Hello from PA

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Dec 23, 2022
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Hi everyone
My name is Justin. I am 15 years old. I have been studying machining and playing with a Harbor Freight mini lathe. Someday I want to get a mill and a bigger lathe. My current project (once I get materials that is) is a small wobbler style steam engine. Someday I would like to build a boiler and some bigger engines and maybe a hit and miss engine. All I know about machining I learned from youtube so I will be watching and learning.
Welcome Justin-

Good luck with your model building.

The secret to becoming a successful model builder is to stick with it, since it can take a bit of time to learn the process.

Its about reading and interpreting drawings, machining metal, learning various metal types and properties, tooling, and last but not least assembly into a functioning engine.

My first attempt at a wobbler build was pretty much an abject failure, and I could have thrown in the towel and never looked back at that point, but I decided to keep at it.

My next engine build turned out considerably better (see avatar).

Its a great hobby, and we definitely need the next generation to step in and learn the skills required to design and build engines.

Pat J
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Justin, I am delighted to welcome you to this hobby! I would have loved to have gotten into this when I was 15 ... instead of 45! But at any age (now 62 for me), it is a lot of fun. Do pay attention to safety, especially as you move into larger machines. (Sorry, had to show my age and give the safety warning!)
Hi Justin!
A 15 year old member , I have a piece of advice for you :
Online games are virtual games, homemade engines are real world games
Unlike in the virtual world , in the real world : every mistake has a price , sometimes the price is not cheap and may be ... a part of your body . So learn to stay safe first and be careful in machining...
https://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/threads/shop-safety-rules.83/ Pick a part of the game that's simple and play with it, and it's a game of conquering challenges and setting goals that you have to work towards.
Again: Safety first !
That doesn't mean I'm a person who always keeps safety or is careful.. when processing, BUT For you, 15 years old must always remember: Safety first !
If you haven't already attended, make you visit the Cabin Fever Expo at the Expo Center next year. It's very local for you and it's the biggest model engineering show on the east coast.
Awesome hobby to get into that can turn into guiding the rest of your life if you enjoy it.

I did the same thing as you; build a wobbler steam engine in high school shop class and that hooked me forever. Later, in college, I super got into jet engines and built one! Now I play with big machines in a steel mill at 27 years old lol.
We actually have been going there for several years now, even before I got interested in machining.
I especially enjoyed it last year, since I understand more what goes into a model engine now.

Yes, after I've gotten a few models completed is when I really started to appreciate the workmanship involved in crafting the beautiful models on display at the show. These guys are really working at a high level.