By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

What Did You Do Today 2020

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Nick Clarke 330/06/2020 10:53:20
884 forum posts
30 photos
Posted by Cornish Jack on 30/06/2020 09:34:37:

(What was wrong with the groat and bushel?)

Excellent pub, but the mild was unreliable at times! laugh

Nigel Graham 201/07/2020 12:02:29
748 forum posts
16 photos

Cornish Jack -

50mm / 50cm.

Easy mistake to make but you raise an interesting point.

I wonder how common such as mistake is becoming, thanks to schools teaching metres and centimetres even though the centimetre is not used for anything technical, except for a few specific purposes.

I find myself actually having mentally to convert sizes, usually those quoted in shops and catalogues, from cm to mm to be able to assess them. That I have often then to relate them to real measures - 150mm is close to 6 inches for example - is by-the-by.

It is the cm / mm point that sticks, and one a teacher tells me he encounters in trying to teach so-called "STEM" subjects rightly in millimetres, to pupils whose Maths lessons in the same school, use only centimetres.


As for the Groat and Bushel... It was a fine pub till the Far-East-owned chain that had bought it, renamed it thus within its ....and Bushel estate, so to run it into bankruptcy for cheap sale to a Mayfair speculator for conversion to second-homes for the Canary Wharf set!

Keith Wyles01/07/2020 15:22:09
35 forum posts

One issue with ignoring the cm is volume. A mm3 to m3 is a big jump, and I wonder how many can visualise either.

Andrew Johnston01/07/2020 16:11:18
5665 forum posts
653 photos
Posted by Keith Wyles on 01/07/2020 15:22:09:

A mm3 to m3 is a big jump, and I wonder how many can visualise either.

Simples, it's a factor of 10^9. Easy to visualise too, a cubic metre is what my garden supplies are delivered in, and a cubic millimetre is about four 0402 capacitors stacked two across and two high. Given that the world, and the parts we make, are inherently 3D, I would have thought that any self-respecting engineer would have no trouble mentally visualising in 3D. smile


SillyOldDuffer01/07/2020 16:12:44
6330 forum posts
1389 photos
Posted by Keith Wyles on 01/07/2020 15:22:09:

One issue with ignoring the cm is volume. A mm3 to m3 is a big jump, and I wonder how many can visualise either.

Imperial is so much easier to visualise!

A gallon of water weighs 10lbs so a ton of water must be 224 gallons. As 1 gallon occupies 0.1605437 cubic feet, a ton of water must occupy 35.9617888 cubic feet. Or 62141.9710464 cubic inches. Being called the Water Ton means it's only used to measure Oil.

And 0.9617888 should be a fraction: it is 86561/90000

Don't forget these are proper British Gallons rather than weedy American gallons, and a Freight Ton of water is 40 cubic feet on both sides of the Atlantic. Otherwise the sums go horribly wrong.



Taz Meadows01/07/2020 19:30:59
3 forum posts

Been scraping a lathe top slide to get oil retention boring!

Nigel Graham 201/07/2020 23:50:32
748 forum posts
16 photos

Keith Wyles -

I did say the cm is used for some specific purposes, and the c.c. for small volumes of liquids was one of the purposes I had in mind; the other of course being engine cylinder capacities.

On which note, anyone know why car reviewers insist on giving a car's internal volume in litres, as if you're going to turn it into an aquarium, and sometimes engine power in some strange unit called the kP rather than either HP or W.

For some reason I thought that stands for kilo-poules (1000 hens?) but when I looked it up just now, I was given the kilo-pond - appropriate I suppose if you insist on measuring a vehicle's interior by how much water it can hold.

Andrew -

You are right that any self-respecting engineer can visualise 3D objects, but it's visualising 3D units of measure that can be harder. It was the inconsistency of units I had commented on.

Later Today...

Resumed work on the crab (the cross-travel trolley) for the workshop hoist. I had 4 aluminium-alloy, plain wheels with bronze bushes, running on mild-steel cores drilled 12mm through. I have no idea of their original purpose but thought they'd come in handy one day, and so they are proving; converted from plain rims to flanged, with a slight taper.

Nigel Graham 203/07/2020 23:43:56
748 forum posts
16 photos

Completed the wheel-sets for my travelling hoist's crab.

