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The Workshop Progress Thread 2020

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Roderick Jenkins23/07/2020 21:21:22
1924 forum posts
503 photos


The frets are tied-on gut. The theory is that they can be adjusted according to the temperament being used. That's too advanced for me, I just set them with a ruler according to the standard tables for equal temperament.



John Hinkley26/07/2020 10:39:27
927 forum posts
314 photos

Suffering a bit from SIBS (Self-Isolating Boredom Syndrome - everything has to have name these days), I bought a tail stock die holder kit from Hemingway. Spread the build over a couple of weeks so as prolong the excitement and altered a number of the original drawings to suit the metric environment of my workshop. Got a hole in the wrong place on one holder (misread the rotary table scale) and broke a 5mm tap in another due to incompetence. Otherwise it turned out OK. Work was delayed by a few days because I had to order a tin of grinding paste to lap the clutch cones. It seems the tin I bought 56 years ago to lap in the valves of my Austin Seven has disappeared in the last house move. Still the same make, though!

Tailstock die holder


Emgee26/07/2020 10:49:45
1650 forum posts
224 photos

Hi John

Good to see an honest report, don't be too hard on yourself for the errors, I think we have all been there on some projects, well I have more than once.


Baz26/07/2020 10:55:12
450 forum posts

Don’t beat yourself up over a few mistakes, the bloke who never made a mistake never made anything. Some days everything goes perfectly in the workshop, other days I wonder why I bother, I just cannot get anything right.

mechman4826/07/2020 11:00:38
2723 forum posts
422 photos

Nice job John;

'Some days everything goes perfectly in the workshop, other days I wonder why I bother, I just cannot get anything right.'

Had a couple of those days this week.. frown


Andrew Moyes 126/07/2020 15:06:48
114 forum posts
19 photos

I’ve had my fair share of bad days in the workshop recently. In fact I told my wife last week I must be losing it.

Then yesterday was one of those perfect days. I was turning a 4MT taper adapter to mount a couple of small chucks for clockmaking in the Myford big bore lathe. Unable to use my normal trial and error method of testing it in the bore of the headstock spindle, I followed Joe Pieczynski’s method on YouTube for setting the compound to precise angles. Using a parallel in the chuck, a DTI to establish zero and the DRO to set the offset, I set it up as one would a sine bar. The EN1A took an excellent finish and when it was done, I took a deep breath, removed it from the chuck and tried it in the headstock spindle. It went in with a reassuring clunk and no shake. Out of curiosity, I put a light smear of engineer’s blue in the socket and tried the adapter. To my astonishment it was an absolutely perfect fit over the entire area of the taper. Something I have never achieved using the trial and error method. I’m converted Joe and think your videos are excellent.

John Hinkley26/07/2020 16:40:51
927 forum posts
314 photos

Thanks for the encouraging words, chaps. I still think I'll remake the piece that I made the mistakes on, though. Maybe not tomorrow, but when I get another bit of steel big enough . It had to be the largest component, of course and the one requiring the most machining, but at least it was the piece with the external thread. 'Twas the first time I'd cut an internal thread, 22mm x 1mm x 10mm deep. The slowest speed on my lathe is 170 rpm, so it got pretty exciting at times, I can tell you.

Live and learn, live and learn .........


Jim Nic06/08/2020 16:06:14
261 forum posts
162 photos

Having got most bits of Stew Hart's Mill engine made I cobbled it all loosely together:

family 4.jpg

family 5.jpg

At that point it looked as if it may run so I connected some wind and gave it a go:

Now have to tart it up with some decent piping, some paint, some wood cladding for the cylinder and a nice plinth.
Happy days.




Edited By Jim Nic on 06/08/2020 16:09:14

peak406/08/2020 20:02:44
1154 forum posts
135 photos

A job I've been wanting to complete for 30+ years
One of the chaps in the BT stores kindly gave me a machine vice he'd made when he was at college.
Unfortunately, whilst top and bottom were parallel, as were the sides, they weren't actually perpendicular to each other.

Having now more or less completed the Herbert Junior, I though I'd have a go at rectifying it as the first proper job on the machine.

Seems to have worked OK.

machine vice.jpg

Not a perfect finish, I'll have to get more practice.


tractionengine4209/08/2020 10:12:53
376 forum posts
109 photos

Finished the Buffers for my 5" g Lion build. Tried to get a close resemblance to the originals, I think they look quite acceptable. They are around 20mm diameter.

The original appears to be made of leather held together with metal straps, I used MDF to represent the leather and added some texture using a lead pencil and a final varnish using a matt polyurethane .

buffers 2.jpg buffers.jpg

Alan Jackson09/08/2020 10:33:12
198 forum posts
82 photos

Roderick, your guitar is a beautiful work of art - congratulaions


mechman4809/08/2020 16:48:23
2723 forum posts
422 photos

Jim Nic

Another superb build; what psi is it running at ?


