Axminster Engineer Series XN2 Mill Drill

This machine is on offer as of May 2016 with just over £300 off – quite a nice price of just under £1200, my only concern is the travelling column and so would really like to know how well this works.

A fine compact milling machine of innovative design, made from heavy grey cast iron for vibration free operation. The unique travelling column gives a more compact size and superior stability. An advanced, high torque 500W brushless motor gives a variable

Source: Axminster Engineer Series XN2 Mill Drill

If you have experience of using one of these mills or own one then do drop me a line or add a comment, ed.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Nigel - May 16, 2016 at 7:52 pm

Categories: Milling Machine   Tags: ,

Information or News

We would really like to hear from the model engineering and model making community as to what you want to read online. Do you want news, articles around the workshop, ideas for tools or just general discussion? Let me know by replying / commenting on this blog or send me an email at

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Nigel - February 25, 2016 at 7:24 pm

Categories: Flying   Tags:

T-Slot Clamp


T-slot clamp from a jig boring machine that was for sale on G and M Tools

I saw this novel clamp arrangement on a jig boring machine that was for sale on and made me wonder whether I could make similar long t-nuts for use with my new rotary table – would help with the issue of not being able to use the full table diameter.

My only small concern is that reacting the clamping forces on the t-nut that sticks out from the table may bend the t-nut over time – worth a try as this could be easily corrected. Also, the t-nuts in this imag show that they are the full depth of the slot.

Interesting alternatives:

  • John5293 – has made sliding nuts that can be fixed and then horizontal bolts used to clamp parts – a pseudo 4-jaw chuck
  • – some interesting images and ides for clamping and making fixtures for rotary tables
  • – our page shows some ways to make fixtures and some short cuts that you should not use
Warco HV4 Rotary Table

Warco HV4 Rotary Table

An update as I have now made long T-nuts for a rotary table that I have just bought, image below is from the article discussing them: – tool reviews and make articles

Warco HV4 rotary table with long T-nut that allows larger diameter pieces to be clamped. The 4″ HV4 has an actual table diameter of 110mm. The clamp shown is from a Unimat 3 mill clamping set.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Nigel - December 24, 2015 at 9:04 am

Categories: Milling Machine   Tags:

Axminster Engineer Series SX3 Mill Drill

Axminster SX3

The SX3 is a more advanced mill/drill with the added benefits of a tilting head, digital spindle speed, downfeed read-outs and a thread tapping facility. It is a compact and well made machine which is ideal for the experienced model engineer or a small en

Source: Axminster Engineer Series SX3 Mill Drill – Milling Machines – Machinery | Axminster Tools & Machinery

So this is an alternative version of the Sieg SX3, this time in blue rather than red – any experience of this machine that you can share?


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Nigel - December 6, 2015 at 4:23 pm

Categories: Milling Machine   Tags:

SIEG Super X3 HiTorque Mill – Arc Euro Trade

Sieg X3

SIEG Super X3 HiTorque Mill – Powerful, 1000w Brushless DC Motor with Direct Belt Drive. The combination of brushless DC motor, advanced electronic speed controller and direct belt drive from motor to spindle, provide far better torque over a wider speed

Source: SIEG Super X3 HiTorque Mill – Arc Euro Trade

Is this the best hobby milling machine?


Which version of this machine?

or should I say:

Which flavour of this machine?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Nigel - at 4:09 pm

Categories: Milling Machine   Tags:

Back to Front Design

Not sure if I have a weird way of approaching the design of a new model engine or just like the idea of starting with perhaps the most artistic part and then developing the idea from there…..

100mm or 4" diameter flywheel

100mm or 4″ diameter flywheel

This flywheel is 100mm diameter and 25mm think and made from a solid disc of cast iron.

The engine? Well my thought is that this will form the basis for a new horizontal steam engine – single double acting cylinder or maybe a compound – not sure yet…..will add the description and images to the model engineering gallery as it progresses.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Nigel - June 8, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Categories: Engines   Tags: ,


I would like you all to meet my good friend…….drumroll please………………………………….PERSEPHONE!

Ok, I will admit it to you. Persephone is made of polystyrene. I bought the basic polystyrene shape at a carboot then I papermachied her, creating ‘molded’ hair at the same time. Then I painted her with acrylics so that she has a sort of 40s glamour look. I was aiming for the look of the charachters on the Benefit make-up packaging. To add the final touches I bought a cheap set of fake eyelashes and glued them on.

Persephone is brilliant, to start with she listens to all my complaints without interupting and she loves to model all my different hats. Sometimes she will even wear the odd necklace!

If I make another head I think I might varnish it all over to give it a glossy look!



Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Bea - April 13, 2013 at 8:19 am

Categories: Craft   Tags: , , ,

Ruby and Carmel

topsy turvy3

My granny used to knit and crochet all the time and at some point she knitted two topsy turvy dolls. One for me and the other to sit on her sofa. I re-found one of them the other day and she was in quite a state with loose threads and matted hair. Then I had a brainwave. I decided to make my own topsy turvy doll but rather than knitting it (beacause that is not a skill I posess) I decide to hand sew one. My creation resulted in Ruby and Carmel!

They are approximately 18cm high. Ruby is the brunette. Carmel is the blonde. Carmel is wearing a Liberty print top with a blue cotton skirt and a gold cumberband. Ruby is also wearing a Liberty Top with Black net details. She is also wearing a cotton skirt but hers is black with a net overlay. I don’t know why but Ruby reminds me of Kate Winslet in Tiatanic. Don’t ask why I’m not sure myself! Their hair is made from wool which I applied in the traditional method sewing onto a bias strip. I embroidered their faces.

I was really chuffed with the final result. Theses are some of the most adorable toys I think I have made to date but I’m really annoyed because I never made a pattern!


I think I am gong to make another pair but this time with a steampunk theme.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Bea - November 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Categories: Craft   Tags: , , ,

Chinese Paper Pencils

I first STUMBLED on this craft on ‘scissor paper wok’. On the website there is a great tutorial for making these amazing pencils  from origami paper and 2mm HB pencil leads.

I ordered some leads and pretty origami paper from eBay and waited for the mail to arrive.

After a few days they arrived and I got to work!

I quickly realised after 3 broken leads how gentle you have to be.

Ok, so mine don’t look much like the original inspiration but I was very pleased with them.

Do you like the detail I added of a gem perched on the end?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Bea - October 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Categories: Craft   Tags: ,

Ignition System from Just Engines

Ignition System

Just Engines have an ignition system for converting glow engines to spark ignition – may be just the thing to use if you are building a model spark ignition engine as this comes as a complete conversion kit.

Ignition System

Just Engines Online Ltd Ignition Systems for Glow Engines.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Nigel - September 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Categories: Engines   Tags: ,

Next Page »