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EddyCurr
09-30-2011, 03:28 PM
With a day to myself, I visited some local bookshops yesterday
in search of technical books related to the metal trades. It
was not a productive outing.

Although the stores are well stocked with books ranging from the
common to the bizarre and sometimes even the obscene, their inventory
of technical/trades/engineering-related materials is nearly non-existant.

In a community where, until the current generation, there were several
high schools with strong, well-equipped trades programs and where there
continues to be a major technical institute, it seems odd to me that
there are virtually no text books or other technically-oriented publications
about metal work to be found in the used book market.

As a staging area for the oil & gas, mining, forestry and agricultural
industries, a declining, yet still active commercial, military and civilian
aviation center, not to mention a hot bed for fabrication/manufacturing
of various kinds, one would think that there would be more used metal
working and other types of trades/technical/eng books in circulation.

Mind you, wood butchers have a goodly selection to choose from ...

.

dalee100
09-30-2011, 04:24 PM
Hi,

Well, it seems we never throw anything away. Always something left in that piece of scrap. :)

I suspect that between the hording and a general dearth of formal literature makes it hard to find.

There is a lot of ephemeral material, pamphlets, papers, and flyers that gets accumulated and put on shelves, I know I have a wide and deep selection on my shelves. Such materials seldom find their way into used bookstores. But formal practical books much beyond Machinery's Handbook, are tough to come by. There are more engineering books published than that of course, but there aren't that many engineers that buy and sell them either. And they hoard books just as much.

And from a trade stand point, much was simply taught on the job and you just learned it. There is a lot of oral tradition in being a machinist. Happens everyday in places just like this. As well on the shop floor. Sadly, there seems to less need for passing information on as time goes by. So we lose even more material that way.

It's not surprising that you have a difficult time finding stuff in a bookstore.

dalee

The Artful Bodger
09-30-2011, 04:32 PM
The few used books I can find on the subject are usually impossibly heavy tomes filled with mathematics and almost nothing I can readily understand.


I suspect this is nothing new, the Romans and other ancient civilisations had significant engineering skills but what records are ever found of their technical learning or reference materials?

Obviously, poetry is more enduring than how to run your Bridgeport mill.:)

lynnl
09-30-2011, 04:47 PM
Obviously, poetry is more enduring than how to run your Bridgeport mill.:)

True. "Ode to a Grecian Urn", by englishman John Keats, has endured a long time.
But probably few people have ever read "Ode to a Bridgeport Mill", by englishman John Stevenson. Wonder why that is?

danlb
09-30-2011, 05:05 PM
I suspect this is nothing new, the Romans and other ancient civilisations had significant engineering skills but what records are ever found of their technical learning or reference materials?


It was quite common for specialized skills to be guarded as "Guild Secrets". I guess secrecy backed by threat of death is better than a patent. As a result, even after the advent of widespread written documents there was little written down for fear that a competitor might use it.

I think that woodworking is more popular because anyone with a hammer and saw thinks that they can do woodworking. It's sort of true, since so much in woodworking is done to the nearest inch or half inch and it's often 'fitted' after the fact.

I find that the used bookstores keep what sells, and tosses the rest. I imagine there is not a great demand for metalworking books. The new bookstores are the same.

Dan

justanengineer
09-30-2011, 05:28 PM
Books? What are those?

You mean everything we need to know isnt on the internet or TV?

RussZHC
09-30-2011, 05:31 PM
I find that the used bookstores keep what sells, and tosses the rest. I imagine there is not a great demand for metalworking books. The new bookstores are the same.

Agreed, and understandable from a "trying to generate revenue" standpoint...IMO it is sadder that libraries most often follow the same path...40x copies of a popular book is not unusual but try to find something more than say Audel's series on various trades [not knocking that series, just saying there is more out there]

topct
09-30-2011, 05:58 PM
I think it's just a matter of numbers. Technical books are just not printed in large numbers. The demand for them is outgrowing the availability.

I also suspect that large numbers have just simply been destroyed. Warehouse space is limited and room must be made.

My local used book seller does not "toss" any technical books. He has waiting lists.

