View Full Version : What would you like to see in HSM & MW ?

G.A. Ewen
12-11-2003, 01:36 AM
With the other thread concerning HSM & MW going like it is I thought it might be interesting to see what readers on the BBS would like to see in the future issues of these two magazines.

Maybe it will get Thrud "kicked in the right direction" http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

John Stevenson
12-11-2003, 05:08 AM
First off let me say I can't give a valid reply to this question as I only get some older copies from time to time.
Being in the UK it makes getting the mags expensive and also late.
I do take the UK mag Model Engineers Workshop [ MEW ]
At a time when this question arises about content in mags, and we have the same here with Model Engineer, as their subscriptions are dropping off, MEW is doing well.
Dave Fenner the current editor has about 3 years worth of articles in stock.
Perhaps a comparison between the two would help here.
From a circulation point of view it would be interesting to see what the split was between the UK and the US mags with the vast difference in population.

The old post about HSM on CD has been around for ages and I feel it's never going to happen because of this electronic rights legacy but there is no reason for this not to be implimented for current issues.
I know many people want hard copy and don't want to print out but they can be pacified by the sale of the mag. What about the people like me and other in the UK, OZ and other countries who would be well satisfied with an electronic copy for a reasonable fee on publication day.
Lets face it, it's not a lot more work taking that it must be in electronic format to get published today and you save on physical shipping costs.

If these US mags were available more easily in other countries then perhaps they would attract more interest from furrin authors http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
If MEW has a 3 year backlog of articles how many Brits wanting to see their name in lights would contribute? Most don't even know HSM and MW even exist. A definite lost market.

John S.

12-11-2003, 10:08 AM
"More model IC engine coverage" I believe that due to the internet , that there is a upswing in interest of building IC projects..
HSM should increase coverage of this part of the home hobby interest...This is just my one sided thought on this...Dale Detrich

12-11-2003, 10:31 AM
Hmmm, well i like the tips and tricks as well as practical stuff. Some info on gear cutting, building a cheap rotary table at home.

When i say tricks, i mean like how to mark out and drill holes without the amazing 1200.00 rotary table or Micro Index attachment.

I also like to know how long and how much a project cost. I read the articles and i never, or rarely hear about "well i tried to cut corners and drilled hole #4 off center by 0.100, so i had to redo that plate. That was another day wasted" It helps me not feel as stupid when i do it. hehe

Price would be nice. That telsa turbine article was neat but i am sure some of those chuncks of aluminum were not cheap. I don't have a 6" x 6" x 1" piece lying around from that job i did back in 1992.

At the end of the year how about an article on the ppl who contributed. Kind of like peoples info here.

Oh, and as much as the small stuff is cool to read about, there are those who do big work. All those guys who rebuild the old One-lug engines. Full size steam tractors. just some ideas....


12-11-2003, 06:31 PM
I'll opt for more IC articles too. With the demise of Strictly IC, and apparent demise of Modeltec, there is no source for these. They offer a lot of interest in the finished product as well as challenges in building.
Gas Engine Magazine and Iron Men (I think it is something else now) cover the old engines and farm equipment pretty well. Live Steam, of course has lots on full scale steam as well as model engineering. Any examples of old timey machining always fascinate me. Basic machining techniques are always appreciated.

[This message has been edited by JCHannum (edited 12-11-2003).]

Spin Doctor
12-11-2003, 06:52 PM
I'd like to see some machine tests. The advetisers like Grizzly and others night be pursuaded to lend out a machine for tasting in the manner that the auto companies let the car rags test the new autos. The market out there for new machines must be substantial given the amount of advertising they do. Devise a standard test that could be applied to all machines in a given type and publish actual data. I'd even be willing to test Grizzly's new Hardinge Knock off for 'em.

12-11-2003, 08:38 PM
Well GA, what a good idea....the other thread certainly has been controversal but has I think, brought some important issues to the surface......and now this will hopefully enable some constructive comment.

I'm going to have to give this some more thought, before I write a complete response, but I do agree with John. As with the UK, getting an issue to OZ takes a long time and is expensive, hence why I can only afford one or the other (HSM or MW). After a year. I've switched to MW to see if it suits me better. However we all agreee I think, the more prospective contributors out there the more potential to satisfy a larger section of the readers. AND the UK, OZ, and Kiwiland is largely untapped because of lack of circulation. So an electronic format may be the answer if it succeeeds in reducing our costs. Or get some local distributor introduced who can bring them over in larger quantities. Making use of the expertise available for instance in the UK, would have to be beneficial........remember when "British WAS best" and the world map was predominately red. WE in OZ are trying to do our best waking the sleeping giant....look how we let them win at Rugby, to give them a start!!

