Workshop Resources, Tools of the Trade, Favourite and Foul.

It started with an empty garage and it is now very busy.

My key machines are a Myford Super 7 lathe and a Myford VMB manual milling machine.   I currently have a BCA Mk3 but it is to be sold to make way for a Tormach 440 CNC milling machine.

Now for the smaller stuff, most of which can be traced to William Smith’s influence in his books and videos relating to clock making.  I cannot recommend his media enough to any new starter.

Roughing Metal to Size

Most used is my Kennedy power hacksaw.  Bought from Howard at Myford-Lathes. Allegedly these were invented when the UK went over to Natural Gas from Coal Gas and lots of gas fitters around the country needed to cut lengths of gas pipe.   It clunks happily away to itself as it chews its way through metal.  Wouldn’t be without it.

Hacksaw Power Kennedy
Kennedy Power Hacksaw

Next in line must my Burgess BK3 bandsaw.  No longer made and later versions by the new owners did not always allow the slower speed needed for cutting metal.  Blades are readily available.  I made a new fence arrangement for it but it still has a mind of its own when it comes to a straight line cut.  Bought on Ebay from Lancashire.   Cleaned up nicely.

metal cutting bandsaw burgess
Mk3 Burgess Bandsaw

When it comes to Band Sanders there are so many to chose from.  I spotted an unusual Vanco one on Ebay.   The sanding head can be raised and lowered into a hole in the bed.  This means you can drop it down inside objects. Very unusual.  It needed lots of TLC and it is not perfect but it works well.   The belts are a non standard size but there are custom suppliers out there.

Band Sander Vanco
Vanco Band Sander with variable depth nib

Every shop needs a guillotine and while I was in business we had a Gabro 2M2 notching guillotine in our small workshop.   Needless to say I found one on Ebay and cleaned it up, fitted a new blade and springs (yes spares are still available).  I also added a fence arrangement.  It is wonderful for cutting thin sheet up to 2mm such as aluminium and printed circuit board.  If you have hardboard the same thickness as the blade you can quickly make drawer dividers by half cutting board at right angles.

Gabro 2M2 Notching Guillotine
Gabro 2M2 Notching Guillotine

Drilling and Tapping

The father of one of my old employees had a Naerok drill press in his garage and it works well for me.   Allegedly the name is Korean backwards.  I fitted a keyless chuck and an angel light ring cluster.   It is not dead perfect but it does the business.

Now I recently went rash and bought a tapping arm.  It is a Roscamat Mosquito.  It was very expensive but is lovely.  It has detachable clutch heads for all the standard size tap shaft and cross head sizes.

tapping arm, mosquito
Mosquito Tapping Arm

Punching holes brings my RS punch and tools into play.   We had all the punch tools at work but we modified a BTG press to use them.   I spotted one of the RS originals on Ebay and bought the tools from RS.   Really useful.   As an aside I picked up a baby BTG press at a recent clock fair.

Wheel Cutting and Horology

After reading up William Smith’s books I had to get a Sherline CNC rotary table.  I have made an adapter for this so it fits in the bore at the back of the lathe to give me indexing up to 999 divisions.

Also from Sherline was their motor head that I fit to the Myford vertical slide for fly cutting clock wheels.

Until the Tormach 440 arrives I will have to continue crossing out wheels by hand using my Hegner Jig Saw.  I don’t love it that much and matrix drilling often feels quicker and easier.

I like the tools that Malcolm Wild produces and have bought a depthing tool and arbor press from him.  He is a really nice guy to do business with.

Odds and Ends

I have standardised on ER25 collets on the VMB and the Super 7 (when not in formal chuck mode).  I have a set of ER40 with R8 adapter for the VMB together with ER16.  I have a set of ER11 sizes but they are for specialist uses on the Sherline kit.

What every shop needs is a set of Stephenson Collet Blocks.   I have these in ER25 size only and they are so useful.  I bought them from ArcEurotrade. I first saw them being used on Clickspring.  Isn’t he amazing !

I will add some more pictures as time permits.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *