darker than the green bars between the threads here. So I bought a tin of white in the same range and made an estimated 50/50 - ish mix in a jar. It came out well - a very bright green, a bit startling even, but I am happy with it.


It was a struggle to assemble, and welding the two end-frames was a mistake. I should have bolted them, using generous clearance holes for adjustment. It also has a couple of other minor niggles and I don't like the messy welding, but overall it worked out more or less as intended.

Having done that I worked out where, and fitted, 2 Aldi-special, four-foot l.e.d. flourescents to replace a single pendant fitting, to be clear of the crane beam and illuminate both ends of the shed.

A change enforced by the beam hitting the original lamp fitting - or foist by hoist!

geoff walker 122/05/2020 19:24:37
398 forum posts
154 photos

20200522_120155.jpgToday I completed a long overdue upgrade on the m type20200522_104459.jpg

A new bronze cross slide nut fitted, supplied by David George, thanks again David.

The nut has been made very accurately and the feedscrew is a near perfect fit with just a tiny amount of backlash

Also took the opportunity to add mini thrust bearings front and rear of the bridge plate, similar to the ml7 improvement.

The whole job makes for an amazing improvement, feels like I have a new lathe


David Noble22/05/2020 20:13:48
168 forum posts
8 photos

After seeing Clickspring's bezel that he made for his clock, I made a blatant copy!


Danny M2Z23/05/2020 12:24:50
835 forum posts
282 photos

Today i started machining a Sparey .8cc model diesel engine from plans discovered in this ancient Aeromodeller magazine. Aeromodeller May 1947

The cover painting is quite amazing considering that the magazine was printed 73 years ago,

Mick B123/05/2020 14:04:28
1552 forum posts
83 photos

Finished the basic engine for the twin grandkids (19 months). Still a bit of prettying up to do, and buffers and things to add plus a truck or two.

Olivewood/Rosewood/Imbuya/brass; all done on the Warco WM250V with Myford double-swivel vertical slide:


Richard Marks23/05/2020 14:13:30
190 forum posts
8 photos

Made this a while ago for a friends grandchild, now made another one to be raffled for a local charity and still making toys for friends kids.p1010962.jpg

jimmy b23/05/2020 20:01:53
625 forum posts
38 photos

I spent some time drawing up and printing an ER40 collet, inspired by Neil's 3D printing book.

5 hours run time and looked perfect! Showed the wife and an over enthusiastic squeeze shattered the print.

Time for a drink!


duncan webster23/05/2020 23:17:16
2543 forum posts
49 photos

Over the last couple of days I've dug out a Tich I started nearly 50 years ago. It's been finished several times, but you can always think of ways to make it better. Today's job was to machine the pistons to take orings. 2mm section, so I made the grooves to gives 5% squeeze. Result, one side ok, the other too tight, so set up and take 0.001" off the bottom of the groove, now seems much better, at least the wheels go round.

I've also made a new water pump, to get the original design out you have to take the front axle out, which means taking the rods off. I know it doesn't need to come out very often, but that's just poor design in my book. The new one has the barrel screwed in from the back (eccentric side), so it can be got out in a few minutes. Also used oring seated valves, I can never get balls to seat without leaks.

When the bits for the real project come from China Tich can go back in his box, probably not for another 50 years

mechman4824/05/2020 13:35:01
2634 forum posts
408 photos

Last couple of days really; my 'X' axis drive went 'pop' & stopped, wondering what happened had me thinking ( doh my brain 'urts face 5  as all was working ok last time in use, I did a bit of deducing, I was cutting a deep slot in a wedge jack body starting with 12 mm hogging cutter followed up by a 1/2" 4 tooth end mill 0.5 mm doc which shouldn't have been a problem,when the drive unit 'popped' & magic smoke appeared,obviously the PWM unit.

Having a spare PWM ( had bought 2 initially ) I changed it out switched on & all ok I had disconnected the mill lead screw initially as was thinking maybe it had gone tight as it obviously overloaded the PWM amps but it was free enough.Checking again I found that the 'X' axis lock handles had somehow been 'just' nipped up ... voila.. cause& effect!. looking at the defunct PWM i noticed what I assume to be a capacitor; ( not being elektrikery aux faix I googled it & came up with it being a 'capacitor' ) had 'popped its barrel', the in line fuse was fine so why the capacitor & not the fuse..??. So all is well .


mechman4824/05/2020 14:02:13
2634 forum posts
408 photos

As mentioned above in the process of making a wedge type machinist jack for future use from drawings linked to by 'Double boost' ( thanks John )... with slight variation on design

the original wedge sits 3mm above base block in fully down position...

wedge jack (1).jpg

2nd wedge sits 6 mm higher

wedge jack (2).jpg

Still have the retaining slot to do .. maybe? thinking


Speedy Builder524/05/2020 14:15:05
1987 forum posts
139 photos

Nice trains Mick and Richard, I copied one of the ones my Dad made during WW2 when toys were at a premium.

train dylan.jpg

Martin King 224/05/2020 17:22:53
680 forum posts
257 photos

Hi All,

My neighbour's eldest son has just been given his first Royal Navy command (minesweeper) and he asked me to make a set of six "shot glasses" from used steel 30mm shell casings.

Did this for him and they turned out and polished up well, he is going to put a resin coating on the inside.

This left me with 6 shell casing tops that were going in the scrap so I had a go and made this small oil flask:

shelloiler 1.jpg

Good practice at parting off and working out how to hold the damn thing! Shame they no longer make them out of brass!

Loctited in an alloy top, but soldered a small piece of brass into the bottom; this scrap had a hole in it which I plugged with steel, should have used brass as it is now really hard to hold the can to clean up the bottom without marking the sides; l can only grip by the narrow end.

shelloiler 2.jpg

shelloiler 3.jpg

Made a dribbler spike and cork washer and job done! Fun thing to do and no waste of material!

The marks on the narrow neck are from the ejector mechanism.

Regards to all and stay safe.


Dave Wootton24/05/2020 19:43:53
59 forum posts
8 photos

Tonight I finally finished making the running boards for my 2 1/2" Crab, thought a bit of sheet metalwork would be light relief from making the fiddly valve gear . I forgot it was just as fiddly and took ages!001.jpg

jimmy b25/05/2020 04:47:54
625 forum posts
38 photos

This mornings efforts!


Actually works quite well.


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