I chose to take Metalwork as a subject at school, and did it for 5 years. We were taught the following:

  • Measuring and marking
  • Cutting and filing
  • Sanding, buffing and polishing
  • Brazing and silver soldering
  • Welding
  • Sheet metalwork – making brass vases and jugs
  • Foundry work – casting parts for a bench vice
  • Drill press, lathe, mill

I made many little things over the years at school, and for the final year project I made a model brass vintage car with working steering and suspension.

My Metalwork training gives me a good skillset for making parts for any engineering project I want to undertake, for example a remote control electric cart for my daughter to ride in, a specific type of robot, a steam engine, a case for electronic power supply, etc. I can make brackets, shafts, arms… pretty much anything I need, including for home DIY.

Over the last few years I have acquired some more tools and machinery, specifically for metalwork. I am keen to do some model engineering, among other things. I now have a lathe and mill, as well as the associated tooling, such as a machine vices, collets, a rotary table, slitting saw, and some gear cutters.

For many years I have wanted to buy a metal lathe. In 2014 I finally had the space to keep and use a lathe, so I bought a SIEG SC4, or as Axminster call it, the Engineer Series SC4, which is one of the larger, more powerful hobby lathes.

The SC4 lathe is made by Sieg in China, and rebranded. My model is beige and branded Axminster. The new Axminster stock is green and light beige.

The SC4 has a 1kW brushless DC motor with electronic speed control, and it is very powerful. I cannot stop the chuck with my hands even at 50 RPM! Not something I would advise doing, as your hands should be nowhere near the chuck when it is running.

The lathe has a power longitudinal and cross feed, a tailstock, and is a good size for most home projects.

I have mounted the lathe on a moveable bed, as you see in this photo, because I don’t have that much desk space, and if I need to open the left cover panel to change the gears (manual operation), I need to move the lathe. It also gives me the ability to move the lathe right back and free up benchspace for other things when I am not using it.

I also have a SIEG SX2 milling machine, which was modified and sold by Arc Euro Trade
to make it more sturdy and give it a larger table.

These machines are useful for model engineering, but also allow me to make parts for an small vehicle, a robot or a spare part for something that has brokewn, for example a castor wheel for my wardrobe sliding door.

↻ Last Updated: 25 June 2024