Engineering back to my roots today machining parts

Engineering a job or a passion?

I served my Engineering apprenticeship in a toolroom in an engineering company in Chester, I suppose it was a natural progression due to my upbringing from a very early age with things like Airfix kits and my beloved Meccano. It was magic for me to be getting paid to learn about something I loved.

The advice from my late father was “get an apprenticeship son and you will never look back” in a lot of ways he was correct.

The training enabled me to work across the world and also pursue my love of motorsport as an engineer and racing driver.

So 40 odd years later and I am still using the machining skills. Todays project is making some spacers for one of our friends hand truck, not quite aerospace or racing car standards I know but enjoyable all the same.

Of course I could not afford a new lathe so bought one to renovate.

Engineering lathe
The lathe as bought
Engineering Metalworking lathe
Drilling on lathe
Machined spacers
Machined spacers for hand truck

The lathe has enabled me to machine parts for a number of my own projects including the trike project and make components for friends.

Next on the wish list is a milling machine, but I will need more space first.

Quiz What sort of bike should you be commuting on Bike Radar


A fun quiz for you. One thing that can make commuting via bicycle a more rewarding experience is – perhaps not too shockingly – having the right bike for the task. Of course, finding exactly which bike that is depends on many different variables, and there are probably many riders who could benefit from a change of ride.

The Bike Radar latest quiz attempts to work out exactly what type of bike we think you should be using for your commute. Simply answer six questions on your route and riding preferences and let us do all the work!

My personal choice is a mountain bike with panniers,  I ride mainly along the promenade with some cycleway and road usage it is a five mile journey each way and I have to carry a laptop and paperwork each way. I find that the wider tyres and front suspension make it easier in the sometimes sandy conditions, in certain places I have to ride along a slope so the wider tyre also helps there.
Quiz on Bike Radar link

Hope Hubs British Cycle Engineering at it’s best

Watch Hope’s new Pro 4 hubs being made a video on the MTR Website

Hope has added a new hub to its range of hubs, the Pro 4, and here’s a video of it being transformed from a simple billet of aluminium through to the shining, clicking freehub that’s likely to be seen (and heard) on bikes up and down the country.

As an engineer that served my apprenticeship in a production environment It’s truly fascinating to see how much work goes into each individual part and its great to see the dedication that each staff member has at each level of the production line. It’s no wonder Hope has machined itself a solid reputation for producing reliable components.

“So what’s new about the Pro 4?

Well to be honest it’s more a case of incremental improvements than a complete overhaul but Hope believes this new version is more reliable and compatible than ever before – after all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The Pro 4 replaces the Pro 2 Evo and comes with a 10 per cent faster engagement due to its 44 teeth and four pawl ratchet system (giving engagement every 8.2 degrees). It is available in 135mm, 142m or 150mm diameters, to bring it up to date with the latest standards, and has a wider spoke flange to accommodate stiffer wheel builds.

The hub is available in six different colours including orange for the first time this year. Hope is providing a whole host of other options you can pick from to find the perfect hub for your ride and you can find more information here. Weights for a rear hub start at around 300 grams and increase from there depending on what you pick.

Thankfully Hope has promised that despite all the changes the click will sound exactly the same. A front hub will cost £67 and a rear hub £160.”

The Hope Website is hereHope Hubs Logo

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