Unlike a conventional railway axle - and the long-travel on this hoist - with a rigid wheel-axle fixing, I've adapted the four aluminium-alloy wheels I already had, to revolve on their existing bronze bushes, on a "dead" axle. They are retained by a shoulder, washers and circlips - no nasty split-pin ends to attack one's hands!

I recall rarely if ever seeing circlips and E-clips mentioned in model-engineering circles. Perhaps we are all conditioned by model practice, where visible fastenings do need replicate the full-size split-pins and taper-pins.

Had to "stretch" three stretchers on the beam assembly upwards so a 25mm-square tube laid across the axles will clear their undersides by about 1mm. Kitchen-fitting shims in the right places did the trick.

I painted the axles with ordinary spray paint. Based on an article a while back in ME about modifying a low-cost barbeque rotisserie to aid painting cylindrical items, I used the Harrison lathe, which will tick over at around 60rpm without upsetting the motor. A flattened carton behind the machine, a bin-liner on the bed and a lot of oil clinging to everything kept the overspray under control. I needed run the lathe for only a couple of minutes or so for each axle. Next thing- design and make the trolley itself.


Things are easing! My sisters graced me with their presence yesterday morning, to scrounge a coffee; using the side gate to avoid going through the house, and sitting in the sun in the garden the regulation 1-1/12 fathom apart. We live within walking distances of each other, but this was the first time we'd met since the week before the lock-down started.

As for my model-engineering society though... I'm afraid that's going to be tricky with a very small club-room and fear of using communal tea-making facilities, but in any case our hosts, a school, are still keeping the gates locked out of school hours. (That also bars access to public sports hall and outdoor pitches.)

Even where a club or society has its own access though, I wonder how many others, by no means confined to model-engineering, are in similar situations; not knowing when they will feel able to open even if allowed to open. My caving-club for example, has just announced members can use the grounds, with its lawn, couple of picnic-tables and kit-washing area, and can arrange to borrow club equipment, but not enter the building even for the toilets.

Also of course, how many older members of many clubs will feel unable to attend anyway.

Or to visit exhibitions. Fingers crossed for the Midlands one, with a decision I hear to be made in August. That does not give very much advance notice for the traders, though obviously they will all be aware of the situation, but it's hard to see what else anyone can do.

Meanwhile... carry on making swarf!

clogs04/07/2020 06:04:56
578 forum posts
12 photos

living in a warmer part of the world.......

Nobody here uses mm...everything is measured in CM's......

went to the wood store, they looked at my sizes and had a look of horror.......


luckily I work on both sids of the street....imp and Metric.......

not so long ago I was in a large DIY store (outside the UK) and was accused of stealing a Stanley Fat Max tape measure.....

I deliberatley made em eat cheese cos the said tape was metric and IMP.......

Michael Gilligan04/07/2020 07:08:48
16383 forum posts
715 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 01/07/2020 16:12:44:
Posted by Keith Wyles on 01/07/2020 15:22:09:

One issue with ignoring the cm is volume. A mm3 to m3 is a big jump, and I wonder how many can visualise either.

Imperial is so much easier to visualise!



Agreed [with just that first line], Dave

A pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter

... What better aide memoire could there be ?

angel MichaelG.

Nick Clarke 304/07/2020 08:47:47
884 forum posts
30 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 04/07/2020 07:08:48:​​​​​​

A pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter

... What better aide memoire could there be ?

angel MichaelG.

How about 1 litre of water has a mass of 1 kg as against a pint of water having a mass of 1.25 lb

and 13 litres of water (for example) has a mass of 13 kg against 13 pints of water having a mass of um, er, 16.25lb

And to be exact if you are talking weight it should be lbf not pounds (and of course Newtons)


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 04/07/2020 08:48:36

Sam Longley 104/07/2020 08:59:50
794 forum posts
28 photos

At one of the companies I worked for as a consultant I was given the task of interviewing about 30-40 candidates for quantity surveying posts. over a 12 month period. Nothing to do with my job, but they liked my technique.

One question I sometimes posed to degeree students was:-

I have to dig a hole of volume 1 million cubic millimetres. My lorries carry 8 cubic metres of earth. Allowing for earth bulking 25% when dug, how many lorry loads will I need?

Even those experienced applicants applying for managerial posts at £80K+ PA were often stumped for a while

The answers were amazing.

