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Home Machinists Handbook Paperback – February 1, 1984


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 1 edition (February 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830615733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830615735
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 77 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a very good book for someone that wants to start a new hobie. It explains all the basic hand tools, measurement tools and machine tools. It discusses heat treatment and materials in some detail and has a set of little projects in the end that make use of most of the techniques discribed in the book. The most advanced project is a miniature ship's cannon. It is a very good book for total beginners but it would be boring for someone more experienced.
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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Paul M Kiley on August 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Home Machinist's Handbook is a wonderful first book for anyone interested in learning how to create parts in metal at home with small (or large) machine tools. The book covers all of the essentials in a clear readable style and includes plenty of helpful illustrations and photos. I can't recommend this book highly enough if you're just starting out in the hobby.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a great resource for beginning home machinists. It is somewhat Sherline specific, but that is a plus for me since I use Sherline tools. There is also a lot of general-purpose advice, so beginning machinists using other brands might also benefit (the first section covers reading plans and blueprints, for example). One thing I really like are the nice, clear illustrations -- easy to see even at arms length with safety glasses on! Although there is some duplication, I recommend Sherline beginners buy both this book and Joe Martin's "Tabletop Machining." Together, they are best two "accessories" you can possibly have in a Sherline shop.
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70 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Irrevocable Trust on July 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is too basic and rudimentary. If after reading that you think, "But I know nothing, this might be what I need." Then do this instead, spend your money on a more advanced book, and spend a few hours on Wikipedia. Start with the article on Metal Lathes. Click through the links and surf around Wikipedia reading about more specific subjects. When you are done, you will know 90% of the information in this book, and much more. There are almost no "here's how you do this" portions, and what is there is more of a off hand comment than anything else. There's very little in the way of basic principles or understanding. For example, Taper cutting. A fairly common topic and activity is treated with just a couple paragraphs. And those are useless if you do not use the same type of lathe as the author. (The Sherline lathes do this process different than standard lathes)

I would recommend the Wikipedia approach and then buy "Machine Shop Practice, Vol 1". A more much advanced book, but with four to five hours of surfing you will have enough understanding to easily approach. In fact with a more robust book, you will find yourself having "ah-ha!" moments of clarity when the pieces fall into place from what you learned earlier. If I had not read the information somewhere else already, this book might have bordered on confusing.

Summary, like many "For the novice" or "Home/hobby" books, this book is so simplistic that I sometimes feel like my intelligence is being insulted when reading them. This one falls into that category.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By John Robertson on March 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
If your just starting out, or been around for a long time, this is a helpful book. It has several projects geared towards the smaller lathe, that means that you can build them on almost any equipment. It gives information the beginner will need to know and gives that information in an easy to understand format. This book belongs on your bookshelf.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Home Machinist's Handbook provided me with the answers to questions I had about the tools and techniques used to machine parts. It is a good starting point for me, I will look for more advanced books to find more specific information. This book has encouraged me to seek out someone with equipment, willing to teach me.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By BuildSomething on October 2, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are just playing with the idea of starting your own garage machine shop or if you are an absolute beginner this text gives you a brief overview and it does it very well. Considering the advances in design and manufacturing technologies it does show its age. A 2nd edition would help a lot that includes CAD/CAM, CNC, and other subjects found in most hobby machine shops today.

What I liked:

The basic never change and this book gives you a good overview.

No unnecessary "This can kill you" side notes.

Cool project at the end of the book.

What I did not like:

Reference material could be better organized and expanded.

It's a bit dated and only talks about the absolute basics.

Too many BIG pictures.

Limited coverage of the metric system (and yes, we are using it today).
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Sacher on April 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have never used a metal lathe or mill, but I am trying to decide if I should get a small one. I am a woodworker, with a decent woodworking shop, so I'm fairly good at mechanical things. As stated early in the book, it isn't for machine shops or starting a business. It is for Home Machinists. There is good information and introductions about what the various machines and tools are, how you use them, and what types of things they can do. Good discussion on metals, as well as tempering, etc.

While I am still not sure if I am going to make the jump to getting machine tools, I certainly think the knowledge gained was worth the purchase price.
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