New To Model Engineering

Hi All, This is my first posting to the group and I would be very grateful for your advice. I wish to enter the hobby of Model Engineering and intend building a small steam locomotive. I've recently joined the 2.5" gauge association with the intention of constructing an engine in this gauge. However,having spoken with a very helpful person at Reeves re purchasing drawings they suggested building 'Rob Roy' in 3.5 gauge as a first project. I had planned to purchase a Warco Mini Lathe and Mini Milling Machine to work in 2.5"gauge but now wonder whether this lathe would be capable of machining the 3.25" wheels of 'Rob Roy' I would be grateful to hear from the users of these lathes/milling machines for their views on these machines. Many Thanks roconnor

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Welcome to the NG and Model Engineering.

I think there will be almost unanimous agreement that what ever machine one has in the workshop, something bigger will eventually be needed. So ask yourself what is limiting the size of machine you are considering. Maybe be budget, maybe space etc or maybe it is simply what you intend to make currently. Remember ME is a wide topic and once you have a workshop there are always running repairs for house and car that need things making.

If budget is a limit but perhaps time is less constrained, then a second hand machine needing a little TLC could be a good buy. You don't want a wreck but something covered in dirt needing cleaning adjusting and maybe some paint could be quite cheap. Bigger machines are cheaper than small ones generally. Joining a club is a good thing. it might sound morbid but club members do either die or have to give up for health reasons so you can sometimes pick up a loved & cherished machine with ease and locally too. Private sales are better than trade. Often you will get tooling thrown in for little extra or free with a private sale. The trade will 'asset strip' and sell as extras. It would be easy to spend 50% extra on machine tooling.

You will find lots of help/knowledge here. Don't be put off by 3 phase machines. Usually an inverter off Fleabay will get it running and variable speed is a big plus.

Good luck

And remember no question is too stupid if you don't know the answer



Reply to
Bob Minchin

I would echo what Bob has written below. I'm not familiar with the Warco machines you mention. A key to success is having a machine with some 'meat in it'. That is rigidity. After that you need a wide range of speeds to cope with the fact that the model engineer is always squeezing something 'too big' into his machine. A gap bed is also good in the latter dept. You wouldn't go far wrong with a decent used Myford for example. ML7 is fine, Super7 with gearbox, great but likely to be expensive.

2 1/2" gauge is very small for my blunt fingers and a 3 1/2" is plenty difficult enough to drive to be entertaining when finished. Rob Roy makes a good working loco, but Tich is rather tiny. Please join a club and have a natter to people who have done it.

Don't be shy round here, the natives are very friendly and helpful. Steve

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Have you looked at the range of castings available fromthe 2.5" gauge society? They make and sell parts for quite a few loco's -at very reasonable prices.

Regards Kevin

Reply to
Kevin Steele

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