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What Did You Do Today 2021

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mechman4827/02/2021 19:21:04
2886 forum posts
449 photos

Yesterday & today. Have had a lot of back lash on my WM16 mill fine feed worm drive since day one ( 2012 ) but lived with it since. I decided to sort it as best with out removing the whole worm drive; it measured up at nearly 1.2 mm before the drive engaged ,yeah I know more than excessive. I made up a brass washer to take up as much slack as I figured .041" ~ 1 mm & fitted that, back lash is now down to ~ .4 mm so decided to leave it at that... for now!

Also decided to remake the cover for my X drive motor from a near colour match 3mm plastic sheet; heat gun bent to shape, replaced a PWM with a new unit that has a on-off-on switch & fitted a numbered dial, looks much better than the original stainless steel version, Original pics in album 'X' drive..

re modeled x axis drive (1).jpg

re modeled x axis drive (2).jpg

re modeled x axis drive (3).jpg

Fine feed washer...

Fine feed washer.jpg

Only small stuff but off the Tduit list.


Samsaranda27/02/2021 19:25:26
1071 forum posts
5 photos

Hi Nigel

Have had the exact same problem with a commercially made slitting saw arbour, very annoying at the time.

SillyOldDuffer27/02/2021 20:20:12
7042 forum posts
1549 photos

My lazy retirement ended! My son's bought a house, a 'doer upper', and it turns out I've volunteered. And due to Covid restrictions the entire workforce is me! Unfortunately no interesting metal working skills are needed, just lots of cleaning, scraping, caulking, painting and swearing.

By golly I'm tired. Not used to hard physical work...

face 24


Iain Downs27/02/2021 20:32:21
750 forum posts
668 photos

Hi, Nigel. My table is 8 inches and there is still an inch of overhang. I think it will be fine though.

I've just used the arbour again to slice some 40 wide mm aluminium into 4 mm slices. With some luck I may show the results tomorrow!


Nigel Graham 227/02/2021 21:06:17
1275 forum posts
17 photos

I felt sufficiently recovered from the pestilence jab to paint some of the 'Worden' T&C Grinder parts.

Being essentially long bars I improvised holding arrangements for them between 3-jaw chuck and live centre on the Harrison lathe.

Mounted them each in turn then degreased it with brush-cleaner and a wipe over with xylene paint-thinner, before setting it revolving at around 30 or so rpm and spraying it with ordinary car-paint primer (aerosol can).

Left it running for long enough for the paint to set sufficiently, then suspended it by string tied to the improvised centre-stud, from convenient twigs on a flowering-cherry, out in the late-afternoon sun.

The last part was trickiest as it is a shaft with 3 plate-cams screwed to it, and with a fine thread on one end. I masked the ends with insulating tape then "screwed" a rubber roller from an old printer onto it to hold it in the lathe firmly enough for spraying.

The 5 items are all now hanging up from a shelf indoors, near a radiator, to harden off overnight.

To protect the lathe I sprayed the chuck with WD-40, and laid a sheet of newspaper over the ways. The splash-back is a sheet of galvanised steel (an old server back-panel) screwed to a shelf, and so oily the paint probably won't stick anyway.


[I don't claim credit for the idea. A contributor to ME a year or so back now, described modifying an electric barbeque spit for the same process.]


Glancing at the newspaper on the lathe bed, I spotted it was a page on arts-&-crafts ideas for whiling away lock-downs. Among them were kits with special clay, for making simple pottery without wheel and kiln. Obviously we allow for this being aimed at beginners in a craft taking considerable practice to master; but if the reviewer had seen the elegant Bronze Age pottery (with the odd, accidental but rather moving thumb-print) in Dorchester Museum - he or she not learnt from it. I quote:

"The great thing about the ceramics scene is that the more imperfect and hand-crafted the pieces look, the better."

