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Working With Plastics

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Some people are not very familiar working with plastics. So we will continuously be adding useful info about plastics, here are few first ones we put together: Joining and Gluing ABS Painting parts with molded-in colors - a great partnership. Your Guide To ABS Drop us a note if you find this info useful. If you have more questions/topics you'd like us to cover in future posts, please respond to this thread or submit suggestion on our website using this form

Scraping in all bearing surfaces on my Wards/Logan 10"

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I've been working on my lathe off and on over the past several weeks or months, but I've been hesitant to start a thread documenting my progress (or lack thereof!) for fear of embarrassing myself. I'm increasingly confident that I'm going to end up with a very precise lathe rather than a very large pile of cast iron dust and tears, so I'm finally willing to share my progress. After creating a new cross-slide for my lathe some time ago, I'd already spent a lot of time scraping in the compound and cross slide. But I decided to tackle a far larger project. I've taken Richard King's class twice now (and I'm about to help out with a third) but I know full well there is no way to really learn something without actually doing it (and even better, trying to explain what you're doing to others). So, despite my old Wards/Logan being in perfectly (well ... "acceptably") useable shape to begin with, I decided to scrape in the bed ways, headstock, saddle, and tailstock. I rationalized that...
The Power of Smallᵀᴹ
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Do you remember the time when most of the things were made here, they were durable, repairable and they would last for a very long time? Do you remember the time when shop and other hands-on trades training were part of the school curriculum? And you also probably remember when all this deteriorated, was bought and moved oversees and centralized by mega corporations... And this is great for few industries, but for a lot of small shop and inventors, makers and hobbyists, there is a real need in local distributed manufacturing. We are looking for your help to spread the word about our new initiative which we call "The Power of Small". What is The Power of Smallᵀᴹ ? • Small businesses doing big projects with low amounts of capital; • Office-desk sized machines making large parts - 100lbs and more; • On-shore, distributed manufacturing on a national or international scale; • Converting 100% waste plastics directly into viable finished goods - affordably and locally; • A...

Clausing 1771 Drill Press Restoration

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I picked up a Clausing variable speed drill press from a Craigslist ad. I offered the guy $200.00 and he accepted. The drill press was in decent overall condition, and had a new motor on it. I disassembled the machine and cleaned up and painted everything. Mechanically, it was in very good condition, and the only real repair work I did was to straighten a few of the handle arms. One really nice feature is the table lift, which works great on that heavy table (btw: the table doesn't have a single drill mark in it!) This is my second Clausing variable speed drill press. The first one is in my metal shop, this one will be in my wood shop. Jack Fort Loramie, Ohio
Rebuilding the head on a South Bend 4219 1956 mill

Slotting Machine

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New machine

What is Your Go To Insert/Angle when Boring

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If you were going to grab an indexable boring bar, to bore into say, a 2" piece of 12L14 cold rolled steel, what insert and angle would come to mind? It has a 7/8 hole in the center already. (IN THE LATHE) Style? Shank size? (I have CXA) I mean there is only about 1,000 to choose from. I see plenty of zero to negative 5-degree lead angle bars/inserts. I have had good success boring with the brazed carbon inserts that I touched up when I had a diamond wheel on my tool room grinder. I am retooling and don't want to buy anything I won't use. Thanks.

BXA or CXA, Clausing Colchester 15 1971 Vintage

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Hello all, I am hoping someone who has this lathe can answer my question. I just bought it and I need to add some tool holders. Based on forum threads, it can go either way. QCTP holders were not around in 1971, so the manual is no good. Thank you. Jeff

Collet Blocks???

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Guys the net is full of collet blocks,just starting out and I need this for one of my future projects.Looking at the 5C cause watching Youtubes saying that the 5C has more holding power for little longer pieces.But as I search either on ebay or All Indust. they all look the same but which ones is more accurate than the other?Say I'm using the square holder as you rotate it to machine a part if its not spot on well neither will your part.Na not making nothing for Nasa but for 50.00 or so I would like it to be the best it can be.What vendor would you purchase your blocks from that are good?

