For people interested in starting up in model engineering they often buy some equipment and some books and just learn by trial and error. However a beginners training course can really help you get past the first few hurdles and get you actually making and getting the best out of your equipment.
There are a few engineering courses available from college night classes but you need to check the course descriptions closely because a lot of these will be for jewellery making and you won’t even get close to using a lathe.
However there are some other options.
The Society of Model and Experimental Engineers do a couple of beginners courses in their head quarters in South London.
“The first course, over three sessions, discusses the setting up of a workshop, what equipment is desirable and the basics of how to use machines and hand tools.
The second course, over six sessions, covers the construction of an oscillating steam engine and boiler based on Tubal Cain’s ‘Polly’ design.”
If you fancy a trip to Devon then perhaps the Axminster Skill Centre might be better. They have several beginners courses on offer, a 2 day introduction to the Mill or Lathe. These are held twice a month. There are also longer 5 day courses that look using hand tools for metal work, fitting, marking and measuring, heat treatment, filing and scraping as well as working with machinery such as the lathe or mill. The courses are currently taught by ex Fawcett Preston apprentice Joe Doughlas
Prices correct at time of going to press. The Axminster Skill centre also does other courses in woodworking and carving.
If you have specific questions or just need a demonstration then you can contact your local model engineering club or visit one of the model engineering exhibitions throughout the year.