About

Having owned and managed a radio design and manufacturing company for over 36 years I have finally sold and retired.   I have reverted back from electronics to my roots of ‘making things’ and trying to document what I have done so others might be stimulated to follow.

If you want some more detail on my history then see this page.

My workshop has grown over the last four years and now has a Tormach PCNC440 for CNC working which is really stretching me as a newbie to this technology.   Various sites such as NYC CNC are helping me get there.

When not in the workshop I can be found running my 5″ live steam locomotive, playing golf,  tending my veggie plot, operating on amateur radio and most important of all, spending time away from it all in our house in France.

Self indulgent ?  Why yes I guess it is but then I have a lot of time to make up. Why not join me and share any common interests ?

Use the email below which is not a link but an image so I don’t attract spam.

9 Replies to “About”

  1. hi woody you have really inspired me, i have just ordered a video and book from wr smith website after reading what you wrote about him , i have a ml7r and hope to build a clock , thanks for posting your advice cheers john

    1. Hi John, thanks for your message and glad you are enjoying my posts.
      Bill is a great source of info and designs and I think you will find him interesting.
      I am located near Reading if you are passing and want to call in for a chat.

  2. Woody your site it great and we share much in common including a love of France though unsurprisingly and sadly my wife and I have decided to hold off this year.

    Apropos your comment about advising your staff to approach a problem from an unorthodox direction, I would like to make an addition if I may?
    Never go bed with a machining problem in mind and expect to wake up with the answer.

    If I try this, and I often do, I can never crack the problem in my mind . Why? Because I can’t take my lathe to bed. Myfords (I love your new machine) weigh a lot as you well know but seriously all my best problem solving is generally done at the bench when I have all my kit around me and the answers usually come in the morning and quickly. Clearly sleep helps a lot and probably my age doesn’t!

    All best, Tim White

    1. Hi Tim

      Thanks for your feedback and comments which are appreciated. We also have missed France having just returned to UK before lockdown occurred. We are desperate to go back and visit if nothing else for a change of scenery. Our French neighbours have been cutting the grass for us and we can ‘wave’ at them on the CCTV.

      I rarely do much amateur radio these days other than operating in France. I had never considered a Parset. Most of my work is mechanical with some digressions into electrical and Arduino where needed. Every day is different and there is always something to make or fix or just play with as stimulation.

      Thanks again for contacting and keep dipping in on my site every now and then.

      Woody

  3. Woody bearing in mind you have a house in France, ever thought of making a Paraset? Perhaps you’ve already done that?

    I have made a so called Enigma E, an electronic Enigma machine. It was a kit but I built the case pretty much from scratch. It has 700+ soldered joints and I only fluffed one which I repared without trouble.

  4. I would like to purchase a motor drive shaft pulley , for a burgess bk 3 bandsaw are you able to supply one for me if possible.
    I have seen one on your website in red like the one I am trying to locate.
    thanking you for your time.

    1. Good morning Sid and thanks for your interest.

      The drive pulley is a standard 25mm wide 5mm pitch pulley from Bearing Boys on the link below.
      https://www.bearingboys.co.uk/5M-Section-Timing-Pulley-5mm/145M25-Metric-Pilot-Bore-Timing-Pulley-21247-p
      Cost with shipping and VAT is around GBP10.

      You needed to turn back the boss end to gain a little more length on the boss.
      This is to allow more room on the boss for the L notch.
      This is detailed on my blog but here are a few extra comments.

      I have the luxury of a lathe and milling machine so what follows relates to these.
      The pulley as bought in was mounted in the lathe chuck using a collet.
      On my lathe this gives better concentricity.
      I eased the pulley boss out of the collet sufficiently far to allow access with a narrow parting tool.
      I supported the other end of the pulley with a live centre in the tailstock.
      With this set up I turned back the pulley as per the blog details.
      I mention again that the side belt retaining rib is a pressed on item and as you machine back towards it, it will come free.
      This means it will stop rotating as the parting tool bites into it.
      You may well have to remove the pulley from the collet to snip it free and then continue.
      Once having completed the shaping of the boss you need to cut the locking slot.
      I gripped the pulley in line in a machine vice on the milling machine.
      Using a dial gauge or similar I rocked this across the diameter of the boss to find the high point.
      Once found I locked X & Y and drilled down through the boss.
      I reset the pulley in the vice and sat it boss upper most and rotated by a few degrees on the cross hole and milled down across the diameter to the same depth as the cross drill.
      Having machined down to the same level as the cross hole I removed it from the milling vice and then hand filed the break out from the milled slot into the cross hole.
      This created a ‘L’ shaped slot that replaces the diagonal slot in the original red plastic pulley.

      The only remaining action is bore the centre hole on the pulley as they are shipped blind.
      Remount the pulley in the lathe and align it true with the live centre.
      Incrementally drill out the centre bore to a final size of 3/8″
      Note that originally I assumed this was 9.5mm but this is too tight.
      If you have a 3/8″ reamer this is ideal.
      Given the age of the BK3 it is almost certainly an Imperial dimensioned device.
      (I could not get my caliper orientated to easily measure the stub accurately).

      Sorry that is a lot to take in but hopefully it makes sense.

      If you don’t feel confident to machine it or don’t have the workshop resources let me know and I can make one for you.
      Cost would be circa GBP20 to cover my time and postage.
      Mail me on the subs999 email address on the blog.

      Kind regards

      Woody

  5. Hi Woody, after many months with a useless plastic drive for my mk 1 burgess I found your site …..
    Excellent …New drive ordered from the Bearing Boys Sunday…..dispatched to me Monday….arrives Tuesday….
    Modified pulley within 1hr and its better than its ever been……
    My Mk1 only has a 3.5mm hole for a split pin to the motor shaft so it was even easier to complete, however without your info I doubt I would ever
    have sorted it out
    Many Thanks Brett

    1. Hi Brett

      Glad you found my info useful and it has given what is a good machine a new lease of life. I recommend you consider doing the improved ball bearing based guide structure. This gives the machine an even bigger leap forward in usefulness. If you need help with the parts for this let me know.

      Woody

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