Looking for a micro/mini lathe & milling machine


Roger Clay
 

Not necessarily an all-in-one. If you have a recommendation or one you want to sell, reply to me directly,

— burning rio

Roger Clay
The 7th Direction
Marin County, California
mobile & txt: 415-233-1290


Climax@...
 

At one time I worked on the big turret lathes, mills, surface grinders and shapers.  Today for my model use I use two machines, a Sherline Lathe and a Sherline Vertical Mill.  They can hold tolerances to within 2 to 3 thousanths easily.  I highly recommend either one.  I have as much invested in accessories as I do the machines.  Nope, I am not selling them.

Dave Barron

-----Original Message-----
From: <HOn3@groups.io>
Sent: Feb 14, 2022 6:34 PM
To: <HOn3@groups.io>, <RepowerAndRegear@groups.io>, <On3@groups.io>
Subject: [HOn3] Looking for a micro/mini lathe & milling machine

 

Not necessarily an all-in-one. If you have a recommendation or one you want to sell, reply to me directly,
 
— burning rio

Roger Clay
The 7th Direction
Marin County, California
mobile & txt: 415-233-1290

 


Scott
 

Might want to give an idea of a price range.  Do you want CNC capability?

Scott McDonald 


Roger Clay
 

Yes, there more than a passing interest in having CNC capability, under $3K. Thanks for asking!

On Feb 14, 2022, at 7:19 PM, Scott <repairman87@...> wrote:

Might want to give an idea of a price range.  Do you want CNC capability?

Scott McDonald 

Roger Clay
The 7th Direction
Marin County, California
mobile & txt: 415-233-1290


John Stutz
 

Scott

I will second Dave Barron's recommendation of the Sherline mill < ,">https://www.sherline.com/>, as to good accuracy and sufficient size for HO scale modeling.  And while mine is an early model, and wholly manual, they do offer CNC capability.  But when you start pricing machine tools, of any kind, be aware that you will probably end up spending as much on work holding accessories and cutting tools as you did on the basic machine.

John Stutz

On February 14, 2022 7:41 PM Roger Clay <roger@...> wrote:


Yes, there more than a passing interest in having CNC capability, under $3K. Thanks for asking!

On Feb 14, 2022, at 7:19 PM, Scott < repairman87@...> wrote:

Might want to give an idea of a price range.  Do you want CNC capability?

Scott McDonald 

Roger Clay
The 7th Direction
Marin County, California
mobile & txt: 415-233-1290


Nigel Phillips
 

Re machine tool cost: I used to have a Taig setup, the cost of the tools was significantly more than the machines. 

Avoid cheap equipment from eBay. 


On Monday, February 14, 2022, John Stutz <john.stutz@...> wrote:
Scott

I will second Dave Barron's recommendation of the Sherline mill < ,">https://www.sherline.com/>, as to good accuracy and sufficient size for HO scale modeling.  And while mine is an early model, and wholly manual, they do offer CNC capability.  But when you start pricing machine tools, of any kind, be aware that you will probably end up spending as much on work holding accessories and cutting tools as you did on the basic machine.

John Stutz
On February 14, 2022 7:41 PM Roger Clay <roger@...> wrote:


Yes, there more than a passing interest in having CNC capability, under $3K. Thanks for asking!

On Feb 14, 2022, at 7:19 PM, Scott < repairman87@...> wrote:

Might want to give an idea of a price range.  Do you want CNC capability?

Scott McDonald 

Roger Clay
The 7th Direction
Marin County, California
mobile & txt: 415-233-1290


 

Roger - Can you be more specific about what you wnat to be able to do with those machine tools? Been my experience over the years that most model railroaders working in the smaller scales have just a few common uses for small lathes and or mills.  Some of these can be accomplished with less tool investment.  Or in some cases more investment in larger equipment is the only path; such as fixture building.  And in some important cases the measuring equipment is just as important as the metal removing equipment.   Ed Weldon


Nigel Phillips
 

Hi Roger,

Important point from Ed. I'm not sure it's a good investment for HO, S or even O scale work. If you are building G scale then yes, and if you are doing live steam then essential. Since I sold on my equipment I have only needed some milling done on 2 occasions in 8 years. Even then not essential. The lathe once, and that was for reducing the flange on some drivers. I used a $90 cheapo lathe in the end that I use for wood/plastic turning after checking the runout. Definitely not precision lathe standard, but goodenuff.

