Page last updated 14th August 2022

"The Taig/Peatol Lathe" book (Added 21st March 2020)

I have written a companion book for the Taig lathe. This book was revised in 2019 and is now in its second edition; copies available through Amazon worldwide, in both paperback and Kindle E-Reader format.

The Taig/Peatol Lathe

A Hacker's Guide to Building the Worden Grinder

This article, published in MEW issues 174, 175, and 176, documents my experience with building a Worden grinder from the Hemmingway kit. For reasons that I have yet to fathom, part of the intro to the article was not included in the MEW version, and eventually appeared in a letter from me in issue #175; however, you can now read the "unexpurgated version" of the article here. ).

Myford ML-7 conversion to CNC

My ML-7 lathe used to have a set of change wheels, a screwcutting gearbox, and a topslide; all these were removed and sold on Ebay, and the resulting cash was more than enough to fund conversion of the lathe to CNC, using MACH 3 Turn. The conversion retains the standard Myford leadscrew, half nuts, and cross-slide screw feed, allowing the lathe to be used as a plain manual lathe if so dsired as well as under CNC control. Similarly, the bits I stripped off and sold could be retained if so desired. The conversion was published as a series of articles in Model Engineers' Workshop issues 138 (Part 1: Leadscrew), 139 (Part 2: Cross slide), 141 (Part 3: Stepper drives and control hardware), and 142 (Part 4:Configuring Mach 3).

Taig Mill conversion to CNC

I finished working on an upgrade to my Taig CNC mill in early 2006, which appeared as an article in Model Engineers' Workshop issues 120 and 121. This upgrade really amounted to a complete re-conversion of the mill; it had been fitted with Taig's own stepper drive system, but now has a completely new stepper drive based on microstepping motor drives. It turns out that there is not much difference between what I did to perform this conversion and what you would do starting from a manual or "CNC-ready" Taig mill. Part 1 of the article deals with mechanical improvements to the mill and Part 2 deals with the drive system and converting it to make use of DeskCNC.

X3 Mill conversion to CNC

I completed a CNC conversion of an X3 milling machine to CNC operation in 2006, using ballscrews and stepper drives. There is an article here describing the conversion, based on an article published in Model Engineers' Workshop issue 113.

DIVISIONMASTER - An automatic indexer/rotary controller

Divisionmaster is no longer in production; however, a similar rotary controller designed and built by Steve ward is available from here:

In order to support existing users that wish to have access to the firmware for the project, I have made the firmware and the manual available for download HERE.

REVMASTER - A Simple Tachometer

This design appeared as articles in issues 115 and 116 of Model Engineers Workshop; this page contains PDFs of the PCB layout and firmware files referred to in that article. The full text of the article can be found here.

CNC "Wheel Cutting Engine"

In order to better demonstrate the capabilities of my DivisionMaster controller, I built a simple clock wheel cutting engine from Taig lathe parts. This article was originally published in issue 96 of Model Engineers Workshop; the full text of the article can be found here.

Gear cutting with a rack form multi-tooth cutter

This exercise came out of the need to cut a replacement gear for a friend's clock; it turns out that cutting involute form gears can be achieved with very simple cutters. The article was published in Issue 131 of Model Engineers' Workshop; the text can be seen in full here.

Dividing Heads and Dividing Accessories

A few years ago, I built a comprehensive set of dividing accessories for use with the Peatol/Taig lathe and mill, using a modified Peatol/Taig lathe headstock as the dividing head spindle, hence allowing use as a stand-alone dividing head or as dividing attachments to fit directly to the lathe. The design was published in issues 62 and 63 of Model Engineers' Workshop (MEW) in November/December 1999. Follow the link above to see the complete building instructions, diagrams etc. The original motivation behind this design was to build a 4th axis for my Taig CNC mill, to allow cutting of clock gear wheels under CNC control; however, the design has the potential for much wider application and use with other small machines.

Follow the link to read an article on the design and construction of an earlier and simpler dividing head for the Peatol/Taig micro lathe.  This is an updated version of an article published in the October '97 edition of the US publication, "Projects in Metal", which in turn was an update of an article originally published in MEW.

My most recent excursion into indexing devices is a stepper-motor controlled indexing attachment for the ML-7 lathe, based on a modification of the George Thomas dividing attachment that indexes using the bull wheel.

Peatol/Taig Lathe Leadscrew Conversion

I have developed a Leadscrew for the Peatol/Taig lathe - click here to see how. The description of the leadscrew is based on an article originally published in issues 56 and 57 of MEW.

Peatol/Taig Tailstock modifications

I have made some improvements to my Taig lathe tailstock, to extend the lever, to replace the cap-head locking screws with knurled handwheels, and to add a micrometer set-over adjuster. This is a revised version of an article I wrote for MEW - published in issue 80.

Spindle and Surface Speed Measurement

It is useful to be able to perform spindle speed (RPM) and surface speed measurement in the workshop from time to time. This article is a revised version of one that I wrote for issue 60 of MEW.


In January 2000 I completed construction of a clock to John Wilding's "3/4 second Pendulum Clock" design, published as a constructional series in Model Engineer around 1998, and now available as a book (see "BHI" link below). I have had three articles published in ME related to this clock; the first in Vol. 184 issue 4120 details some improvements to the 3/4-second pendulum clock design that make the setting of the operating lever rather easier to achieve. The second, in Vol. 184 issue 4132, describes the engraving of a chapter ring for the clock, using a CNC mill. The third article, on the construction of a case for the 3/4-second pendulum clock, was published in Vol 185 issue 4136 of ME.

Webcam-based centering device

In collaboration with Dick Stephen we developed a centering device for use in the mill or lathe based onan inexpensive webcam. The article describing this was published in issue 112 of Model Engineers Workshop; this page contains the graticule files referred to in that article. The software we used for that project was "Willing Webcam". However, a more recent pair of articles in MEW by Mike Trethewey, based around his dedicated software package called CentreCam, looks like a much better alternative than using Willing Webcam. Trial versions of the software can be downloaded from this website; the site also carries an excellent description of how to construct the device.

Current/Future Projects

My workshop is currently in a state of flux, owing to a move to the wilds of the Inner Hebrides in 2014, so all bets are off regarding workshop time for the forseeable future. However, I hope to document the process of kitting out my new workshop in due course.


Taig's Website - Carries information and prices for their complete product line - micro-lathe, desktop mill, desktop CNC mill, and accessories.

Nick Carter's Taig Lathe Pages - A "must read" for a vast store of further information, tips and pointers of interest to users of Taig/Peatol lathes or their various derivatives. Nick also sells Taig equipment at discount prices in the USA.

For MEW and Model Engineer (ME) subscriptions and back issues call 01858-435344 (UK). MEW and ME are distributed in the USA by EWA Magazines - 1-732-424-7811 (US). In Australia, MEW and ME are available through magazine distributors Gordon & Gotch in Sydney; local magazine retailers should be able to order copies through them.

The British Horological Institute (BHI). The BHI is the recognized professional body for clock and watch making in the UK. They run courses on horological topics, and sell a number of related books, including constructional books by John Wilding and others.

Ian Cobb is a supplier of brass and steel, and also cut clock wheels and pinions, for the clockmaker.

James Harvey is an experienced machinist from the USA. His book, Machine Shop Trade Secrets, contains 300 pages of useful advice and tips, primarily aimed at improving the skills of machinists that are involved in small engineering businesses; however, the information contained in this book will also be invaluable to the amateur machinist operating in a home workshop. The text is clearly written, with abundant photographs and diagrams. The book can be ordered directly from James via his website.

Email me at this address...

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