View Full Version : OT - What're your pryor hobbies?

09-10-2007, 10:40 PM
S-o-o-o, what other hobbies did you fellers totally drop or slow way down on after you became addicted to accumulating machine tools and making piles of swarf? I thought it would be interesting to see what other obsessions you had before getting serious with Home Shop Machining.

Me, I've had a lifelong passion for model aircraft beginning in 1959 and then switched to radio control almost exclusively in 1980. I really enjoy the conception, designing, building then the test-flights of a new model. I guess I should say "enjoy-ed" since I haven't built any new models at all since a few months after getting a lathe in 2004. I started machining with the daydream that I would design & build my own model engine and fly a plane with it but that dream seems to be slowly fading away. Time will tell I guess!

At least several of the skills acquired in the model aircraft hobby do cross-over into the machining world such as the hand-fitting/lapping/modifying of model engines, CAD drafting, CNC router parts cutting, etc., etc.

Here's a few pics of some of my models. All of these models (except for the PeeWee .020 cu. in. powered motor-glider) are powered by modified Cox Tee Dee .049 cu. in. glow engines equipped with exhaust throttle control and other mods which allow a reliable rpm range of 5000 to 19000 rpm on 25% nitromethane/methanol/castor oil fuel.


OK, who's next?

Lew Hartswick
09-10-2007, 11:01 PM
I did the model airplane bit in grade school (rubber band power) and
up through High school ( 3ft span P38 ) class of 49. Then Photography for
quite a few years (built a color processing rig) . Then Ham radio ,
( W3SLX circa. 1951 to about 60 ). Then woodworking which I still
do a little. Got into metal working as means to build fixtures for the
woodworking. It apeals to my sense of "precision" . :-)

09-10-2007, 11:45 PM
Did the Model airplane thing started with Mouse racing and then goodyear racing then rat racing and FAI Speed and speed models then ...turned 16 and go kart racing 100 cc mcullogh alcohol Kart (went 100 mph on radar at Mosport racetrack) then dad said holy sh.. im gonna saw that thing apart so you cant weld it back together./ then first street bike .080 overbored H2 1972 Kawasaki Triple with bored carbs dencoe pipes milled heads kinda poor handling when wound out in fifth gear then IDBA Drag Racing with big block suzuki won our class in 1088 ran bests of 8.52 154 mph then got bored firearms next air guns and bit of fishing hunting (not into it) now home shop machining and gettin a hankering for a bike again. Just not much money times seem tougher now than they were. But model aircraft were always cool in my eyes. I learned to make moulds for single blade proppellors for our tuned pipe speed models aluminumn wings and pressurized fuel systems all when i was 15 years old in that range.

Mike W
09-11-2007, 02:48 AM
My main hobby when I was young was amateur radio which got me a start in an electronics career. Lately I have moved back to more electronics and less time on the machine tools. Maybe I was reaching burnout and needed a change.

09-11-2007, 05:23 AM
Mine were the usuall young man hobbies- wine women and song. Women were to expensive, wine I couldn't handle without making a fool of myself usually with woman, I could not sing ( voice like a nightingcrow) so I moved my freetime attentions elsewhere and now retired. I still think off wine women and song but not as much as I used to, maybe I'll take them back up as a hobby if I can find the instructions.

Allan Waterfall
09-11-2007, 06:18 AM
I had several years flying R/C competition aerobatics and control line combat.There's a heli in the shed at moment.

My main hobby and what takes all my time is racing 1/5 MotoGP bikes.
Pic taken at a wet round of this years championship.


Under the bodywork.


09-11-2007, 09:14 AM
Alan I didn't know 1/5 scale Moto GP bikes even existed, much less built to the level of yours! Pretty cool stuff. Do you run a Nova Rossi .12 in yours? I did up a batch of .21 venturis for the local N/R distributor; he sells them to U/C speed flyers. Nova Rossis are incredible engines. Quite the precision machining done there for sure!

Stoopid question: How do they keep their balance and stay upright? I don't see room for an onboard gyro.

