Geting Started in Model Engine Building

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Tin Falcon

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How do I get started in Model Engineering ?
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Tin Falcon
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Note: If you are one of the people that want a steam engine but are not yet ready to build one read on anyway . near the botom of page Two of this thread there are some nice engines you can buy.


Model engineering requires considerable knowledge and skill in many areas of craftsmanship. The primary area is machining. We live in a very knowledge based society and the internet is a gold mine of information, so that is a logical place to start. The US military trains and utilizes machinists in there everyday operations. And since they produce documents that are public domain that is an excellent place to to begin.
Army TCTO 9-524 is the Army's Basic handbook (Training Circular Technical Order) for machine tools. It can be found and downloaded here: from metalworking.com
http://www.mwdropbox.com/tutorials/ARMY-TC-9-524/9-524-index.html
or directly from the US Army
http://atiam.train.army.mil/portal/atia/adlsc/view/public/295250-1/tc/9-524/toc.htm
another gem is the US Navy Machinery repairman's Manual
http://www.metalwebnews.org/ftp/machinery-repairman.pdf

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has also produced a decent set of videos that teach basic machine tool use and safety. These videos are available for download and viewing to the public. http://techtv.mit.edu/genres/24-how-to/videos/142-machine-shop-1
There are actually 8 videos about 45 minutes each.

Another skill that is important to learn and requires less expensive and more common tools is drawing. I believe that a trained eye is one of the most important tools for a machinist or model engineer the best way to train the eye for what is true is to learn to freehand draw. There is a book on the market that is teaches this skill quite rapidly. It is “Drawing on the Right Side of the brain “ By Betty Edwards and is available used, for quite reasonable prices on the internet. Along with this basic mechanical drawing skills ether on paper or on the computer are essential While you do not need to design an engine right away or put that Ideas on paper reading a blueprint or drawing is a must and the ability to visualize in 3-D make life much easier even when starting out.
The navy blueprint reading and sketching manual can be found here:
http://www.metalwebnews.org/ftp/blueprint-reading.pdf

Of course you will need a place to work what we machinists call a shop and artists and professional model makers call a studio. This can be anything from a closet to a barn or garage and just about anything in between. Shops can be in the attic or basement. Inside the house or out. Wherever you set up shop make sure you have plenty of outlets for your machines and plenty of lighting ,preferably on separate circuits.

And you will need tools. In theory and some extent in practice one can actually build a small steam engine from bits and pieces of metal using hand tools. A little more than a hacksaw, a file, and a drill can accomplish the task.. The lathe is in reality the centerpiece of most home machine/engineering shops. And many if not most home model engine shops have a vertical mill. Other common tools are the bench grinder for tool sharpening ,A metal shaper which is considered obsolete by industry but a pleasure and relaxing to run, Metal cutting band saws in the horizontal and vertical variety for cutting stock to size and rough shaping. . And stationary sanders to shape and cleanup edges . So where is the best place to get these things and what lathe band saw milling machine is best for you. The machines selected will be driven by budget and by your shop space and location. If you have a two car garage and live in an industrial area used industrial tools may be your best move what we call old iron. These can be a good value but they may need some restoration and rebuilt to get the most out of them.
There are two manufacturers of quality Hobby lathes and mills in the USA. These are a bit limited in standard features but have a large range of available accessories.
Look for http://www.sherline.com/
and http://www.taigtools.com/
in the UK http://homepage.ntlworld.com/tony.jeffree/index.html
another popular option is the SIEG (Shanghai Industries Engineering Group) They have the classic little 7x 12 lathe that you get from littlemachine shop, micro mark, harbor freight, these are Chinese import machines available in in many sizes from desktop to large industrial sized machines.
The product page for hobby machines is http://www.siegind.com/products-black-red.php

Up until now I have mentioned tool manufacturers. You will need to talk with a dealer. For Sherline and Taig check the web sites.
And here is a list of catalogs and dealers for import machines as well as tooling and materials.
Grizzly Industrial http://www.grizzly.com/products/mach-specs.aspx
Travers Tools https://www.travers.com/Default.asp
MSC Industrial http://www1.mscdirect.com/cgi/nnsrhm
Enco http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRHM
McMaster Carr http://www.mcmaster.com/#
Littlemachineshop.com http://littlemachineshop.com/
These guys carry all the parts and accessories for the import machines that many other dealer do not or will not carry.

