View Full Version : Neat Old Book

Herb Helbig
10-25-2003, 04:03 PM
Evan's question about the mystery holes in the SB9C saddle reminded me that I wanted to post a note about "The Amateur Machinist" by A. Frederick Collins published by The New Home Library November, 1942, copyright 1934 by D. Applelton-Century. I found it in an antique store in Wiscasset, Maine for $7.

After about 150 pages of history and hand tool advice, (complete with prices) it has over 100 pages on lathes, lathe tools and accessories. Here's a quote that explains why South Bend is the center of discussion.

"It is said that when General Lafayette was marching beside the artillery troops that were dragging the finest cannon which General Washington's Army boasted of, he would every now and then give it a few gentle love pats. And this is exactly the way I feel about a South Bend lathe - whenever I come in range of one I always get the urge to pat it a little and so demonstrate my affection for it.

Now this mark of fond appreciation for this mechanical masterpiece is not due to the fact that I happen to be born in South Bend but solely because the lathe that bears this worldwide famous name of my home town is the finest piece of mechanism of this type that is or can be made, at least at present."

The pictures are not great, and I couldn't find the answer to Evan's question.


Herb W
10-25-2003, 05:04 PM

Tell us more about the lathe section! Compared to say 'How to Run a Lathe', anything there that's different / unusual?
Uncommon tooling / setups etc...???

10-25-2003, 06:08 PM
I also have a copy of that book. Noticed that Tony has it for sale on his lathe site for 25 pounds. I think that is about $37.50 or so in US dollars, so others value it also.

John Stevenson
10-25-2003, 07:33 PM
Abebooks have loads of copies of this.
First page lists 14 of them starting at $10 up to $25 and all with US mailing address so you can save postage from the UK.

John S.

Herb W
10-25-2003, 08:03 PM


I was going to tell them that ~after~ I decided if I was going to order one. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

edit: now there are 13 and they start at $12.50 http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by Herb W (edited 10-25-2003).]

10-25-2003, 08:23 PM
Neat site, found another book that I have been looking for:

Norton Company
A Handbook on Tool Room Grinding : including the sharping of high-speed steel,nonferrous cast alloy and cemented carbide

and its only $10.00 and shipping


John Stevenson
10-25-2003, 08:49 PM
It's too neat, that's the problem.
I am under strict instructions NOT to buy any more books.
The house is groaning already http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Although I'm under orders not to buy any more she never said anything about booklets.

So last week I bought a 'booklet' on the high speed Ainjest threading attachment and a 'booklet' on the Sykes gear generator. Edit, forgot the Bridgport Series 2 maintainence manual.
I'm bidding at the moment on a very nice 300 page gear 'booklet' on hobbing.
When I get banned from buying 'booklets' I shall have to move onto pamphlets http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

John S.

[This message has been edited by John Stevenson (edited 10-25-2003).]

10-25-2003, 11:42 PM
And then brochures. You should be safe for a while, John.

10-25-2003, 11:44 PM
And then there are leaflets...

John Stevenson
10-26-2003, 05:29 AM
Thanks guys.
Should keep me going for a while.
I'm not really a book junkie, I can stop at any time, I am in control.

What sort of leaflets???

John S.

10-26-2003, 11:45 AM
John, if it's old, it's an antique. If it might tell you how to do something you don't know how to do, it’s a timesaver or a money maker (but dear, you want me to make more money and have more time to spend with you, don’t you?). Perhaps you should take to frequenting strip clubs, perhaps reading wouldn't look so bad in contrast!

Jim Caudill
10-26-2003, 06:45 PM
Now there are only 12 left, and I got a copy of the Norton Toolroom Grinding as well. Great link! Thanks a lot guys. It literally took me years to find a copy of "Shop Theory" by the Henry Ford Trade School. I guess there were thousands if not millions of these printed, but before ebay and websites such as abebooks.com, it was almost impossible to find such treasures. The internet is GREAT! These forums are fantastic and I am constantly amazed at the knowledge that is shared by so many for free! This sort of thing is to the internet what PBS is to TV. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Not just for this tidbit, but for everything you all share.

John Stevenson
10-26-2003, 07:37 PM
True story to show how good and helpful the internet can be.

Many years ago when I was about 11 years old I had a book out of the library, it was a true story about a gang of boys who were evacuated from Jersey in the last war and moved to the safety of Derbyshire here in the UK.
The story told of their exploits and subsequent return to Jersey where some of them made a lot of money selling left over German equipment. A typical Boys Own story but as I say based on truth. I was quite taken with this book and had it out on a few occasions.

Later on I often wished I had rememeber the title or author but I hadn't. I would go into secondhand bookshops, pick a likely looking book up and see if it was 'the one'
Even my luck isn't that good http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Round about 1995 I got involed with the internet and email. One day I saw an advert for a holiday in Jersey with the tourist boards web site. Later on that got me thinking and I sent an email to the Jersey Library describing the story plot and asking if it rang any bells.
Three weeks later they emailed back to say the book wasn't Jersey based but it's sister island Guernsey. More so that book was called "The Small Army" by Michael Marshall.

They had done a library search and only one copy was available in the UK on Guernsey and it wasn't for loan. Michael Marshall was still alive but he hadn't a copy either.

At least now I had a title to look for so for the next few years I'd ask for this book wherever I went.
About 4 years ago I found Abebooks and remembered this book. I did a search and found a copy for $11 Australian dollars in Australia. I ordered this and paid by credit card and about 4 weeks later got this book So after 40 odd years of looking for a book with no name and author I found what I was looking for.
A truely wonderful medium if used correctly.

John S.