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I've been lurking for five years.....

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Hello All,

I've been a lurker for over five years now, dipping in every so often but as i haven't been that active in topics relevant to this forum I didn't get around to an introduction.

Having reached my half century last year I want to get thing moving as I likely have less time left than I've already been granted.

I have a great interest in all things Engineering particularly machine tools, their history, development, use and refurbishment.

Over the years I have built up a small collection of machines - mainly lathes but haven't found the time to really use them for a considerable while. Some are functioning, some need refurb and some are in bits and have been for decades. This ranges in size from my Stedall (a fantastic gift from a cherished and much missed Great Uncle) down to my Unimat. I also have a Colchester Student which I bought when the price was right but never got round to using it as, well, a lady came into my life around that time.

I used to service and repair machine tools for a living but after almost twenty years of technical sales roles I walked out of my job, sent myself back to college in my late forties and generally earn my coin from playing with wood and other construction materials these days.

I also enjoy working with wood as a hobby and was lucky enough to be gifted a wood turning lathe by another cherished Great Uncle on his passing.

Looking to clear some space to turn my store back into a workshop and get back to making some of my own metal swarf both from my machines and from hand fitting which I also love and often miss.

I also enjoy welding but haven't picked up a torch in years.

Railways have always been a major interest during my life, both steam and diesel but I have found it difficult to maintain interest in recent years. I spent some years helping maintain a full size railway locomotive but a 200+ mile round trip every couple of weekends to play was really something for the single man.
I also like farm machinery a possible legacy from a mis-spent youth collecting Britains farm models and my own tractor remains a dream however unlikely it is to be realised in present circumstances.

I spent years driving and playing with old Fords, particularly MK1 & 2 Escorts back when the ordinary working folk could afford such things.

After years of driving company cars I have my own little van now.... I recently reflected that my previous van was a Mk3 Escort with an XR3 engine; bet that would be worth more these days than the 325 I sold it for!

I'm based in the Eastern part of England and will continue to dip in and as things progress maybe I will have something worthwhile to share.


So much for the 'brief' introduction  :wave:

Well done popping your head 'over the parapet' and a belated welcome.  :thumbup:

If you've been lurking for five years you probably know us pretty well by now, but do share your projects with us as they come along.

Thanks Andrew.

I served my apprenticeship in a large (20 acre site) engineering factory where we cast and machined both our own range of products and those for others too.
I have found your TC20 thread interesting as in the third year of my apprenticeship I moved into the main machine shop (on maintenance) and they had two Beaver TC20s which were at the time 1989 ish still relatively new.
We had just taken over the majority of the servicing from the manufacturer and as a apprentice I found being able to work on such a new machine fascinating bearing mind some of our autos dated back to the 1930's.
If the external service engineer was called in for problems that we weren't equipped to solve (electronic control - mechanical engineers not allowed to touch due to union ruling) I often went with the guy to learn too.
The exact details get lost in three decades since but I remember we had a couple of Beaver VMCs in the factory too - VC 15 and VC 30 possibly as we had a maintenance machine shop for making our own spares and a pattern shop too.

Fond memories and seems amazing that they are still around, you expect it of manual machines but nc and cnc machines seem rather more fragile from a control perspective.

Good to hear of other TC-20's having been used - was that at Dorman Diesels ?

George Fischer Castings at the old Britannia Iron Works in Bedford...... now all houses  :(


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