Beginner looking to start metal turning
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    Default Beginner looking to start metal turning

    Hello! I hope that title is ok for someone who searches for what I tried to search for later on. I am at the ground floor of machining. I know what a lathe is. I have no idea about the lingo you use what collets are or swings??? I am mechanically skilled in that I can preform advanced repair and rebuilding of drivetrains. But I always farm out my machine work. I want to start out small and branch out later on, my ultimate goal would be to learn engine machining. But I am open to learn as much as possible about this whole profession. I am looking for books, recommendations on machines, where to decipher this lingo. I’d also like to learn about CNC and what that is. So after searching this forum with various keywords I thought I’d start this thread to seek answers.

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    You ll do your head in with facts and figures and opinions.......buy a cheap used machine and have a play with it.....thats the only way to learn......then youll be on the lookout for a better machine ,and know what you want.

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    Good generic lathe stuff from long ago

    http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/1617/5795.pdf

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    As in introduction to lathes, terminology, etc. the best resource I can recommend is South Bend's "How to Run a Lathe". Read this book in detail several times and ask lots of questions.

    South Bend Lathe Works - Publication Reprints - How To Run A Lathe 55th Edition | VintageMachinery.org

    -Ron

    on edit: Looks like John beat me to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    You ll do your head in with facts and figures and opinions.......buy a cheap used machine and have a play with it.....thats the only way to learn......then youll be on the lookout for a better machine ,and know what you want.
    Worked for me. In grade school (long time ago), I was shown how to use a wood lathe. My father bought a cheap one for me and I had a lot of fun with it. I quickly found that brass can be turned on a wood lathe using wood turning tools. Next semester, they taught metal work, including using a South Bend 9" metal lathe. Again, my father bought a cheap metal lathe for for me. Those two lathes did the job as far as learning the basics of metal turning and even machine repair when I messed up. Unfortunately, my high school refused to let me take any shop classes. They had no clue what classes a future engineer would find useful, so I had to take three years of Latin. I did get to get up close and personal with real industrial grade machine tools in engineering school. Once I was out of school and earning my own money, I bought better machines, and then better yet, and so on. It has been a lifelong education in machining and I have found that repair (mostly others' messes and losses) is my favorite part.

    Larry

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    Quote Originally Posted by L Vanice View Post
    They had no clue what classes a future engineer would find useful, so I had to take three years of Latin.
    What year was it, Larry? Was it a catholic school or a regular public one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSkycrane View Post
    Hello! I hope that title is ok for someone who searches for what I tried to search for later on. I am at the ground floor of machining. I know what a lathe is. I have no idea about the lingo you use what collets are or swings??? I am mechanically skilled in that I can preform advanced repair and rebuilding of drivetrains. But I always farm out my machine work. I want to start out small and branch out later on, my ultimate goal would be to learn engine machining. But I am open to learn as much as possible about this whole profession. I am looking for books, recommendations on machines, where to decipher this lingo. I’d also like to learn about CNC and what that is. So after searching this forum with various keywords I thought I’d start this thread to seek answers.
    I think the most efficient way for you to learn the basics and beyond would be to take machining classes at a local community college. You can do it in the evenings, and they are usually quite inexpensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelP View Post
    I think the most efficient way for you to learn the basics and beyond would be to take machining classes at a local community college. You can do it in the evenings, and they are usually quite inexpensive.
    Completely agree. Even a half assed instructor will greatly speed your learning.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

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    There aren’t nearby colleges that offer any machining classes. Thank you for the books I’ll begin reading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelP View Post
    What year was it, Larry? Was it a catholic school or a regular public one?
    I started HS in 1954. I was given a choice of Latin, Spanish or French (forbidden wood or metal shop or typing) and it was a public school.

    They did have a rifle range in the basement, so I got to do a lot of shooting for four years, taught by teachers who were recent war veterans. It seemed quite normal to take my rifle to school on the bus every week. The US Government (DCM) provided free rifles and ammunition, but we paid a penny a shot to buy the targets and such.

    Larry

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    Fascinating! Thank you Larry.

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    This will keep you busy for a while.

    YouTube



    Open Source Machining Tools channel on YouTube

    YouTube


    MyFordBoy channel on YouTube

    YouTube

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSkycrane View Post
    I want to start out small and branch out later on, my ultimate goal would be to learn engine machining.
    engine machining is a dying business. at least for the walk in crowd

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    QT[my ultimate goal would be to learn engine machining.]
    Agree take a class and buy a well planned lathe...perhaps one with a vise so it might do a little milling as well as turning...Yes along with a steady one can often use one of those..
    Then with enough learning and practice under your belt build a small steam engine...

    Good to have a goal.. just turning stuff may get old..

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    I have found Youtube to be an excellent resource for learning about machining. There are a lot of really good channels out there. Abom79, ThisOldTony, VintageMachinery, and plenty of others. Lots of good information with good hosts.

    Also, before you go out and try to buy a machine make sure you understand what you are looking at. There are plenty of good threads here on these topics. Just search things like "buying used lathe" etc.... You should come up with plenty of good information. If you do end up buying some machines, find small simple projects to work on and develop your skills. Brass hammer, tap wrench, things of that nature. That will get you comfortable with what your doing and help you learn the machines.

    If you have any questions about particular things, feel free to send me a message. I'm far away from being a seasoned machinist, but feel free to message me if you have any particular questions and I would be more than happy to try and help!

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