Madman I guess you got your fill of fiddling with Cox reedie engines during your Mouse racer days, eh? It's amazing how serious a sport that can be. You got aerodynamics, stability, fuel mileage, propeller science, engine development, nitro fuel mixing, weather factor calculations not to mention piloting skill and pit stop efficiency. Big fun on a day when the whole plan works!:)

Allan Waterfall
09-11-2007, 09:44 AM
Alan I didn't know 1/5 scale Moto GP bikes even existed, much less built to the level of yours! Pretty cool stuff. Do you run a Nova Rossi .12 in yours? I did up a batch of .21 venturis for the local N/R distributor; he sells them to U/C speed flyers. Nova Rossis are incredible engines. Quite the precision machining done there for sure!

Stoopid question: How do they keep their balance and stay upright? I don't see room for an onboard gyro.

That one has an OS.18 CV-R in it,plenty of torque and smooth power delivery.I've used Rossi .12's,but much prefer the way the OS puts the power to the back wheel.I've just put a Rossi .12 in my sons bike,hoping to start running it in this week.I'm intending to build him one like mine for next year.My nearest track is being made to close by the council,so I'll be missing somewhere to raceprep for next year.

They stay upright just like a real bike does without a giro,once they're moving the physics are just the same, including the countersteering.I've got another bike with an OS.18 in it and it was clocked at 68mph down the straight at the Brookland racetrack(not to be confused with the full size Brooklands track).


09-11-2007, 03:03 PM
I've got another bike with an OS.18 in it and it was clocked at 68mph down the straight at the Brookland racetrack(not to be confused with the full size Brooklands track).


Amazing!! Does the speed scale too like doggy years so the 1/5 would be going the equivalent of 340 mph?

When I was still on the drawing board they used to tell about a gal who had been a designer there before my time. And working on a scale drawing she asked whether this being a 2:1 scale the angles should be doubled too. :rolleyes:

09-11-2007, 03:21 PM
Ummm, Miles per hour is miles per hour no matter how big or small.

Marc M
09-11-2007, 03:31 PM
My first real hobby was electronics. I'd pick thru my neighbor's garbage taking anything electronic home. This naturally led to radio, but we lived in a rural area and I couldn't get to the FCC field office for my Amateur license so I did the CB thing for many years. I met most of my life long friends there.

I also had a love of dirt bikes (and later street bikes) and trying to keep them running was where my mechanical skills budded.

I was also fascinated with computers and in the late 70's purchased a Sinclair ZX-80 kit from the back of a magazine starting my computer hobby. At some point in there I picked up a guitar and later keyboards and have been playing ever since.

I got into RC cars and later planes for many years. I mostly made toothpicks out of them, but rebuilding them was half the fun (and most of the cost).

I took some metal shop classes back in high school and always wanted to put a machine shop together. It wasn't until the kids were grown and I got freed from the Beast (wife) that I could actually afford to start buying equipment. I finally got around to getting my Amateur radio ticket about a month ago (W9OM). Currently the HF stuff is in storage, just playing 2m/70cm out of the car.

With the exception of the RC stuff, I'm still pretty active in all of them. I'm heading out to the shop now to do some work on a Cincinnati Tray-Top my brother just picked up.

09-11-2007, 06:41 PM
Bedroom gymnastics!! Though it was replaced by metal work, I miss it.

A.K. Boomer
09-11-2007, 06:47 PM
Nice planes DB, and nice scooter Allen, I just got done perfecting my electric ducted fan jet airplane, it works great now and has well over 50 flights with many many crashes including drilling the ground in a nose dive of at least 45mph... unbelievable how tough styrofoam is with a layer of that clear packing tape! The fuselage is a carbon fiber arrow from a bow, and i have all carbon fiber on all the leading edges, I spent about 4 hours on my mill building an intake ring for the ducted fan --- unbelievable --- a simple polished/curved air duct gave me another 1 ounce of thrust -- without it I could not get the little piggy airborn,,, I dont have ailerons but have rudder and elevator, nice little brushless motor and a couple of li-po packs for about a half hours worth of flight time (preferably with a slight buzz on) its allot of fun, and besides the highly modified foam wing and tail section its all my own design, id like to say it keeps me out of trouble but it dont --- or maybe its helped, guess i'll never know...

