View Full Version : Best reference books, CDs, DVDs, for machining?

10-26-2013, 05:55 AM
I need some good reference books and basic setup and operation training material for my lathe, milling machine, and other tools. I know that the long-time standard is "Machinery's Handbook" which is in its 29th edition, but for my needs I can probably do just as well with an older edition. I have a book entitled "Basic Machining Reference Handbook" by Meyers and Slattery (1988) but it does not really explain things very well and is lacking basic information such as tap drill sizes. So I've been looking on eBay and found the following:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/120814994349 ($7 DVD with books in PDF format)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/171136214395 ($10 CD with 1200 pages of lathe and mill training)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181242920155 ($12 Machinery's Handbook #24 1992)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/291003529561 ($30 Machinery's Handbook #24 1992)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281192820800 ($26 Machinery's Handbook #23 1988 - sold by Goodwill)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/131029164460 ($40 Machinery's Handbook #29 2012)

I probably can't go too far wrong with the first two, so I'll probably get them and let you know what they are like. But it would be good to have a paper copy I can keep near the tools and refer to it easily. The 23d edition for $12 seems like a good deal. I've seen the latest edition #29 selling for over $100 so I don't know if the $40 one is legit, although it is "like new".

Any other suggestions for basic home workshop machining? I have a Harbor Freight 42976 drill/mill machine and a 45861 9" x 20" lathe.


10-26-2013, 06:33 AM
Rudy Kouhoupt's video's (http://bay-com.com/product-list.php?pg1-cid37.html) are good as are the Lathe and Milling machine series from Darrel Holland (https://smartflix.com/store/video/574/Professional-Machine-Shop-Course-Vertical-Mill) (AGI) there are also some good Vids from Adrain Prendergrass of Precision Measure (http://precisionmeasurementsupplystore.weebly.com/instruction-videos.html) "Lathe Learnin" and his set on the BP mill, the Micro Machine series from Lexy arent too bad either.



10-26-2013, 09:42 AM
Machine Shop Practice Volumes 1 and 2 by Karl Moltrecht are worth every penny of the price both as a refresher if you've been away from metalwork for a while (like I have) or are just starting out. Both are available from Amazon, I got mine used from Amazon Marketplace sellers for about $12 each plus shipping. I had to smile when Volume 2 came in with "Cell Block 9" written on the cover.

10-26-2013, 09:53 AM
And while I think about it, there are LOTS of pdf's available for free download. Once you get the titles just google title pdf. A lot of the South Bend training books from the 20's and 30's are out there and they still have good info. Two good ones are:

Manual of Lathe Operations
The Installation and Leveling of the Lathe

Be aware that there are also lots of copyrighted materials that shouldn't be available. Its your own moral decision whether to download them or not. I have looked at a few. Found some didn't have anything of interest, others were valuable so I bought the hard copy. I'm still something of a Luddite when it comes to books.

Dr Stan
10-26-2013, 11:27 AM
The Machinery Repairman 2 & 3 and the MR 1 & Chief are excellent training manuals and are available for free online. I have also seen references to the Army's machining training manuals indicating they are also excellent. One can find them by Googling the titles.

Aduel's also prints one or two machining reference books which you can find on their web site.

10-26-2013, 03:13 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I found another book that I had bought some time ago, titled "Technology of Machine Tools", by Krar, Oswald and St. Amand, from 1969. This was printed in Canada and seems to be a first edition. I found a reference to it:

It seems to be well-written and comprehensive, apparently intended for use in high school or trade school metal shops. It may be somewhat dated, but most of the principles and techniques still apply today, at least for my simple purposes. I wish now that I had taken metal shop in high school, but instead I took three years of drafting. The only shop classes I took were in junior high where we mostly used hand tools. I learned a lot from my father, who had been a machinist at Glenn L Martin's in the 1940s, but we didn't have a lathe or mill at home, or even a grinder or drill press. His father had been a metal finisher in Germany, and my other grandfather worked at Bethlehem Steel as a boilermaker. I made a number of mechanical devices, but mostly I was interested in electronics, which was also what my father did in later years, and I learned mostly by trial and error and experimenting.

10-26-2013, 03:33 PM
MIT TechTv have an excellent series of workshop videos online..

Machining Skills for Prototype Development.



10-26-2013, 06:16 PM
I started a post " Machining Books" back in March of this year.
You might want to a look through there. Lots of different titles mentioned.

10-26-2013, 08:04 PM
The MIT videos are very good. Some of the comments also make for good reading, as they point out a few deficiencies and questionable techniques.

I'll have to check out the "machining books" thread. I did a quick search but did not use those exact keywords, and the search seems to default to "OR" rather than "AND".

Here are the results I found (some are old and perhaps no longer valid):


10-28-2013, 09:23 PM
Today received the DVD called "The Machinist's Library". It is very interesting and has some good information, but most everything is from 1920 or earlier (even so far back as 1830 or so), and thus is more for historical interest. I don't think it will prove to be very useful, but for $7 including shipping I can't complain.

So far, the MIT videos seem to be the most useful for learning some machine shop techniques, and I can see where in many cases I have done things properly while in others it would have been so much easier to have had the knowledge presented there. And, also, my "Technology of Machine Tools" book seems to be very good for my level of experience and needs.