Machine Tools &
- Probably the
premier site for benchtop machine tools and an extensive line up of
accessories. Whether you are just starting out or taking the step to
CNC, Sherline's site offers a wealth of both information and
inspiration. Their "systems" approach, American craftsmanship and
excellent customer service make this a site worth visiting often.
www.taigtools.com - Taig offers a comparable line of
American made lathes and mills at "affordable" prices for the Home
www.foredom.com - This is the top of the line
manufacturer of hang-up and base mounted flexible shaft tools and
handpieces. In addition they offer a bench mounted buffer and an
extensive line of burrs, mandrels, buffing wheels, abrasive wheels &
points, and polishing compounds.
- For those looking for a step up in size, capacity, and rigidity,
Blue Ridge offers the Emco Maier line of machine tools as well as
other general shop supplies and tooling.
General Tooling &
www.jlindustrial.com - A very good online resource for
drills, endmills, measuring and set-up items, as well as about
anything else you can think of. Their printed catalogue,
though hefty, is an great resource to have around the shop and a
little easier to navigate than the website. Watch for sales which
they run often to stretch your tooling and consumable supply
www.littlemachineshop.com - Not as extensive a line as J
& L above but catering to the home shop machinist. Of special
interest to those with mini-lathes and mills such as Harbor Freight,
Grizzly, etc. since they stock repair and replacement parts for
www.micromark.com - A good source for small hand tools,
and miscellaneous hobby items, they also carry small brass rod and
tubing up to about 3/16" dia. Updated catalogues are mailed our
every few months including new or recently added items and sale
pricing from time to time.
www.smallparts.com - This is a good source for more
unusual items including small fasteners, specialty tools, materials,
etc. Their catalogue is a useful resource to have on hand as well.
They do cater to smaller quantities but pricier than most on the
more standard items.
Raw Materials &
www.microfasteners.com - You can print their catalogue
from the website which covers most fastener needs for the small
scale modeler from wood screws to machine screws, in various types
(round head, hex head, pan head, socket head and more) and materials
(brass, steel, stainless). You may have to buy 50 or 100 pieces but
even so pricing is very competitive with hobby type stores which
sell smaller pre-packaged quantities, especially in sizes ranging
from 0-80 up to 5-40.
from online sources may be necessary at times. Here are a few to
check out and compare. Most cater to small volume users but it still
helps to compare pricing, cutting fees (if any), and their location
relative to you since shipping charges can add up quickly if your
order much or include larger diameter sizes.
Casting Kits & Plan
- When you are ready to move from bar stock projects
to casting kits, PM Research is a good place to start. They carry a
nice line of small scale engine casting kits in aluminum, bronze,
and in some cases cast iron. They also have a line of miniature
working machine tools. Casting quality is top rate, as is their
attention to completeness including bar stock, fasteners, drawings,
etc. Pricing is among the most competitive for casting kits, and I
have found their customer service to be excellent. They have
an online catalogue showing the various kits and accessories, but
even with the small charge for the printed catalogue, it is well
worth it if only for the tables and other useful information
contained within its pages.
- Jerry Howell offers an extensive line of plan sets for
sterling cycle, atmospheric, and internal combustion engines. He
also has other project plans like mini and micro-drill presses and a
propane burner and regulator. Jerry's plans are top quality and I
have enjoyed building several of his sterling designs myself. His
innovation and attention to design have been an inspiration to many...