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Good book for the machinist

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  • Good book for the machinist

    I'm starting a reading list of good fiction for the machinist. I'm thinking of books that include technically knowledgable people active in industry, scenes in manufacturing shops and yards, knowledgeable passages concerning technical matters as they affect the story and so on.

    To get things started I nominate:

    Almost anything by Nevil Shute particularly: "Trustee from the Toolroom" and "Round the Bend"

    Rochard McKenna: "The Sand Pebbles" The scene where they spent the winter overhauling the big triple expansion engine is particularly true to life.

  • #2
    "Skunkworks" by Ben Rich and Leo Janis. Not that much about machining in particlur, although the discussion of how fun titanium is to work with, and how cadmium coated tools can make it crumble, is interesting.

    It's a great engineering book in general, being mostly about Kelly Johnson's approach to running an engineering organization, dealing with the government, when to say 'No!' and give back the money, etc.

    But the technology is the star of the book: the hydrogen powered mach 3+ bomber they decided not to go forward with due to range problems, almost burning down Burbank one day, a stealth plane model so stealthy that the pylon holding it up swamped the return radar signal...

    In a somewhat similar vein, Nevil Shute's 'Sliderule', which is autobiographical. Fascinating stories of the R100 - R101 airship disasters, Shute's career in aviation, how he got into writing, etc.

    Along with the other Shute books, "No Highway" is very engineering oriented, and a great story. I'll admit it, I like ALL of his books.

    How about Heinlein's "Door into Summer" ?
    The hero was definitely handy in the shop.

    Good idea.


    • #3
      Rocket Boys.

      Hammond Innes, Air Bridge.

      John S.
      [ that's not a book, it's my sig ]

      Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


      • #4
        Good idea!
        I've read "Trustee" a few times in the past couple decades and always enjoyed it.

        "High Stakes" by Dick Francis has a bit to do with a line shaft machine shop. Mostly about horses, but the few paragraphs of machine shop stuff is mildly entertaining.