Offset boring through rectangular blank

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Hi All I need to bore a 1.5 inch hole through a thick hunk of 6061 on an Enco 9x20. Stock 4 jaw chuck. How much slop should be on the faceplate bolts? I have it as close to zero by feel without binding as I can. Do these need to be tightened and when during setup? But if you get them too tight the adjusters wont work right. My first attempt made a beautiful hole but the stock shifted. I think I caught that before it was too late to save the piece. I was just having too much fun in the moment. lol The sides of the hole are square to the top at least. I have attached some photos of first setup for critique. Its also sat like that for the last 3 years. I need to make some progress. lol The first 2 you can see the scrape marks from the jaws when it shifted. There is a circle scribed on top where the hole is supposed to be. Luckily, the hole isn't outside of that. Sooo, what went wrong here?
Drive on car ramps, any experience, making them, using them?
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i'm in the middle of repairing an old small 4x4, i'm doing lot of the work on jack stands but i've come to a point where i need a wheel to roll on and off so i can check articulation and clarence, i've looked around to buy plastic ramps but only one store has them and they are only 10 centimeters high, i've searched google and found only this drawing, looks easy enough to fabricate but i'm concerned about stability side to side, i also want to use the same ramps on my cars for oil changes so i can't make them very high, i'm thinking 20 - 25 centimeters high and 25 centimeters wide, any advice or shared experience is much appreciated.

Making a lathe chuck back plate, first timer

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My Atlas TH42 has it's original 4 jaw chuck. It has "Atlas" stamped right in the face. It's a good old soldier and it works, but it's sloppy and takes a fair amount of fiddling to get it dialed in. On the plus side, I've gotten pretty proficient/quick at mounting stock in a 4 jaw chuck! The key slots in the body seem worn/sloppy, which makes tightening and adjusting an extra hassle. The jaws will often not have a square grip on the work piece either. To the point where you can look in to the jaws and actually see they don't have full contact along their length on the work piece. I suppose I could try "refreshing" the old chuck, but I'm pretty sure it's close to the end of it's useful life with the way the jaws move inside the chuck body slots. Again, they're not completely horrible, but you can feel the slop when you grab them and I can't see how I would be able to compensate for material that has been worn away over the last 60-70 years of use. I've got a "new" 4 jaw chuck...

Dividing Head Question

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Hi All! Several years ago I to picked up a very old, very tired, and quite beat up, NEWS, Yamatokoki Mfg Co Ltd dividing head for not a lot of $$$. It does have a 40:1 gear ratio. No tailstock, no chuck and only one dividing plate. The dividing plate is kind of a morphodite in its own right. 3 7/8" diameter, with a 13/16" center hole and 3 counter sunk mounting holes. The plate holes are 21, 23, 27, 29, 31 and 33. I seem to have a knack for finding goofy stuff like this. I guess this comes from trying to get stuff on the cheap. You should see my rotary table. All of my stuff is very much a work in progress.... I also found a very beat up Union Mfg, 5", 3 jaw chuck, class "S" (?) the same size as the backing plate that came with the dividing head. Which are both actually 5.5" in diameter. Also for not a lot of $$$ All of this sat in the basement for a number of years until I decided it was time to move forward on this project. This past weekend I managed to get the...

[How do I?] Motor wiring puzzle

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I am trying to help a friend get a motor wired up and it has me stumped. The motor is 5hp single phase 240v 3420rpm TEFC with a centrifugal switch for a start capacitor. It was purchased surplus with no documentation and missing capacitor(s). Here is the tag: Grizzly has been no help. There are two red wires, two black wires, and one yellow wire coming out of the motor. R1 connects to one of the centrifugal switch contacts. It is open circuit to everything when the contacts are open. R2 connects to the other side of the centrifugal switch. Simple enough but I have not been able to make sense of the connections to the windings. I measured the following resistances between pairs (measured with 4-wire connections, variation in the contact resistance is about 0.01 ohm): Bk1 -- Bk2 0.206 ohm Bk1 -- R2 0.904 ohm Bk1 -- Y 0.006 ohm Bk2 -- R2 0.936 ohm Bk2 -- Y 0.197 ohm R2 -- Y 0.930 ohm All of the wires are > 1500 Mohm to the case. I would...

Shars long nose live center feedback

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Anyone have any +/- feedback on this brand of (3MT shank) live centers? I'm specifically after the longer more slender nose profile. High thrust rating isn't really a factor, it will be light duty but trying to avoid an issue like junk bearings or wishful thinking overstated TIR. https://www.shars.com/products/toolholding-workholding/live-centers?shank_size=morse+taper+3 Spefically models 202-3565 202-3529 If you have any recs let me know. I've come across some eastern euro & USA models but so far seem many times more expensive.

