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Lathe beginners book

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Ron Laden04/06/2018 08:05:11
972 forum posts
145 photos

Morning,

I will shortly be ordering a mini lathe and wondered if you can recommend a good beginners guide to the lathe, preferably one that covers the mini lathe. My lathe experience is limited and what bit I did do many moons ago was very basic.

Ron

Edited By Ron Laden on 04/06/2018 08:13:33

richardandtracy04/06/2018 08:43:36
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938 forum posts
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This one by Harold Hall is pretty good (and available elsewhere) **LINK**

This one by Stan Bray is also good: **LINK**

Then there is also this: **LINK** Which can be borrowed from the internet archive. I have a paper copy re-printed by Lindsay Publications (now retired & all stock sold to 'Your Old Time Bookstore' here: **LINK**    )    , but it does not seem to be available as hard copy anymore.

Regards,

Richard.

Edited to remove spurious emoticon.

Edited By richardandtracy on 04/06/2018 08:45:13

henryb04/06/2018 08:44:45
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41 forum posts
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Hello Ron.

The amateur's lathe by L.H Sparey is good.

JasonB04/06/2018 09:00:57
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There is also this one on the Mini-Lathe by some bloke called Neil.

You could also take out a Subscription and follows the "lathework for beginners" series in MEW

Edited By JasonB on 04/06/2018 09:02:36

SillyOldDuffer04/06/2018 12:54:45
3985 forum posts
809 photos

I suggest you get a copy of Sparey AND the one written by Neil.

Sparey's 'The Amateurs Lathe' is highly recommended but he wrote before mini-lathes, carbide tools, DROs, and other goodies. In consequence two or three Chapters worth of modern advice are missing and a few bits are outdated. Neil's book fills the gap.

You can also come on the forum and ask Neil to explain himself; poor old Sparey is long dead.

Dave

Ron Laden04/06/2018 13:56:58
972 forum posts
145 photos

Thanks guys for the pointers, I have just ordered Neil,s book as it is based on the mini lathe which is exactly what I want. I will look out the others though and check our library which has a good engineering section.

Regards

Ron

Neil Wyatt04/06/2018 20:01:47
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15697 forum posts
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I quite like the Model Engineer's Lathe Manual by E.T. Westbury, found it easier to read than Sparey and covers much of the same ground.

Sparey does have a lot of nice tips, like using a bar in the tailstock for parting off bits of the same length.

Neil

XD 35105/06/2018 05:20:44
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1210 forum posts
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Posted by JasonB on 04/06/2018 09:00:57:

There is also this one on the Mini-Lathe by some bloke called Neil.

You could also take out a Subscription and follows the "lathework for beginners" series in MEW

Edited By JasonB on 04/06/2018 09:02:36

And you get the milling for beginners for free !

There are also a couple books from the workshop practise series as well as Niels one but for a start especially as you want to focus on the mini lathe his book is where i would recommend you start as it will allow you get familiarised whith your lathe and not a machine from yesteryear .

once you get the hang of it the offerings by Sparey and Westbury will will become top of the list of books to have .

Hey Jason any books in the pipeline ?

Ian S C05/06/2018 13:36:27
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7262 forum posts
227 photos

Or ME "Lathes and more for beginners" by Graham Sadler.

Ian S C

Dunc05/06/2018 13:59:16
126 forum posts

I recall that there was a mini-lathe series by Dave Fenner that started in MEW 133 (2007). This was subsequently consolidated into a Workshop Practice Series book #43. He also added #48, Mini-Lathe Tools & Projects.

On "the other side of the pond" a similar series was written for Home Shop Machinist by Ted Hansen. This series has been consolidated & updated into a book "The Complete Mini-Lathe Workshop" that is available from 3w.homeshopmachinist.net/shop.

The usual disclaimers...

Edit: spelling correction

Edited By Dunc on 05/06/2018 14:00:57

Gordon A05/06/2018 21:43:38
137 forum posts
4 photos

"How to Run a Lathe" by South Bend Lathe Works. Rather dated now but shows good basic principles.

Gordon.

Ron Laden06/06/2018 07:05:08
972 forum posts
145 photos

Thanks guys,

Seems there is a lot of bedtime reading coming along

Ron

richardandtracy06/06/2018 08:52:56
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938 forum posts
10 photos

If you are up for a good bit of old, but not entirely outdated, reading, then take a look at the Internet Archive's range of Industrial Press (of 'Machinery's Handbook' fame) books mostly from the 1920's: **LINK** These books cover conventional machining techniques that have not changed one iota in the intervening years.

Regards,

Richard.

SillyOldDuffer06/06/2018 10:13:39
3985 forum posts
809 photos

True I'm a sucker for books and will read anything engineering related. Not everyone enjoys wading through detail especially when the style is indifferent, illustrations poor, content disorganised or badly dated, and the book has a weak index when you're looking for something in particular.

Even so, I feel a small library is a worthwhile investment even if it's only Machinery's Handbook or a Zeus, plus one or more of the suggestions already mentioned.

If money is no object, 'Machine Shop Knowledge' and 'Machine Shop Essentials' are worth having because they're not just about mills and lathes.

One thing to watch out for is technical books with a bias. Naturally enough the South Bank Book promotes South Bank lathes (it's still good). Sparey is distinctly Myford and British circa 1952. The 'Machine Shop' books are pro-western and overly dismissive of the competition; they were written just as Far Eastern kit was starting to threaten US made alternatives and promote 'quality' rather than 'fit for purpose'. They're still good, provided you understand that it's not absolutely necessary to own a Bridgeport to do effective milling.

I find old lathe books to be particularly useful,. I think it's because they were written when manufacturing was dominated by skilled men driving basic lathes just like ours and they had many clever ways of getting the best out of manually operated kit. Modern industrial machining is remarkable but most of it is well beyond the reach of a hobbyist. When I want to turn a long rod accurately it doesn't help to read I can knock them out dirt cheap by the million with an automatic grinding machine.

Dave

 

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 06/06/2018 10:16:03

Mick Henshall06/06/2018 10:52:21
489 forum posts
28 photos

+1 for the Southbend book

Mick

Ian S C07/06/2018 12:06:39
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7262 forum posts
227 photos

Another South Bend book worth looking at is "How to Cut Screw Threads in the Lathe", bulletin no., 36A.

Ian S C

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