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Metalworking Sink or Swim: Tips and Tricks for Machinists, Welders and Fabricators 1st Edition

63 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0831133627
ISBN-10: 0831133627
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Metalworking Sink or Swim: Tips and Tricks for Machinists, Welders and Fabricators + Metalworking: Doing It Better + Professional Sheet Metal Fabrication (Motorbooks Workshop)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Industrial Press; 1 edition (January 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0831133627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0831133627
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Fuzzbean VINE VOICE on February 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a professional machinist of about 22 years experience, and I found this book to be both entertaining and informative. Some of the tricks shown here, while not situations I've ever encountered, were real eye-openers nonetheless. And there are tips I expect to put to use in the near future, as well, including in areas such as sheet metal work where my own experience is limited. Of recently published books of this type, this is the best I've seen. Another reviewer states that the book contains a lot of bad grammar and poor spelling... I suppose there was some, but I'm real sensitive to and annoyed by that stuff myself and I did not come away from this book with the impression it was significantly flawed in that way. Also I thought the "lame" stories were mostly funny. Especially the Russian spy one.

EDIT: I was just looking through this book again yesterday, after owning it for over a year, and I continue to be more and more impressed by it. It is really a fantastic effort at compiling clever and useful advice. I own dozens of books on metalworking, from 1890's tool catalogs to 1960's school textbooks to modern books on CNC macros, and I have to say this is the best one of all. The author's love of the craft, love of industry, love of creativity, and energy to get things done really shine through. The only bad thing I can say is that many of the author's criticisms of Bridgeport milling machine design are either unfounded or trivial... but his discussion of that only occupies maybe 1 page in the whole book.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Robert Neidorff on February 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a significant book to read, with over 300 large pages, beautifully printed in full color on high quality paper. The cover says that it has over 1000 color photos, but the photos are relatively small, so there really are 300 pages of text about nearly everything.

Foremost, this book has many great tips, both simple and advanced; such as tips on making sketches, tips on dimensioning, tips on choice of materials, tips on setting up shop, tips on sawing, turning, milling, CNC, welding, bench work, sheet metal, and much more. Much of it is common sense, like having handles on files and good lighting, but a lot of it is also novel, smart, and practical advice. There are some great ideas for fixtures and homemade tools. Tom definitely knows his stuff and covers a very wide range of material in one great book.

This book also contains off-topic and questionable advice, such as advice on emergency first aid (use Scotch Super 33 electrical tape to wrap cuts), tips on working for a boss (consider profit before considering getting paid), and tips on handing your mistakes (blame the guy who just got fired or paint it black and ship it at night). It also has many stories, and these tend to be corny and dull. The author also includes some rants, such as a diatribe about how stores should not have self-checkout lines and how CD packages should be easier to open.

I think that the author is trying to imitate Guy Lautard's folksy style of mixing advice with anecdotes, but the author lacks Guys storytelling skills, so for me, those parts land flat. In addition, the author spells words wrong, uses bad grammar, and tells jokes which may bother some readers.

Do I recommend this book? Absolutely!
Read more ›
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Vidas Simkus on October 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book. I loved it. It does not contain basic step by step instructions on how to complete a task, so I would say that this book is geared towards people with some experience who are looking to improve their craft overall.

With regard to the other reviewer, while I agree with most of his points, I have a completely different interpretation of the negative ones - I think they're all positives. I will not address each one, but I liked the corny stories (I think they're hilarious) and the medical advice - well, I've been using electrical tape for this exact purpose for years.

Overall - five stars across the board.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Williams on April 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How often do you find a book like this about metalworking? If your looking for information on woodworking, you will be overwhelmed w/ the quantity of books on different woodworking subjects. But if you are looking for information on metal fabricating, welding, and machining you are going to find mostly technical literature that tends to be specialized, theory based, and dry. There seems to be a strong relationship between the popularity of the hobby aspect of a trade and the abundance of literature about the trade. Try finding some books on working with marble or granite (good luck).
This is a great book because it it covers a diverse field of information pertaining to multiple aspects of metal fabrication. I would say it is written for the tradesman, but the metalworking hobbyist will definitely find a wealth of information here.
The author spends some time relating his philosophies on learning, mentoring, and the relationship between the designer/engineer and the shop. I found this all to be spot on and I think that many people in the industry would benefit from the read.
Lots of good info, very readable, and a whole chapter on flame straightening.
Thank you Mr. Lipton.
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