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As a kid it was everything electronics, I started with valves, probably about 10 and by 15 was riding the crest of the micro processor wave with the Sinclair MK14. I did a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering which seemed to be 1/3 mechanical, 1/3 electrical and 1/3 electronics. This turned out to be a great foundation for my working life.

My first job was with Philips in medical imaging where i worked from chief floor sweeper and tea fetcher to technical specialist for MRI and Neurological surgery imaging. At the height of the dot com bubble I moved into telecommunications, and with the crash took redundancy. I then joined a tech startup doing QA, and worked my way up to technical architect. When the startup was bought out, I decided that my task was done. Plus 17 years of not being able to hit that darn computer with a No1 shifter was frustrating.

At school we had a wonderful workshop, most of it we were not allowed to use as it was now a Secondary Modern and not a Comprehensive. But we did get to use the lathes and I got hooked. My friend's dad had a Super 7, and since then I have dreamed of having one.

About 10 years back I was given a Drummond  B type which was in a poor state. It was found between a garage and fence, where it had been regularly doused in used engine oil. I have restored it a bit, scraping the bed to ease the saddle movement etc. But the lead screw and nut are worn and the nut had been repaired using white metal. It will only travel halfway. 

I have also inherited a Myford ML2, not sure what state it is in. The headstock bearing pinch cap broke and was replaced with a handmade brass one. Could be OK, but could also be well off. No chance to replace the headstock as it is a single casting with the bed.

Now retired, I am building my dream workshop. Brick built, insulated and about 12' x 14'. I have dropped the idea of getting a Super 7, they are just too expensive. I now have a secondhand Warco BH600-G and a new Sieg SX3 mill.

I think my main interest lies in making tools and gadgets, but I might try and design(copy) and build a small steam engine. Lots to learn, which is my idea of heaven.

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Last online: 08/05/2022 07:17:41

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