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  • #16
    im a beginner, and have been for the last few years my friend, i have put a website together of my achievements to date and this may give you an idea of what is entailed in this hobby, if you feel the need like i did to persue a hobby like this, then be prepared to spend a few bob or so on your machinery and accessories, but it depends on how far you are willing to go and your final goal for what you are trying to achieve!, me i just like to make stuff from junk! i must have been a magpie in a former life coz i love to make shiny bits of ermmm, thingy's,if i like the look of a tool, or i need a certain tool for a job then i will endevour to make it! and i should imagin a lot of model engineers have the same outlook as mine!
    website at

    happy turning


    • #17
      Come on is that all the advice?

      All people need are rules
      All people need are rules


      • #18
        I am also new to machining, however, I have done all kids of other hobbies, and they all have one thing in common, wait until you need somthing to buy it. I use to try and predict what I was going to need, go out spend a fortune, and then find out that about 15%-25% of the stuff ends up never being used. I am especially careful when buying large sets of one type of tool. In many cases the saving you get by getting the entire Jumbo set is countered by the fact that 5 of those tools will never see the light of day. So in a Nutshell, get what you need when you need it. Then have fun practicing.

        I bought a lathe and then immediately realized that a mill was just as essential for the project I was working on, So...then I realized I needed a..... after that I realized that I needed infinity.

        "It's all fun and games until somone gets an eye poked out... then it's just fun."
        \"I see\" said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer and saw.


        • #19
          See if you can find and take a welding and a machining couse at a community college.

          A bonus is all the hot babes there.


          • #20
            Well, like dvideo asked, what do you want or need to do? What does your budget look like? A “cheap projectâ€‌ is too vague. Cheap is relative and any project that costs a few thousand dollars to tool up for better be interesting or useful to you.

            If you have no experience, then get some books as SGW suggests and start doing some searching on this site.

            You have gotten about all the good advice you can get without more information. If you just want to jump in and start machining, either get a machine or sign up for a class.
            Location: North Central Texas


            • #21
              Get some plans for a simple steam engine that is made from stock material.
              (Elmer Verburg's designs are ideal.) Avoid kits of castings at first. You're
              going to screw parts up and castings are a one-shot deal - expensive to
              replace. By using stock material, you won't feel so bad about scrapping a
              part and starting over.

              Keep making and remaking each part until you get it right and they assemble
              into an engine that will actually run and not shake itself apart in the

              Given the breadth of machining operations involved in making an engine, by the
              time you're done you'll know:

              1. If this hobby is for you.

              2. Which tools you want/need to have to pursue it.

              And, as others have said, read, read, read.

              Regards, Marv

              Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
              Regards, Marv

              Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things

              Location: LA, CA, USA


              • #22
                Here's how I got started:

                1) Decided I needed a small lathe to make
                an adapter ring for my camera.

                2) Did research, mostly on Web, looking for
                benchtop lathes. Prime candidates were Sherline, Taig and 7x10 (various brands: Harbor Freight, Enco). These all have web sites and users groups.

                3) Decided on Sherline; bought one with a few accessories and started making chips.

                I had the benefit of a shop course from 15 years ago that gave me lathe basics and into to milling. Bought several books, including Guy Lautard's "Machinist's Bedside Reader" series, and several of the project books offered by our hosts at HSM (and offered in their store).

                Made my threaded adapter, made a few more for friends, got interested in making small steam engines; lots of plans out there, Ed Warren's designs were simple and fun (do a search in the archives for details).

                Making your own tooling, jigs, accessories is a nice way to gain experience. An early project was a lathe height gauge.

                It's fun, and addictive.

                Jeff E.


                • #23
                  thank's you guy's are a real help

                  All people need are rules

                  [This message has been edited by Bullpit (edited 07-28-2005).]
                  All people need are rules