The Hobbyist's Machine Shop – Blog

"One Perfect Part at a Time"

Dropping Some Acid

I had fun yesterday clearing up my workshop a bit and doing some silver brazing on some brass parts I made. I forgot how much fun that is, watching the silver solder suddenly melt and almost jump into the joint. The little joys of doing nice craftsmanship, I haven’t lost the touch after almost 40 years.

The Texas weather is cooler now, so I will be spending more time in the workshop. Someday I will have an air-conditioned shop but I can endure what I have for awhile longer. So now I will be getting more metal work accomplished

Hey, I… Continue reading

See What I Saw

Micro-Bandsaw MBS/EI added a new tool to my machine shop. I am getting one tool closer to being the winner. This time it is a micro bandsaw.

I have been using my really oversized Delta 14 inch woodworking bandsaw for cutting little strips of brass plate for my Penn A3 locomotive project. What I really needed was a very small slow speed metal cutting bandsaw. This smaller bandsaw could be dedicated to small sized projects and could also be used to cut steel and other special materials. The Delta with its present reduction drive is only intended for cutting wood.

This is… Continue reading

Rolled Away

The cheapo slip roll from Grizzly (written about previously) is well on its way back to the bear’s den. I received a reply back from another company that is offering a USA made 1″ x 12″ slip roll. They confirm that their product will not handle over 0.040″ thick material. Trying to roll thicker material the gears become too far out of mesh and may strip. Looks like I will have to explore using bigger rolls. The 1″x 12″ is a very good looking machine and will be good for light stuff. So some day I may have a need,… Continue reading

Slipping and Rolling

Uh… well not quite the same as rocking and rolling. The music is different.

Actually what I did today was order a new tool. It is a 12 inch (baby) set of slip rolls. Hence the title. What’s a slip roll? I know because I grew up in a family that always had a sheet metal shop… or two… would you believe three?

G7148A slip roll is used to form sheet metal into a slight curve all the way to a complete cylinder. It can also be used to form cones, scoops or funnel shapes. Most slip rolls have small grooves at… Continue reading

Small Benchtop Machining

I see a slow growing trend of the hobby light duty machine shop in the United States. There is a definite niche for the smaller size high quality high speed machines that are fairly common in the European hobby market. This includes such brands as the Proxxon, Prazi and Emco and others. The English Myford is on the small list. Also included are the US brands of Sherline and Taig. I am talking about small machine tools that are ready to work right out of the shipping box.

Massive slow machines ARE NOT necessary to build accurate, light weight hobby machined… Continue reading


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