Very Little Gravitas Indeed*

Discussion in 'Workbenches, including workshop techniques.' started by adrian, 30 January 2017.

  1. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer


    There's a pretty good set of collets with that machine - worth getting another machine? :):):):)

  2. 3 LINK

    3 LINK Western Thunderer

    60,000 rpm ! Crumbs you will have to bolt it to the floor.... :D


  3. David Halfpenny

    David Halfpenny Western Thunderer

    Even at 1 600 rpm these machines depended on stands weighing hundreds of pounds.
    60 000rpm would need a new spindle as well :)

    The tricky things about making a chuck adaptor are the keyway and the often-weird threads. Since Adrian has no collets at all, he can start with a new drawbar, which is half the battle.

    One might be tempted to get one large collet and hold a chuck shaft in that, though even the largest Leinen collet will still be pretty small.

  4. David Halfpenny

    David Halfpenny Western Thunderer

    The BCA3 on eBay, which is a slightly bigger brute than Adrian's Leinen, went for £870 which is fair to both seller and buyer.

  5. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I agree I think that is a fair rate for the machine - the buyer has a very good machine for the price and the seller has probably done as well as can be expected for a secondhand machine. I paid just over £500 for mine and by the time I've sorted out motor and collets plus a few other bits I fully expect it'll cost me a similar amount. However it is a machine that will cherish and last me a lifetime.
  6. David Halfpenny

    David Halfpenny Western Thunderer

    Absolutely, Adrian!
  7. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Another little workshop guide for information - making lamp-irons.

    It's another one of those little details which I like get right. For me I'm not keen the etched solutions, particularly when there is a step on the lamp-iron. They are ok for the plain bent ones but as soon as you start to fold them back on themselves they are getting too bulky. In the same way lost-wax lamp-irons are too chunky and need a lot of filing to thin them down.

    So this is my method for making lamp-irons. First I get a strip of nickel-silver, usually just a scrap part from a etch usually about 5 to 6mm wide. At each end put in a 90 bend so that the main part sits vertical on the base sheet.

    lampirons - 1.jpg

    These strips are then silver-soldered on to the base plate. I cut the solder in to little pellets (pallions) and place on the joint and then coat with some easy-flo flux mixed up in to a paste.

    lampirons - 2.jpg

    This is very gently warmed with a torch, first the flux goes translucent, then starts to boil the water off

    lampirons - 3.jpg

    As the water boils off you are left with a white residue, increase the heat and then it starts to melt. Then as you bring the metal up to a nice red heat the solder suddenly flashes across the joint. It is quite noticeable.

    lampirons - 4.jpg

    A short dip in the acid bath to remove the worst of the flux residue.

    Back to the workbench I then cut a slice.

    lampirons - 5.jpg

    A little filing and bending later gives me the following lamp irons. The first couple were rather variable but there is plenty of material so after a few attempts I managed to get 3 that looked vaguely similar.

    lampirons - 6.jpg

    The beauty of this method is that I can soft solder them to the loco without any fear of them falling apart.
    P A D, Dog Star, Peter Cross and 19 others like this.
  8. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    I really must learn to silver solder.....

    Excellent Adrian.
    jonte likes this.
  9. Martin Field

    Martin Field Western Thunderer

    Nice example of how you should always make bigger and cut back, especially where silver solder will allow you to do so. But I have never used Easy-flo as a paste. I suffered from boilshift. The water boils out for no very good purpose and in doing so shifts little parts. And when I say little I'm talking the manifold parts for a 7mm Triumph Model H motorbike master. I just sprinkle the powder on from tweezers. I no longer use my fingers as I used to as I seem to have developed a sensitivity to the flux lately and my skin goes rock hard and cracks away, leaving the kind of hang nail-like bits that can shift a tea towel all on their own.
    I sprinkle the powder, place the little bits of silver solder clipped off with side cutters held down to the bench with my other hand over the top as the little bits will fire in any direction. Apart from the powder thing I work just like Adrian. Basically, when the flux turns to boracic glass and dances you'll get a joint, even if you can't see the colour of the brass, which can be confusing if you're doing it in good daylight.
    Brian McKenzie likes this.
  10. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I'll try it as powder next time and see how I get on. Yes there is the problem of the pillions moving when it starts to boil but I have a little titanium stick which I use to prod the pillions back to the joint if required. I also use some soft iron wire to bind parts together to stop them moving when soldering.
    Len Cattley and Dog Star like this.
  11. Martin Field

    Martin Field Western Thunderer

    Titanium? Blimey, posh!
    I keep meaning to get some soft iron wire, but never have. But I have loads of little bits of the refractory clay that I use to prop stuff up. It's only with the Vincent master that I've returned to Big Brass after a long break with Ureol car body carving, small soft soldered brass and Foamex buildings for a couple of years or more. But I do like silver soldering. I always try to buy old cadmium rich solder as it flows so much better than modern Euromuck.
    I found a load of coils on ebay recently and got those. They'll last me a while.
  12. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Not really - I just like the right tools for the job and at £3.10 it's not going to break the bank.

