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What Did you do Today 2022

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Martin Connelly20/07/2022 16:34:03
2183 forum posts
227 photos

I cut a Ø6 x 1mm Löwenherz thread for the first time today. I have a friend who repairs music boxes and he isn't sure what thread he needs for some missing bolts but thinks it is continental and similar to M6 but not the same. The thread I have done is for him to test if it the right one then I will make 4 of them for him. I might dig out a 0BA bolt as well for him to try.

Martin C

Nigel Graham 222/07/2022 01:16:12
2287 forum posts
33 photos

Used a dividing-head fully (with the holey discs rather than in just rotary-table on its side mode) for the first time !

With grateful thanks to those on here who helped me sort why I could not make 50 go into 360º. The problem proved a mixture of my wonky arithmetic and a minor fault on the dividing-head itself, preventing the index-fingers closing that last little bit.

This was to engrave the lines on two hand-wheels, for a 'Stent' tool-&-cutter grinder I'd bought unfinished, second-hand oh, umm, quite a while ago and am slowly finishing alongside other projects.

To get 10, 5s and 1s lines of their equal lengths I improvised a simple stop on the milling machine, having removed the original stop so I could fit a DRO magnetic-strip in its T-slot. To answer the obvious question... for a repetition task like this it is far easier to work to a physical stop than trying to match numbers!

The cutter is a broken end-mill ground approximately to engraving-cutter form. It works so can't be that approximate!


Even before that, I had successfully completed making the "Tool Holder Body" for the same machine.

This required turning a mild-steel cylinder to be a smooth sliding fit in the already made mounting-block, and boring it to a similar fit around a one-inch diameter holder. I used as bore-gauge a big milling-cutter's shank, having a ground finish far more accurate and smooth than anything I could have achieved.

Screw-cutting a non-standard Whitworth-form thread on the end, using an insert thread-form tool; and making a nut to fit by single-point steel tool, was also a bit more advanced than my previous turning experience.

The two threads were slightly rough with a tight spot, but careful mutual lapping, by hand, with fine-grade valve-grinding paste corrected that. Followed by thorough washing in white-spirit and an aerosol solvent cleaner, and temporary protective coat of WD-40.

The drawings call for knurling both components. Such a shame to rough up the beautiful lathe finish I succeeded in obtaining, using HSS tools, but anyway I think they might be too large for my knurling-tool, so I will have to flute them instead.

I have no idea what its grade is, but the "pre-loved" steel I used machined superbly on the elderly Harrison L5. The HSS tooling gave a lovely finish, better than that from the carbide tips I used for the bore and male thread. I will keep the off-cut, about 3/8" thick, as a one-inch ring-gauge.

How to protect the finished parts before assembly? Petroleum-jelly then e.g. bubble-wrap or the mesh bags sold wrapped around tangerines.


After all those adventures with screw-cutting and rings of holes I felt the "Nineteenth Hole" calling, to celebrate and relax with one of my caving-club magazines and a very pleasant pint of Copper Brewery's Scramasax pale ale, a light, slightly dry session brew of 4.2ABV. Well, two pints to make sure I was right about the first. They also had Proper Job (St Austell's?) on the beer-engines, and I do like it; but the other was new to me so, like dividing-head arcanities, there to be tried.

Dave Wootton22/07/2022 12:47:43
320 forum posts
69 photos

Really something I did yesterday, went and picked up this little Unimat that was advertised on the homeworkshop site, trip over to Essex to meet Robin who was selling it behalf of the previous owners widow. Had a great chat and a good look around his workshop, picking up a few more good ideas in the process. I've always wanted one of these, there was a hardware shop in our nearest town that sold them and had a display in the window, I must have been around 11 at the time and owning one was completely a non starter, anyway over fifty years later this has come along, in good condition just needing a good clean and service, and I will change the motor suppresion capacitors. Sent for some new belts and looking forward to playing with the little thing, one of those things I didn't really need, but I've just had a significant birthday so treated myself, can even take it indoors on really cold days. There must be lots of accessories to make for these that'll keep me out of mischief!img_0176.jpg

Nick Clarke 322/07/2022 13:53:29
1475 forum posts
64 photos
Posted by Dave Wootton on 22/07/2022 12:47:43:

There must be lots of accessories to make for these that'll keep me out of mischief!