Working with keyed shafts/bandsaw conversion

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I am converting a cheap little 9” bandsaw I had laying around, via a speed reducer, and matching motor. The end result will be a small bandwidth able to cut smaller steel and brass pieces. I have other ways to cut bigger stuff, including a power hacksaw made by machinist at home in the 50s. It’s really cool piece of vintage machinery. It uses an weak motor that likely came out of a washing machine, but makes beautiful cuts through 4” round stock. I digress, back to the point. The output shaft of the reducer is 7/8”. The old bandsaw motor was 1/2” and has a gear on the end feeding the bandsaw drive belt. I need to remove the gear and place it on a new shaft and then adapt it to 7/8” to connect it the reducer. I am having trouble finding a premade reasonably priced adapter. I thought about buying 7/8” prekeyed shaft and machining down one end to 1/2”. I never keyed a shaft myself. I would then use 7/8 to 7/8 coupler. However, I am concerned about the key gap causing...

A Boring Primer

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Boring on the Lathe for (New) Hobby Guys A Primer Being able to bore an accurate hole on the lathe is an important skill every hobby guy should have. We may not need to bore a precision hole all that often but when we need to, we should be able to. As we all know, that is easier said than done. I don’t know about you guys but when I started I didn’t really understand how a boring bar actually worked. I certainly didn’t know how to choose them and I didn’t know how to use them because nobody ever told me. Even the manufacturers of our bars had not put out any educational material that covered the basics of boring. Has anybody found the equivalent of “Boring for Dummies” and “How a Boring Bar Actually Works” yet? I haven’t, and I’ve looked hard! The information I needed was actually out there but it was scattered about in the technical, academic and manufacturer’s literature. Without any other recourse, I decided to sort this boring thing out for myself. Being a little slow...

Very Stuck Glue Chuck!

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So I tried using a superglue chuck on my lathe for the first time to do some post parting work on thin washer-like parts. The first one went pretty well and I was able to pry the part off the glue chuck with a razor blade and a little acetone, but the second sat much flatter and I couldn't remove it from the chuck for the life of me. I ended up heating it on my gas stove (on high!) for 30 min, and then a 2 hour soak in acetone before going back to work with the razor blade. I barely managed to pry the part off. Couldn't believe how secure this method is. I won't worry about cutting forces in the future!

Techniks ISO30-ER40 Chuck Will Not Fit the Spindle/Sharp LMV Mill

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Hello, I am new to the ISO 30, Spindle. I have a handful of the ISO 30 tool holders for specific Imperial sizes. It was mentioned on this forum to just get a good set of ER40 collets. I thought that was a much better option. The ER40 chuck I bought is of high quality, the collets fit and lock up very nicely.But, the ISO 30-ER40 chuck will not clear the locking lugs on the spindle. I am hoping I am missing a locking ring adapter of some sort? Please see the pics. Thank you, Jeff

Randy Richards Dovetail Cutters?

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Guys not knowing anything about cutters I was watch a Youtube on these 60* dovetail cutters.Does anyone have any experience with these cutters?

Low friction material for a bushing

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Hi guys, I’m a keen mountain biker and I’m getting fed up of the bushings in my rear shock wearing rapidly. Well, I don’t mind them wearing but they are quite expensive! This got me thinking, why not just make some myself and keep a bunch in the drawer so I can swap them out as needed? So my question is, what to make them from? The existing ones on my bike are a plastic bushing that is pressed into the shock with an aluminium shaft running through it. I have seen some people run a brass shaft (I’d probably prefer bronze myself) through a plastic bush but is there any merit in running two bearing materials against each other? The ultimate aim would be to reduce friction as the difference can be noticeable when out on the bike (I used to run needle bearings but these seemed to come out of the box with a little play which worsened rapidly. they did make the suspension much more supple though). I was thinking a plastic DU bush and a bronze shaft but if there won’t be any...

Vise squareness question

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Gentlemen! I bought this precision vise from shars company, to replace cheap Chinese vise I had before. https://www.shars.com/products/workholding/vise/4-single-lock-down-precision-milling-machine-vise The Jaws out of the box were not square to the base, despite spec being . 0004 " Checked with several starrett tools. I sent pictures to the Shars and they responded that's the way the make em..... My Chinese vise was off about the same way. What do I need to do to get a vise that's actually square and I can mill soft materials square. Thanks a bunch.! Arthur

Winner South Bend 9A Lathe Restoration by derf

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9A Restoration by @Derf

Guesstimate on die set for a part like this...

