Hello, I am currently setting up my shed as a small workshop and so
far I have a lathe (1948 Myford M-Type), pillar drill, small bench
grinder and some hand tools.
My main interest is in Stirling and Hot air engines and I have a
Stirling kit (from
that I plan on making first.
Most of the machining is already completed leaving mainly drilling
I need to buy some more tools and have been looking around to figure
out where to get them. The
promising. Would anyone recommend anywhere else?
I am looking to get something like:
a set of metric taps and dies
a set of HSS drills (1mm to 10mm in 0.1mm increments)
a vernier caliper (probably digital)
a vernier height gauge (probably not digital because of cost)
a 4" or 5" machine vice for my drill press
a thread gauge
a set of needle files
a tub of barrier hand cream
There are probably other things that I have not thought of...
Any comments/suggestions appreciated.
watch it here .........lot out there that are made of monkey metal...
j&lindustrial...hertel ones are good
Woolworth's . =A37.99.......they have very good ones ...the steel is so
hard that they are made out of, they have to be drilled with a carbide
do the callipers and the height gauges cheap .
illing machine preferably not round column one.
j&industrial ...watch for the offers of a percentage
off .....currently have =A325% off if you spend more than =A3100 with
them ......one postage ..think =A36.99 for all items bought.
milling machine .....
all the best.mark
Dealing with condensation... You will probably have to put in some
insulation and some heating if you want to avoid surface rust on your
lathe and tools. If you can keep the ambient temperature of the
workshop above the dew point with something like an electric convector
heater (dry heat) then you will probably be OK.
Thank you Mark, that gives me a few more places to check out.
I'm surprised woolworths have digital verniers - I'll have to get to
one to check them out - that price sounds great.
I would love a milling machine actually - I have been looking at the
Warco machines but at the moment I do not have space for it so it will
have to stay on the want list...
All the best
Your shed will still be a shed with all the tools & machines in it. The
planning department like you to call it a workshop then they can come and
have a look and say if it is a workshop you need planning permission and
then you will have to pay business rates. Fill it with what you like but
still call it a SHED. Vernier caliper at Netto this week £7.99. For a height
gauge chop a caliper to bits and make one with that it will give you a 6"
one sorry 150mm one.
Hmmm - I had not considered that at all. Presumably it would be a
good idea to spray some WD40 or similar on the surfaces too?
Oh, It will definitely still be a shed. Great idea with the vernier
height gauge, I may indeed give that a try.
Thanks again for your comments
WD40 is not really recommended for rust protection. Your best bet is
probably to get some way oil since that lubricates and sticks to the
I have a small, insulated workshop in the back of my garage - about
8ft x 8ft - and I keep it at about 50F with a 1.5kW convector heater
on a low thermostat setting. When I want to work in the place in the
colder months, I up the thermostat and it's up to 65 - 70F in ten
minutes or so. I've had no problems with surface rust on the lathe
and the mill, and the only marking on my tools is from my handling.
Also, the large chunks of metal - like the lathe, vice, mill, etc.,
get up to the 50F ambient temperature so that you don't get the
discomfort of working with a freezing cold machinery in winter time.
Hello Martin, always nice to see another starting out on this journey
of delight to set up a workshop. I hope you realize that really it is
a never ending quest and we are always looking to expand, improve or
update it. Still it is an enjoyable, if at times expensive pastime
whatever you use it for.
As well as Chronos there are a number of well established suppliers
that are worth looking at or visiting depending on where in the
country you are. The others have already mentioned a couple but also
have a look at:
And if you are interested in secondhand tooling try:
And of course:
For the sort of tools you mention I would have a look at ArcEuroTrade,
RDG, PJ-Tooling and Chronos. There are many more but these will give
you a start. Also if you can get hold of a current copy of Model
Engineers Workshop or Model Engineer as their advertisements will
include a lot of smaller suppliers for the various specialist items
you will need. I would advise that you treat the major DIY outlets
with a little care unless you are happy that you can tell good
tooling from the other sort, not to say they don't provide many good
bargains, they do but you need to be able to filter out some of their
"special buys" etc
Looking at your list the first couple of items will need some care,
there are many cheap (crap) sets about that will turn out to be
expensive when you have to buy a second time. There are also so many
thread types that it is easy to spend a lot of money and get taps and
dies that are never used. I would suggest getting a small basic set
that will cover your immediate needs and add to it as you identify a
real need. ArcEuro do reasonable metric sets and a good range of
individual taps and dies in the other thread types, Chronos have a
wide range as well and another place to look for would be Tracy tools
who specialize in cutting tools and taps and dies. You will find two
different levels of pricing for taps and dies with the cheaper end
being Carbon Steel and the higher end HSS. For most of us in the home
workshop Carbon Steel is fine. I have nothing to do with any of these
suppliers except I have bought from all of them with success although
my first look these days is on the ArcEuro site as their quality/price/
service has impressed me.
