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What Did You Do Today 2021

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John Hinkley10/10/2021 17:29:01
1310 forum posts
424 photos

Not just today, but most of the weekend, I have been drawing up a design for a copy/taper-turning attachment for my lathe. Access to the rear of the lathe is restricted, so I wanted to be able to clamp it to the bed. See below:

3D CAD mock-up of the assembly

The topslide is replaced by the replacement slide, which carries a stylus at the business end and is held in contact with the pattern by a couple of springs (not shown in the mock-up). The supports are clamped to the lathe bed , the left hand one being fixed near the headstock and the right hand one is free to slide on a steady bar until the pattern is in place, when it's also clamped to the bed. The pattern is made from flat material and is held in place by two thumbscrews. A couple of pointed hex socket grub screws prevent rotation of the pattern. The stylus rides on the pattern along its centreline.

I intend making a mock-up from MDF (because I've got quite a bit), before committing it to metal and I want to play a bit more with my cnc router.

Right angle corners will present a problem, I realise, should I encounter them, but careful use of the clasp nuts may help there.

The replacement slide takes the existing QCTP and is sized to ensure the the cutting tool will be on the lathe centreline.

If nothing else, it's kept my occupied for a while and will continue so to do, I expect.



Edited By John Hinkley on 10/10/2021 17:29:37

bernard towers10/10/2021 22:03:48
577 forum posts
109 photos

I have something very similar on one of my Peatol and use it with live tooling, it works very well and of course repeatable which is what you are after.

John Hinkley10/10/2021 22:27:40
1310 forum posts
424 photos

That's very reassuring, Bernard. Thanks.


Michael Gilligan12/10/2021 16:48:31
20108 forum posts
1043 photos

Sorting through some hoarded junk, today … I re-discovered a modest white ‘brick’ with 13A mains plug pins

It turned out to be one of these: **LINK**

There is no schematic diagram, so :

Do any of our Electrical experts know how this qualifies as:

“Designed to provide low cost protection …” ?


Robin13/10/2021 10:41:25
539 forum posts

For the first part of this millenium I was haemorrhaging tap wrenches. I like the Eclipse ones but they are usually a bit pricey.

Suddenly the price on Amazon has collapsed. I popped a 240, a 241 and a 242 in my basket then had to add another 241 to push it over £20 and qualify for free shipping.

They are now arriving and look like the real McCoy.

I expect everyone else gets them free with cornflakes, I am usually the last to know, but thought I should mention it just in case smiley

geoff walker 117/10/2021 12:01:03
486 forum posts
186 photos

I'm slowly getting used to the Sherline lathe. Have to say so far entirely happy with this machine it has yet to disappoint me.

Today some taper turning on the con rod for the beam engine.

No offset facility on the tailstock so I made the attachment shown in the photograph. Got the idea from Mike's workshop. Mike's design has more detail but mine incorporates a small thrust bearing.



Whoever set this machine up at the factory did a great job


bernard towers17/10/2021 13:19:04
577 forum posts
109 photos

That looks a handy piece of kit Geoff, I’ve made one for the Myford so looks like I’ll have to make one for the Peatol.

geoff walker 118/10/2021 09:01:23
486 forum posts
186 photos

Hi Bernard,

Thanks for your reply

Yes definitely a handy piece of kit, made for the job in hand but I've no doubt I'll use it again.


Derek Lane18/10/2021 10:43:41
725 forum posts
165 photos

In between decorating now the new windows are installed I have managed to complete insulating the new workshop next job will be installing a greenhouse heater in there which is thermostatically controlled I had this in the old workshop and it did a great job of keeping the temperature above freezing and preventing condensation.

Iain Downs19/10/2021 21:17:11
853 forum posts
747 photos

In a quest to (perhaps) work out how to get nice finishes on the junk I machine, I bought a cheap linsher. I think it cost me around 70 quid new from eBay.

I wasn't terribly happy with it and decided it needed some attention. The first thing I found was I couldn't get the sanding belt off very easily. A bit of fiddling got it off and I ordered a set of various grits. I immediately found that the reason for for the belt as supplied not coming of is that it is just a little shorter than the machine is designed for (100x915). Now I can swap belts with the greatest of ease. Though where to store them in my overcrowded shed is another issue.

I'm operating the machine in the vertical mode and the shelf thing which should support the work is just rubbish, so I replaced it.

linisher stand 01.jpg

The bits which are not painted are mine. The nasty red thing sitting on it is the original which would bounce up and down with great excitement with the least load.

Here's a close up.

linisher stand 02.jpg

And I decided to make it a bit more versatile and tilty as the tilting platform supplied with the disc sander is of equal quality to the rest...

linisher stand 03.jpg

I've still not quite got the hang of nice finishes, though, but I'm getting there.


Nigel Graham 219/10/2021 21:56:10
2053 forum posts
28 photos

Last night actually -

Fly-cut the base of an otherwise good milling-vice, below the floor of a lot of milling-scars. I'm guilty of the odd accidental over-cut, but this was far worse, making setting-up difficult. Why do people so abuse vices so badly? I'd bought the vice from one fo the second-hand tool-dealers at one of the Midlands exhibitions.


