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

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

My early purchases are a Myford Super 7 large bore lathe and a Myford VMB manual milling machine both bought from Howard at Myford-Lathes.   I have just replaced my BCA Mk3 with a Tormach 440 CNC milling machine.


Tormach PCNC440 Myford Fusion 360 Sindoh DP200
New layout of the workshop with the 440

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 which I bought from her when she cleared his workshop.   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 my work location 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 my Myford Super 7 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.

Before the Tormach 440 arrived I had to cross out wheels by hand using my Hegner Jig Saw.  This is the one job when cutting a wheel that can make or break the look of the final item so I look forward to CNC operation using Delphe Gearwheel Designer.

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.  The Tormach has now pushed me into ER20 and ER32 so pretty much full house on collets.

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.


2 Replies to “Workshop Resources, Tools of the Trade, Favourite and Foul.”

  1. Hello Woody,
    I congratulate you on an excellent informative site! I was very interested to see you have implemented what looks like the Clough 42 ELS on your S7, a project I have just starting accumulating parts for to implement on my own S7. Could you tell me how you mounted the stepper motor on yours?
    Kind regards,
    Les Taylor

    1. Hi Les

      Nice to hear from you.
      The ELS is a nicely thought out project by James at Cough42 and it has changed how I use the S7.
      Just having easily selectable feed rates is a bonus never mind the screw cutting.
      Here is a link to my write up which hopefully will fill in the gaps and help you along.
      Clough42 Electronic Leadscrew Project Implementation Notes

      Don’t hesitate to ask for more info if needed.

      I should say that I further modified the leadscrew mounting fairly recently to fit two thrust washers.
      This involved turning down the brass bush I made for the ELS and also shaving some metal off the S7 mount.
      I have not written it up yet but will send you a copy when completed.

      Let me know how you get on.

      Kind regards


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