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Hello from Winnipeg, Canada

I know very little about machining, Iím also interested in the Hawker Hurricane and Classical Guitar

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Steven Smart14/08/2021 03:36:10
18 forum posts

Way back in the early 80’s I did metalworking at high school and since then have dreamed about having a lathe an mill.

With retirement in the less than distant future, two years ago I decided it was time to start getting ready by purchasing a 12x24” lathe. It arrived about three months after Covid first hit and since then has been sitting in my garage waiting until Covid settled down somewhat, before I move it into my basement workshop.

For a lot of people, waiting over two years from purchase to first use would be excruciating, but I’ve got lots of other hobbies that have kept me out of trouble:

- my interest in aeroplanes and specifically the Hawker Hurricane.
- Classical Guitar.

- finishing off a cottage.
- being interested in just about anything to do with science.

Life in Canada is very seasonly orientated, so I am very much looking forward to winter, which is workshop time!!! And this winter I’ll get to play with my new lathe!

Richard Millington14/08/2021 07:03:53
35 forum posts

Welcome Steven,

I too like the Hurricane, prefer it to the Spitfire, but wouldn't mind owning either - unfortunately bank balance won't allow that sad.

Enjoy your retirement.

Richard

David George 114/08/2021 07:49:18
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1656 forum posts
497 photos

Hi Steven welcome to the forum. You only have to ask on here for help and you never know, you may be able to offer info to others as well.

David

not done it yet14/08/2021 09:21:39
6325 forum posts
20 photos

Hi Steven,

Hurricane

I like it when ‘they’ argue about Spitfires and Hurricanes - which was really the better of the two.

“Hurricanes shot down more German planes over Britain, so must have been better”

But they would not have managed that if the Spitfires had not engaged the ME109 fighter cover. Likewise Hurricanes could take more damage than a Spitfire - but would have needed to, if the Spitfires were not there to take the heat of them.

In my view, they both rather complemented each other and that was all we had in those early days of the war. Didn’t the Hurricane develop more for ground attack after the initial urgent defence role was over?

Basement

Such a good idea. We had a cellar at the farmhouse. I miss it, even though that one was a bit damp.

I expect yours is cosy and warm? (the boiler is down there?)

A close neighbour (well, ‘bout a quarter mile away) built a cellar (but under his garden - and he calls it a bunker). He’s now connected it by a tunnel to his house.

Science

Biology, Chemistry or Physics?

Seasonal

​​​​​​​Mozzies in the summer, snow in the winter!

Start looking for a mill is my advice. Very much complementary with a lathe.🙂 I actually mill more than turn.

Samsaranda14/08/2021 10:18:32
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1207 forum posts
5 photos

Steven

I envy you having a basement in which to setup your workshop, only a few houses in UK have cellars or basements, usually in older Victorian or Georgian houses. Our modern housing stock is usually built for cheapness and cellars are an expense not catered for. Visited Canada a couple of times when I was in the Air Force, very impressed how much more friendly and laid back the Canadians were than south of the border in the US. Good luck setting up your workshop. Dave W

ega14/08/2021 11:07:24
2255 forum posts
186 photos

Len Deighton's "Fighter" is very good on the Hurricane and Spitfire

Steven Smart15/08/2021 15:47:04
18 forum posts
Posted by Richard Millington on 14/08/2021 07:03:53:

Welcome Steven,

I too like the Hurricane, prefer it to the Spitfire, but wouldn't mind owning either - unfortunately bank balance won't allow that sad.

Enjoy your retirement.

Richard

Hi Richard,

Thank-you for the welcome. My bank balance is similar to yours then. I do own a couple of pieces of Hurricane junk, but I’ll never own more than that- which I’m ok with since I’d need to give up all my other interesting hobbies for just one.

Retirement is still a little way of, but if the last years are any indication it will likely arrive very quickly!

