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Hints and tips

Slight change of tack, offering instead of asking

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Jim Greethead15/10/2010 06:27:04
131 forum posts
8 photos

To make life easier when setting work in a four jaw chuck, I made a second, small chuck key as shown in the photo. I use this one in my right hand at the back of the chuck in conjunction with the normal key at the front.>>

 It lets me keep pressure on the work and speeds the process.


WALLACE15/10/2010 13:11:47
304 forum posts
17 photos

Odd times in a 4 jaw, i've known things to spring out from the jaws slightly  -  a tie bar through the workpiece ( if there's a suitable hole in it !)  is quite useful to hold it snug up against the jaws.
Howard Jones15/10/2010 14:16:19
70 forum posts
112 photos
you guys must take hours to setup a 4 jaw chuck.
the way I do it is to get a close position before using the dial gauge.
to do this place the work in the 4 jaw and just gently tighten the jaws.
move any tool up near the work and rotate the chuck watching the job.
work out by observation when the job is closest to the tool. move the chuck to place the nearest jaw level. move the tool up to almost touch the job.
roll the tool down the lathe bed clear of  the job.
turn the chuck 180 degrees then bring the tool back near.
TAKE OUT HALF THE ERROR. (only move the job half way to the tool)
go back and do it again with the next high spot.
takes about 4 iterations to get the job almost center.
take off the toolpost and stick the dial gauge and its magnet holder on the carriage.
then repeat the iterations using the dial gauge.
the key to speed is to take out half the errror each time.
WALLACE15/10/2010 18:25:24
304 forum posts
17 photos
Agree with Howard - it's a dead easy 2 minute job (if that)  to get a round bar running less than 1/4 thou out.
I tend to look at where the jaws line up with the concentric rings on the chuck for a first approximation. A mag base is good as if the job's  way, way out, hopefully the gauge will just be moved out of the way instead of being broken !
Bogstandard15/10/2010 19:59:13
263 forum posts
To save me having to rewrite everything, here are a few links to some fairly easy stuff that I came up with over the last few years. Maybe not completely new, but put into an easily understood format that almost anyone should be able to follow.
A lot of these tips can be used for other things.
If you want any more, I think I can rustle up about another half dozen fairly easily.

Steve Garnett15/10/2010 20:41:26
837 forum posts
27 photos
Big problem with Home Model Engine Machinist site in your links - Google has some serious misgivings about it, and is very reluctant to let me look at it. Part of the warning states, very specifically:

What happened when Google visited this site?

Of the 30 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 4 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2010-10-14, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2010-10-12.
Not good...

Edited By Steve Garnett on 15/10/2010 20:41:54

Barneyboy15/10/2010 22:02:55
3 forum posts
When setting up a four jaw chuck the method of using the cutting tool tip as described by Dave Clark works well.  However to prevent the cutting tip breaking off I made up a1/2  x 1/2 inch MS bar cone shaped and radius pointed which works equaley well. if better precission is required I use a D.T.I .held in a Q.C. toolder set on lathe center height.  I am surprised no referance has been made to the use of the setting rings on the lathe chuck face as a first move in this operation. As stated in many other posts this operation gets better the more that you practice.
B. Reilly

Edited By Barneyboy on 15/10/2010 22:04:45

Bogstandard15/10/2010 22:16:13
263 forum posts
HMEM has had two spammer attacks in just under two weeks. Because of that, Google stops you going there.
I trust Google as much as I do wet toilet paper as to whether you can push your finger thru it as you wipe your a**e.
I cleared Firefox by Tools/Options/Security/Uncheck Block Reported Attack Sites, to ignore the warning, and my AVG (not the free one) to check if anything was untowards. Absolutely nothing has tried to access my computer from that site since it was attacked, or at any time before, and I trust AVG completely.
In fact, I think if you still use IE, it just lets you surf anywhere without any warnings at all.
If you are that paranoid about it, just don't go there, there are still the Madmodder ones you can look at.
To me, this is the only sort of chance I get to live dangerously, as yet, I haven't tried a McDonald's burger. Maybe that will come sometime in the future.
Steve Garnett15/10/2010 23:01:30
837 forum posts
27 photos
Well I'm not exactly paranoid about it, but I do spend quite a bit of time keeping another site spam-free, and the laptop I'm using now has been hit by one sneaky virus recently - and that's with AVG and some more stuff running. It's a bit of a shame that this sort of crap has to happen to useful sites though, isn't it? There are some very sad people about.
McDonald's milk shakes are okay, but I've never summoned up the courage to eat one of their burgers either.

