Model Engineering In Thailand and South East Asia

New Page Added About Buying A Big Lathe In Thailand

My life’s ambition is to build a model steam traction engine and drive down to the nearest pub here in Pakchong (Pak Chong).

I want a big engine, not some small little model that you have to stoop down to operate.

No, I want a big one that you can sit on and that’s big enough to take a proper place on the roads in Thailand.

I have settled on a 6″ scale (that’s half full size) Little Samson model and have bought the drawings already.

My existing lathe that I bought in Thailand a year ago is not big enough to make the big parts for this traction engine so I’m considering buying another big lathe from a supplier in Thailand.

Buying a big lathe in Thailand will be quite an event. There are many things to consider such as size, price, accessories and not least a three phase power supply.

So this subject deserves a page or pages on it’s own which is why I have started the Buying A Big Lathe In Thailand Page.


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2 Responses to Buying A Large Lathe In Thailand

  • Hi Alan,

    Building such a large traction engine in Thailand is a really big undertaking and could be a 7-10 year project. Besides a large lathe and milling machine you will need some substantial hoists to lift the boiler and tender into position and for general handling of the wheels, etc.

    I would recommend a smaller 4-inch model as they are still quite large, but may not get you to the pub. You could always open your own pub at the bottom of the garden instead, that way the police won’t stop you on the way hone!


    • Hi Andrew, and thanks for your comment.

      Yes, you are right it is a big project. But I’m sick of making small parts!

      My spec for the steam Traction Engine in Thailand is that it should be big enough to have a significant presence on the road but as simple as possible. Parts should be big so that machining tolerances are large. Agricultural is what I’m looking for – if I could do away with the compensating gear (differential) I would.

      The 6″ Little Samson is about the same size and a 4″ Foster or Fowler. There is now a table showing the overall dimensions of these three models on the Building The Little Samsom 6 Inch Scale Traction Engine page.

      My preference is a 4″ Fowler but I just think it’s too complicated.

      The wheels on the Little Samson are cast in one piece – no need to build them up with individual spokes and all that riveting.

      The 4″ Foster or Fowler is fine. A 4″ Burrell would be too small.

      Having a pub at the end of the garden is a good idea and something I’m working on but can’t say too much about that here.

      Also you raise another point that is far more serious than the size of the thing. I doubt if a steam traction engine would be legally allowed to run on the roads in Thailand.

      Also I’m not sure of the legal position regarding the boiler and design/manufacturing standards. That’s another issue I’m looking into. I have the Little Samson boiler drawing so I’m going to contact a boiler manufacturer in Thailand to see if they can make it. And if so what the cost is likely to be.

      And yes, I know I will need a crane not just for the parts but for the lathe chucks. I struggle to lift the rotary table and the machine vice on my existing lathe/milling machine. Any bigger machine will need a crane.

      But it’s a life’s ambition. If I don’t do then I will have failed in my life and we can’t have that.

      Best Regards

      Alan Brown

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