Greetings from Normandy

Home Model Engine Machinist Forum

Help Support Home Model Engine Machinist Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Paul135

Active Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
26
Reaction score
25
Location
France
Hi, I’m Paul, I live in the countryside of Normandy. The 135 on my username comes from my Massey Ferguson 135 tractor (another on going project, though still usable in the yard and fields). Like quite a few people here whose posts I have read, I am retired. I am here for learning and sharing ideas with like minded souls.

Retirement has allowed me to pursue my workshop interests at a deeper level, having bought the lathe, mill and 4 x 6 bandsaw to restart learning to machine metal, something I last really did when I was an apprentice. Despite my career having been in engineering at a professional level I have always been hands on and built up an extensive range of tools to cover many aspects of life, restoring houses, building barns, LandRovers, tractors, farm machinery etc. I even do some welding of plastics. Being a tooloholic is just one of those things I suppose, one can never have enough and they do get used.

Living on a hobby farm with horses means there is always loads to repair and make. A lot is in wood, for which I have worked in at home most of my life. One of the challenges when not being able to have separate workshops is having wood and metalworking machinery in the same shop. My workshop leaves a lot to be desired being a post-war concrete block constructed cow-shed (cows long gone before we were here) complete with sloping floors and slurry gutter. That is quite useful when torrential rains flood the yard and overcome the ditch. The water flows down the gutter and out again!

The lathe and mill are Chinese of course and unlike many western branded Chinese machines mine had the makers name left on, Sumore Machinery. My machines are very similar to those I see when I look up references to Precision Mathews to understand what some US members are discussing. Think Blondihacks type machines. I went for the biggest I could afford and fit in the shop, the lathe, a SP2129 being 290mm dia x 700 between centres and 38mm through the bore. The mill is an SP2217-IV with a table of 840x210mm. Neither have DROs and the mill has no auto feed (another project to come). Welding gear is AC/DC Tig from Rtech Welding, an Rtech plasma cutter, an Italian MIG set I have had for years and oxy/acetylene. The TIG I am trying to relearn. When my business was young I used to do the TIG on small stainless pressure vessels with a massive old Lincoln. Until I started to relearn I had forgotten how much I hated TIGing mild steel! Aluminium is on the to learn list as I only had a few gos at that.

The 4x6 bandsaw has been invaluable, its not the first I have had; that would have been about 40 years ago. Though very similar, the current one is way better, it cuts straight and the blade stays on. I have started doing mods to this, Frank Hoose/ Mike’s Workshop type mods.

On the CAD front I was an AutoCad user, 2D only, leaving the 3D to my design team. These days I am bit by bit getting to grips with learning solid modeling in FreeCad. I don’t want to go the Fusion route as I am Ubuntu based and have had too much of AutoCad’s pricing over the years. Opensource suits retirement budgets much better.

Machining projects at the moment are centered around tool making/machine upgrades and mods. Serious lathe work is out of the question at the moment as I need to finish some mods to the shop and then get the lathe’s stand reasonably level (the sloping floor problem) and do the alignment. Most turning I have done so far has been making repair parts so precision has not been a big problem; but it will be! The mill however is on a very solid bench I constructed for it and runs great.
 
Welcome to the great group . I to did machinist apprentiship all the way to tool maker. I then went back to mech. Engineering school I had the scant age of being able to design and make what was designed or instruct how to make it . Also did psychology which helped in relations with the shop and mgmt. automation was my main line but I got into R&D and military projects. TIg weldingbutv was a sideline but I did some very high level stuff there in retirement . I did teach it as a project at work. My vision has deteriorated so it is very difficult to just type here as I see double as a therapy I’ve practiced “ welding” lines on graph paper sketches . It means selecting the right line and staying focused on it. I’m not supposed to set foot in the shop let alone operate rotating machines. anyway welcome to the group .
Byron
Hi, I’m Paul, I live in the countryside of Normandy. The 135 on my username comes from my Massey Ferguson 135 tractor (another on going project, though still usable in the yard and fields). Like quite a few people here whose posts I have read, I am retired. I am here for learning and sharing ideas with like minded souls.

