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Machining Educational Recommendation

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  • Machining Educational Recommendation

    Since I'm just beginning my machining hobby, I began to look for training and all of the schools that I found are too far away from where I reside. That's a major bummer!!! Would anyone have any recommendations for video training? Sure I can look videos up on YouTube but I'm wondering if there may be a video instructional series that someone could recommend? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you.

  • #2
    Go to work in a job shop for a while, you will quickly learn more then any number of youtube videos will teach you, also you will hate it and the entry level part time pay is awful.
    An entry level position will also not require that you own several thousand dollars worth of small measuring tools, you will have that going for you (-:


    • #3
      When I was starting to learn about machining there were few sources available. Even the local library had almost nothing except advanced subjects. I stumbled across the US Army training courses online. These are text based online learning courses. When 9/11 happened the army closed the access to the servers. They did this not to hide the material, but to tighten the network security.

      Fortunately some folks had copies of the information. You can download them from here: . I'd start with the fundamentals, then move on to the "operation" sections.

      MIT also had some good machining content. Search for "MIT training lathe" and you will see a couple of 45 minute training videos from them on YouTube.

      Last edited by danlb; 08-28-2020, 01:07 PM.
      At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

      Location: SF East Bay.


      • #4
        Dan...Thanks. I'll take a look. I appreciate your guidance.


        • #5
          I'd pick up a technical school textbook or two. Most of them cover everything from the basics of measuring tool and tooling use, through all the common machine shop machines.
          Something like:
          A hundred time better than the typical reccomendation: SouthBend How to run a lathe.


          • #6
            As a retired shop teacher I have some thoughts. 1)What tools/equipment do you have available? 2) Do you have a project in mind? 3) What makes you think that this would be a good hobby for you?
            Everybody has a belly button and an opinion or two, so here is mine. 1) you can't learn to swim without getting wet. So read a bit and then fire off your machine. 2) If you have something that needs to be made, give it a try. Just doing push-ups can get boring. 3) Try to use the right material for the task. Junkbinium can take all the fun out of the task. 4)Ask any questons you may have and you will get all the help you need.
            Work safe with sleeves rolled up, shirt tucked in and no beach footwear. Also make sure to have the correct eye protection.


            • #7
              Moltrechts “Machine Shop Practice” vol. I &II

              Dry as a popcorn fart- but signal/noise ratio is infinitely better than ANY video. Do you want entertainment or knowledge?


              • #8
                You should add your general location to your sig so that someone near you may be able to help. I took two semesters of machine shop at Community College of Baltimore in Catonsville, and it was very helpful. I already had a HF 9x20 lathe and a round column mill/drill machine, as well as other tools and lots of materials I got from a local machine shop scrap bin, and I had already done a number of machining projects on my own. Most important is to learn about safety and nasty things that can go wrong if not careful.
                Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                USA Maryland 21030


                • #9


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SVS View Post
                    but signal/noise ratio is infinitely better than ANY video. Do you want entertainment or knowledge?
                    +1 the theme of most videos is, "why take 1 minute to say/show something if you can take 20?". The video is the poor cousin of the book, its primary advantage is it requires less effort.

                    Like Reggie said, I'd also recommend getting a Sr high/college machine shop textbook. Perhaps a step down from Moltrecht which is great brutally dry and long, however you'll still get 90% of it and its easier to get through. Once the textbook industries declares a new edition the old ones go for peanuts (now there a scam - Richard Feynman in "Surely You're Joking" (a very entertaining read) lays into that one). Anyway, read the textbook cover to cover. Its not hard to understand, its written for beginners and give a very solid foundation to machining and machines.

                    Of course you don't get good at it until you layer in the practical experience, but that simple, accessible, low cost act, reading one book, would put ones knowledge of machining above most.
                    Last edited by Mcgyver; 08-28-2020, 06:45 AM.
                    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


                    • #11
                      Agree with the above, videos are OK for when you want to actually see something done, but it seems to me that many of them are actually more useful once you know a bit more and have some idea what you are looking at and looking for. They can kill a lot of time that would be better spent reading or actually trying stuff.