And there was I trying to finish my Hemingway kit to its deserved, decent hand-crafted standard.......

bernard towers27/02/2021 21:25:54
138 forum posts
70 photos

John H I like the lantern chuck nice to think that you thought it a worthwhile project, hope you get as much use out of it as I have.

Steviegtr27/02/2021 23:31:28
1976 forum posts
268 photos

Made 4 hold down clamps from steel, for the new Arc eurotrade vise.


pic 1.jpg

Edited By Steviegtr on 27/02/2021 23:32:12

John Hinkley28/02/2021 09:51:25
1065 forum posts
361 photos


Thanks for your comments. I was a little apprehensive about copying your design, rather than waiting for the "official" plans in MEW 302! But then they say "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". It's nice to get feedback on your published articles, too.

Without wishing to plug the construction video unduly, Part 1 is here. The two together last just short of 1½ hours, but there's always the fast forward button!


Robin28/02/2021 12:08:14
393 forum posts

Trying to make zero-backlash ball nuts by springing pairs with Belleville washers. Bought 4 spare nuts and none of them were smooth running. Today I changed the balls and they are now quite delightful. 3/32" = 2.381mm. Old balls measure 2.39mm. New balls measure 2.37mm.

Digimatic caliper resolves 0.01mm. Micrometer coming. Bought a Starret. Been watching too much TubalCain smiley

I can only suppose that they had a bunch of nuts fitted with oversize balls to stop folk moaning about the backlash. When they found they were crap they sold them to me without screws.

I can get 200kgf before it gives, easy peasy. Probably enough for milling, so hard to visualize. Two fat ladies? thinking

Edited By Robin on 28/02/2021 12:37:59

Iain Downs28/02/2021 17:17:29
750 forum posts
668 photos

Today, I finally finished off the air plumbing for my compressor.

I've really struggled trying to understand the various incompatible standards, sizes and options - and that despite helpful feedback from forum members in another post.

IN the end, my project approach was one I call, 'muddling through. I started off by buying a cheap 5m air hose. Turns out it had a 10mm diameter, so I started buying small number of bits and bobs to see how they fitted together.

Here's what I've ended up with:-

From the compressor to a pressure valve, water remover

air plumbing 00.jpg

I should be able to pull out the compressor to drain water from time to time and I still have access to the second outlet at the front.

This feeds a Tee

air plumbing 00.5.jpg

Whose left spur goes to a point on my bench, near my old and tiny CMD10 (just out of the shot on the left).

air plumbing 01.jpg

To the right, it first pauses by my rather bigger mill.

air plumbing 02.jpg

Sorry about the picture - it's hard to get a good angle on it.

Before pottering round the back of the mill and then the back of the shed where it ends up at a point for the lathe.

air plumbing 03.jpg

Almost as much effort was tidying up the shed so I didn't look like a complete mess. Sadly, but the time I got to the lathe, my tidying hormones had completely ran out, so the lathe is in it's normal swarfy state.

One of the biggest challenges was working out how to hold the quick release points. A kind member suggested I mount each point with a drain valve to clear any excess water. I have done so, though in hindsight I wonder how much value that has with my rather sparse usage. Still, sometimes I like to do things 'right'.

I tried 1/4 BSP T connectors, but couldn't work out how I would mount the (without quite complex machining), so ended up using 4 way connectors (cross shaped) which I set into some milled ally pieces with a plate on top (said plates sliced out of a block with the slitting saw mentioned a few posts back)..

There's no apparent leakage and all points work. Unusual that something works more or less first time!


Gerhard Novak28/02/2021 19:30:37
33 forum posts
50 photos

Went on with my late fathers 10V project and brought it to an end. Was quite nice to finish what he had started many years ago.

In the state of putting things together

20210226_185049 (2).jpg

20210226_185158 (2).jpg

One major task was to make all the old screws blank again. Used a lot of fine abrasive paper and patience...

Finally it is ready. I had it running on compressed air, and it does what it says on the tin.

