View Full Version : Learning basic metalworking
10-31-2003, 08:10 AM
Anyone have any good sources for online education in metalworking (inexpensive or, even better FREE)?
10-31-2003, 02:02 PM
You could hang around the metalworking sites on the web, but its no substitute for hands on experience. I highly recomend a course/course at a community college or high school shop. They are pretty inexpensive if you live in district and you get a ral feel for what is going on with a particular tool. Something you can't get over the web.
failing that, someone in your area who has a home shop might let you hang out awhile and pick up some things.
Oh.yeah.There ain't no such thing as free.LOL
I don't know of any practical way to learn what you need to learn for free. Be prepared to buy some books, subscribe to some magazines, take a couple of courses as per Rustybolt. See if there's a club in your area you can join. This hobby isn't a quick study. I've been doing it for 25+ years and I'm still learning.
11-01-2003, 09:37 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by gr_yee:
Anyone have any good sources for online education in metalworking (inexpensive or, even better FREE)?</font>
I had the same experience. I sent off for catalogs, etc of machines because I wanted a lathe and milling machine. I had done a bit of it in high school metalshop but remembered very little.
I ended up buying a Smithy CB-1220XL but if I had it to do again I probably would not.
Then I bought a lot of accessories that I overpaid for by purchasing thru Smithy. I'm not putting them down but their accessories are overpriced pure and simple. I ordered a few cheap books from Lindsay Publications which is a great source for books of all kinds. Phone 815-935-5353 or look on internet. Believe it or not I learned some things from catalogs such as the ones from Travers (free and has tons of metalworking tools much cheaper than from Smithy) and Victor Machine Tools, etc.
With some of these books I learned how to grind my lathe toolbits and fly cutter toolbits, etc. How to thread and bore, etc.
The dont go into great detail but it is usually easy to figure out once you try a few times. Another tip, start out working with Aluminum, not steel. I broke lots of tools playing around machining steel and would not have happened if I had been using aluminum. Smithy sells a great video that shows how many things are done but it is not very detailed. There are videos available from Lindsay but are expensive compared to the books and I have not seen them to evaluate them.
There are many free internet sites and plenty of people willing to help but that only goes so far. By far the best is to take a class at a local College or high school if they offer them. Probably a couple of hundred buck but you will learn a lot and is probably the best way.
Anyway, I just read everything I could get my hands on at the local library and my books from Lindsay and I can use my lathe and milling machine to do about anything I want to do if I take it slow and think about it. The key to good machining is experience and a good selection of tools which translates to spending a lot of money one way or the other. Once you buy a lathe and/or
milling machine you can plan on spending many hundreds of dollars in accessories or you wont be able to do a whole lot.
Hope I have helped in some way. Write back if you have specific questions.
Greg makes a good point about the catalogs. www.travers.com (http://www.travers.com) and www.mscdirect.com (http://www.mscdirect.com) are two popular dealers, there are many others. The MSC catlog, especially, is mind-boggling.
11-01-2003, 10:13 PM
Do a search for TC 9-524, it is a military training circular devoted to machining
11-05-2003, 08:58 PM
You will find a lot of useful information on their website.
11-21-2003, 04:43 AM
Your area used to be a great place to learn machining. As a young man I started my training at Cinncinati Gear company. It has been a very long time since I visited New Richmond. I was born and raised in the area.