View Full Version : New to machining. Need advice.
01-16-2004, 11:14 PM
I am new to machining and I am looking to set up a small home shop. There are a ton of books on machining out there. Can anyone recommend good books on machining? I am looking for an overview of machining operations. I was thinking of purchasing the "Machine Shop Practice" books. Also, which are the good lathe/mill/drill machines out there (mid-sized).
From your profile it seems you are either student or faculty at UDEL.Words and books are great, a picture is worth a thousand words, but there's nothing like the real thing. So take advantage of the shop resources near you:
There are thousands of machine texts out there...you can search this site with keyword "book*" for many suggestions or browse it and look at the linked pictures etc. There is an HSM club locator on this site's homepage you could use that to maybe make some acquaintances.
As far as the good mills and lathes...if you don't have a lot of cash I would just buy the cheapest thing you can haul and start...as you discover the trials and tribulations of machinery and discover the shortcomings of your purchase/freebie you'll learn what you really want in a machine and become a better judge of quality. Most important is to make friends and be a "stand up guy" you never know what will come your way for the hauling...
You're referring to the Argus "Machine Shop Practice" series? Those are good.
Other good ones, which you'll have to find used, are any by Colvin and Stanley. Fred Colvin was "Mr. Machine Shop" for about the first half of the 20th century and wrote several excellent books. (He was editor of Practical Machinist magazine, I think...some trade magazine, anyway.)
abn's right -- there is nothing like actually DOING it, if you find an introductory machine shop course somewhere.
Also, take a long-term view. This isn't something you're going to learn all about in 6 months, or even 6 years. So cultivate patience.
As far as what to buy: that's been flogged to death in this forum, and the results can be summarized as "it all depends." If you happen to find some good used machinery, or if you don't, and what your budget is, and space contraints, and what size work you plan to do...etc. So go back and read the archives and see what you can dig up.
Personally, if I were equipping my shop today and had the money I'd probably try to get a GOOD used South Bend "Heavy 10" lathe, and a GOOD used Bridgeport...except I don't have the ceiling height for B'port so I might have to settle for a Jet JVM-836, which is about 2/3 the size of a B'port and likely big enough for my needs, anyway.
01-17-2004, 09:42 AM
Hey, thanks a lot! You're right, I am a grad student at Udel. Never new about that (obviously I don't get out much). Looks like the perfect place to start.