                      As for books, I stumbled on this one at a library book sale a number of years back: "Complete Metalworking Manual by R. H. Cooley"

                      It's intended for trade schools and such. It's not exhaustive but covers a bit of everything and seems to me to be a good addition to any machining library. Being older, it does not dive into CNC or modern cutting tools, but I think has enough info on any topic it covers to get one pointed in the right direction and out in the shop trying stuff. Machines in it are close to typical home shop types.It has some projects and stuff in it as well.


                      Don't be put off by the stupidly high Amazon "new" edition price, right below that are used ones selling for under 10 bucks.
                      Last edited by alanganes; 08-28-2020, 07:05 AM. Reason: Edit: fixed the link I screwed up


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SVS View Post
                        Moltrechts “Machine Shop Practice” vol. I &II

                        Dry as a popcorn fart- but signal/noise ratio is infinitely better than ANY video. Do you want entertainment or knowledge?
                        Horses for courses and so on.. and some things are just lot easier to gasp from demonstration video than textbook.
                        (use of telescopic bore gauges comes to my mind first..)

                        Read the theory first, watch couple of youtube videos and after that try it yourself sounds like a good approach.

                        And learn to "formulate" google search so that you can find relevant topics on here, practical machinist or other forums.
                        Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe


                        • #13
                          I started with books like Harold Hall's Workshop Practice Series to get an introduction to machining and he usually has some small introductory projects to get you started. However, that said you need to just start using the machines.

                          Now, I get a lot of information watching YouTube videos. Some people that I follow are: Oxtoolco, Stefan Gotteswinter, Ades Workshop, Robrenz, Keith Rucker, Solid Rock Machining, Stuart deHaro. Occassionally, try watching a video without the sound on - you don't get distracted by what they are saying and you can just observe how they work. No one explains everything that they do in a video and by just observing you can say - so that's how that is done.

                          So, learn a little and then use your machines - rinse and repeat. The journey is actually something that I'm enjoying.


                          • #14
                            Check out your city or town's bigger library branches or sole library. If you're lucky and they have a good mechanical content section you'll find some books on machining practices. Borrow them all and read through them a few times. As mentioned books seem to have far more meat and a lot less parsley decoration than a lot of the videos.

                            But to be fair there are a LOT of good videos on YT. Just not the sort of things that I'd call any sort of structured course. I've found some really good hints when I looked for something specific like internal threading to a shoulder for example. So as you get past the basics, which a variety of books are excellent at providing, the YT videos can fill in some specific needs quite well.

                            I also found for myself that having a project to focus on instead of just making random chips gave me targets for sizes and finishes to aim for. I highly recommend making some sort of simple "something" instead of just making chips. But keep these first learning projects really simple so you can focus on the techniques and not get bound up in making something pretty.

                            For example a good first project that teaches you about some lathe practices as well as accurately measuring might be a lathe tool height gauge that you can use to check the height of the tips of your cutting tools. It's very simple with one or maybe two parts and it pushes you to think about how to measure your spindle axis height to a very fine degree and to then transfer that measurement to the gauge you're making. And it'll be immediately useful in using your lathe from then on for the rest of your days of machining. Or maybe there will be some other thing or other you could use. But the point is that if you have a simple project goal to work towards you will use more related skills to make that project and learn more in the process. Plus you're not just randomly destroying stock with no purpose.

                            If you're looking at buying a few books to start with as a hobbyist I found that The Amatuer's Lathe by Sparey was very good for getting a good initial grounding in setting up and using the machine. And the MAP books about machining in general were a good introduction in the same way. Another I found online was South Bend's "How To Run A Lathe". For some time it was available for free download. If it isn't any longer I suspect someone has it and could email it to you. Anyone with that file might think to PM you and arrange for that.

                            Both of these books look dated when you look at the type of machinery in them. And I don't think they mention carbide cutters at all. But don't let that stop you from learning a lot from them. Turning is turning. Adding carbide is just one additional factor. The basics of workholding and turning are still very valid.
                            Chilliwack BC, Canada


                            • #15

                              A retired technical college (?) shop instructor. Very basic, & lots of, how-to videos, as well as projects.