Michael Gilligan04/07/2020 08:59:53
16383 forum posts
715 photos

Where’s the poetry in that, Nick ?


Nick Clarke 304/07/2020 09:08:33
884 forum posts
30 photos

You want poetry?

There was a young lass with litre,

At aide memoires she couldn’t be neater,

When faced with a pint

She couldn’t rely on’t

Saying imperial always defeated ‘er


Well that wasn't poetry! laugh

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 04/07/2020 09:08:50

SillyOldDuffer04/07/2020 09:18:57
6330 forum posts
1389 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 04/07/2020 08:59:53:

Where’s the poetry in that, Nick ?


No such thing as Imperial poetry - it's always been written in metres, ho ho...


Michael Gilligan04/07/2020 09:20:38
16383 forum posts
715 photos


Cornish Jack04/07/2020 10:13:54
1170 forum posts
163 photos

Nigel G 2 and others - I get the feeling that I am not alone in still being 'adrift' in an 'imperial' (as distinct from Imperial) sea! Thankfully most vendors suffer my "pound of ... and a pint of ..."   requests, but even they might baulk at my childhood potato-buying in 'gallons' ... 10lbs.

Youngsters, like Andrew J probably take to the metric thing quite readily, but my calculations still operate aitomatically in £sd and I have to 'convert'. It didn't help that the UK changeover happened when I started a 3 year stint in Cyprus. Coming back to UK was a shock.

All I have managed in auto-conversions, so far, is a cm is about 1/2"! Given my tolerance standards, that's probably close enough! blush



Edited By Cornish Jack on 04/07/2020 10:15:16

SillyOldDuffer04/07/2020 10:14:27
6330 forum posts
1389 photos
Posted by Sam Longley 1 on 04/07/2020 08:59:50:


One question I sometimes posed to degeree students was:-

I have to dig a hole of volume 1 million cubic millimetres. My lorries carry 8 cubic metres of earth. Allowing for earth bulking 25% when dug, how many lorry loads will I need?


A very odd question to ask either Quantity Surveyors or £80k Managers. What was your purpose in asking it?

Look at it from the point of view of the poor old candidate. He has to decide if the question is:

  1. testing mental arithmetic with an artificial problem using wildly dissimilar metric units, or
  2. deeply subtle needing careful analysis, or
  3. looking for a robust response to daft questions, as might be needed to rein in a bumptious apprentice, or
  4. seeking a polite response, as when dealing with a naive customer, or
  5. testing his negotiating skills.

Did getting the answer right or wrong make any difference to getting the job, and if so why?

I'm genuinely interested because selecting candidates is remarkably difficult and error prone: most methods don't work well. Fortunately, most people most of the time are adequately competent however they got the job!

The worst performers are untrained interviewers with no criteria - they look for Old School Ties, firm handshakes, and warm feelings. Assessment Centres are most effective. At them candidates are carefully put through several scenarios by a team over a few days, and assessed continually - even at lunch. Assessment Centres are very expensive, and although better on average they're far from perfect. They still miss exceptional talent and select men of straw for top jobs!


Michael Horner04/07/2020 13:49:05
206 forum posts
61 photos

psudo g71.jpg

Having a go at making a Psudo G71 Roughing Cycle for Mach3.

Not had the courage to try it on the lathe yet.

Going to wait until I do the corresponding G70 so what ever I make will be finished to size.

Not sure how the tool nose compensation will work out.

Cheers Michael

Edited By Michael Horner on 04/07/2020 13:50:02

Bazyle04/07/2020 14:37:09
5473 forum posts
206 photos

Just back from my first Men's Shed committee, only 5 persons average age about 75, under a car port as it was raining but well seperated. The lemon drizzle cake was a quandry but as it had just comeout of the oven we deemed it sanitesed. Not starting shed meetings until Aug, then only following Noah ie 2 x 2. The ME cubs meetings are some way off but starting to consider outside track work as ok. Members of EDMES did have to work together a few weeks ago to shift 30 tons of ballast that had been dumped on the community centre drive.

WRT weights and measures. Looking at an old Drummond catalogue from 100 years ago they give the weights of lathes in cwt/qrs/lb not stones which is interesting showing what must have been the normal useage at the time.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

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

Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
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