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BigMike782
02-17-2012, 04:18 PM
I read both HSM and MW and enjoy both a lot but wish there was a monthly article for beginners explaining the basics or simple projects.They always have very good information in them but most is way over my head.Examples are the different types of indicators and typical uses and layout(I am a steel rule and sharpie guy right now).

Mcgyver
02-17-2012, 05:23 PM
They try to balance, but the problem is are they supposed to run a complete beginner series every year for the newbies that signed up that year?

imo a journal is a great way to have a steady stream of new stuff; projects etc. The timeless stuff is better captured in books. Get some Sr. high school texts, used they should be cheap . There are also two excellent books, the Amateur's Workshop and the Beginners Workshop. Excellent in that they don't assume everyone's got a full size lathe and a Bridgeport or works in industry; covers machine tools but also basics of bench work, drilling etc.

To your question, imo a dial test indicator is far more use than a dial indicator (more imo for QA fixtures etc) and my preference is one graduated in tenths, the greater resolution makes it easier imo.

Layout work is a valuable skill, more than can be written here, but is dealt with extensively in the above books

wb2vsj
02-17-2012, 06:03 PM
Poke around YouTube - There are some good beginners stuff out there (and some really bad stuff too :rolleyes: )

Two that come to mind are The mrpete222 (tubalcain) and the MIT Machine shop series.

If you really want old school, South Bend's "How to Run a Lathe"/HTRAL is out there too. Not sure if that is to basic for your needs, but they are fun to go back and watch every now and then.

Walt

Just got my very first issue of HSM a couple of days ago. Don't know why I waited so long to subscribe.

Ohio Mike
02-17-2012, 06:23 PM
For just starting out books are a good way to go. Used high school shop texts are a cheap solution. Getting something from the local library is even better, and if you do decide its something you need to have around then you can go out a buy a copy.

goose
02-17-2012, 06:33 PM
I miss "The New Hand" series, which primarily was an intro to basic techniques, or the in and outs of particular tooling each issue. I think there's always plenty subject matter available.

The problem with old texts is they're more hokey than useful for today's shop. White lead as a lube, for instance, or pages spent on setting up a lantern tool holder.

bill70j
02-17-2012, 07:38 PM
Poke around YouTube - There are some good beginners stuff out there (and some really bad stuff too :rolleyes: )

Two that come to mind are The mrpete222 (tubalcain) and the MIT Machine shop series.

Just got my very first issue of HSM a couple of days ago. Don't know why I waited so long to subscribe.
Being very green myself, I found these two YouTube series, especially the MIT one, to be very good. Tubalcains videos on lathe toolbit grinding is quite good too.

Also, I found Frank Marlow's book,Machine Shop Essentials to be very informative. Basic, but thorough.

uncle pete
02-17-2012, 09:15 PM
BigMike,
I can certainly understand and sympathise with your points for sure. I've never forgotten just how many questions I had (and still do in some ways) while learning the basics.

Anyone is free to agree or disagree with my points, But there's really no substitute for some decent referance books. Some people will litterly spend multiple thousands on the tools, But then refuse to spend a single cent on educating themselves. The internet can provide a huge amount of free information, But again it will never replace those decent referance books.

I've posted my thoughts about this subject on other forums, But not here.

Think about it this way. Anyone entering the machine tool trades as a entry level professional is required at least in most countries to do at the minimum a 4 year apprenticeship. That involves both hands on working at the trade in industry, And going to school where your learning and being tested on the theroy for at least a yearly testing program. It's not easy to pass any of those tests. Yet some of us as hobbiests think we can just breeze thru all this by reading a few posts on some internet amature machinist forums? And I'm certainly not knocking amature machinists. I've seen some totally amazing work posted here and on other forums that a lot of paid professionals might have a very tough time duplicating. But I also have no doubt those very impressive items that were posted by amatures were also done by people who took the time and made the effort to educate themselves. In a nutshell. I don't think there's any way you can shortcut the whole process. It takes time,study, effort, and constantly educating yourself. There are lots of super intelligent, and very highly talented people on this forum alone. They wern't born knowing all this. They learned by doing and educating themselves.

But you did ask a good question and that's a good idea. If you don't know, Then you don't know. I've yet to read a stupid question if the person was sincere and did want to learn.

Pete

BigMike782
02-17-2012, 09:20 PM
Thanks for the ideas guys.....keep them coming.
I have watched Tubalcan on youtube......VERY informative!
One of my high school graduation presents was a brand new copy of the text we used and it is a good resource(except that it does not mention a knee mill only horizontals).I will be checking out the books mentioned.