It all depends on what you have a need for. I found that the main item I needed was domes, these days there is plenty of choice from casts or 3D prints. Boilers? Decent set of rollers is much cheaper. Cabs? Etching is much better. Chassis, ditto. And there are inexpensive services that will laser cut metal. I never did get into gear/worm cutting or wheel spoke cutting as there is still plenty of choice out there.

I was taught the essentials on a Bridgeport by an old school machinist, moving down to the hobby scale equipment was actually quite frustrating. Gathered dust most of the time.

Nigel



On Tuesday, February 15, 2022, Ed Weldon <23.weldon@...> wrote:
Roger - Can you be more specific about what you wnat to be able to do with those machine tools? Been my experience over the years that most model railroaders working in the smaller scales have just a few common uses for small lathes and or mills.  Some of these can be accomplished with less tool investment.  Or in some cases more investment in larger equipment is the only path; such as fixture building.  And in some important cases the measuring equipment is just as important as the metal removing equipment.   Ed Weldon


Climax@...
 

Ditto!  Dave  MMR200

-----Original Message-----
From: <HOn3@groups.io>
Sent: Feb 16, 2022 9:07 AM
To: HOn3@groups.io <HOn3@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Looking for a micro/mini lathe & milling machine

 

Hi Roger,
 
Important point from Ed. I'm not sure it's a good investment for HO, S or even O scale work. If you are building G scale then yes, and if you are doing live steam then essential. Since I sold on my equipment I have only needed some milling done on 2 occasions in 8 years. Even then not essential. The lathe once, and that was for reducing the flange on some drivers. I used a $90 cheapo lathe in the end that I use for wood/plastic turning after checking the runout. Definitely not precision lathe standard, but goodenuff.
 
It all depends on what you have a need for. I found that the main item I needed was domes, these days there is plenty of choice from casts or 3D prints. Boilers? Decent set of rollers is much cheaper. Cabs? Etching is much better. Chassis, ditto. And there are inexpensive services that will laser cut metal. I never did get into gear/worm cutting or wheel spoke cutting as there is still plenty of choice out there.
 
I was taught the essentials on a Bridgeport by an old school machinist, moving down to the hobby scale equipment was actually quite frustrating. Gathered dust most of the time.
 
Nigel
 


On Tuesday, February 15, 2022, Ed Weldon <23.weldon@...> wrote:
Roger - Can you be more specific about what you wnat to be able to do with those machine tools? Been my experience over the years that most model railroaders working in the smaller scales have just a few common uses for small lathes and or mills.  Some of these can be accomplished with less tool investment.  Or in some cases more investment in larger equipment is the only path; such as fixture building.  And in some important cases the measuring equipment is just as important as the metal removing equipment.   Ed Weldon

 

 

 


Jeff Young
 

I’m afraid I’m having a disconnect here.

Hobbies are excuses for buying tools.  They don’t need to be good excuses.


Bill Lugg
 

Exactly!

Also, my experience with the lathe has been the opposite of a couple of
recent posters.  While I don't use it often, I have used it a fair
amount and when I needed it, nothing else would do.

It's just like my 3D printer, it's not running 24/7, but it's a life
saver when I need a complex part that would have taken hours or day to
make by hand.

Bill Lugg

On 2/16/22 08:23, Jeff Young wrote:
I’m afraid I’m having a disconnect here.

Hobbies are excuses for buying tools.  They don’t need to be /good/
excuses.


