View Full Version : Proofing and otherwise improving HSM

11-10-2004, 09:30 PM
This *board* ought to be a gold-mine for improving the quality of HSM magazine.

Neil should solicit a handful of folks with expertise and interest in each of a bunch of key categories ... like basic machining, welding, heat treating, grinding, safety, gunsmithing, forging, casting, industrial electricity, electronics... and do a little "peer review" before publishing.

He shouldn't need to PAY people for this.

After all this is a mutual-benefit hobby with the magazine serving as much as a communications tool as anything else.

I know I'd happily volunteer to read a couple articles (either rough drafts or press proofs) per month and give quick feedback on the critical aspects of the content. In my little area of expertise.

Doesn't need to share the editorial content with the world up front, just do it all via email.

I enjoy reading and would love to support the magazine, but each year when it's up for renewal it's a tough choice, is it worth another $35 or whatever. Frankly this last business with the "RC39" mild steel does not help the matter.

Well, it's a thought. And Neil, thanks for your efforts.

Aside, HSM for me is a communications tool and a source of project ideas. Frankly I'm unlikely to ever follow step-by-step instructions to build something in the magazine. If I am going to build something, I want more photos and less text, and just few clear dimensioned drawings.

What I'd really like to see in the magazine that is rarely touched on, is more of the likes of Forrest's and occasional other articles on basic techniques, for the benefit of folks like me who have never been near a commercial shop (except at auctions...) Go back to what was "state of the art" in the trade rags 50 to 100 years ago, and make it fresh for today's hobbyists.

Bob Powell
Vashon Island, WA

J Tiers
11-10-2004, 10:18 PM
I Agree. Of the ones I recall, there have been..

Cheap EDM, with the very real risk of electrocution only casually mentioned in passing. The rather poor design could easily have been made much safer with no harm to the function.

The Grinding wheel balancing article, the one featuring the boring of holes into the wheel to drip in molten solder as a balance

Now the hardening article. Not that it is false, but that it was apparently written without a real knowlege of why what little happens does happen. Also without a knowlege of the analysis of the steel used.

I'd like to see more articles which are written by folks who know what is up.

Forrest's articles are great; well written, informative, and clearly authoritative. Others who seem to know have contributed many articles also.

The problem is when a partly right article, or one which is wrong, or worse, dangerously flawed, sneaks through without questions.

If I were the publisher, I would be very concerned about such things. Clearly they are viewed as unimportant in actuality.

11-10-2004, 11:41 PM
I think one of the big thing holding articles back is the fact that people don't say: "Oh i should stop, take a picture while the lathe is running for HSM". How many of us keep the Camera in the shop...and should it really be kept there?

I do beleive the board should help out more. The fact that Forrest has been asked to do some writting and the positive feedback since the new hand's conception has been amazing.

I would like a section called "From the board". Let everyone, who doesn't know about this BBS, find out there is a gateway of information being exchanged. This is a fun hobby and it is difficult to get into as it isn't commonly known.


I think you are on the right track. If you are having problems with articles come to the web page. With all these active Members i am sure we would all love to pitch in on some subjects you post. Evan Loves Doing reserch anyways!!! I enjoy the hobby and the magazine is a nice escape from the stress at work.

Rob http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

11-11-2004, 02:06 AM
I like the "from the board" idea.
How about "the back page" where infamous characters from the board are allowed a certain number of words to comment on one article per character in that issue?

Evan notes research you never knew existed.
Dave gives the tattoo'd biker's thoughtful impressions.
Alistair & John provide a spirited point - counterpoint review.
ad infinitum

Seriously though, might be some interesting potential there.

11-11-2004, 05:12 PM
Please note the name of the magazine "The Home Shop Machinist" and keep this in mind. If it was the NASA Shop Machinist I would expect articles at a different level. You make good points on the scientific merits of the articles, especialy the safety issue with the EDM, but: These type of projects are things we have all probably tried as an experiment. I thought the article on hardening was interesting, if I choose to try it on some material I have at home and it works, then great. If not it was an interesting trip anyway. I see very few complaint letters written to them regarding the lack of highly technical material.

J Tiers
11-11-2004, 05:33 PM
"Highly technical" is one thing...

"Wrong" or "misinformed" is quite another. I do not think amateurs need misinformation any more than anyone else....

11-11-2004, 05:34 PM
Perhaps Neil doesn't have vast quantities of material to choose from. Write something better so he has more to choose from.

Paul Alciatore
11-11-2004, 08:43 PM
I don't think he has any lack of submissions. I sent a piece on making a QC tool holder several months ago and haven't seen it yet. It was apparently well recieved as they asked for the pictures and drawings in their file formats. I do believe it will be published, just has to wait in line.

As for style, I am always a bit verbose. I do try to fight it - perhaps with limited success. I did have the camera in the shop - well, in my shirt pocket. There are pictures. And I not only used dimensioned drawings of all parts but also some assembly and illustrative drawings. One of my pet peeves on some of the atrticles is that it takes several readings to figure out exactly how it works or how it is assembled. I tried to strike a balance between the needs of the complete beginner and those of the seasoned machinist who knows ten times as much as I. I read and revised it at least 30 or 40 times and my wife, bless her, proof read it twice.

I just hope the criticism is evenly divided between too little and too much explanation.

Paul A.