UP,part of what brings this up is some reading I was doing about learning to weld.The guy writing the article is supposed to be highly respected and at one point he said don't try and teach yourself as you need someone of a higher skill level to analyze your work so you learn how to tell a good weld from a bad one.I guess seeing the last issue of MW makes me feel completely inept.....I KNOW I'm not but I DO know I have more to learn than days left to live.

justanengineer
02-17-2012, 10:11 PM
Anyone is free to agree or disagree with my points, But there's really no substitute for some decent referance books. Some people will litterly spend multiple thousands on the tools, But then refuse to spend a single cent on educating themselves. The internet can provide a huge amount of free information, But again it will never replace those decent referance books.

Think about it this way. Anyone entering the machine tool trades as a entry level professional is required at least in most countries to do at the minimum a 4 year apprenticeship. That involves both hands on working at the trade in industry, And going to school where your learning and being tested on the theroy for at least a yearly testing program. It's not easy to pass any of those tests. .......In a nutshell. I don't think there's any way you can shortcut the whole process. It takes time,study, effort, and constantly educating yourself.


VERY well stated and very true. Professionals spend literally their entire lifetimes learning this trade, and "the basics" alone involve significant education. I have spent most of my life in/around various toolmaker relatives, and think I might have a semi-good grasp on what I consider the basics one day.

On the subject of books, I have personally known many who give excuses about not liking reading or not being a "book person." I think we are all that way occasionally, but something to consider are pictures. They speak for themselves quite often, and while some texts do not afford many pics, others have a ton which will give you an education in and of themselves. If you see a used book cheap for a few dollars, even if you only learn one thing it is well worth it. I automatically buy when theyre <$10 as I find it well worth it, and most do sell for that in my experience. If you see a book that is expensive, the local libraries' various "intra-library loan system" should be able to get you multiple copies of literally ANY book, even the rare ones, free simply for asking. Even if you only glance through the pictures while sitting on the toilet, its time well spent and you will be surprised how much you learn. Seriously.

We all lead busy lives, but this is not a new hobby/trade. The information is out there, you simply have to find it. Old books, new books, it does not matter much. They both have their place, but IMHO we have lost more machining knowledge than we have gained in recent decades, and I take pride in my collection of older texts. I have had/seen at various times several very good books on layout and bench work alone for example (you asked) that would more than get you started. If you would like recommendations or have trouble finding them, a simple question on here or PM should yield quite a few answers. I have personally been known to trade books for "spare" tools and vice versa, so knowledge acquisition may not even cost you anything.

Since it has not been mentioned, if you own a machine tool and not a copy of Machinery's Handbook, it is the best reference book IMHO ever created for design and/or fabrication of any kind. Its expensive new, but can be had used for <$20 via ebay's ridiculously high prices, and if youre frugal/shop around like me, copies can be had for <$10. The edition you own matters little except in rare cases, but I keep a vintage copy and a newer copy at the office and at home. Like other texts, they each have certain useful info that the other does not.

lane
02-17-2012, 10:21 PM
One of the best book for beginners is Audels Machinist and Tool Makers Handy Book about 1942 are 1943 print . lots of pictures and text with questions and the end of each chapter.

Stepside
02-17-2012, 11:02 PM
I too believe there is room for some more "beginner stuff" in the magazines.

So if you have something that you think a beginner or an almost beginner or a home shop self taught needs to know, then write a short piece for George Bullis and send it in. Photos and drawings are a plus. Here is what will happen 1) nothing 2) George or one of his co-workers will contact you. Maybe with ideas that could make it better or some questions. 3) they accept your work and when it is used you get your name in print and some beer money.

I agree that there is a pile of published information available most of it quite good. But sometimes you don't know what you need to know. A short piece in a magazine might help focus on what you need to explore. Besides knowledge in small pieces is easier to digest.

It is not about the money, it is about sharing.

Arthur.Marks
02-17-2012, 11:35 PM
FWIW, I find myself going back through basic machining textbooks and re-discovering points that either past by me the first time or did not meet my level of knowledge when first read. Sometimes reading through the first year machining curriculum chapters (i.e. "The Drill Press") can teach me something new after reading far more advanced literature. It is a long process as many people here have been saying. There is a lot that you think you may know until you actually have to do it :o In a way we're all in the same boat---just at different links in the chain. Sooner or later you'll get an "ah-ha!" moment. Until then, keep reading and (I agree, more importantly) LOOKING at the photos. Best of luck to you, and don't feel afraid to try something that seems intimidating. Even if you miserably fail, you'll learn all sorts of things you couldn't realize beforehand. Make chips, my friend! :D

fuzzy
02-17-2012, 11:48 PM
I think that you have the best source of information right here on the website.
Use the search and ask a question. I have learned so much from the posts. everyone has been helpful every time that I have asked a question. Many people have answered with good and varied ideas. I am still learning after making speed equipment for cars and motorcycles for many years. It's nice to be retired and working in my own shop at my own pace. Enjoy your machining and don't worry about anyone else.

