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Online Catalogue last updated 17th of September 2023

Machine Shop Essentials Questions & Answers by Frank Marlow, PE

cover photo

Here's what Guy Lautard has said about it: Machine Shop Essentials is an excellent book which presents a wide array of basic machinist's know-how. It is intended for beginning and intermediate machinists, or the person who has access to manually operated metal working equipment but not the training to use it. With the detailed, step-by-step instructions that this book provides, plus some care and common sense, an interested person could make a lot of headway, learn valuable new skills, and greatly increase the scope of what he could do in a metalworking shop. There are many excellent and easy-to-understand drawings to illustrate points discussed in the text. Even from a brief look through it, I learned some new things. If I'd had this book 30 years ago, it would have been very helpful. I often get asked, "What's a good book on basic metalworking and machine shop practice?" From now on, I'm going to say, "Get yourself a copy of Machine Shop Essentials."

Review from Model Engineer's Workshop: In almost all respects, this volume is a complete contrast, being 500 plus pages of bang up to-date material. As the introduction comments, the book covers manually controlled machines as might be used by model makers, instrument makers, car and motorcycle enthusiasts and gunsmiths.

While it does not set out to cover CNC machinery, it does include digital measuring equipment, DRO's and the Sherline electronic rotary table controller (similar to "Division Master") along with other items of modern tooling. As the title indicates, the presentation is in Q and A form, typified by the opening question ''What are the essential measuring and marking out tools, and how are they used?" Twelve chapters are headed: Measurement Tools, Layout and Job Planning; Basic Hand Tools; Filing and Sawing; Grinding, Reaming, Broaching and Lapping; Drills and Drilling Operations; Threads and Threading; Turning Operations; Milling Operations; Fastening Methods; Machine Shop Metallurgy; Safety and Good Shop Practices; Other Shop Know How. Appendix one covers sharpening steel lathe tools, while two deals with (American) sources of supply.

What you will not find in this book is page upon page of reference data, as you might find in "Machinery's Handbook". Thus in the section on taps, few tapping drill sizes are given, but the concept of "Percentage engagement" is clearly explained and it is noted that tap loading can be reduced by up to 65% by changing from 80% engagement to 60% which is adequate for most situations. This is also a book almost totally devoid of photographs. It does however boast over five hundred line drawings, which illustrate topics with excellent clarity of detail. In many instances, a section view shows what the camera cannot.

In summary, it may be thought that the use of the word "Essentials" in the title is to understate the scope of the book. It provides rather more than just the bare essentials for most of what one is likely to encounter in amateur or low production machining work.

Code No. 011065, 517 pages, ISBN 0975996304, $80.00

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