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Model Car Scratchbuilding How-To

Chas has asked me to do a how-to kind of album, covering the techniques that are general to scratchbuilding. Or the ones I use anyway. Obviously I will pass on any that people tell me which I've found will work.

M.R.Field 21/2/02

Lathework. The set up

I use a Taig lathe also known as a Peatol in England. I've been through all the Unimats with varying success, a Myford (lovely, but too big), a Boley-Leinen (lovely, but too small) and a Simat (revamped Flexispeed)

For value the Peatol/Taig wins hands down. The Simat a close second with it's bigger capacity and the rest, way behind. The Unimats have their odd good points (except the moribund PC model which has none whatsoever) but are too unreliable and fragile for my tastes. For occasional use, the old SL90 was far the best of the bunch of Unimats if you can find one. Genuinely portable, strong and capable of being changed round into a drill easily. The motor and drive are weak, but for limited use or woodwork for fine model boats or furniture it's the darling of the tiny batchelor pad. A lamp is a must for a lathe.

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Uploaded: February 21, 2002