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Lathe Substitute...


StuartJPP
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...find a local fabricator/engineer. Okay, not quite DIY but I tracked down two local workshops recently that will readily do 1-off's at a reasonable price (although one I tried wasn't interested in the least). The item I had made cost me £10 with him supplying the aluminium and to make the deal even sweeter the guy gave me a used but fully working Noga deburring tool, how cool is that?

It is a bush of around 60mm in diameter and 35mm deep. I inset the 3 neodymium magnets myself later, they were only £1.29 from eBay for 20.

Although I would like to get a lathe, I haven't got the room and It would have taken me hours to do. It literally took him 20 minutes from an off-cut billet that started life at about 90mm in diameter. His 3-phase "proper" lathe chewed off the excess without even flinching.

So have a look locally, you may be surprised at how many of these engineering shops are about.

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£10 for 20minutes, £30 an hour, cash deal. About right.  :smiley:

Yep...it would have probably cost me at least £600 plus a severed finger if I did it myself, so a bargain :)

He didn't want to charge me that much to be honest, but I wasn't going to give him any less so that if I use him in future (which I probably will) he doesn't think I am ripping him off or being a pain. It is the 2nd time I have used his services. On the first occasion he actually offered me the use of it for free...but being that it is his livelihood and that it could turn me into pulp I graciously declined.

My dad is an engineer so the cost to me would be £0  :-)   !!!!

Unfortuntely we're not all as lucky having a dad who is an engineer, mine was a Newsagent!

My dad apprenticed as a fitter and turner, but long since retired so can't ask him...

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I've always had a lathe since I left grammar school (do they still have grammar schools in the UK?) half a century ago. No household should be without one, and a small milling machine and 3d printer. Mine get used every week and not just for ATM stuff. Most of my tools were bought second hand for a song while the rest are cheap imports.

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These little engineering shops are a dying breed I'm afraid. The friend who let me use his engineering  workshop is 72 years old and still in demand. Great chap and very knowledgeable just a shame not many school leavers want to go into it any more. 

Damian

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These little engineering shops are a dying breed I'm afraid. The friend who let me use his engineering  workshop is 72 years old and still in demand. Great chap and very knowledgeable just a shame not many school leavers want to go into it any more. 

Damian

Also, these skills aren't taught any more !! When I as at school we did metalwork and woodwork. I learned to solder, braze, silver solder, weld, use a lathe, cut threads and make things. In woodwork we learned to cut mortice and tenon joints, dovetails etc by hand. These are all skills that I still use.

As far as I know schools don't teach these things any more, probably don't have the facilities and probably cant get staff that could teach it - it all contributes to the throw away attitude that is so prevalent these days.

Its not just engineering though - its every walk of life that has been deskilled. I recently dined in a well known reasonably high end restaurant and for dessert I chose an item with 'Sauce Anglaise' (Custard!) - the waiter was very apologetic and explained that they hadn't got any left. I asked him if they had eggs, cream and sugar - he confirmed that they had. So why cant I have custard ??? His reply took my breathe away. 'You cant make custard from eggs, cream and sugar can you' ??   Well I can !!!

So even 3 rosette standard restaurants are using cartons of custard ????!!!!!!!!

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Also, these skills aren't taught any more !! When I as at school we did metalwork and woodwork. I learned to solder, braze, silver solder, weld, use a lathe, cut threads and make things. In woodwork we learned to cut mortice and tenon joints, dovetails etc by hand. These are all skills that I still use.

Equally, it's really hard to find places to learn the skills if you didn't learn them at school or don't work in the profession. Many "adult education" courses teaching these sorts of skills just don't exist any more.

Its not just engineering though - its every walk of life that has been deskilled. I recently dined in a well known reasonably high end restaurant and for dessert I chose an item with 'Sauce Anglaise' (Custard!) - the waiter was very apologetic and explained that they hadn't got any left. I asked him if they had eggs, cream and sugar - he confirmed that they had. So why cant I have custard ???

But how do you turn it into powder so you can add the water and heat it up? :D

James

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