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What Did You Do Today 2021

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David Noble06/04/2021 23:35:36
253 forum posts
11 photos

The steam-wagon broke me!

Revenge maybe, for inflicting my grotty welded fabrications on it.

While shaping that piece of HRS - part of improving the temporary steering-gearbox - a sleet shower arrived. In moving the chassis back indoors out of the weather, I tripped and fell headlong, crashing down onto on my arm and hip, luckily on smooth concrete, not the chassis bristling with sticking-out bits of steel. My neighbour saw me, and enquired if I was all right, offered help, even gave me a note with her phone number and that of the local hospital. I managed to regain my feet, put the engine away and close the workshop, but in a lot of pain.

The pain is not in the impact site but the groin on that side, so I may have torn a muscle or ligament. Even walking even in the house is extremely difficult and painful. I was relieved to relieve myself without seeing blood I half expected in the urine, but struggling to and from the bathroom and kitchen (both downstairs), using anything and everything for support, was agonising.

I don't reckon I'll be in a fit state to be in the workshop tomorrow...

Best wishes for a speedy recovery


Iain Gordon07/04/2021 11:03:17
25 forum posts
14 photos

Nigel, please get yourself to your local A&E department and have your hip x-rayed.

Last February I developed groin pain and eventually,after about 3 weeks, got an appointment with my GP. Was sent off for an x-ray at one of our perhipheral hospitals. On viewing the x-ray they went into panic mode, had me on a trolley and swiftly transfered to the Major Trauma Unit in the city. Fracured Neck of Femur. I'm now the proud owner of 3 titanium screws in my right hip, and still suffering abit of pain. One of the screws has penetrated a bit too far and is within a couple of mm of penetrating the bone. Screws hopefully will eventually be removed sometime this year.

Groin pain is not to be taken lightly.

Good luck


bricky07/04/2021 16:40:19
483 forum posts
48 photos

I finished the cylinder on the rockerthump engine of Brian Rupnows design,and have started on the piston which I have left to cool down before the final cuts.It took all morning to strip the cross slide and top slide and give the lathe a scrub down after turning the cast cylinder.


Nigel Graham 208/04/2021 12:20:04
1398 forum posts
20 photos

Thank you David, Iain -

I rang the NHS 111 line yesterday morning, and the upshot was indeed an ambulance trip to hospital with suspected pubic bone break. The X-rays revealed no fracture (though the doctor didn't really say what was wrong). So probably a torn muscle or ligament.

They sent me home by taxi, with a bottle of morphine in my pockets, so it's a matter of taking things gently and hope whatever it is will heal fairly quickly. I felt very, very slightly more mobile this morning though still struggling; but it will take a few days to notice any genuine change beyond pain-relief. No shopping, let alone work-shopping, for a while yet.

However the doctor said if I fall by my leg giving way, then ring 999...

I thought bone-screws are permanent fixings - perhaps it depends on what they are holding together.

John Haine10/04/2021 13:02:58
3826 forum posts
222 photos

Finally connected up the 4th axis drive on my Novamill so I can experiment with some helical milling.


jimmy b10/04/2021 13:11:46
718 forum posts
42 photos

Finally improved the tailstock on my SC4 today. It's been a bugbear from day one that the tailstock was only 1mm pitch, compared to the Crusader's 5mm pitch.

Turned the 14mm thread down to 13mm and cut a two start left hand thread. I went for 3mm pitch. I had to bore the the end of the sleeve to accept the mating threaded Bush.

Massive improvement and actually fun doing the left hand thread with two starts, especially as it worked!



Edited By jimmy b on 10/04/2021 13:16:16

IRT10/04/2021 22:39:58
138 forum posts
39 photos

I finished my flame licker today. My second engine, to a design by Jan Ridders.20210410_174951[1].jpg



It does run, but exhibits a strange problem. It appears to stall after it has picked up speed. It then changes direction. I have uploaded a video showing this:

Edited By IRT on 10/04/2021 22:45:00

IRT11/04/2021 12:02:08
138 forum posts
39 photos

After thinking about it some more, the only way I could imagine that could happen was if the valve was being sucked in as the piston moved forward. I have extended the thread and screwed the valve back about 0.5mm more, and now the problem seems to have been resolved.

