Freesteel Blog » Back from the South

Back from the South

Friday, February 3rd, 2006 at 12:05 pm Written by:

So, we went south to Bristol and ran a number of errands whilst trundling out crappy Proxxon converted machine tool which we are no longer proud of on trains, busses, and taxis. In particular, we were looking for a replacement in which the parts wouldn’t be bent.
So we visited Peatol, which is in an ordinary house in an ordinary street in Birmingham and saw the imported American Taig Mill that he is selling to people. I can now recognize it in the picture: huge half-inch sided solid metal rods along the axis beds and a total weight of about 40 kilos. He has the coupling kit for CNC, which looks more convincing than either glue or grub screws, but we have to find out more about the CNC conversion ourselves since he doesn’t do electronics.

One interesting tip-off is that most of his customers are model engineers. There’s a big model engineering show in Harrogate from 5 to 7th May which we now want to visit. There’s a whole world of anoraks out there doing stuff who like cheap CNC software (maybe even free stuff calculated through the internet) who may have some useful comments to make. We crave technical feedback more than anything else.

There’s a model engineer exhibition in Liverpool on 29, 30 April this year.

And here is the Guild of Model Wheelwrights dedicated to the “precision scale modelling of horsedrawn vehicles… by means of construction from scratch.” Unfortunately, they don’t include too many pictures because I was hoping to see a photo of a hamster pulling a chariot.

Martin has just now ordered three months of junk mail by book us into Mach 2006 on 15-19 May. This will give us a look-in on the so-called “high-end” market.

It’s all about software for us. For cars, music stereos, shoes, jewelry, and bacon, I can understand the difference between “High-end” and “Low-end” on account of the care, expense, and precision with which the material is manufactured, and corners are cut. But with software the distinction and stratification is gratuitous. There’s good and bad software, and old and new software; just as there are good and bad novels, and old and fashionably new novels. No one is prevented from reading A Canticle for Leibowitz because it’s reserved only for the elite who can pay. No, only SF reading nerds, like dedicated 2.5 inch gauge enthusiasts, get to know of these gems. The rest of us get mesmerized by the gaudy lights and hand over good money for latest and greatest new music, magazine, software, car, kitchen, flavour of crisps, or whatever else, and that’s fine. Just as long as there’s room for people who care to still get at the good stuff. Everything spends more time out of print than in.


  • 1. Neel replies at 3rd February 2006, 10:37 pm :

    Why not buy small table top milling machine like a roland . They are usually used for small models, jwellery, engraving applications.
    Very easy to use. They also come with multiaxis attachments.
    NC programs can be send from pc , just like print command. Or there are S/W to setup the machine and send NC programs.
    Generally used for wood,wax and soft metal cutting.

  • 2. Julian Todd replies at 4th February 2006, 2:21 pm :

    This one is much cheaper and would come under a thousand pounds in total. It’s also looks absolutely solidly built (a lot of mass metal in it) like an old Land Rover. But it’s not in a nice clean plastic box.

    We’ll give this a whirl next. What do you have?

  • 3. Neel replies at 6th February 2006, 6:46 pm :

    Also have a look at
    This one is similar to one that Peatol is providing, but this one comes with stepper motors and an cnc kit that works with EMC software. You wont have to think about retro fitting the taig mill.

  • 4. Julian Todd replies at 9th February 2006, 8:16 pm :

    That one looks good. However, the Peatol one is available in Britain which is a bonus because more people round here may be using it.

    The Taig mill comes with its own kit for mounting stepper motors which proves it is within limits of what they know people do with it.

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