Model Engineering In Thailand and South East Asia

Keith Takes Delivery Of A Brand New Milling Drilling Machine Model ZX7550 to his 5 x 4 Metres Workshop In Hua Hin

Keith was introduced to the website by Shaun Burke of Cromwell Tools in Bangkok. I’ll let Keith do his own introduction:-

Keith Introduces Himself In This Email


Hi Alan,

Simply to introduce myself, my name as you can see from my email is Keith Patten.

I have been living in Bangkok for the last 14 years and 3 years ago built a house in Hua Hin, complete with workshop 5 x 4 metres.

I am an ex mechanical engineer and preparing the workshop for my retirement although it’s already being frequently used.

I recently bought an American Craftsman 12 x 36″ lathe from another expat in Hua Hin. The lathe has a good range of accessories that include most of the normal needs and also a milling attachment.

I will soon be looking for a bench drill and also a small milling machine as the Atlas lathe is really to weak to do any serious milling.

At the moment I am revisiting skills that I have not used for the last 30 years and thoroughly enjoying myself.

My current projects are all involved in bringing the Atlas back to it’s former glory. It’s actually not in bad condition for its age and the work I am doing are very simple repairs and making tooling such as a draw bar for a collet system…..nothing too demanding.

My workshop is gradually progressing and Shaun Burke has been a star in helping with a number of supply issues. Cromwell has done quite well out of me over the last few months having purchased a Kobe Pillar Drill, vice, vertical/disc sander / linisher and a rolling tool chest.

This week I have ordered a milling/drilling machine which you are probably familiar with ZX7550, complete with 3 axis DRO (this will be a first DRO for me). The machine should be installed at the end of the month, subject to the DRO arriving on time and being fitted before delivery.

As my tooling comes together I will start some more ambitious projects including steam engines.

As you already know, Thailand does not have an abundance of quality tool suppliers or for that matter suppliers of steel, brass, aluminium etc., that are willing to cater to the hobby market.

Any advice would be great

“suppliers of steel, brass, aluminium etc”

Keith, please see the Materials section of the Resources section of this website for suppliers of metals for the home workshop.

And Now To See The Photos Of Keith’s Milling Machine Delivery

First photo shows the delivery truck and it seems to have become stuck in this narrow lane. Not sure what the guy on the right is doing with that long pole…

Photo of Milling Machine Delivery Truck Stuck

Milling Machine Delivery Truck Stuck

Well they got through the lane and up to the back wall where the mill is lifted off the truck with the truck-mounted crane, fork-lift truck in waiting. Looks very professional to me.

Photo showing Lifting Milling Machine Over Wall

Lifting Milling Machine Over Wall

Taking care not to damage any of the plants in Keith’s lovely garden the fork-lift truck makes it’s way to the workshop.

Image of Milling Machine On Fork Lift Truck

Milling Machine On Fork Lift Truck

Finally stripped of it’s wrapping the ZX7550 vertical turret milling and drilling machine in Keiths pristine workshop:-

Photo of Milling Machine Installed In Workshop

Milling Machine Installed In Workshop

If you’re like me you would be very interested to see photos of Keith’s American Atlas Craftsman 12 x 36″ lathe. How about it, Keith?

Keith’s 12 x 36 Atlas Lathe Photos

Shortly after showing the above web page to Keith he emailed me with the following photos of the Atlas 12 x 36 Lathe and a commentary. Thank you, Keith.

Here is Keith’s email:-

Hi Alan.

Here are a couple of pictures of the Atlas 12 x 36″ lathe installed in my workshop.

Having checked the serial number with the Yahoo Atlas forum, it was made sometime between 1939 and 1942. The machine came well equipped with original milling attachment (actually on the cross slide in the pictures).

I have some of the paperwork from previous owners and all have been in Thailand. I have an invoice showing that the quick change gearbox was supplied in 1985. It’s quite possible that American forces brought it to Thailand during WWII to enable them to make running repairs. Identical machines brought for these purposes have been identified throughout Asia

It’s a good machine, if a little light in construction but the bed ways are good and after aligning everything I only needed to replace a few parts on the cross slide to bring it back in full operation.

Obviously I have added the enclosure and shelf, during the install so that I can keep the coolant and swarf under some sort of control. The chuck guard was also added as was the magnifying light. (The dial on the cross feed is very small and difficult to read. I will get around to making a larger dial but right now it’s at the bottom of my projects to do list.

Photo of Atlas 12 x 36 Lathe 1

Atlas 12 x 36 Lathe 1


Atlas 12 x 36 Lathe 2

Atlas 12 x 36 Lathe 2

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One Response to Keith,s ZX7550 Milling Machine

  • Hi Keith,
    very nice. I love old iron. I presume in American, a 12 x 36″ lathe is 6″ centre height and 36″ between centres. I have a 1969 Boxford VSL which is a top of the range vari-speed copy of the southbend 9″ model A. If you ever part with the Atlas, or upgrade to a heavier duty newer Chinese lathe to match your mill, let me know and give me first refusal.
    All the best,
    Mike (Udon).

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