I have uploaded a video of it running in the same direction:

Nigel Graham 211/04/2021 23:36:12
1398 forum posts
20 photos

What Did I Do Today?

I became right frustrated, that's what!

Still too damaged and full of pain-killers after my bad fall a few days ago, to risk anything in the workshop - in fact I was very drowsy a lot of the time today. However I managed very carefully to retrieve the stem-lorry bunkers from the lawn where they'd standing since then, and put them indoors out of the weather.

Then set off to print the on-line, generic instructions for using a manual crimping and swaging jenny. I bought one a couple of years or so ago from WNS. I had struggled to find more detailed help than its own manual (which assumes you know the basics).

Eventually I tracked down a pdf booklet from some training establishment or other (its web-name ends in .ie, but I don't know what or where that is). It is a very clear guide to sufficient basics to get me started confident I won't waste too much metal or worse, harm the "Rotary Machine" itself. Or me. I don't need all 41 pages, which includes some basic maths rather irrelevant here, and which I can find in other books. I was prepared for the ticklish task of double-sided printing nearly 20 sheets without mixing them up.


Hewlett-Packard printers refuse to accept "counterfeit" (refilled) cartridges. Even says it's fraud but I am not sure if's means me or the supplier.

Found I cannot print the thing correctly anyway, testing it with the ink dregs. I downloaded it via Firefox then had the Devil's own job finding where my PC saves down-loads. It offers no choice.

Next, I discovered Firefox' pdf options are desperately limited.

I have not yet tried to install a pdf-image to 'Word' converter as others here have suggested I try. Otherwise I will have to print it as a straight pdf image.

Yet only the other day I successfully condensed and printed for workshop use (though in blue as I'd run of black ink) a down-load from a link on here, on servicing band-saws. And a few years ago I edited by Word and Excel from the pdf original, and printed, a proper alphabetical index to TuboCAD's on-line "manual".


So my first action is to buy a genuine HP cartridge.... It's like buying a car that will run on petrol, but only Shell or Total petrol.

Then I can print the manual and, ,helped by its own handbook, start to learn properly how to use the WNS jenny!

Number Eight in TEE Publishing's " Workshop Practice " series is R.E. Wakeford's Sheet Metal Work, and I have a copy, but though comprehensive it does not cover using forming machines. Curiously, this aspect of metal-working seems rather neglected in model-engineering literature generally.


So I am not an 'appy bunny. Computer and internets and things are supposed to help us, not hinder us.

Neil Wyatt11/04/2021 23:39:42
18585 forum posts
723 photos
78 articles

I hpe you recover fully and soon, Nigel.


Neil Wyatt11/04/2021 23:42:36
18585 forum posts
723 photos
78 articles

And as you have time on your hands, try googling: "how to bypass hp printer cartridge error"

Its somewhere in the settings, I think it's illegal for them to make it impossible to use refills or compatible cartridges.


Emgee12/04/2021 00:20:46
2010 forum posts
253 photos
Posted by John Haine on 10/04/2021 13:02:58:

Finally connected up the 4th axis drive on my Novamill so I can experiment with some helical milling.


That method of drive coupled with the stepper holding power should resist any movement under cutting forces without clamping the D/H spindle.
That machine looks new still !!!


