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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Iqbal Ahmed-model engineer

A model engineer working in unappreciated isolation in India works his way up to a win in one of the world's foremost miniature machining contests.

Iqbal Ahmed was born in Nagpur, India to a well-to-do family. His grandfather was in the insurance business, and when automobile insurance became mandatory for all drivers, his business expanded in the region. After claims were paid on cars, his grandfather would purchase the less damaged of the wrecks and renovate them for sale. He would hire mechanics to do the repairs, and young Iqbal was able to observe the repairs being made and to ride around in many different types of cars; all of which fueled his interest in engines and how things worked.

In 2001 Iqbal Ahmed entered the Sherline Challenge contest with a small steam engine and boiler that did not place highly. In 2004, his small brass lathe with electric motor took 3rd place. In 2005, his 4-cylinder internal combustion engine took 2nd place. In 2007, he dominated the contest, winning both first and second place with his tiny scale models of a Sherline 5400 milling machine and a Sherline 4000 lathe. These machines were not only a clever choice for popularity with the show-going public who did the voting, they were superbly made and equipped with accessories like chucks, a rotary table, tilting table and mill vise with rotating base. This places Iqbal in the company of some of the best model engineers in the USA and some former winners of the Craftsman of the Year award with his contest win in the Machinist's Challenge. Iqbal's winning entries are shown at the bottom of the photo section below.

Read this interesting story of Iqbal Ahmed.

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