Books on those obscure tricks of the trade; Looking for recommendations
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    Default Books on those obscure tricks of the trade; Looking for recommendations

    I've been at my current employer for 14 years (I'm 32), along with 2 years of machine shop in highschool. In that time, I've learned a whole lot of tricks from a few guys, that aren't super obvious but work a treat.


    I had a supervisor, who is now retired, and I'm currently in his role (I was promoted to his position a few years before he retired). I run the CNC mill department. I used to have a lot of questions, and he was usually very patient, and would answer them very well, and then some. Things like stoning the inside edge of a reamer if a chip welded to it, or even scraping the inside of the flute with a piece of carbide. When to slow down the RPM, or increase feed. He showed me how to regrind endmills and grind form tools. The flipping 4 times method for facing coldrolled stock while maintaining flatness. Many other things too.



    So now I'm in his shoes, and I've got a guy with a decent amount of potential. I like to pull him aside when I set something up to teach him stuff. But my problem comes when I give him a job and he comes to me with a question that I think he should either know, or the question wasn't thought out well enough, or he didn't pay enough attention to the setup sheet or print. Sometimes I become a bit of an asshole. I realize it later. But I don't know how to stop it.


    However, I'd like to give to him (or borrow to him, if it is expensive) a book that covers some of this stuff. I imagine it has to be out there. I know there's practical machinist, and I've told him he should join and browse. But I don't think he does. However, if he had a book by the shitter, maybe he'd come back a bit enlightened in some areas.

    I don't expect any book to have everything, but I'd like it to be close. lol.


    So I googled, found this link here on PM: 15 Timeless Books Every Machinist Should Have [Updated 2020] : Practical Machinist but wasn't sure if they were any good or if there was something else I should be looking at. Some of those are a bit pricier than I would like, as well.

    Any suggestions?

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    metalworking: doing it better by Tom lipton has some treats in it.
    machinist bedside reader if you can find them.
    machinist old time tips and tricks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dandrummerman21 View Post
    However, I'd like to give to him (or borrow to him, if it is expensive) a book that covers some of this stuff. I imagine it has to be out there........... However, if he had a book by the shitter, maybe he'd come back a bit enlightened in some areas.
    Sorry, you need to just buy the book and give it to him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BSCustoms View Post
    metalworking: doing it better by Tom lipton has some treats in it.
    machinist bedside reader if you can find them.
    machinist old time tips and tricks.
    The bedside reader was awesome. I had it years ago and gave it to a friend of mine. My favorite was the story of the gunsmith apprentice. The true story of the guys that built the mini lathe in Japanese prison camp during WWII was cool too.

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    My suggestion is also Tom Lipton's "Metalworking: Doing It Better". Tom put this book together because in today's world there are a lot of guys and gals out there that don't have the benefit of an apprenticeship. Tom has worked in a sheet metal shop, as a welder and fabricator, machine designer and as a manual and CNC machinist.

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    Lindsey Publications put out all sorts of "Shop tips and Kinks" as reprints in paperback.
    I've got several.

    I'm not sure what happened to the outfit.

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    Machine Shop Trade Secrets by James A Harvey is one of the best of these machinist tips books I've ever read. It's written for a contemporary machinist in an R&D/job shop environment, so includes details for a mix of CNC and manual machining. I believe there's a sequel as well, though I've only thumbed the original. I would just buy one of the cheap used copies and give it to the person. Expense it to work if the $20 feels too steep.

    Machine Shop Trade Secrets by James Harvey - AbeBooks

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalG View Post
    Lindsey Publications put out all sorts of "Shop tips and Kinks" as reprints in paperback.
    I've got several.

    I'm not sure what happened to the outfit.
    Lindsay retired. "The Olde Time Bookshop" bought his inventory and continued selling it. I think they have since gone out of business, but am not 100% sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfriedberg View Post
    Lindsay retired. "The Olde Time Bookshop" bought his inventory and continued selling it. I think they have since gone out of business, but am not 100% sure.
    Still in business for now anyway

    Your Old Time Bookstore

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    Audels Machine shop series....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohio Mike View Post
    Still in business for now anyway

    Your Old Time Bookstore
    If you go to there website, they say that there preparing to close, however if you click on "other publishers" it will take you to a list of 11 publishers and booksellers of the same type of material.

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    Metalworking Sink or Swim by Tom Lipton

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    Books similar to this Google Books
    are usually cheap on Ebay.

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    Just tell the guy to red CNC Cookbook Blog! Actually I am kidding. But really, Bob Warfield does have a lot of good information and tips but at the end of the day I just don't believe Bob is a master guru or anything. Not a machinist by trade, but I do like his content.

    Titans of CNC is actually good as well...IF you can get over the ridiculousness of Titan Gilroy himself, there is a lot of great content.

    But as far as books go, I am gonna suggest something different. Tell the gentleman to get all of Peter Smid's books. I particularly like "CNC Control Setup For Mills and Lathes"...It has a ton of great information about general CNC stuff and also much more detailed things. For example, it goes over the naming convention for CNC lathe inserts - something that I have not found in such a comprehensive arrangement from any other source. I would bet Sandvik has something like that buried somewhere in their technical documents but who knows? Peter just lays it all out for the reader. I wish Peter Smid would rewrite his CNC Programming Handbook to specifically cover CAM and post-processors. Hand coding still happens but far more, people are CAM-ing their parts these days. So his programming handbook can feel dated. Still required reading IMO

    Some of the concepts are pretty basic, but it is always nice to have a refresher.

    I sound a lot like you...12 years in the industry and I am now a mentor to the young bucks. They seem amazed with the knowledge of machining that I possess, but then I turn around and feel the exact same way when I talk to someone like CarbideBob, Colin Gilchrist, or Ron Branch from 5th Axis Machining. Those guys are god-level pools of knowledge.

