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What Did You Do Today 2021

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PatJ19/02/2021 21:36:25
132 forum posts
104 photos

Working on 3D models for the steam ship Mississpppi side lever engine, with hopes of one day casting one.

Proposed beam is 24" long.

Go big or go home as they say.









Edited By PatJ on 19/02/2021 21:43:33

Roger Best19/02/2021 22:24:45
235 forum posts
31 photos

I finally got out into the workshop!

I have been poorly recently and also focused on stuff in the house. I was made more determined by the stress of having both my mother and wife being of concern.

My mum is almost 80 and appears to have caught Covid during a hospital visit for chemotherapy, during which she also had an adverse reaction to the treatment that needed emergency treatment. You couldn't write it.

An afternoon of carpentry, has done me the world of good. I am building a fume cupboard, that will allow me to paint, weld, solder and steam when the weather is poor. Now the frame is up it looks about the right size. Lord knows where the sashes are coming from. The fan is sorted, not a proper EX-rated one but it should be OK if I keep the solvents to a minimum. Filters are easy - kitchen hood carbon filters are great.

A bit more tomorrow and I will be able to fit the vice I have been renovating and maybe even take the surface plate from out of under the sideboard and out into the workshop. The big bonus will be stocking up the drawers with all the tools from the house that I can never find when I want them.

Nigel Graham 220/02/2021 01:47:36
1420 forum posts
20 photos

Yesterday I was very disappointed by being unable to cut two spanner-flats on circular nuts in the intended way, on a BCA jig-borer, due to a huge run-out on the 4-jaw self-centring chuck on an adaptor I'd spent the previous few days making. It is comprised of a recessed disc holding a Myford-threaded nose-piece from RDG Tools; and located on the table by a close-fitting peg.

So today...


First I had to make a set of rods to match my BCA collets and motley assortment of DTI stands to DTIs. I don't know what grade of steel I used, a shaft from a scrapped printer, but it was beautiful to machine.

Now I could measure things....

Including making the DTI holder parts, it took basically the entire performance of Siegfried, (yesterday's fight to make two simple nuts took all of Die Valkure), but I traced it eventually to locating-peg.

Its outer diameter locates the base-plate to the BCA table's central, plain hole. Its inner hole takes the spigot on the underside of the RDG-supplied part. A thin flange adds further locating and stops the pin vanishing into the machine's innards.

That through-hole, reamed from the far end, was slightly off-centre, forcing the nose-piece to tilt slightly in its nest in the base-plate.

Reaming it from the top end, with it in a collet on the lathe, removed a surprising amount of metal.

Re-assembled, the run-out at the top of the chuck was down from a whopping 0.025" to a mere 0.003" I may be able to reduce further.


I had practically finished by the time of the finale. Just as well, for while I could machine things to most of the opera, even be amused by the art-world thinking that forging iron sounds like a bell ringing; but Brunnhilde's and Siegfried's duet is just too overwhelming for that...

Howard Lewis20/02/2021 12:08:03
4744 forum posts
10 photos

Ah! Drastically reducing the runout must be music to your ears. As long as the machine does not Ring!

Glad that you are getting things sorted.


Nigel Graham 220/02/2021 20:16:15
1420 forum posts
20 photos

Thank you Howard.

Yes - it was a great relief to find the error was in a small component easy to correct.

I had a bit of a lazy day today, perhaps a reaction.

I have a pair of Stephenson's Gear expansion-links to make, and dimensions on the drawing I am using as my guide are of course all in 64ths and rectangular. It's occurred to me that if the motion radius is not excessive this would be a good jig-borer task, starting with re-drawing them in polar and decimal dimensions (I use TurboCAD). If it is too large a radius I'll use the same approach but on the milling-machine, with a rotary-table.


Went for a longish walk in which I met my sister at her front-door, by sheer chance, so that was a good hour gone with her in the porch and me just outside, trying to talk above the traffic noise. She lives on a main road, but ... lock-down?. We live less than half a mile apart but not seen each other since Boxing Day.

