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Well-Known Member
Mar 19, 2010
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Hi everyone,

My name is Nick and I live in Gloucestershire in the UK. I'm 51 years old and very new to metal working. I was lucky enough to have plenty of space available to build my workshop and so have opted to go the ex-industrial machine route rather than buy new hobbyist type machines which I noticed tended to be smaller but (I felt) bang for buck cost a lot more than old iron.

It's amazing what you can move with an engine host, some cut down scaffold poles and a flat bed trailer. So I now have a Colchester Student 1800 lathe which was my first purchase, next came an old Bridgeport series 1 milling machine followed shortly afterwards by a DoAll band saw. All of these machine are three phase and I use a rotary convertor to provide the power.

I've started playing with my new toys making, replacement parts to fix things and some simple tooling to bootstrap the workshop. However, I'm amazed how expensive tooling is when compaired to the price of the actual machines. IE. a fixed steady for the lathe or a rotary table for the mill seems well out of proportion to the cost of the machines themselves.

I've always had and interest in engines and all things mechanical, I build and fly RC planes (non electric) and one day would like to try my hand at building my own aero engines. I'm also very interest in steam engines.

I run a small holding which eats up quite a bit of my time and I also run a website/software development business with my wife. We keep sheep, chickens and bees and also have a couple of self catering holiday cottages here on the holding. We grow quite a bit of fruit and veg and my wife makes and sells jams and chutneys from the produce we grow. At the moment we are lambing, nearly done now with just two ewes left to lamb (Due this weekend).

I've been visiting the site for a while now and really like the feel of the place. I've been waiting until I had some free time to get building something before I signed up but free time is always in short supply and I can't see that changing anytime soon so I've decided to join now anyway. As a first engine project I fancy taking a crack at the ez engine which some of you have worked so hard to produce for us new starters, thanks for all your efforts guys.

Well I hope that gives you flavour of what I'm about. When I get a chance and work out how to do it, I'll post some pictures of the machines. I look forward to chatting with you all. Any questions just fire away.

Best regards,


Hi Nick
wEc1 aboard fella, love to see some pic of your machine tools

Welcome Nick. Sounds like you have everything under control. Look forward to your pictures and keep us posted. Ironman

Welcome to our forum. wEc1

Best Regards
Nicky, (yeah I know, only your Mother calls you that :hDe:) Welcome aboard wEc1. I have a tendency to agree with you in regards to the 'old iron' although I do not discount the work that has been produced by the intermediate/home size machines. Gees, just look at all of the gorgeous pieces of machine artistry that has been produced by the m embers of this forum. (of course you have already done that I'm sure) Give us some pictures of some of your old or for that matter new work so we can marvel at yet another persons ingenuity and style. Tooling, yeah, it can be a real bear, cost wise, but I always keep my eyes open and have a 'needs' list that gets filled by watching estate sales or befriending some of the old timers in the area (no, I am not a stalker or gold digger) these gentlemen have been around since the world was new and when I get stuck or have to have a part held or worked on that I can't handle, they are more than willing to lend a hand and even offer to sell me the tooling or, and I especially like this one, donate it ;D to my shop as they either have an extra or no longer feel the need for said tool or machine. This is a terrific place to be and I'm certain you will fit right in, so C'mon in, the water is just right. Thm:
njl said:
.... We keep sheep, chickens and bees .....

Now there's two members here who keep bees. Are you a member of a bee forum as well?


Welcome Nick
Many small tool rooms had little more than the Colchester student and a Bridgeport.
You have the start of a great machine shop and I look forward to your contributions
All the best Dave Bick
Welcome Nick... :big: wEc1
Best regards
Welcome from 'ere as well Nick!
Welcome to the forum Nick.
That was a great welcome post.
Looking forward to seeing your builds or anything else you want to talk about.
Hi Nick,

Welcome. I'm also new to model engineering. For a brief while I lived in Cheltenham & also near Slad. Sounds like you have plenty of fun things on the go!

Thanks to you all very much for the warm welcomes.

I've taken a few pictures for you which I'll attempt to add below.

Troutsqueezer - No I'm not active the on bee forums but I am a member of the Cheltenham and Gloucester branch of the Gloucestershire beekeepers association.

Student123 - I live in a village near Tewkesbury called Twyning. I'm a few miles north of Cheltenham.

Bearcar1 - Yep I'm not saying there is anything wrong with home sized machines just that they seemed to me to cost more than the ex-industrial stuff which companies in the UK are throwing out. Having the space available to house them and limited cash for the hobby it seemed like the way for me to go. Thanks for tips on finding tooling, as it happens quite by chance the guy who cleans my windows is a retired machinist and he gave me a few pointers and some useful bits and bobs to get me started.

OK lets see if the pictures work. Fingers crossed. Hopefully here is the lathe


This one I bought from a machine dealer as at the time I was very green and didn't feel confident to check out a machine straight from a factory. Unfortunately I don't know anything about the history of this one.

Here is the mill


Originally this one worked at a drugs company doing prototyping work. I bought it for 600 quid from a guy who bought out a job lot of machines as the owner would not split them. I brought it home from Kent, quite a long haul. It was originally grey and interestingly at some point it has been painted green which was the colour of the original machines. I think this made it look older that it was and maybe that helped me with the price.

and finally here is my saw


This one was used for sawing wood, furniture manufacture I would guess. I got this one from High Wycombe. I bought it for 310 pounds. It came with a very fine toothed blade and it cuts steel a treat.

And finally, I know it is not machine related but if any of you want to see some of my livestock visit www.oldmanortwyning.co.uk


Wow nick nice little hobby shop, great old iron.
So you are intomanure I hear that is french for business man.LOL a self employed buddy of mine once said the definition of an entrepreneur is someone that does whatever he has to to make a buck so he does not have to out and get a real job.
Looks like a nice little guest farm you have.
Thanks Tin,

I reckon your buddy is spot on with that comment! I left the corporate rate race long, long ago, never to return. Trouble is there is still never enough time to get done what I want to do rather than what I must do and as I get older the stamina ebbs away.

The shop is coming on. I must sort out more storage as by nature I'm so untidy. I could do with a bit more lighting too. And two years ago I bought the radiator and pipes to connect it to the central heating system but that job is still waiting for a-round-to-it.

you learn fast most shops can use more lighting and storage. And it seem there is always a new tool needed or something to fix or adjust. no shop was set up in day, takes time like I said great start and again welcome.

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