View Full Version : Ingenious Mechanisms For Designers and Inventors...Any Good?

Mike Burdick
01-12-2004, 09:24 PM
If someone in this group has read "Ingenious Mechanisms For Designers And Inventors" (four volumes) would you mind giving me a review of them.

Some books I have read like these usually have poor illustrations (small and hard to see) so one cannot see how the ~mechanisms~ work. Since this set is rather costly, I am hoping that I would get some opinions from some machinist as to the helpfulness of these books.

Thanks in advance.....Mike

[This message has been edited by Mike Burdick (edited 01-12-2004).]

01-12-2004, 11:50 PM
I think we have the set at work (Ingenious Mechanisms .... of some sort-4 Orange cover books). I'll try to remember to look for them tomorrow.
It's been a while since I looked at them.4 volumes with some duplication between. The illustrations are not bad if I remember right. My take on the books: pretty interesting info but a lot of the mechanisms have been made obsolete by PLCs and CNC machines. There are some pretty cool mechanisms that would be fun to build and play with. Better suited for the home hobbyist/ tinkerer. Can definately stir the imagination though.


G.A. Ewen
01-13-2004, 12:00 AM
MarshST has it right on the button. They are over priced IMHO.

01-13-2004, 03:02 AM
I have them. If you like to see how other people have attacked difficult problems with outstanding mechanical solutions then get the overpriced set. But then, you could go to an expensive resturaunt and waste a lot more money and just puke in the bathroom..yeah, buy the books - much better than barfing up snails and calamari. mmmm snails in butter! yummm! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Benjamin Borowsky
01-13-2004, 07:36 AM
I just got them, so I haven't had a chance to read them in detail, but they're detailed and interesting. if you'd like I can scan a few pages and email them to you. I think that's legal, right? just a few pages? Or is that just a little pregnant?


01-13-2004, 08:57 AM
I've got one or two volumes I inherited from somebody or other.

Interesting to read, but I wouldn't go out and buy them. I guess if I were actively designing complex mechanical mechanisms they would be worth it...but I'm not.

01-13-2004, 12:38 PM
check half.com, they have this book ranging from $12.50 up to $100. Some are certain volumes and the more expensive seem to the new sets.


01-13-2004, 12:40 PM
amazon.com has the whole set new for $115.00


01-13-2004, 12:51 PM
Enco has the set for $78.

andy b.

01-14-2004, 10:09 PM
All the information in the books and a whole lot more can be gotten from brousing the us patent office sites and other internet sites, but not as readily accessable perhaps and will take more time. The "average" machinist or HSM won't find much use for the set . . .
The title indicates that they are for Designers And Inventors. Now with PLC's and hydraulics VFD's etc most designers won't be using them much. However for a person in the inventing or conceptual stage they can be very valuable.

Any one idea can either save you hours of work or seed a breakthrough. . .if you are "inventing"
in the mechanical realm.
To me they are about like gold.

Mike Burdick
01-14-2004, 10:34 PM
Thanks to all for your helpful advice and opinions. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question.

All in all they don't sound too bad...


01-15-2004, 01:24 AM
Got a mint first edition in one volume from 1930. Freebie, nada. Clearing out the old drawing office at work. No one else wanted it.
Sometimes you win some.....


John Stevenson
01-15-2004, 04:50 AM
Just to throw another spanner in the works the best set of these type of books are the 7 volume set called Mechanisms in Modern Engineering Design by A Artobolesky.

Translated from the Russian these volumes are volume specif ie all cam mechanisms in one volume and they take a page to cover each one with the illustration on that page and not three pages up the book with the explanation on two split pages, just a better layout.

John S.

01-15-2004, 09:23 AM
I bought as set at a yard sale a couple of years back. I gave them away. I paid 75 cents. If I had known how valuable some of you think they are, I could have sold them and made some $$$$.

01-15-2004, 03:41 PM
A Art of Bolt , Just think I can remember that name . And 7 in biblical prophisy is indicative of. . . .ah well may be not here But thanks John for mentioning the grand daddy set . I want it !

Milacron of PM
01-15-2004, 08:39 PM
I've owned a set of Ingenious Mech. in the past and found it a bit like Machinery's Handbook, in that you have to wade thru countless pages of outdated and/or irrelevant info to get to the perhaps 20 pecent that is relevant.

Much better is "Handbook of Mechanical Design" by George F. Nordenholt, Joseph Kerr and John Sasso (whew !) published by McGraw Hill in 1942.

This one little book has ten times the useful info of seven volumes of Ingenious Mech.

Of course the seven volume set does look more impressive on your bookshelf and will serve to create the illusion to friends and family that you too are "ingenious", but I prefer more "meat" myself.

Now, since I check this forum so rarely and rarely post, you guys aren't likely to pay much attention to me, so let me repeat, Handbook of Mechanical Design is MUCH better http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

Of couse to prove the point, I'd need to scan and post some pages of "latches, locks and fasterners", "machine clamps", "shaft seals", "sleeve bearing seals""variable speed devices" and on and on...now, you're not gonna make me go to all that trouble now, are you ? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

[This message has been edited by D. Thomas (edited 01-15-2004).]

Dave Burnett
01-15-2004, 08:54 PM
I picked up a whole book case full of old books and catalogs at a old die shop auction for $15.00. All I wanted was the 4 McMasters-Carr catalogs. A guy asked if I would sell him the book case which I did not want any way so I sold it for $10.00. I told Him I wanted all of the hard bound books plus the 4 Mcmasters catalogs and He could have the rest. I got some real nice old engineering hand books, machining books and all kind of other good stuff which I have no use for. If any of you guys are into old books maybe we can work out a deal. Let me know.

John Stevenson
01-15-2004, 09:43 PM
Or the single volume "Mechanisms and Mechanical Devices Sourcebook by Nicholas P Chironis.
I believe this is still in print but quite expensive.

The handbook of Mechanical Design does have some good items in it but it tends to chop around a bit and serves more to just whet your apetite.
Also a lot of the pictures don't match up to the text.
Many describe things like "And shaft 'A' turns gear 'K' " but there is no gear 'K'
Or you have a gear and shaft marked A and K and no explanation on what they do.
I especially liked the Coxe gearbox on page 229 where two small epicyclic pullies linked together give a reduction of 3,621:1
Really compact and what a reduction.
You could pull tree stumps wth that http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

John S.

01-16-2004, 07:57 AM
H*ll's bells, John. Now you've gone and piqued my curiousity! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//confused.gif

Are you going to give us a peek? Better yet, why don't you build one up so we can see it in action. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif