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Old 08-16-2017, 02:17 PM   #1
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Default Entering the Hobby

Hi Folks,
Happy to be joining the forum from Delaware, USA. I am entering the hobby and plan to buy equipment soon. Ultimately the goal is to develop the skill level to build the Upshur Horizontal IC farm engine and the Stuart Steam James Coombs engine.

I am leaning toward purchasing a mini lathe and mini mill from Little Machine Shop. With developing enough skill would this equipment be capable of completing these two great projects. Any thoughts are welcome.

Scrapple in Delaware

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Old 08-16-2017, 05:34 PM   #2
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Default Entering the hobby.


It is always an uplift to see folks entering the hobby of model engineering , My thoughts are that to begin with a mini lathe & mini mill , you can build up your skill level (Even if you can build a small and simple engine first, I am not acquint with the upshur engine, but I think the James Coombes is a bit large for the extremely small machines you mention, If you could make contact with model engineers near you, Someone miight mentor you on any machine tool which may appear second hand, to save money, But one must be careful that one is not "buying a pig in a poke"
I always work on the factors of , Can I afford what I am looking towards purchasing, Do I have the space for it, and will the wife/partner be sympathetic/

Another thought is , Is my new machine capable of being man enough & of a size to machine my components
For the general model engineer a lathe of 7" swing is ideal, I always think South Bend or Myford, If you can afford to by all means buy your little mini machines, Even if you eventually purchase bigger , they are always ideal for the occasional weeny component

Many years ago I started my home shop by purchasing an ancient 3&1/2" centre height lathe not in great health But it was a steep learning curve to keep up accuracy.
Many years ago an old engineering works director, councelled me by saying huge is not beautiful , (Unless your passion is saving old iron) As i get older I find myself thinking how right the old boy was, Recently I have started overhauling a little 1950 era lathe I guess it is a step back down memory lane .

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Old 08-17-2017, 06:14 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum Scrapple. My first IC engine was the Upshur horizontal and I made it on a Chinese 7x14 (same size as LMS sell) with no real problems. The flywheels took a little thought to machine the OD but looking back it should have been easier than I made it be. The Upshur is quite a small engine so I'd guess the mini mill would be fine with it as well.

Having said that, I 'progressed' to a larger lathe within about 18 months of buying the 7x14 as I wanted to make larger projects. I did enjoy the small lathe though, and I kept it even when I upgraded. I can't remember the last time I actually used the thing though...
I'd like to be a perfectionist, but I lack the patience...not to mention the skill...
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:59 AM   #4
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welcome to the forum,

I think of it this way........ you can make small parts on a big mill, but you cant make big parts on a small mill. plus you have power and rigidity. do you need power? not really just take small cuts. rigidity? another can of worms. you can discuss the pros and cons on big vs small till the cows come home.

I would say get the biggest machine that will fit in your shed.(with in reason and it wont brake the bank).
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Old 08-17-2017, 04:47 PM   #5
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Welcome to the site!
There will be several model engine builders displaying at the Rough and Tumble museum near Lancaster, PA this week.
We have a model building devoted to model engineering. There will be several people from Delaware (myself included), as well as from PA, MD, NJ, etc.
We will be happy to chat with you about engine building. Cheepo45
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:16 PM   #6
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Sounds like this is a place I should be,Thanx for the tip

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Old 09-25-2017, 08:52 AM   #7
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I have this problem. Now that I am working (in a machine shop ) I have money to save to buy a mini lathe and mill; I would love to get larger versions, but being in an apartment right now, I just don't have the space (plus the big ones might invite a lawsuit ).
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:08 AM   #8
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Nice to have a chat with you here. Welcome to the community!

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