Have a look at this from

I have (for reasons very similar to yours but including a possible temporary downsizing) just succumbed to the temptations of a Unimat 3 with Milling attachment, top slide and fine feed attachment, all in the original box.

Nick Clarke 322/07/2022 13:53:29
1475 forum posts
64 photos
Posted by Dave Wootton on 22/07/2022 12:47:43:

There must be lots of accessories to make for these that'll keep me out of mischief!

Have a look at this from Link

I have (for reasons very similar to yours but including a possible temporary downsizing) just succumbed to the temptations of a Unimat 3 with Milling attachment, top slide and fine feed attachment, all in the original box.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 22/07/2022 13:53:47

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 22/07/2022 13:54:30

steamdave22/07/2022 14:22:30
521 forum posts
45 photos

Another good book is 'Making the Most Of The Unimat' by Rex Tingey.

Should be available for download off the Internet, but if you can't find it, I can let you have a copy.

The Emerald Isle

Dave Wootton22/07/2022 15:43:46
320 forum posts
69 photos

Thank you Dave and Nick, I'll have a look around the internet and see what I can find, If I can't find the Tingey book I will PM you Dave, offer much appreciated.

Itching to make a start on the little lathe but have a couple of jobs to get out of the way first, I did convert it to a milling/drilling machine today and am impressed by what a clever design it is. Hopefully drive belts will be here next week and I'll make a start.


Clock polisher22/07/2022 19:39:37
22 forum posts
32 photos

I'm constantly amazed at how versatile my Unimat SL is, given it's age. I use it practically every day fixing old clocks.

The 8 minute run time for the motor soon got very boring, and I'm currently working on a stepper motor drive for the long travel.



bernard towers26/07/2022 22:21:16
691 forum posts
141 photos

29b34764-0104-4e78-b322-5867b0a6c5b6.jpegStarted on a batch of 33/34 tooth gears, now buried in swarf!07a74266-2865-4593-ba49-870c9e36435b.jpeg

Neil A02/08/2022 22:38:15
110 forum posts

It was too hot to do any real machining today, so I took the time to sort out some aluminium bar that I had. On the shelf behind the bar I found a bag that contained some cylinder head fasteners that I must have kept from when I changed a VW Polo cylinder head gasket about 25 years ago!

Out of curiosity I thought that I would check what thread it was just in case it was in anyway useful. It turned out to be M11 x 1,5 pitch. What interested me was the fact that I was able to see where the thread pitch had stretched as these are "torque to yield" fasteners. Well, torque to just past yield and into the plastic stage, hence only use once. I have to say that I was quite surprised to be able to actually see this just using a thread pitch gauge.

I can now happily toss them into the scrap bin in the knowledge that they are of no use what so ever.


Swarf, Mostly!05/08/2022 16:43:03
684 forum posts
78 photos

I don't think I've ever posted on this thread before. My activities today are small but the culmination of a project I've been anxious to complete successfully.

First of all, a bit of background: some time ago I fitted a quick-change gear-box to my Myford ML7 lathe. I bought this particular gear-box second-hand - it had previously been fitted to a Super Seven. I was advised that the change gear backplate that came with the gear-box would fit the ML7 but that I would need a new change gear cover. (Is it OK to refer to them as 'change gears' when all they do is connect the tumbler gear to the input shaft of the gear-box? ) I was further advised that Mytholmroyd Myford were offering the correct cover but only as a raw casting, no holes drilled or tapped and no paint-job. Before yesterday, I had fettled the casting, drilled and tapped most of the holes and a kind neighbour had spray-painted the casting for me. All that remained was the fitting of the label within the cover.