Alistair Hosie
09-11-2007, 06:59 PM
I played the guitar and built up quite a collection through most of my adult life these have now all been divided out amongst my three sons actually only two wanted them I really have difficulty now playing and that has been the case for about 12-15 years .I loved cabinet making and pride myself on saying I have made some very nice things over the years before that I was heavily into water colours which this winter I fully intend to get back into again ,although it won't be easy to get started off again. I don't consider myself very good as a machinist and now with my health problems will never really be good but I can do enough to do a reasonable job and it brings me great happiness .I don't get to my workshops enough so I intend to force myself each time I have done that it has been good for me. I have a very wonderful wife and 3 very wonderful sons and am very happy with life and don't intend departing any time soon :D Alistair

09-11-2007, 09:21 PM
BMX bicycle racing in high school
Welding and fabrication.
Control line model airplanes
Electronics - circuit design and project building
Kart racing - Midstate Ohio Kart Club (http://www.msokc.org/)

Latest is machining.

As all good hobbies go none are ever truly gone and they consume as much as you feed them. I still have my racing kart and will probably run some next year. I still fly control line models from time to time as well.

09-11-2007, 09:42 PM
woodworking and construction. ive worked w/ wood since i was but a wee little lad, wanted to move forwart to metal for a long time but didnt have the means to invest in those "big expensive metalworking machines", then i bought my first (and still most used) lathe. old b.c. ames hobby lathe w/ set of collets for $150. sepent ALOT more since then (2001-2-ish???) in the short time since then i got a power band, and mill (new from grizzly)and a few old pieces, a HUGE pratt+whitney vertical shaper, and 14" hardinge (???) lathe that are in storage till i get a place to put them, two 6x18 atlas lathes, two old power hacks, and my hobart mig.

still do the woodworking, also play guitat and play w/ electronics, nothing TOO in-depth though, still wont touch any smt stuff.

09-11-2007, 10:00 PM
Allan, What is the bent wire that goes from the front axle to down by the disc for?, that little bike is just about the coolest thing I have seen for a long time!
PS., where can I find more info on these?

09-11-2007, 10:02 PM
My longest running hobby is collecting and restoring small antique engines.
Such as this is a 1935 Briggs Model Y washing machine engine.
http://www.rake60.com/1935%20Model%20Y%20%20Done%20Front%20with%20Starte r%20Cover.jpg
My home shop was actually set up with making parts for the antique engines
in mind. That led to making complete running model engines from bar stock.
A natural progression I suppose.


Mike Burdick
09-11-2007, 10:50 PM
Interesting post and some very interesting responses!


If you have time, would you mind posting more photos of some of your model planes? I think I'd like to try constructing one. Do you have any suggestions for a "beginner"? :o



09-12-2007, 01:01 AM
It's amazing how many people have gravitated here from r/c model flying,riding,driving,whatever.
I started of as a kid collecting matchbox and similar model cars.Always dreamed about being able to drive a model car,just like a real one.In those days,the best you could buy was reed control.Way above what I could afford.My father had HO scale(and later N scale)trains,and also dabbled in rc boats.Galloping ghost radio was used for control,with an electric servo type thing that moved 90 degrees at a time.My own rc experience didn't start till I was about 25,with RC circuit racing cars.I built my own car,usinga few propietary parts,like wheels ,front axle,etc.A friend of mine went to night school on a machining course,and he made me a clutch bell and adapter.I thought this was just magic,and really,that was where my machining interests started.But with a young family and big mortgage to support,I had to bide my time,like so many of us.
in the late 80's,I revisited my old radio gear,and decided to build an aeroplane.Things went from bad to worse,and at one stage I had over 20 engines and 6 or so airframes in usable condition.I still fly most every week,with my favorite being a 3D model called the "Limbo Dancer"
It's only fairly recently,in the last 5 years or so,after selling off some of those engines,that I bought a lathe,and a drill mill.Now,between making small tooling bits,I spend time (and money)on a 5"gauge live steam locomotive.As a relative beginner to this,it's slow going.I have the basic chassis done,with the cylinders and some of the brake work ready to be assembled.
My next big step will be the boiler.
I also have a set of plans for making a .60 cu.in. four stroke engine,called the Matador.Hence my username.
With all those projects,I need to live till I'm at least 150:D

09-12-2007, 01:17 AM
BTW,Mike,for a beginner's model,The SIG Senior Kadet is one of the best trainer aircraft I know.It's big,slow and fairly easy to repair after a crash.And you WILL crash.That's part and parcel of the learning process.
A .46 engine will be ample power,and of course you will need rc gear,4 channel minimum.Futaba is the best known brand.
If you prefer to build a model from a plan,there are plenty of plans for basic trainers available.Aim for a minimum 60" wingspan,bigger=slower flying,giving you time to react.Save the WW2 fighter until you are experienced.
If there is a club anywhere near you,go and visit them,and make yourself known to the people there.Most clubs have training schemes,some even supply the airplane.I have met flyers from all over,and invariably,they were more than happy to offer advice and encouragement.I'm training another fellow to fly at the moment,and he's in his 60's,so age is not a barrier.
if there's no club anywhere around you,i suggest a pc simulator to start with,this will help you with orientation.And above all else,enjoy it.

