Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by GTB » Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:22 pm

Oily Rag wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:47 pm
At first approach the saddle component looked pretty dreadful and only contacted the bed ways in what can best be described as three and a half tiny places. Proven by the blue.
Outside my skill set..........

I was lucky I think, as all I've had to do to my lathe was to remove the red anti-corrosion grease and take off the burred edges. Having stripped it down for cleaning, I then had to adjust everything anyway, so I'm not sure what it was like out of the box. The slides still need adjusting now and again, but thankfully I haven't had to touch the shears.

I've never heard them called 'Joey blocks', I've always known them as gauge blocks. The mech test lab had a set for calibrating micrometers, etc. which we had to send out for recertification every few years.

Optically flat glass will stick together in a similar way to gauge blocks and I've seen lens assemblies that were put together that way without any adhesive.

Regards,
Graeme

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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by GTB » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:17 pm

I remember a conversation at the local ME exhibition a few years ago with a local tool importer who has a trade background (toolmaker I think). I was buying a milling vice off him at the time and he made the comment that importers that bought purely on price got crap, but if you chose suppliers carefully and bought to a specification, you got good quality. I still use the vice and still buy tooling from him.......

Your old Clarke 300 mini lathe was a rebadged Sieg C2, which is what I have. It's not a Colchester, let alone a swiss automatic and it has some design idiosyncrasies, but it does what I bought it for and has run without fuss for the last 8 yrs. The only parts that have been replaced are the head bearings, which were getting noisy. It came from Hare & Forbes, who have a generally good reputation for machine tools.

This new lathe you are fighting looks the same as the unbranded Ebay specials available here in Oz. I did a lot of online research before buying the Sieg and the problems you've got are the same as the ones reported with the early mini lathes when they first appeared. Maybe Chester buy on price.....

If you have to go to plan B, I'd be talking to Arceuro about a Sieg I think. The Optimum machines also seem solidly built and have a good reputation, although built in China.

I've been contemplating getting a Sieg SC3 and keeping the C2 set up for making screws. The Sieg SC4 would be better in some ways, but space is tight and I don't like the push button speed control.

re. the ballast. As you say, real railway ballast varies. As do the rocks in any given quarry, so even if your new supply came from the same hole in the ground it can easily vary.

Australian railways didn't like carrying ballast too far and each district had it's own supply. Mainlines were crushed rock, but branchlines were often gravel, or ash, or mine waste. Sand or dirt ballast wasn't unknown either.

Regards,
Graeme

ps. I modified an allen key to fit between the lead screw and shear cap screws so they can be nipped up if needed. It has turned out to also be useful for the top slide clamping screws as well, as space under the quick change toolholder is restricted when changing the top slide angle.

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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by GTB » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:49 am

Oily Rag wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:12 am
Just looked at the OPTIMUM lathes. These are nice pieces of kit.
If the one you looked at is 114kg, it sounds like one of the 2304 versions. They are equivalent to the C4 in the Sieg range which is one of the machines I've looked at. With a 230mm swing and 510mm between centres, they are a fair bit bigger than the average 180 x 300 mini lathe, especially when you see them in the iron, as it were......

I looked at the Optimum prices in Euro, hooley dooley, there's some price gouging going on in the European supply chain. :shock:

Converting the euro price into pacific pesos and correcting for the different tax rates, I can buy an Optimum machine for 2/3 the price in the EU. Here in Oz, Hare & Forbes prices for Optimum machines are only about 10% higher than the equivalent Sieg prices from Ausee.

I didn't have the troubles you did changing headstock bearings, but they were definitely a press fit. I should have taken the bits to a friend's place and used his hydraulic press, but decided a 1 hr drive each way was a bit much for a 10min job. Hah.........

Regards,
Graeme

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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by GTB » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:31 pm

The 1503 is basically a Unimat 3 on steroids. I imagine one would rapidly get RSI in the right arm from winding the carriage back and forth. Their larger models from the 2004 up do have at least one nice feature not used by Sieg, the carriage handwheel is on the right of the apron, out of the way of hot swarf..........

Something about your lathe rang a bell, so I dug around and I think it was build by the factory that used to use the brand name Real Bull. Not a wise choice on the Australian market....... [urlhttp://en.realbull-machine.cn/][/url]

I think they build most of the mini lathes sold in the UK by Chester and others. Maybe yours was built on the first day back after Chinese New Year? They have ISO9002 certification, which just confirms my opinion of ISO9002.... :roll:

Anyway, sounds like a plan. Turning wheels will rapidly tell you if the headstock bearings need changing yet. I was always fighting chatter when turning the flange root radius on wheels, until I replaced the headstock bearings and started nipping up the topslide gib.

I hope that fitting wheels using your current profile solves your operational problems.

Regards,
Graeme

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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by tom_tom_go » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:42 pm

Real Bull, brilliant...

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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by GTB » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:42 pm

Like you, I first turn the wheel profile parallel with the topslide clamped, which minimises chatter when turning the root radius. I then turn the taper using the topslide, as there's no chatter if the tool is sharp and isn't trying to form a radius.

The Colchester Triumph 2000 I had in the mech lab would have easily turned steel wheels this size in one operation by plunge cutting with a form tool. The mini lathe would be hard pressed to do that in graphite filled nylon......

