In the workshop at last.

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24 Jun 2012
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Fenay Bridge. Huddersfield.

It's ages since I posted on this forum due to being bogged down with heavy jobs around the bungalow and gardens. 30 years upgrading our detached bungalow and the last 3 years getting the gardens under control. It's like living on a mountain living here the site being a steep valley side making standing upright outside challenging. I'm now aged 73 and have jokingly been fully retired for the past 20 years; I still don't know what retirement is because I'm still grafting as hard as ever but now it's full time and no holidays or weekends off. I do all the work on my own breaking big jobs down into smaller jobs so I can manage them. This summer I've spent up the mountain removing a huge 60' long hedge with tall mature hawthorn tree including stumps;

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When I say hard graft how about one of the stumps/root balls I removed this being interlocked laurels taking 24 tons of hydraulic jacking pressure to break it free then it was dragged dangerously across the steep slope using a 2,500Lb winch; I finally cut it up and disposed of it only a couple of weeks ago needing two trips to the tip in our Skoda Yeti.

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Yes it's like living on a mountainside; this picture taken from the lane; our bungalow is way down below the trees which are in our garden; roof tops of neighbours houses seen middle right. I had a fan club for months whilst carrying out this work; the 4" x 4" fence posts were 12' long and I couldn't lift and carry them up the mountain so strapped each in turn to a sack cart and struggled. To add to my pleasure the post holes had to be sunk 3' into sold rock so this meant buying and using a big electric jack hammer to break through the rock. The meadow wild flowers are ours and attract lots of favourable comments some walkers stopping to take pictures; even erecting the wire mesh was hard graft but I got there in the end.

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Not wishing to be lazy one day whilst it poured with rain I turned two wooden mice for my lovely wife; she's delighted with them.


Another wet day as the rain poured down I turned my first ever goblet this from home grown Holly that I'd been drying for years.

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Here's a center steady I've only just completed because I want to turn more goblets during winter.

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The steady mounted on the lathe ready to be used in anger.

This year during bad weather I've also learned metal spinning and TIG welding aluminium. I fully restored a scrap Suffolk Colt petrol mower only to find the petrol tank to leak so I've fancied having a go at welding aluminium for many years; my wife generously bought me a TIG welder as a combined wedding anniversary; birthday present; TIG welding is an expensive hobby but having got the welder I then joined a MIG welding forum receiving lots of guidance into TIG welding; I ended up making two different styles of petrol tank just for the fun of it.

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The original but leaking steel tank on the right the two new aluminium tanks on the left; TIG welding aluminium proved more difficult than expected because I've been arc welding steel for over 50 years.

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I rebuilt and upgraded my Graduate lathe a few years ago to 1.5hp 3 phase inverter rated motor via a VFD giving full variable speed and reverse etc. I use this Graduate for both wood turning and metal spinning; here's a spinning former one of three that I needed to make new aluminium reflectors for two scrap coach lamps I restored; the lamps needed three pairs of reflectors so as usual I did it the hard way learning how to spin metal with the generous help from a friend who owns a metal spinning company who took me under his wing when I approached him to buy spinning blanks; we're now good friends.


The finished reflectors; the lamps were completed and installed each side of our front door. I've also spun the aluminium domed ends for the petrol tank seen in the tank picture. It's been incredibly hard work all year with no let up but it keeps me happy and fit. I've got projects lined up for winter but at the moment I'm researching turning goblets not wanting to produce these in large quantity but concentrating more on quality.

I've rambled on long enough and hope this is of interest; being bored isn't an option for me.

Kind regards, Colin.
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Certainly looks like you’ve had your fair share of graft Colin but the rewards are obvious to see, excellent job on the tanks & reflectors & new skills well learnt.

I really like the mice, can I ask what you’ve used for the eyes & where you got them please?
My wife and I love those mice :) I only hope I can be so productive myself if I reach your age but I'm currently just shy of 2 decades junior to you and already feel that what you've achieved this year would be beyond me. I seem to have squandered a chunk of my life in an occupation not renowned for keeping one in the best of physical condition (HGV driver) and whilst I've stopped doing "tramping" and eating the junk food provided on motorways I doubt I'll regain the energy that I used to have that you obviously still do. Top marks for learning a new skill though and something I aspire to myself.

