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New to machining all the toys no knowledge.

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MelbourneAussie

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Hi Everyone
As mentioned I have built up a small workshop with lathe and mill and at this stage I am very skilled at staring at it. I need to start of small and work through some plans. My weakness is reading the finer details in plans. Thank you for providing me with a platform to kick things off.
Greg
 

MRA

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I used to teach (engineering, but maths not machining) and I used to tell project students 'time to go and make some **** measurements' - that is, acknowledge there is no way around making a balls of things for some time, so do it now and don't be disappointed as this is a stage you can't avoid. I'd say the same to you - time to scrap things - a lot :) In my case, this is a stage which regularly comes back to haunt me. OK, I'm still learning, and I'm not bright enough to learn from other people's mistakes!
cheers (and good luck)
Mark
 

Tim Wescott

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Is there something specific you want to build? I'm not sure what they're called in Australia, or if they exist, but in some states in the US there's schools called "community colleges" or "junior colleges" that are publicly funded and teach trades, among other things.

If you're a total newbie and you have the time, and the equivalent schools exist in Oz, you may want to take some basic machine shop classes. That should get you to the point where you can read a drawing for a piston and make a piston, not a coffee cup.

I would go to my local school and take their welding courses, but it would cost $3000 (two classes at $250 each, plus a used TIG welder that I know I'd have to buy once I used one).
 

MRA

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(MIG's a cheap way in, though of course far less flexible, and easy enough that even I can do it :) )
 

Brian Hutchings

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I'd recommend Harold Halls books. Some of his workshop tools are very simple and provide practice with lathe & mill, plus, you end up with something useful.
Whatever you decide, avoid unknown materials such as scrap and offcuts. Get your materials from a known source such as a model engineering supplier.
Brian
 

MRA

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(I don't doubt that's true, if you're a craftsman making top quality work. But I have a lot of fun with scrap and offcuts, not least because making scrap out of scrap is a lot less painful for someone as tight as me, than scrapping 'good' stuff - so I feel free-er to experiment and I learn more. Just a personal 2p-worth.)
 

Ken I

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Greg, Try joining your local model engineer society (click on link below)

Home

I don't know anything about the Melbourne society - but my local has a machine shop and plenty of guys willing to provide instruction and guidance.

Regards, Ken
 
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lennardhme

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Hi Greg,
Whereabouts in Melb. are you ? I can probably direct you to good club. The Melb. Society of Model & Experimental Engineers [MSMEE] would be among the best in Victoria. Have a look at their website.
Or email me direct.....
firstbumper@hotmail.com
[I live in Narracan , Gippsland.]
cheers,
Lennard.
 

CFLBob

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Greg,

I can't argue with any of the advice about taking classes at the local community school. It might not be the most convenient way but you will get a lot learning. I lean to learning on my own, so between forums like this, YouTube videos and DVDs, there's a ton of information. At some point, you have to cut metal and learn to measure. Both take practice.

My first engine was an instructional kit to make an oscillating steam engine, sometimes called a wobbler. I was able to get a kit of metal stock that included all you need to build it and a DVD. It was easy, and practical, to watch the instructor make the part, then go out to the shop to make it. If you have stock or know the metal is easy to get locally, you could just buy the DVD.

The drawback is that the exact kit is from a supplier across the US called Little Machine Shop. I have no idea how bad shipping would be, but it's possible there's something like it where you are.
The DVD is:

BTW - I'm in the state of Florida, city of Melbourne. Apparently because the city founders had some ties to your city.


Bob
 

Tim Wescott

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(I don't doubt that's true, if you're a craftsman making top quality work. But I have a lot of fun with scrap and offcuts, not least because making scrap out of scrap is a lot less painful for someone as tight as me, than scrapping 'good' stuff - so I feel free-er to experiment and I learn more. Just a personal 2p-worth.)
I have a lot of scrap, bought by the pound at the local scrap yard. Some of it came stamped with the alloy (i.e, I know my 6061 is that, because it says so). Some of it is mysterious, ranging from what appears to be 4041 steel to some really high-alloy stuff that's a pain to machine that I mostly use for weights.

Then there's the 1-1/8" diameter bar of brass -- unknown alloy -- that I bought because a student handed me a drawing that called out "brass" as the material. I figured that if you're given a drawing that just says "brass", no alloy specified, then you should darned well get some brass of unknown alloy to machine into parts!

For the most part, if it's not critical and I can machine the stuff, I'll use an unknown alloy. I've got lots of one-off tools made from goodness-knows-what. If it matters, I'll use something that I know what it is.
 

ssaxer

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Like a lot of schools we build the wobbler engine here as part of the Introduction to Machine shop Practices at the University of San Diego. While I buy material in bulk for this project ( and we use Aluminum, Delrin, Brass and steel so the students get a taste for different materials) total material cost is under $10US. I would be happy to send you the plans we use here at the school if you are interested.
 

animal12

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ssaxer , I would be interested in those plans . I hope to build my first engine soon
thanks
animal
 

Ron Lunsford

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There are a great deal of reference materials out there to be had. All of which anyone can draw on some of the techniques used and mold them into your own. I have to agree that you NEED to cut chips with a particular outcome in mind and like everyone does, struggle through the obstacle's you may encounter and take a step back and review the things that went 'Right', and the ones that went 'Wrong' and the steps you took to resolve the issue. What my longwinded explanation is trying to convey is, "Just Do It", get out there and have fun making 'Scrap' if you so desire. This is the best learning experience one may have. But if you want to understand your equipment and all of it's functions, definitely seek out ANY training available. There is no shame in admitting your are not familiar with a certain process and wish to learn. Here in the states there are a number of vocational schools that I have found to be extremely good and turning a true novice into a machining guru... It's all about the attitude you bring to the party...
Good luck and Happy Chip Cutting

Ron
 
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