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  • Machinist Book recommendations?

    It's clear some here have machinist training or at least enough hobby time at it to be competent, so they had to learn somehow or somewhere. Me, I'm just starting with a very old pre-1900 lathe and modern by comparison) circa 1945 Index Mill. All manual, no dro, CNC, etc. the majority of my plans to make tooling for my equipment. This lathe has some limitations compared to modern high speed equipment. Adding a rotary table to the mill to help fill the gap is planned.

    Are there any favorite books regarding the basic operation of a lathe or milling machine? I've lurked on a few of the machinist forums and found some good info there, especially about sourcing older content that would be more relevant to older machines and apprenticeship. I like books better than video content. The US Army TC-9-524 Fundamentals of Machine Tools training manual is all I have so far and looks good. I'm planning to order Fay Butler's Pullmax tooling book. I would like to add more. Any recommendations to buy or not buy?

  • #2
    Here in the U.K. engineering is taught at college but like metal shaping its best to learn from someone who needs to make a living.
    l don’t thing the young learn much at college it’s all Health and safety.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Moving molecules . View Post
      Here in the U.K. engineering is taught at college but like metal shaping its best to learn from someone who needs to make a living.
      l don’t thing the young learn much at college it’s all Health and safety.
      I'm a strong advocate for formal apprenticeship over simple classes or buying a book or video and have been through three formal apprenticeships -auctioneer (1987-89), chef (1990's) and granite sculptor (2000-present). Far too much trades expertise has been lost in the hobby trend in recent years. I would prefer to take a few years to be properly trained, but that's not an option now that I'm decades into my profession. A nearby machinist friend is going to help me some but I need to educate myself in the general terms and actions to be respectful of what he's willing to do with me. I'm not expecting to become a "real" machinist running a machine shop, just competent for my needs.

      Much of the trade-school training available around here now is somewhat compromised at best. Free money from state lottery for student tuition and colleges more interested in capturing that money & federal govt money provided for every graduating student (especially certain specific categories of individuals..). After moving back to town, I was repeatedly recruited to help develop and teach a new culinary program at a nearby community college. In 2008, when studio work was slow, I started teaching part time. Then I was told every student would pass- no matter what they did or didn't do. Grades didn't matter. Lazy students like having no attendance policy, grading that fits whatever they do or don't submit for work, etc. the college got paid by the federal govt for every person that completed a given program, regardless of competency. When I didn't agree, the school ended my working relationship with them.. Others teaching there said that was normal policy if you want to remain employed by the school. I wouldn't lie or look the other way for a paycheck. It's a big rip-off.

      So many teachers don't have to pay the bills with the skills they teach. One of the things I respect most about Peter is his decades in the trade BEFORE he became a noted figure offering classes, materials and tools.

      To me, this mill and lathe are just new carving equipment. I'm looking forward to carving stuff I haven't carved before and don't want to wreck the machines, me or both.

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      • #4
        Well Said.....Teaching here in the U.K. is the same corrupt business just to get fake awards for the school....
        Last edited by Moving molecules .; 06-15-2020, 09:01 PM.

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        • #5
          The bedside machinist books have some gems but it’s hardly a textbook. I had some vocational tech school books from Australia that were pretty good but I don’t have them any more. Then there is Shop theory by Henry Ford trade school circa 1941 that might be helpful Cliff.

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          • cliffrod
            cliffrod commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks, Steve.

        • #6
          I have trade training in metal-fitting and have found these books to be extremely useful;
          1. "Fitting and Machining" by TAFE Publications. RMIT Publishing, rmitpublishing.com.au. A mine of useful information from hand tools to advanced machining.
          2. Workshop Practice Series. 49 different volumes to do with a variety of metalwork trades. specialinterestbooks.co.uk

          These are high quality books, which are easy to read and offer good advice on machine and materials choice. The Workshop Practice books have useful photographs with excellent captions,

          Cheers Charlie

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by Chazza View Post
            I have trade training in metal-fitting and have found these books to be extremely useful;
            1. "Fitting and Machining" by TAFE Publications. RMIT Publishing, rmitpublishing.com.au. A mine of useful information from hand tools to advanced machining.
            2. Workshop Practice Series. 49 different volumes to do with a variety of metalwork trades. specialinterestbooks.co.uk

            These are high quality books, which are easy to read and offer good advice on machine and materials choice. The Workshop Practice books have useful photographs with excellent captions,

            Cheers Charlie
            Wait a minute- so now I need to buy FIFTY books?!?... I was hoping maybe there would be 1-2, hopefully with more pictures than words.

            Thank you, Charlie. I'll start looking into these books as well. In the meantime, I'm assembling the bits to do a phase convertor to get them all running and got a great deal on a 3 phase motor for my lathe last night.

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            • #8
              Originally posted by cliffrod View Post

              Wait a minute- so now I need to buy FIFTY books?!?... I was hoping maybe there would be 1-2, hopefully with more pictures than words.

              ...
              Ha Ha! Buy the ones you want,

              Cheers Charlie

              Comment


              • #9
                I think the URL that Charlie quoted is wrong. I think https://www.specialinterestmodelbook...actice-series/ is the series he is referencing (Charlie, correct me if I'm wrong).