20210228_190145 (2).jpg

20210228_190315 (2).jpg

20210228_190331 (2).jpg

Ian Skeldon 228/02/2021 20:01:15
506 forum posts
45 photos

Very nice Gerhard, your Father would be proud of you I am sure.

Robert Butler28/02/2021 21:27:55
219 forum posts
6 photos

Iain - drain the compressor EVERY time you have finished using the compressor.

Robert Butler

Nigel Graham 228/02/2021 23:17:48
1275 forum posts
17 photos

That's lovely, Gerhard - a very fitting conclusion to the project.



After some seed-planting, carried on painting my Hemingway 'Worden' grinder.

Spray-on top-coat this time, with the first coat of acrylic car-paint.

Having painted the round bits as yesterday, with them turning gently on the lathe, I hung them up on the cherry-tree again to set off a bit before brining them indoors to harden overnight.

Then realised one but should have been left bright: it's the guide-bar for the table's cross-travel! Ah. Makes a change from trying to keep paint on what should be painted.

After a bit of head-scratching as to how to remove three coats of paint without harming the steel. I set it back on the lathe but with the low-range gear in a sort of unofficial neutral that lets me turn the chuck by hand.

Then simply softened and wiped off the paint with kitchen-roll and brake-fluid.


Meanwhile I remembered I'd hung a part from a drill-grinder awaiting restoring, in a tub of rust-remover. It had been there for two days now! It worked, coming out with a dark silvery-grey patina. A quick spray with furniture-polish and it's back on the machine, showing up the state of the rest of it.


Then set to designing my steam-engine connecting-rods... Version 3.

Before sending a plaintive cry for help to the TurboCAD Forum, asking if I can draw an assembly from components on separate drawings - if so, how.. Each component is of several CAD entities.

It's possible to copy and paste the cross-head and connecting-rod side elevations, from their own drawings to the crankshaft end elevation on a third drawing, but I can't see any way to assemble them other than by very laborious moves, entity by entity. Oh, and of course the rod at mid-stroke is at an angle to the axis but parallel on its detail drawing.

[ The reverse is easy. Draw the assembly, make lots of copies each with its own title, then delete from each copy all but the part named in its title.  ]

Edited By Nigel Graham 2 on 28/02/2021 23:18:59

Gerhard Novak01/03/2021 07:37:48
33 forum posts
50 photos
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 28/02/2021 23:17:48:

Then set to designing my steam-engine connecting-rods... Version 3.

Before sending a plaintive cry for help to the TurboCAD Forum, asking if I can draw an assembly from components on separate drawings - if so, how.. Each component is of several CAD entities.

First - thanks for the flowers Nigel. I will display the machine next to my fathers model boats (he made several, I rescued 2 by bringing them over to the UK - one of them may be well known for visitors to the maritime museum in Greenwich - as it is the Reliant. Same scale as the model in the museum next to one of it's steam engines. By the way the smaller scale one is a gunboat from the river danube, around 1910.

20210301_070044 (2).jpg

But back to the quote - I have exactly the same problem, just a different CAD. I used QCAD for my monoblock twin study, I have different drawings of parts and bringing them together is rather time consuming. Now the 10V is complete I will put more energy into this little project.

