My Model Engineering Workshop In Thailand

Making models in metal is my hobby in the UK and when I retire to Thailand that’s what I’ll be doing all day – making models.

The type of models I’m talking about are real, working miniatures of the real thing. Stationery Steam engines, Locos, Traction Engines etc all working uner live steam.

Here are couple of examples of finished models (not mine):-

Image of A Burrell Traction Engine Model

Burrell Traction Engine Model

Above a photo of a Burrell model traction engine. Note this is not my model, but I intend to make one like it.

You can get more information on this model and ithers like it at http://www.maxitrak.co.uk/getgallery.asp?loconum=23

Also, the next photo of a Stuart Turner S50 Stationary Steam engine is not my model, I’m still building mone as you can see in the later photographs.

Image of A Finished Stuart Turner S50 Mill Engine

A Finished Stuart Turner S50 Mill Engine (Not Mine)

The model I’m making at the moment is a Stuart Turner S50 stationary steam engine and when it’s finished it will look something like the one above.

Building the Stuart Turner S50 Steam Engine

The Stuart Turner S50 Steam Engine is a kit model. You get a kit of iron castings and some pieces of steel, brass, etc and you have to machine them and build the model. Here are some photos of that build:-

Image of Stuart Turner S50 Model Steam Engine Kit

Stuart Turner S50 Model Steam Engine Kit

Above, this is the kit of parts you get from Stuart Turner, the company that sells the kits. You can see a few iron castings lumps of steel and other small brass items. Plus you get all the screws and fasteners but you have to machine all the components in your own workshop.

Image of Machining The Flywheel Of The Stuart Turner S50 Model Steam Engine

Machining The Flywheel Of The Stuart Turner S50 Model Steam Engine

Above, this is just one photo of hundreds I have taken as I build the model steam engine. I have machined the cast iron flywheel boss and I’m just about to machine the outer diameter of the flywheel rim in the lathe.

Image of Drilling The Flywheel Casting For The Crankshaft

Drilling The Flywheel Casting For The Crankshaft

Above, with the flywheel rim machined, it’s time to drill the boss of the flywheel casting to take the crankshaft. After drilling slightly undersize, the hole in the boss will be reamed to exact size.

Image of Milling The First S50 Cylinder Casting End

Milling The First S50 Cylinder Casting End

The photo above shows one end of the casting for the Stuart Turner S50 stationary model steam engine being cleaned up in the milling machine.

Image of Cleaning Up The Valve Port Face In The Milling Machine

Cleaning Up The Valve Port Face In The Milling Machine

In the above photo, I’m still machining the cast iron cylinder casting in the milling machine.

Below is a gallery of pictures of the various casting and components assembled together for the first time for a photo shoot just to show the progress I have made to date on this model.

My Stuart S5 Steam Engine Model Running

Date: 11 March 2012. Here, at last, is a video of my Stuart S50 Model Stationery Steam Engine running.

It’s running on compressed air, not steam, I still have to make the steam boiler before it can run on steam like a real model steam mill engine.

I started building this model steam engine in May, 2005. So to get to this stage, where it’s actually running but not finished (still the painting to do), has taken me just short of seven years!

See All My Videos On YouTube

Here is a video of a typical operation in the workshop. you can see that it’s quite messy!

Moving The Workshop To Thailand When I Retire

When I retire to Thailand I will be setting up a workshop to make my models pretty much as you see here, but on a bigger scale.

I have been debating how and when to send my workshop machinery to Thailand. As You can see in the photos below, I have some pretty big workshop equipment.

Image of Workshop Machine Tool Bandsaw

Workshop Machine Tool Bandsaw

Image of Workshop Machine Tool Lathe

My Lathe in the Workshop

Image of Workshop Machine Tool Drill

Another Workshop Machine- A Pillar Drill

Here Is A Movie Of My Workshop In The UK


The movie above shows the stuff I have to send out to Thailand to start up my workshop out there.

I’m working on the possibility at the moment of buying new machine tools out there. Steve W says there are plenty of shops in Bangkok selling quite cheap Japanese machine tools. That will suit me fine because I really do want larger equipment than I have at present.

Buying Machine Tools In Thailand

On Steve W’s advice I started to look for second-hand machine tools for sale in Bangkok by searching the Internet. I quickly came up with a few websites as described on the Retirement House Finished – Today Post.


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3 Responses to “Workshop”

  • retiringinthailand:

    Alec,

    Many thanks for your thought and questions.

    I can’t answer the torque speed characteristics questions for the Stuart Turner S50 steam engine model. The real full size engines run really slowly, just a few hundred rev/min.

    My S50 steam engine model as shown running in the movie was running on very low air pressure. About 5 psi is all it needs to operate.

    It’s not fully set up yet, the valve timing needs adjusting and the steam glands are not ‘stuffed’ yet. I just assembled the minimum parts to get it to run. Next I’ll have to put it together properly and completely make sure it runs nicely, than take it all to pieces again to paint it!

    It should run quieter and smoother after the adjustments and packing the valve glands.

    I’m starting to build the steam boiler now. The boiler will be built to run on coal just like the real thing. I’ll run it on coal, just for fun, but might then swap over to gas. Depends how often I feel like running it. Perhaps not often I think.

    As to buying the Toyota Vigo Hilux pickup in Bangkok it was registered in my wife’s name. A Farang can buy a car in his own name in Thailand, though, I’m told.

    Good luck with your retirement to Udon Thani later this year. I’ll be out to Pakchong (Pak Chong) over Easter for a couple of weeks. I’ll be making a start on the Stuart Turner model steam engine called “Victoris”.

