New forum member from UK

Hello to all, the forum was recommended to me by someone I know on the Vectric forum so here I am :wave:

Spent 20 years in the Royal Navy as a mechanical engineer before being medically discharged after a car crash. Started my own business as a signmaker (vinyl not traditional painting) & one thing that I always fancied was a CNC router. About 4 years ago I was offered a machine at a cheap price because it didn't work & the owner had bought himself a new machine, having replaced all the electronics I set about using it to help with the signmaking. I was only looking to do basic cut out lettering from foam & aluminium composite & some fret cut work for shop fronts/lightboxes. Dimensional signage in the UK doesn't seem to be as popular in the UK as other parts of the world & is a difficult market to crack especially for a small Company so wood was not really a material I was thinking of using, I knew nothing about painting & finishing either & felt it would probably take to long to learn to do well.

It wasn't until after I had the machine up & running & I joined the Vectric forum that I discovered all the other things the machine could be used for, not I seem to be doing more woodwork than anything else & really enjoying it, still have a great deal to learn though so hoping that this forum will help with that.

Sorry about the length of this post but I just wanted to introduce myself properly :)
Welcome aboard, Martin! :wave: And as Leo alluded to, no need to apologize for long posts. You have a long way to go before you start approaching some of the posts we get here! And if anyone happens to dislike long posts, they're always free to scroll past them. ;)
Welcome old chap. I would not be concerned about a long post, we can all read, don't suffer from short attention spans heck we woodworkers. Nice to have members from across the pond. Hope you enjoy your stay and get the answers you looking for.
Roger, I was born in London, went to school in Epsom (Surrey). Joined the Royal Navy at 16 & after basic training drafted to Faslane which is about 30 miles North of Glasgow, I have lived in Scotland pretty much ever since. I live in Fife now which is the other side of the Forth Road Bridge from Edinburgh :)

Not sure you would class them as Lathes if you are a turner but I have 2 shopsmith machines & have been doing some turning on one of them, nothing fancy just some of the gift kits you can get like Pens, perfume atomisers, key rings etc etc. One of my Mum's prize possessions is a wooden fruit bowl that I turned when I was at School, that would probably have been about 1973 so a couple of years ago now lol
I live in Fife now which is the other side of the Forth Road Bridge from Edinburgh :)

Not sure you would class them as Lathes if you are a turner but I have 2 shopsmith machines

I've been to Fife once, as I have a nephew who was a traffic cop in Buckhaven, and I had the pleasure of being treated for a foot infection in Kircaldy Hospital.

I have known a couple of people who have had Shopsmiths and are quite devoted to them. I was once offered one for free, but didn't realize what I was being offered (sight unseen) and turned it down because I didn't think I had room for it. I kick myself occasionally over that.
I once stood upon the tarmac at RAF Lakenheath while I was assigned to the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron out of Ramstein Air Base, Germany. So I should have also welcomed you as one vet to another.
Just saying Hello was enough for me Brett although your post about being a vet looks to be very tongue in cheek :)

Roger, probably not worth kicking yourself over, I registered with the shopsmith forum & yes some people are very dedicated to them, my own view is that like any multi tool they are quite handy if you don't have the space for dedicated equipment but they will never do the job as well if you are looking for any real degree of accuracy. They can take quite a bit of setting up & then as soon as you change it to do something else you are back to square one. Some of the guys on the shopsmith forum have a few machines all set up to do different things which to me defeats the purpose of having it in the first place :)
I have already run into a few problems, the bandsaw cuts a maximum of 6" which is very restrictive if you want to resaw boards. I just wanted something to cut small pieces when I got the first one so that didn't bother me, now as I have progressed it has become more of a problem. The tailstock arrangement for the lathe is very flimsy & completely fixed, it's the headstock that moves & this has caused a few problems trying to secure stock in the lathe.
The headstock is a reasonably heavy unit so when set up as a pillar drill you have to be quite careful if you need to move it up or down the rails but it's not to much of a problem once you are aware of it, I tend to position the headstock roughly where it needs to be now before flipping it up vertically :)
Having said that about it they are quite handy if you are limited space wise & don't expect to much from them, there is a wide selection of additional bits available as well, both the machines I bought were very cheap because they needed a complete strip down & rebuild, something I was happy to do with my background, the first one I bought came with a bandsaw & jigsaw attachment, lathe duplicator as well as the standard bits like saw blades & sanding disks. The second one came with the bandsaw, shaper, & router attachments plus the dado cutter set as well as the standard bits. Only thing I have bought for it personally is a small scroll chuck which actually cost me more than either of the complete machines cost me lol