Arc-Zone was recently given a tour of a truly amazing craftsmanship museum located in Carlsbad, CA. Joe Martin, the owner of Sherline and founder of The Craftsmanship Museum in San Diego County, wanted to create the museum in an attempt to make the general public aware of the beauty of great craftsmanship and to give credit to the artists. Craig, the Director of Marketing for both Sherline and the Craftsmanship Museum, gave us the tour. We could see  his true passion for supporting the museum and everything it stands for. In fact, the whole museum is manned by volunteer craftsmen who all share the same passion. The museum consists of hundreds of amazing projects including scaled-down engines that actually run like the real thing!  On top of that there is a one of a kind Ferrari V12 and Chevy Corvette Block V8 engine, airplanes, weapons, you name it and they got it thanks to all the donors who share the same vision.

Chevy Corvette Block V8 Scaled-Down Engine

Chevy Corvette Block V8 Scaled-Down Engine

Many of these miniature, yet fully functional engines are donated to collections like that of the Craftsmanship Museum after they’re completed. Reason being? Most of these craftsmen will build these unbelievable, scaled-down engines for the love and challenge of the process, and simply be done with them after completion. Kind of like a puzzle, once you’ve managed to complete it, it’s done and you move on to the next one. The museum has accumulated many of these models over the years primarily from an older generation of people that have a background in machining and welding with side interests in cars, planes, and other things mechanical. While witnessing these models in person, you realize that you’d need the hands of a surgeon to complete some of the welding jobs on these super scaled down engine models; it truly takes welding and machining to a whole new level. Welding with such accuracy on these miniature models is made possible by using tools such as a Sharpie Hand-Held Tungsten Grinder and Micro TIG Welding Torches which allow maximum precision.

Another great thing about the museum is they have a huge machine shop in the back where you can see their machinists in action. The Craftsmanship Museum has become a gathering place for fellow machinists to share problems and solutions with each other in order to push themselves to the next level of building. There are no off-the-shelf pistons for a 1/6th scale V8 engine, you have to design and build them yourself. It isn’t an easy task, but the pay-off for these machinists is priceless.

This museum can be an inspiring place for people with a desire to learn how tools are used and how things are made. In essence, the museum exists to encourage people to build. And once you’ve left, that’s exactly what you’ll feel like doing. At the end of the day, it was quite an experience, and we recommend that you check the museum out for yourself if you’re ever passing through Southern California.

In the museum, you’ll find a great quote that stands for what this museum is all about. “A man who works with his hands is a laborer. A man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman. A man who works with his hands, his brain and his heart is an artist.” –Louis Nizer

These photos do not justify the the tiny size of these models and the amount of detail, but nonetheless, check them out!


You can view hundreds of more photos of these incredible projects on their “online museum” that also showcases work from craftsmen all over the world.

By the way, this museum is free to attend, however all donations are welcomed and are tax deductible.


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