A few days ago I was searching FleaBay for some 6082 -T6 Aluminium Alloy bar offcuts to turn up a slightly longer nosewheel Oleo for my Boomerang and happened to spot some offcuts listed as being from Wimborne by a company called Miniature Manufacturing. A quick Google and It turns out they are based on the small industrial estate just as you enter Sturminster Marshall and specialise in making aftermarket parts for model cars. Anyway a quick phone call and short trip later I had three 70mm long x 16mm dia offcuts in my sticky mitts for the princely sum of £3.
Whilst collecting them from the door of the unit (full access will be possible once lockdown rules are properly lifted, so didn't get a chance to have a snoop at the workshop and chat to the operatives) I established that they are more than happy to make one offs. They have full CNC lathes with milling attachments and a full 5 axis CNC milling machine, as well as full CAD/CAM capabilities and the usual manual lathes/Bridgeport type mill etc.
It suddenly struck me that if members were not aware of this company (as I had not been) they are a little gem of an organisation right on our doorstep where you could get a replacements part made for a damaged but long obsolete engine, a set of scale wheels turned up for that big scale Spitfire or a set of Oleo legs made up to a non standard length or design. I have no idea what the cost would be like and just what data they would need to create the G code files for the CNC machines, I would guess that if you could provide a good 3D CAD file of the required part it would reduce costs considerably as that would save a lot of CAD time at an hourly rate.
Once lockdown rules ease I plan to find another excuse to visit for some more offcuts and see if I can find out a bit more and more importantly have a snoop inside. In the meantime to have found a company that is small enough to be interested in one off jobs but big enough to have several £100k worth of quality CNC machinery and right on our doorstep I think is a bit of a find. I know this will not appeal to lots of members but there are a few 'Builders' in the club that may not be lucky enough to have their own Lathe/Milling machine but are desperate to get a part made up. Take a look at their website to get an idea of their capabilities
However, I would suggest phoning them to check what they have available and place your order and then popping in to collect as you will save postage and I think the price I paid was less than the Ebay quoted prices (probably due Ebay excessive fees), it was just a 'shall we say £3' I got the impression that if I bartered it could have been less but given my surprise at the price I gave them a fiver and said don't worry about the change.
I found them a couple of weeks ago and purchased this acetal amongst other items. I had to pay up front via Flea bay including the shipping but they refunded the postage. because i was collecting. I justified the trip by taking Mrs R to Kingston Lacy.
When i collected I asked for some extra material and they just said pay what you think. Yes Peter - highly recommended