PTSideshow
09-30-2011, 06:02 PM
Biggest problem is the rate of change and advancement in the area of the metallic arts.
The books go out of date with alarming rapidity.
The school districts haven't bothered with collecting old text books from closed shops in 30 years, they didn't even collect the tools, hand tools were shoveled into dumpsters. and if a principals slipped the labors some money, they would bust up the machines and shovel them in to the dumpsters. When the local scrap and machine dealers had there fill of pennies on the dollar as is where is you remove.
Used trades books have little to no value as used books the two larger used book stores will not buy them and one will not take them for free as it costs them to to have the dumpsters hauled away.
The ones that make it into the store shelves, are the ones that come in with other books they wanted to buy for resale.
try the following
powells used books have some new and used along with model steam books (http://www.powells.com/) Great to deal with
Lindsay books great for reprints good prices (http://www.lindsaybks.com/)
A world library catalog search engine if the library is a member it even will tell you how far away the closet one is (http://worldcat.org/)
Used book search and price comparison from a number of other sites (http://used.addall.com/)
This is another good one for reprints along with their other site for metal arts and other trades (http://www.astragalpress.com/)
Nation Builder books a staple at the NAMES show and other shows (http://www.nbbooks.com/)Great to deal with
Hamilton Books carries some craft and trade type books (http://www.hamiltonbook.com/hamiltonbook.storefront) make sure to read the purchasing info if you want to use a credit card

I know the used book biz, As you can see some of my metallic arts books in the welding forum which also has a number of non welding metal related books.

uncle pete
09-30-2011, 06:54 PM
This thread goes along with what I've thought for years. In Canada walk into any Chapters book store and try and find ANYTHING on the shelves about metal working. I find it very suprising and maybe a sad statement about modern society in general that machining and metal working touches every single product in the world no matter what it is including the book store itself and everything in it. Yet nothing about it is avalible in that book store. Every book I have about machining came thru the mail. Some of the books are very good, Some not so much. It would have been helpful to at least thumb thru a book before deciding to buy it. Chapters totall anti gun policy for books or magazines is a form of censorship, But that's OT for this thread.

Pete

Greg Q
09-30-2011, 07:21 PM
Last year I searched one of the largest used book stores in the world, in Detroit. (John King Books) You'd think that they would have been snowed under, but in fact there was very little...I found two books that were on my list.

That's two in a stock of > 1 million volumes.

I think most of mine came from ebay or flea markets. Here in Australia big cities still have technical bookshops which can be a joy to browse, but not too many giggles at the cash register.

Greg

PTSideshow
09-30-2011, 08:09 PM
Last year I searched one of the largest used book stores in the world, in Detroit. (John King Books) You'd think that they would have been snowed under, but in fact there was very little...I found two books that were on my list.
That's two in a stock of > 1 million volumes.
Greg

That is the two I was referring to in my previous post neither of their locations, would by them. The location in the suburbs, tells people that bring them in if they don't want to take home to dump the books in the free box outside the door.

If they are recent editions they would only pay .25/.50 to $1.00 As the business is so slow in the Detroit area. The manager was giving additional discounts in addition to the 30/40% off list price. and wasn't sure how long they could keep the store open.

I had at one time hundreds of sheet metal, machine shop, welding text books. I got tried of being insulted by guys offering me .25 for a great condition book that was marked $2.00.

You have to understand that text books are generally printed on clay coated paper. Which even 25 years ago wasn't accepted for recycling. So it was basically land fill fodder or fuel for a boiler.

And 35 years with a major school district I burned tons of text books new and used. Along with library books that were removed because they were not culturally relevant too today youth. Meaning Hardy boys,Nancy Drew types and silly sci fi.

It wasn't cost effective to have sales and transport the materials to a central
site. Since they couldn't sell them for more than it would cost in manpower alone.

Same reason they stopped selling used tools and equipment form the shops they closed. Not cost effective, along with a non profit that went to court so they could get first refusal on everything the district was going to sell. The district said fine we will no longer sell anything.

I was glad that I was working at the warehouse and able to buy some equipment be for the do gooders screwed everything up.:rolleyes:

Greg Q
09-30-2011, 08:18 PM
The place on Woodward had zero when I checked there...lots of self-help and fiction though. In a perfect world you would be able to go to the Greenfield Village gift shop and buy Henry Ford Tech school reprints.

I still go to Detroit every year or so, but I always leave depressed.

