The Internet Craftsmanship Museum Presents:

Barry J. Jordan

Joe Martin Foundation "Metalworking Craftsman of the Year" award winner for 2003

Machine shop tools in Miniature

Barry Jordan with the model Bridgeport mill that first brought him to international attention. (Click photo for larger image.)


Barry Jordan’s models first came to our attention after an article about his 1/5 scale Bridgeport mill and the tiny rotary table that led to it appeared as the cover story in Model Engineers’ Workshop in the December, 1997 issue. The Joe Martin Foundation’s first winner of the Metalworking Craftsman of the Year award, Jerry Kieffer attended a model engineering exhibition in England in 1998 and got to see Barry’s models first hand. Over the years we have followed his progress as he turns out machine after machine, each to the same superb level of quality and detail. What impressed Jerry the most about Barry’s machines in addition to the quality was the fact that they all work. These are more than mere models, they are functioning miniature machines capable of doing the same jobs as their full-size prototypes but in smaller scale. Although it would be difficult to tell from the finished models, no castings were used in their production. All parts are machined from billets of solid metal.

Barry Jordan was selected by Joe Martin to become the seventh recipient of the Joe Martin Foundation’s “Metalworking Craftsman of the Year” award for 2003. Mr. Jordan will be attending the 2003 North American Model Engineering Society Exposition in Detroit April 26 and 27, 2003 to receive his award and a check for $1000.00. He will be displaying some of his prize-winning machine models at the Sherline Products booth and will be available to discuss them. We encourage all who can to attend the show, as it may be the only opportunity to view these outstanding models firsthand in America.


Barry J. Jordan was born in Derby, England in 1945. He left Joseph Wright Art School at 15, and secured an apprenticeship with Rolls-Royce Aero Engine Division, Derby in the experimental department. After developing a range of ultrasonic crack detection equipment used in non-destructive testing, he formed his own company in 1977 to manufacture this equipment.

In 1994, Barry was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Fearing the worst, he sold the business to Rolls-Royce and Associates, bought a Myford Super 7 lathe, a Raglan milling machine, built himself a workshop and went back to his boyhood love of model engineering. Fortunately, his tumor has responded well to medication and he is still turning out wonderful models from his home shop.

Barry is seen here with some of his models at a recent model engineering exhibition in England. Magazine cover photos of his machines adorn the blue backdrop. (Click photo for larger image.)

His first project was a one-inch scale mini traction engine. Then, looking for a theme different from the normal models seen at all international exhibitions, Barry decided to start making miniature classic machine tools. In 1997, he produced his first; the award winning 1/5 scale Bridgeport BRJ mill. This model took Best in Show at Harrogate, England in 1998 and has gone on to win many other awards in the UK. Barry is now working on his eleventh miniature machine, the Swedish made Tricept 805 five-axis machining center—quite a challenge. He says that his hobby has been part of his therapy.

Building the 1/5 AND 1/14 Scale Bridgeport Mills

By Barry Jordan

Bridgeport milling machines have a special appeal for me since I built my award winning 1/5 scale model back in 1997. I have now built a second model Bridgeport, but this time it is the ultimate in miniatures at 1/14 scale. This has to be the smallest working BRJ made to date. The overall height of 7.800 inches is from the base to the top of the motor case. Inside the case is an extremely small Swiss made electric motor. This is rated at 1.5 volts, but I am running it on a 3 volt battery concealed in the base. In the earlier stages of building the model I did consider having the motor in the base alongside the battery pack. This would have allowed a larger, more powerful motor to be used. However, because I wanted flexible movement of the head in all directions and the sliding ram to function as in the full size machine, I soon concluded that this idea was totally impossible to produce in this scale, so I reverted back to mounting the motor in the correct location as in the full-size prototype.

To complement the model I have also made a machine vice and a matching rotary table .800 inches in diameter. The small table has a ration of 60:1. Two miniature T-bolts secure the rotary table to the machine. To cut the actual T-slots, I had to make the milling cutters myself as no commercial equivalent miniature cutters are available.

Building this miniature was a challenge which I enjoyed executing to prove a point. Jerry Keiffer's beautiful little models (which appeared at Olympia in 1998) were such an inspiration to me that I had to try to emulate his excellent craftsmanship and show that we British are as capable of precision engineering projects as our American friends. I do not intend to do any further work in this scale as the parts are too fragile to make working models. Any future projects will be in my preferred 1/5 scale.

Here are several examples of Barry Jordan's work:

(Click photos for larger images.)

Barry Jordan, a photo portrait with his Clarkson grinder.

This Bridgeport milling machine in 1/5 scale stands 23-1/2" high. It was started January 4, 1997 and completed September 20, 1997 in time for Bridgeport's 100th anniversary. It is made from cast iron billet and aluminum plate, no castings were used.

