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Clubs, glossaries, museums, shops and much more......

...all of your model making needs from one site.


This is here for us to add comments about what we've been up to, some great sites we've seen and generally to have a chat.

Latest Posts | Previous Posts

Universal Pillar Tool

I have been looking at the Universal Pillar Tool for a while as I want a sensitive small pillar drill. When I mean a while, I mean for around 6 months....

Then it hit me, I have a Unimat 3 lathe and milling machine that I use occasionally, but it is always in the wrong format to use as a drill - this is because it has a great circular saw feature that I use to strip hardwoods down for model making.

So, why not make a base and table? How difficult could it be?

18 October 2014 | Nigel

Gas Turbines - all help welcome

I have been trying to update our pages on Jet Engines, have added a separate page discussing combustion chambers and will gradually add more as I research the subject and try to incorporate useful info. If you would be happy to write about the subject or have some images of gas turbine internals, especially model engines or are in the process of making one then it would be great to hear from you -

6 November 2013 | Nigel

Auxiliary Spindle

I was looking around at an auxiliary spindle and came across a page by Dean Williams: The sewing machine motor was a nice touch as well.

This has got me wondering whether I could use a spindle with a 14x1mm thread so that I could fit Unimat 3 chucks etc.

4 September 2013 | Nigel

Belt Driven Milling Machine

Having just spent the last 2 weeks modifying my Amadeal XJ12-300 milling machine so that it is belt driven I then just came across SPG tools who sell this machine with a belt drive....SPG tools belt driven mill.

Actually this cheered me up a lot as at last manufacturers are realising what is important for model engineers, ie reliability and quality. If you have bought one of these and would like to write a review, please let me know.

10 August 2013 | Nigel

Website House Keeping

Now and again the pages need a bit of a tidy up and this is one of those times. With larger and wider computer screens the pages were strating to sprawl and look just wrong on anything wider than 1280 pixels.

Luckily some years ago I swapped to a CSS based system which meant that I just had to make some modifications to the one file.

Firstly I limited the width:

width: 1024px;

The centering of the page was simple, again in the wrapper:



The background color (sorry about spelling, but still in html code...) just had to go white, so within the main body:

background-color: #ffffff;

Hopefully you will agree that it just looks brighter and more cheerful as well as bringing it up to date.

14 July 2013 | Nigel

Oscillator MkII

The engine now has a small flywheel that is running at roughly 2.5x crank speed.

This is the first run of the engine after finishing the modifications. The result is rather fun.

30 June 2013 | Nigel

Agricultural Oscillator

The plan was to build a simple big robust oscillating engine. 1/4" thick steel plate attached to a beam, large flywheel and a long stroke double acting cylinder.

Must just say sorry for the sound on this file as I had the radio on in the time will think before videoing.

27 May 2013 | Nigel

BBC - The Village

Did anybody else see the modern yellow car in the background of the final Middleton farm scene last night - in the last 5 minutes of episode 6 series 1?

6 May 2013 | Alison

Building and Running Video

Some weeks ago I showed the video of the rotary engine running for the first time. Now the base is done and I have made a propeller for it.

The video shows the images I have of the engine being assembled and then run.

20 February 2013 | Nigel

Firstly, happy new year to all of the model makers out there.

Just came across a new website all about model engine design. This is a work in progress, but already some great information, the aim being to make available plans, castings and kits for a modular IC engine.

A modular engine is described: single cylinder, v twin and a radial - we look forward to getting our hands on some castings and reviewing it.

11 January 2013 | Nigel

It runs

There is hardly anything better than an engine you have made kicking into life and that was just the feeling after months of building the 5 cylinder rotary.

OK, the video is very brief, but I have now run this for around 30 minutes at low speed on a 10psi air supply. With generous amounts of oil in the crankcase and in through the air inlet.

11 December 2012 | Nigel

Useful Information

What would be useful to you? Lists of places that sell castings? Lists of ready to fly manufacturers? Hints and tips for the workshop?

Let me know what you are looking for

8 December 2012 | Nigel

Rotary Engine

You may have noticed that the rotary 5 cylinder engine is back on the bench and being developed. This is no mean feat as there are 5 of nearly everything and this does get to you.

Just to give you a scale, the drill bit that is being used to locate the pistod and master conrod is 2mm in diameter. The overall engine is roughly 85mm in diameter.

The master conrod has taken a lot of machining and a lot of setting up to get to the point that I can machine it. For this I have mostly used my faithfull Unimat 3 as a milling machine, difficult to describe just how good a Unimat 3 can see why they make such good money on ebay.

You can read about my latest exploits here: 5 cylinder rotary engine

30 October 2012 | Nigel

A Dream....

This is an odd one to mention here, except for the fact that the engineering of it and service is just so good. We′ve just repainted the lounge and in the process wanted a wrought iron curtain pole for the bay window. Went to the Celtic Dreams website and filled in their online form that shows you exactly what measurements to make etc.

