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Sources for Connelly's book????


Nov 27, 2004
Carnoustie, Scotland
Anyone tell me where I can get Connelly's book Machine Tool Reconditioning, preferably in the UK but if not USA or anywhere. I have found it at a place in the US and they do ship abroad so I will probably end up getting it there if I cant find closer sources. The place I found was Powell's Books.


If you'd like a brand new book, you can order a copy from the fellow who currently holds the publishing rights. He has a web site with some exerpts from the book and ordering instructions:


Otherwise Powells and eBay have them available from time to time. You might also check Abebooks which has listings for a large number of used book dealers:


Thanks for the reply Larry, checked out that first link you gave but seems they dont accept credit cards so would have to post off a cheque to them. Powels sell new for approx the same price and they do accept CC so will be better getting it from them in my case. Saw one on EBay in the USA a few weeks back and it went for $88 or so, better to get a new one for a few dollars more even if it was in excellent codition as reported.
Still would prefer to get a source closer to home but so far searches of the net have proved fruitless.
Thanks again for your input.
I know I'm in the minority but I reckon the book is way overated and frankly I wouldn't bother.

I suppose it depends what you want from it but I was disappointed.


You got yours for sale then :D
I dont know the first thing about scraping and this book seems to be the one recomended by everyone. If nothing else I think it will be a good read and as its a Birthday present from my wife I will better say it is a great book when I get it ;)

Thanks for your input, all views are gratefully received and noted.

A while a go Ken from the Other List was bulk buying and redistributing this book for a decent price

Regarding the book itself:

First, I'd classify myself as an enthusiastic hobbyist who is trying to absorb something both the lore and the techniques of metalworking. In other words, I'm not a machinist and certainly not qualified to offer a professional opinion. I recently received my copy of Reconditioning Machine Tools and it looks like it has a ton of information that will help me to ground the information I'm pulling from a variety of sources and in that way it will be of worth to me. I don't expect it to answer all of my questions, but as a reference I think it will certainly help me to learn.

At >$100 for a 53 year old book , perhaps people should Share their copys , so others could commit it to memory; perhaps with "NOTES", if you catch my meaning. :D
I know this wasn't a book review request, but as another person who bought it as a scraping reference, like Charles I was disappointed, and actually found it not very useful. I did find it fairly interesting as an historical artifact however, and there's lots of info about machine alignment which is useful if you scrape anything but small, simple things.

But to actually learn the basics of scraping, a far more productive thing is to visit a machine rebuilder. I learned more in ten minutes doing that then many hours reading the book. The first machine rebuilder I visited, I just walked in off the street and said I was curious if I could watch someone scrape for a few minutes. Four hours later I had got the tour, hands-on scraping lessons, listened to many a yarn... The second place I visited I got about the same treatment. I got the very distinct impression that not many shops get people walking in off the street and they are thrilled to see a relatively young person interested in their livelihood. I highly recommend this approach.
I have to agree with Charles, I bought a copy on the bulk buy from Ken.
I collect old engineering books and books on machine tool reconditiong are few and far between plus everyone said this was THE bible.

Well for a start it's mis named.
It should be called machine Tool Scraping as that is all it covers.
No spindles, gearboxes, drives etc, just scraping.

It does cover this in detail, in great detail, in fact it covers in that much detail the average person will never get to finish a machine tool because he either keeps nodding off or the job takes that long he dies.

The thought of having to strip a machine and then scrape all the surfaces in to be flt and most importantly, square to one another fills me with dread.
It the type of occupation that needs listings alongside paperhanging, ironing and ice cube rolling.

And no it's not for sale, it's in the hay loft in my coffin.
I jest not, in the hay loft I have a very nice made to measure coffin that I got for working on some coffin making machines.
Inside this are some very nice pieces, books, some scientic instruments and few nice things I no longer use.
When I shiffle off this terestrial workshop for the blacksmiths shop below these are to be sold to pay for the funeral and piss up.