Still, I gun-blued a few grinder parts, treating them with furniture-polish straight afterwards because if there is one guaranteed way to make steel rust indoors it is to chemically blue/black it then leave it unprotected.

Blue? It's a sort of very slightly blue-tinged, mottled dark grey-ish effect. The best blue I have managed on steel was on a set of small spring leaves I oil-quenched, polished then lead-tempered. The steel in the air above the just-molten lead turned a purplish-blue while that left submerged came out still shiny. (They were for the club's "Wren" loco.)

Typing this in a break from some tidying and re-organising of the "middle room" (some might call it the "dining-room" to create a parking-space for my EW lathe on its trolley; presently partially under the kitchen work-top.


And of course, as per the last 3 evenings: we're about half-way through Gotterdamerung at the moment. It's a right tangled plot but the BBC web-site has a synopsis.

How do the actors manage to remember so many long, difficult songs with complicated melodies in what to most of them are foreign languages; and understand the lyrics and story enough to sing them with the appropriate voice-expressions, plus remember the cues and stage actions?


Right, post this, make a brew and sandwich then back to the re-arranging....

JA21/02/2021 19:00:23
1145 forum posts
72 photos

Finally a warm dry afternoon. I got the saw trestles out on the drive and started cutting timber for a small lathe work bench.

I hope to continue posting details of my progress (anything to keep away from “the tea room&rdquo.


Bazyle21/02/2021 19:26:28
5864 forum posts
217 photos

Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 20/02/2021 20:16:15:

How do the actors manage to remember so many long, difficult songs with complicated melodies in what to most of them are foreign languages

We happend to talk about this on a recent church zoom with a professional singer. Apparently music and or song is stored in an unexpected area of the brain not the normal speach and memory bit. This accounts for why demential patients who can barely talk can sing along to the songs of their youth. Makes you realise how improtant all that school days singing becomes decades later.

Gerhard Novak21/02/2021 21:15:55
37 forum posts
50 photos

Small improvement for my lathe - took me a few days as I had to order some material for it. I have some SX25 collets, which I used for milling on the vertical unit of my Emco compact 5. As I have since a few years a Sieg SX2 I practically do not use them.

For the lathe itself I didn't purchase a collet holder. As the spindle has an MK2 cone I purchased a cheap MK2 collet holder. I had to manufacture a draw bar to hold the MT2 collet holder securly in place.

I have to say - even it dosen't run dead true - It is a world better than my 3-jaw self centering chuck and I love it for small diameter pieces. 20210218_170048 (2).jpg

End of the drawbar

20210218_165916 (2).jpg

The whole thing outside the spindle

20210218_165820 (2).jpg

Edited By Gerhard Novak on 21/02/2021 21:16:22

JA22/02/2021 11:24:05
1145 forum posts
72 photos
Posted by JA on 21/02/2021 19:00:23:

Finally a warm dry afternoon. I got the saw trestles out on the drive and started cutting timber for a small lathe work bench.

I hope to continue posting details of my progress (anything to keep away from “the tea room&rdquo.


Further to the above threat I will not add to this in "the tea room" but be starting a blog in "The workshop progress thread".


Iain Downs25/02/2021 13:54:34
763 forum posts
678 photos

I've watched a lot of Joe Piezinski recently and find myself in awe of his pins - the metal bits not his legs, though no doubt they are fine too.

A quick tour of the usual supplies indicates that getting a suitable range of precision pins would require a moderate mortgage - and 0.01mm precision or better is not in my dictionary!

So I bought some silver steel (which seems to be generally ground 1 thou under nominal dimension), cut to size, trimmed in the lathe (with surprising accuracy!) and chamfered...


