Post By gregormarwick
Post By EDM JOE
Machinery's Handbook No 29 claims expanded content, is it time to upgrade?
Received wisdom is that Machinery's Handbook changes from edition to edition at a rate that makes a glacier look fast. That assessment may be a little unfair but no-one I know feels the need to keep up with each new edition. However 29 claims to offer a goodly number of revisions and expansions, some new topics and "dramatically expanded" metric content. For me the major interest would be in the metric content, especially native metric stuff such as ISO & DIN et al, as I have very little in the way of native metric references on the shelf and Googling for obscuritium gets old fast. Most of the stuff I see is old / obscure and native metric components have finally trickled down into that category.
I have editions 10, 22 and 27 (CD) along with several other breeds of similar reference but nothing later than about 1980. So is it time to break the habit of a lifetime and buy new at a retail price? Or will I find that the expansion and metric additions look good in the contents but flatter only to deceive in practice.
I wouldn't bother with it personally. I have a copy of the 28th edition (hardback and cd) and I honestly can't remember the last time I looked at it. There are far more useful references available these days (99.9% of the useful information in the machinery's handbook is contained in the much smaller and concise Engineer's Black Book for example, which is also metric heavy FYI).
The 28th edition included (I think for the first time) a CNC section. I glanced through it and the sorry excuse for a chapter comprised of very basic reference material that would barely have been relevant in 1980.
About the only thing I ever used it for recently was looking up thread formulae when I was working with non-standard threads, but I don't even use it for that anymore since I bought Qualisyst Threads and Gauges (a very good piece of software BTW).
Honestly I think the Machinery's Handbook has had it's day.
If you do get the new version, do not get rid of your old ones! For what they "expanded", they probably took away from other areas.
True. Older versions had data such as tables of dimensions for 3 ball machine handles, not found in later editions. Of course the few readers wanting that info these days is small enough to justify its removal from current editions. But if do you want to make a handle for an old machine...
Originally Posted by Weirsdale George
I know this may be unrelated, but if you are going to buy the new Handbook, consider spending the extra $20 (approximately) for the large print edition. It is fantastic in the dim corners found in many machine shops. Great when you're helping someone else with a question.