Home Shop Machining/ Home Shop Machinist

The Home Shop Machinist is someone who operates machinery and tools to create objects made of metal. Generally this includes the process of drilling, turning, milling, shaping and grinding, with a few other operations thrown in such as welding, soldering, polishing, and painting.

The main idea is that this work happens at the persons home rather than at ones place of work. Most home workshops will have at least a metal lathe or milling machine and an assortmant of hand tools. The size of a shop can vary greatly,from a small bench in the corner of a garage or basement, to a full size, full function fabrication shop occupying several thousand feet. Whatever the size, it is never large enough. The amount of equipment will always expand to exceed the capacity of the shop.

Often the items produced by the Home Shop Machinist fall into the classification of Model Engineering. Items such as working scale models of gas, steam, or sterling engines, scale modes of machine tools, and scale models of live steam trains are typical of this class. Model firearms are also encountered. For additional information on Model Engineering, go to our Model Engineering page.

An extremely popular part of the hobby is the development and manufacture of metal working tools made by and for the use of the Home Shop Machinist. Typical items in this category would be a Quorn grinder or perhaps a Gear Hobbing machine or maybe a Radius turning device. Probably more time is spent by the average Home Shop Machinist making tools than is spent making any other item. Some of the best examples of our skills can be seen in this category and exhibitors are encouraged to show us what they have done in this area.

Another aspect of the Home Shop Machinist hobby is the casting of metal parts. Many of us find ourselves making patterns and taking them to a foundry because what we need is either not avaliable or is simply too expensive. Some go on to set up their own small foundry and melt and cast parts from their patterns.

One final word. A word of caution! Home Shop Machining is ADDICTIVE! Once you get started, you may never be able to quit.