Some sort of plan for an engine is also essential some of my favorite starters are
http://littlemachineshop.com/Products/Drawings/2593OscillatingEngineAssembly.pdf
http://npmccabe.tripod.com/mccaberunner.htm
http://people.wku.edu/andrew.ayre462/Wobbler_Design.pdf
More plan sets here:
http://npmccabe.tripod.com/steam.htm and many more http://www.john-tom.com/html/Engines.html
Getting more out of a 7x mini lathe.

Machine mods for the 7x mini lathe [url]http://www.toolsandmods.com/ralph-patterson.html
[/url]

Setting up and tuning a Seig C3 lathe
Gems from the past:

The Model Engineer's Handybook: A Practical Manual on Model Steam Engines ... (1902)
Paul Nooncree Hasluck
http://books.google.com/books?id=68VKAAAAMAAJ&oe=UTF-8
Lathe work
http://www.archive.org/details/lathework00haslgoog
Model Making , Francis Yates [url]http://www.archive.org/details/modelmaking1017181mbp

http://www.archive.org Has many out of copyright books of interest search your favorite subjectby key word such as steam engine or machine design.

And last but not least on like forums like this one.

Shop safety Read here http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/index.php?topic=87.0

Machinist Bible aka Machinery's Handbook
link to 1941 Machinery's handbook is dead sorry guys.



Please browse and read all sticky threads they will give you a good idea of what we are about. Please read the rules they are simple and easy .

I will also make a note that there are skilled craftman that write books on Home machining and model building Harrold HAll is one of those people and he shows up here he has a web page.

http://www.homews.co.uk/page3.html


Tin
 

Tin Falcon

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Folks : I am posting this as a first resource for folks here. Kind of quick index for the gems of info. I am leaving this open for folk to post these gems. please do not post the normal attaboys or great thread.
But do post links to books vendors other forums etc.
I may pull some stuff from the links section as I have time and may organize and edit submissions as I see fit . I want this as a go to handy resource.
Tin
 

black85vette

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This forum has many great resources, but for the beginner I think 3 stand out to me:

1. For a first build look up past builds so you can see first hand what operations are involved and any problems the builder had to overcome. It is even better than good plans to be able to see an engine being built step by step and read the interaction and advise from others. Being able to discuss a build with others who have completed it can be very helpful.

2. The Download and upload section of this board has a wealth of plans. Some of those plans were designed by members of this board. It is really nice to be able to contact the designer and ask questions about the plans.

3. Gail in New Mexico put together an index to the downloads section that makes it easier to find what you want.

http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/index.php?topic=9161.0


 

shred

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Not sure I'd hold up the MIT videos as 'safety' videos what with the guy sticking his fingers into the mill all the time...

I think it would be good to start out explaining that the skills, knowledge and tools are built up as you go along-- you really don't need much more than basic tools to start out, and that you should probably start out with a basic set of tools and work up. Sometimes the sheer mass of stuff overwhelms people just passing by, and sometimes buying a lot of tools and machines up front is not the best way to go about it.



 

THX-1138

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Also invaluable is the "Machinery's Handbook," from Industrial Press, Inc. Any edition is good; used copies can be found everywhere (check ABE and eBay). It contains a wealth of information: from drill sizes to thread profiles, from measuring techniques and methodology to how to harden and temper various metals.
 

90LX_Notch

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Here are a bunch of videos posted up on YouTube by a retired shop teacher:


http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=mrpete222#g/u



There is a four part video on lathe tool grinding.

He is currently doing a 10 part series on on building a wobbler inwhich he casts and machines parts.