Allan Waterfall
09-12-2007, 04:18 AM
Allan, What is the bent wire that goes from the front axle to down by the disc for?, that little bike is just about the coolest thing I have seen for a long time!
PS., where can I find more info on these?
The bent wire is to stop the rotor moving off the wheel hub and wedging.The brakes are commercialy available,but I converted them into fibreglass rotors.

Some links...
Skipton club,this website isn't as good as it used to be before some PC problems last year,but there are some videos and race reports.


Click on the bike link on the BRCA website.
Couple of forums...


09-12-2007, 09:10 AM
Mike, looks like Hans has given you some great advice.:)

I would advise you to spend a little time deciding what excites you about the hobby. If it's the flying side of the hobby that lights your fire, get a .40 sized ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) trainer. They're available pretty cheap these days and will get you airborne very quickly. They're usually available used at hobby shops for cheap.

If (like me) the building process is a big part of it for you, by all means get one of the trainer kits and enjoy that part of the hobby. There's no better feeling than flying something that you have built yourself. The Sig Senior Kadet is a great flyer (will literally fly itself when built straight and trimmed out properly) but is a BIG, light airplane. Can't transport that one in a small car! Also it's a fairly complex model for a 1st build if you've never built any balsa models. It's like a giant stick & tissue rubber band model with many, many parts that have to be cut and assembled accurately so that the final product is straight & warp free. It has a very light wing loading & doesn't do well in windy conditions. Sig makes a smaller trainer (LT40 I think) that's easier to build, a great flyer and better in the wind.

Whatever you choose to do, please do as Hans advised and find a local club to hang with. You'll learn what the favored local trainer is and most likely you'll find a "bud" to chat with and will be there for you when it's time for the first flight and subsequent flying lessons. Also, let them know you do machine work and you'll pick up a little work. Someones always needing a custom motor mount, helicoils installed, landing gear parts, etc, etc.

09-12-2007, 10:07 AM
I'm a Mechanical Engineer by training and have worked at engineering through out my career. Now that I'm retired, I now have the time to do the things that I didn't have time to do before. I also have been interested in small arms from the mechanical point of view, i.e. how do they work, what is good and bad designs, etc.

I now have married the two and have begun doing gunsmithing. I'm doing it for myself and have started building scale models of firearms. I'm just about done with my very first project and will be posting pictures in a few weeks.


Marc M
09-12-2007, 01:59 PM
I would advise you to spend a little time deciding what excites you about the hobby. If it's the flying side of the hobby that lights your fire, get a .40 sized ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) trainer. They're available pretty cheap these days and will get you airborne very quickly. They're usually available used at hobby shops for cheap.
If you go the ARF route, you should make sure it uses all wood construction. A lot of the ARF's used foam wings which aren't easily replaced. I knew nothing about balsa wood construction until my brother flew my ARF through a tree on the first day (it was a really tight field). Because it was all wood, I was able to make new wings and the forward 1/3 of the fuselage. It was pretty easy because the wing was symetrical so all I had to do was copy it. Had it been made out of foam I probably would have thrown it in the trash because replacement wings were 2/3 the cost of the plane. I didn't realize how enjoyable building would be until I was forced into. That poor plane has been rebuilt a half dozen times due to various events including a mid-air. Fortunately the OS .61 four stroke engine on it has never gotten damaged.

09-12-2007, 02:33 PM
for learning to fly buy a ready to fly $150 foam electric tranier. it's pretty indestructable. balsa for first plane = toothpicks & heartache.

then pass it along to anyone who's interested. or have air to air combat :)

or you can "roll your own" airplane "on the cheap" from sign board and scrap.


plane made from signboard are called SPADS. there plans all ofer the internet

09-12-2007, 04:04 PM
Hobbies? does marrying and divorcing women count?