This is scarcely what did I do today as it harks back to before the cold kept me from the shed (and camera), but here is a snap of my low profile slitting saw arbour (again inspired by Joe, though I think Quinn's done a you tube on it as well) in action.

slitting saw holder slitting.jpg

Finally, I have been attempting to mill the reversing link for my steam engine, which is not going well. Mainly because my masking tape and superglue arbour failed and the part got ruined. I need to start from scratch. Still at least it's almost warm again so I can actually get back in the shed!


Nigel Graham 225/02/2021 14:19:23
1420 forum posts
20 photos

Would be better as "What Didn't You Do Today?" for me.

First Covid jab yesterday, and knew I'd quite likely have side-effects.

That was in the morning. I drove home (about 43) miles fine, had a meal, pottered about, moved my EW lathe on its trolley to a new location in the house. So far fine; just occasional, slight aches in the jabbed arm.

Then started to feel extremely tired so went to bed at about 10pm. Could not sleep though - it always takes me a long time to drop off but I think I managed barely a couple of hours of broken sleep in the next 12 hours. At one time I went through a long phase of bouts of violent shivering despite not feeling cold, but that stopped abruptly and rather eerily. These don't seem on the side-effects list I was given (Oxford / Astra-Zeneca).

So today I'm ambling round like a wooden man made of smoke, feeling washed-out, get-up-&-go gorn, no appetite. I am not in a state to risk using machine-tools and no desire anyway; but I'll try to make myself do some engine designing for my steam-lorry - I keep having to revise it.

Ah well, I'm sure I'll be right, if not tomorrow than pretty soon. My second dose is in May.

Dave Wootton25/02/2021 15:39:34
171 forum posts
47 photos

I'm with you on the what I hav'nt done today or the last few days, Had my covid jab on Sunday morning, felt terrible Monday, same shivery thing as you, and have been a steadily improving zombie for the last few days. All very frustrating, theres loco's to be built, hope the second jab doesn't do the same.

Howard Lewis25/02/2021 15:57:09
4744 forum posts
10 photos

When I was at work, the Technical Rep for one of our Piston supplers gave me a keyring with a small Piston on it.

During lockdown, two of our neighbours, in particular, have been very generous, so I made them keyrings of the same form out of some polished 3/4" Aluminium bar, with a bit of 1/4" steel bar carrying the actual keyring.

Used a 2mm carbide insert parting tool to produce the ring grooves.

Slightly unusual, so not likely to be confused with something else.


bernard towers25/02/2021 16:38:04
164 forum posts
70 photos

05edd035-a5e7-47df-abd1-c0d861eb4653.jpegNot a good start put hand in drawer and caught it on broken piece of machine Hacksaw blade so that gave me the job for the day turning offending item into two parting blades which is why I got it in the first place(15 years go!). All worked out quite well with angles along blade length ground on the stent.02649069-199a-4205-b726-c4115fe6b2d5.jpeg

Nigel Graham 225/02/2021 16:52:31
1420 forum posts
20 photos

Dave -

Talking to my neighbour this morning about it, she said from the experiences of others she know is that the worse after-effects are with the Oxford's first dose, and with the Pfeizer's second.

Obviously it depends very much on the individual.

Well, I managed a very light lunch - nothing cooked other than the tea-water. I've just come back in after very gently pottering around the garden in the sunshine, pulling out a few weeds and the like.

Also went into the workshop to measure the travel on the Harrison's compound-slide, taper-length for the planning of.


Iain -

Expansion-links... Not knowing how you were doing it, I don't know the sticky-tape and glue technique but my thought is to drill the eccentric-link holes in the blank, and use them to screw it at the appropriate radius to a suitable plate secured to the rotary-table (Their radius exceeds that of the table.)

Without a rotary-table one way - and an alternative I am considering for myself as I have this problem coming up - may be to make an "arc table" from a length of thick bar or plate. This rotates around an arbour that is basically a large-diameter T-nut stud, and driven by a screw working through suitable brackets etc. on the outer end.

I like that slitting-saw arbour but how do you prevent the cut closing up and jamming the saw by the action of the clamp-bolt, as the saw breaks through?