Glenn Butcher
 

For a long time I've wanted to do brass scratchbuilding.  Recently, I set out to do just that, and came to the conclusion that a $2-3000US investment in machine tools just wasn't practical.  I guess I want to build the model just a little more than I want to learn machining...  :D

I just bought a resin 3D printer, and I'm going to try a "print-if-possible" approach, similar to what Jeff Kraker did for his On3 Shay, described here:  https://forum.mrhmag.com/post/3d-printed-shay-done-12219855.  Some things you just can't get away from metal, e.g., drivers.  Nigel mentioned domes, and that's the thing that really got me thinking about printing.  I researched how folk were cutting domes on a lathe, watched a video of a fellow cutting the curved base with a fly cutter on a lathe, then turned to a simple script in OpenSCAD which did the same thing by subtracting a cylinder from the base, easy-peasy.  Well, maybe not so easy if you've never done such, but the tools to do it take up so much less space.  

I know this is going to look complicated, but like most things computer, it's pretty simple once you understand what's going on.  This is a screenshot of my DRG #168 steam dome model, and a piece of the script that defines it.  The highlighted line, #41, is the cylinder that's subtracted from the base with the difference() command at line #33 to make the curved base to fit the boiler:



This is in OpenSCAD, a script-based CAD tool that lets you define stuff in a script, rather than drawing it on the screen.  I find it easier to express specific dimensions such as this dome-boiler interface in text commands that can be edited more easily than mousing around on the screen.  The whole steam dome is described in 92 lines, and I've since found a simpler way to do the base than you see here

If metal is really what  you want to do, Shapeways offers a cast-brass option, a bit pricey, but the results are sure pretty...

I've described all this because I've found that, while there's a bunch of HOn3 parts out there for printing, the selection is based on the interests of specific modelers, so chances of finding your specific thing is rather small.  Me, I couldn't find Baldwin T-12 domes, so I had to script my own.  It's not that hard once you learn the ropes, but it's a barrier to using 3D printing as a machining alternative...


Bill Lugg
 

That's impressive, nice work.  I took a look at Open SCAD, but couldn't
seem to wrap my head around it.  I use FreeCAD to do my 3D modeling.  I
find it much easier to visualize things in a graphical environment.  It
works on the concept of parametric "sketches", followed by performing
pads, pockets, rotations, lofts, etc.  Your dome example would be
constructed with a rotation to construct the basic dome and a pocket to
remove to boiler void - two sketches and two solid operations.  Just two
different way of accomplishing the same goal.

You're absolutely right about Shapeways' brass casting capabilities. 
The price is a little steep, but the results are beautiful.  Another
source for 3D prints is All3DP (CraftCloud). I've found them to be much
more reasonably priced in many cases. Just recently, I submitted a model
to Shapeways for printing in their high detail resin and they were going
charge me $30 plus shipping for one of them (i needed two), CraftCloud
came up with a printer that would do it for a little over $11 for the
pair in the same material.  I'm supposed to see the results Saturday. 
All of my past orders through them have been outstanding.

By the way, what printer did you buy?  I'm in the market for one and am
interested in what others are choosing.

Bill Lugg

On 2/16/22 08:49, Glenn Butcher wrote:
For a long time I've wanted to do brass scratchbuilding. Recently, I
set out to do just that, and came to the conclusion that a $2-3000US
investment in machine tools just wasn't practical.  I guess I want to
build the model just a little more than I want to learn machining...  :D

I just bought a resin 3D printer, and I'm going to try a
"print-if-possible" approach, similar to what Jeff Kraker did for his
On3 Shay, described here:
https://forum.mrhmag.com/post/3d-printed-shay-done-12219855. Some
things you just can't get away from metal, e.g., drivers. Nigel
mentioned domes, and that's the thing that really got me thinking
about printing.  I researched how folk were cutting domes on a lathe,
watched a video of a fellow cutting the curved base with a fly cutter
on a lathe, then turned to a simple script in OpenSCAD which did the
same thing by subtracting a cylinder from the base, easy-peasy.  Well,
maybe not so easy if you've never done such, but the tools to do it
take up so much less space.