Many thanks for your replies and I'm sorry for the late response; I'm fully retired so don't have much spare time.

Thanks for your kind words and for asking Doug B. The eyes are readily available through eBay as teddy bear eyes and come in a number of sizes; mine are 4.5mm; I hope I'm allowed to post details as seen here;

Various EYES with PLASTIC BACKS for Teddy Bear Making Soft Toy Doll Animal Craft | eBay

I bought ten pairs (20 eyes) with backings but just used the eyes; I think I used a 2.5mm drill bit in my cordless drill drilling at an angle allowing the eyes to seat flush; the ears and tails were cut from a small sheet of leather 2mm thick also bought through eBay;

1-2mm Natural Genuine Cow Leather Sheet DIY Craft Piece 20x14-30x30cm UK Ship | eBay

All were super glued in; I can't take credit for someone else's idea but here's where I got the inspiration from whilst browsing YouTube;

I used an offcut of beech and it yielded two mice at one turning; length of body is 65mm x 40mm finished sizes; tail is 90mm long from body with a slight taper cut using craft knife against a steel rule. The exposed section of the ears are 10mm tall paddle shaped; I used a paper template for marking the ears before cutting them out; care obviously needs to be taken whilst cutting using a craft knife. The mice were turned between centers with a little knob left at parting for the nose which were then finished by gently carving with the craft knife. Finish is sanding sealer and the natural colour of the beech and leather look quite authentic; my wife loves these two mice and I confess I'm delighted with them too. They would make wonderful presents costing very little indeed and are easy to make.

How kind of you Terrypot; thank you. You could surprise yourself if you adopted a better diet; I was ill for the first 57 years of my life; a weak skinny kid with severe asthma until I grew out of it aged 11; I was often bullied at school and ashamed because I daren't wander too far from a toilet I was so ill; my late mother at times was up all night nursing me and I struggled to keep up with school chums missing a lot of my early schooling. I didn't understand what spectacles were for and I missed so many eye tests at school due to illness; I couldn't read the blackboard even though I was on front row of the class; my chum let me copy his work. Aged 11 life did change when I started at secondary modern school again initially being bullied but I finally had an eye test and what a transformation; I could now see and in the following four years I made rapid progress leaving school with seven passes and top of the school in tech drawing and art gaining distinctions in both subjects; I failed in religious knowledge; history and I detested both woodworking and the bully of a woodwork teacher.

I was in and out of hospital and in 1980 diagnosed with Crohn's disease; in 1982 I was subjected to major surgery having the Crohn's operation removing a mass and length of bowel also my appendix at the same time; by now I was also married to my truly wonderful wife who loved and cared for me throughout. Then after 6 months of potty training I was still very ill this time with a severe skin condition. I saw many specialists and had many skin tests but I sure was ill and not getting better; one night in bed my lovely wife read out loud an article in one of her girlie mags regarding food intolerance; two days later I was 80% cured and skipping around like an healthy kid; I'd been dairy intolerant for 57 years and a complete dropping of dairy products switch to Soya was remarkable in the speed of my recovery; I'm still applying Dermol Cream and if I suffer a blow up I have ointment but for months now my skin has even healed. I'm healthier and fitter now aged 73 than when I was a child; miss-diagnosed by so many over so many years and my ignorance of what spectacles were for caused me so much grief; to add to the problem we were given milk daily at school.

I've rambled on and hope I've not bored anyone but given my background I believe if anyone tries hard enough they will succeed. I come from generations of coal miners so I was working underground when I left school aged 15 in short I've had rather a rough life but it's toughened me up. Now I love all aspects of woodworking and metal working; I've built up an enviable workshop over the last 44 years of marriage; we've got a beautiful detached bungalow and can afford a new car every two or three years; neither my wife or I touch alcohol; we don't smoke or do drugs; we've not had an holiday away from home for 43 years and don't want one; we're content with our very basic but happy lifestyle making the most of what we already have without wanting more.

