Hi! I'm Dan Kautz. Welcome to The Hobbyist's Machine Shop. This site is dedicated to my passion for building projects in metal using hobby type machine tools. There are 1000's of hobby machinist throughout the world. This web site describes how one of them in the U.S.A. got started, how the shop and projects grew, and what is going on today.
The machines and tools you will see in The Hobbyist's Machine Shop are selected because they are accommodated and managed in the normal private U.S. home environment. Some of my larger machines require 220 volts but the majority need only 120 volts and normal U.S. house wiring. The Hobbyist's Machine Shop includes everything from micro desktop machines to rather large and heavy bench machines. State-of-the-art CAD/CAM/CNC (at the hobbyist level) is thrown in for good measure. (Pun intended.)
All of the machines here have been selected on a performance x value/cost formula. The larger the number the more likely it will be purchased for The Hobbyist's Machine Shop. Tool sponsors are welcome, but most everything featured here was purchased on a hobbyist's budget over time.
It's true there is no substitute for mass and weight in machine tools. Ask any professional user. But for the small shop and hobbyist environment there is a portability and cost factor associated with heavy machinery. Hobby weight tools are just fine. It is a choice to make, containing no right or wrong decision. Every selection contains limitations. You will discover some of them here as you see how I describe and work with those limits. Micro or Maxi, there is fun and rewards in any size machine shop or machine tool.
When viewing these pages, put yourself into The Hobbyist's Machine Shop. Projects are also selected to be manageable in a small shop environment. Enjoy the many pictures and stories I show and tell.
Now available is The Hobbyist's Machine Shop Blog. Blogging has become a highly accepted form of Internet communication, both formal and informal. I post there on a very regular basis and the blog has replaced the small updates I used to post here in the main pages. Readers so inclined can register and post comments into the THMS blog.
Most of all, The Hobbyist's Machine Shop is about having fun!