As a tribute to the man who designed the machine a group of us have compiled a document set to enable anyone to reproduce the machine. Some people, recognizing the uniqueness of the design have produced a set of castings for the major components. Others have adapted the design to develop their own modern version of the machine (e.g. Alan Jackson’s Stepperhead).

Urwick Metal Master

History of the design, drawings and manufacturing notes.

Originally conceived in the early 1950s by David Urwick, the design was well documented at the time and revisions made resulting in the hand drawn manufacturing set included with these notes was finalized in the 1980s.

Unfortunately, information, materials and documentation related to sporadic documentation efforts have appeared and disappeared on a number of websites over the past dozen years or so. It is hoped that by pulling the various sources of information together and giving it some structure we may encourage more to have a go at making and building this truly unique machine.

The design was certainly revolutionary and it was used as a basis for the larger Labourmil machine. That machine was marketed for the small jobbing machine shop or as a millwright’s machine tool.

Urwick included in his machine many simple ideas that should have put it at the top of its chosen market. So remembering that not always do the fastest win the race nor the mightiest win the battle, we submit these manufacturing notes for the Urwick machine for anyone’s scrutiny so they can utilise some of David’s ideas or make a replica of the machine themselves.

Descriptions and images of the Metal Master (Impetus) and Labormil are on the web site. &

Articles about the Metal Master and some of its machine elements written by David Urwick appear in these editions of Model Engineer.

A Free- Lance Lathe

1st March 1951

A Revolutionary

4th January 1974

A Keyway Breakthrough

15th August 1980

METALMASTER - A Zero Taper Machine Tool

2nd July 1982

Mick Collins, who bought David’s own original machine, agreed with David Urwick’s widow that the drawings should be made public and that each user of the drawings would make a small donation to her for doing so. It is not clear how the donation was to be made for this ‘shareware’ or ‘Open Source’ material.

We have been unable to contact any of David's relatives, but his clearly expressed wish was that his work should be made available to model engineers, so we are suggesting that anyone who uses these drawings makes a donation to REMAP. REMAP is our sponsored charity who support engineers in using their skills to help people with disabilities achieve greater independence and enjoyment of life's opportunities.

The drawings and accompanying technical information can be downloaded USING THIS LINK.

Mike Phillpots

Our sincere Thanks to Mike Philpotts and everyone who has made it possible to find a secure home for this important documentation.