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Workshop Course

Basic Training for Model Engineers Part I

This three day course run (one Saturday a month) is aimed at people who would like to get started in the hobby of model engineering. It makes no assumptions about previous experience but does assume that you want to make things rather than buy ready made models.

The bulk of the time is spent discussing how to set up a workshop, what tools you might need, how you should go about selecting them and finally a little about how to use them. The second course follows on from this and covers the use of tools in greater depth.

Choice of projects

Clearly your interests and ambitions will affect what sort of workshop facilities you need. Our members have experience of all sorts of projects from passenger hauling steam locomotives to clock making.

The workshop

There are many options available ranging from the kitchen table through the back of the garage to a custom made building. The options are discussed and guidance given. Bench and storage space are important issues as is safety which must be taken into account when planning a layout.


There is a core set of tools that most model engineers require or might aspire to. We discuss what these tools are used for, how and where to obtain them and a bit about their use. The following topics are covered.

Measuring and Marking Out

Accurate measuring and marking is essential for any construction project. A few basic tools will do to start with but in time more sophisticated equipment may be required.

Hand Tools

Any workshop will contain a number of hand tools. For instance a vice, files, saws, drills, taps & dies, etc. Equally important is the equipment required to sharpen and maintain them.

Drilling and Grinding

A bench drill and off hand grinding machine are central to almost all workshops. Since they are frequently used the choice of machine is important.

Machine Tools

Most engineers will require a lathe, many a milling machine. There is a wide choice available and since they are expensive it is important to make the right choice. In addition accessories will be needed together with cutting tools that must be selected and kept sharp.