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Hi All This part has .020" thick top and side walls. The side walls are .25" high. The D symbol in this pic is an extra .050" of material but if I could have a die for it made then it would just be pressed out. The holes are 13/64" and 3/32". Does anybody with die sets experience have any idea what it would cost me to have the necessary punch(s) and dies(s) made to get this done? I would be making these pickup covers out of 24 gauge nickel side sheet. This would be low volume so I'm thinking the die set(s) would probably be way to much $ and it would be better for me to have these made of plastic via high-end 3D printing. Lastly, I want the body of these covers to have a shiny nickel plated finish with the upper D being black enamel and the lower D being red enamel. That kind of complicates things.

Reversing Switch Options

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My Chinese forward / reverse switch burned up. Seems I need more from my Grizzly than the 8Amp switch that it came with was willing to handle. It's a 1HP motor stock. Never having dealt with the Dayton 'Barrel' type of switch, I wasn't ready to spend the money to find out how it could be adapted for my use. As Dale Derry points out, "Our solutions tend to stem from what we have laying about." (Paraphrased) So, I looked around at what I have & found a collection of retired GE SB-1 switches that I thought would make great light switches in my future shop. They are large & can break 30A DC loads all day. I just need up to 20A AC, so these are a no brainer. My Van Norman mill uses 1 of these & it still looks brand new after starting a 3ph 480V 3HP motor for 60 years! Just throwing out an option & showing pics. Several different handles are available & the number of contacts is not limited. 6 contacts are shown above - perfect for a reversing switch! Unfortunately, if you want...

Lathe Operations question (Swarf control)

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Today I was having to cut down 8 inches of a 2.5" diameter 6071 Aluminum round bar. I was taking 0.1 cuts. This generates a nasty swarf tangle and I would have to stop everything several times during the roughing cuts to clear out the swarf mess. I then started putting the feed in neutral for a second or two several times during each pass to break the long swarf chip. This helped although it did not eliminate the need to stop the machine to clear out the next, but I did not have to do it as often. Now my questions Q1: Does it hurt the machine (Grizzly G4003) to move the feed lever into neutral and back so often ? Q2: Is there a better way to avoid (or clear) the birds nest of nasty aluminum swarf during a long cut like this?

Mill capacitor centrifugal switch issue?

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My new mill is down. So while I'm waiting for Mr. Technician to arrive, I figured I'd post & solicit some advice. It was running fine & then it seemed to me the motor started making a noise that didn't sound right. Then it tripped the breaker. The motor noise didn't really sound 'mechanical' like grinding or friction, but I'm no expert & maybe this was wishful thinking. Anyway, no heavy load or anything like that. Maybe a couple hours of cumulative running time. A few repeat tries of this startup with & no progress. If I start it in neutral it ran a tad longer (but always rough sounding) then trips breaker. If I put it into gear it trips breaker almost immediately. The motor is a 240V single phase 3 hp. Tech visit number #1. <insert self ass-kick here> The first thing he notices is my panel breaker is 15A & the motor is 20A. DOH! Nowhere in my purchasing discussions did the topic of available amp duty come up. Its not even specified in the brochure or Taiwan manual. Now I am...

dimensions for the ubiquitous 5c spin fixture

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Just bought a new a 5c spin fixture and before it arrives I was wondering if anyone had detailed dimensions. I found basic dimensions for one on the Shars web sight. It looks like all the moderately price spin fixtures have the same casting. Thanks for your help in advance Tinkertoy 1941

Turn your mill into a turret mill

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Relevant portion starts at 14:45. The entire video is interesting, but the first half requires some knowledge gained through earlier videos from the creator.

$85 4" ebay vises

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I was looking to get another vise for my mill to be able to make more parts in a single set up. I came across these 4" cnc vises on ebay and for $85, I figured I could give them a shot. I knew that at $85 they would not be fantastic, but I had hoped they would be usable. I planned to use them with soft jaws and mostly for roughing operations, so I didn't need fantastic quality. I picked these for the price and fast shipping, and the square shape letting me position them better on the machine and put them closer together. Here is the link for the vise I ordered: https://www.ebay.com/itm/392186120195 These are what I received. Overall, not terrible by any means, but certainly not amazing. The good: -The ground surfaces have a good finish. -They open and close smoothly. -They have an oil dimple for the screw. -Sliding jaws are tight but still move nicely. -No major defects (cracks, broken parts, etc.) The bad: -They came with grinder dust all over them (to be expected)...