Jim Nic09/08/2020 18:59:10
261 forum posts
162 photos

Thanks George.

I started it at 10 pounds per squinch but after a short while it was happy at 5 or so. Even then a lot of it was leaking away due to lack of fasteners and sealing. When I get it properly assembled it will run without the sound of escaping air (I hope) at even less. I believe that engines of this type did not need to run very fast so as it's not doing any work, at low speed a flatulent sparrow should be enough.


Howard Lewis09/08/2020 20:02:23
3536 forum posts
2 photos

Yes, we all have good days, and we all have bad days.

Good day:

Set the Topslide over by eye, to start making a Jarno taper. Blued it. Jobs a good 'un as JS would have said!. But didn't start backing horses.

Bad day:

Cut a 13T gear; 12 thin, 1 thick, Did it three times 'cos thought that I couldn't count. At last, checked the calculations with a spreadsheet. The Chart was wrong. Working to spreadsheet produced the gear with 13 equal sized teeth.

Bad day.

Wanted to cut a 1.5 mm pitch thread. With new fine feed gear (To halve feed rate ) installed, needed to set up 3 mm pitch.

Set C-3 in the Norton box. Result; nut stopped after half a turn.

Tried again, literally screwed things up again.

Finally stopped being obsessed with 3 and read the instructions. Setting should have been C-1 = Good thread!

You never win 'em all!


Roderick Jenkins10/08/2020 15:53:34
1924 forum posts
503 photos

Sorry, more wood. I've turned 65 and I reckon I ought to complete some unfinished projects before I run out of time.

chitarrone lr.jpg

chitarrone 2 lr.jpg

A Chitarrone (aka Theorbo or Archlute). This was constructed from from drawings made by the late, great Stephen Gottlieb for the Lute Society. It's bonkers, I know. Chap called Brandon Acker on you tube explains all **LINK**

Just a steel strung guitar that I started 10 years ago to finish off and it's back to the tyranny of the micrometer.

Stay well,


Colin Heseltine11/08/2020 09:52:53
433 forum posts
127 photos


Fabulous work. Followed your link. Very interesting. It gradually took me down a rabbit hole and I ended up watching very interesting Youtube videos on the history of Hurdy Gurdy's.


Colin Heseltine11/08/2020 10:02:35
433 forum posts
127 photos

18 months or so ago I purchased the cross-slide DRO modification kit from Machine-DRO to fit to my Super7. This places the magnetic in a slot on the bottom of the cross-slide rather than on the 'T' nutted brackets fixed to the RHS of the cross-slide.

All went well wit the machining, refitted the cross-slide. Then tried to fit the read head. It would not fit between the bottom of the cross-slide and the mounting bracket. Stared at it and swore at it for a bit. Then found out the old fitting instructions for the original kit. Realisation dawned that I had fitted the two support brackets on the bottom of the rear of the cross-slide upside down. Because of a recess cut in them this had raised the mounting bar bracket an extra 4 or 5mm. Didn't matter at the time but it does now.

Now have to remove all the splash back, which holds QCTH's and the DRO readout and the LED light. Disconnect the carriage DRO readhead, swap the bracket around and then reset up the readhead and fit the cross-slide readhead on new mount. That half a day wasted.. GRR.


Roderick Jenkins11/08/2020 10:34:10
1924 forum posts
503 photos
Posted by Colin Heseltine on 11/08/2020 09:52:53:

... I ended up watching very interesting Youtube videos on the history of Hurdy Gurdy's.


Ooh, don't tempt me, I've got engines to build devil


Colin Heseltine11/08/2020 17:42:03
433 forum posts
127 photos


I do not play an instrument but do have a guitar lying around. The history of the instrument you made and the hurdy gurdy history is very interesting.


Zan11/08/2020 21:08:12
178 forum posts
12 photos

Good day,
yesterday, made 16 valve guides for my whittle x2 v8 engine

bad day. Today

Milled the slot perfectly in the centre to align with the 3/16 hole yesterday, but on making the t piece with a 3/16 shaft and the top to fit in the said slot, to stop it turning it didn’t fit.
grrr just discovered my 1/8” side n face cutter is actually 114 thou. (Cheap purchase from exhibition )
all the cam followers are now even more complicated ( very small) as the t will have to be machined offset by 5 thou one side +5 thou tother 5 less From centreline, or do I waste another 15” of 1/2” hex bronze n do them again.....hmmmm well hidden inside......


Edited By Zan on 11/08/2020 21:11:15

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