Greg

jhe.1973
09-30-2011, 08:29 PM
powells used books have some new and used along with model steam books (http://www.powells.com/) Great to deal with


I'm glad someone mentioned Powell's. I second the 'Great to deal with' above. They will keep your request on file & if the book you are looking for arrives, notify you via e-mail. I've picked up a few this way even after forgetting I had asked for them.

A few years ago my wife had to go to Portland, OR, for business & I tagged along. We discovered Powell's then.

I believe it was a department store years ago. 5 floors, 60,000 square feet & all catalogued so they can tell you in an instant if they have something & where it is.

We have a used book chain in AZ & it's frustrating that no data is entered into any retrievable form. Great way to spend a day browsing though.

Anyway, back to Powell's. I asked for some technical book & they looked it up found they didn't have it.

Now the punch line.

The clerk asked if I had checked their technical book store.

Turns out they have another entire (smaller) building about 5 or 6 blocks away dedicated to technical books.

IIRC, they don't have the same searchable data base, but it's a gold mine nevertheless.

I just wished they sold wheelbarrows.:D

Greg Q
09-30-2011, 08:41 PM
Used book shops in Australia by contrast vary widely. For some reason I drifted into a local one about ten years ago as they were unpacking a shipment from a New York university library. I now own bound books of measured drawings of Georgian architectural details of some of America's finest homes. For probably about the original 1913 cost of printing. Does that strike anyone as just wrong?

For any cheapskates here (don't ask me how I know this) try http://library.nu for free downloadable books. They have millions of titles in PDF form.

Orrin
09-30-2011, 09:34 PM
I find all the technical books I want on the Advanced Book Exchange:

http://www.abebooks.com/

Whenever anybody mentions a book on this and similar fora (forums) I go straight to ABE and order it. It has let me down very few times. On a few occasions, the book turns out to be scarce and the vendor knows it. When their asking price is in the $hundreds I prefer to remain ignorant. :)

Orrin

Greg Q
09-30-2011, 09:44 PM
I find all the technical books I want on the Advanced Book Exchange:

http://www.abebooks.com/

Whenever anybody mentions a book on this and similar fora (forums) I go straight to ABE and order it. It has let me down very few times. On a few occasions, the book turns out to be scarce and the vendor knows it. When their asking price is in the $hundreds I prefer to remain ignorant. :)

Orrin

Remember after our scraping class the bunch of us comparing notes on good books to buy? The availablility/price curve got skewed heavily for a few weeks, just like the Biax prices;) It pays to pay attention to any thread about worthwhile books and order them ASAP before the rush. I was lucky enough to find most of them in the six months after the class...I expect that the number of available copies outside of landfills is dwindling though. I have stuck "NEVER DISCARD" labels on my library to remind my future widow that it may be in her, and our culture's, best interests to get them into the hands of someone who will value them.

J Tiers
09-30-2011, 10:01 PM
I've been told by more than one used book dealer that they toss ALL technical books.

The excuse is that they know nothing about them, don't know what's good or bad, and that most of the older stuff is so obsolete anyway that it is no loss.

I imagine they have been told some of that by the "trend spotters", people who decide for the magazines etc what is going to be popular in the future..... Folks like Faith Popkin (aka "Popcorn") and other free thinkers at the ad agencies.

And people who have garage sales sometimes say "I was told that books are obsolete, everyone uses those reader things anymore and don't want books, so we threw them all out".

I hav gotten lots of good technical and shop books at estate sales, garage sales, and the big annual book sales here. There is one benefiting a charitable foundation, and one benefiting the YMCA, both with several acres of books. The YMCA has better tech books, the ignorant book dealers run the other one.

Robin R
09-30-2011, 10:27 PM
With a day to myself, I visited some local bookshops yesterday

there
continues to be a major technical institute,

.

Have you checked out the said technical institute, it probably has a bookstore on campus. If so, they may well stock used books that are required for the various courses.

If you don't mind books from an earlier age, then the Internet Archive has large numbers of out of copy-write metalworking books. http://www.archive.org/ Just don't bother with anything from Google Books, that's America's cruel joke on the rest of the world.

EddyCurr
10-01-2011, 03:51 AM
Have you checked out the said technical institute, it probably has a bookstore
on campus. If so, they may well stock used books that are required for the
various courses.Yes, I am an alumnus of courses offered through their ConEd dept. These
courses use selected modules drawn from the full set of printed materials
prepared for the four year apprenticeship programs.