Looking for the correct nomenclature for custom part

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Hi All I’ve been looking at custom lapel pin sites to make me some guitar headstock logos of my last name. I like the processes on these sites and so I am interested in using them to having my custom guitar pickup covers made. However, the size and unique shape of the covers doesn’t look like they could handle these parts. What would the nomenclature be for items like the covers? Most of these custom die cast, enamel sites are specifically for pins and badges, and the pins sites takes care of my headstock logo needs. So what in the manufacturing world would I call my need to search on for the custom covers?

Manually milling non-circular curves

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Hi All I have a rotary table and I’ve used it for milling circular curves, when I have a center hole to pivot around. So I get the concept and use. However, I have designs with curves that are not circular. Can I manually mill these curves? I imagine the answer is yes but I would have to plot out every single thousand’s of an inch movement of the X and Y dials. Is that true and is that how the old timers did it? Right now CNC is not an option. $$$

Drill Chuck Mounting Taper

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Are drill chuck mounting tapers standardized? The chuck that came with my Grizzly mill is, frankly, junk. Just horrible. Gritty action, sloppy key fit, won't stay tight. It's mounted on a nice R8 collet tho. What I'd like to do is buy a good chuck and mount it on my existing collet, but I need to know what I need to know (if that makes sense) before ordering one.

BALDOR motor question

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I am working retrofitting an old machine. It is a lathe that was used for one operation in production. What hp size does it look like? The 3 wires to the back connector went to power. What are the two other likes going to the front for?

Machining PVC Block

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This might actually be my first "I need help" post...... I have a block of PVC that's 3" x 6" x 3/4" thick. I need to reduce the thickness to 11/16" (0.688 +/-0.005) I have a Grizzly combo machine with enough travel and a mill vise. Here are the cutting tools at my disposal: -1/2" Endmill - boring head and a variety of carbide bars I'm thinking of using the boring head and my smallest boring bar as a fly cutter (which, BTW, I've never done with any material) taking 2-3 passes per cut depth to keep vibration to a minimum. Anyone got advice on RPM and Depth of cut? Other suggestions?

Machining magnetised steel, any safety concerns?

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Today i need a piece of steel to turn down on my lathe so i grabbed a piece and noticed is magnetised, this piece i bought from the junkyard, together with some steel castings that looked like are for machining bearings. The steel bar is bent so i use an angle grinder to cut a piece off and cuts like any other steel, but is very magnetic it can pick up a screwdrivers, are there any safety hazards with machining those types of steels?

I Need A CNC Threading for Dummies Book

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For the last couple of months, my main project around the shop has been moving threading onto a CNC Sherline lathe. Sort of by definition, anything that gets a small thread on it (say anything from 4-40 up to the biggest threads I've ever used) is going to be small enough for the Sherline's envelope. I have a Sherline long bed lathe that I bought back around '07 and converted to CNC. I threaded a couple of things back around 2008 or '09 but other than proving I could do it, I hardly ever touched that lathe. This can be long a story and I don't know quite how long to make it. Not sure how much background is needed. I'm running Mach3 and Windows 7 on the PC. Because I have three machines on the same PC and for the generally better performance you get this way, I'm running an Ethernet Smooth Stepper. Because the shop has moved around a bunch of times in the intervening 10 years, the lathe has been moved. The last time I tried to just move the axes on the lathe, it didn't...

Bijur-Lubrication line maintenance Help please

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Hi Gang, I am repairing 2 of the one pump oiler lines on my Sharp LMV Milling Machine. The metering valves are of an odd size. I can't find ferrules to fit the 5/32" nylon line. Plus the valves are cracked at the compression end where the ferrules are crimped. They look like the 3rd one from the left http://www.fluidlinesystems.net/bijur-meter-units-s/1824.htm Can't source local, the thread is 8mm x 1.0 TP. The rest of the lines are metal and are in good shape, they work properly and don't leak. Ideas? See pic. Thanks

Any Idea What These Are?

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They look like a punch but not sure, they came with R8 collets that are split on the bottom looks like to clamp down on them. Idk.

Shopmade O1 Cutter Feeds and Speeds

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I have a shop made cutter from O1 tool steel. It is a concave radius cutter for profiling the outside of gun parts. It has 4 straight flutes. I used it with my cnc to round over a lever and I had to go extremely slow to avoid chatter and burning it up. I believe my end result was about .010 WOC, 30 sfm, 120 rpm, and max about .5 ipm. I had to throttle feed down to about .1 ipm at the end of the lever as the cutter went around the small radius. With this WOC it took me about 5 passes to fully clean up the outside profile. I would have liked to run the tool slower at about 60 rpm but the mill did not have enough torque at this speed. Independent of my specific tool what is the recommended SFM for an O1 cutter? I could not find any data online as most results are for using HSS or carbide to machine O1. I was using ~20-30 sfm at the recommendation of my mentor, who also made the cutter. Here is a picture of what the setup and cutter look like.

