Last weekend was the first gathering of 2012 for one of our local Model Engineers groups. This group was formed by a few experienced machine tool users several years ago to offer a forum for discussion and information sharing, plus a chance for informal social interaction. These meets are always fun and informative.
New and old participants got a good look at recent additions to our host Brian's much modified Taig lathe and his tidy, compact shop. Brian does work of high accuracy and finish, showing that a self-taught machinist can still be a great craftsman. You really have to pay attention to catch some of the subtle features of his projects.
Andrew demonstrated a charming Stirling engine made from soda cans and other recycled materials, powered by a tea-light candle. He showed us plans for this project that can be found on the 'net.
Members of this group have displayed a variety of workpieces and projects at the Kitchener Wood Show for the last few years, and this year will be no exception. We made some plans for who will be at the show and what pieces would be on view. It remains to collect these items and make some provisions for operating any steam models on air pressure (if possible).
Geoff mentioned picking up some Accusize DRO's from a local supplier to fit on his milling machine. Just before this meet concluded, several of us discussed the perennial problem of how to attract new people to this hobby when there are so few avenues left to get access to, and experience on, machine tools in the traditional education streams.