MILLER WORKSHOP

Laura's Models

Laura is one of the very few women model engineers; coming to the craft late, she has brought all her meticulous dedication, artistic ability, and energy to building machines that are both functional and engaging. Although she modestly calls herself an "apprentice", her machines are elegantly-designed and beautifully-crafted originals which earn her the title of "Model Engineer" in her own right.

 
Simple Oscillating Steam Engine
"The Wobbler"


 

Oscillating Steam Engine built from kit


Oscillating Steam Engine built from kit

 

This was the second little stream engine built in 2003


 

Laura writes:

When I first met Reg and saw the beautiful small scale models he built, I was amazed and intrigued. I had never seen anything like it. After we were married, it was a delight to watch him work. I asked a zillion questions, made a video of him building a tiny cistern pump, and couldn't wait to get doing something myself.

He encouraged me, and decided to draw the plans for a simple project for me - a small oscillating steam engine ( The Wobbler").   I had not done any metal work before, so the first lesson was an introduction to the names of parts, functions and workings of the lathe, milling machine, drill, hand tools, and the rest.

Now came the fun part - lesson two - actually operating the lathe. A piece of scrap stock was put in the lathe for practice and I was shown how to make a little spindle. From there I went right to beginning the model steam engine

Under Reg's watchful eye and patient coaching, I did the machining myself, the polishing and assembling, as well as designing the styling where that was an option. Reg showed me what stock to use, how to measure, set up the cutters, set the dials, and how to correct mistakes.

He took me through every step, explaining how precise each part needed to be, how the parts fitted together, why each part was designed the way it was, which machine or tool to use. I am very proud of my first effort as a  "Small Scale Model Engineer Apprentice"!

 

 

UPCOMING:  Laura is currently working on designing and building a 12-volt electric circuit "discovery board" with which children can experiment and learn about circuitry!