I was trained by highly skilled mechanical engineers as an apprentice at The National Coal Board and owe a great deal to these engineers for teaching me so much. I can make anything from wood or metal; when I retired I adopted restoring vintage radio's during our long winters; I'm hopelessly colour blind so could never be a sparky but I restored over 100 vintage radios the hobby spanning 10 years; I've had articles published and still feel I know nothing but I'm always keen to learn; I'm not scared of anything and I enjoy leaving my comfort zone to learn new skills; working on the radio cabinets I learned French polishing and veneering; I've made lots of our furniture both fitted and free standing; going down the pit aged 15 instilled in me a powerful work ethic which remains with me to this day; I'll probably drop dead grafting but I won't be bored.

My driving force is having such a loving and devoted wife who makes it worthwhile getting out of bed each day; we fully support each other in our respective varied hobbies and as long as we have each other we're happy.

Thanks Roberto Flintofski for your encouragement; yes to keep busy is to keep fit it works for me; the thing holding me back is our dire climate otherwise I could do so much more.

Now for a bit of an insight into some of my work.


Antique clock case needing full re-veneer and finishing it being too bad to tidy up. I removed this useless top panel and completely replaced it; I use hot hide glue on these jobs; not the easiest of glues to use but definitely the best.

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Re-veneered and hand rubbed French polished. Over restored but better than thrown in a skip.

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1957 Ekco TV/radio as bought for restoration project; full of woodworm with much delamination of veneers; I like a challenge and although I'd restored many vintage radios this was my one and only TV restoration; after this I lost interest wanting new challenges.

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Yes the same TV cabinet finished in French polish having been given much TLC by me.


My Lorch Schmidt precision engineering lathe as bought it having been stored in a scrap yard for over 20 years in need of a lot of love.


The Lorch nearing completion of a full and comprehensive restoration; since then I've upgraded it to 1.5hp 3 phase Poly V Drive via a VFD. It's now a joy to own and use it's an extremely rare lathe.

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Having sold my big Colchester engineering lathe my lovely wife treated me to a small Clarke lathe until I eventually bought the Lorch; first job I did was to destroy the circuit board and motor the Clarke expired in a cloud of smoke; my fault because I'm used to industrial lathes and I thought I was using a light cut at 60 thou; pity I didn't read the manual which states maximum cut of ten thou.

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Pointless replacing a very expensive circuit board and motor so I upgraded to a much more robust drive using heavy duty servo motor designed for an industrial sewing machine adapted to the Clarke using a counter shaft; now it was happy with a 60 thou cut; I sold it to a delighted new owner.

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The top of our mountain bordering the lane; here was a huge double hedge needing tall ladders to trim; I've only just completed removing the lot including stumps and erecting the new fence; 2 tons of mulch spread with a further 3 tons of mulch around the garden; I won't be trimming the hedge next or future years; just one of the huge hedges I've removed. This is 60' long.

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The new wildflower meadow I created having removed the double hedge at the top of the garden; it was breathtaking in its beauty and much admired by walkers along the lane. Sorry If I'm repeating myself but I daren't check in case I completely lose this post.

These are just samples of work I've carried out; I've virtually rebuilt our bungalow from the foul drains right up to installing a complete new roof; I never want to be lazy or idle; life is to enjoy not waste. I've got thousands of images of work I've carried out over the years and I recommend anyone doing projects to record progress using a camera for future reference; I use my cheap £60 pocket camera then if I drop it I don't lose much compared to using my much more expensive SLR camera.

It's a miserable day again outside and dark so I thought I'd spend a bit of time on the forum at least I'm keeping busy. I hope no ones fallen asleep.

