Model Engineering In Thailand and South East Asia

Alan Workshop

Snapshot Update – Alan’s Model Engineering In Thailand Projects

New Big Lathe And Milling Machine Installed In The Workshop

Below is a photo of the KINWA CH 430 1100 Lathe and the ARGO Vertical Turret Milling Machine 3VH installed in my model engineering workshop in our retirement house here in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

The walls of the workshop are now complete awaiting painting. To the right that big opening is a roller-shutter door doing what it was intended to – to let the light in.

Image of New KINWA CH 430 1100 Lathe In Pakchong Workshop

New KINWA CH 430 1100 Lathe In Pakchong Workshop

The workshop looks a bit cluttered and it is as the single and three phase power distribution is being installed. That coil of black cable is the three phase power cable for the lathe and mill.  Here are a couple of exteriors photos showing the walls:-

Image Workshop Walls 01

Workshop Walls 01

Above, the opening at the end is a roller-shutter door to allow access for machine tools, benches and eventually a half-size model steam traction engine to pass through!

Image Workshop Walls 02

Workshop Walls 02

The photo above is at the other end of the workshop and is simply a window to match the other two on this elevation. You can only see the window frame – the shutters and security bars yet to be fitted.

 The Stuart Turner Victoria Steam Engine Model

I had been struggling to make some silly little parts – the guidebar supports and spacers, on my other lathe – a combined lathe and milling machine actually.. They are only 1/4″ dia and 1/4″ and 3/8″ long respectively but they all have to be exactly the same length.

I’m on trial 3 now and have used up all the Stuart Turner supplied 1/4″ round BMS stock and most of a 12″ piece I happened to have.

Eventually I found out how to do it and they are all exactly the same length withing half a thou:-

Here are the finished spacers (two types):-

Image of Finished Spacers Victoria Steam Engine

Finished Spacers Victoria Steam Engine

Buying Steel Bar

I mentioned above that I was fast running out of 1/4″ bright steel bar. I needed some angle steel to fill in some gaps around one of the roller-shutter doors so off I went to get some from the local steel merchant Ying Jaleaum. Whilst buying the angle iron I bought a selection of round steel rod. I didn’t really know what I was buying I just pointed to each of the smaller size rods and asked for 2 m of it.

Here are some photos of my haul back home:-

Image of BMS Bright Mild Steel Angle Iron Bought Pakchong Thailand

BMS Bright Mild Steel Angle Iron Bought Pakchong Thailand

The next photo is a close-up of the round steel bar. it is all bright mild steel (BMS) as we call it and on the receipt it is called “plao kaao” in Thai which translates to ‘axle shaft white’. So now you know what to ask for.

Image of BMS Bright Mild Steel Bar Bought Pakchong

BMS Bright Mild Steel Bar Bought Pakchong

Above the round bright steel I bought in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

The sizes are interesting. I was wondering whether they would be metric or imperial. top-to-bottom, the sizes as declared on the receipt and as I measured them are:-

Receipt Size Measured Size
1/2″ 1/2″ exactly
3/8″ 3/8″ exactly
11 mm 10.97 mm
5/16″  0.314″ = oversize by 0.0015″
1/4″ 1/4″ exactly

The 11 mm bar although it looks like black bar is in fact bright steel.

What else is interesting is how many of the bars were exactly to the imperial diameter. In the UK BMS is traditionally undersize so that a BMS rod will never be a close fit in a reamed hole.

The next photo is a close up of the steel angle. I have included this because the steel is so precise and clean with sharp corners and the marking is very clear. Not at all the rough angle iron I am used to back in the UK.

image of Angle Steel Bought Pakchong Thailand

Angle Steel Bought Pakchong Thailand



Photos Of The Huge ARGO 3VH Milling Machine And The Big Kinwa CH 430X1100 Lathe In The Vendor’s Workshop In Bangkok, Thailand

The photos are large size/resolution so please give time for the photos to load.

These are photos of a huge milling machine and a large lathe that were sent to me by a member of the Announcement List on the website in response to my Page “Buying A Large Lathe In Thailand“.

As I explained on that Buying A Large Lathe In Thailand web page I need a large lathe and milling machine to install in my model engineering workshop here in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, to make a large model of a steam traction engine.

The Announcement List member told me that the machines were about three years old and had seen little use and that he was prepared to sell them to me if I was interested. I was interested and arranged to visit the Vendor’s workshop. These are the photos the Vendor sent me by email.

Photos Of The Huge ARGO 3VH Milling Machine And The Big Kinwa CH 430X1100 Lathe

Click on “FS” to see full Size images.

Photos Of  The Big Kinwa CH 430X1100 Lathe

According to the Vendor, John, Kinwa is the last company to make non-CNC lathe machines of quality. Kinwa is a Taiwanese company and john says that these machines are far superior to lathes made in mainland China and that Kinwa is the make of choice for the discerning purchaser.