Steven

Steven Smart15/08/2021 15:49:54
18 forum posts
Posted by David George 1 on 14/08/2021 07:49:18:

Hi Steven welcome to the forum. You only have to ask on here for help and you never know, you may be able to offer info to others as well.

David

Thanks David.

I’m really looking forward to taking up metal working again, I always preferred it to wood but the cost of tools was comparatively high.

I’m sure I’ll have lots of questions.

Steven Smart15/08/2021 16:47:09
18 forum posts
Posted by not done it yet on 14/08/2021 09:21:39

… I like it when ‘they’ argue about Spitfires and Hurricanes - which was really the better of the two...

…Basement…Such a good idea…I expect yours is cosy and warm? (the boiler is down there?)...A close neighbour… built a cellar…He’s now connected it by a tunnel to his house…

Chemistry or Physics?…

…Seasonal… Mozzies in the summer, snow in the winter!

…Start looking for a mill is my advice. Very much complementary with a lathe.🙂 I actually mill more than turn.

Hi Not Done It Yet,

Of course I think the Hurricane was better, even if it was uglier, a dead end developmentally, and was essentially obsolete before the Battle of Britain started…There is at least one aspect where I think it’s clear the Hurricane was superior and thats in its ability to fulfill multiple roles as a stop gap. It was the only single engined Allied aircraft which carried two 40mm Cannon too I believe.

A basement workshop is great from many aspects: cost, convenience, proximity, environment. But it also has some serious disadvantages: noise, smells, and the need to keep it assiduously clean because it’s part of the living space and my wife will be really miffed if dust etc. makes it into the living area. We have a gas fired furnace, that distributes hot air via ducts. Some older homes in Winnipeg have boilers and radiators.
I admire your neighbour, a bunker connected via a tunnel is seriously fantastic!!!

My science interests are primarily engineering and physics and somewhat astronomy and mathematics. Biology has not piqued my interest yet, though I have been going through a evolutionary history phase. It’s a great time to be alive, with such ready access to knowledge!

Theres a saying in Manitoba- “We only have two seasons, winter and mosquito”…

I am thinking about ordering a mill this coming winter or spring… my wife thinks I have a few loose screws. She’s probably right for many reasons.

regards, Steven

old mart15/08/2021 16:51:11
3345 forum posts
208 photos

Welcome, Steven, when you get the lathe into the basement, remember to leave space for the mill that will follow shortly after you get used to turning and find that it isn't enough.

Steven Smart15/08/2021 17:01:44
18 forum posts
Posted by Samsaranda on 14/08/2021 10:18:32:

…I envy you having a basement…our modern housing stock is usually… cellars are an expense not catered for. …Visited Canada a couple of times…very impressed how much more friendly and laid back the Canadian we’re than south of the border in the US.. Dave W

Hi Dave,

You got me thinking about basements. My suspicion is that basements are prevalent in colder climates because they provide a means to access water and sewer that’s below the frost line? In Manitoba, the ground can freeze to about 7-8’ below grade in a typical winter, so water lines to be below that. The foundations ideally need to be below the frost line too so it’s probably a case of the additional cost being justified? It is very nice to have a space to fill with tools and to store things we no longer need… (that last one was tongue in cheek)

I’m not sure if on average Canadians are more friendly and laid back? We’re just “different” to our compatriots down south. Are we better or worse? It does appear that on average those in the US have larger workshops than we do…LOL.

Regards,

Steven

Steven Smart15/08/2021 17:14:03
18 forum posts
Posted by ega on 14/08/2021 11:07:24:

Len Deighton's "Fighter" is very good on the Hurricane and Spitfire

Hi ega,

Its been ages since I’ve read that, I can’t even remember if I enjoyed it or not.

My favourite book on the Battle of Britain is currently “The most dangerous enemy” by Stephen Bungay. I also really enjoyed the series of books by Leo McKinstry on the Hurricane, Spitfire and Lancaster because they cover in some depth the political and engineering aspects in the development of these aircraft.

Regards,

Steven

Howard Lewis15/08/2021 17:44:17
5299 forum posts
13 photos

Welcome!

