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What Did You Do Today 2021

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modeng200021/10/2021 19:58:55
304 forum posts
1 photos

A new water pipe was being installed for a near neighbour using a mole and all went well until the ground became quite soft. The mole followed gravity and was not seen again. The air pipe had to be cut as it was impossible to retrieve the working end, even though it was supposed to have a reversing facicity.


Bob Rodgerson21/10/2021 21:05:33
611 forum posts
174 photos

The use off Gravity was utilised, until quite recently, to make oil well bores deviate from the vertical.

duncan webster21/10/2021 21:25:19
3943 forum posts
63 photos

No moles, I'll just tell them the civil lads that there are lots of cables in a straight line. Actually there are lots of trees roots, so I suspect moles (thrust borers?) might have a difficult time.

When I had a new gas pipe installed at home they used a thrust borer. Fascinating, as Mike says, 2 holes, then a sighting contraption to set it off in the right direction and 25 feet away it pops out into the second hole. You could tell fairly accurately how it was getting on through the soles of your feet. I also had the electricity supply re-routed at the same time. Lots f banter from the guys who came to do it until the chap who actually did the connection. Working on live conductors down a hole in the drive. He didn't want to be distracted. I suppose they didn't want to turn off the whole street

Nicholas Farr22/10/2021 08:22:30
3329 forum posts
1531 photos

Hi, talking of moles, I took some photos of this one pulling about 60 meters of 6" / 150mm of gas pipe, it had already pulled about 80 meters into this hole from the top end of the road that joins this road the machine is on, which it at an angle of about 120 degrees to the right just beyond the building on the right, the machine could rotate the tubes which had a blade of some sort at the front end as it had to turn on a radius of about 6 or 7 meters at the junction of the two roads and a bloke with a tracking unit, which was placed on the road, radioed the progress back to the operator and he was able to guide it into the centre of the hole the machine is working in, in the photo below. They also had to do the same under about 5 miles of public roads to get to a connection to the main gas pipeline in the area, It cost the company half a million pounds, but it was cheaper in the long term than paying for LPG and all the costs for maintaining an LPG system. This was back in 2002.


They used those couplings with electric coils to join the two ends of the pipes in the hole, which heated them enough to weld the coupling to the pipes, a lot easier than messing about with glue or flanges.

Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 22/10/2021 08:37:15

martin perman22/10/2021 12:18:51
2042 forum posts
86 photos

Moles are brilliant but dont assume they go point to point, I had gas installed over thirty years ago it was a direct route from the main to the side of my house with nothing in the way, five years ago I had half my lawn dug up and a concrete drive layed to allow for more vehicles, the mini digger driver asked where the gas line was so we showed him the entry and exit and he went carefully around the area and found no pipe, all good, he then moved away from the area to carry on and after a few minutes brought up the gas pipe, now broken, the pipe went in a curve and cost over £800 to be repaired. the best bit was the village busy body came out of her house and lit up, the gas men politly told her to put the cigarette out which she ignored and kept walking towards my house, one of the gas men screamed which part of put that F'ing cigarette out dont you understand, there were four gas vans and a garden full of engineers and a loud hissing noise and she couldnt see what the problem was. They used a large electric heater to join the pipes together, I talked to one of the gas men afterwards and asked him why they didnt isolate the gas and his answer was that there are no off valves in the general system to turn the gas off.

Martin P

Chris Mate22/10/2021 15:04:02
137 forum posts
32 photos

Bought new small mill ZAY7045M, installed 230mm higher, bolted to concrete base poured in garage. I received a cooling tank and pump with it. I am currently busy installing a cooling system for use when I want to as I think it should be for me, after looking at other installations.

1-Tank holds 30L.
2-Add Ball Valve that can be closed for return flow at tank next to pump.

3-Add 3x filter system next to mill, input from pump output on tank.
4-Add T Block with 2x Ball valves, one for return , one towards mill for nozzels. Output of filter system 5-25micron is connected to the t Block input..
5-Add 2x nozzle bendable systems one with 2x nozzels, and one with 1x nozzle, two systems can be closed independant of each other or both at T-Block ball vale.
6-The flow at nozzles can be manupulated with return ball valve and or Nozzle ball valve.

7-The Return: I have a plastic drum to catch the water on bed to test maximum flow back to determine if return pype and fittings are big enough to take back what it gets. I am happy , it does.

8-The Return: I looked through farm cooperations and found a filter holder with filter I liked. I modified this on to a large magnet with a catch can(Round aliminium modified) that sits at height of coolant level. The purpose of this contraption is to catch the flowback dirty coolant with oil etc, but contain the oil in a small space(Filter with=60mm)-(Catchcan=Round 180mm x 60mm). The theory here is the dirty oil from bed, will never get into the rest of the tank, and as the oil rises, it spills over in the catch can with bottom that fits over filter head(60mm) in such a way the oil cannot flow back if it spilled over. I will decide later if I can drain it to a can from here, or just scoop it oit with toilet paper soaked.