09-12-2007, 04:47 PM
that cracked me up. does it count .....all these hobbies take all our money and a good bunch of time, few understand what the hell it is we're doing or why, it can be frustrating and make you mental, and occasionally delivers little moments of success and bliss.

yup, i bet it counts :D

i like hearing all your hobbies. things i like to do are machining, model engineering, cnc, making tools, word working (currently lack the right equipment) electronics (still on the flat part of the curve), did models and the rc thing as a kid, may go back to it, the 9 year old wants a plane, guitar and almost all genres of music.

things I'd like to do are make an orrey, rose lathe, and get some more time for the telescope I've been trying to start.

Mike Burdick
09-12-2007, 08:49 PM
Dickeybird and Hans,



09-12-2007, 10:16 PM
First hobby was reading, then building plastic car models, then girls, followed by soap box type coaster cars. By about age 8, electronics took over, and has been active until a few years ago. I got into woodworking because of the electronic hobby (building speaker cabinets), and still do wood projects. Got into metalwork in the 70's, but not in a big way until I moved up to a larger lathe about 10 or 12 years ago. I've always enjoyed the outdoors, and pretty much all my life I've hiked trails, etc. Not so much lately though.
I got into plastics at about the time I learned that sewer pipe could be cut apart, heated in the oven, and flattened. Once I saw that it could become a constructional material, I investigated the plastics field. It's about as much fun for me now building from plastic or from metal.
I've come to realize that I get more out of building a tool or a machine, or an accessory for a machine, than I do from building a project that has a function outside of its field of creation. I'm a jig builder, plain and simple. That has always been with me.
I like photography, but have never owned a film camera. If you were to see my digital camera 'system' now, you might think that photography is my hobby- so I guess it has kind of become one. The camera itself is barely an inch from front to back, but the total package now, with lens systems front and back, is over a foot long. Maybe I can manage to get a picture of it somehow, then I'll post it.
Computers- not a hobby, but using it is addictive. I suppose that cruising this forum could be considered a hobby, and if so, that has become one of my latest activities. As far as electronics, I'm hoping to get back into it to some extent. RC modeling has always interested me, and I can see a project idea coming along in my head, and possibly I'll persue that. It will take the combined expertise in all the above fields to pull it off- it's a blimp/camera ship, capable of working on water (for underwater viewing), and flying fairly quickly through air, in addition to hovering and drifting slowly about, as blimps are so easily capable of doing. If I do this project, it will mean that my interest in photography is growing.
I know that I won't completely abandon any of my hobbies, so maybe I'll start with girls again- oh, that would be women now. I'll probably need one with a major in psychology:)

A.K. Boomer
09-13-2007, 12:05 PM
for learning to fly buy a ready to fly $150 foam electric tranier. it's pretty indestructable. balsa for first plane = toothpicks & heartache.


Im with you on the Balsa thing, never again,,, iv got hundreds of bad crashes with foam and its the only way to go, all you have to do is know how to outfit it and its the most durable thing going, first is exoskeleton it with some real good quality packing tape, then you can add carbon fiber on all the leading edges and use the packing tape over it, this will make your foam wings and tails virtually indestructable, Go to a bow shop and experiment with some arrows, some arrows will resist getting cut length wise but some all you have to do is use a razor knife and they will slice all the way down without deviation ------ slice them into quarter peices length wise, these are perfect to use on the leading edge of a foamies wings as they keep the round shape and wont effect air-flow too much yet add a ton of strength, Iv pasted high voltage steel electrical lines at speed with my wing and done nothing but tore the tape a little thats over the carbon fiber, maybe foam is not the thing if you want to be a "purist" but its the only way to go if you just want to enjoy flying without any downtime --- other tips of the trade are build a good battery case and use it on the nose for a battering ram, this along with a midship breakaway ducted fan engine and mount (rubberband mounted) keeps the majority of the planes weight that would normally go to destroying it in a position that is virtually harmless in a crash... My foam wings are stress tested to 6 or 7 G's but it would only be a small fraction of that without the packing tape and carbon fiber...

09-13-2007, 01:15 PM
I used to play with 1/1 scale models. Sigh.


I think I'll go out to the shop and do something productive. :rolleyes:

09-13-2007, 02:06 PM
I have been putting this off for a while but I will answer it now.