Retirement has allowed me to pursue my workshop interests at a deeper level, having bought the lathe, mill and 4 x 6 bandsaw to restart learning to machine metal, something I last really did when I was an apprentice. Despite my career having been in engineering at a professional level I have always been hands on and built up an extensive range of tools to cover many aspects of life, restoring houses, building barns, LandRovers, tractors, farm machinery etc. I even do some welding of plastics. Being a tooloholic is just one of those things I suppose, one can never have enough and they do get used.

Living on a hobby farm with horses means there is always loads to repair and make. A lot is in wood, for which I have worked in at home most of my life. One of the challenges when not being able to have separate workshops is having wood and metalworking machinery in the same shop. My workshop leaves a lot to be desired being a post-war concrete block constructed cow-shed (cows long gone before we were here) complete with sloping floors and slurry gutter. That is quite useful when torrential rains flood the yard and overcome the ditch. The water flows down the gutter and out again!

The lathe and mill are Chinese of course and unlike many western branded Chinese machines mine had the makers name left on, Sumore Machinery. My machines are very similar to those I see when I look up references to Precision Mathews to understand what some US members are discussing. Think Blondihacks type machines. I went for the biggest I could afford and fit in the shop, the lathe, a SP2129 being 290mm dia x 700 between centres and 38mm through the bore. The mill is an SP2217-IV with a table of 840x210mm. Neither have DROs and the mill has no auto feed (another project to come). Welding gear is AC/DC Tig from Rtech Welding, an Rtech plasma cutter, an Italian MIG set I have had for years and oxy/acetylene. The TIG I am trying to relearn. When my business was young I used to do the TIG on small stainless pressure vessels with a massive old Lincoln. Until I started to relearn I had forgotten how much I hated TIGing mild steel! Aluminium is on the to learn list as I only had a few gos at that.

The 4x6 bandsaw has been invaluable, its not the first I have had; that would have been about 40 years ago. Though very similar, the current one is way better, it cuts straight and the blade stays on. I have started doing mods to this, Frank Hoose/ Mike’s Workshop type mods.

On the CAD front I was an AutoCad user, 2D only, leaving the 3D to my design team. These days I am bit by bit getting to grips with learning solid modeling in FreeCad. I don’t want to go the Fusion route as I am Ubuntu based and have had too much of AutoCad’s pricing over the years. Opensource suits retirement budgets much better.

Machining projects at the moment are centered around tool making/machine upgrades and mods. Serious lathe work is out of the question at the moment as I need to finish some mods to the shop and then get the lathe’s stand reasonably level (the sloping floor problem) and do the alignment. Most turning I have done so far has been making repair parts so precision has not been a big problem; but it will be! The mill however is on a very solid bench I constructed for it and runs great.
 
Welcome Paul-

I can relate to many things you mention.

I have chinese machines, and they are fine for the hobby work I do.

I use a Lincoln tombstone welder with a 2013 all purpose rod, and it does pretty much anything I need to do, except aluminum.
I use nickle rods for stainless, and that works well too with the Lincoln.

I am definitely a "toolaholic".
When my wife goes to the hardware store with me, she will comment on every tool that I look at, and often say "Do we really need that?".
Best to go to the hardware store by myself.

My wood shop is on one side of my metal shop, and so even with a partial separation wall, there is some dust migration.
It is what it is. Once can only do a lot of shop vac'ing to keep it under control.

And my foundry shed is full of sand, and so that also has to be contended with.

I used 2D CAD for many years, and finally learned 3D (Solidworks) in 2012, with much anguish and pulling of hair.
3D work is such a mental change from 2D work, and one has to learn a totally different and much more universal approach when designing with 3D.
3D modeling is pretty easy once you can get the concept down.
It took me about a year to learn 3D concepts.

