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Old model engineer magazines

What to be done?

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derek hall 128/05/2018 14:04:20
109 forum posts

Hi guys

I have complete volumes of ME from late 60's through to 1999. They take up so much space and I am thinking of a cull....which breaks my heart...

Option 1 do nothing but put up with them taking up the space...some articles are interesting but many are not.

Option 2 cut out and remove those articles that I find useful and collate into one or two indexable files, and discard the rest.

I am not and never have been interested in building locos, my interests are clocks, tools, stationary engines and anything by GHThomas and tubal Cain.

I am interested in ideas and suggestions but also what do others do with their piles of ME magazines. I don't think volumes of these are worth much to be honest....even less if i have cut a load of articles out of them!

Probably will do the same with Horological Journal as well.

All the best


Bazyle28/05/2018 14:13:43
5567 forum posts
207 photos

If you are taking the time to go through removing some articles only you could at the same time break out the loco series and offer them to people who are building that loco. One of the features of ME unlike any other magazine I can think of is that they still have these items of interest like that after 50 years.

mechman4828/05/2018 14:14:24
2792 forum posts
431 photos

Know how you feel; ditched a ton of MEW mags' last year, asked around & posted in forum but ne're a response so into the local recycle depot they went pity, but I'm not the only one that's got rid of mags' down the tip. I still have paper & digi subscriptions so if there is anything that I want to recall from previous at least I can look it up in the digital system.


norman valentine28/05/2018 16:17:57
252 forum posts
35 photos

I had a huge pile of old ME mags, mostly in complete volumes. I managed to sell a few but the remainder I went through pulled out the articles that interested me and scanned them. The mags that I had read went in the dustbin. I have now got rid of all of them without having to go to the trouble of going to the tip. Visiting the tip would have been upsetting seeing them all go like that but by doing it piecemeal reduced to loss that I felt.

Michael Gilligan29/05/2018 10:31:38
16638 forum posts
725 photos

To show what is possible ... and highly desirable ... here is a clip from the 'Members Area' of the Antiquarian Horological Society:


Search the journal archives

The whole back catalogue of Antiquarian Horology has been digitally scanned and is available to AHS members to search and read, up to two years ago. Additionally, the back catalogue of the BHI's Horological Journal, from its first issue in 1858 up to the year 2000, has also been scanned and is available here to AHS members.


Membership of the AHS was always a delight; and now represents extraordinary value for money.


derek hall 111/03/2020 13:12:32
109 forum posts

Hi, sorry to resurrect an old thread but...

Following 2 years (!) of prevarication about what to do about all these old volumes of ME that I have cluttering up my workshop.I have finally made a decision.

I realised that I am not interested in club reports dated in the 1980's and I am not going to be building a large traction engine or a locomotive of any gauge (well maybe a gauge 1).

As heartbreaking as I expect it to be, I have most of the 1960's, all 70's, 80's and 90's volumes but I intend to be ruthless and cut out all those articles that I want to keep (mostly George Thomas and Tubal Cain). I like hard copies but I may scan these in the future.

I shall create a filing process and store those articles that I am interested in such as tools, stationary engines etc.

I have done this last year with the EIM and Horological journal and to be honest it has created some space and I have not missed any articles that I have not, and never had been interested in.

Here goes....

I wonder what you all do with old volumes of ME's?

All the best

Derek Hall

Versaboss11/03/2020 13:35:23
458 forum posts
51 photos

More of the same problem here...

I have a complete set of M.E. from 1924 (because I wanted 'all from L.S.B.C' to 2013. Sorry having to say, they will all end in the recycling bin, rather sooner than later. But if someone wants a couple and agrees to pay the horrendous postage, then ask...

Kind regards,

Former Member11/03/2020 13:49:09
1329 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Martin Kyte11/03/2020 14:13:32
2124 forum posts
37 photos

I think that back issues are worth a lot less to you (and me) than you think they are. I wanted to build a rivet squeezer a month or so ago and just bought a back copy online. I've done the same with other items too. I do have some decades of back issues which take up space and not all of which are bound making it difficult to find what I'm looking for even if I ever did. Personally if I think seriously about it they are of far more sentimental worth than actual help. I probably will have to ditch at least some of the collection at some time. I don't think I would remove pages to keep but retain entire magazines with things of use rather than of interest. As soon as you reduce a magazine to pages it's not far from being waste paper in my mind. I think I would keep whatever I could store though.

I would probably do better to get rid of all my off-cuts and everything else in the workshop I've saved over the years on the come in handy principle, particularly the wood which really can take up huge amounts of space.

The pertinant question is when did I last find that my heaps of stuff yealded anything usefull or when did I last actually look through any of my back issues.

