Briefly my background is:
I have lived all my life about 25 miles north of London (UK)
Was born in 1933.
I started working at the age of 15 as an apprenticeship at an electrical control systems company. They made most of their own high power components so there was a machining portion to the apprenticeship, being my only contact with metalworking during my working days. During my apprenticeship I studied at the local technical college for six years, first three evenings a week, then one full day and one evening, obtaining an HNC in electrical control systems. HNC is just short of a BSC.
From then I worked as a control systems engineer, working almost entirely in multi motor, very high power, variable speed drives systems for the printing and paper industries. I retired at the age of 58 but then took on the task of editor or the Model Engineers’ Workshop magazine, then only six issues a year, doing this for just three years.
I started showing an interest in making things when I was about 7 years old when my father built me my own workshop. This was so small that eventually I had to dig the floor out to be able to stand up comfortably. At about 9 years old I made my first machine, a treadle fret saw. This, except for the saw frame, was made entirely out of timber. The saw was connected directly to the pedal so it was one stroke of the saw for one of the pedal.
I then obtained my first lathe in my early teens, a Myford ML4, and purchasing a new Myford ML7 in my late teens. I did very little metalworking though, other than making a drilling machine in my teens, until I purchased a milling machine in my mid fifties.
During these intervening years my main pastime was live sound recording (as engineer not performer). Some recordings even managed to get broadcasted on the BBC. For a very brief example, click here.
My preferred pastime, even now, is cabinet making but there is a limit to how much furniture one can get into a home. I have other interests, Photography, Pencil sketching, Marquetry, Model carts and Model steam engines. If you are interested see here.
My short time as editor of the Model Engineers’ Workshop magazine introduced me to article writing which I then continued for the next 17 years. During this time I provided articles, often more than one, for almost every issue, around 160. The majority of these can now be found on my website
The following are a few pictures of my workshop
In the early issues of the Model Engineers’ Workshop magazine the supply of articles was limited due to there not yet being an adequate author pool, I did therefore have to provide a large number of articles for each issue myself. This ongoing till around issue 25.
This resulted in some dissatisfaction from some who were not happy with so many articles based around my Myford series seven, especially as some of the articles I received from elsewhere also used a Myford.
The following photograph shows an annex that I added to my workshop which I equipped with smaller machines in an endeavour to achieve more variation in the articles being published. In addition to using them when providing articles relating to workshop items being made, I also developed it into a series, explaining how the workshop was built, the machines and tooling chosen, the benches and electrics installed, etc. I wrote this using an assumed name of John Steel.
The following shows the access between the two workshops
If you would like to learn more about my metalworking workshop, and its development see my website