There is a wealth of great info for the beginner there.
 

doubletop

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If you are new to model engineering, like me 'O' level Metalwork "failed" 44 years ago and until this year I've never touched a lathe since, you may find this book useful, and its only £10.37 (plus shipping outside UK). I got a copy from my local library and then decided to buy my own. Amazon.com doesn't have it but Amazon UK does. I ordered on Tuesday and it arrived on Friday, and I am in New Zealand.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Model-Engineering-Foundation-Peter-Wright/dp/1854861522

It's well written, and covers almost every question I've needed to ask since I started, just check the Amazon reviews.

Pete
 
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tel

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Len Mason's 'Using the Small Lathe' is another must have if you are just starting out.
 

kvom

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Once you have machines, a critical factor is the ability to measure the work. To start, a 6" metal rule, a 0-1" micrometer, and a 6" digital caliper are an excellent set. As time goes on you may need other measurement tools, but these will get you a long way.
 

Tin Falcon

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Metal web news is a mufti discipline metal working web site lots of resources and links do not get tangled in the web.
This was one of the first web sites that got me interested in hobby machining.
http://www.metalwebnews.com/
And the metalworking links page http://ranier.hq.nasa.gov/metal/metalbookmarks.html maintained? by the nasa robotics group. Warning some of the links are outdated dead ends but still lots of good stuff.

looks like metal web news is gone replaced by some blacksmitning web ring. nasa link not working
Tin
 

Tin Falcon

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Here is another interesting link
Harvey Mudd College engineering dept.
some shop pics machine photos with labels videos
Plans for a hammer , screwdriver and tool tray all projects the students must make.
http://www.eng.hmc.edu/E8/Videos.htm
Tin
 

Tin Falcon

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Books and magazines:
Village Press publisher of Home Shop machinist, Machinist workshop, digital Machinist, and Live steam and Model railroad Magazines. They also publish project books and collections of article as well as selling a few select books published by others on metal working.

https://secure.villagepress.com/store/items/list/group/130/page/1


Another fine publication published by Mike Remus
http://www.modelenginebuilder.com/

Nation Builders books From steam engines to Spacecraft
http://www.nbbooks.com/
Tony mostly resells books but does self publish a few.
All of the above folks come to the major shows and support this hobby.

And I would be amiss if I did not include
Model Engineer and Model engineers workshop. A great resource for those in or near the UK
http://www.model-engineer.co.uk/

Also Engineering in miniature Tee publishing
http://www.teepublishing.co.uk/eim.php

And for the Ausies and NZ folk
http://www.ameng.com.au/

Text books can also be a good source of basic knowledge
G-w Publishing
http://www.g-w.com/FCSCat.aspx
Machining projects
http://www.g-w.com/SelectedBook.aspx?CatID=0&BookID=171
Machining Fundamentals, 8th Edition
http://www.g-w.com/SelectedBook.aspx?CatID=0&BookID=166
Exploring Metalworking, 5th Edition
http://www.g-w.com/SelectedBook.aspx?CatID=0&BookID=245

And last but not least Industrial press. As the name implies these books are aimed at industry, professional machinists, CNC Programmers and engineers.
These guys have published the machinery Handbook since 1915. They do also offer some quick and ready references.
And as said before a copy of a machinery handbook is an almost must have reference. But and older edition will likely do.
http://new.industrialpress.com/
And remember book prices can vary greatly from various sellers and outlets shop for the best price. Outdated editions can often be had cheap and are useful in the home shop.
Tin
 

Tin Falcon

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One of the most fundamental functions of machining is how the cutting tool interacts with the metal. The proverbial where the rubber hits the road. While surfing the web I came across links to a a couple of great books that explain this. While they are detailed they do explain a lot of basics of tool geometry as well as the why they work.


http://www.home-machine-shop.com/Down-Load/Cutting-Tool-Applications-Text.pdf



http://www.home-machine-shop.com/Down-Load/MACHINING-MANUAL-KENNAMETAL.pdf

and a general link with lots of goodies

http://www.home-machine-shop.com/Down-Load/Down-Load.htm

there are a few dead links on this page but enoug good ones to keep you busy.
Tin
 
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