Grindstone Cowboy12/04/2021 00:29:41
584 forum posts
57 photos


To get Firefox to ask where to save a downloaded file each time, do the following:

Click on the three horizontal lines up in the top right corner

From the menu, select Options (about halfway down, has a little gearwheel icon)

The Options page will open up and should be showing the General settings (the word General will be highlighted on the left)

Scroll down to the Files and Applications section

Click on the little circle next to the words "Always ask you where to save files"

You can then close the Options tab, from now on whenever you download a file it will ask you where you want to save it

By default, it will have saved any downloaded files in the Downloads folder


Edit - a good alternative to Adobe Acrobat for viewing PDF files is Foxit Reader - just be a bit cautious when installing so you don't opt for any extra features you don't want

Oh, .ie indicates Ireland, by the way

Edited By Grindstone Cowboy on 12/04/2021 00:33:24

Edited By Grindstone Cowboy on 12/04/2021 00:34:56

Nigel Graham 212/04/2021 11:16:32
1398 forum posts
20 photos

Grindstone Cowboy -

Thank you. I will look out for that.

I've now traced the downloads - their folder was well hidden but I have made a short-cut to it.

MS used to call their filing-system "directories" and "trees" - on this computer the trees are more brambles than poplars or beeches - all straggly and tangled! Not my doing. That's how it came.

It's not viewing PDF files that is difficult although only Adobe Acrobat will open them.

My problem is that I want to convert and edit them to print only the information I need, in documents for using in the workshop.

(Docx and xlsx files have given me similar problems, by being locked images.)


FrancesIoM -

Quite a while back you advised I work round the locked-file problem by installing LibreOffice. Well, I have now installed it at last!

Unfortunately it confirmed only that a pdf document is an image, and saves it as still an image (.odg).

It allows editing to a point, and it does default to A4 Portrait mode.

So I could delete 10 pages of the manual's apprentice-training pre-amble, maths not applicable to the subject.... Oh, and one clearly blank by not bearing the rubric "This page is intentionally blank"!

I tried the odg and raw pdf versions in Libre's own document processor, but they stay as pictures - no way to revert them to editable text.

So how did I process several pages from TurboCAD's 'Help' Manual in Adobe-PDF, into a printable MS-Excel index? Might the file have pre-dated MS and Adobe changing the .pdf format?

Anyway I now have a LibreOffice version of the training-manual, trimmed as necessary; looking potentially easier to print than from Adobe.


Next, to buy some printer-ink, annoyed by HP enforcing my buying only their own ink (though not necessarily from HP).

Frances IoM12/04/2021 11:31:45
1105 forum posts
27 photos
jpg images can be inserted into a pdf page - maybe that is how the document was put together - possibly the originator of the document only had access to printed pages and it was easier to scan these as images.
Grindstone Cowboy12/04/2021 12:55:19
584 forum posts
57 photos

What I do if I want to edit out entire pages of a PDF is use Foxit (but probably other PDF readers would work in a similar way) to print selected page ranges to a file.

So for example, if I have a 100 page document but only require pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 71, 72 and 89, I would use the print dialog to firstly select "Foxit Reader PDF Printer" in the printer selection drop down, then select "Pages" in the Print Range section and specify the pages I want as (in this example) 2-5,71,72,89

Click on OK

In Foxit it would then open another tab showing your new PDF which only contains the pages specified. You can then print this out as a hard copy (after setting it back to use your normal printer again).

Editing the actual text within a page is much harder


modeng200012/04/2021 14:21:27
250 forum posts
1 photos

I wonder if OCR would be of help. There are free on-line sites that convert a scanned text page to a text document.


Nick Clarke 312/04/2021 14:35:02
1191 forum posts
49 photos

Nigel -

When a .pdf file is created in Adobe Acrobat the author has the option to prevent copying of text as text - only as an image as you have found - so it may be the .pdf that is the issue not you, particularly if you have done it successfully in the past.

There may well be a way round the document security, however I have never yet had the need to do so, so I can only suggest Google.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 12/04/2021 14:38:17

duncan webster12/04/2021 18:14:19
3178 forum posts
55 photos

Got my version Of Stuart Hall's grasshopper engine going, now to find a way of making realistic flagstones. Even SWMBO thinks it looks well


John Haine12/04/2021 18:38:46
3826 forum posts
222 photos


First attempt at helical milling, very slow but successful.

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