Tuesday 12 December 2017

Instructables - Gas Bottle Hot Smoker

I have just entered my Instructable on how to build a hot smoker out of a couple of gas bottles in there current metalworking contest.  Please take a look by following the link below and vote by clicking on the vote tab on the right hand side if you wish!

Gas Bottle Hot Smoker

Saturday 19 September 2015

New stuff - Bridgeport Mill

For some time I had been looking for a milling machine and thus I'd been scanning the auction sites for a suitable candidate.  Sadly anything within my price range was in really poor condition or had no tooling.  After a lot of searching I found just what I was looking for.

So I was searching on bidspotter.co.uk for milling machines and I spotted one in Cheltenham which was within my budget (but still had a week to go) and came with a load of tooling. There weren't any bits and it had a starting price of £800, but I was sure it would go for much more than that but with just a few min before the end of the auction there were still no bids.

I decided in the end to go for it, on the basis that even if it was in poor condition the tooling should be worth what I paid for it but when I tried to bid I found out I was not registered with that auction house and by the time my registration had come through the sale had finished, but the mill had not sold. I dropped them an email and they said they were open to offers so I made them one of £600 and I was very surprised when they accepted it.

This did however leave me with a few issues, first off you could only collect it during the week I was scheduled to be on holiday. I though this was going to be a big issue but I dropped them an email and they agreed I could collect it earlier which was a big relief.  I was however left which the question of how to move it.

At first I thought I would do it myself using a plant trailer, engine crane and the help of friend, but as it could only be collected mid week in the morning I decided it was unfair to expect people to have a day off work. I got several quotes to move it but in the end settled on a guy who would do it for 300ukp which was more than I wanted to spend but a lot less that some of the quotes.

The day came and he collected the machine from the seller. When he arrived I had expected him to just drop it at the door but he moved it into place and even move my lathe to its final position to make space.  Really please with this guy I will definitely use him again.

So I have had the machine for a month now and have got it hooked up and my first impression are that I got a really good deal. There are however a few issues that need to be sorted. The big one is that the DRO does not work, it all lights up but no response from the scales, hopefully this will be an easy fix. The second is that there were a couple of bits of minor damage in shipping, the fan shroud has got bent which stops the spindle from turning and the control box has snapped off (looks like this has happened before and had been glued together not too well).  For now I have just removed the shroud but I will beat it back into shape.  The control box has been cable tied in place but I will need to come up with a better option. Finally the auto traverse is very noisy in one direction.

All in all I am very happy with my purchase, its not perfect but its pretty close especially considering for what I paid and how much tooling came with it!

Thursday 17 September 2015

I've been busy!

I have been really busy over the last couple of months, hence no blog posts.  I do however have a bit time on my hands now so I am going to try and get caught up over the next couple of weeks and post about what I have been working on since the beginning of July.

Thursday 2 July 2015

Collecting - Yet another bit of cable

Its been a while since I purchased an antique cable sample, but recently a piece of unusual heavily armoured cable came up on eBay. Luckily there was a make an offer button and he accepted an offer of 50% of what he had been asking, so I am happy I got a good deal!

The same seller has a couple of other pieces but I have been unable to negotiate a good enough deal.  I do wonder if he clicked accept by accident last time, it was a very good deal.

I've never seen a cable this well armored before, I would guess its for use in areas with a high risk of fouling with ships anchors? Its also the first twin core cable I have purchased, regardless this thing is heavy so it will be living in the office till I next get a lift home.

Thursday 25 June 2015

New Workshop - Getting there

Things have continued to progress on the workshop over the last few weeks.  We now have the patio doors fitted on the house side and we have replace the neighbours fence we removed during construction. We have also done several tip runs so things are beginning to look a lot more tidy.

Building control have done the final inspection and although it will take a couple of weeks for the paperwork to go through they have verbally confirmed its passed. I just waiting for sign off from the planning officer.

The biggest change since last time however is that the internal painting is nearly completed. Once again big thanks to my Dad for all his hard work painting! The blocks are really soaking up the paint. So far we have used about 50 litres of paint on the walls, but we will need at least another 10 litres maybe 20.

Hopefully next week we will get the floor painted, the roof insulated and maybe even get the power hooked up. Looks like I might even get everything done by my dead line of the 11th of July after all!

Clipsal C-Bus Dimmer Pack Repair

Been meaning to write up an Instructable on how to repair a Clipsal C-Bus dimmer pack for some time.  This week I finally had a chance, the pack in question had a couple of blown Triacs. The repair all in all was pretty simple but getting the cover off is a nightmare!


Saturday 6 June 2015

New Workshop - Doors to Manual

Once again its been another busy week on the workshop and we have made much progress. Finally we have guttering up which worked out well although rather annoyingly I messed up and was short on a couple of bits.
The big progress however is that we have now fitted the segmented garage doors.  I opted for these over a roller shutter as they are both more secure and offer a much better seal against the weather.  The only real down side apart from the cost is that you do lose a bit of head room to the track.

Hopefully by the end of next week I will have the double doors fitted at the other end of the garage and thus we will finally be waterproof.  I also hope to make good the fences between my garden and the neighbors.