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Old Wed 23 October 2013, 06:02
Just call me: Al #114
Send a message via Skype™ to lonestaral
My MechMate. My story. (Why did you build or buy your machine ?)

Tell us the story behind your build.
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Old Wed 23 October 2013, 06:03
Just call me: Al #114
Send a message via Skype™ to lonestaral
The Lancaster & the Phantom

The story starts in England at the start of World War 2.
My Granpop is in the Royal Air Force.

He is sent to South Africa to train with their air force.
On his return to England he is posted as a navigator on Lancaster bombers.
He flies many missions over occupied Europe.
The most famous raid was on the V1 & V2 establishment on the Baltic cost of Poland at Peenemunde.
A long & dangerous mission.
He never talks much about the war but he does tell me some stories over the years.

After the war my father is in the Air Cadets.He tells me about the long tunnel he had to crawl through over the bomb bay in B29 bombers.

As for me, I go and work for British Aerospace at the old De Havilland works in Hatfield.
I work on the BAe 146, A310 and mods to older aircraft.
There is the flight test hanger to visit on a lunchtime.
Beleriot, Mosquito, Trident, Hawker Hunter. See some of them fly.

Time passes by.
Engineering changes. Computers, CAD, CAM, CNC become more common.
I go back to college to learn it.
I finished the CAD course early, draw what you like I was told.
Always an aircraft fan I had a collection of magazines with drawings.
The F4 Phantom always appealed to me. A mean looking bird, so I drew it.
The navigators gloved hand is a nod to the movie Top Gun.
It hung on the wall of the college for many years.
It was saved to floppy disc and I had a print of it framed.

I collect drawings and plans for all sorts over the years.

It was always a dream to have the F4 engraved on a piece of stainless steel.
When I get the chance the file is corrupt but I still have my framed print.

Last year while teaching in the local technical college I begin to think it must be possible to turn the print back into a drawing.
I investigate how to do it for free as I can teach the students how to do it.

Success, I have a drawing again thanks to Wintopo.
Then I have a CNC program thanks to Ace converter.

A fellow teacher at the college suggests that I build a router.

I have many plans from over the years. I look at the Mechmate but it seems too ambitious at the time.
I build a small machine from MDF.
It works well but it is small and slow.

Eventually the pressure builds for something bigger so I go for the machine that I should have built in the first place.

The Phantom bears my initials along with my friend from school . We had the same initials.
Also the college initials and the years we were there.

The markings on the Lancaster are from a photograph of my Grampop and crew beside their aircraft in 1941.

Well that is my story.
Thank you for having the good manners to stay awake.
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Old Wed 23 October 2013, 06:12
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
Wentzville mo
United States of America
Great story.
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Old Thu 24 October 2013, 20:12
Just call me: Jack
Nashville (Tennessee)
United States of America
Still don't have one, but working that way.

Retired computer geek, and back in college I moved to comp-sci, with minor in mech engr. Have always loved building things, so a MM is a dream toy for me. Just not place to put one currently.

Started getting interested in CNC about 10 years ago, the ideas of what can be done with a CNC and a little innovation keeps my interest up.

Still need the authorization by SWMBO to get it funded, and a good place to have and use it. So it goes.
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