Top critical review
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Not worth the money - even for a complete novice
on July 24, 2011
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.