To kick off the new area I've decided to post a few things currently on my workbench. Although I'm working on a few projects at the moment I don't seem to have anything completed to show even though I seem to manage some time at the workbench. So I'm going to try with this thread to post a few things which don't seem to fit into the project updates. To start with I'll cover two new acquisitions to the workbench. My father-in-law usually gives us all a small money gift for Christmas. He is a time served plumber, an apprentice under Sir Tom Finney, he has given me a few of his lead working tools and so I like to invest his Christmas gift in more tools for my workbench. This year the funds have gone into the purchase of a Knew Concepts piercing saw. I originally tried to buy it via Palmer Metals but after a few days it appears they no longer seem to be stocking them so I went to Betts Metal. The service was excellent and the saw is very nice. Knew Concepts 75mm Sawframe | Betts Metal Sales The second item is a Haff drawing pen, I kept looking on ebay for something suitable but decided that at the price that some people on ebay were asking it would be better just getting a new pen direct. Drawing Pens It took a couple of emails to sort out an invoice, payment and shipping but I got there eventually, I just need to find the time to practice with it. I also decided that I needed to sort out a few extras for my mini lathe. It would be nice to get a small vertical milling machine but at the moments funds don't permit. The next best option I decided was to get a vertical slide for the lathe. This was purchased quite a while ago but I could decide on the best mounting arrangement. RDG Tools do a mounting bracket but this just extends it from the cross-slide which to me just seemed to restrict it's travel across the centre line of the lathe. So I got a flat steel plate and drilled it for attaching to the cross-slide bolts but then moved the vertical slide closer to the centre line. I got a 2 1/4" angle plate to provide a clamping surface for some projects but it looks a little bit overweight for the vertical slide. So I'm currently considering getting some steel bar stock to make a smaller horizontal clamping plate. The final thing across the workbench recently are the new Mark Wood wheel castings for the 8F - very nice! Scan b LMS 8F I had bought some tender wheels from JPL a while ago as they seemed like an improvement over the Walsall Wheels offering. However there is a slight difference between these and the Mark Wood Wheels Mark Wood publishes a slightly different sequence to what I have used in the past Turning castings So I decided to try this method on the JPL castings to practice before tackling the Mark Wood castings so this is where I'm up to, cut 4 on his turning plan. the main shape has been roughed out, so the next step is removing the bulk of the material from the rear (cut 5) and then forming the profile. To form the profile the wheel is clamped between a couple of aluminium mandrels. Suporting castings As I don't have a power saw or bandsaw the thought of cutting 25mm discs in aluminium bar 1 1/2" diameter wasn't that attractive. Fortunately I found a company online offering custom cutting lengths so it worked out about £1.30 per disc, although if you have a friendly local model engineering company you might be able to find an similar arrangement possible. Aluminium Round Bar Again the service was excellent and I will use them again. * My final note - to explain the title of the thread. As an avid reader one of my favourite authors is Iain (M) Banks. I enjoy both genres, non-sf Crow Road and Wasp Factory etc. and the sf stuff. Many pundits rate the Player of Games as one of his best but for me the first Culture book Consider Philebas is better but my favourite is Use of Weapons. In his culture the sentient ships have a long tradition of some rather quirky names, and in the Use of Weapons one such ship was named Very Little Gravitas Indeed which appealed to my sense of humour. As another aside if anyone has watched SpaceX's stunning efforts to launch rockets and land them back on a barge. SES company first to use 'second-hand' SpaceX rocket - BBC News The two barges are named - "Just Read the instructions" and "Of course I still Love you" in homage to Iain M Banks Culture ships.