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Andrew Johnston

“Now posting again”

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County/State: Cambridgeshire
Country: United Kingdom

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There was never any doubt that I was going to be an engineer; and now I are one! School was a waste of time, apart from 'O' level metalwork and physical geography. University was much more interesting. My first degree was in electronics, at Liverpool, as part of a thick sandwich course with MOD (Ministry of Defence). That was followed by a Ph.D. and several years post-doc research into pulse compression radar signal design and signal processing theory at King's College, Cambridge. After leaving the world of academia I've worked in all sorts of areas; active noise control, high end motor racing, electric vehicles, integrated circuit design, mobile 'phones and power electronics. After being made redundant yet again, I've been self-employed for the past 17 years, with a short interlude being a part time employee.

First lathe was bought when I was 13, from an old building in Bedford that was being re-developed. It was a Logan, quite rare in the UK, and almost certainly came over in the war as part of lend-lease. I was also given an old pillar drill. With help from people in the Bedford MES I got part way through building 'Mona', a LBSC 0-6-2 tank engine. Both machines were sold when I went off to university.

After buying a bungalow with a double garage 18 years ago, I've been able to set up a modest workshop. Got the usual stuff, gap bed lathe, three milling machines (vertical, universal horizontal and CNC) and a shaper. Latest additions are a Britan repetition lathe and assorted Pultra lathes. For grinding there are surface, cylindrical and tool/cutter grinders. Sheet metal tools include a power guillotine, box and pan folder and flypress. For heat treatment there’s an oven, propane torch, and oxy-acetylene and TIG welding sets. I'm about two thirds of the way through an Economy hit 'n' miss engine and I'm slowly progressing with  two 4" scale SCC Burrell traction engines.

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Last online: 12/12/2019 17:19:47

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