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OT Looking to Build a Model of Some Sort

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  • OT Looking to Build a Model of Some Sort

    Things have finally slowed down for the year in the shop and around the house. I believe have a chance to dedicate some time to building a project. As such I am looking for something along the line of a multi cylinder gas powered engine, or a machine tool. I don't want something that is so small it can sit on the shelf, but rather something that will either be able to make parts, or power some type of vehicle.

    I'm looking for something in a "kit" form. By kit form I mean something that will include detailed prints, raw castings, or bar stock, gears or gear blanks, etc., etc.. In other words I don't want to spend more time sourcing parts and materials than I do fabricating, machining, and assembling. In the past I have taken on a few projects that ended up consuming more time at the drawing board (literally) and searching out components than it took to build.

    Here's a link to a machine I made a few years ago:

    It has several functions and is literally used on a regular basis rather than sitting in a corner gathering dust and dirt. I'm looking for something a bit smaller, but again something that I can put to use or "play" with rather than store on a shelf or in a box.

    My shop does have most of the the basic metal working tools including: vertical mill, horizontal mill, 3 lathes, 2 drill presses, surface grinder, hydraulic and arbor presses, vertical and horizontal band saws, power hacksaw, belt/disk sander, 2 tool grinders, shaper, etc., etc. I also have various pieces of wood working and sheet metal equipment.

    I'm looking for something that will utilize at least the metal working tools, and am not averse to bringing the woodworking and sheet metal works into the mix. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    As a side note I did look at a couple model builders sites that did offer projects in either kit form or plans only. Most were geared for those that were looking to assemble parts rather than make their own. As such the "kits" ranged in price from $2,000.00 to $12.000.00. I'm looking for something a little less pricey.

  • #2
    Less "pricey" and a great challenge is Downriver Tools turret lathe. I am in the middle of the build of the one sized for a Sherline lathe. If doing it over I might choose to build it for a larger lathe. I bought a set of mitre gears and a block of 7075 Aluminium. Everything else has been from the scrap bin.



    • #3
      there's endless bits of tooling you can build, but that's not really model territory (unless you are like Bill Huxold and build a fully functional HLV model). The George Thomas UPT or dividing head are great and useful project for example....but not models.

      building a model from a kit sufficiently large to do something useful puts a damper on things. There's the Elliot bay triple expansion engine, but that is such a big project you have really want a steam launch to get excited about it. Off the top of my head, a radial or WW I vintage inline airplane engine makes a nice model and could power a RC model (if it has to do something), but I haven't clue what interests you

      Getting excited about it is the main thing. Build something that interests you. A major feature, maybe the major feature of casting kits is that they are intended to be if not historical models at least historically representative of the period. That's the whole point, its a model not a prototype, its suppose to be a smaller version of something. S to put the effort in required for the proper aesthetics sort of means you need the motivation of something that really interests you, imo.

      I hear you about the time to design vs build.
      Last edited by Mcgyver; 11-09-2017, 12:12 PM.
      in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


      • #4
        Gary Martin offers some useable tools in kit form that offer challenges in building, but are not too pricey. Good guy to deal with;
        Jim H.


        • #5
          Look here: Scroll down to Engine plans, castings and kits. The is a bit dated, but most of the companies are still around./



          • #6
            build one of these
            san jose, ca. usa


            • #7
              or build a rifling machine
              san jose, ca. usa


              • #8
                Since you have already built the ultimate DIY project, where do you go from there? How about a front snowblower and heated cab for that tractor?


                • #9
                  Build a CNC plasma table.