I know this is going to look complicated, but like most things
computer, it's pretty simple once you understand what's going on. This
is a screenshot of my DRG #168 steam dome model, and a piece of the
script that defines it.  The highlighted line, #41, is the cylinder
that's subtracted from the base with the difference() command at line
#33 to make the curved base to fit the boiler:



This is in OpenSCAD, a script-based CAD tool that lets you define
stuff in a script, rather than drawing it on the screen.  I find it
easier to express specific dimensions such as this dome-boiler
interface in text commands that can be edited more easily than mousing
around on the screen.  The whole steam dome is described in 92 lines,
and I've since found a simpler way to do the base than you see here

If metal is really what  you want to do, Shapeways offers a cast-brass
option, a bit pricey, but the results are sure pretty...

I've described all this because I've found that, while there's a bunch
of HOn3 parts out there for printing, the selection is based on the
interests of specific modelers, so chances of finding your specific
thing is rather small.  Me, I couldn't find Baldwin T-12 domes, so I
had to script my own.  It's not that hard once you learn the ropes,
but it's a barrier to using 3D printing as a machining alternative...


Glenn Butcher
 

Thanks,  we'll see how printing goes...

I bought a Elegoo Mars 3.  The 4k led promises higher resolution, most comparisons conclude about 35% better than 2k.  I aligned the build plate and set the Z axis zero point, but I haven't printed yet. I'm first building a combo printer cabinet/ paint booth that'll use the same exhaust system. 


On Wed, Feb 16, 2022 at 09:07 AM, Bill Lugg wrote:
That's impressive, nice work.  I took a look at Open SCAD, but couldn't
seem to wrap my head around it.  I use FreeCAD to do my 3D modeling.  I
find it much easier to visualize things in a graphical environment.  It
works on the concept of parametric "sketches", followed by performing
pads, pockets, rotations, lofts, etc.  Your dome example would be
constructed with a rotation to construct the basic dome and a pocket to
remove to boiler void - two sketches and two solid operations.  Just two
different way of accomplishing the same goal.

You're absolutely right about Shapeways' brass casting capabilities. 
The price is a little steep, but the results are beautiful.  Another
source for 3D prints is All3DP (CraftCloud). I've found them to be much
more reasonably priced in many cases. Just recently, I submitted a model
to Shapeways for printing in their high detail resin and they were going
charge me $30 plus shipping for one of them (i needed two), CraftCloud
came up with a printer that would do it for a little over $11 for the
pair in the same material.  I'm supposed to see the results Saturday. 
All of my past orders through them have been outstanding.

By the way, what printer did you buy?  I'm in the market for one and am
interested in what others are choosing.

Bill Lugg

On 2/16/22 08:49, Glenn Butcher wrote:
For a long time I've wanted to do brass scratchbuilding. Recently, I
set out to do just that, and came to the conclusion that a $2-3000US
investment in machine tools just wasn't practical.  I guess I want to
build the model just a little more than I want to learn machining...  :D

I just bought a resin 3D printer, and I'm going to try a
"print-if-possible" approach, similar to what Jeff Kraker did for his
On3 Shay, described here:
https://forum.mrhmag.com/post/3d-printed-shay-done-12219855. Some
things you just can't get away from metal, e.g., drivers. Nigel
mentioned domes, and that's the thing that really got me thinking
about printing.  I researched how folk were cutting domes on a lathe,
watched a video of a fellow cutting the curved base with a fly cutter
on a lathe, then turned to a simple script in OpenSCAD which did the
same thing by subtracting a cylinder from the base, easy-peasy.  Well,
maybe not so easy if you've never done such, but the tools to do it
take up so much less space.

I know this is going to look complicated, but like most things
computer, it's pretty simple once you understand what's going on. This
is a screenshot of my DRG #168 steam dome model, and a piece of the
script that defines it.  The highlighted line, #41, is the cylinder
that's subtracted from the base with the difference() command at line
#33 to make the curved base to fit the boiler:



This is in OpenSCAD, a script-based CAD tool that lets you define
stuff in a script, rather than drawing it on the screen.  I find it
easier to express specific dimensions such as this dome-boiler
interface in text commands that can be edited more easily than mousing
around on the screen.  The whole steam dome is described in 92 lines,
and I've since found a simpler way to do the base than you see here

If metal is really what  you want to do, Shapeways offers a cast-brass
option, a bit pricey, but the results are sure pretty...