Here's the first picture:


This morning, I fitted the label using the four 'brassed' drive screws. I had drilled the holes in the casting yesterday after taking some time deciding what depth they should be.

The photo shows that the label is fitted on the top of an 'island' in the casting of the gear cover. It's obviously desirable to avoid drilling the holes too deep and breaking out on the exterior surface of the cover. I had thought of posting this as a new thread entitled 'Using the drill-press as a depth gauge'; that's just what I had to do to discover how much meat there was in the casting.

Because of the depth of the cover casting, the thickness of the 'island' can't be measured with a micrometer or a vernier caliper. I have seen calipers with curved legs and that have a built-in dial gauge but I don't have one of those. The method I employed was as follows:
I mounted the drill in the chuck of the drill press and lowered it until it contacted the machine table gently but firmly. I then locked the drill quill and wound down the twin nuts of the depth gauge until they contacted the head-stock lug. I then released the quill and wangled the gear cover under the drill and lowered the quill again until the drill contacted the surface of the casting within the label mounting area. The space between the twin nuts and the headstock lug was now equal to the thickness of the casting. My vernier caliper wouldn't fit there because the tail of the caliper fouled various features of the drill-press headstock so I used a stack of feeler gauge blades to fill the gap and measured their total thickness using the caliper. By comparison of the length of the drive screws with the thickness of the label and the measurement previously described I decided I needed to limit the depth of my drilling to 200 thou. I reset the drill-press twin nuts accordingly, held my breath and drilled the four holes. I had actually performed the measurement process several times, using various probes in the drill press and had also considered several other procedures.

Lateral position of the holes was dictated by the four dimples that Beeston Myford considerately provided in the surface of the label 'island'. I checked the position of the drilled holes by laying the label in position and inserting four half-toothpicks through the label into the holes in the casting. That gave me the confidence to fit the four drive screws after which I emitted a big sigh of relief! The depth of the cover casting prevents the use of just a hammer - I used a punch. That necessitated assistance from SWMBO to hold the casting steady.

Regarding the painting part of the project: I bought half a litre of Myford Grey enamel, some thinners and some etch primer from Paragon Paints. I was amazed that my neighbour's spray painting used only a couple of eggcup-fulls of the enamel!

I admit that I was scared that I might drill too deep and break out on the exterior surface of the cover casting so I did try securing the label with double-sided adhesive tape. This didn't work because the tape and the painted surface of the 'island' weren't compatible. I think it would have worked if we'd masked -off the 'island'.

All you gurus are probably thinking 'this is trivial stuff, why is he making so much of it?'. Well, I'm jolly pleased with the result so here are some more photos:




Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 05/08/2022 16:49:41

Nicholas Farr05/08/2022 18:33:24
3421 forum posts
1592 photos

Hi Swarf Mostly, looks good to me.

Regards Nick.

Mick B105/08/2022 19:41:59
2225 forum posts
125 photos

More parts for the railway - spindle end caps for the S160 gauge frame valves:-

spindle end caps1.jpg

These were a bit of a bu993r - I'd slabbed down a long stick of LG2 hex from round bar on the Bridgy clone, only to find at 15/16" OAL per part, I'd only just got enough provided I didn't scrap any. I didn't wanna saw it into blanks because each would be a bit short to give a good grip in a 3-jaw, there were 4mm interrupted cuts to do, and I'd be starting each screw cutting pass dead close to the chuck; so I took the line suggested in t'other thread about "keeping it on the stock" and loaded the whole stick, which still had an end-centre from the milling op. That let me use the live centre to do the end turning on one end, including the 1.309" thread O/D (1" BSP). Then I could support that in a 3-point steady, and drill and flat-bottom the .715" bore (actually 23/32", but the hole was clagged-up in the sample which was why I'd drawn it as .715" ).