Foundry work can be rather challenging, but it also opens the door to a much wider array of projects, and is very useful for replacing one-of-a-kind broken castings.

Good luck.
As I tell everyone , we need photos; words are good; photos are better.

Pat J
 
Hi, I’m Paul, I live in the countryside of Normandy. The 135 on my username comes from my Massey Ferguson 135 tractor (another on going project, though still usable in the yard and fields). Like quite a few people here whose posts I have read, I am retired. I am here for learning and sharing ideas with like minded souls.

Retirement has allowed me to pursue my workshop interests at a deeper level, having bought the lathe, mill and 4 x 6 bandsaw to restart learning to machine metal, something I last really did when I was an apprentice. Despite my career having been in engineering at a professional level I have always been hands on and built up an extensive range of tools to cover many aspects of life, restoring houses, building barns, LandRovers, tractors, farm machinery etc. I even do some welding of plastics. Being a tooloholic is just one of those things I suppose, one can never have enough and they do get used.

Living on a hobby farm with horses means there is always loads to repair and make. A lot is in wood, for which I have worked in at home most of my life. One of the challenges when not being able to have separate workshops is having wood and metalworking machinery in the same shop. My workshop leaves a lot to be desired being a post-war concrete block constructed cow-shed (cows long gone before we were here) complete with sloping floors and slurry gutter. That is quite useful when torrential rains flood the yard and overcome the ditch. The water flows down the gutter and out again!

The lathe and mill are Chinese of course and unlike many western branded Chinese machines mine had the makers name left on, Sumore Machinery. My machines are very similar to those I see when I look up references to Precision Mathews to understand what some US members are discussing. Think Blondihacks type machines. I went for the biggest I could afford and fit in the shop, the lathe, a SP2129 being 290mm dia x 700 between centres and 38mm through the bore. The mill is an SP2217-IV with a table of 840x210mm. Neither have DROs and the mill has no auto feed (another project to come). Welding gear is AC/DC Tig from Rtech Welding, an Rtech plasma cutter, an Italian MIG set I have had for years and oxy/acetylene. The TIG I am trying to relearn. When my business was young I used to do the TIG on small stainless pressure vessels with a massive old Lincoln. Until I started to relearn I had forgotten how much I hated TIGing mild steel! Aluminium is on the to learn list as I only had a few gos at that.

The 4x6 bandsaw has been invaluable, its not the first I have had; that would have been about 40 years ago. Though very similar, the current one is way better, it cuts straight and the blade stays on. I have started doing mods to this, Frank Hoose/ Mike’s Workshop type mods.

On the CAD front I was an AutoCad user, 2D only, leaving the 3D to my design team. These days I am bit by bit getting to grips with learning solid modeling in FreeCad. I don’t want to go the Fusion route as I am Ubuntu based and have had too much of AutoCad’s pricing over the years. Opensource suits retirement budgets much better.

Machining projects at the moment are centered around tool making/machine upgrades and mods. Serious lathe work is out of the question at the moment as I need to finish some mods to the shop and then get the lathe’s stand reasonably level (the sloping floor problem) and do the alignment. Most turning I have done so far has been making repair parts so precision has not been a big problem; but it will be! The mill however is on a very solid bench I constructed for it and runs great.
Welcome to the group

Dave
 
Welcome Paul-

I can relate to many things you mention.

I have chinese machines, and they are fine for the hobby work I do.

I use a Lincoln tombstone welder with a 2013 all purpose rod, and it does pretty much anything I need to do, except aluminum.
I use nickle rods for stainless, and that works well too with the Lincoln.

I am definitely a "toolaholic".
When my wife goes to the hardware store with me, she will comment on every tool that I look at, and often say "Do we really need that?".
Best to go to the hardware store by myself.

My wood shop is on one side of my metal shop, and so even with a partial separation wall, there is some dust migration.
It is what it is. Once can only do a lot of shop vac'ing to keep it under control.