Prior Hobbies....
Girls,Cars,R/C in general from cars to Helis to hovercraft,Guns, Women, Air gun collecting,Paint ball ,where I started making parts for the guns,so that started me into Machining on my own,More Women,Old tractors,Some wood working(pen making ) , More Machining .

Not necessarily in order, But close.

09-13-2007, 02:17 PM
I got into electronics partly from reading my older brother's ham radio magazines. Started into computers back when there were no "computer magazines", just columns like "Computer Corner" in Popular Electronics. Until I hit my 30's, a bicycle was at least 75% of my transportation, so that became a hobby and I drifted away from computers & electronics. I've done a bit of pottery on and off over the years - to someone who doesn't do it, I appear to be good at it, but to someone who really does pottery, I'm the rankest amateur.

Back in the '80s, I worked for a company that made electronic equipment, and everything was done in house - R&D, machining, paint, electronic assembly, sales, distribution, etc. There was a machine shop there, and that's when the metalworking bug hit me. I just thought it was so cool that we could make pretty much anything we needed right there.

So finally, some 20 years (and some hobbies) later, I got a Bridgeport Series I. A welder. A South Bend 9C lathe. Tools. A compressor. More tools. A bending brake. A shear. More tools. Toolboxes. Attachments for the compressor. Somebody please help me...

Now I've discovered gokarts and electric vehicle technology. There's just not enough time for me in the world.

www.neurotikart.com (http://www.neurotikart.com)


09-13-2007, 11:45 PM
Archery, scuba diving, spear fishing, fishing, hunting, boating, competitive shooting, woodworking, hiking and camping, air rifle competitive shooting (bench rest), I have a wood shop and metal lathes, small mill . My tools are used in conjunction with my hobbies. I modify air rifles for accuracy and compete nationally in air rifle bench rest. We shoot at 25 yards in the wind at a .100" target. Most of the time we are aiming at a different spot other than the bull in order to hit it. Its a challenge. Also do my own gun smithing on conventional rifles and pistols. Almost forgot black powder shooting and rifle making also.

09-14-2007, 12:15 AM
Ok, I give...

Anything fast. :D

Got my first "motorcycle", a Honda Z50 at age 6. Didn't take long to get bored riding around the yard, till I figured out you could slip the auto clutch by holding the shifter down, rev it up, and drop it out to walk wheelies; and that was the beginning of the end. I built, raced and destroyed motorcycles in various endeavors (motocross and street) until I got all busted up and had to stop. Got started shifting to cars when I was 15 and bought (most of) a 'Cuda from a junk yard for $75 (delivered!) which I completely disassembled and rebuilt in my grandfather's basement (with his patient help). Got a 340 Magnum from a rolled up Duster for it, man she would fly! Taught myself to do body work and paint on that thing. Eventually went through several cars, all bought cheap and "built", till I eventually had a '72 L82 'Vette that I built for (mostly illegal) road racing. She was hotter than hot; lowered 2" (done right), custom springs, polly bushed everywhere, with a tricked 350, 8k+ redline, top speed of around 160 (that's all she registered, and I saw the needle burried still BELOW the redline! :o). Was trying to get a ticket (and sponsors) to go legit when I got clipped and cracked up in it at 135. Then I spent a week in ICU, in and out of surgery with 1.5 months in traction followed by over a year in a wheel chair. Docs said I would never walk again without "mechanical assistance". That ended my road racing days, but not motor sports.

This was 1983 and I was still stuck in a wheel chair with casts on both legs, going freaking stir crazy. I found a '66 GTO for $600 setting in a horse pasture about 50 miles from where I lived. Went with my uncle to look at it and found it setting neglected with a 10 year out of date tag, and 4 factory Rally I wheels in the trunk. Never wrecked, original (poor) paint, 3x2 and a M22 4sp with Air, PS, and PB. Had to cut down trees that had grown around it and drag it out with a tractor to put it back in that same basement I built my long departed 'Cuda in. I was living with my grandfather to help take care of my broken behind at the time. So I would roll the wheelchair up to the stairs, slide out and down the stairs, both legs in casts, and work on that car. It was my "physical therapy". I knew I couldn't shift the stick for a while (bad legs, cut the left one off, hard to work a clutch), and the original 389 had a bad rod insert and crank. So I bought a $200 '70 Grand Safari station wagon with a 454 and Th400. Pulled and built both engine (hot Cam, transplant 3x2, tweaked '67 HO-400 heads, Crane Cam, etc.) and trans, went through the brakes and electrical front to rear, and it was ready to pull out of the basement the same day I got the first cast off (the right one, the one they didn't have to reattach). Eventually found out I had lost my nerve and was no longer competitive on the road racing, but I did have fun "grudge night" at the track with the GTO, but that's a whole other story for another day...