Another view of the Bridgeport mill. Barry used the following tools for its production: Myford Super 7B lathe, Raglan vertical milling machine, Warco 1/2" hobby drilling machine and a Kennedy mini hacksaw.

Drawings from an old operator's handbook were used in the model's design. Barry also took dimensions from an actual Bridgeport being used at Gratton Engineering in Derby.

A detail of the Bridgeport table. More about the construction of the Bridgeport is detailed by Barry Jordan in the article above this photo section.

A detail of the Bridgeport ram and head.

A smaller 1/14 scale model of the Bridgeport was completed in late January 2000. It took 17 weeks (640 hours) to complete. It stands only 7.8" high and was made from cast iron billet material. It runs on a miniature Swiss 1.5 Volt DC motor that Barry runs using 3 VDC.

Another view of what is likely the world's smallest working Bridgeport mill. More on its construction can be found in the article above this photo section.

The tiny 60:1 rotary table that accompanies the miniature Bridgeport. Tiny cutters had to be fabricated to cut the T-slots.
A machine vise for the miniature Bridgeport. The coin shows size scale.
The Jordan Precision Milling Machine. Designed and made by Barry Jordan, it was used to make the parts for the Fobco Drill and 1/14 scale Bridgeport. It was made in 15 weeks between April 29 and August 12, 1999 from cast iron billet, aluminum sections and mild steel. Specifications of this one-of-a-kind working mill are given below.
Table size: 8.5" x 2.5"
Table to column: 3.0"
Table travel: 5.0"
Spindle capacity: 0.250"
Vertical movement of knee: 3.0"
Overall height: 28"
Spindle speed: 180-300 RPM
Electrics: 250 v AC
The Jordan mill in use milling a part.
The Jordan mill in use in another milling operation on the headstock for the miniature Bridgeport milling machine.
Dean Smith and Grace Type 2148 heavy duty gap bed lathe in 1/5 scale. This working miniature was made between March 8 and October 11, 2000 from cast iron billet and aluminum stock. No castings were used.
Another view of the lathe along with some of the awards it has won. Dean Smith and Grace sales literature was used along with study of a full-size machine courtesy of English Electric Lincoln and Royal Ordnance Westcott in the design of this highly detailed working miniature.
This 1/5 scale Qualters and Smith "Sawmaster" 6" power hacksaw was made between January 6 and March 11, 1999 from cast iron billet, aluminum sections and mild steel stock. No castings were used.
Another view of the power hacksaw in use cutting a brass bar. Photos from a 1968 product catalog were used for reference in its construction.
MK 1 Clarkson tool and cutter grinder in 1/5 scale. Standing 14" high, this model was completed between 24 November 1997 and 18 March 1998. It is made from cast iron billet, aluminum section and mild steel stock without the use of castings.
A detail of the Clarkson grinder. Mr. Jordan was able to take dimensions of a full-size machine courtesy of Mr. A. Booth of Woodborough, Notts.
1/5 scale Warco hobby drilling machine. Scale is shown by the £1 coin in the lower left.
Built between March 8 and 14, 2000, this tiny 1/14 scale Fobco Star drilling machine is another of Barry's sub-miniature machine projects. It is machined from small cast iron blocks, and the base is turned form solid Perspex (plexiglass). When exhibited, Barry encloses the machine in a Perspex bottle to protect the .023" diameter drill bit which is easily broken.
Barry Jordan's 1/5 scale Archdale MH50 radial arm drilling machine stands 26" tall and was based on measurements from the full-size machine. It was made between May 24 and August 28, 1998 from cast iron billet, aluminum and mild steel stock without the use of any castings.
A detail of the Archdale radial drilling machine motor and head.

Barry's Latest Project

Barry has recently completed restoring a 1934 Brooklands Morgan 3-wheeler replica. He took the partially completed project and finished it up himself (including paint) in about 8 months and can now be seen competing at vintage race events as well as tooling around the local roads. The 950 cc V-twin engine is connected by a shaft drive to the single rear wheel. The chassis is original, but Barry has brought certain parts up to date for racing, such as adding 8" disk brakes for better stopping power. He says it is like driving a combination of a car and a motorcycle. When it rains, you get wet, the radiator for the V-twin engine right in front of your feet acts as a heater (usually a good thing in England) and cornering at speed takes some getting used to. Don't let up suddenly on the gas mid-corner or it tends to swap ends.

The car is affectionately named "Oggy" in reference to its license number. When driven locally, Barry can be seen behind the wheel complete with leather WWII flying helmet, goggles and a large, black handlebar moustache.

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