Today -

Found the real value of the " Come-in-Handy" box.

To move a heavy, 10" dia rotary-table with only a very narrow, plain base flange, needs a lifting-plate screwed to the four T-nuts I'd modified for it. (One thing leads to another...) I estimated that as its weight is around my safe manual lifting limit, it should not be hurt by evenly loading reasonably well-fitting nuts at the same radius about half-way along all four, thick-roofed T-slots.

Rooting around produced a thick steel disc some 8" dia - and thanks-be, with 8 not 6 peripheral holes. All it needs is a central hole for an appropriate eye-bolt, for manipulating with the overhead travelling-hoist I built last year. (Year before? Losing count!)

The disc was from a bereavement sale within the club some years ago now. I knew it could be useful for something one day!

Nicholas Farr20/10/2021 11:24:16
3329 forum posts
1531 photos

Hi, yesterday I finished making 24 angle brackets.

finished angles.jpg

These were made from six scrapped stainless steel hire plates that the company I worked for years ago never used and I acquired about 100 of these 4" x 6" by 3 / 64" thick plates, all nicely wrapped in brown paper in stacks of 20, they were packed with two plates with the plain side toward each other and the brown paper was folded over each pair on the engraved side, each plate had consecutive numbers stamped on them from 0001 and were probably made in the late 60's / early 70's, no idea why they were never used but were scrapped during the stores reassessment of what was needed to be held.

small old s#s sheet.jpg

First of all, the two holes at one side were cut off and then they were cut to length and then they were stacked and clamped into my milling vice, with enough protruding for cutting off with a slitting saw, into 24mm wide strips, then lifted for the next six strips and repeated until all six plates were cut into 24 strips.

cutting off.jpg

cutting off#2.jpg

Each strip was then deburred and the corners were rounded off with a file, one strip was marked and drilled, which was used the spot through onto the rest of the strips.

debured plates.jpg

When they were all drilled, two holes were countersunk on one side and the other two holes were countersunk on the other side.

drilled plates.jpg

These were then pressed in pairs to form 90 degree angle brackets, using my Flypress and my sheet metal "V" block and blade Sheet Metal Bending Block


These will be used for holding shelves in this CD storage unit which was given to me, however, I found it awkward to use as is and I don't really like the flimsy plastic slots that only hold a small portion of the cases, so I'm converting it to shelves which will increase its capacity from 160 to 192.

cd storeage.jpg

Regards Nick.

Michael Gilligan20/10/2021 11:51:10
20108 forum posts
1043 photos

Just curious, Nick …

What is the full text on your salvaged plates ?

Tell us now, and it will save future Archaeologists a lot of time angel


Nicholas Farr20/10/2021 12:18:09
3329 forum posts
1531 photos

Hi MichaelG, it was hard to photograph it well, due to its reflectiveness, but with a bit of help with Microsoft Office Picture Manager, I think you should be able to read it OK.

Contract Plate

Regards Nick.

Michael Gilligan20/10/2021 12:21:28
20108 forum posts
1043 photos

Excellent, thanks Nick

No need for a new 21st century Rosetta Stone


duncan webster20/10/2021 15:04:05
3943 forum posts
63 photos

They are building a deviation at my ME club, which means modifying the signalling system. I'm the S&T engineer. Each signal has 3 cables going to it. The civil engineering department has managed to hit all three, cutting 2 of them completely. One of them in 3 places within 2 foot run. You can see where the cables go underground, and see where they surface about 4 feet away. Do we just have uniquely stupid members? I'm not prepared to contemplate underground joints, so I now have to replace long lengths.

Edited By duncan webster on 20/10/2021 15:05:30

Nicholas Farr20/10/2021 15:37:08
3329 forum posts
1531 photos

Hi Duncan, I don't envy your job, where I used to work years ago, the electricians used these or similar Resin filled cable joint in all weathers. Replacing two or three miles of cable was not an option for them.

Link is from

Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 20/10/2021 15:40:16

duncan webster20/10/2021 16:11:26
3943 forum posts
63 photos

Thanks Nicholas, but it's only 1 sqmm stuff, so the cable will cost less than the repair thing, and the idiots who dug through it will have the joy of digging the trench

Edited By duncan webster on 20/10/2021 17:41:48

SillyOldDuffer20/10/2021 18:15:31
8509 forum posts
1912 photos
Posted by duncan webster on 20/10/2021 16:11:26:

Thanks Nicholas, but it's only 1 sqmm stuff, so the cable will cost less than the repair thing, and the idiots who dug through it will have the joy of digging the trench

Time for a new safety rule: all signal cabling must be buried 2 metres deep.

The whole club will be needed on digging duty for many wet winter weekends. Let the punishment fit the crime!


Mike Poole21/10/2021 00:19:50
3308 forum posts
73 photos

I was impressed when the gas board used a “mole” to connect my house to the gas main. It seemed to be an air hammer that drove itself forward. A hole dug below my meter box and a hole next to the main were dug. The mole very obligingly appeared in the hole by my meter and a strategically placed shovel directed it upwards to leave the pipe ready for termination. If any club members have connections to anyone with mole equipment it could make life very easy.


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