And my foundry shed is full of sand, and so that also has to be contended with.

I used 2D CAD for many years, and finally learned 3D (Solidworks) in 2012, with much anguish and pulling of hair.
3D work is such a mental change from 2D work, and one has to learn a totally different and much more universal approach when designing with 3D.
3D modeling is pretty easy once you can get the concept down.
It took me about a year to learn 3D concepts.

Foundry work can be rather challenging, but it also opens the door to a much wider array of projects, and is very useful for replacing one-of-a-kind broken castings.

Good luck.
As I tell everyone , we need photos; words are good; photos are better.

Pat J
Hi Pat and thank you.

I probably should have introduced myself with; my name is Paul and I am a tooloholic. Like you I can never have enough. Unlike you I have to unfortunately share both metal and wood machines in the same shop. It is very interesting that you are into foundry work. I have never done that but it is on the list as it is for me the best way to get aluminium blocks and short "bar" lengths for machining. Aluminium is very expensive here, but at the breakers yard there is generally a ready supply of aluminium chucked out from local double glazing manufacturers to melt down. However before that I want to start on forging. I did some both at school and on my apprenticeship and I loved it. I am going the build from a propane bottle route (foundry furnace also). I already have the gas bottles (no valves and came with a 1"hole punched in the bottom).

The first project though is the burners for both. I am going the "Frosty T" route and have already bought the principal fittings, but need to machine up an inlet assembly for the mig tip going into the T.

I have also worked out and built a system of levelling feet for the lathe and have now done the preliminary levelling, but will do another to allow for settling and building a sliding draw sytem between the two lathe support column/cupboards. If this is of interest I could put some photos up.

Paul
 
Aluminum 356 is considered the best for casting work, but I have seen others used extruded aluminum, which is not generally considered good material for metal casting.

For aluminum work, the furnace does not have to be very sophisticated.
A standing stack of hard or soft fire bricks will make a furnace, and a kiln shelf makes a simple lid.

I purchased a "Hybrid Burners" propane burner when I started to melt metal, because I did not have the knowledge base to make my own burner at the time, and I was hoping to use the larger burner to melt iron.

The Hybrid burner is a good burner, but for melting iron with propane, one really needs a forced-air propane burner design.

Using diesel is a much easier way to melt iron than using propane in my opinion, since you don't get the cooling effect on the fuel tank with the associated drop in vapor pressure that can make a propane furnace so difficult to control consistently.

The Ron REIL burner type is very popular (cut sheet attached).

One thing I have noticed with propane burners is that they are fine with melting aluminum in a naturally-aspirating configuraion, ie: no combustion air blower.
However, the air-to-propane ratio has to be controlled using a damper on most propane burners.
A propane burner is tuned by adjusting the damper to control how much air gets drawn into the burner tube (for naturally aspirated burners).

And propane burners will hold a flame better with a flare on the end, especially when the burner is not operating in the furnace.
A flare is not absolutely necessary with a furnace, since once the furnace interior is hot, the flare serves no purpose.

Without an air choke to tune and control the combustion air flow rate, propane burners will run either too rich or lean, and will be prone to flaming out.

And a somewhat high-flow regulator is generally required with a propane foundry burner, with the flow rate of the regulator directly related to the amount of heat a propane burner can produce.

I mainly cast gray iron these days, but I also do some aluminum for things such as permanent patterns.

I will post my Hybrid Burners propane burner, and also a crude but effective aluminum furnace I made from standing hard fire bricks and a kiln shelf lid.

.

Hybrid-Burner.jpg
rIMG_4435.jpg
rImg_4526.jpg
rIMG_5497.jpg
rIMG_5498.jpg



 
Hi @Paul135
Welcome to the forum !!
Although it's a bit late for a "Welcome"
I apologize for that .
 
I too am a bit late - lots of traveling has minimized my time for browsing the forum. But better late than never: Welcome, Paul!

