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First Project - Upshur's Model Farm Engine

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I am a retired software engineer and back a year ago I got the itch to learn how to precisely cut metal. You know, build something that I could actually touch and see. Around mid June I got delivery of my PM-1030V lathe with DRO and a bunch of tooling. This was followed in mid December of the arrival of a PM-727V mill, also with DRO, and more tooling. After dickering with setup, alignment and a making simple tooling, I realized I needed a “project’ to focus the effort. Started with a clock. A simple clock using Steven Conover’s Book “Making An American Clock”. Quickly realized the precision required on small parts was outside my skill set. Thought about a cast kit of a steam engine, but decided on the Upshur Model Farm Engine using Mr. H. Upshur’s drawings. The enticement was that all parts, except screws, were to be make from bar and sheet stock. So, in mid November, I started the effort. Well, I am here to show the results to date (it’s not done and won’t be till the workshop gets above 30’F). Not to show off my work, but to say that it was the perfect first project to learn many different machining skills. Like turning, facing, boring, drilling reaming, taping five different materials (aluminum, mild steel, drill rod, brass, cast iron). I got to use a rotary table with and without its dividing plates, made gears with a gear cutter. The precision required is not that stiff and, yes, some parts were made twice. So, if you are new to the machinist world and need a first project, I highly recommend Mr. Upshur’s Model Farm Engine. Drawing can be had for $20. Materials are around $70 and not hard to get (the glow plug used to make the spark plug is the exception, but it can be found). The tooling is not that extravagant (maybe the rotary table with dividing plates and gear cutter are a bit much, but, hey, its tooling and will get used again.287435287436287437
 

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Very nice. I have a PM1022 lathe and a PM727V mill. No DRO on either machine. I got the mill in july last year and the lathe in sept. I made a couple of air engines and finger engines just to get familiar with things. I am in the process of making an Upshur engine also. Mine is the vertical model. So far it has been challenging but fun to build.
 
I am a retired software engineer and back a year ago I got the itch to learn how to precisely cut metal. You know, build something that I could actually touch and see. Around mid June I got delivery of my PM-1030V lathe with DRO and a bunch of tooling. This was followed in mid December of the arrival of a PM-727V mill, also with DRO, and more tooling. After dickering with setup, alignment and a making simple tooling, I realized I needed a “project’ to focus the effort. Started with a clock. A simple clock using Steven Conover’s Book “Making An American Clock”. Quickly realized the precision required on small parts was outside my skill set. Thought about a cast kit of a steam engine, but decided on the Upshur Model Farm Engine using Mr. H. Upshur’s drawings. The enticement was that all parts, except screws, were to be make from bar and sheet stock. So, in mid November, I started the effort. Well, I am here to show the results to date (it’s not done and won’t be till the workshop gets above 30’F). Not to show off my work, but to say that it was the perfect first project to learn many different machining skills. Like turning, facing, boring, drilling reaming, taping five different materials (aluminum, mild steel, drill rod, brass, cast iron). I got to use a rotary table with and without its dividing plates, made gears with a gear cutter. The precision required is not that stiff and, yes, some parts were made twice. So, if you are new to the machinist world and need a first project, I highly recommend Mr. Upshur’s Model Farm Engine. Drawing can be had for $20. Materials are around $70 and not hard to get (the glow plug used to make the spark plug is the exception, but it can be found). The tooling is not that extravagant (maybe the rotary table with dividing plates and gear cutter are a bit much, but, hey, its tooling and will get used again.View attachment 287435View attachment 287436View attachment 287437
Very nice work. Congratulations and condolences are in order. Congrats on the work, condolences to your retirement checks because you are now hooked . . .

Bruce
 
That's a wonderful piece of work you've done. I'll have to look up these document resources. Seems to be fun.
 
looks good, I may have to see if I can find the plans and do one. Is it designed to run once finished.
 
I'm still about 12 years away from retirement, but planning and purchasing my more costly "post-retirement" hobby items now. So many of my past retired trade work colleagues retired without any hobbies and the end up "lost" and bored. Not me, i'm a project and solution type guy. I need hobbies ! I have the LMS4190 mill, and on the horizon is the next purchases of a lathe (Grizz G0768Z) , and to complete my versatility will be a TIG welder. Between my vintage motorcycles, my guns, and my misc projects I should keep busy post retirement.

Outstanding job on the farm engine, it's great to see an engineer who takes the initiative to not only put the design on paper, but bring the design to the final working assembly !
 
An interesting thing about retirement, at least from my perspective. Before retiring, I had a long list of current hobbies and interests that I figured would keep me busy. Machining was not on that list. When the time came, I triped on a opportunity to play (with supervision) with a mill and lathe. That was that. The others have faded and the energy has been in machining. Part of the allure is that it is a puzzle that I knew/know nothing about, but it tickles the engineer curiostity (electric/software) in me. And in the end, I have something I can touch. Boh!
 
Starr -- man, does that describe my life...I'm about three years away from letting my executive day job go and focusing on my too-full life outside of the day job. Over the past ten years I have developed a successful business from my hobby of vintage fountain pen restoration, and for years have been a scale model car builder. Then last fall I bought a vintage lathe to enable me to up my game and fabricate unobtainable parts for those pens, what may be a unique niche in the US, and probably 70% of my time away from work is now on or about the machining learning curve and my projects growing from that. Model-building is once again in the rear seat...
One thing's for sure, when I do let the day job go there will be no lack of agendas before me.

And your work does look fantastic.

Tim
 
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