August 2022 General Meeting Report - Visit to Scarab Studio
That was certainly a different meeting to our usual get together at the Melville Woodturners.
We met at Scarab Studio in Midland and were welcomed by designer Peter Cook who took us on a tour around the amazing Midland Railway Pattern Shop and the area they share as part of their workshops.
Those members who came early had the opportunity to browse through the wide variety of timbers that they use and buy pieces for their own collection.
Being taken into the old pattern shop, you immediately start to appreciate the history and heritage that is all around you, the machines are just as they were left, and the mezzanines levels are still full of the original patterns that would have been jealously guarded and used to produce different castings both large and small.
This was an essential part of any heavy industry manufacturing its own castings, and machine tools and in its day would have been full of craftsmen and their apprentices producing in timber, any part that needed to be cast in the foundry.
What an amazing place!
Having picked up a small gear pattern, Peter then took us into their work area, where he showed us a design on the computer and set the 3D printer outside to reproduce another cog which would mesh with the original.
We next went to his CNC machine and set it running to produce the base for both gears which he later assembled to demonstrated how versatile a modern workshop can be.
He talked about the commissions they had designed and produced and showed us a variety of puzzle boxes.
We also met Adam Coffey of Future Shelter who shares the space with Scarab Designs and had a similar variety of woodworking machinery including a laser printer.
He also talked to us about how he and his wife worked out the relationship between the artist and the producer and how the two companies worked in conjunction with each other.
You should visit their web sites to check out both the interesting designs and the work of artist Jane Coffey
On behalf of the Fine Woodworking Association, I would like to thank Peter and Adam for an interesting tour and introduction to the Midland Railway Pattern Shop.