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.

  • prometheus kiln chamber

    Prometheus Mini Kiln PRO-1 PRG

    Prometheus Mini Kiln PRO-1 PRG is a small electric kiln of 700W and able to reach 1000°C. The chamber is small at 115 x 130 x 70mm but very usable. The real beauty of this [more…]

  • hornplates bolted to firebox

    Hornplates Plus for the Burrell

    I called this Hornplates Plus for the Burrell as the hornplates have been extended to include the body of the engine behind the rear wheels. This might be strange, but at this 1/20th scale it [more…]

  • tapered chimney barrell

    Burrell Chimney Cone

    The Burrell chimney cone should really be a rolled sheet metal part with an upper and lower cap. The lower cap being the interface to the smokebox. The upper cap being a brass ferrule that [more…]

  • burrell traction engine

    Burrell on “Matchboxes”

    It’s not made it onto all four wheels, but I think the Burrell on “Matchboxes” is looking quite the part. The axle needs the steering links added for the chains to connect to. The smokebox [more…]

  • door hinge on stainless steel jig

    Cooksongold Silver Solder Paste

    Whilst making some of the parts for the miniature traction engine I wanted a much finer silver soldered joint and so I bought some Cooksongold Silver Solder Paste to try. The silver solder is available [more…]

  • door hinge for 1/20th scale Burrell

    Door Hinge for the Burrell

    The smokebox door hinge for the Burrell has caused me a lot of grief. I thought I would share below the disasters that I’ve had on the way to creating a hinge that I’m happy [more…]

  • myfordboy lamppost engine

    MyfordBoy Lamppost Engine

    Since creating the original lamppost engine and then the pdf plans for this engine I have started to get feedback on engines that are being built. The first of the builds is by MyfordBoy, I [more…]

  • Angel Eyes on Sieg SX2.7

    Sieg SX2.7 Angel Eyes

    Sieg SX2.7 Angel Eyes is all about giving this machine a light source that wraps around the tool and fully illuminates the workpiece. I’ve been using the Sieg SX2.7 for some time on a range [more…]

  • angel eyes being driven at 12V

    Angel Eyes in the Workshop

    Angel Eyes in the Workshop is a strange name, but these are the circular lights that you see most commonly on a BMW during the daytime. The reason for me buying them is to create [more…]

  • front axle

    Burrell Front Axle

    I made the Burrell front axle from a piece of 3/16″ square mild steel. Each end was turned 4mm diameter to work directly in the front wheels. The front wheel hubs were machined from brass so [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.