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Sunday, June 21, 2009


Hello and welcome to my new blog!

My name is Jaakko Fagerlund and I'm a Finnish locksport enthusiast, who loves to machine things. With things I mean lock cutaways, lockpick tools, small parts and pieces and new tools to help me machine more things :) I also have a blog called Haittalevy ("Detainer disc") which is about locks and lockpicking in Finnish, but it has lots of pictures.

My own interest in machining grew up with the locksport around 2006-2007 and I acquired a Dremel tool to make things. I did a couple of cutaway locks with it, but it was quite a difficult task to do, so I tried to find better machines. I quickly found out about mini lathe from and my view of world changed. After intensive search, a couple of lucky strikes and with the help of my father, I got a new mini lathe from a Finnish supplier in January 2008. About the same time I ordered over 200 EUR worth of tooling for the mini lathe from to begin with.

I had been two years in the Technical University of Tampere prior to 2008, but lack of interest and boredom led me to find some other form of education. The mini lathe and things learned with it had grown an interest in machining inside me, so I searched for a trade school near me that would teach machining. Sure enough, I found one 600 meters away from my apartment and sent an application with necessary attachments. In the summer 2008 I got a note saying that I have been accepted and school starts in the fall.

Fall arrived and on the first day in school all with a prior college degree were assigned to one class. This was because we didn't have to go common classes like english, mathematics and what else, because we had those in college already. This simplified things and the first year was days full of trade related subjects, like welding, hydraulics/pneumatics/mechanics, technical drawing, manual machining, material science, work safety, fire safety and first aid training. At the end of the first year, spring 2009, two months were dedicated for work experience. I got a place from TH-Tools Oy and operated wire EDM (and some sinker EDM) machines the whole time. Just prior to summer vacation we gathered at the school, shared thoughts about the work experience and got our first years papers. The grading scale is from 0-5, 0 being failed and five is the best. I got every trade subject five, except arc welding which was a four. This got me a nice 60 EUR cash envelope from our teachers for being the best of the class :)

During the work experience I got my father to support me financially a mini mill which I had thought about from the moment of getting the mini lathe. A little over year of waiting was finally over and I ordered the mini mill from a Finnish supplier. It took 1.5 months to arrive because the European supplier had their warehouse empty and the chinese probably had a busy time making these machines. The mill arrived 01.06.2009, just as my summer vacation started :)

So here I am, waiting to finish up the build of my new work table for the mini mill so that I can finally put it in to proper use. I have already tried it a little and most of the time tweaked it and designed minor modifications to it and spent about 300 EUR in eBay buying tools and things for my shop :)

A little note to all readers about dates, numbers etc. I live in Finland and we use the SI system here, so all measurements are metric (mostly expressed in millimeters, mm, 1/1000 of one meter) unless otherwise noted. All dates are expressed in DD.MM.YYYY format and times are by a 24 hour clock. Officially all decimals should be separated with a comma, but I use dot as sometimes the comma makes things look nasty and especially in written text, most particularly in lists (thing one, thing two, thing three). We don't usually use separators for thousands, and neither do I. It is very rare to have big numbers and if there is need for them, I usually express them with standard multipliers like kilo, mega, giga, milli, nano, pico.

This introduction might have been a little boring as there is no pictures, but don't worry, all my future articles will be peppered with lots of pictures and explanations of different things, tools and projects. When I write about some project I'll try to teach some basic knowledge of machining which should help any other aspiring machinist souls to get those chips flying :)

I have included a PayPal donation button to the top of my blog. If you like my projects, articles or otherwise would like to support this hobby of mine, please do donate. The amount is up to you and every cent donated will fund me new tools and materials when in need.

Thank you for reading and again, welcome to my blog!


  1. Cool! I'll be visiting this blog too.

  2. Glad to hear your taking an interest in this trade. I have over 35 years of experience in machining so if you get stuck with a problem I can help you out at