Then back to tailstock support into the 'ole so I could screwcut the thread - about 20 passes in reverse away from the hex bit.

spindleendcapsturning2.jpg turn the O/D for the next thread so I could swap back again to 3-point steady to part off.

Repeat 11 times.

I found I could only do about 3 a day without getting excessively fed up.

But they're done now, I checked each thread into a sample valve body and I think they're OK...


Edited By Mick B1 on 05/08/2022 19:46:07

Nigel Graham 205/08/2022 23:37:04
2287 forum posts
33 photos

Swarf Mostly -

Very smart! I carried out a similar operation on my ML7 but I think the second-hand gear-box had been on a plain 7 - though that didn't explain why the 12T driver pinion that came with the box of bits, has its tumbler output companion too large for my lathe!


Mick B1 -

Fine work, but re your comment about all those interrupted cut. If I may make a suggestion, where possible I turn the initial parts of the cylindrical features, and initial parting grooves, first to a touch below the A/F size, then machine the flats before resuming the round bits. This avoids the interrupted cutting.


Me -

Some work on the steam-wagon, then continued making a threaded bush, in leaded-bronze, to repair the cross-slide nut on the Harrison L5 lathe. The nut is a bronze block and its original thread, which appears to have been white-metalled, is little more than a helical scratch. The backlash was almost a full turn of the handle (1/8" )!

Some of that though may have been due to the adjustable dial and hand-wheel being set back a touch. This area of the machine has been seen to previously, and not too well. I've worked out a simple cure though: a fibre or plastic washer to shim the gap.

Oddly the cross-slide nut's spigot that engages the slide is noticeably off-centre with respect to the threaded hole. The screw itself appears off-set slightly with respect to the dove-tails - something I will need investigate further as I have a boring-table to fit in place of the slide; and it needs the nut location machining in it.

This was my first attempt at cutting a coarse-pitch LH thread, and outwards from the depths of a blind hole so I could keep as much of the stock bar as possible; none wasted in making chucking-pieces.

I completed the thread with a new tap, but it is still very tight on the unworn portion of the screw. I am now wondering if that is a square thread, not the ACME I had assumed.

Edited By Nigel Graham 2 on 05/08/2022 23:43:48

Nigel Graham 208/08/2022 22:49:26
2287 forum posts
33 photos

Completed repairing the Harrison L5 cross-feed nut:

Boring out the old one.

Centred by threading the nut onto the full-thread portion of the tap and clamping that by its own centre-holes between centres. Then gently aligning the vice and clamps to match.

I made the vice very many years ago to fit the vertical slide of my EW lathe, and by sheer chance it matches the Myford's T-slots!

The boring bar is one of a Hemingway Kit set I made a few years ago, and this was its first use! I had to drill the extra hole in the Myford catch-plate to take its carrier, wider diameter than the slot width.

boring l5 nut insert.jpg

Truing the new threaded sleeve (leaded gun-metal) to the leadscrew. Lacking an outer-end centre I needed centre it in the independent 4-jaw chuck. The left-hand thread enforced a left-hand tool set upside down, and running the lathe in reverse.... very carefully, modest speed, fine feed, 0.005" cut.

Finally, I sweated the sleeve into the nut block, and re-assembled the lathe.

Oddly, the tightest part of the thread, which I am sure is ACME after all, is not at its far end as expected but a little way back.

trueing l5 nut insert.jpg


Then light relief.

A chance skip find: a hefty leg apparently from a broken-up table, consisting of two 4-limbed cast-iron "spiders" joined by a tubular steel column about 70mm diameter.

The use was obvious immediately: a mobile stand for the bench-grinder in my increasingly cramped workshop.

Add a piece of ex-pallet 12mm plywood, 4 castors, a few fasteners and some exterior-grade dark wood varnish found in the kitchen cupboard, and there we are. Just sufficient room to add a drill-grinding jig, too!

