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.

  • going live on video

    Going Live on Video

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 Going live on video makes me cringe. I’m doing it to try and improve me both in terms of presenting, but also trying to push myself mentally. At the same time I get to [more…]

  • tender bulkhead

    Tender Bulkhead

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 I need to make the tender bulkhead for the Burrell traction engine. This is the bulkhead that sits at an angle and provides a volume for the coal. I may not use coal in [more…]

  • threaded rivet and nut

    Turn Rivets into Bolts

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 How hard can it be to turn rivets into bolts? The reason I need to do this is I want the bulkhead in the tender of the Burrell traction engine to be removable. At [more…]

  • towbar on rear of traction engine tender

    Towbar for the 1/20th scale Burrell

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 Making and attaching a towbar for the 1/20th scale Burrell traction engine. This is definitely not something for the caravan holiday. Although, the multiple attachment points might help a few people with maneuvering a [more…]

  • copper tube


    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 Copper is a orange/reddish coloured metal which is malleable and ductile. It has excellent thermal and electrical conductivities and good corrosion resistance. Pure copper has an electrical conductivity second only to that of silver. [more…]

  • Burrell crank bearings

    Sandwich Crankshaft Bearings

    Facebook0Tweet0Pin0LinkedIn0Email0Print0 Looking at the slot in the tender I decide to make sandwich crankshaft bearings for the Burrell. Sandwich refers to the layers of the bearings. Essentially a 12mm brass square that is 1.6mm thick [more…]

  • 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…]


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.