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by tyroguru View Post
                  I think the URL that Charlie quoted is wrong. I think https://www.specialinterestmodelbook...actice-series/ is the series he is referencing (Charlie, correct me if I'm wrong).
                  Yes, well done!

                  I took the address off the milling machine book cover and it must have been changed,

                  Cheers Charlie

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                  • #11
                    Your in luck from a standpoint of your equipment is belt driven. Try and overwork and the tooling will probably chip or the machine belt will slip. Not saying you can't hurt yourself but it might make it more difficult to seriously injure yourself.

                    A good example is I was milling a part of S7 that my boss was nice enough to weld completely then wanted it milled. Tried on my old machine (1945) like yours and burned up a few HSS end mills. I had some carbide end mills at my shop. 3/8 4 flute spiral. My machine is a Bridgeport 2hp, gear driven and I was running at slow speed. Well I went left when I should have gone right and the carbide acted like a worm gear and ripped the vice through the adjustable base (there may have been a chip in that area on closer inspection.

                    Few tips.

                    Nothing should be on oe around the table or bed

                    No loose clothing

                    You can not check for many times or over clamp a part.

                    When clamping parts make sure they are clamped and centered. Think catching a drill bit between two chuck teeth.

                    Never leave the key in the chuck not even for a moment. in the chuck tightening or loosening a part or stored.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Jaymce View Post
                      Your in luck from a standpoint of your equipment is belt driven. Try and overwork and the tooling will probably chip or the machine belt will slip. Not saying you can't hurt yourself but it might make it more difficult to seriously injure yourself.

                      A good example is I was milling a part of S7 that my boss was nice enough to weld completely then wanted it milled. Tried on my old machine (1945) like yours and burned up a few HSS end mills. I had some carbide end mills at my shop. 3/8 4 flute spiral. My machine is a Bridgeport 2hp, gear driven and I was running at slow speed. Well I went left when I should have gone right and the carbide acted like a worm gear and ripped the vice through the adjustable base (there may have been a chip in that area on closer inspection.

                      Few tips.

                      Nothing should be on oe around the table or bed

                      No loose clothing

                      You can not check for many times or over clamp a part.

                      When clamping parts make sure they are clamped and centered. Think catching a drill bit between two chuck teeth.

                      Never leave the key in the chuck not even for a moment. in the chuck tightening or loosening a part or stored.
                      Thanks, man. I've got a lot to learn about this lathe and the mill I just got. after so many years of self employment, I try to be exceptionally careful to avoid injury because there's no one else to pay for what goes wrong, directly or indirectly. I realize this lathe won't do high speed work like a modern machine, so will plan towards such results. I've got a number of boring bars with carbide installed, so plan to make some tools just like I make & rebuild my stone chisels.

                      My concern with finding good instructional text has a lot to do with finding content old enough to be relevant to my lathe (1880's) and also milling machine (Index Mill model 40H, approx 1945). That's why that US army manual seems relevant. It has nothing about CNC, dro, CAD interface, etc. Many people nowadays seem to have less manual machine fluency. My stone work is 100% manual. That confounds a lot of people. So I think the manual machines will work for me. Just trying to actually learn what they'll do and how to do it.

                      Progress is being made. Last week, I got the recommended 1 hp 3ph motor for my lathe ($25.) Yesterday, I got a proper 3 phase idler motor to use for my phase converter from a longtime motorcycle friend ($50.) This afternoon at the motorcycle shop, we may have finally arranged the right machinery to finally move my big jiggly machine inside (free.) So actually using my machines is getting closer.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Some good books are aircraft repair books, I have a couple, the one from the 50's has a huge section on riveting and proper formulas to determine how many rivets per inch and another aircraft maintenance book from the 30's? that is packed with information and technique.
                        I am looking for metalshaping apprentice books from back in the golden age of panel beaters, if any of you know where I can look I'd appreciate it - not hijacking, I hope.
                        Its a good idea to align the lathe along a cinderblock wall (motor, to the left) so the chuck key will have something to bounce off when you forget to remove it.
                        Last edited by ojh; 06-22-2020, 05:24 PM.

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by ojh View Post
                          ...
                          Its a good idea to align the lathe along a cinderblock wall (motor, to the left) so the chuck key will have something to bounce off when you forget to remove it.
                          Not sure how that would work, unless the motor is being run in reverse.

                          I always follow the maxim – chuck keys should stay in your hand, or on the tool-rack. In 47 years of using metalwork machines, I only left it in the lathe chuck once and luckily it landed on the tray and I was standing to one side anyway. Gave me a fright!

                          Cheers Charlie

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by Chazza View Post

                            Not sure how that would work, unless the motor is being run in reverse.

                            I always follow the maxim – chuck keys should stay in your hand, or on the tool-rack. In 47 years of using metalwork machines, I only left it in the lathe chuck once and luckily it landed on the tray and I was standing to one side anyway. Gave me a fright!

                            Cheers Charlie
                            Poor humor I guess, the motor runs clockwise so if the key is left in the chuck it'll sling out away from you and hit the wall. If motor is to the right the key will sling out at you. I made the habit of dropping the key into the handle for the gearbox, theres a handy space for it right there.

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