I've described all this because I've found that, while there's a bunch
of HOn3 parts out there for printing, the selection is based on the
interests of specific modelers, so chances of finding your specific
thing is rather small.  Me, I couldn't find Baldwin T-12 domes, so I
had to script my own.  It's not that hard once you learn the ropes,
but it's a barrier to using 3D printing as a machining alternative...


Roger Clay
 

To everyone on these fantastically supportive and responsive lists, THANK YOU! I have a couple of offers for Sherline lathes and milling machines that are cookin', and I'm also considering acquiring an Elelgoo Saturn 3D Printer. The insights and messages of individuals' experiences have been invaluable. A special tip-of-the-cap going out to Tom Beaton, Bill Merideth -- the Wizard of Leadville Designs, and the venerable Mr. Charlie Getz. May the help and guidance you have dispensed, be returned to you all 10-fold!

Full steam ahead
-- burning rio


On Wed, Feb 16, 2022 at 5:35 PM Glenn Butcher <glenn.butcher@...> wrote:
>
> Thanks,  we'll see how printing goes...
>
> I bought a Elegoo Mars 3.  The 4k led promises higher resolution, most comparisons conclude about 35% better than 2k.  I aligned the build plate and set the Z axis zero point, but I haven't printed yet. I'm first building a combo printer cabinet/ paint booth that'll use the same exhaust system.
>
> On Wed, Feb 16, 2022 at 09:07 AM, Bill Lugg wrote:
>
> That's impressive, nice work.  I took a look at Open SCAD, but couldn't
> seem to wrap my head around it.  I use FreeCAD to do my 3D modeling.  I
> find it much easier to visualize things in a graphical environment.  It
> works on the concept of parametric "sketches", followed by performing
> pads, pockets, rotations, lofts, etc.  Your dome example would be
> constructed with a rotation to construct the basic dome and a pocket to
> remove to boiler void - two sketches and two solid operations.  Just two
> different way of accomplishing the same goal.
>
> You're absolutely right about Shapeways' brass casting capabilities.
> The price is a little steep, but the results are beautiful.  Another
> source for 3D prints is All3DP (CraftCloud). I've found them to be much
> more reasonably priced in many cases. Just recently, I submitted a model
> to Shapeways for printing in their high detail resin and they were going
> charge me $30 plus shipping for one of them (i needed two), CraftCloud
> came up with a printer that would do it for a little over $11 for the
> pair in the same material.  I'm supposed to see the results Saturday.
> All of my past orders through them have been outstanding.
>
> By the way, what printer did you buy?  I'm in the market for one and am
> interested in what others are choosing.
>
> Bill Lugg
>
> On 2/16/22 08:49, Glenn Butcher wrote:
>
> For a long time I've wanted to do brass scratchbuilding. Recently, I
> set out to do just that, and came to the conclusion that a $2-3000US
> investment in machine tools just wasn't practical.  I guess I want to
> build the model just a little more than I want to learn machining...  :D
>
> I just bought a resin 3D printer, and I'm going to try a
> "print-if-possible" approach, similar to what Jeff Kraker did for his
> On3 Shay, described here:
> https://forum.mrhmag.com/post/3d-printed-shay-done-12219855. Some
> things you just can't get away from metal, e.g., drivers. Nigel
> mentioned domes, and that's the thing that really got me thinking
> about printing.  I researched how folk were cutting domes on a lathe,
> watched a video of a fellow cutting the curved base with a fly cutter
> on a lathe, then turned to a simple script in OpenSCAD which did the
> same thing by subtracting a cylinder from the base, easy-peasy.  Well,
> maybe not so easy if you've never done such, but the tools to do it
> take up so much less space.
>
> I know this is going to look complicated, but like most things
> computer, it's pretty simple once you understand what's going on. This
> is a screenshot of my DRG #168 steam dome model, and a piece of the
> script that defines it.  The highlighted line, #41, is the cylinder
> that's subtracted from the base with the difference() command at line
> #33 to make the curved base to fit the boiler:
>
>
>
> This is in OpenSCAD, a script-based CAD tool that lets you define
> stuff in a script, rather than drawing it on the screen.  I find it
> easier to express specific dimensions such as this dome-boiler
> interface in text commands that can be edited more easily than mousing
> around on the screen.  The whole steam dome is described in 92 lines,
> and I've since found a simpler way to do the base than you see here
>
> If metal is really what  you want to do, Shapeways offers a cast-brass
> option, a bit pricey, but the results are sure pretty...
>
> I've described all this because I've found that, while there's a bunch
> of HOn3 parts out there for printing, the selection is based on the
> interests of specific modelers, so chances of finding your specific
> thing is rather small.  Me, I couldn't find Baldwin T-12 domes, so I
> had to script my own.  It's not that hard once you learn the ropes,
> but it's a barrier to using 3D printing as a machining alternative...
>


