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Manbench Industries; Purveyors of general mayhem since 1994, a blog to follow the crazed, possibly deranged projects and emotive musings, of an undergraduate engineer, and an apprentice organ builder who have always felt they were born in the wrong age. Follow us as we, re-write history, learn lost skills, discover strange new worlds, break things, rant at things, mend things, make new things and generally find ways of passing the day instead of doing "proper work" !

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Tellurion progress!

So here's some further details of my Tellurion progressing...

Here's the Earth and Sun shown mounted, note the stylised brass handle support, made from recycled flugelhorn parts!!

The pleasing Moon train principle gear cap was one of my own additions to the design. 

Those who've seen the original design may also note my use of holes rather than cut spokes on the gears, this was to minimise use on my highly inaccurate fret saw! But once the project was assembled I was actually very pleased with the way this looked. 

Here we see all the gears assembled and the Moon, Earth and Sun in place.

After this I chose to further deviate from the plans further on the base and scale ring to add my own design touches, but for now it works!! 

More next week,

The Carpenter...

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Building a Coal Mine Part II

Made a little more progress on the winding engine with the manufacture and assembly of the beam supports - these are just 6mm MDF that were cut with the jig saw and sanded to shape. They were then glued together and the beam fitted. These will eventually be planked to match the design of the full size example. The boiler is going to be made from one of those brass spray things - just the right shape for an 18th Century Haystack boiler!

The Engineer.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Building a Coal Mine Part I

Back from university and straight back out into the workshop! I decided to begin some of the scenic items for the garden railway as I have ran out of points to lay the track any further inside and have yet to come up with a firm plan for how to lay the track outside. By the way - on that topic, I am on the lookout for a left hand SM32 point - preferably Peco if anyone has one laying around?

The story behind the line is to be as if the Industrial Revolution really kicked off in Somerset rather than somewhere like Ironbridge and will have all sorts of old and interesting machinery laying around. The line however is based some time in the 1910's - 1920's and the machines are really on their last legs. I will develop a further back story at some stage!

Anyway, for the first section, I decided to start with building the coal mine. This is to use an early atmospheric winding engine to lift the coal from the depths of the mine, something like this...

After messing about for an hour trying to find the fence for my crappy band-saw, and then having various blade problems, I decided to call up my woodworking friend, popped up the road and had the wood cut in thirty seconds!

This allowed me to assemble the beam as shown below. Pretty simple in construction - a couple of bits of Beech with a few holes drilled in them in the relevant places, a couple of Meccano brackets, a chain rocker out of some MDF with a grove filed in for the chain to run in and finally a couple of bent bits of wire for the hook and beam bracing. 

In real life, the beam would have been made out of Oak and after a hundred years outside would have seen considerable weathering - I am trying to work out the best way to achieve this effect, I've heard Indian Ink is widely used for this...any suggestions?

The Engineer.

Thursday, 8 May 2014


A thoroughly up to date title appropriate for today's post...some Instragramed photos of my Karsten Tornado Steam Turbine in operation.

Nothing relating to any progress or anything useful, but thought you might like to see them!

...anywho, back to revision!

The Engineer. 

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Tell me of your Tellurion!

So with a maths exam looming, this week seemed like the ideal time to indulge in copious amounts of procrastination! I noticed recently that Christopher Blasius in Germany had released plans for his wooden Tellurion model which looked, and indeed as it turns out,is an excellent project.

So long story short that's what I started doing. I made some minor alterations to the design to better suit our workshop capabilities and available materials but I'll cover these in more detail in a later article, for now here's some pictures of the build! 

Christopher's excellent plans, for more details and other genius projects see, https://www.facebook.com/holzmechanik.de

My modified base design, oak and ash, with an upstand made from a part of a flugelhorn!! 

Main gear assembly progressing.

More details to follow as I progress, I cannot recommend Christopher's plans enough, go forth and buy all his projects fellow carpenters!! Clear easy to follow instructions, and inspiring design solutions! 

Bye for now,

The Carpenter.