While I use OpenSCAD frequently for 3d printing, I use FreeCAD exclusively for my 3d designs that will be machined or built out of wood, or that need to have accompanying technical drawings. I make no claims to be an expert, but let's say an experienced hobbyist - if I can be of any help as you learn, let me know. You probably already have found some resources online, but I'll mention a few that I find useful:

Adventures in Creation is fair - a bit wordy, but much of the content is aimed at a beginner
JOKO Engineering and Mang0 Jelly are both top-notch for demonstrating more advanced concepts
Sliptronic only posts occasionally, but IIRC he is involved in the development of FreeCAD (especially CAM tools)

I look forward to learning from & with you!
 
Hi GreenTwin

Thanks for the photos of your furnace and burner. The direction I am going will be using one of my scrap 13kg propane bottles and lining with a Kaowool type blanket, rigidiser, refactory cement and a zircon coating. The Ron Riel burner is one of the options I looked at making and might still try for interest and comparison, but I am going to first build the Frosty T (@Frosty the Lucky at Iforgeiron.com). To begin with I am not really interested in casting aluminium actual parts, just stock for machining to make more jigs and accessories for my machine tools. Plus building up experience. However I have been watching the vidoes made by Martin - Olfoundryman on Youtube who is an absolute master of his craft and still casting in his late 70s. The knowledge he is trying to pass on to the home casting enthusiasts is amazing and I now realise that having a go at sand casting is probably not so frightening after all!

Paul
 
I too am a bit late - lots of traveling has minimized my time for browsing the forum. But better late than never: Welcome, Paul!

While I use OpenSCAD frequently for 3d printing, I use FreeCAD exclusively for my 3d designs that will be machined or built out of wood, or that need to have accompanying technical drawings. I make no claims to be an expert, but let's say an experienced hobbyist - if I can be of any help as you learn, let me know. You probably already have found some resources online, but I'll mention a few that I find useful:

Adventures in Creation is fair - a bit wordy, but much of the content is aimed at a beginner
JOKO Engineering and Mang0 Jelly are both top-notch for demonstrating more advanced concepts
Sliptronic only posts occasionally, but IIRC he is involved in the development of FreeCAD (especially CAM tools)

I look forward to learning from & with you!
Thank you for your kind offer to help me learning FreeCad. Being summer with vast amounts of work to do outside generally and in the veg gardens in particular, doing any Cad has gone out the window. The resouces you mention are all those I watch and learn from. Mango Jelly is probably my favourite as despite he covers many more advanced topics, I find that as he builds up a model he fills in big holes in my understanding that help click basic stuff into place. As someone who has always worked in 2D design and drafting rather than 3D the change is enormous and it really takes me time to get the hang of designing in a different way. I guess these days I am a slow learner.

I still use 2D CAD but since Draftsight went paid I use QCad community edition. It works great on Linux machines and eventually I will buy a one off license (38 Euros Download edition) to have the dwg compatibility.

Looking forward to talking again

Paul
 
Welcome Paul135, looks like you are pretty well set up, I look forward to seeing your projects.

Regards

Brian
Thank you Brian,

My most important project currently when the garden and SWMBO permit is getting my lathe levelling finished as my workshop (old cow shed) floor slopes significantly. I found a way of making adjustable feet for the columns using ice hockey pucks off Amazon with M16 studding. I measured a 1" diagonal difference between the left hand front and the righthand back corners. It is leveled as per the turning the 1" bar technique, but I will redo it after I have built and fitted drawers between the columns. So as folks here like pictures here they are.

Paul
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20230609_171409.jpg
    IMG_20230609_171409.jpg
    966.3 KB · Views: 3
  • IMG_20230609_171529.jpg
    IMG_20230609_171529.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 3
  • IMG_20230609_171502.jpg
    IMG_20230609_171502.jpg
    1 MB · Views: 3
Back
Top