Bought a Sharp LMV-50, Has ISO30 Taper-Need help

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Hello, (Edit, it's a LMV with a 42" table, not a 50) I am trying to find a keyless chuck that will mount to my mill. (Sharp LMV 50-3HP 9x42) I found NMTB 30 and ISO30. I found a NMTB30 keyless chuck but no ISO30 keyless chuck. What about an ER40 chuck with a set of collets? Will the NMTB 30 keyless chuck mount in my ISO 30 spindle? Thank you, Jeff

Question about threading on a lathe

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I have watched a few videos and believe I understand the basics of threading on a lathe. My Grizzly mini-lathe has a threading dial and change gears so I'm pretty sure I'm ready to try to actually cut some threads on it. I understand the difference between watching a video and actually making chips and I fully expect to deal with a learning curve. My question, however, is about my Seneca Star 30 lathe. It has a threading chart on an embossed plate and what appears to be a full set of change gears and I get how all that works. What has me scratching my head is the fact that there is no threading dial on the apron. This leaves me with three questions. I suspect I know the answers as unhappy as that makes me: 1. Is there a way to cut threads without a threading dial? (I suspect not.) 2. Is it likely that the lathe came with a threading dial and it has been removed at some point? (I suspect so.) 3. If I'm correct about Number 2, what are the chances that I can find a...

Enco Mill - motor takes a few tries to get to full speed

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Hello experts, I have my Enco mill (RF30) up and running and have an annoying problem. When I turn the switch (forward or reverse, doesn't matter), the motor immediately kicks on and comes up to about 1/3 speed, then stalls or "pulses" at about that speed. It must pull a ton of current, as I have managed to trip the breaker once. I turn it off, wait a few seconds, try again. Usually after 3-4 tries it fires up and goes to full speed. The motor is a 2HP, currently wired for 110v, since I don't have a 220v option in my garage. The motor is a dual capacitor model. I'm wondering if it could be something like a bad run capacitor? I'm not a motor expert by any means. The contacts on the switch look OK, and all connections are tight, as far as I can tell. Since it does fire up and run smoothly after a few tries, that should mean that the coils are OK, right? Any advice is appreciated. If you are a fellow RF30/Enco owner, and have a source for a motor or motor parts, let me...

Gibbs Brand Lubricant?

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Not sure where to post this, so I figured the Q&A is as good a place as any. Recently I came across Gibbs Brand Lubricant. Most of the information I find on it reads or sounds like an infomercial or a booth at the state fair--it cleans, deoxidizes, protects, yada yada yada. The few non-advertising things I find on it generally support the claims (146 customer reviews on Amazon predominantly 5 stars). http://www.roadsters.com/gibbs/ https://www.amazon.com/Gibbs-Brand-Lubricant-2-12oz-cans/dp/B00AFJXIJQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544454533&sr=8-1&keywords=gibbs+brand+lubricant I'm looking for something that will clean and detail the polished aluminum parts on a car--wheels, valve covers, etc. and hopefully help prevent future oxidation, water spotting, etc. It's not that expensive, and I think I'll try a couple cans, but thought I'd ask here for experience with it. Evan

Carbide inserts how many spares and price versus quality

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I am looking at buying a 8 mm shank parting off tool that uses a GTN 2 insert. This is from a UK supplier. I am a hobby user and will probably part off no more than 20 items a year. Working mostly with brass ali and delrin with the odd item in cast iron, leaded steel or 303 stainless. So I am thinking that a couple of spares will be enough. I can buy from the UK supplier of my parting toll and they charge $ 4.30 for one. Being a tight Scots git I checked the online price. I could get 10 for $ 6.99 on Ebay or 1 for $17 US supplier. Curiously the label on the cheapies gave the same US manufacturer as the $17 one. I checked Banggod but they don't seem to do them. So my questions Will 2 spares be enough. Bear in mind I live on a sailboat wandering around the Eastern Caribbean and my delivery logistics can be convoluted Is there a benefit on having a tin coating. and the sixty four dollar question is the $17 insert 25 times better than the 70 cent one. Or do they all come...
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