Specification Of  The Big Kinwa CH 430X1100 Lathe


KINWA Lathe Machine CH-430 Specifications


CH-430 x 1100


  Swing Over Bed

432 mm

  Swing Over Carriage

268 mm

  Swing Over Gap

610 mm

  Width of Gap in front of face plate

150 mm

  Distance Between Centers

1067 mm

  Width of Bed

300 mm

  Stroke of Tool Post

145 mm

  Stroke of Cross Slide

265 mm


  Spindle Bore

58 mm ( 78 mm Optional )

  Taper of Spindle Bore & Center

MT6 x MT4

  Spindle Nose

A1-6, D1-6

  Number of Spindle Speeds


  Spindle Speed

35,52,75,110,160,230,330,490,650,950,1350,2000 rpm

Threading & Feeds

  Number of Feeds


  Range of Longitudinal Feeds

0.037 – 1.04 mm / rev

  Range of Cross Feeds

Half of Longitudinal Feeds

  Leadscrew Diameter

35 mm

  Leadscrew Pitch

P = 6 mm

  Range of Inch Pitches

2 – 72 TPI / 44 Kinds

  Range of Metric Pitches

0.2 – 14 mm / 39 Kinds


  Quill Stroke

170 mm

  Quill Diameter

60 mm

  Quill Taper



  Main Motor

5 HP

  Coolant Pump Motor

1/8 HP

Machine Dimension



  Floor Space

2300 x 1000 mm


1800 kgs





Price Above Not Include Vat 7%

 Photos Of The Huge ARGO 3VH Milling Machine

John’s story of this huge milling machine and I was aghast at the size of it when I saw it, is that it is a Taiwanese clone of the well known and well respected American Bridgeport milling machine but that it has been “metricized”.

Specification Of The Huge ARGO 3VH Milling Machine

Vertical Turret Milling Machine 3VH

ARGO Vertical Turret Milling Machine 3VH Specifications




Spindle Motor

3 HP

Spindle Speeds ( rpm )

70 – 500 Low / 600 – 4200 High ( Verrival Speed )

Spindle Taper

R-8 or ISO 30

SpindleCenter to Column Face

6 – 3/4″ Min. – 29 – 3/4″ Max. ( 172 mm Min. – 756 mm Max. )

Spindle Nose to Table Top

0″ Min. – 18″ Max. ( 0 mm Min. – 458 mm Max. )

Quill Diameter

3.375″ ( 86 mm )

Quill Feeds ( 3 )

.0015″, .003″, .006″ ( .04 mm, .08mm, .15 mm )

Quill Travel

5″ ( 127 mm )


Head Tilt

45o Forward 45o Backward 90o Right 90o Left

Ram Travel

18″ ( 458 mm )

Ram Swivel



Work Surface

10″ x 50″ ( 254 x 1270 mm )

Max. Workpiece Travel

300 kgs

Longitudinal Travel

35″ T-Slots (3) ( 890 mm )

Supplied with Turcite B

Cross Travel

15.1″ ( 384 mm )

Supplied with Turcite B

Hardness and Ground Way

Vertical Travel

16″ ( 407 mm )

Hardness and Ground Way

Power Feed

X – Axis

155 / cm-kg ( 135 / in-Ib )

Z – Axis Driven Motor

800 mm / Min.


Approx. Machine Weight

1,250 kgs



Halogen Lamp


Chip Tray




Price Above Not Include Vat 7%

Details And Accessories

Details Of the SDN35CXA Super Quick Change Tool Post

  • 20,000 P.S.I. Holder locking pressure
  • For manual lathe, prototyping, maintenance work, limited multi operation and toolroom applications
  • Heat treated and precision ground alloy steel body
  • High precision, for internal and external operations, roughing and finishing
  • Interchangeable with industry standard tool posts and tool holders
  • Maintenance free
  • Manufactured in U.S.A.
  • Positive lock with absolute zero backlash
  • Repetitive accuracy of 0.0001″

 Specification Of The 6 Inch Milling Machine Accu-Lock Precision Vice

  • This machine vise without base has a 6 inch jaw width
  • 5-1/2 inch jaw opening
  • 1-3/4 inch jaw height
  • The lock down jaw provides 1/2 pound of force vertically for each pound of horizontal force and it eliminates tilt and hammering
  • The removed hinged handle helps fast locking
  • For Bridgeport milling machine

Outline Design For The Makita 2107F Bandsaw Frame Almost Completed

I have been steadily working away at the design of the frame to hold the Makital portable bandsaw model 2107F to allow it to cut off lengths of (mostly) steel bars easily. I have reached the stage now where the basic outline is complete enough to buy the materials and start fabrication.

Many details need to be developed but I’ll do those as I build the frame and update the CAD drawings accordingly.

To see the updated drawings please go to the Update 29 Dec 2013 – Outline Design Almost Complete Page

Progress on Building the Stuart Turner Victoria Horizontal Steam Engine And Designing The Frame For The Makita 2107F Bandsaw

The Stuart Turner Victoria Horizontal Steam Engine

I’m still working on the base for this engine. Actually this is the second base – the Stuart Turner casting kit has the real base but it needs a sub base to sit on. The sub-base was, in the real engine, made from wood, but I had a piece of steel channel that I decided to use at least as a temporary base. I may change it for wood in the future.

The holding-down lugs have been brazed on to the channel steel base and the ends closed with plates sawn from a 1 m square sheet of 2.83 mm black steel using the Bosch GST 25M Professional jigsaw.

Now I have milled and filed down the lugd and end plates to match the steel channel and covered the whole baseplate with car body filler.

Sanding flat is in hand at the moment.

I’m sanding the base outside to keep the dust out of the workshop but because it’s a boring and slow job and it’s cold outside (16 Deg C – freezing for Thailand) I do a few rubs on the sandpaper then go do something else. Like writing this Post. Then go do another rub on the sandpaper.

Designing The Frame For The Makita 2107F Bandsaw

I’m still working on this using AutoCAD to make the drawings.

The (updated) prototype has been such a success and so useful that it’s a permanent (temporary) attachment to the work bench. It will remain so until the real one is built.

The prototype Makita 2107F Bandsaw frame on the workbench has also proven vital to obtaining some vital dimensions to use in the actuel CAD design. Centre-line of fixing screws to centre-line of cutting blade, just for one example.

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.