--
Roger Clay
Phone and TXT: 1-415-233-1290
email: roger@...


Climax@...
 

There is an old saying out there, "You are never sorry when you get the best", sure you might pay a little bit more but the ever constant hickups with the other stuff will cost you more.  That is why I went with Sherline on everything and I have never been sorry, and I use to be a machinest!

Dave

-----Original Message-----
From: <HOn3@groups.io>
Sent: Feb 17, 2022 4:34 PM
To: <HOn3@groups.io>, <On3@groups.io>, <RepowerAndRegear@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Looking for a micro/mini lathe & milling machine

 

To everyone on these fantastically supportive and responsive lists, THANK YOU! I have a couple of offers for Sherline lathes and milling machines that are cookin', and I'm also considering acquiring an Elelgoo Saturn 3D Printer. The insights and messages of individuals' experiences have been invaluable. A special tip-of-the-cap going out to Tom Beaton, Bill Merideth -- the Wizard of Leadville Designs, and the venerable Mr. Charlie Getz. May the help and guidance you have dispensed, be returned to you all 10-fold!

Full steam ahead
-- burning rio


On Wed, Feb 16, 2022 at 5:35 PM Glenn Butcher <glenn.butcher@...> wrote:
>
> Thanks,  we'll see how printing goes...
>
> I bought a Elegoo Mars 3.  The 4k led promises higher resolution, most comparisons conclude about 35% better than 2k.  I aligned the build plate and set the Z axis zero point, but I haven't printed yet. I'm first building a combo printer cabinet/ paint booth that'll use the same exhaust system.
>
> On Wed, Feb 16, 2022 at 09:07 AM, Bill Lugg wrote:
>
> That's impressive, nice work.  I took a look at Open SCAD, but couldn't
> seem to wrap my head around it.  I use FreeCAD to do my 3D modeling.  I
> find it much easier to visualize things in a graphical environment.  It
> works on the concept of parametric "sketches", followed by performing
> pads, pockets, rotations, lofts, etc.  Your dome example would be
> constructed with a rotation to construct the basic dome and a pocket to
> remove to boiler void - two sketches and two solid operations.  Just two
> different way of accomplishing the same goal.
>
> You're absolutely right about Shapeways' brass casting capabilities.
> The price is a little steep, but the results are beautiful.  Another
> source for 3D prints is All3DP (CraftCloud). I've found them to be much
> more reasonably priced in many cases. Just recently, I submitted a model
> to Shapeways for printing in their high detail resin and they were going
> charge me $30 plus shipping for one of them (i needed two), CraftCloud
> came up with a printer that would do it for a little over $11 for the
> pair in the same material.  I'm supposed to see the results Saturday.
> All of my past orders through them have been outstanding.
>
> By the way, what printer did you buy?  I'm in the market for one and am
> interested in what others are choosing.
>
> Bill Lugg
>
> On 2/16/22 08:49, Glenn Butcher wrote:
>
> For a long time I've wanted to do brass scratchbuilding. Recently, I
> set out to do just that, and came to the conclusion that a $2-3000US
> investment in machine tools just wasn't practical.  I guess I want to
> build the model just a little more than I want to learn machining...  :D
>
> I just bought a resin 3D printer, and I'm going to try a
> "print-if-possible" approach, similar to what Jeff Kraker did for his
> On3 Shay, described here:
> https://forum.mrhmag.com/post/3d-printed-shay-done-12219855. Some
> things you just can't get away from metal, e.g., drivers. Nigel