I eventually got out of cars after having gone quite a number including (among my favorites) a trick loaded street rod '72 C10 (sweet truck!) and '39 Chevy Opera Coupe. In the last decade or so I've been more into off-road trucks, focusing on "Rock Crawlers" and desert trucks of various sorts. This led me into needing to make my own parts for some things I want to do, and that led me to machining and this site.

So, for hobbies, easiest to just say "Masochistic mechanical mutilation". ;)

John Stevenson
09-14-2007, 04:56 AM
I'm with Evan, the 12" to the foot stuff is more interesting.


First time out from a total restore.
Funny story we didn't want our name on the top as a lot do and thought the makers name would look better.

First rally we went to an old guy came up with a smile and asked if we had paid for it yet ?

It transpired that when they sold these on hire purchase or payment terms Fowler's insisted that their name stayed on the canopy until paid for.

Monday morning it went back in the paint shop :D.........

Here's the Scammell Highwayman also restored from a wreck crossing the finish line in the 2007 London to Brighton historic run.


And before someone ask no the rear mudguards don't toch the wheels as it's in ballast. That means it's always at the weight it's at because it tows two drawbar living vans to the shows.
In the back are fourteen 1" plates profile cut to fit the back giving a weight of 17 tonnes to hold the back down for traction.


Your Old Dog
09-14-2007, 07:43 AM
As a kid in high school ham radio became my passion. I never got beyond Novice. I then became interested in photography but they wouldn't let me take any classes in it in high school? Same with machine shop. I think it had to do with lack of math skills.

So I've moved to fishing/fly tying, firearms engraving, knife making, dirt bike riding, jewelry making/casting, 4WD in the boonies, Welding, cabinet making and later machining. Oh, yea, I went back to Ham radio and went from novice to Extra Class in 1 year and 8 days and spent much time on CW chasing DX all barefoot.

If I could be granted the ability to become accomplished at just one more it would be music and playing the guitar but it really seems out of my grasp. I'd like to be able to play the music that swims around in my head without all the thought about "how" to play them. At one time I taught myself to play my daughters clarinet. I may have to buy one to see if I still have a knack for it. Then I can start machining clarinets out of unobtanium :D

I am still amazed of what some of you guys have accomplished in your lives. I feel my greatest contribution has been to the farmer's wallets.

Big John, your tractor story is fantastic to me! That you could do all that work and find out a serious bit of info about the company after you were done demonstrates just how little we all know and the potential to learn.

Alistair, teach me to play guitar and I'll teach you how to paint! :D

09-14-2007, 09:54 AM
well I feel like an odd man out because Im not a model airplane builder (except when i was like 12, me and my step dad used to build balsa gliders and tape CO2 cartridges to there underbellies and poke holes and let em rip) my old hobby and new hobby are the same. I am a sculptor who started out making welded sculptures and progressed into machining sculptures. you can get an idea of my progress by going to my website. starting at the back of the images is what I used to do and its pretty much in chronological order from there.

09-14-2007, 10:29 PM
W-O-W!! Now THAT"S what I'M talkin' about!!:D That is some fantastic, amazing work Chris!

I have some ideas for metal objects that would be built strictly to look at but nowhere NEAR what you have accomplished. Thank you so much for sharing your work with us. Would it be possible to share a little of the processes you use to arrive at the finished piece without divulging too much? Do you sketch a start then go to 3D CAD? Surely some elements are CNC cut?

Thank you for posting!

09-15-2007, 07:47 PM
I just got into cnc so not many parts are cnc. just the last 3 or 4 pieces have cnc parts. still working on the cnc lathe thing. got a little C5 cnc coming in the mail. my mill has been up and running for under a year. been teaching myself as I go so I dont use any CAD or CAM. been programing the old fasioned way. figured i should learn that first. so i mostly work from sketches and to scale drawings on graph paper. but with art things its really what ever size you want. no one will know its wrong. thans for the compliments though.