John S.
I agree with you guys. I pride myself on machine alignments and taking the time to do things right, But this book put me to sleep. I love reading how-to books but this one is tough to stay with. The company I work for payed for it so no loss.
I agree about the scraping. 45 years ago (did we have dinosaurs then?) when I finished my time as a toolmaker, I spent 18 months scraping slides for transfer machines as the machine building had been outsourced. After being driven up the wall, I grabbed the opportunity to get into computers (some operated with vacuum tubes then) as a step towards working with nc/cnc technology. Getting fed up with that now & want to return to grass roots to supplement my pension & keep flying.
There have been a couple of "How I rebuilt my "X" lathe" (almost said "XXX" lathe, but that would be a no-no I suppose) series in the village Press publications. Harry Bloom, the author of both series, swears by the book as a valuable tool. Not having [yet] rebuilt a lathe or any other machine tool, I have no personal experience with the subject. The books do show up on eBay from time to time, and once in awhile go for significantly less than the list price. Charles
Well guys thanks for all the replies, I am kind of surprised about how opinions of this book can vary. I am not sure whether I should get this book now. I am contemplating re scraping one of my Bridgeports in the distant future and thought that this book would be an ideal starter for me but now I am not so sure.
I wish I could do as mark thomas says and visit some local rebuilding shops and see first hand how its done. Only problem is I dont know of any local ones and the nearest I have seen is in England which is too far to go just on the off chance that I may get a friendly welcome.
I will have to think long and hard about this book but then again I can see no other way I can atleast get the basics if I dont get it. Descisions descisions.........

Hood, if the job is in the distant future, you can always buy the book in the mid-future!

Have you started scraping at all? If not, I'd start by buying a scraper, before a book, and begin to practice the basics. There are several web sites with some instructions and examples. There's a yahoo group for scraping, though I haven't looked at it much and can't attest to its value. And there's been discussion on this forum before, including pics posted. Try a search. And you can start at it and then ask more questions here, perhaps post pics of your trials...

A bridgeport is a large first project. Note that alignment is the more challenging issue that scraping itself, and the Connelly book does discuss alignment extensively, albeit in a somewhat archaic way.

There's a guy who sells a scraping video here:

but I don't know if it's any good. If you consider this, I would contact the guy first however. A couple years ago there were lots of claims that he took money and never shipped product, but perhaps only for a period (like a year) during some personal/business crisis, though I have not heard anything since then. I actually tried to order something from him then, but he never replied to my email. Maybe others here have some knowledge or experience with him.

Biax sells a video, but I think it's all or mostly about using their electric scraper, but you could look into that. I see their video sell on Ebay sometimes.
I agree that the Connelly book isn't the most exciting read in the world, and it'd be nice to have an expert around to learn from. Having said that, it does have info not to be found anywhere else, or at least if it can be, I haven't found it. One thing I like about it is that it not only explains scraping, but the why and how of scraping a machine into alignment, which is the purpose (and the majority) of the book. He makes it plain that the mechanical rebuilding of the machine is outside the scope of the text, and besides, other than regrinding spindles and refitting tailstock rams and such, most of that is pure nuts and bolts and ordinary machine work that anyone even contemplating rescraping a machine should already be well versed in. I'd be hard pressed to think of 92 bucks that I've gotten more out of.
I would echo pete913's comments. Though I said I was disappointed, I should emphasize that I mean specifically for learning to scrape. If you're just going to scrape small tools, like gages, straight edges, levels, plates or other simple, single surfaces, $100 is better spent elsewhere. But if you're going to rebuild a bridgeport or anything with a multiplicity of surfaces that need to align properly, there is no other reference at all, as far as I am aware. It's a bit dull and archaic, but invaluable nonetheless.
I accept Pete913 comments about it saying it makes it plain that the mechanical rebuilding of the machine is outside the scope of the text.

At the time though this book was all hyped up as THE bible, no one had a bad word to say on this book and the title says a lot.

Problem is you have to buy it to read that it doesn't cover mechanical rebuilding.
It's only now that quite a few people are making it clear just who the book is of use to.

I don't regret buying it for one minute even though I will never read it, I don't regret buying books anyway and at the deal price it didn't hurt as much :D

It all depends what you want to do, some people like to restre old machine , some like to use them.
For me I find lifes too short to troll around waving a blunt file around.
Unless is something very rare machines aren't hard to find if you put some effort into it.

I had an old Herbert lathe a few years ago that needed a bed grind due to wear.
Costed it up and that was without stripping and rebuilding time and it was quids in cheaper to sell it on and buy a better lathe.
One days downtime for the swap over and I have a far better machine.

John S.