Exactly the same issue arises with drills and I would recommend buying
from a recognized source with a reputation to protect, I personally
use Dormer, Presto or Guhring if I can and they do last well but are
expensive in sets. I have had problems with a cheap un-named 6-10mm
(0.1mm) set where the drills were very poorly ground and some even
bent. I suggest a basic set and then compliment with specials
(imperial, letter or number) if you ever need them. If the metric
(0.1mm) set is cutting accurately you won't really need a lot more but
with drills they are notorious for not cutting the stated size
especially at steps of 0.1mm.
Files are another area where buying cheap costs money, my personal
preference here is for Vallorbe which are available from Axminster at
reasonable cost, J&L also do them but last time I checked they were
Don't be frightened of buying good quality secondhand items
particularly measuring equipment, with the introduction of reasonably
priced imports the value of quality secondhand has dropped. I fully
agree that a usable height gauge can be made from a cheap digital
caliper but if you do not want digital there are many secondhand items
to be found cheaply if you look. I recently bought a little used set
of micrometers covering 0-5" all by Starret or Mitutoyo for =A320. If
you can get to one of the many shows around the country the range of
items on offer is staggering even if they are not all cheap bargains.
I suppose my main advice would be not to rush into buying a lot of
pretty boxes but rather take your time and pick what you need at a
quality level that will last. Unfortunately, I agree with Peters (VBG)
comment and I can't remember how often I've had to double my budget
since I started the "quest" for a reasonably equipped workshop 25
years ago. Don't forget the search function on this forum you will
find hours of interesting reading and experiences about almost
everything you can think of.
Thank you Jon for those many links - The Arc Euro Trade site looks
very good indeed.
They have some nice looking stirling kits too so perhaps one of those
will have to be added to my list of projects
I will have to get to a show this year. I am in the Peak District
near Buxton and had been planning on going to the Harrogate show
earlier this year but had to call off. I have joined the Buxton Model
Engineering Society and been along to a few meetings.
I've been wanting to do this for many many years so it's exciting to
finally be doing something about it.
Thanks again to everyone for the comments
I'm not sure if that would work as well with metal working kit where
you should have 'proper' lubrication on the sliding areas like lathe
beds, etc. Way oil is designed to lubricate and protect machined
surfaces and should give more than adequate protection in the short to
Martin, another good place to look for workshop stuff are the
industrial auctions. Not so much for cutting tools, as these are
almost always well used, but for larger items like vices and measuring
tools, and even machines.
Don't be put off by the fact that you have to register, you don't
always have to be a business to buy on these.
Have a look here and watch how much things go for:
Still think you need to double your budget though , you can *never*
have enough toys.
May I comment on the condensation issue. Corrosion comes from two
sources - condensation and acid from your hands.
In a garage workshop or garden shed it is assumed that you have as
much insulation as you can get hold of - cut up telly packing if
neccessary - with a DPC (a sheet of polythene) on the warm side.
That will help but is not the whole answer. Nor, in my opinion, is
heating unless you can afford the fuel bill.
I have managed very well in this situation by wiping down all bright
metal tools with a very light covering of gun oil. This is designed to
protect against rust and is available from any gun dealer - or more
straightforwardly from the internet - Parker Hale Gun Oil is what you
are looking for - A couple of quid. This also solves the acid problem
As to the lathe I use a straight cutting oil in a squeezy bottle and
use a wet paint brush all over the lathe when I finish playing.
Then cover the lathe with sheet of soft poly.
I have had a S& for 30 years which has not trace of rust
Dont forget to oil bar stock and steel sheet. I reccommend Rocol X30
spray which you can get from Cromwell.
Hope that helps
I'm sure you're right for things like slideways, but I was thinking
of places not normally lubricated like pillar drill tables, vice
jaws and the non-working surfaces of gauges etc. Wax would last
much longer than oil there, and would be less likely to accumulate