You are abouit to engage in a very satisfying hobby.

Lots of help and advice onn here, (some of it conflicting, according to which hobby horse is being ridden )

May I suggest some reading matter?

Assumes that such things will be obtainable in Canada

Zeus charts - Invaluable as a quick reference.

Ian Bradley "The Amateur's Workshop". Contains info that the usual "textbook" does not contain.

L H Sparey "The Amateur's Lathe" very much illustraed with Myford ML7, but good on general principles.

Both these above date from the 60s and 70s, but good none the less.

Harold Hall, and Neil Wyatt have both written books, more recently, dealing with more recent machines.

Tubal Cain "The Model Engineer's Handbook" is a very useful reference book, and useful to have, in my view.

Most of the current 12 x 24 lathes are gear head. The Chester Craftsman is belt driven. (my lathe is like the Crafts man a Taiwanese machine, similar to it, as is the Warco BH600.

If it needs to be said, you will need to budget for tooling, most probably a Bench Grinder, for a start. This will allow you to learn to grind High Speed Steel tools. They are more forgiving than Carbide, of knocks.

(My HSS parting tool was secondhand when it was given to me, and some 30 years on is still not yet worn out 

You will need some measuring instruments, a set of Feeler Gauges and a Digital Calliper for starters.

The digital calliper can measure 0-6" or 0-150 mm at the touch of a button. Prices (and probably quality ) vary from supermarket instruments, upto near industrial quality, with a price differential in UK of about 7:1.

(I use a supermarket one for most work, with a mid range for a second opinion, when it is needed Keep spare batteries! )

Before launching into an expensive kit for a model, my advice would be to learn, and make mistakes, making small tools / accessories for the lathe, such as (On my hobby horse! ) a Centre Height Gauge,, and a Mandrel Handle, even a sliding Tailstock Die Holder set. You will need to buy a stub arbor to make this, probably a 3 MT...

All useful learning process and money saving into the bargain..

Taps and Dies, and Tap Wrench and Die Holder, you can buy as and when you need them

Buying complete sets will make you ready for almost anything, but a capital investment cost. (Don't ask! how I know! )

In this day and age, probably Meric and Model Engineer nwill be nthe most useful, unless you get into vehicle restoration, in which case Unified m may be useful. I do find 1/2 UNF (1/2 x 20 ) useful for forcing screws.

BSF nand Whitworth only if the vehicles mare British and OLD.

If your lathe is like mine, making a Rear Toolpost will be a useful addition. It makes parting off easier, for a lot of the time, and if you stick with the four way front Toolpost, it leaves room for an extra tool in it.

My front post carries, Rougher, Finisher, and a boring tool, with then rear post, being a shop made four way, carries front and back chamfer tools as well the parting tool.

With a 4 jaw independent chuck, you will find a need for DTIs and a Magnetic Base. You may find that a Plunger clock will read twice as coarsely (0.001" ) as a Finger Clock, (0.0005" ) but both have their uses. This assumes that Canada is like US tending still be Imperial, although your new machine may well be Metric., so your clock is likely to resolve in 0.01 mm increments.

Eventually, you will want to mill, but that is another field to, learn!

I've rambled on for far too long, but hope that this may be some help.

Howard

Steven Smart15/08/2021 20:52:15
18 forum posts
Posted by old mart on 15/08/2021 16:51:11:

Welcome, Steven, when you get the lathe into the basement, remember to leave space for the mill that will follow shortly after you get used to turning and find that it isn't enough.

I’ve been thinking about that, I have a nice corner that a mill would sit perfectly in!

I’m on the fence for whether I should wait to get a mill or just get one. The “in for a penny, in for a pound” type argument (updated for inflation of course).

Although milling could be done on a lathe it seems rather limited and cumbersome. I’ve spent most of my workshop life so far making tools do things they weren’t really designed for. A few years ago I started getting the tools I’d always wanted and giving the original ones to a friend starting out. It certainly helps alleviate the guilt over buying a tool when I already have one that although it’s serviceable, is frustrating to use.