Iain Downs25/02/2021 18:05:20
763 forum posts
678 photos

Thanks, NIgel.

The sticky tape and glue goes as follows. Clear well both parts. put some masking tape (I went out and bought some blue philips because someone said so, but it turns out that was what they had not what was needed) on one both surfaces. Apply super glue to the non-sticky side that's up. Push the parts together (tape to tape) and let it set.

It's a variant of the superglue chuck, which is a variant of the wax chuck. I like the tape version (in principle) because you don't have to heat up the parts to break them free. In this case I suspect that the part got warm with the milling - or perhaps I should have taken a lighter cut. Who knows. But I think it's fine to drill / ream with and hten I can bolt it together

I do have a rotary table and started of by mounting the plate on some scrap aluminium and drilling / reaming / slot drilling some registration holes as can bee seen below

valvegear 03 on fixture.jpg

As you can see I'm a measure once drill twice sort of guy ....

I've cut another blank and we basically get to the same point and then I will bolt the two eccentric rod holes firmly to the ally. My other challenge is that the centre of the MT3 spindle and the centre of rotation of the table are not in the same place. We're talking 2 or 3 thou here which not going to affect this piece, but it's nice to be try and get it spot on.

The arbour cap has a 22mm protrusion onto which the slitting saw fits. This slides into a receiver on the main body and the two are clamped together with a cap head bolt in a counterbored hole.IN effect there is the same clamping force as on one of those arbours which are far too long and with a long thread protruding with a massive bolt.

This may make a bit more sense.

slitting saw arbor.jpg


Tom Sheppard25/02/2021 18:48:01
31 forum posts

Put the new lathe in its unopened box behind the motorbike, the bits of which are currently occupying the required space. The engine will be rebuilt over the next week and then the fun can begin.

Gerhard Novak25/02/2021 22:28:44
37 forum posts
50 photos

Played around with my late fathers Stuart 10V, I am almost there. Made the cylinder cover from brass sheet, drilled and tapped for drain cocks. Removed rust where possibel. Finally I painted what needs to be painted, and hopefully tomorrow I can start to put everything together. 20210217_175846 (2).jpg

20210217_175828 (2).jpg

John Hinkley27/02/2021 14:24:36
1092 forum posts
374 photos

Towards the lower half of page 5 of this thread, I posted about the lantern chuck that I'd made. To reiterate, it's a blatantly plagiarised copy of the Bernard Towers one in MEW 301, but larger. I decided to increase the number of adaptors to twelve - six plain drilled and six threaded so that grub screws can be accommodated, as well as ordinary fasteners. I can't see myself using 10mm grub screws, but it keeps things neat. I like neat. The whole lot was going to be kept in a drawer (in short supply) or relegated to storage on a shelf (even shorter supply) and thus likely to be subsequently mislaid. So, I ordered a ready-made box from eBay and fitted a shelf inside with suitable cut-outs for the body and main shaft and pins, plain and threaded for the adaptors. Here's what it turned out like:

Lantern chuck and accessories

The small screw bottom middle, which looks like it holds the shelf in place is filling a hole drilled in the wrong place!


Nigel Graham 227/02/2021 19:15:22
1420 forum posts
20 photos

Iain -

Thank you!

I think you are right about why the glue method didn't work. Yes, you've confirmed for me the other way - screwing the embryo link to an extension-plate - is the way to go.

I had thought of making the links on the jog-borer but measuring that, found it of too small a radius.

My main rotary-table is of 6" dia so the links will be overhanging by 2", but I think it'll be OK with a gentle touch. I have a 10" dia rotary table but that's probably too heavy for the milling-machine. I'd have to use the workshop hoist to move and lift it, too.

I have a commercially-made slitting-saw arbor of somewhat similar pattern, and was dismayed to find after one particular operation I thought I was taking sufficiently gently, the countersunk securing-screw had become so tightened by the cutting forces I had to drill it out, clean up the M8 thread and install a new screw!

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