The printed materials are compiled by the Apprenticeship and Industry
Training (http://www.tradesecrets.gov.ab.ca/index.html) department within the provincial ministry of Advanced Education
and Technology.

Some examples


http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_13.jpg

http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_14.jpg

http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_15.jpg

http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_16.jpgThere are some barriers that make it difficult for the man on the street to get
these materials. The bookstore requires proof of enrollment in a related
program before agreeing to sell the materials. (This is provided they even
have stock on hand, I have taken classes where materials have not been
available for the majority of the program's duration.) Those not enrolled
in a course can special order the materials, but delivery is 6-8 weeks.


If you don't mind books from an earlier age, then the Internet Archive has
large numbers of out of copy-write metalworking books. http://www.archive.org/ .Thank you for the link. There is both a Sony Reader Touch and an iPad for
ebooks in the household. I have followed earlier threads at HSM with links
to various digital versions of out-of-print books.

eBooks have their strengths. Real books in the hand are still more satisfying
to me.

.

EddyCurr
10-01-2011, 04:13 AM
J Tiers, PTSideshow and RussZHC post remarks about the 'business' that
perhaps cut to the core of the problem.

A while ago, I questioned a neighborhood bookseller with a varied selection
of subjects why he had nothing about machining - not a word of a lie, he
replied "why would anyone want to read about that?"

On my outing the other day, a shop owner told me they do not take texts
because of the high probablitity these are marked up with underlining
and highlighting. The shop caters to a higher end clientel and 50% of
sales comes from internet/distant customers so they do everything with
a view to maintaining a reputation for quality goods.

One scenario that hasn't been mentioned but which I do not think is
completely out of the question is that well-meaning agencies may have
gathered such resources for furtherence to third world countries in
the midst of their own industrial revolutions ...

As it happens, I am fortunate to already have the beginnings of a modest
collection of technology-related publications. A sampling of which
appears below:


http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_01.jpg

http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_02.jpg

http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_03.jpg

http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_04.jpg
.

EddyCurr
10-01-2011, 04:14 AM
http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_05.jpg

http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_06.jpg

http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_07.jpg

http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_08.jpg

.

EddyCurr
10-01-2011, 04:15 AM
http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_09.jpg

http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_10.jpg

http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_11.jpg

http://www.slalom4me.com/imaged_a01/jpg/other/reference_mat/books/trades/2011.09.30_TradeBooks_12.jpg
.

bob ward
10-01-2011, 04:57 AM
Its all to do with the preferences of the book buying public. 1 in 2 will buy a cook book, 1 in 10 will buy a Mills & Boon, 1 in 2000 will buy a machining book. I don't like it either, but thats just the way it is.

John Stevenson
10-01-2011, 05:08 AM
In the UK there is a village called Hay on Wye close to the Welsh border, typical English village nothing changed for centuries, even have the old style parking meters.

This village advertised itself as the biggest second hand book shop in the world, probably correct as it holds about 30 book shops. Some are small single rooms in cottages and others like the converted cinema, church and yes an genuine English castle have just under a million each.

Now I collect old engineering books, have done for years and we used to make an annual pilgrimage to Hay every year for 2 days, you cannot do the village in one day.
First couple of years were ace, loads of quite rare goodies for not much money as the sellers think they are worthless.

However once the cream got skimmed off the top subsequent visits came up with nothing new. Last trip was about 18 months ago and we won't be going back because all that's left are the same books we saw 12 years ago but now at inflated prices.

Last trip I bought one book, "The history of Asprin" believe it or not quite interesting, trip before that two book on Rolls Royce engines.

In the early days we used to take the Donald down because we were frightened of overloading the car.

It's not just book dealers who have no clue, even the trade is guilty. One of the local gear cutting companies had a small office in the corners with overloaded shelves on gear machines that had been scrapped pre WWII. I asked to buy some and the foreman said no need, he'd sort them and give them to me.
This went on for about 5 years and one day called in, lace is al clean, office all tidy, no shelves. Asked for the foreman and a young guy came up, I asked after the old guy and the books and he'd retired and they had trashed everything.

