Members Meeting - November 2020

Since we haven’t had a proper member’s meeting since August (General Meeting does not count)

The Next Member’s meeting will take place on Saturday 7th November at 3pm / Virtually

Please see below the agenda and add any points you wish to bring up


Members Meeting - 7th November 3pm Virtual

Standing items

  • Reports from teams

    • Board including Goverance Arrangements
    • Woody
    • Metalworking
    • Visual Arts including Laser & 3D Print Teams
    • Electronics
  • New Space Equipment - The Board has released £1000 per area for new equipment and its up to the teams and the members to decide what equipment each area needs we will be looking at voting on items added so far for each team at this meeting . See this post for more details (New Equipment Fund)

Member submitted items

(this post is a wiki and is editable for you to add points below) or just post as reply to this thread

Please can we have a discussion at the next members meeting regarding the training required to use the Myford ML7 lathe?

For a long as I have been a member of Hacman, I have been trying to get permission to the the ML7 lathe and have so far made no progress to achieving this goal. Additionally, I have seen comments from other members indicating that they have been after training for even longer (more than 2 years).

Earlier this year, there was some activity to create a training programme, which involved an initial induction, supervised training and a pass off test. At the time, I expressed my concern over the lack of trained people to support the supervised training element but this came to nothing and the training programme “went ahead”.

Due to the covid issue and a lesser extent the fire I don’t believe anyone has been successfully trained. Given how things are going I don’t see the covid issue going away any time soon, which will prevent one on one training for the foreseeable future and effectively make all of the 3 and half lathes in the space as useful as a paper weight.

When the first lockdown kicked in i started looking for alternative solutions and found a friend of friend of a friend had a Colchester Mascot 1600 lathe that he was willing to let me use for my project. Over the last few months i have been using this lathe to produce some of the parts for my project and collected up 100s of hours of usage on this machine. Just for comparison this lathe can hold shafts 17" dia, 8 feet long and a 20hp motor so makes the ML7 look like a toy.

My proposal is that we let people with experience of using lathes such as myself use the ML7 lathe without completing the “current training programme”. This way the space will hopefully end up with more members that are experienced using the equipment we have and can then train others when/if we get back to normal.

To familiarise myself with the ML 7 i have watch loads of training videos on youtube, which i believe go far beyond what is covered in the official training based on the content of the wiki/moodle.

Additionally, based on comments from other members in the weldy/grind telegram thread i believe the training for the lathe in previous versions of the hackerspace were minimal and i am not aware of any reported issues from that time.

I would still abide by the other rules (e.g. no lone working, etc) and am happy to buy consumables (e.g oil, tips, etc) to keep it running. I would also be willing to sign a wavier saying that i am responsible for my own safety when using the equipment if that helps.

Please, please, please can you grant me permission to use the lathe???

On the matter of the lathe: I have known of three systems for lathe training within our space, and two outside.

The first space system was run by the (then?) owner of the lathe, who checked the user was vaguely competent and then let them use it. This has obvious scalability issues and when that person left then there was no training and no way to become authorised to use the lathe.

The second system was that a trainer would go through the production of a training project with the trainee, and upon safe and successful completion the trainee was authorised to use the lathe. This also suffered from a lack of trainers and scheduling issues, as training was 1:1, quite draining for the trainer, and took several hours.

There was a significant issue where someone had mounted a tool incorrectly (rotated 90 degrees) and had also caused one of the gib strips to fall out of the machine. This prompted the move to the current system of training.
I would also note an incident that occurred at SoMakeIt - the makerspace in Southampton - in which their lathe launched a piece of work from the chuck across the room, hitting the opposite wall. Had it hit someone there would have been serious injuries. This prompted a change from their former system (like our second system) to a system much like our current one.

For completeness, I will describe the current training. Trainees first attend a group session to be familiarised with the safety aspects of the lathe, its capabilities, and its basic operation. After this they may use it under the supervision of any fully trained user (not just a trainer). Having practiced, or used externally acquired experience, they may then be assessed by a trainer as being competent to use the lathe independently (lone working rules still apply).

Unfortunately, the pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works, as I (currently the only trainer) am not currently in Manchester, and whilst I would be willing to consider doing the first part over a video call, I feel the third requires the trainer and trainee to be in the same place. Under normal circumstances I would have been to Manchester regularly for social, space training and other reasons, but this has been advised against, and would now constitute an offence. As soon as I am able to legally (and within guidelines) travel to Manchester and deliver training I intend to do so.

Whilst I understand your frustration, there is a need for lathe users to not only be competent, but to show it in a consistent and recorded manner. People who have existing experience can potentially be shown the health and safety aspects and then immediately be assessed. Going by what you have written, this seems a likely route for you.

I will, finally, note that if someone is badly injured using the lathe because they don’t know what they are doing then it could end the space. I don’t want that, and I don’t think anyone else does either.

Ahead of Saturday’s meetings, teams may want to consider the below in regards to the new equipment fund and start making any necessary plans

thanks for the reply.

The wiki suggests that we have no trainers or trained people just a list of people who are interested in being trained? Can you confirm how many trained people exist and are still active members of the space? If there is a limited number of trained people then going from system 2 to 3 will have no beneficial impact on getting people trained.

Regarding the Southampton safety issue, i contacted them and they advised me that the event was caused by a member who had a mounted a part without adequate support and was pretty much asking for trouble. I plan to make a lot of ~5mm diameter pins that are a maximum of ~70mm long. Therefore, i consider the safety concern you have raised as not being relevant to how i intend to use it.

If that is not enough, i would be willing to run it at it slowest possible speed by altering the pulley, back gear and gear trained so that if something went wrong the piece would have a little energy as possible and i would have the maximum amount of time to react to it.

Regarding, the tooling mounting issue, my understanding is that all the tools are mounted in quick change holders so i won’t be changing their orientations. However, for the parts i want to make i will need to use a unique grooving tool, which will cost me £80 so will be mounted in the correct orientation before i start cutting metal.

Not sure what the connection is between the tool mount and the gib issue.

Just out of interest how many hours of experience do you have using this lathe?

Link for today’s Meeting can be found below

Meeting Starts at 3pm