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Sandy Cairns

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Alexander Cairns27/05/2022 00:07:28
5 forum posts
8 photos


Although I was a field service engineer for 25 years before completely changing career 11 years ago. I never found the time or space to get into model engineering, but at 54 better late than never.

So far over the last 2 years I have purchased a 2" 1963 Fowler plough to restore but still looking for drawings to get started,

Plus managed to get a 5" SweetPea loco that needed a lot of work to get track worthy. Nearly finished.

and a 196x Myford ML7 lathe.

My ambition is to build something like a 5" Maid of Kent but doing research first for suppliers to get drawings and castings etc.

Howard Lewis27/05/2022 18:19:04
6104 forum posts
14 photos


If you are new to using a lathe, it might be better to practice on some steel to start with.

You can see the effect of grinding tools in different ways, and shapes, and learn about speeds and feeds before you make a mistake and scrap off an expensive casting.

It can be a useful learning exercise to make a few simple tools before launching into a costly kit of parts.

You will always find things like a Centre Height Gauge, Tap Wrench, Tailstock sliding Die holders, ditto Tap holders, Mandrel Handle, etc useful in years to come. And you will have gained useful experience in making them. (And if there is a false cut, or poor knurling, it may not look too good, but it will still do the job, and you will have learned from it. )


Harry Wilkes27/05/2022 18:48:07
1343 forum posts
65 photos

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