Bigger workshop, new machines, even bigger ambitions.

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Senior Member
Jan 3, 2010
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It's been more than a year since my family and I moved down to Bendigo, and none of us have ever really looked back. In this time I have been keeping busy with my engine building and other projects. With this move has come a new workshop that puts the cramped setup in one half of a double garage back in Tamworth to shame.

My trusty Hercus lathe and drill press are now conveniently sat next to each other, with everything within easy reach.

The previous owner of the house had this large-ish Chinese lathe with some tooling, which I managed to get a good deal on as he only used it for making a few bushes for tipper trailers which he built for some of the locals. Nice and rigid, but my old Hercus still gets quite a bit of use as it is more accurate from my experience.

The compressor is in a handy position in the corner while still being easy to reach.

There's a big wooden bench in the middle for doing hand work and assembly on. Excuse the mess, I've cleaned it up since I took these photos.

The shelving on the back wall gives plenty of storage space for materials and other bits and pieces.

Did I get the cheapest shaper in Australia? I paid only $50 for this old Elliot Invicta 2MR at a local clearing sale. Apart from some scoring on the ways for the ram, and repairing a couple of parts that had sheared off, it was in quite good condition.

The most recent addition to the workshop is this mill drill, which was purchased in near-new condition with quite a lot of tooling from a man in Melbourne whose son had bought it new with the intention of starting a small commercial machine shop, but then died very young from cancer before he was able to get to that point.

Mum and Dad have now got a part of the workshop (mostly) to themselves. My Dad would always complain about me encroaching on what little space he had back in Tamworth, and he got the answer to his prayers after the move.

Here's the whole workshop from outside. All this and the house are set on a full acre of land, which means that there's plenty of room for expansion if even this shed can't contain the kinds of projects I may wish to tackle in the future.
I have a similar shop with old trusted machines and some newer acquisitions from places moving to CNC. I still have it all contained to 1/2 of a double garage and for a one person operation it works. My only question is about temperature extremes in your location. I insulated the walls and added a layer of barn tin/siding to the inside of the walls and ceiling. The shop stays cooler in summer heat and it retains heat better in winter.

I set the shop up then did the insulation after which was a lot of extra work with scaffolding and machinery moves. That delayed my enthusiasm for the project but now that it is done the shop is much nicer in extreme temperatures.

You are fortunate to have space for expansion. I envy that but it's too late in life to move and start creating a shop again. The other half of my garage has a vehicle hoist so I really have all that I need in one cozy place.

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