Kind regards, Colin.
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Thanks pe2dave; metal spinning is a great deal more difficult to do than woodturning and much more dangerous; I'll post a lot more details regarding my entry into metal spinning which is a story in itself; I was shown how to metal spin by the owner of a metal spinning company and I'm indebted to him for his kindness and generosity; what he didn't tell me though was how easy it is to break or fracture a rib this suffered by many manual metal spinners; of course I found out the hard way. I've got more images on file that I'm happy to post in a short while; the weather is too bad for me to play out again and I don't fancy getting cold and wet wandering down to the workshop.

Metal spinning is definitely satisfying to do. but here's something to watch; it sure isn't easy it just looks easy to watch a professional metal spinner;

Kind regards, Colin.
Morning Colin

I'm writing this message from beautiful Slovenia where we ourselves have retired. Infact yours and my retired sound quite similar but wouldn't change it. Its raining and blowing a gale at this moment, maybe the remnants of storm Bella that I saw on uk news. Having just read through your chapters, you have given me the inspiration to jump out of this warm bed and get out to my workshop, put on a fire and start some work. I've recently brought a union jubilee as you know from your reply but can't play right now as I'm waiting for a UK delivery of tools but I can continue the restoration of a 1963 volvo pv544 I brought during the summer. Going back to the lathe, I last used a lathe in school in the seventies and can't wait to get going. I will send you a picture of what I make first. Keep going my friend. Thanks for the encouragement and happy 2021. Best wishes Al.

Once again it's ages since I posted due to many demanding jobs needing doing leaving little time for hobbies like the workshop. I'd be here for hours if I added all the jobs I've carried out this year but here's a few.

Lets start with a nightmare back in March this year after terrific storms swept through the valley; our 50' tall Crack Willow tree lived up to its name it cracking making it highly dangerous; I just so love being dragged into the steeply sloping rear garden in atrocious weather; I couldn't think of a better place to be to enjoy winter sport braving bitterly cold high wind at time with driven sleet but never mind I was only 74 years old then I'm now older at 75.

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Absolutely sick of being dragged out due to storm damage to our trees never in good weather I thought whilst I'm out I may as well stop this torment and sort it out once ad for all. I used a way of measuring tree height I found on YouTube; The trees ranged from 50' to this tallest at 65'. To the top corner of the garden from the tree base is 70' this being the only part of the garden long enough so I used loppers and chainsaw on the lower branches it being a huge conifer then started to use a telescopic ladder dropping more branches as I climbed to give ladder access; each time I increased ladder height I lashed the ladder top securely to the tree; having gained enough height I attached the long heavy rope for pulling the tree over; I've not learned to fly yet and I don't bounce too well either.

If I made a mess of felling this tree it could straddle the fence right across the adjacent lane which would be highly dangerous to vehicles and pedestrians; as seen it landed perfectly. Here's one of a number of YouTube video's I watched and yes this definitely works hence I found the top corner of the garden was best place.

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I donned my heavy outdoor clothes and headed up the mountain collecting kit from the garden hut; to save messing around fueling the chainsaw I fuelled both chainsaws; what terrible weather one minute the wind dried the garden the next minute sleet it was horrible and as I don't have one leg shorter than the other standing upright is normally difficult on the slope but now buffeted by the wind it was interesting; here work is well under way.

I not only felled 15 of these assorted trees but logged the thick sections and carried them or wheeled them on a sack cart right down to the front of our bungalow where a log burning neighbour collected them; she filled her garage and back garden with free logs; the brash I stood in the perishing wind shredding it now it's garden mulch.

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I was wearing full waterproofs which were fine at keeping the wet out but they also kept wet in as I sweated and I did a lot of sweating getting logs like these down the mountain whilst slipping and sliding on wet ground blown around by high wind. These were heavy and lots more of them too.

15 trees in 14 days working on my own; were was everyone I'd done lots of free favours for over the years; all keeping their heads down so now I adopt a saying kindly given to me by my friend David who lives 70 miles away; DIY = DON'T INVOLVE YOURSELF. No more free favours from me I've had enough of being a mug. A good start to the year; I hope 2023 will be similar because otherwise I might be bored.