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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by GTB » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:11 pm

Oily Rag wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:57 pm
I don't like giving up but I want to get back to modelling again and have negotiated a deal with one of the better quality suppliers for a much higher quality lathe.
I sometimes wonder how many mini-lathes are sitting around rusting, due to quality issues that the average aspiring ME can't overcome.

What brand and model lathe have you decided to buy?

Having spent 40 yrs working in a QC lab and running it for about half that, I don't pin much faith in an ISO 9001 certificate on the boardroom wall. My view is much the same as whoever wrote the last para of the Wikipedia entry on ISO 9001.

All it really demonstrates is that the company has a documentation system for how they produce their particular brand of crap. British Leyland would have had no problem getting certification, but they still wouldn't have produced a decent car, let alone a Rolls-Royce........

Regards,
Graeme

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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by -steves- » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:30 pm

I could be wrong but I think the Warco WM180 is actually made by weiss (a chinese company) as are a lot of lathes that are just rebadged. I think the one you have is actually this one http://www.weiss.com.cn/products_detail ... d=210.html and they are incredible lathes. I have the 250 version and I love it, but mine is from Amadeal although he openly admits where they come from and they just badge them up for him and paint them in his preference of colours, which happens to be blue and white as it's their standard colour. They even give you the spare remaining blue and white paint for any touch ups that are required.
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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by -steves- » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:54 pm

If you had been stuck for help lifting it I could have popped up one day and lent a hand, would have given me the chance to learn lots of things from you as well :D :thumbup:
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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by -steves- » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:03 pm

Oily Rag wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:00 pm
Thank you Steve. You would be welcome anytime here when you are in the area.
I may well take you up on that offer at some point :thumbup: Cannock is where I sometimes go mountain biking, so it's not the other end of the planet ;)
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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by GTB » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:51 pm

Oily Rag wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:58 pm
Its a WARCO WM180. It is very competively priced and is the same specification as the OPTiturn 2004 at a better price.
The spec looks good, much the same as Optimum without the price premium for the extra 10mm of centre height. Interesting that Warco test and measure each machine before delivery.

The only Weiss distributor in Oz doesn't bring in the smaller size lathes, so the choices here are basically Optimum and Seig.

Regards,
Graeme

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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by Palmerston » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:57 pm

Oily Rag wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:47 pm
You are correct Steve. The Warco model is manufactured by WEISS. They make all the OPTIMUM badged lathes which are allegedly doctored in Germany before sale and it is claimed they have German engineering supervision on site. Plus there is a WEISS in the Netherlands doing the same items. Its all a bit of a tangled web really. In actual fact there are few manufacturers as such much of it badging.
Well everyone can order a container full of whatever machinery or products from China with badges and colours of your choice. We could even label them as "Garden Railway Forum" This is the so called "private label".

Some Optimum machines are manufactured by a joint venture from Optimum in Yangzhou. You can also order them with your private label. Some of Chester Hobby lathes look a like.

Generally the chinese gouvernment for whatever product produces a "design" for free and appoints several factories. The money and lessons learnt from those first batches will then be used to improve things or fit useless improvements due to lack of experience with use of the product.

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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by Palmerston » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:50 pm

I replaced my Weiss 210 lathe three months ago with an Optimum 2807V.

Its taken me a lot of effort to sort the problems with this lathe. WHY? Optimum sells through dealerships which get their machines from a local or regional importer which gets them from Germany or possibly direct from China. I cant imagen my machine has been tested in the German warehouse.

With the Weiss lathe the few problems were quickly sorted by the seller which has a private label business in tools, like Chester, Axminster, Warco, Amadeal etc. They often just take parts of the machines they have in stock intended for parts. As there is no middleman quick service for the customer and still earn enough profit .

The dealership i bought the machine from just blames the importer which took 6 weeks to respond…..which blames the German warehouse which had the wrong parts in stock... 12 weeks on...

Optimum has improved their milling machines with a quick release toolholder without the need for difficult extra parts (money) though.

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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by DonW » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:19 am

you obviously know a lot about machine tools. It must be much more of a problem for thse of us who who lack the knowledge and experience.
I have an old EW lathe which was given to me but lacks the shaft which went between the motor and the lathe proper, with belt drives to both. The motor to interim shaft was about 5:1.
I cannot decide whether I should try to make up something or just buy a new lathe.

Don

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Re: Chronicles of the Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway

Post by GTB » Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:16 pm

DonW wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:19 am
I have an old EW lathe which was given to me but lacks the shaft which went between the motor and the lathe proper, with belt drives to both. The motor to interim shaft was about 5:1.
I cannot decide whether I should try to make up something or just buy a new lathe.
The EW lathe is listed on Tony Griffiths' website. http://www.lathes.co.uk/ew/index.html

The photos show the as supplied countershaft. There was also a backgeared countershaft that was an extra cost option, along with screwcutting, etc.

You need to ask yourself a couple of questions. What do you want to make that requires metal working machinery and also if your hobby is making models, or restoring old machinery.

Making parts for a restoration will likely require access to a lathe and maybe other machinery, as parts for a 60 year old lathe will be as rare as hens teeth.

What you wish to make will determine if a restored EW will do the job and what other machinery you will need.

Regards,
Graeme

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