    Soldering Poker

    Binding wire at £2

    Binding Wire

    Many years ago I did a silversmithing evening class, so I'm still using the hallmark quality silver solder from that. Which I understand is cadmium free but it works fine for me.
    Last edited: 23 September 2017
    Len Cattley, mickoo and Dan Randall like this.
  13. Brian McKenzie

    Brian McKenzie Western Thunderer

    I do the same, dropping flux powder directly on the joint. But would like to learn of a really effective and easy way of removing any excess flux and restoring the brass to a clean and bright finish.
    I flatten the end of Easyflo rods first by hammering - which greatly assists clipping off tiny slivers.

    -Brian McK.
    adrian likes this.
  14. Martin Field

    Martin Field Western Thunderer

    Brian, because I couldn't get acid like I used to, I went to the Tesco pharmacy where I asked a very pleasant chap what he had. Certainly not acid, said he, but in a flash he'd found a forum with a question about "pickle" and I walked away with (amazingly!) a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide and from the main shop a bottle of white vinegar. 1 part peroxide to 2 parts vinegar in a plastic tub with a lid (courtesy of the Chinese takeaway) and my shed now smells of an onion pickling plant, but I quite like it. It's outpaced the pong from packs of cheaply fragranced loo paper that my dear bride brought home from a Morrison's "deal", which had been stinking the shed out for weeks. The pickle works best when warm, but you can't go plunging a near red hot object in to it, so I wait a while and introduce it to the pickle slowly and at a spit proof distance. Leave it for 5 minutes or so and a fine mist of bubbles (the Peroxide oxidising) forms round the object and you can see the fire scale come off. If, like me, you're terminally impatient, you can give it a scrub with Vim and the brass takes on a lovely matt finish with no scale at all.
    OK, if you can get sulphuric acid, great, but with all the talk of acid attacks that could be difficult. Proprietary pickles are expensive and soon wear out. Mine? £1-50 for the Peroxide and 34p for the white vinegar. Keep it in it's lidded tub between uses and keep a cloth over it to keep the light away.
  15. Brian McKenzie

    Brian McKenzie Western Thunderer

    Thanks Martin, I'll try what you suggested. I recently experimented with citric acid on a headstock assembly that had lovingly made steel hex head bolts inserted - not expecting that they would disappear - as happened. :'(
    Consequently, I can recommend citric acid (from the supermarket) for removing broken taps or drills from non-ferrous material. :thumbs:
    In my youth, I attempted to use sulphuric acid to brighten up some brass investment castings. The acid was poured into an empty 16oz tin can (!) and wasn't having much of an effect on the castings, so I 'hurried it up' by playing a propane flame to the side. :rolleyes: I was greatly intrigued that the side of the tin can quickly disappeared and all that retained the acid was the paper label around the outside of the can - despite the gas flame on it !

  16. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I have a 5l bottle of 96% Sulphuric Acid tucked away in the back of my shed which I use for my pickle bath. I can't remember where I got it :eek::eek: but I'm hanging on to it and it's tucked away so the kids can't get their hands on it.
  17. Brian McKenzie

    Brian McKenzie Western Thunderer

    I should add that the sulphuric acid made no cosmetic improvement to the castings. . . . . And maybe I shouldn't add that sulphuric acid near full strength is allegedly safe enough to dip your hand in. Apparently, it's when it is watered down that it becomes dangerous.

    Now having said that here, I'll find out if that is true or not. :)
  18. Martin Field

    Martin Field Western Thunderer

    I've never heard that before Brian. Surely when it's concentrated it'll be more dangerous. The only danger with watering it down is remembering acid to water or water to acid. I still can't remember! But I do know we always used dilute sulphuric at school, where we beat the hell out of copper until it made some semblance of an ash try/bonbon dish, then chucked it in the pickle, which was by then a beautiful blue that you can't find as paint to this day. That, of course, was copper sulphate, but still active. It was later found to be the reason us lads all had tiny little holes in our trouser bottoms from the spitting and splash!
  19. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I always remember it as being alphabetic i.e. A to W, always add acid to water.
    Wagonman likes this.
  20. Martin Field

    Martin Field Western Thunderer

    That's a great mnemonic, Adrian. Even I could remember that!