I maintain everything in top condition whether tools or bungalow; a job taking five days was to completely dismantle and repainting our garden bench

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The bench should last another twenty years; I used top quality Benjamin Moore Exterior Satin paint; it was worth it.

I liked the bench so much as did everyone who looked at it why not paint both garden huts; these huts are both heavy duty erected using mostly 6" x 1" treated timber a few years ago and I was fed up of treating them with preservative; it cost £300 for the Benjamin Moore paint but I can now ignore this regular job in future; I used a brush and 4" mini roller to apply the paint it taking ages to give each hut three coats.

Whilst in painting mode our front metal railings could do with a fresh coat of paint;
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Here's some of the railings looking much better.

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The bottom post was hanging due to the set screws rusting away; I've known of this for a long time but never had time to sort it out; now it's secured using stainless anchors; lets see these rust and for good measure I've buried them in sealant and paint. So many jobs and so little time whilst working flat out; retired now for 21 years and little time to myself.

When my wonderful Bron and I first married we were incredibly tight for money with a huge mortgage and interest rate at 15% so we visited second hand stores for cheap furniture; in one of these stores as we climbed the stairs to the second floor was a very old violin hanging on the wall; it was pointless asking what this cost because even if it was only £1 we couldn't afford to buy it but it sparked my interest in violins; I've never attempted to play any musical instrument but last August for my 74th birthday Bron spoiled me buying me a brand new Hidersine Vivente violin kit and I was over the moon with this; I was useless trying to play it as are all violin novices but over two weeks as I practiced I noticed I was getting a lot worse not better? I ended up just playing the "A" & "E" strings the "D" & "G" strings just didn't want to be friends putting out horrible noises; I then joined a stringed instrument forum explaining my problem; a forum member kindly suggested I contact a luthier for help which I did; another forum member recommended a luthier in Sheffield (Stringed Instrument Repairs) Covid was running riot but I arranged to visit Geoff the luthier were we could only speak on his front door step both wearing face masks; Geoff had the violin for a week and I sure was eager to collect it; Geoff was absolutely brilliant; back home I put the bow across the strings and was truly amazed; Geoff had given this brand new rubbish violin the kiss of life; I wondered if he'd given me the wrong violin; the problems were poor quality strings two actually already worn out but even much worse this brand new violin had both sound post and bridge in wrong positions; the difference from new to Geoff sorting it out was tremendous.


Bron is always spoiling me; since buying me the Hidersine she's bought me lots of other studio gear including three more violins and a genuine Russian balalaika; here is the 1880 German violin with new case and hybrid carbon fiber bow; this is loud in my studio even without amplifier; it was bought from Geoff so I knew it would be genuine and correctly set up.


Another picture of the German violin; I've since fitted it with a quality Fishman Piezo pickup so it can be played through the amplifier. This has strings fitted costing over £110 the set of four.

My most recent violin is an electric Yamaha YEV-104 bought again for me as a prezzie from Bron it being brand new and the one I'm currently using most; all my violins are very different.

It took ages but I eventually exported a sample of my violin playing onto YouTube; this certainly wasn't chosen as best sample but just as a learning exercise involving lots of gear and Audacity together with VEED free editing programs all I did was to edit each end of the clip. The picture is my studio.

During this year with bits of time to spare I've created a lovely music studio to one of the two extension rear rooms; I'll post more details as to the amount of gear now gathered; just today I've taken delivery of a "Line 6 RELAY G55" I've not yet opened the box but am keen to try it out a bit later today; I've got a visit to the pharmacy first.

During our early married life Bron and I like many newlyweds suffered from dire lack of funds but we've improved our lifestyle and home not having an holiday away from home for 44 years; I'm very fortunate indeed to have married Bron who never wants or demands luxuries; we look after each other but because of the way we live I was able to retire on works pension at the age of 53; now in retirement having lived the way we do we can really spoil each other; Bron's generously spoiled me rotten but I'll buy Bron anything she wants; I've asked Bron many times if there's anything she would like and finally she said our sofa is looking a bit worn; we visited a local family owned high end store and I said to Bron choose whatever you would like; it cost £2,000 for the new sofa which we've only had for a few weeks; if we don't spend whilst still alive the vultures will gladly spend it for us.

