Model Making & Engineering

I spend hours making many different types of models and I find this is a great way of relaxing. It means I also spend time researching the fundamental design and operation of both the model and the tools used in making it. This blog is all about sharing that work. It’s also a constructive element where I end up with something that is rewarding for years to come.

plans now available

Plans for single piston solenoid motor are now available. A simple design that makes a great starter project for someone with a new lathe.

Or the 5 cylinder rotary engine that has taken 100’s of hours to construct.

All of these models have their rewards in the process of making and as objects to look at.

My gallery page lists a large number of my models.




There’s always a lot of information and tables that are needed around the workshop and that are helpful in the field of general engineering and so I’ve started to list those under the heading Knowledge, a great place to start is with the Engineering page itself.

  • sieg SX2.7 and Amadeal XJ12-300

    Length of the Milling Machine Table

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 My workshop is quite small and bench space is at a premium, the length of the milling machine table can have quite an impact. So, do you go for a long table or a [more…]

  • machine DRO giveaway

    Machine DRO Giveaway

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 OK, this machine DRO giveaway has an expiry date of 1st March 2021. Also, you need to go onto Instagram and search for machine_dro, then look for their giveaway post. Then their are some [more…]

  • Burrell Traction Engine

    Burrell Crankshaft

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 The traction engine is starting to take shape, but the Burrell crankshaft looks like it needs some thinking about. The issue is the clearance between the top of the firebox and the shaft. OK, [more…]

  • enamelled buttons

    Something Totally Different

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 Sometimes I just have to do something totally different. Not sure if it is because I’m stuck in a groove or just bored. Something though kicks in, I get an idea and I just [more…]

  • flywheel in warco lathe machining chamfer

    Lathe Chuck Spacers

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 How many times do you use lathe chuck spacers? How do you keep all of the spacers in place whilst aligning the workpiece in the chuck? I had this problem recently with a small [more…]

  • finished burrell flywheel on original drawing

    Improving the Burrell Engine Flywheel

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 Improving the Burrell Engine Flywheel from the original heavy design to a thinner elegant long spoked thin rim to match the 1890 drawing. I roughed out a flywheel yesterday, but then Steve (SGSengineering) rightly [more…]

  • size of flywheel versus a matchstick

    Burrell Engine Flywheel

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 The Burrell engine flywheel at 1/20th scale is a tiny 72mm in diameter and just 9mm wide. I’ve machined this from a piece of solid extruded cast iron. Firstly turning the surface profile on [more…]

  • Seekone Heat Gun and Accessories

    Seekone Heat Gun Review

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 Initial Seekone heat gun review looking at what comes in the package, specification and initial switch on and testing. My Black & Decker hot air gun finally gave up after 27 years. Over that [more…]

  • Milling Cutter Store slot drill

    Milling Cutters Store 3 Flute Slot Drill

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 I saw the Milling Cutters Store 3 Flute Slot Drill on Instagram and as I was in need of some new 6mm slot drills I ordered some. Previously I’ve been buying Rennie tools 2 [more…]

  • Moore & Wright Micrometer

    Do I need a Digital Micrometer?

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 I’ve been thinking about my machining accuracy and asking myself the question: “Do I need a Digital Micrometer?”. So I thought I would discuss it here and see whether I can logically work it [more…]


The workshop / man-cave is the den in which we can master a number of engineering techniques. This is my space for woodworking, metal working and sometimes just a place to sit and contemplate a design.

Calling Model Makers

If you would like to share your model making and this could be the latest design, the processes you have used or the tools you love then drop me a line



I moved the calculations to an excel book that you can download, use and edit as you like. Plus it’s completely free. I update and add to this on a regular basis and so please do check back to see what’s new. Current sheets cover:

  1. rotary table dividing plates
  2. wheel speed
  3. cutting speed
  4. acoustics

Also, if there is a calculation you would like to see added, please do drop me a line

Please share algorithms, references or just an idea for an excel sheet and I’ll do my best to have a go at adding it.