Around 2 weeks later a one-piece curtain pole arrived by courier beautifully wrapped. Just fitted it and it really was like a dream.

Considering the bar is 20mm steel and there are a lot of sends in it I′m very impressed with their engineering ability and would highly recommend them.

21 July 2012 | Nigel


The enemy in the workshop!!!

I bought a dust extractor last year and it has transformed by use of the bandsaw and disc sander. However, it still leaves dust hanging in the air. Time to look at Air Filtration units - the Record Power AC1 and the Microclene MC100.

The Microclene is just great for the model maker or crafter who wants to improve the air in a small workshop. The AC1 is really for the bigger workshop or serious wood worker.

15 July 2012 | Nigel

glue-it Blog

Came across a great easy to use database driven package called Wordpress and just had to use this to build a new Blog.

The new site is here:

The great thing is you can now comment on pages and get involved - so makes life easier for us to upload blogs and ideas and lets you get involved.

30 September 2011 | Nigel

Animated Engines

I′ve come across this site on a number of occasions and just sat and stared at the different engines. This time a particular engine has caught my eye and got me thinking. The Revolving Cylinder Engine: - now that would make a very interesting design project.

6 August 2011 | Nigel

Video Recording from a Glider

Have been busy doing some more filming from an RC glider. The slope soaring videos are now up on our page: Slope Soaring.

We have been busy with the video strapped to the glider and have added some more to our Aerotowing page. This video is particularly cool, but if you want to find out more about the models and pilots then visit - Aerotowing.

If you′re going out flying this weekend then worth checking out the weather on

17 June 2011 | Dave

Steam Engine Design

Last night I sat searching the internet for "steam engine design" and looking at the images that were thrown up for inspiration. The site I came across was this one by: Richard Krell. Very interesting site to browse and read as Richard covers lots of different subjects and has a great interest in design and engineering and the results show for themselves.

30 April 2011 | Nigel

Bodkin Engine

How many hours do you spend browsing through the internet looking for inspiration for a new model? Well, maybe it is just me. I was looking around and came across Allan Dake′s site Lots of different steam engines and one in particular caught my eye Bodkin 2, what a lovely looking engine. This engine was made by Ben Peake.

Ben′s site has some great images of this engine: Time to stop browsing and off to the drawing board.....I′ll get back to you later.

......Well, one week later and the engine is finished: Lamp Post Steam Engine.

23 April 2011 | Nigel

V-Twin Solenoid Motor

I′ve been quiet for a while and have been building the motor you see in the video below. I wanted a Harley-Davidson V-twin type engine after seeing one on youtube.

I′ll write an article about this project in the next few weeks so that you can see it in more detail.

At the moment this is unfinished and just resting on a simple mount that I made so that I could work on it. I'm now developing a frame, engine mounts and bedplate to display it.

20 March 2011 | Nigel


Don't know about you, but I'm often looking for materials and so thought I should add a section on the shop and manufacturers pages just for this: Materials.

If you have a shop supplying materials such as balsawood, steel, glue etc then let me know and I'll add you to the database or just fill in a form: Shop Form.

5 March 2011 | Nigel

Battle Scenes

Nick Nasta has just sent me a link to a great video he has produced using the scenes he makes with Alex:

The website for their work is here:

24 February 2011 | Nigel


Went to a dolls house show and saw some models turned from Corian (Du Pont this got me thinking about using it to make a flywheel for an engine from it. OK not sure about using it for a high speed high stress flywheel, but for a small low speed engine then interesting.

I have some 2" x 2" x 0.5" samples. Firstly I sanded the surface of two pieces and have glued them together with superglue. Will let you know how I get on turning it. Here are my notes on Corian.

4 February 2011 | Nigel

Tracy Tools

Some weeks ago I was sitting down having a glass of wine and looking for tools. I visited the Tracy Tools website as this is one of the best stalls at any of the model engineering exhibitions. I was in for a shock the website was horrible and you could not browse and buy.

Wow just got an email from Tracy Tools, they have a brand new website that is easy to browse and use.

28 January 2011 | Nigel

V-Twin Solenoid Engine

The latest project on the workbench. I built a simple single horizontal solenoid engine and showed it running on YouTube.

Full article

This got me searching YouTube for some other engines people had built and I came across this: V-twin Solenoid motor - I like the idea and the sound and thought that I ought to have a go at something similar.

I′ve been searching around for images and parts and have been making some parts and it is coming together. Will start writing the article very soon. Been looking at the Harley Davidson V-Twin with 45° between banks and single crank pin.

31 December 2010 | Nigel

Milling Machine

The Amadeal XJ12-300 Mini Mill that I bought and wrote about has been attracting quite a lot of interest over the last few months with people emailing me about issues/concerns they have. However, having said all that mine has been performing very well as a mill and also as a fairly general use pillar drill.

31 December 2010 | Nigel

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