ChrisH15/10/2010 23:44:01
857 forum posts
29 photos
A few silly but useful tips:
Paint the workshop floor( with floorpaint of course).  Makes things like little nuts/screws/washers/etc dropped on the floor much easier to find.  Colour Red works for me.  Plus block off under the benches etc as suggested earlier on this thread.
Philips or crosspoint screw heads always go 'round' in the drivepoint and then the screwdriver just slips around as soon as the going gets tough when screwing them in. Take the screws out and hacksaw a slot across the drivepoint and then use a blade type screwdriver.  It has so much more contact area in the slot created to turn the screw, always works for me to get the tricky screws in.
Seized up screws in wood to be removed?  Hold a (hot) soldering iron tip on the screwhead for a few minutes, then try to tighten the screw a tad first before unscrewing, to 'break the stick', and it should then screw out.
Rubber hose won't go on the tube?  Heat for a few seconds by dunking the end in a mug of boiling water, or heat with HI's (Her Indoors) hairdryer, and it will soften and zoom on.
And don't forget HI's washing up liquid, helps all sorts of sticking things to slide in easy when they refused to slide in before.  Just remember to put the liquid back before she misses it, or buy your own.
Raid HI's kit again for the talc (better still, get her buy you your own tub/tube for the workshop when she does the weekly shop - supermarkets own brand baby talc is ideal, you don't need expensive poncy scented stuff) and use it to coat wires before pulling through conduit and they will wizz through.  Talc is much underrated in the workshop, as is washing up liquid.  Also use talc (if you don't have french chalk) to coat rubber rings etc when they are just sitting on the spares shelf waiting to be used - helps protect them.

Edited By ChrisH on 15/10/2010 23:48:10

Edited By ChrisH on 15/10/2010 23:49:59

ChrisH15/10/2010 23:56:22
857 forum posts
29 photos
This thread is such a good idea perhaps it should have it's own 'Topic' instead of being just a thread - what do you reckon Mr Moderator DC Sir?
Bogstandard16/10/2010 06:50:21
263 forum posts
Just a few more
Gordon W16/10/2010 09:59:12
2011 forum posts
I've just finished making a pair of keys for twiddling the 4 jaw, similar to the photo, but bigger. now I'm told I don't need them.!,Surely the idea is to use two at the same time, on opposite sides, this does speed the job up. Round stuff is easy to set, in my 4 jaw it's usually some really odd shape. Like the idea of a tie bar to pull the work in, but makes drilling a hole a bit difficult. Hint- the square bar thru. lock handles is 5/16", 7mm or 8mm, fits most small chucks, must go and let the wife out of the bathroom.
Spurry16/10/2010 10:34:28
193 forum posts
66 photos
More useful reading from your last links. Great stuff - thanks.
Regarding your greaser machine, have you seen this one?
I've used one for a few years to grease the bearings on R/c helicopters.
Hugh Gilhespie16/10/2010 10:51:59
130 forum posts
45 photos
Not so much a hint or tip but a strategy that has helped me. I am a genuine beginner, I only started this malarkey nine months ago and I have – well let’s just say – quite some climbing to do up the learning curve. So, I started out with reading lots of books and making a ‘things to learn’ list – all very good and proper but it was all a bit – well, dull! The thing that really got me started was when I decided to actually make something.
I chose Oldboatguy’s beam engine, nice detailed and free plans on the Home Model Engine Machinist site and, as I thought at the time, nothing too daunting for a rank beginner. I was of course wrong, there is quite a lot of daunting when you actually get into it but - and this is the important but – because I had a goal I was much, much happier about trying out new (to me) techniques and if not mastering them, at least getting far enough to produce some sort of result. I did buy enough materials to make three of everything – good decision! I also scaled up the plans by a factor of two as I think larger is easier.
I have also become a great fan of the Bogstandard Training School for aspiring machinists – he has a genuine talent for not only explaining how to tackle things but also to inspire enough confidence for a beginner like me to actually have a go. I made his mill tramming tool some months ago and have had excellent use from it. Just completed  Bog’s milling vice stop, as I need it for a bit of beam engine milling. Another excellent design!