I have stopped collecting now as I have too many and in truth many just repeat what others do, there are only so many ways to drill a hole :D We have boxes of books stored that have never been opened from buying them.

Earlier this year we sorted out a large stack of books, mainly fiction and odd books from where ever. We put these onto a standard pallet and they stacked 4' hight and they went onto Ebay and made something like 25. Just glad to be rid of them.
This winter I reckon we can clear out another two pallets of general books as opposed to collectables.

Greg Q
10-01-2011, 06:34 AM
I will observe that I started woodworking 30 years ago because I wanted attractive yet affordable bookshelves; I had and still do have a wide-eyed astonishment that the incredible riches of knowledge are almost free. Now I have the additional astonishment that on top of being cheap, most people find printed knowledge worthless.

Greg

Krunch
10-01-2011, 06:38 AM
I buy nearly all my books through a used-book "clearinghouse" website called alibris.com which, in turn, deals with dozens of third-party vendors ... almost like an ebay exclusively for books.

I have been buying books through them for several years now, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. I have probably bought 30 to 50 titles through them, and I have only been dissatisfied once ... and the seller made it right with me (apparently they made an honest, unintentional mistake in describing the book).

Shipping is always $3.99 per book (unless you buy multiple books from the same book seller, in which case you get a discount).

They just about always have "coupon discount promos" going on, and if nothing else, you can generally get at least $1 off. In several instances, I have found used books offered for 99 ... applied the $1.00 off coupon ... and basically bought the book for the $3.99 shipping fee.

Most of the books are priced pennies on the dollar. It's rare to find a title that you can't find a copy of. Highly recommended.

I should also note that I have no financial connection (or any other, except being a customer) to them.

alibris.com

ironnut
10-01-2011, 01:10 PM
My wife has had good success using bookfinder.com to search for titles that she is interested in. She found the Connely tome Machine Tool Reconditioning for me and someday I will give it a thorough read. She also said that it includes the alibris.com stores.

gordon

loose nut
10-01-2011, 04:53 PM
typical English village nothing changed for centuries, even have the old style parking meters.
.

The kind that you tied your horse to?:D

loose nut
10-01-2011, 04:59 PM
I still go to Detroit every year or so, but I always leave depressed.

Greg

You think your depressed, what about all the people that can't leave. They must be damned near suicidal.

For those that haven't had the pleasure of going there, old downtown Detroit is scarey, the "burbs are fine, some are very nice.

PTSideshow
10-01-2011, 05:36 PM
used.addall.com (http://used.addall.com/)
This site will search and compare prices with sites in a number of countries Most of the ones that have been listed you can choose which ones you want to search.

John Stevenson
10-01-2011, 06:34 PM
I still go to Detroit every year or so, but I always leave depressed.

Greg

I feel the same way with London, to be honest I'm rather ashamed at the city seeing as it's our capital.

It's got so as it's the melting pot of the world, good game to play is spot the Englishman :D

A visor comes to London, flies in and when he come to move on if he travels by train all the car breakers yards are located on old sidings that back up onto the railway so all a visitor to England sees are these breakers yards, crappy industrial low rent units all the way.

Those green fields you see in the British rail advert are just a 3 mile stretch in the Derbyshire peak district before it drops down into coal tips of the past industrial North.

Sorry am I putting anyone off from visiting ? :D

Plus side is you can still buy a Bridgy for under 600 :rolleyes:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bridgeport-Drill-Milling-Machine-not-Lathe-/220862416311

MaxHeadRoom
10-01-2011, 07:15 PM
With a day to myself, I visited some local bookshops yesterday
in search of technical books related to the metal trades. It
was not a productive outing.

.

I usually check out Abe Books, they are world wide clearing house for used books.
I recently got a box of 5 books on Autocad for ~$20.00.
It may be worth a look.
Max.

Rex
10-03-2011, 04:50 PM
I've quit looking for such books a year or so ago, but I had no problem finding them. Best source was the annual "Friends of the Library" book sale. Hardbacks were 25 cents. Machining textbooks were plentiful, so I got one of each. I probably have 10 different actual textbooks, plus some Audels and various others.
I even got a couple of mint Hollanders interchange manuals. You car guys know what those are worth. $.25 each.
Used bookstores off the beaten path seemed real good also. Passing through a small town I'd always stop at the used bookstores for a quick look. Almost always found something useful.