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First model recommendations

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Paul Joslyn 107/01/2022 13:30:18
4 forum posts

Hi all,

Looking for recommendations for a first model. Was thinking about one of the Stuart casting kits, possible the S10V, but wondered if there was anything else I should consider.

I have a Warco WM 300, which will turn about 8” over the bed and has a milling head as well, so, with in reason size is not an issue, but it seems the cost goes up dramatically with size!

Thanks in advance


Bob Unitt 107/01/2022 15:06:18
202 forum posts
33 photos

Might be worth a look at the Reeves 'Trojan'. This was the first engine I made, and that was done on a 19th-century treadle lathe (teaches you the importance sharp tools...)

SillyOldDuffer07/01/2022 15:35:24
8496 forum posts
1900 photos

Fabricating is another option, and it avoids the mess made by cast-iron. I found Stewart Hart's PottyMill engine suitably challenging a beginner project. Not too difficult, but hard enough to be a good teacher. Stewart is a forum member.

There's a Build Thread here.

A few versions of the plans on the internet. I think I used this one, which is squeezed on to three A3 sheets in glorious technicolour with 3D views. You might prefer Stewart's original plans because they're drawn more conventionally on several sheets: his approach is proper engineering and less cluttered. Unfortunately I can't find a link to them.


Former Member07/01/2022 16:17:48
1085 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Paul Joslyn 107/01/2022 16:35:08
4 forum posts

I saw the 10v casting in ebay - current bid was £155 for and incomplete set (missing at least the cover with the 'S' on it)

Current list price on Stuart Models site for a set is about £120!! Not sure why and old set is so desirable or the buyer didn't do their homework on actual value...

Thanks for the other suggestions. will certainly investigate them.

Former Member07/01/2022 16:37:19
1085 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Bo'sun07/01/2022 16:38:30
602 forum posts
2 photos
Posted by br on 07/01/2022 16:17:48:

P M Research in usa, available in UK from Forest Classics, do mill engine castings of a high quality.

They also do a nice range of machine shop equipment castings for a model workshop, lathes, drills etc which makes a nice display.



If you're interested in PMR's workshop models, have a look at Joe Pieczynski's youtube channel. It might put you off as a beginner, but fantastic machining non-the-less.

bernard towers07/01/2022 16:47:35
574 forum posts
109 photos

I personally think the Henley thing is a bit of a myth as my 10v had 3 cylinder Castings replaced and my Beam 2 flywheels and the one that’s on it now is not perfect. Yes and they were both Henley kits.

Paul Joslyn 107/01/2022 16:50:31
4 forum posts

I've already spent too many hours watching the master Joe Pie at work - cracking channel.

JasonB07/01/2022 16:53:12
22588 forum posts
2641 photos
1 articles

Is this your first use of the machines to make anything or just your first engine?

The Stuart 10V and S50 have long been the usual first engine from casting for those from the UK. having just taken delivery of a couple of Stuart castings the quality looks very good and at least if there is a problem with one of the castings you can easily get it exchanged if you bought it from the current owners,

If you want to try something that need no or just a couple of castings then I'll blow my own trumpet and suggest the Muncaster No1 or the Jowitt nothing too complex, inexpensive pile of materials and will give your mill a bit more of a workout.

noel shelley07/01/2022 18:14:57
1288 forum posts
21 photos

I will second Jasons comments on Stuarts, their casting are good and will replace any that are a problem. Noel.

Dave Wootton07/01/2022 18:15:41
290 forum posts
65 photos

Friend of mine is building a 10v from newly purchased castings and his castings were fine, last time I saw it was nearly complete and looking very nice. He is a complete beginner building on an ML10 and vertical slide and has dropped a couple of clangers along the way but is doing very well.

Not sure if it's still in print but I lent him my copy of Andrew Smiths book on building the 10v which is very good.

When I built mine the castings were about £15 the set!!

Good luck with whatever you decide.


Edited By Dave Wootton on 07/01/2022 18:17:50

Former Member07/01/2022 19:29:26
1085 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Paul Joslyn 107/01/2022 20:22:40
4 forum posts

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I have just ordered the 1B1 PM Research 1880's Steam Drilling Engine from Forrest. Its quite a bit bigger than the Trojan and 10v, so might not be so fiddly to machine.

Also there are build videos on line from Joe Pie and Blondiehacks to help me out


Former Member07/01/2022 20:35:24
1085 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Nick Welburn04/03/2022 22:17:42
123 forum posts

I built a 10v first, I’ve got an s50 on the bench now. Choose something that inspires you. Lots of great advice on here and my first model was definitely in the dimensioned to where it touches level of build. Second one much better.
Stuart will sell you additional castings should the worse happen.

Redsetter05/03/2022 12:07:16
203 forum posts
3 photos

The most important thing is to build something you like.

Having built a Trojan and several Stuart 10s and an S50, all using a lathe only, I think the Trojan is possibly the easiest, although there is very little in it. I built mine from scraps of plate and bar stock, and just bought the Reeves cylinder castings, and it makes a neat engine although it is quite small. The drawings are well detailed.

The 10V is perhaps slightly easier than the 10H, but the latter makes a nicer working model as the motion is more visible. The S50 arguably looks best of all when finished, but is not as simple as it appears. There is no crankshaft to worry about, but several operations may be tricky for a novice. Also the main bearing design is poor and as a result it cannot be expected to develop much power.

I would not bother with small oscillating engines. A slide valve engine has more parts, but is no harder to make and is a lot more interesting and realistic.

JA05/03/2022 13:25:56
1345 forum posts
80 photos

My first model was a Stuart 7A, larger than a 10 and more than twice the price but less fiddly. I had to replace a casting after scrapping the original (easy but a bit of a wait).


What not to buy: Anthony Mount's models are very nice but you need a bit of experience. They are really second models. After that something like Hemingway's Hick Crank Over engine is for the experienced.


Bob Unitt 106/03/2022 12:43:23
202 forum posts
33 photos

You should also take into consideration your equipment - metric plans with imperial equipment, and vice-versa, are not a trivial issue for a beginner.

Redsetter mentioned the Reeves Trojan. As it happens I just last week bought the plans for this whilst reconditioning the one I made as my first model (30+ years ago, on a treadle lathe). I'd forgotten that it calls for small Whitworth threads (3/32", 1/8" ), which were difficult enough to obtain back then. I substituted various BA threads instead, but you do need to have some idea of what the best size substitute is for each fastening.I've recommended the Trojan a few times in the past, but having been reminded of the Whitworth threads I'm not sure I would do so again. I know taps. dies and even fastenings are available in small BSW sizes, but when would you ever use them again after making the Trojan ?

In summary - buy the plans on their own first, and study them to be sure you have the equipment (both machine and hand tools), and sufficient skills, before you lash out lots of money on the very expensive castings.

Edited By Bob Unitt 1 on 06/03/2022 12:44:26

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