Got to go the pharmacy will be open shortly but more to follow once I get a bit of spare time; I want to try the Line 6 Relay and also put in a bit of violin practice this afternoon before another day slips quietly by.

Kind regards, Colin.


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Time for a bit of backtracking whilst I have the chance.

Thanks pe2dave yes metal spinning is very dangerous indeed to a manual metal spinner; CNC automatic spinning is safer but can still inflict serious injuries. It's a very difficult skill to learn but also very rewarding once the basics are grasped.

It's kind of you; thank you Roberto Flintofski WOW indeed regarding the Lorch lathe; this lathe is so rare I can't find another like it on the web; now it's restored it's a joy to own and use but today I find I'm working on it once again having helped the guy out who recently bought my Graduate woodturning lathe; I'd supplied him with a brand new Huanyang VFD and he and his electrician friend were having lots oif problems setting this new VFD parameters; with around 200 parameters to adjust they are rather complicated; after many emails I ended up copying all the parameters from my own original VFD; I'd been running the Lorch & Graduate from the single VFD with my own method of switching power and remote signals both lathes having identical motors.

Having finally got him sorted out my VFD then died on me no doubt through playing around for so long logging the paramaters; anyway it's cost me over £100 to buy a new VFD and today I've been connecting it to the supply and setting parameters;

Lorch VFD_0003_01.JPG

Work underway and I must add this kind of work definitely isn't for a novice to play around with; mains electricity is involved and these VFD's don't trip out if in overload they apply a power boost.

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I've now got the new VFD powered up on the bench whilst adjusting the parameters; at the moment it doesn't work so I need to find out why; this VFD has a built in speed control potentiometer it being the small knob to the right of STOP. When I set the original VFD up about ten years ago and later bought the Lorch I wondered if I could run both lathes through the one VFD so did some experimenting sticking with it and I succeeded possibly being the only person to do this so I was very pleased indeed but now having done such a huge favour taking hours helping I'm back to sorting my new VFD out. I need to find the parameters to adjust but I might even add remote start/stop and speed control potentiometer whilst I'm doing the job; I'll sort it out but all these diversions are preventing me doing what I really want to do which is to practice violin playing in my studio. fingers crossed I'll enjoy a violin practice this evening;

A new Goodyear mini dash cam has just arrived; my eight year old dashcam recently died and I feel lost without dash cam in the car; the dashcam not only records other drivers behaviour but it's also like having a police officer in our car keeping a permanent eye on my own driving.

Many thanks for your story Al; by now I hope you've got your Jubilee up and running; Jubilee's are nice lathes I've owned two until I upgraded to the Graduate; you'll have a huge smile on your face once you start doing some turning on it. Perhaps by now your weather will have improved although here in Yorkshire we'll soon be plunged into another long black dreary hole when we alter our clocks in a weeks time bringing on winter.

Have you done any work on your Volvo restoration? Thanks for your best wishes I too wish you the best of luck with your endeavours; much better to be very busy than in front of a TV watching wall to wall rubbish; it's a good job we've got YouTube or I think I'd brick our telly being absolutely sick of the sport which never lets up; all that wasted effort puzzles me.

Thanks Roy; yes as usual very busy with little time to call my own but as winter bites I've got the workshop and studio to amuse myself in. Like metal spinning Tig welding is a very difficult skill to learn; when I started to learn tig welding I went through small hobby sized pure argon cylinders at an expensive rate then after about the fourth cylinder in no time at all I opened a BOC account bringing the cost of pure argon well down but even so it was still expensive; I had a bad run in with SGS gasses; I was tipped off on the welding forum I'd joined that SGS were charging VAT on the cylinder rental even athough forum members were allowed I think a £20 discount; what about the welders not being forum members; anyway this rattled me so I dug in and ended up returning their full unused cylinder for a full refund.

