My Loco Workshop 

Tecnical note: This wide, slightly curving workshop photo is a panoramic combination of 3 digital camera images - that's why there is some distortion - the loco frame on the table top is not that crooked! For more about panoramic photography, see my ANIMATO website!

The pictures here were shot in December, 2000, not long after I begun my first live steam project. Far right in the top picture, a "Ferm" lathe, 500mm (20") between centers, 110mm (4 1/2") center height - i.e. 220 mm (9") swing, so it JUST suffices for the wheels of the 3003 model... I have a couple of other, smaller lathes, too: A Unimat 3 (2"x6") and a nondescript Chinese 2 1/2"x8", both with milling pillars (see pics below). But they are all too small to turn the larger parts for a locomotive of scale 1:8... On the bench are some other machine tools, drill press, grinder and a small bandsaw. Taped to the window is an inspirational 1:8 scale picture of the 3003, blown up to 20 A4 sheets from a single digital snapshot. The second picture is shot in the opposite direction, showing tool & materials cabinet and shelves. On the floor, behind the chair, are metal shears and (almost obscured by the two collapsible workbeches) a sheet metal bengind machine. The windows are covered because this space also contains my photographic darkroom - see sketch at left. It gets pretty cramped sometimes...

I've been moving all my tools from a second kitchen (!) to this basement room, and will post more pics here when I've finished the workshop (actually, it will never be finished...)

Here's the small 2 1/2" chinese - still in the old kitchen - set up for (light!) milling work. On the bed is a home-made indexing device, based on a 10-turn potentiometer's digital readout knob. With this, I can (theoretically) divide 360° into 50.000 divisions...

And this is my very first lathe, the Unimat 3 - not much used now, since it is rather small, and also lacks gearing for screwcutting. I'm saving it for future diminutive work... I mounted it on a 16mm thick plywood base with rubber feet underneath, which is really practical, the lathe stays in place when used, and still it's easy to move away into a cupboard.

Here's a more recent photo of the workshop - as you can see, tools and stuff tend to multiply and fill all available space!

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