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Greetings from Ontario


I'm a newbie metal worker...it is all Mr. Pete's fault! Youtube videos have made me think that maybe I can do that, too. A beat-up Atlas 618 (itty-bitty) lathe came up in an auction last year and I put in a bid thinking that I'd never win. I did; kind of. It took months of work and I pretty much doubled my purchase cost acquiring parts to fix the lathe. But I've had it running for a couple of months now and actually made some stuff. Most of it for the lathe itself! Following is a shot from a before I added the quick change toolpost:


My latest folly is trying to make a milling attachment for the lathe. Harold Hall's web site provided the inspiration for using an angle plate and the compound as the main components. We'll see.

Anyway, I'm located in the west end of the GTA. Anybody else near by?


I’m about an hour west of Toronto. Couple more Ontario guys join up and we can mutiny from those pesky Westerners! :p

Kidding!! Just joking around, the western guys seem like a good crew to be around!
Hey there, Trivn, and other gentlemen... Oakville here. Funny, but machinists in the GTA are scarce. Must be the cold preventing us all from socializing. I run a humble part-time machine shop that pays for my tool addiction.
Pretty much, I've used the lathe to...make stuff for the lathe! A lever, a knob and wheel where all broken or missing when I got it so I've made better parts.

I've made a poor man's milling attachment but it needs more work. I used the compound in a vertical orientation for the "Y" axis. In the first use, it was moving on its own (due to vibration) so I couldn't mill a straight slot. Complicated to explain but by changing the mounting position, I think I can engage more of the gib (it was near the travel limit) and be better able to lock it down during 'milling'. To do.

But, I also picked up another lathe (Atlas 10-F) and a 1X42 sander that both need work. I need to 'mill' a couple of small pieces for the 10-F's motor mount but, as above, my first attempts were utter failures. I'm also going to try to turn some plastic replacement wheels for the sander.

BTW, not sure if it is your thing but there is a model engineering club in Hamilton. I've only attended one meeting. Honestly, it was long and several of the segments were guys giving an update on projects that have been in process for many months. They didn't give any context and I had little idea what they were talking about. OTOH, a couple of models were demonstrated and they were amazing! One guy was showing off (running) the multi-cylinder internal combustion engine that he was racing to complete before the NAMES show.

Their last meeting for the season is coming up on May 21. I may try again as I have a thought for a model that I'd like to try.


I considered the model engineering club, but it reminds me too much of toy making. Agreed, they produce some fantastic and complicated stuff, but aside from learning how they did it, I don't have the interest in replicating scale models of vintage trains, or building an engine that turns for the sake of building an engine.

My machining needs to be more practical - make parts to make money, or make tools to make parts to make money. For me, my side-show-machining-business is my hobby. Take for instance my avatar. I make those and sell them all over the world. When I'm not selling those, I'm making stuff for people to pay bills for its website, equipment I've purchased, etc. Occasionally I'm make a ball turner because I couldn't find one at a decent price, or machine some D&D dice for my kid on the 5-axis mill, but then it's back to work making money.

Perhaps I'll come to see the May 21st meeting - who knows. I might change my mind.
It's a precision spinning top called "Spinny-Doo". Details at www.spinny-doo.com. I make them on a dual-spindle 24-station Hardinge T42. It's a small, humble business, but it's completely mine from end to end. Everything from design and manufacturing, to trademarks, to the website, shipping, and customer service. The only thing I don't do is anodizing (too messy.)
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Tom O

Active Member
Nice! We use to play with gyroscopes usually received at Xmas time after that there was the top you wrapped the string around before throwing it towards the floor.