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Offline W3Machinist  
#1 Posted : 29 January 2019 00:38:23(UTC)
W3Machinist

United States   
Joined: 19/01/2019(UTC)
Posts: 33
Location: North Carolina, Locust
To all my Model Railroad Modifying friends, as a retired senior machinist my recommendation for equipment to make modifications with is 1) A bench top MILL 3 axis or for large budgets a vertical KNEE Mill; 2) A simple small bench top lathe (or for large budgets and room a Monarch EE engineering lathe. These are no longer made but a decent use one can still run $5,000 to $10,000 with attachments included).

Build a REALLY STURDY WORK BENCH. Think of a granite block of stone for what you are working towards. Movement when machining is heading for DISASTER.

Think about how much modification you wish to perform and how much you can do. (Lessons at a tech. school for MANUAL MACHINING not CNC machining might be a good value, and save some parts).

Buy the BEST mill you can afford as this is the tool you will use most. To do precision work you will NEED quality measuring tools. A caliper (I prefer the digital ones) and/or a 0-1" micrometer. You usually can pick up these items at a Pawn shop, stay away from the chinese brands. Another very useful tool is a small dial indicator the "Test Indicators" are best for locating or indicating in parts.

I hope this is of some use to those looking to modify or build parts.
I'm happy to answer questions.

WoodyBigGrin Mellow
thanks 8 users liked this useful post by W3Machinist
Offline michelvr  
#2 Posted : 29 January 2019 01:39:46(UTC)
michelvr

Canada   
Joined: 06/07/2012(UTC)
Posts: 947
Welcome to the forum Woody!

Good advise for the uninitiated, greetings from another metal swarf maker!
thanks 4 users liked this useful post by michelvr
Offline lewistrain  
#3 Posted : 29 January 2019 03:35:03(UTC)
lewistrain

Australia   
Joined: 08/03/2016(UTC)
Posts: 65
Location: New South Wales, Sydney
Or for those who just want to work on model trains not real ones maybe an EMCO mini lathe with attachments.
LOLOLOL they are just toys, grow up and play with them.
thanks 3 users liked this useful post by lewistrain
Offline jvuye  
#4 Posted : 29 January 2019 11:15:20(UTC)
jvuye

Belgium   
Joined: 01/03/2008(UTC)
Posts: 2,622
Location: South Western France
Excellent advice..been equipped like that for decades...Wink

I have a Lathe and a 5 axis Milling machine from Sherline, a US brand I can recommend **warmly**.

Sherline Machine Tools

The machines themselves are quite simple, but they offer an incredible range of accessories that will allow you to perform practically anything you need to do when working on model railroad .

For example, I regularly cut specific Mod 0.4 gears to replace worn ones (like the thick 42T wheel on the MS 800, that is not to be found anywhere..) , just using their divider table, a set of cutting involute gear wheels and a simple pocket calculator.

And today , they have CNC versions of all their machines that will further enhance your cpabilties

Major plus for our North American colleagues here, they're based in California and have always given me a perfect service for over 20 years.

And you need to also look at Fohrmann Tools for everything else , including specific tool for model railroad like wheel presses, extractors,etc.

Yes, another place I've been using for decades and *never* had a problem of any sort with them.

Hope this helps



Jacques Vuye aka Dr.Eisenbahn
Once a vandal, learned to be better and had great success!
thanks 5 users liked this useful post by jvuye
Offline jvuye  
#5 Posted : 29 January 2019 11:20:38(UTC)
jvuye

Belgium   
Joined: 01/03/2008(UTC)
Posts: 2,622
Location: South Western France
Originally Posted by: W3Machinist Go to Quoted Post
To all my Model Railroad Modifying friends, as a retired senior machinist my recommendation for equipment to make modifications with is 1) A bench top MILL 3 axis or for large budgets a vertical KNEE Mill; 2) A simple small bench top lathe (or for large budgets and room a Monarch EE engineering lathe. These are no longer made but a decent use one can still run $5,000 to $10,000 with attachments included).

Build a REALLY STURDY WORK BENCH. Think of a granite block of stone for what you are working towards. Movement when machining is heading for DISASTER.

Think about how much modification you wish to perform and how much you can do. (Lessons at a tech. school for MANUAL MACHINING not CNC machining might be a good value, and save some parts).

Buy the BEST mill you can afford as this is the tool you will use most. To do precision work you will NEED quality measuring tools. A caliper (I prefer the digital ones) and/or a 0-1" micrometer. You usually can pick up these items at a Pawn shop, stay away from the chinese brands. Another very useful tool is a small dial indicator the "Test Indicators" are best for locating or indicating in parts.

I hope this is of some use to those looking to modify or build parts.
I'm happy to answer questions.

WoodyBigGrin Mellow


And I'll add: don't skimp on the quality of cutting tools: Wherever and whenever available I have used carbide tool. The higher price is largely compensated by the longevity and the quality of the work you'll produce. Wink
Jacques Vuye aka Dr.Eisenbahn
Once a vandal, learned to be better and had great success!
thanks 4 users liked this useful post by jvuye
Offline W3Machinist  
#6 Posted : 29 January 2019 22:23:17(UTC)
W3Machinist

United States   
Joined: 19/01/2019(UTC)
Posts: 33
Location: North Carolina, Locust
Thanks to all the replies, I got some education from your information.

It is true that I have only worked on the full size Siemens S70 Light Rail vehicle for the past 11 years, prior to that I made some medium size very detailed molds for automobiles for the aftermarket industry. Understand that Machining is Machining, the difference is in the technique. Example; drilling a hole - a 1/2" or .500" you pilot and drill with modest pressure, but .010 hole you will drill very slowly with a peck, peck, peck method moving down .001" to .003" per stroke and cleaning the hole regularly, utilizing a down stop to control depth.

I totally agree with carbide where possible. (Jvuye post)

I especially appreciate the manufactures mentioned, it gives me a good starting place for research.

Thanks too all, We all get better when we share knowledge,

Woody
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by W3Machinist
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