The Hobbyist's Machine Shop – Blog

"One Perfect Part at a Time"

Toolin’ Along

Proxxon PD400I have it! I just received the Proxxon PD400 mini-lathe. Here it is setting on the workbench. The Dr. Pepper can is placed there just as a size reference.

This machine is a very high quality Austrian made machine tool. I am currently working on a “First Look” report for THMS including lots of close up pictures. Test running will come later.

This machine runs a 100mm (4 inch) chuck which gives it great home shop useability. My Lathemaster for example is also a 4 inch chuck.

For now let me just say this is a very serious hobby lathe. For its size it is top of the line in fit, finish and power. The ONLY plastic is the switch and crank knobs, tailpost lock handle and the black gear/belt cover on the left end. Only polly V belts and steel gears reside within the end cover.

Watch for the “First Look” report. You might have to find your socks after you read it!

~ Dan’l

Good Deal

I am kicking off the start-up of The Hobbyist Machine Store. To get some names on the customer list I am offering a limited time oportunity. There is a post over in the TEDEX Forum under the THMStore forum heading explaining everything. Non BBS members will have to join to see what it is all about. I won’t go into detail again here.

I also need someone with a standard mini-mill who wants to convert to all steel gears. For that lucky single person I have a truely great offer.

I am beginning to wish I had more time to spend in the shop and also working on the store items. I don’t have the time, so some people could and will benefit from my current generosity as I get up to speed.

However, I know where my bread is buttered. My real job pays the bills and so gets most of my attention. I’ll trade some profit for volume on the new store for the early customers… for awhile anyway. Don’t miss this one.


Under great pressure

I have been under a lot of pressure these days, literally! The pressure I am talking about is air pressure that is stored in a tank. I have a very old compressor and tank that was once part of my roofing business tools. It was old when I bought the company. It was saved when I closed the company has been pressed into service in my workshops for another 10 years.

It is a two cylinder, CI, oil filled, “thumper”. The problem is it is now blowing oil into the pressure tank. After blowing air for my CNC mist system for two hours, the shop is full of oil vapor haze and it has to be doing nasty’s to my lungs. It doesn’t hurt the CNC milling but the vapor is making me sick.

Old Madden

New Kobalt

So I just bought a new Kobalt brand shop compressor with a 26 gallon tank. (The tank has a label that says 30 Gal.) It is a high speed oil less system. This thing is as loud as the old one but in a different (higher) frequency range. It runs the CNC mister fine with no oil so mission accomplished.

I can also go back to my high speed air turbine powered wood carving. I stopped doing that for awhile as I was afraid the oil mist (my hand piece is oil less) would mess that up too.


Visit my shop

I posted some of my shop layout photos over in the TEDEX forum. You have to be an accepted member to enter the forum and see the photo’s. I have the membership request process setup so I screen every application. It may take anywhere from a few minutes to several days for me to respond to a request. Depends on my travel schedule, not who you are. 🙂


More than turkeys can get carved.

I have been enhancing some new skills in the Kautz workshop. I have been playing with high speed rotary carving. The tool is a jumbo dentist hand piece that is air powered and spins a mini turbine (and the tool bit) at 350,000 RPM. Yep, that number is correct. It is a lot of fun to play with and I am starting to get the knack. I plan on enhancing my woodworking projects with carvings. Here are some pictures of sample work.


This is called “fish scales” This is a pretty bad example, but I am getting better. Honest!


This is an oak leaf cluster with acorns. There is even a folded leaf!


Just some fancy scroll work. I know I can do better on the next one.


More oak leaves and acorns.

If anyone wants to see the tool or any more information on high speed rotary carving and engraving, just post a reply here.

I am also considering the more traditional hand tool carving. This work here has me very interested in adding this kind of detail to all my woodworking whenever it is applicable. It must be the artist in me.



NOTE: Log in is for admin and members only, not required to post comments.