Got to go teatime rapidly approaching.

Kind regards, Colin.
@Retired presuming your parameters are correct
Few things come to mind regarding these.
Most obvious first, you've got motor rotation sorted, should it be set not to run in reverse, but your hots got switched.
(The opportunity for the unaware to get a lethal shock sorting rotation out whilst there is still charge in the capacitors)

The mini terminals may need to be reprogrammed for switches, if you're using them.
(I've had one switch terminal not work again after swapping VFD's, before I was made aware that you can allocate a function for them& someone else has here proven this)

Finally there is a master reset, presuming you're well aware of these capacitors holding charge after unplugged, as above the same, so with the drive discharged,
take off the front PCB and you will see two ribbon cables.
Removing one of those works as a master reset.
(not sure if it actually changes parameters back to factory, but worth doing so for good measure, I read/sucessfully done this from info on a cnc forum)
I think it was the speed control pot which tripped the drive which caused this.

Hope that helps, great thread.

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Many thanks for the tips Tom; much appreciated.

Thanks also for the electrolitic capacitor warning; these can pack a real surprise shock for the unwary;

Startrite Volant capacitor bank (3).JPG

Here's a bank of capacitors not to touch unless fully discharged; I used these to phase balance my Startrite Volant 24" vertical industrial 3 phase bandsaw to the 3 phase 415V transformer I'd just wound supplying 3 phase power to my workshop. I used a high wattage resistor connected to insulated probes for letting electrolytic capacitors discharge doing this a number of times because these capacitors love to shock.

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This is the Startrite bandsaw nearing it's full restoration; 10 speed; onboard band cutter; welder and annealer; I sold it to a land speed record team down south.

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Highly dangerous the 75kg transformer I hand wound to supply the workshop 3 phase supply; I've been selling my big machines because now aged 75 should anything untowards happen to me my lovely wife Bron would be left with a huge problem; this 3 phase is well documented on the web.

I'm a mechanical engineer but will have a go at anything which grabs my interest. I'll sort the VFD out but wish I didn't have to because I'm forever being diverted from the studio. However I've bought a vintage Howard Bulldog petrol rotavator intending this coming winter to spend time both in the studio learning to play my violins and also in the garage doing a full restoration on the rotavator although having already partly stripped the rotovator the engine appears to be in excellent condition internally; I did briefly fire it up when it arrived so I know it runs; it just look very rough.

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The Howard engine on the bench; a lick of paint will transform its looks.

So many interesting things to play with in my life; I'm never bored just always short of time. I've just enjoyed an hour in the studio where I'm obssessed with learning to play "Lara's Theme" on my violins; I can play half the song so now with a bit of experience I hope the rest of the song will be much easier to learn; trust me to select the hardest stringed instrument to learn but it's all keeping my head and hands busy; I refuse to act as if I'm old even if the kids these days think at my age I'm a dinosaur.

Time now to settle down to a nice old feel good movie on YouTube where waving guns around or blowing someone up won't be seen; most modern movies are just violence.

Kind regards, Colin.
Hi Colin, long time no read about. Good to see all the wee jobs you've got; stops you taunting policemen again I suppose...:cool:
I'm not much better; I got involved with a volunteer railway and first time on the footplate, bloomin' thing derailed! Got it back on in four (action-packed) hours. Sheesh.

You're picking on big stuff SammyQ to derail good job it wasn't "Mallard on full chat at 126mph; before leraving shool aged 15 in 1962 a number of us kids used to travel from Wakefield to Doncaster "The Plant" often pulled by the A4 class loco's; including Mallard etc we've sneaked onto the footplate of Mallard and others whilst engineers had the boiler front open; we used to gain access climbing over the wall; sometimes we were escorted off by the security but often we wandered around on Saturday mornings; during the journey we would stick our head out of the carriage window to take in the smell; happy carefree days. Even in those long ago days it upset us to see so many lovely steam locos being cut up for scrap; there used to be lots of nameplates kicking around; the Deltics were being introduced which we liked but the smaller trains were a put off; we all had the train spotting books.