Harry Wilkes15/08/2021 21:04:43
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1175 forum posts
64 photos

Welcome to the forum

H

Tim Rowe15/08/2021 21:19:15
32 forum posts
4 photos

Steven

Enough about the engineering stuff. What about the classical guitar? I know there are quite a few musicians on here. A few years ago I got reasonably competent with classical Spanish guitar but because I don't practice enough I have gone back to being rubbish.

All the topics on this forum are interesting.

Tim

Steven Smart15/08/2021 21:24:14
18 forum posts
Posted by Howard Lewis on 15/08/2021 17:44:17:

Welcome!…

…I've rambled on for far too long, but hope that this may be some help.

Howard

Thank-you for your exceptionally thoughtful post and the suggestions.

This is the lathe I’ve purchased, though in a 24” bed rather than 36”:

**LINK**
My brother-in-law is a fitter machinist and he was more than happy over the course of six months to convince me to spend far more on a first lathe than I’d ever imagined doing. I’m glad he did because it looks like it will do almost everything I could ever want a lathe to do. Interestingly he’s been trying to convince me to be more frugal now- I’m suspicious that my wife has talked to my sister and we’re both in trouble ( I don’t really think this is the case but it makes the story more fun&hellip

I’ve grown up metric (in Australia), but decided on an imperial lathe since Canada is still largely imperial in the hobby arena. I still don’t know what 10 thou looks like and convert things back into metric. Maybe one day I’ll get used to 10 being similar to 0.25mm, maybe not.

I’ve got an assortment of callipers and a micrometer so I’m good for those, there sure are a lot of other shiny things that I’m itching to give a good home to, though it’s very easy to exhaust my “hobby saving” on items that aren’t really necessary yet. I’m sure time will tell what I really need.

I have a copy of the Machineries Handbook and the Engineers Black Book, so for pure references I probably don’t need others until I’ve determined my area of interest?

I do have Harald Halls two books, and Machine Tool Practices by Kibbe etal. But I am looking for a few more beginners “how to” books, so I appreciate your suggestions.

I’m thinking of making a grinding rest to do freehand tool grinding and already have a bench grinder to get me going with.

I suspect that after a mill, I’ll be looking for a metal cutting bandsaw. Though I could sure use the exercise that a hack saw will provide as a side effect.

Regards, Steven

not done it yet15/08/2021 21:31:19
6325 forum posts
20 photos

This is the lathe I’ve purchased, though in a 24” bed rather than 36”:

**LINK**

Blondihacks, has a PM lathe and puts up lots of beginner-type youtube vids. A rather smaller version than yours but she does try hard (and mostly succeeds) with all sorts of lathe projects, etc. A popular channel.

Peter Greene16/08/2021 01:37:24
287 forum posts
2 photos
Posted by Steven Smart on 15/08/2021 20:52:15:

..... I have a nice corner that a mill would sit perfectly in!

 

I'd be wary of that - you may restrict yourself if you want to machine/drill near the end of a long piece. Better to have it at the middle of a wall.

I don't have any of the problems you mentioned with my basement shop (in Mississauga) with the possible exception of tracking swarf into the living area and getting stick. Easily solved with a scrub-mat at the shop doorway. Then again, swmbo is exceptionally understanding.

The best thing about the basement shop is that it's heated in Winter and air-conditioned (sometimes a bit much so) in Summer. And I don't have to go outside in any weather. I can even do my laundry-detail while I'm working.

ps:  I know nothing about classical guitar and never could tell a Hurricane from a Spitfire smiley

 

Edited By Peter Greene on 16/08/2021 01:45:59

David George 117/08/2021 08:06:23
avatar
1656 forum posts
497 photos

Hi Steven I don't suppose you know of my uncle who lived in Toronto, Collin Smart, he moved from Wales in 70's with my Aunt to work for McAlpine in a few prodjects.

David

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