9-I added two fishtank air pumps in mill cabinet drawer above where the tank is going to sit.
The one pump feeds the Filter one of the 3x Filter system and aerate that as well as the tank section where the pump is mounted.
The other pump feeds the pretank section where the pump is not fitted(Open top) as well as the bottom of the filter (60mm) with catch tank and arerate these. The theory is that when I am not using the mill I cam switch these 2x 4W 9500 airpumps on when in the garage or when the garage AC is on.

10-My next step is to fit the tank into the steel cabinet beneath the mill in such a way I can pull it out to look if I want to without spilling fluid, so it must move smooth, I am thinking about how to do this.

Maybe this work out as I hope for. I have to make a choice about which coolant to use.

clogs22/10/2021 16:04:48
626 forum posts
12 photos

Chris Mate.....

long story but as I'm nearly out of the suds oil... (25 ltr of Q8)

I'll be using Hydraulic oil.....not only the cost but better for the machine...

I have an early 70's Bridgeport and an as new Myford...hell just forgotten the letters....old age....

it's one of the last they sold.....made in Taiwan.....

the Myford still has shipping wax on it....

anyway only oil has ever been used on it.....(it does have a full suds pump system)

all the other lathes will get oil as well, only the the 12" metal cutting band saw will have the oil/water it's messy anyway.....

I'm told that there is a non diloutable suds out there but have not checked this out....yet...

The new workshop floor will have a 2 pack resin sealer /paint so that I can mop it....

I like a clean floor....but will be looking at better screening for the machines.....esp the milss as they chuck it everywhere....(horizontally)

what do others use for screening and suds.....?

ur new tank....obviously on bearings but with a liftable lid that has a deep internal lip....that way the slops wont get out when moving it.....

Chris Mate22/10/2021 16:41:29
137 forum posts
32 photos

Clogs..., a local machinist told me he uses EcoCool CG.

I am looking at Jotun paint 1L cans resin type easy for me to get at local Agri store. After I am finished with the tank mods, I want to get it sandblasted and the apply a proper paint. Other paints are only 20L and gets very expensive, for one qwote I could get a stainless tank made up. I was thinking as I pull the tank out of cabinet I want to ad a madeup short Piece of contraption on which it can extend out whatever rail/bearing system I decide apon.

After this I want to make catch plates/curtains around travel of bed that can be easily either removed & reposition or swivel some way or type of curtains directing the fluid spatter down. This will take some thinking. I really want to see if I can contain a lot while not closed like a CNC mill.

Mick B122/10/2021 21:02:56
2162 forum posts
119 photos

Finished another little blue titanium car for the grandkids to play with...


...and a few days back I finished Hopposaurus Rex, in brass:-


It always ends with extinction. surprise

I've really got to cut back on this kids' stuff and get back to Real Model Engineering... laugh


Edited By Mick B1 on 22/10/2021 21:05:18

Derek Lane23/10/2021 21:08:33
725 forum posts
165 photos

Spent the last couple of days laying a small path to the workshop ready for the wet weather and installing a mat to wipe my feet on when leaving to help remove any bits that get stuck to the bottom of my shoes if it works. This is on top of trying to decorate the bedroom a small price to pay for allowing me a larger workshop don't you think


Posted by Mick B1 on 22/10/2021 21:02:56:

...and a few days back I finished Hopposaurus Rex, in brass:-


It always ends with extinction. surprise

I've really got to cut back on this kids' stuff and get back to Real Model Engineering... laugh

Edited By Mick B1 on 22/10/2021 21:05:18

Extinction a little like the video showing as private herelaugh

Mick B123/10/2021 21:36:35
2162 forum posts
119 photos
Posted by Derek Lane on 23/10/2021 21:08:33:


Extinction a little like the video showing as private herelaugh

Ah, thanks... Doh!


Think I've published it now.

Derek Lane23/10/2021 21:39:52
725 forum posts
165 photos
Posted by Mick B1 on 23/10/2021 21:36:35:
Posted by Derek Lane on 23/10/2021 21:08:33:


Extinction a little like the video showing as private herelaugh

Ah, thanks... Doh!


Think I've published it now.

Yep that is it nice little toy

Craig Brown 223/10/2021 22:49:38
60 forum posts
31 photos

Posted by Mick B1 on 22/10/2021 21:02:56:

I've really got to cut back on this kids' stuff and get back to Real Model Engineering... laugh

Edited By Mick B1 on 22/10/2021 21:05:18

On the contrary, I'm inspired by what you have made as I am looking for ideas of things I could build for my son for Christmas and would be interested to see/hear about what else you have built

Speedy Builder524/10/2021 07:17:29
2593 forum posts
208 photos

Perhaps we need a new thread - Christmas toys for Kids ?

John Hinkley25/10/2021 17:02:13
1310 forum posts
424 photos

Following on from my post the other day, I've made some progress withe the mock-up of my taper/pattern copying attachment design.

major parts cnc cut.jpg

Not in the metal, but the wooden trial fit items. I had some laminate flooring around the workshop, so this was pressed into service. The "dovetail" sections are actually square-sided for simplicity of production and also lack a gib strip, of course. It allowed me to discover a major flaw in my initial measurements such that the cenreline of the pattern follower stylus was some 30mm higher than the corresponding holes in the supports. The photo shows the components after applying the required correction. There is still some interference between the chuck and the left hand support, but that is exactly the sort of interaction this was intended to highlight and is just a matter of tweaking the shape of the support.