Kind regards, Colin.
seem to remeber a train bought in Africa or India brought back to the UK as it was the "last one" of it's kind..
they even drove/steamed it some of the way.....
cant remeber the was about 10 years ago...

It could have been "Flying Scotsman" clogs because it got around quite a bit and I think it's just had a very expensive overhaul.


Brings a lump to my throat just looking at them; here's the Flying Scotsman front and Union of South Africa rear; I don't ever recall seeing the Flying Scotsman live but the A4's used to be very common around here; what a dirty job it used to be firing these up in the sheds. Days long ago; modern trains don't have the same street cred.

Kind regards, Colin.

I've sussed out the problem why my new Huanyang VFD refused to power the Lorch lathe; I've been running both the Graduate & Lorch from one VFD with remote switching to both; the new VFD has a built in speed control knob to it's front panel; my old VFD didn't have such a luxury. I connected the new VFD but the motor refused to run; I then moved the "Jumper" connector thinking this was the problem but no I now know it was only part of the problem; having repositioned the jumper for the VFD to run from it's onboard speed control was only part of the solution; I had to reset a parameter which I'd completely forgotten about after all it's many years since I installed the original VFD.

I still had the VFD parametes set for remote switching but now having repositioned the jumper and reset a parameter at power up the lathe burst into high speed with no speed control so to run the lathe from the VFD speed control it seems other parameters might need adjusting but I'm not going to bother; I want to run the VFD with remote controls so I've started to connect up today with a bit more work still needed; I'm confident once everything is connected then I should have full speed remote control also Forward/Stop/Start/Reverse; it's highly unlikely I'd ever use Reverse because with a screw on chuck fitted the chuck could become a missile; Reverse should only ever be used where the lathe has a taper lock chuck for safety.

Today has been the best day ever with everything going right which is so rare; early this morning I enjoyed an hours violin practice making decent progress; next I gave a send coat of oil based gloss paint to the wooden outside tap cover I made many years ago it needing freshening up and now I've fired the VFD up much to my delight; if only every day went so well.

Lorch VFD (2).JPG

Twins; the original VFD with new VFD both indentical at 2.2KW the only difference is the speed control on the new VFD.

Lorch VFD (1).JPG
Lorch VFD (5).JPG

Here's what CAT6 cable looks like; 4 pairs of twisted shielded wires the shielding is aluminium foil and it's imperative to use shielded cable for these remote controls; I found out the hard way years ago being led a merry dance due to running the standard wire signal cables alongside the power cables; the lathes behaved very strangely indeed. This shielded cable prevents "cross talk".

Lorch VFD (6).JPG

Here's the rear of the original Lorch control station; 2W 10K potentiometer for speed control three wires and the Stop/Start/Forward/Reverse switch this switch is On/Off/ON the middle position being the Start/Stop; throw the toggle either way to control rotation direction..

Lorch VFD (7).JPG

Here's the front of the control made to neatly fit a 13A single pattress box.

Lorch VFD (4).JPG

I heavily modified the Lorch lathe it having flat leather drive belts which were forever slipping so I converted it to Poly V Drive using the DFD; it's now a joy to own and use; it's a very rare lathe indeed I've not found another like it on the web; most Lorch lathes seen for sale are the clockmakers small bench lathes and these command high prices as does any tooling with the name Lorch stamped on it; the mandrel is threaded to accept the chuck hence having a reverse option can be highly dangerous. I only had to drill one hole so the lather is still virtually original if desired.

I'm adding these notes for interest only because I'd never encourage any novice to mess around with mains derived electricty; one simple mistake could be the last mistake ever made; these VFD's are even more dangerous because in overload they don't easily "Trip" they apply a power boost of I think 50%.

I'll add an update once I complete the wiring connections and the lathe is running again as it should; I'm now going to wander into the studio to enjoy another violin practice and after teatime this evening a third violin practice; I feel giddy with all this excitement.

Kind regards, Colin.