Why build model engines?

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Tin Falcon

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Jul 9, 2007
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those of us in peculiar hobby have heard many comments about our work . Mostly positive comments I hope. We may have asked ourselves why am I doing this? Or friends may have said" You made that? You have too much time on your hands."
well here are a couple of old gems of wisdom from antique model engineering books.

There may be those who, never having tried their hands at model engine-making, are ready to maintain that such work is a mere waste of time; but, as a matter of fact, there are few leisure occupations better calculated to train the hand, eye and mind at one and at the same time, and to such good effect. Not only does it afford a most thorough training in all such descriptions of mechanical work as lie within the compass of an amateur’s powers, as filing, drilling, turning, fitting, screw making, etc., but a considerable amount of knowledge is also acquired as to the theory and practical application of steam - the most important power of the present day.


Model making is far from a senseless hobby - just the opposite; it is practical, educating, and carries with it the prestige and dignity of a specialized science. Its scope is unlimited and its ramifications are unnumbered.

So we are not wasting our time as some may suggest. Happy machining


Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2007
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I take my newly finished models to work with me to show them off.
A machine shop lousy with machinists. :lol:
Give me a nickel for every time someone says,
"You got way too much time on your hands."
and I could have stayed home that day!

Next most conman comment is: "So what do you do with it now?"
My reply is I throw it in the pile with the rest of them and start building
another different or more complicated design.

If I HAD to make such small intricate parts for a living, I would probably
be looking for a different career. At home it's a personal challenge with
the best of rewards. When you put the pressure to it and it runs. 8)


Jul 9, 2007
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I know the feeling . When I read your post I thought it was something I had written. I do the exact same thing , and get the same replies from people.

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