I think I've saved myself some time doing it this way, rather that my usual "bull in a china shop" approach of chewing up bits of increasingly expensive metal. Not to mention the aggro when it turns out I've made such a monumental error in measurement!

I feel a metal order coming on.........


Gerhard Novak25/10/2021 19:06:21
109 forum posts
114 photos

I tried to drill a 3.3mm hole into a hex bar, starting of course with something smaller. And believe it or not, the drillbit rather bent then drilled. So I looked into my collection, found a reasonable new 1.9mm one, same result. I tried 5 different drillbits, then I thought there must be either a pretty hard section or an inclusion in this bar. I took out my magnifying lens, 10 times, no inclusion visible. So I took the bar and heated it up with a blow torch to improve the machinability. Again, the only change was that it was now oxide coated, but still no success.

Well I went for dinner, and when I came back I could see that the machine was set to reverse as I made some threads before... Unbelievable, it took me an hour to notice that. crook

Nigel Graham 228/10/2021 23:16:59
2053 forum posts
28 photos

Bit of a cumulative one but completed machining the connecting-rods for my steam-wagon and commenced improving the crossheads.

The latter came as a paired casting from the "orphans" tray on MJ Engineering's stand at the MSRVS Rally, err, a few years ago. They look as if originally for a 7-1/4 " g. loco. but with an enclosed engine in a vehicle built from a few old photos, I've plenty of latitude.

Tool-making for completing the rods I started ages ago, took much of the time. It entailed jigs for a large rotary-table, slightly modifying an existing jig for something else I'd made on a smaller RT; but happily with the same diameter central register - by sheer chance!

When jig-making I consider the possibility of future similar (not necessarily identical) tasks so make the jig as adaptable as practical - as on this, often as simple as some extra tapped holes.

The jig is held to the RT by M6 screws into tapped bushes made from M12 studding, to fit the big T-nuts; obviating clumsy great step-clamps getting in everyone's way.

Elated with the small-ends rounded off as well as I could achieve, and with a lovely finish from a 3-flute end-mill, I closed up for the night (on Tuesday), and went for a celebratory pint... well, two pints, of excellent Butcombe Bitter in my local. Draught, of course.

Yesterday - started re-boring the cross-heads to take the larger small-ends I'd made, rather than the somewhat thin-walled ones I'd orginally planned.

Today - finished that then turned a close-fitting plug for the bores, to aid setting for correcting the earlier work on them, where I'd somehow made the piston-rod holes off-centre with both the gudgeon-pin and the slide-bars.


Butcombe... (based in the Somerset village of that name). Hmm, I've sunk a good few gallons of that over the years as a one-time regular caver on the Mendip Hills, frequenting the Hunters' Lodge centre of the caving world!

Oily Rag29/10/2021 08:21:55
540 forum posts
184 photos

Finished the work on the 'Cremulator' (see previous post regarding straightness of BDMS! ) and the new piece of BDMS was superbly straight. Got the machine back together with the bearing modifications and it all runs well - just wait now 6 months to see if the redesign has cured the bearing mash up.

Another job came up which required a M16 x 2 LH thread on a shaft and a matching nut. I found I had a LH tap for the nut but the shaft had to be screw cut using a lay down insert. All my form inserts were for use in a toolholder with 'bias' for RH threads, but I managed to find a non biased toolholder in my tooling and used a Metric all purpose insert (1.5p to 3.0p ). I made a 2.3mm wide 'run-out' (actually a run-in as the LH thread needed the cut to be made away from the headstock ) and made this 'run-out' to thread minor diameter. Machined the thread but the crests were not right - so dug in my tooling box again and found a 2p hand chaser. After about 5 or 6 passes shaving a little off on each pass and then trying the nut I got an excellent fit. The hand chaser saved my day!

Which got me to thinking that you do not see hand chasers advertised these days - does anyone still use them??


Mike Hurley29/10/2021 09:23:03
305 forum posts
87 photos

I've used them a few times where I needed a particularly accurate and ' smooth ' thread. They are a much better way to get an instrument - standard finish than any amount of smoothing with abrasives / scotchbrite etc.

Tracy tools still list them I believe

regards Mike

Samsaranda29/10/2021 10:48:04
1407 forum posts
5 photos

Yesterday afternoon in the workshop I thought that I would make the brass drain plug and bush for the water tank on my Allchin TE that I am building, I realised that I didn’t have a tap and die for the threads, 3/8” x 40 tpi me, so at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon I emailed an order to Tracy Tools, at 10.30 this morning they dropped through the letter box, in my view that is outstanding service. It was only a few weeks ago that I wrote on the forum about postal difficulties in our area, the difficulties now seem to be well and truly resolved with deliveries back to as they used to be. Well that’s one of todays jobs in the workshop sorted. Dave W

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