Hi All, my first post. A bit of background; I did an apprenticeship as a toolmaker in the 1970s. I then moved on to a bank and didn't get my hands dirty again for 25 years. A few years ago a backache turned out to be kidney cancer, and I spent months having some of my innards removed, and lying in a sterile room. Think of the most complex steam plant you can imagine; I had more pipes coming out of me than that. All there was to do was TV and the net. That's where I found Keith's videos, and I've been an addict ever since. I wrote to him and thanked him for helping to get me through it; to this day he doesn't know that I owe my sanity to him.
Anyway, The Gulch. I retired and bought a house in the Lake District with - wait for it - a workshop! Back to my roots as a toolmaker. My daughters call the workshop "The Gulch" (I am blessed with two daughters. I wonder how many blessings a man can take. Sometimes I wish the Great Architect of the Universe would bless somebody else.). Myford Super 7 with DRO, a Chinese knock off milling machine (with leadscrews replaced so it's fairly accurate and DRO), brazing hearth, gas welder, tool and cutter grinder (A Chinese knockoff of a Stent, but it's pretty good), pan folder/roller, etc. And like all toolmakers I have a secret kettle and toaster in the workshop. Oh, and a Flume F53, because I like messing about with clocks.
Years ago my apprentice piece was a two cylinder marine engine made of barstock. So I started out on Stuart models; my first was a No4. Then I added reversing gear, but I quickly got bored making the kits. When I got my hand in again I found I could turn out parts like the blazes, but it wasn't very challenging.
So my passion now is to do what Keith counsels against, that is buying the worst looking models off the auction site that, as Keith says, "We all know and love", and bringing them back to life. Sure, there's no money in it, but I find it challenging to try to figure out what was in someone else's mind when they realised they were in over their depth. Like the 7a that I bought, with the cylinder machined upside down so the inlet and exhaust ports were on the same side!
Happy machining, people.