 So, enough rambling and apologies as I am surely teaching grannies to suck eggs but if you are just starting out – take on a project, it will really help you focus on learning. Choose a simple one with cheap materials if you can, fewer regrets when things go a bit pear shaped and you have to start again. You can even tell yourself that all your mistakes are actually really valuable lessons and it was a good idea to cock it up so badly the first time!


Enjoy, Hugh


Bob Lamb16/10/2010 11:26:02
121 forum posts
34 photos
Chris obviously deserves "thread of he year award " for this one.
I have one tip to pass on - not strictly engineering - but useful with.   If you have anything very heavy and do not want to wreck your back you will find it easy to move like this:  
Put a lenght of hardboard (shiny side up) or MDF -any thickness - on the ground.  put another smaller piece on top of it (in the case of hardboard shiny side down).  Put the heavy object on top of the small piece of board and push gently.  It really does work and does so over anything from concrete to carpet (for those lucky enough to have an indoor workshop).  If you want to go a long distance just overlap the first strip onto a second and repeat as often as necessary.   I have used the same sort of idea for taking heavy things up stairs with a couple of bits of old contiboard shelving althogh it does require a bit more of a push.
chris stephens16/10/2010 14:59:53
1045 forum posts
1 photos
Hi Folks,
Eleven months of H&Ts and only up to three pages, hardly seems worth bothering starting the thread. Still, one tried
As I said before, 'that's all, back to the asylum.'
Steve Garnett16/10/2010 17:05:53
837 forum posts
27 photos
I don't think it's that bad, Chris - even getting just a few helpful hints is a good result, and there are certainly some of those. Just having Bogstandard list some of his useful stuff has probably made it worthwhile for a few people, spam attacks notwithstanding...
If you aren't into CNC control (and possibly even if you are...) it's worth purchasing a small dry-wipe board, and fixing it, along with a pen hanging from a bit of string, where you can easily reach it from your lathe and/or mill. You can then write all those numbers that you need to remember that would otherwise end up on scraps of oily paper on this instead. Or if you're still desperate to use the paper as well, get a steel-backed dry-wipe board and some small magnets, I suppose...

Edited By Steve Garnett on 16/10/2010 17:06:35

Charles 201016/10/2010 18:21:18
84 forum posts
54 photos
Use paper between flat metal surface
I learned the hard way after having been told this tip but ignored it as a part slipped whilst milling even though I thought it was well fixed down.
Now between any two "flat" metal surfaces I place a sheet of normal white paper. This allows for any out of perfect flatness to be absorbed by the paper and thus reduces the likehood of movement considerably. In fact since adopting this tip I have never had two part move.
I even use a piece of paper between each layer of packing when supporting a piece to say bore between centres.
It works for me,  I hardly have to take into account the thickness of the paper, and I hope it works for you....
Regards Charles   
ChrisH16/10/2010 18:38:33
857 forum posts
29 photos
After a session in the workshop ending with dirty hands, if you've run out of swarfega or the like, use washing up liquid with some granulated sugar sprinkled on your hands - works a treat and is cheaper too.

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