kc5ezc
02-17-2012, 11:49 PM
I know this is the HSM website, but for beginners info try some of the other mags also. Model Engineers Workshop has been running a newbie series for the last several months.
See if your library has ME or MEW or HSM or Machinists Workshop. If they do, then back copies are probably available in the backroom. Maybe the library wants to get rid of the old stuff for a pittance.
Get some of the old Lindsay reprints
Read tool suppliers catalogs
There is so much info out there that you can't read it all in a lifetime.
Lane, I read the Audels machining stuff in the local library in the '50s. Turned me on to machining. Wish I had one of those books now.

fuzzy
02-17-2012, 11:51 PM
I forgot to add that I enjoy rereading my old HSM, Machinists Workshop and Projects In Metal. It's your time do what you want!

Paul Alciatore
02-17-2012, 11:56 PM
Basically, about ten or more years ago, I joined this board and several others to ask the questions as I needed the information for the projects I was working on. You can search the archives here or ask questions as you go and we will help as much as we can. Believe me, this works. I also read the magazines and keep back issues. I have re-read many of the earlier issues after I understood more of the basics and got a lot more out of them. They are a treasure and I keep them all.

As others have said, the magazines can not be expected to run a complete beginner series each year because such a series would take up a lot of space in the issues available and they would completely loose the more experienced readers who no longer need this. But they have run some beginner articles in past issues and you could search the ON LINE index on the Village Press site to find those articles. You can then purchase either back issues or copies of the articles from Village press.

I do suspect that one or two books describing the basics of metal shop techniques would be a more logical, more organized, and less expensive way to accomplish this. I, for one, have probably purchased over a dozen books. There are often ads for such books in the magazines. The dealers often have books for sale. Others like Amazon and Lindsay Publications are also sources.

flylo
02-18-2012, 01:01 AM
BigMike, check out 'theviper" on youtube. He shows several of the old south bend series & several of his own. I love it when the south bend series uses Leblonds:D . Anyway he's not far from us & has invited me over to see his shop. Let me know if you want to go & I'll set it up.

uncle pete
02-18-2012, 01:48 AM
BigMike,
There's one book that I think should be on everyones bookshelf after buying a Machinist's Handbook. Despite the title, It's the best I've read, And you'd learn a huge amount. "The Model Engineers Workshop Manual" by George H. Thomas. ISBN 1-85761-000-8 Your much better off ordering it online for $40 from Hemingway Kits in the U.K. than pay the $70-$80 the Ebay ripoff artists want for it here. I've had a copy for years, And still pick it up and go thru it from time to time. I still learn something new from it even after all those readings. There's lot's of pictures in it too that help with understanding the ideas.

The 3 Machinist's Bedside Reader books by Guy Lataurd are pretty good also.
Sometimes people don't think the real old machinist books are all that good in a modern world. Those old school machinist's helped build towards what we have today. The information from back then works just as well today as back then. Metal machining is just that. It's all pretty much alike if it's done on a 1800's treadle lathe, Or a state of the art CNC machine. The actual cutting principles remain the same. The speeds and feeds would be vastly different though.

There's also a large ammout of more specialised books depending on your exact interests and questions from Lindsay Publications that somebody has already mentioned, Tee Publishing in the U.K. is another good source of books. Just click on their workshop section. Some of the information may be a bit advanced for you right now, But that's why you refer back to them later.

Pete

dp
02-18-2012, 02:48 AM
It is quite possible that any well written article that explains well and is well illustrated, first principles of machining will make it's way to the magazine. For all your talented authors out there, accept this challenge. Watch some Tubal Cain videos at youtube and recreate it in your shop, take pictures, write it up well, and see if George will reject it.

The problem faced will be competition against the clock - articles can be written faster and more often than the bi-monthly cycle rate of the magazine. That's a problem as it creates congestion in the creativity stream. The solution is an on-line magazine and that is a problem because Village Press is a dead tree publication augmented with this BBS. It's a quandry.

A way around this cash flow quandary is the eBook. While individual articles are not a full book, a collection of same is, and that can compliment the dead tree side of the house. These are not exclusive media but merging the technologies is filled with pain points as all sides defend their insecurities.

This is guaranteed - on line publishing is going to win. Just have to convince the publishers and advertisers. Trees have a great future.