It does feel a little like throwing your life away though.

regards Martin


Edited By Martin Kyte on 11/03/2020 14:14:17

Baz11/03/2020 14:30:32
487 forum posts

I have exactly the same problem, Model Engineer magazines going back to before the Second World War. I have decided to cut out articles that interest me and loco construction series, I think this will reduce my collection by seventy five percent. I have decided it will all be done this summer in the evenings, sitting in the garden enjoying a beer while I do it. It breaks my heart to tear up good magazines but realistically why do I want to read club news of fifty years ago or have a construction article on building a compressor for the workshop and half a dozen pages on making a spray gun? Surprising how much these magazines weigh, especially as they are stored upstairs in the garage.

Former Member11/03/2020 14:36:33
1329 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Chris_C11/03/2020 15:03:15
23 forum posts

Its not for everyone, but book bound saves a massive amount of space compared to individual magazines.

However, it's not cheap, very few places now do it and you can't lay an article flat for future scanning, but for me the advantages (space) outweigh the disadvantages.

DMB11/03/2020 16:14:38
1031 forum posts

OK, you can't just smack bound Vols down on the copier but there are one or two ways around this. Years ago when I was trying to get back issues to see what had gone before, especially with the likes of Duplex, Jim Radford, LBSC etc, I acquired loose copies in complete vols. so I could copy, with the intention of later disposal. Guess what? "later" has still not arrived! The other idea was to use some sort of clamp as a third hand to hold a bound vol. open while I used my tablet to copy the pages of interest. This is very slow but could be useful with club library vols. to save cost of buying and subsequent storage, but not really followed it up. Did experiment at home with the few bound Vols that I have. Most very old vols seem to be bound, suggesting that loosies were dumped.

I would still like to obtain complete vols prior to 1925, if anyone has them and wants to dispose of same. Anyone able/willing to help, please?


Bandersnatch12/03/2020 00:29:28
1719 forum posts
60 photos

Great situation to have a large format All-In-One Printer. Just de-staple the mags, load them in the feeder and take off to the shop. Copy them to paper or to file.

When finished you can staple the mags back together, if you wish, with a long-reach stapler.

Comes in hand for decent-sized working drawing prints for the shop too.

Guess who's got one? smiley


Edited By Bandersnatch on 12/03/2020 00:30:00

Hopper12/03/2020 02:05:16
4887 forum posts
106 photos

Yes its a shame the old mags take up so much space. They are sort of like old photo albums. You rarely look at them but are nice to have for the occasion when you do.

As much as anything on the old mags, I like reading the ads and the letters to the editor etc. Gives a real glimpse into the history of the hobby and the attitudes of the day. My collection consists only of two book bound volumes from the 1970s and I have read and reread them many times over the years. Wouldn't part with them. But wouldn't want a whole garage roof full of them either!

Anthony Knights12/03/2020 07:18:11
435 forum posts
188 photos

Last August I offered 8 years worth of MEW back issues on this site for free. A gentleman from Leeds responded and came and collected them. Prior to giving them away I went through them and scanned any articles of interest. Very pleased that someone else made use of them, rather than taking them to the tip.

derek hall 112/03/2020 09:55:34
109 forum posts

Some great ideas, thanks.

I particularly like the idea suggested by Baz!

I also agree with Martin where it does feel like throwing your life away - very sentimental attachment to some issues and volumes - odd feeling isn't it?

So I am going to decide how I am going to create the new system. Probably something like:- Workshop tools that I want to make, Workshop techniques, Stationary engine constructional articles, and articles by Duplex, Tubal Cain and George Thomas plus another couple of categories and that is it I guess. probably condense the lot into a couple of A4 loose leaf folders

But think of the space I will create for yet more "stuff"....smiley



Bob Unitt 112/03/2020 11:27:25
103 forum posts
11 photos

When I last moved house (2010) I had a large collection of ME, MEW & EIM for which I wouldn't have room in my downsize-for-retirement new home. These spanned anything up to 40 years (I'd inherited a lot from my father-in-law too), so there were several large boxes full. I gave the whole lot to the local ME club (happened to be Hereford SME) to do with as they would - far more satisfactory than binning them

Bazyle12/03/2020 12:24:46
5567 forum posts
207 photos

Just to repeat the point. If disposing first contact your local ME club to make sure they have a complete set in their library. Particularly EIM and MEW which are less common. Then see if the club can offer them to their members for someone building a particular loco, or to a beginner who could benefit from just reading everything. Best to move them locally because of the weight.

On the off chance, St Albans club is interested in Pre war ME and all MEW & EIM.

JasonB12/03/2020 12:37:52
19125 forum posts
2104 photos
1 articles

With the run on toilet paper at the supermarkets you may want to hang onto thoseold copies as they may still come in useful yetdevil

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