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: ,

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:


How often when model making do you find yourself breathing in dust?

“it won’t be much, no time to bother with a mask”

How often do you find yourself with a sore throat as a result of this?

We all do this and in the long run will pay the consequences. If you are doing lots of woodwork with machines then it really is important to get a dust extractor connected up to it. Personally I would say buy the dust extractor before buying the machine. A good basic machine is the Record Power DX1000.

If you are doing the odd bit of filing or sanding then a good quality face mask will work wonders – even with proper dust extraction it is still important to wear a mask when you are doing lots of machining.

Another great piece of equipment is the dust filtration unit, a range of sizes are available to suit different sized workshops and they will work by filtering the air. A small unit that I have just come across is the Microclene MC100 – absolutely perfect for the garden shed based workshop or if you are working at a table indoors. If you are indoors then this is one way of keeping the dust down and the complaints.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Nigel - July 13, 2012 at 6:13 am

Categories: Craft, Tools   Tags: ,

New Lathe

Some time ago I listed the different lathes that are available in the range of 250×500. Well, have just bought a Warco WM 240B – B denoting the belt drive version.

I’ve started a review of the lathe, but early days as yet so you may have to wait a while to get all of the details.

Warco WM240B Review

The lathe arrived just yesterday and took 2 of us to partly dismantle and then carry it through the house to my workshop. I removed the grease from the surfaces and chucks etc and then with some work today I now have the lathe bolted down with 3 off 12mm bolts.

The only thing that surprised me is that the lathe does not come with a drill chuck for the tailstock! It comes with fixed and travelling steadies, but no drill chuck….

My other lathe (Hobbymat MD65) is MT1 at the tailstock and my milling machine is MT3 and this Warco WM240B is MT2 so no luck with what I have already.

This is how the lathe is listed and I should have picked up on this, but somehow missed it. Luckily RDG tools sent me a discount card and so have ordered a couple of arbors and chucks today.


4 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Nigel - May 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Categories: Tools   Tags:

Ceriani David Lathe

Just been to the Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition and had a look at the Ceriani David lathe on the Chester Tools stand – as of 2016 looks like Chester nolonger distribute these lathes, so have added a link to the manufacturers pages:

Very nicely made lathe, the quality looks that much better than most of the lathes around at the moment. My only concern is the fixing of the top slide – two quite small bolts and if you look at the lathe the cross-slide is not that wide.

Has anybody got one of these lathes and experience of using it?

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Nigel - October 15, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Categories: Tools   Tags:

Lathe D250x550

So what lathes are there with a maximum turning diameter of 250mm and 550mm between centres?

What other lathes are there in this rough size range?

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Nigel - October 9, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Categories: Model Engineering, Tools   Tags:

Jewellers Tools

There is a lot of similarity between the tools used by a jeweller and those used by the model maker. Especially the model maker who works at the smaller scale. So to that end I picked out this website:

Some of the tools can be a tad on the more expensive side, but the quality is great and there is nothing better than high quality tools to work with.

Maybe something for the Christmas present list??

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Nigel - October 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Categories: Tools   Tags:

SU300 Masterturn, Prazi SD300, Wabeco, Hobbymat

Just looking around at lathes and came across this lathe on the emcomachinetools website. It looks like a slightly more modern version of my Hobbymat MD that is about 25 years old – review on

Some more searching and this looks like a Prazi SD300 Masterturn.

A bit more searching and Wabeco and Prazi appear to be the same.

However, I just cannot quite pin them down – where is the manufacturers website?

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Nigel - September 30, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Categories: Tools   Tags:

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