    I'd also recommend your young buck to peruse the PM forums. I have learned a boat load over the years just by googling a topic like "hard turning practical machinist"....usually its the older threads that come up good. A lot of the good older members have abandoned this forum and now it is overrun with hot garbage, trolls (i am looking at you Thermite) and general assholes.

    Additionally, Reddit has some good content on the R/machinists subreddit. Again, I recommend doing a google search like "threading inconel reddit" or some such.

    I have actually been considering writing a book in recent years because I work in education. As the 'old guard' of machinists retire, the New School will take their places. Industry 4.0 is here to stay and the younger guys are the ones who are going to make it shine. Machining is more and more becoming the work of programmers and engineers. I consider myself a 'process engineer' at this point because I am not just sitting on my bridgeport milling stuff. It is a whole process with countless layers that need dissecting. I am excited for where the industry will go.

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    I notice two of Tom Liptons books recommended, sink or swim and doing it better. It looks like doing it better is just a newer version of sink or swim. Having read sink or swim I was curious what was in the newer one.

    Here is a partial description of "doing it better", put out by author and publisher:

    "This book draws heavily from Tom Lipton’s bestselling Metalworking Sink or Swim. It will help you develop new metalworking skills and improve those you already have. The most substantive changes between Metalworking: Doing it Better (DIB) and Metalworking Sink or Swim (SOS) are found in the page layout and design.

    A short table of contents has been added to each chapter, and sections now are numbered in the Table of Contents and throughout the text, making it easier to find topics. Subsections are now listed in color and many headings for subsections have been added. Most pages are now self-contained and whenever possible, topics begin on new pages or columns. Photos are now almost always on the same page as their text reference. Another user-friendly feature is the expansion of the index, which is 60% longer than the original one.

    Both the author and Industrial Press want owners of SoS to realize that there is no compelling reason to also acquire DIB. The publishing goal for Metalworking – Doing it Better is to broaden the appeal of the acclaimed text and photos in SOS by making the content more user-friendly for the home hobbyist and fans of DIY. If you are planning to pass along your copy of SoS, however, we recommended DIB instead."

    Excerpt from here:
    Metalworking - Industrial Press

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halcohead View Post
    Machine Shop Trade Secrets by James A Harvey is one of the best of these machinist tips books I've ever read. It's written for a contemporary machinist in an R&D/job shop environment, so includes details for a mix of CNC and manual machining. I believe there's a sequel as well, though I've only thumbed the original. I would just buy one of the cheap used copies and give it to the person. Expense it to work if the $20 feels too steep.

    Machine Shop Trade Secrets by James Harvey - AbeBooks
    his two books are online. however all the books iv seen are really basic. full of stuff like: use scotchbright to remove rust, use solid carbide boring bars to bore a deep hole. then there is stuff like: angle the boring bar to get more rigidity. how does that work? i would think the opposite. at least these books are not 80 years old.

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    Thank you for all the suggestions. I did end up getting a few books. Machine shop trade secrets by harvey, machine shop know how by Marlow, an old 20's or 30's kinks book, and one other that escapes me at the moment. I've also found a pdf of the first bedside reader.

    My work also had a copy of sink or swim on the break room table that I sent him home with in the meantime. He also happened to have an old textbook that his dad had given him but he'd never thought to look at, from the 80s. covered up to NC tape and early cnc, but was manual operation heavy.

    I agree that I'd be better off giving it to him rather than loaning. The books I bought didn't break the bank (spent about 80$ total).

    Thanks for the suggestions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dian View Post
    At least these books are not 80 years old.
    So information in old books is irrelevant? It's no longer correct or useful?

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    Quote Originally Posted by reggie_obe View Post
    So information in old books is irrelevant? It's no longer correct or useful?
    Personally I think the 80 year old information is more compelling to read. In terms of "how it was done", it was a lot harder to do some of the complicated parts we make with ease, which I personally find intriguing.

    Not everyone does, and I'm not looking for my guy to know how it used to be done, necessarily. I don't know if he'd find that as interesting as I do. I talked to him and told him I was buying some stuff, and he did say that he'd think that'd be really cool to read, though.

    But as long as he can be a bit inspired, and perhaps come across a few tips and tricks to get things to size, or surface finish, or just needs an idea about how to fixture a weird part, or even discover some new (really old) technologies that we can make use of, I'd think it'd help him a ton. It would at least help ME if he figures the stuff out on his own a bit quicker, that's for sure.


    And he told me I'm not an asshole but appreciates that I acknowledge that I'm occasionally an asshole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dandrummerman21 View Post
    Personally I think the 80 year old information is more compelling to read. In terms of "how it was done", it was a lot harder to do some of the complicated parts we make with ease, which I personally find intriguing.

    Not everyone does, and I'm not looking for my guy to know how it used to be done, necessarily. I don't know if he'd find that as interesting as I do. I talked to him and told him I was buying some stuff, and he did say that he'd think that'd be really cool to read, though.

    But as long as he can be a bit inspired, and perhaps come across a few tips and tricks to get things to size, or surface finish, or just needs an idea about how to fixture a weird part, or even discover some new (really old) technologies that we can make use of, I'd think it'd help him a ton. It would at least help ME if he figures the stuff out on his own a bit quicker, that's for sure.


    And he told me I'm not an asshole but appreciates that I acknowledge that I'm occasionally an asshole.
    It might help your guy if you knew the info in the books also. That way next time he is at a stumbling block you could say what about where the book did such and such? That way he would get direct experience using one of the books to solve the problem right in front of him, causing it to sink in to his head (hopefully).


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