Samsaranda01/03/2021 16:44:21
1071 forum posts
5 photos

What did I do today, the weather was absolutely glorious, very cold first thing if you were out of the sun but as the day progressed it warmed up beautifully, such a shame to hide indoors so it was outside jobs today. Two pressing jobs to be done before the weather breaks again, one was finish painting the outside of the workshop and advancing age and increasingly becoming unsteady on her feet means that there needs to be some sort of restraint system to prevent my wife falling into my large koi pond, 6 feet deep, when she is in the garden and near the pond. She maintains it is needed for me but I have only fallen in once, that’s another story though. It was an ideal day for my grandson, who is quite autistic, to assist me, suitably socially distanced of course, he normally spends all his time closeted in his bedroom so a well needed change to his routine. Between us we constructed a post and chain fence along the two sides of the pond that needed the restraints. The posts are 80 cms high and located in the ground with metpost spikes and the galvanised chains hung on rings fixed either side of the posts. Painting the workshop meant one side was completed by lunchtime and that leaves one side to paint tomorrow morning. It was refreshing to see how my grandson interacted with me and he was engaging in meaningful conversation, a rarity as he is usually withdrawn into his autistic world, a really therapeutic morning for him and he is keen to repeat the experience tomorrow, his mother was really surprised at how much he had interacted. Anyway a number of brownie points gained from my wife for the completed chain fence along the pond and a good day out in the fresh air. Dave W

Andrew Johnston01/03/2021 19:37:39
5976 forum posts
668 photos

Much of the last few weeks has been a nightmare of PCB layout for work. One lesson learnt is that components are now so small that the size of the PCB is dictated by the room needed to fan out the tracks rather than by the size of the components.

However, I have also been working away on what I call the singling valves for my traction engines. These allow high pressure steam to be applied to the low pressure cylinder, temporarily converting the compound to a single using the low pressure cylinder. Here are the parts and one assembled valve:

singling valve parts me.jpg

The body is silver soldered from several bronze parts and all threads (apart from that on the U shaped piece of brass) were screwcut. The valve is not part of the model drawings, but has been scaled from the full size works drawings. I've tried to be faithful to the works drawings, right down to the hole and slot on the end of the stainless steel valve rod. For scale the hole is 1mm and the slot is 20 thou wide:

rod end.jpg

Here's the valve in situ on the cylinder, with the regulator rod in the background complete with studs and split pin holes as per full size:

singling valve in situ me.jpg

This is the internal shape of the body, on a scrap part, again faithful to full size:

singling valve internals me.jpg


Nigel Graham 205/03/2021 21:20:32
1275 forum posts
17 photos

Having spent yesterday making a mounting-flange for my steam-wagon I decided both lathes would appreciate a good cleaning.

This also an opportunity to cure a very stiff jaw on the Harrison's elderly 4-jaw chuck. The problem was not the usual - swarf in the thread - but slight bruising on the sliding faces of both jaw and chuck. The jaw was just soft enough, and the chuck body certainly is, to yield to very careful, steady-as-you-go dressing with a warding-file, which revealed the bumps as bright patches.

However, that was not Number One Task of the Day.

Oh dear me no.

That was making a wildlife tunnel through our single-thickness brick garden wall, using an old roof ridge-tile my neighbour had found dumped somewhere. We each have a pond housing a colony of frogs, and this should help them find each other. My neighbour has also seen a hedgehog in my garden, but that was a rarity as we aren't really in larger-mammal territory. I've seen only the occasional mouse.

Heaped around with soil on my side, it looks like a tunnel awaiting a 16-mm scale mine railway! I could tell people it's a model of a closed adit....

Roderick Jenkins07/03/2021 18:06:41
2065 forum posts
555 photos

Tidied up the electrics for the Lidl bandsaw. The saw can be easily demounted for use as a portable saw. The flanges on the flex winder were left over from an occasional job I used to do for my wife's old employer. They were sacrificial pads under a jig for drilling mounting holes through a stack of stainless steel foil diaphragms. I always knew they would come in handy.

lidl saw.jpg

Stay well,


Edited By Roderick Jenkins on 07/03/2021 18:09:08

Anthony Knights07/03/2021 18:16:58
487 forum posts
206 photos

Went in the workshop today but it was still cold so didn't achieve much. I managed to make an adapter for the tailstock die holder so it will take an M2 die. I need this because I have to make six 2mm studs for the steam chest on the beam engine I am building.


Here it is in situ, with the die fitted.


The reason for the long screw? This tap and die set has a cunning device to hold taps in the die holder.cunning.jpg

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