By serendipity, the PCD of the inner holes in the arms even matches the centre-distance of the 2 in the grinder's base, nearly enough for M8 bolts helped by slightly enlarging the cast-in arm holes a little.

Swarf, Mostly!09/08/2022 09:01:43
684 forum posts
78 photos


Please may we have a photo of your skip find? Either 'as found' or 'as developed' or both?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Nigel Graham 209/08/2022 13:52:08
2287 forum posts
33 photos


Sorry about the rather ropey picture quality _ hand-held and in the shade. Also I found the only immediately available photo-faffer on my PC is very limited, allowing me to stand the image up but not to crop the side stuff.

The stand as found but with the castors (it had simple screwed-on feet originally); and assembled loose - before I added a second varnish coat to the plywood.

grinder stand 09-08-22 a.jpg

grinder stand 09-08-22  c.jpg

You know the old thing about measure twice and cut once.

I measured the arm-span, measured the stock, re-measured; placed the arm casting on the wood, marked the outline and spotted the screw holes, cut the wood.... then realised this gave me the diagonal not span, square! Luckily it is still large enough for the machine.


The willow frame to the right, given me by my neighbour, was intended for pea-plants, but they did not even germinate in a tray indoors!

Swarf, Mostly!09/08/2022 14:36:35
684 forum posts
78 photos


Thank you for posting the pictures. That looks good, though you might need to keep your foot on one arm of the base to prevent a tip-over!

You mention 'drill-grinding jig': there was a recent mention on this forum of the Reliance drill-grinding jig. I have one complete with the instruction sheet - however, I've forgotten where I've put them (two different places). I blame my age!

Talking of age, I'm currently trying to downsize. You have to be hard as nails. The other day I took a bag of perfectly good castors to our local tip (oops! I mean 'Household Waste Recycling Centre' ) . I guess/hope they went into their shop, not into one of the skips.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Nigel Graham 209/08/2022 16:53:45
2287 forum posts
33 photos

Swarf, Mostly -

I did consider stability, and two of the castors have brakes which will help that, as would pushing the stand against a bench or something. I think it will be more of a problem when moving it about than using it.

I don't know the make of my drill-grinding jig. It's not marked on it. I have read that mention on here, and gleaned enough information to gain the basic idea of how to set them.

I have never tried using it because the grinder was just standing loose on the back of a bench, among a lot of clutter, but I put a drill in it yesterday and held the jig by the wheel to see how it moves. So I can probably work it out by using a good drill without it touching the stationary wheel.

In fact I think I have a die-cast clone somewhere and that probably still has its instructions with it.


I know the problem... I have far too much of everything!

Well, who doesn't need two-off each of bossing mallets but no other copper-smithing tools, basin spanners (plumbing), pipe-bending springs and bricklaying tools; ball-pein hammers that are breeding, car-servicing tools I will never use again, and a multitude of AF and BS spanners that never seem to be where and when I need them. ....

Nigel Graham 214/08/2022 22:13:17
2287 forum posts
33 photos

A little more work on the steam-lorry, this time to make a replacements for two brackets I made only a couple of days (rather than a couple of years or decades?) ago.

Then sorting out why the tipping ash-pan would not close properly - interference on two screws, invisible but for tiny marks on them and the ash-pan.

This is typical - I spend a huge amount of time sorting out snags I could not have foreseen when I made the parts that are now causing the problems - and which I have probably already replaced or modified at some point.

No drawings - no, "Oh, I'll think I'll make Parts 536A and B today", take Drawing 56 Sht.2 (rev.C) to the workshop and emerge at tea-time with two parts that fit where intended on Part 74 made last Christmas Eve, and will happily receive the bits that work on them, next Shrove Tuesday!

So if anyone wants any now-redundant 1/4" holes (one careful owner).... my wagon has them in plenty!

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