Also don't forget us here in Australia, always a bridesmaid, never a bride...but remember we invented the Michell thrust bearing (ships don't go anywhere without it!!), black box flight recorder and the dual flush toilet!!!

As far as IC engines. I too would like to see some plans...after working on large bore diesels (760-1000mm dia) trying the other end of the scale takes my fancy. Anyway will think of more and get back.


12-11-2003, 09:05 PM
I would like to see fewer long drawn out multi issue articles. The Vandy scooter series is interesting, but we probably don't need so much detail.

I use the magazine articles as a rough guideline to work with the materials on hand, my skill level and capabilities of my shop.

12-11-2003, 09:08 PM
Right now I would like to see more information on finishing of metal. Powder coating, polishing, textured surfaces and maybe plating as well. Something on plactics in each issue. Maybe an articale on constructing a single action fly reel. I would love to construct a fly reel.

12-11-2003, 11:19 PM
Please, no "equipment reviews, comparisons". Seems to me that beginning of the end for most mags is when they become catalogs and multi page ads for the advertisers. Be realistic, you ain't gonna review equipment from a non-advertiser, you ain't gonna run down an advertisers equipment. So that leaves saying nice things about what ever you write up.

So far as being able to write articles goes, I am favorably impressed with the ability of every one here to express his/her opinions and describe technical things.

12-11-2003, 11:40 PM
More comprehensive event coverage, some museum visits. Maybe some short articles about people's projects without going into dimensioned drawings, just a general overview with some nice photos. Not just highly finished stuff either, but stuff like homemade garden tractors and weird junk in general. I like articles featuring reader's home shops as well. More gunsmithing articles. How about the history of various machine tool manufacturers, both current and defunct? How about a column in every issue along the lines of "It happened to me", with readers humorous shop anecdotes and near misses with flesh mangling non-OSHA approved machinery and wild eyed toolmakers run amok? HSM and MW are great magazines, I really enjoy them, but I think I'd like them even better if they were a bit less staid.

G.A. Ewen
12-11-2003, 11:59 PM
"constructive" , I like that word. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

I would very much like to see an article on bearings. The different types, there uses, brand names,ect. Using such an article as a guide would make designing machinery a lot easier.

12-12-2003, 12:49 AM
I enjoy any material that teaches me something or offers novel design or workmanship methods. I am specifically impressed by 19th century instrument and clock makers. The Mineralogical Record just published an issue on microscopes and few machine shops or machinists today could duplicate the precision and esthetics of these early designs.

I am partial to articles on shop accessories and tools such as the sphere cutter in the current issue.

In general, I dislke serialization. I would prefer it if the author completely described the item in the intial article along with its function and history, and fabrication problems if any. I usually redesign to suite available materials, and tools and seldom "copy" anything. The exception is where follow-up articles illustrate different capabilities or applications.


12-12-2003, 04:20 AM
I would like to see more articles dealing with the elements of precision and inspection. It could be serialized over many articles but progressive with a whole concept dealt with per article. I would like it to be historical...like for division of a figure you could start with Euclid and a ruler and compass type construction then evolving that concept into a master that could be used by the HSM to get more accurate divisions. Things that may be obvious to some sometimes are hard for me. Like accurately dividing a bolt circle then inspecting to make sure the bolt circle is concentric with multiple diameters and located correctly with a mating part. I would also really like to see some treatment of using optics and lasers for precision measurement, alignment, and setup. Maybe a HSM, shop made alignment scope? I thought about researching an article, but I'm not really qualified...yet.

12-12-2003, 11:31 AM
I love the (FROM THE SCAPBOX) items, I have alot of scrap, plus ther simple, quick, and usefull.

P.S. the village press might think about a magazine just for the micro machinist, though some projects are interesting, and can be scaled up to a practical size,most are boreing to some of us that have full size machines, sorry, MICRO guys.