    All the best

    Alan

    [Reply]

  • George Hill:

    Hi Alan
    I thought I would use this section of your web site to reply to you. As you said the other section is more for information / discussion on the general problems of living in Thailand.
    The reason for a manual vernier is it will get used very infrequently and when I will want to use it the battery will almost certainly be flat.
    One problem I have uncounted is obtaining a backing plate for my lath. It takes a D1-4 size. These are used on larger lathes that use a cam lock system to attach the chuck to the head spindle.
    Spare chucks are easy to obtain from the tool shops in Thailand. I located the correct size in the UK and it cost fifty two pounds. I contacted there agent in Thailand who said he could have it sent out. He quoted five hundred and fifty pounds.  I asked a friend I work with to bring one out from UK for me. If you are in any tool shops in Thailand it is worth keeping an eye out for them.
    How long will you be in Thailand for?
    Regards
    George Hill

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    George Hill
    3 approved
    geohill54@hotmail.com
    85.132.14.38
    Submitted on 2013/06/17 at 3:20 am
    Hi Alan

    Hi George and apologies for taking so long to reply.

    Normally you send an email and I respond to those first – particularly those from you. Nothing wrong with posting a comment – I actually prefer this communication method as it gives more content to the website. But I only found your comment as I go through the long process of checking each on now I’m retired here in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand. (Down to 32 comments to respond to now)

    George, I’m going to respond under your comments below:-

    I thought I would use this section of your web site to reply to you. As you said the other section is more for information / discussion on the general problems of living in Thailand.

    (Alan’s comments)

    Yes that’s fine. I’ll be posting all Model Engineering In Thailand content on the new website with the same name in due course.

    (/comments)

    The reason for a manual vernier is it will get used very infrequently and when I will want to use it the battery will almost certainly be flat.

    (Alan’s comments)

    Yes, when I came to Pakchong (Pak Chong) on 30th July (under two weeks ago) all the batteries in my measuring and marking out instruments were dead. I couldn’t do anything. So priority No. 1 was new batteries. Bought 6 of them in the Pakchong market.

    But I wouldn’t do any measurement other than digital these days. You must have good eyesight!

    By the way, what’s the difference between Inch/Metric and Metric/Inch?

    (/comments)

    One problem I have uncounted is obtaining a backing plate for my lathe. It takes a D1-4 size. These are used on larger lathes that use a cam lock system to attach the chuck to the head spindle.

    (Alan’s comments)

    “D1-4 size” Is there a Standard for lathe backplates, then?

    Like you I need some backplates for this lathe in Thailand so I am making them. What a pain! Wish I could buy them.

    Before I even start on the backplates I am making a plug gauge of the same dia as the register on the lathe. 100 mm in my case.

    The local source of circular steel blanks for backplates and the like (I’m also going to be making a faceplate) is flame-cut disks cut from black steel plate. This means the flame-cut OD is rough and hard. Plays havoc with cutting tool inserts.

    The blank for the plug gauge is 5″ OD and I have to turn it down to 4″. Gonna take days.

    Then I have to make the backplates:-

    1 to attached the ER 32 collet chuck to the lathe, 1 to attach the same plus 3 4 jaw chucks to the rotary table.

    I hate making tools to make models. Even more I hate making tools to make tools!

    Does your lathe have camlock chucks? What kind of lathe is it?

    (/comments)

    Spare chucks are easy to obtain from the tool shops in Thailand.

    (Alan’s comments)

    I’m really struggling for small tools up here in Pakchong (Pak Chong).

    Particular (at the moment) for lathe cutting tools. I brought some carbide inserts with me and of course they won’t fit the tools I have here. Also I bought some tools from UK to go with the inserts but forgot to bring the keys. (Allen key like thingy)

    Any tool shop addresses you can give me I’d be grateful.

    BANDSAW

    One thing I do need is a bandsaw. The one I have in UK is OK but a bit small. It’s the Clarke 34″ one.

    Here in Thailand I have a cut-off wheel likely use on construction sites and it’s kind of OK on small stuff but yesterday I used it to cut off a piece of 2″ Dia BMS. Not a nice experience!

    BTY I also used it to cut off a piece of 4″ aluminium and the disk got stuck half way through. I left it to ‘cool down’ and of course that just made it tighter. I managed to complete the job in the end but can’t remember how.

    (/comments)

    I located the correct size in the UK and it cost fifty two pounds. I contacted there agent in Thailand who said he could have it sent out. He quoted five hundred and fifty pounds.

    (Alan’s comments)

    £550 just for shipping! Beats the quote I had for the ER40 collets. To be honest, that company Sunrise Technologies only sell top quality tools. The machine vice and rotary table I bought from them are truly superb. (Homge Make)

    (/comments)

    I asked a friend I work with to bring one out from UK for me. If you are in any tool shops in Thailand it is worth keeping an eye out for them.

    (Alan’s comments)

    There are a few large tool shops in Pakchong (Pak Chong) but they supply mostly to the building trade, not to the metal working trade.

    I guess that in BKK where you have the likes of the Toyota Motor factory there are plenty of metal working shops. Just a question of finding them. The guy at the ALL ARM Co said to go to the Chinese market.

    (/comments)

    How long will you be in Thailand for?

    (Alan’s comments)

    The way it’s looking at the moment… forever.

    (/comments)

    OTHER THINGS – MATERIALS

    George, you said to look out for some 1/2″ aluminium. Well I found big sheets up to 6 mm thick and sections over 1″ thick but not sheets.

    Also they sell all kinds of brass, stainless steel, and what looks like huge chunks or cast iron!

    i have loads of photos and can send them over but you mentioned before some issue with attachments on your works PC.

    I intend to load them up to the MET.com website in due course, but I can email them to you if you want.

    Chok Dee
    Good Luck

    Alan and Kanyah Brown
    Surfin’ the World

    http://retiringinthailand.net

    [Reply]

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