We’ve tried to categorise the materials to make it easier for you to locate pages that we have that describe their properties, uses or examples of working with them.

Cleaning – from cleaning hands to cleaning tools and pickling parts.



A look at the material pairs and see what glues are best.


An opaque lustrous elemental chemical substance that is a good conductor of heat and electricity and, when polished, a good reflector of light.

roughed out flywheel

Most elemental metals are malleable, ductile, and are generally denser than the other elemental substances.

Metals are structurally distinguished from nonmetals by their atomic bonding and electron availability.

The electron band structure of metals is characterized by a partially filled valence band. The “free electrons” lost from the outer shells of metallic atoms are available to carry an electric current.

The defining property of a metal is that it is an element with a positive thermal coefficient of resistivity, meaning the electrical resistivity of a metal continuously increases as temperature increases.

About 80% of the known chemical elements are metals.


We all use a lot of plastics in our world of model making, there are different trade names and options available.


In the model engineering workshop we drink it, either as water from the tap or endless cups of tea, quench parts in it, clean items (main image shows paper backing of transfer being washed away), cool engines, dilute cutting fluid and use it as a working fluid in steam engines.


oak jig

A look at all of the different types of wood. What are their properties and uses?

Looking at what the historical use of certain types of wood is useful to understand their properties.

In model making and model engineering we all use lots of different materials. Lots of what were once exotic materials are now freely available and at a reasonable price. Do send me ideas and share your experiences of working with different materials. Also, if you are selling materials in quantities suitable for the model maker do drop me a line, we would be happy to add a link to your site.