> mentioned domes, and that's the thing that really got me thinking
> about printing.  I researched how folk were cutting domes on a lathe,
> watched a video of a fellow cutting the curved base with a fly cutter
> on a lathe, then turned to a simple script in OpenSCAD which did the
> same thing by subtracting a cylinder from the base, easy-peasy.  Well,
> maybe not so easy if you've never done such, but the tools to do it
> take up so much less space.
>
> I know this is going to look complicated, but like most things
> computer, it's pretty simple once you understand what's going on. This
> is a screenshot of my DRG #168 steam dome model, and a piece of the
> script that defines it.  The highlighted line, #41, is the cylinder
> that's subtracted from the base with the difference() command at line
> #33 to make the curved base to fit the boiler:
>
>
>
> This is in OpenSCAD, a script-based CAD tool that lets you define
> stuff in a script, rather than drawing it on the screen.  I find it
> easier to express specific dimensions such as this dome-boiler
> interface in text commands that can be edited more easily than mousing
> around on the screen.  The whole steam dome is described in 92 lines,
> and I've since found a simpler way to do the base than you see here
>
> If metal is really what  you want to do, Shapeways offers a cast-brass
> option, a bit pricey, but the results are sure pretty...
>
> I've described all this because I've found that, while there's a bunch
> of HOn3 parts out there for printing, the selection is based on the
> interests of specific modelers, so chances of finding your specific
> thing is rather small.  Me, I couldn't find Baldwin T-12 domes, so I
> had to script my own.  It's not that hard once you learn the ropes,
> but it's a barrier to using 3D printing as a machining alternative...
>


--
Roger Clay
Phone and TXT: 1-415-233-1290
email: roger@...

 


 

Good advice from Dave. Sherline makes good stuff. Quality is much appropriate to model railroader craftsmanship.
I have both their lathe and their milling machine.  I also scored a good price on a Cameron drill press with an Albrecht chuck. 
I think there are 6 elements in machining that must be up to the job.
1. Good design of the work piece, clear specifications
2. Good quality material
3. Capable fabrication tools in the right workspace
4. Good cutting tools, properly sharpened
5. The right measuring methods/tools; the closer to the fabrication process the better
6. "Machinist" skill; conventional/CNC as appropriate

Been there, done that, still learning*  Mechanical engineering 42 year career focused on precision mechanisms and materials science. Favorite relevant saying: "If I can measure it, I can make it."  As I get older the weight of the workpiece does qualify that statement.

*First scratchbuilding project: 1954 found and bought 3 pairs of Central Valley HOn3 arch bar trucks at the Hoboken NJ train show and then converted an HO Lindsay Stubby to an HOn3 steam tank loco. Shortened axles and turned whistle and pop valves made from #6 nails, all held in a 1/4" electric drill and shaped with files and a jeweler's saw.  The cylinders and domes from wood dowels and the stack and headlights 22LR brass bullet shells.  The cab was scribed wood sheet with a carefully bent brass sheet roof.  Saddle tank and smoke box double thick painted 3x5 card stock. Boiler front and coal bin balsa wood.  The main rods were non moving fakes.  It was only much later that I found the right main rods and crossheads.  And code 70 rail.  Mostly glued together with Ambroid glue. Still holding to this day. 
Ed Weldon.