12-12-2003, 12:33 PM
Magazine articles may be like Girl/Boy friends, you don't always know what you want until you see it.
As an example, the item I found most useful in a recent issue, was a letter describing the grinding and use of a shaving bit on a lathe. As a rank amature I had never heard of a shaving bit. I don't remember shaving bits being described in either the South Bend book or Sperry's Amature's Lathe. I suppose this was common knowledge to many more experienced readers, but to me it was new and useful information. However, If you asked me before hand I if I was interested in more articles on grinding and use of lathe bits I doubt if I would of expressed great enthusiasm.
Given the above I will toss in my two cents worth, on what I think I would like to see more of. First, fewer articles on making accessories for machine tools and more projects on making "other" stuff. I don't want my hobby to be continually building more and complex tools for my hobby. I think the idea for more IC is good.
More articles that deal with the "why" things are designed the way they are, in addition to how thay are built. Too often the articles seem to me to be how to build a very clever design and too rarely to they explain the logic of the design process and trade-offs.
I would like more articles for the very small projects I could build on my sherline but that is an obvious bias.
I think expanding the content to include more about "non-machining" metal work would be interesting. For example sheet metal work, engraving, making pewter trays and pitchers, finsishing techniques such as anodizing and plating. This would certainly expand my knowledge base.
None of the above, is meant as criticism of the current editors. I recoginize that they are doing an extremely difficult job and do not assume that I could do better.

12-12-2003, 01:04 PM
"How about a column in every issue along the lines of "It happened to me", with readers humorous shop anecdotes and near misses with flesh mangling non-OSHA approved machinery and wild eyed toolmakers run amok?"
x39, I like that. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

After relocating, I'm working on setting up my shop in a pretty limited space. Maybe I just have too much junk. Either way, I too would like to see more articles on readers' home shops, gives me ideas on how to setup my stuff.
The 'How and why I designed this' idea is good, too. Learning why a design was made the way it was allows me to better design my own things.
Also, I would like to see perhaps just a picture and a short description of projects that reader's have made. Nice eye candy, and it helps create ideas for my own projects.
As always, keep up the great work with the magazine.


[This message has been edited by applescotty (edited 12-12-2003).]

12-12-2003, 08:03 PM
The machine testing would be great, however there is a problem if the machines aren’t purchased without the manufactures knowledge. Also, (as was said) advertising creates a conflict of interest problem that makes it almost impossible to remain credible and unbiased. Readers could submit objective reviews. It would be better if the reviewer had experience with other machines so more valid comparisons could be made. Machinists who are setting up a home shop or are upgrading their equipment might make good candidates for this.

Many topics come up over and over on this website. Perhaps some articles should be done on these subjects. Examples: How and why to pick a quick-change tool post. Comparisons of 3 in 1 machines, features, shortcomings, etc, by someone who has experience with both. One on checking out, testing, and tuning up your lathe (and mill) would surely be useful for many readers. How to check out a used machine before purchasing seems to be requested often. I realize that many subjects can get covered over and over again, but memory fades, new readers subscribe, and new or more complete information may be presented in a new article.

I like the relatively comprehensive treatises on particular subjects. Similar to the one on heat-treating found in the last issue if HSM. The one done recently on fasteners didn’t really do much for me though.

In articles, I usually want the whys, as well as specific hows. I would like to see more tips, tricks, and techniques included in the articles. Giving alternative methods for the readers without specialized tooling would sometimes be helpful. Thorough and complete articles on almost any problem that most home shop machinists will eventually run into, are always potentially useful. The more comprehensive the better. Sometimes, more specific technical information for some of the unusual techniques that the writer used to solve a problem would be nice. Occasionally, I would like to know if they have done an apparently unique solution many times with success. Sometimes a little background on the authors experience would also be interesting.

Beginners would surely be well served by the inclusion of things those with more experience take for granted, like feeds, and even depth of cuts and speeds used. Especially for some of the more unusual operations, or say for small end mills or hard material. Any thing that helps solve problems on future projects.

Little serialization would suit me. I realize that it is often required, but would prefer them to be kept to a minimal. Of course, clarity in conveying the ideas is always of paramount importance.

12-12-2003, 08:29 PM
There is a valid way to deal with the problem regarding reviews and conflict of interest. I have seen this approach taken before in other publications. They state up front that they will review machines advertised or not but in either case they will only publish good reviews. Meaning, if the machine tested is not up to snuff over all, then the review won't be published advertised or not. Publishing only good reviews prevents problems with advertisers and still provides good information. I don't mean saying something is good when it is not. I mean only saying something is good when it is.

Also, since it is impossible to test and review everything the fact that a positive review hasn't been published on something doesn't mean it is unsatisfactory.

Being supplied with positive information is better than no information.

12-12-2003, 10:00 PM
I'd like to see more IC projects. I really liked the Phil Duclos hit and miss types, always a different way to run the valve(s).
He is someone I would have liked to meet.