Metal Links:

How To...

The ArtMetal Village - Resource Center
Frank J. Hoose, Jr.'s Mini-lathe site - Excellent how to and up to date links
Engineman's Workshop by John Bentley - Unimat style threading tool and other cool Taig mods
Tips from the Jeweler's bench - Good material, slow to download
Tony has written several excellent articles about the Taig for Model Engineer's Workshop. They include adding a leadscrew, a very comprehensive set of dividing accessories, and soon to come, a new compound for the Taig.
Tony Jeffree's Model Engineering Pages


A Lot of Brass


BCS - Budget Casting Supply

Blacksmithing - Blacksmithing and Metalworkers Reference
Blacksmith Journal Home Page
Wallace Metal Work


British Horological Institute

Small Lathes:

I've currently owned at one time or another 3 metal lathes to date. A Craftsman 6" AA lathe, a 7x10 mini-lathe similar to the one that Harbor Freight and several others sell, and a Taig Micro-Lathe. I've used larger lathes and I've had a chance to use a Sherline. Now as to which lathe/mill to buy, that's a tough one. For HO scale 2" is pretty monstrous part and almost every lathe will easily turn that in any material with sharp tools. As for mills, the same applies, a 10" long locomotive in our scale is pretty large. I guess I'll rank them by cost:
Taig Micro Lathe - Lowest cost by far including the accessories, especially if you have access to cheap electric motors. The main disadvantages, no lead screw, it uses a rack and pinion to move the carriage. Also the compound slide is a bit on the weak side, you only have to use it though, if your making angled cuts. Not as many goodies available as the Sherline.
Alan's Useless Taig Lathe mods, etc ... Alan is very modest, awesome site!
Nick Carter's Taig Lathe Pages
Taig Tool Company
Sherline Lathe - Has just about everything you can think of for a lathe this size, everything's more expensive than the Taig, but reasonable when compared to normal machine tools. Make sure you get a NEW Sherline with the new motor and the extended slide travel, this makes it quite a bit more versatile than the older models and I believe the cost is the same.
Sherline Products Home Page

Import 7x10 lathes (Harbor Freight et al.) - I bought a remaindered one many years ago, that one was junk. For a beginner I think I would recommend the Sherline or Taig. Recently I have been tempted by the larger Micromark offering and with all the info out there now, it's a bit less daunting to start messing with these lathes. Info from people who are far more skilled than I am.
Harbor Freight Tools
John Moran's Widgets
Little Machine shop - real manual available plus loads of goodies

Ralph Patterson Tools and mods - Lots of PDFs and Drawings

Ty's HF 7x10 Mini Lathe Page - Good links, projects and reference
Varmint Al's Mini Lathe Page

Older Atlas/Craftsman lathes and such - They are OK lathes for hobbyist purposes, the Atlas 6" is much sturdier than the AA 6" lathe that Sears also sold. For an old AA, don't spend more than $200 and make sure it comes with most of the goodies because they are just about unfindable. Otherwise, I'd recommend the Taig or a Gingery style lathe if your really pressed for cash.

Metal Lathe Accessories - Still in business!

EMCO-MAIER - Compact 5, etc. Nice small lathes in assortment of sizes, somewhat pricey but nice.
Prazi - Nice small lathes in assortment of sizes, somewhat pricey but nice.
Sakai Machine Tools - ML360 6" and ML-210 4", they look nice but are somewhat pricey. Bay-Com sells a video that demonstrates their use. I've read at least one very complimentary letter that appeared in HSM. The seem to have very good service. Note: They have pulled out of the North American Market.

Small Mills

Sherline Mill - Above comments apply to this as well. The Sherline has all sorts of wonderful accessories. You should check out their web page just to get ideas!
Sherline Products Home Page
Taig Micro-Mill - A good mill with more capacity and heft than the Sherline, however the motor arrangement is a bit on the funky side. Still works pretty well. This is the one I own, along with a large old horizontal mill located at my old house in LA.
Nick Carter's Taig Lathe Pages
Taig Tool Company


My first recommendation is to subscribe to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Since it first started back in May 1999, it has been a hotbed of cheap CNC, CAD/CAM, DRO software and hardware.

Real Time LINUX and Hardware Controller Code - All I can say about these folks is wow! NIST has done a really nice job with this. The controller code is mostly in C so you could port it to any system you can run in real time. If your thinking of rolling your own, you have to look at this. Open Source at its' finest.  You will have to hunt around a bit on their website though, they've moved things around.