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Steven Miles 105/06/2020 22:42:39
3 forum posts

Hi All,

Could someone suggest a book that will give me the basic understanding of lathes, operation, terminology etc?

I'm looking at entering the world of a hobby lathe in the garage door motorcycle work, fixing and improving stuff around the home... I'm sure it's a slippery slope 🤷🏻‍♂️


Oldiron05/06/2020 22:49:31
790 forum posts
23 photos

L H Sparey's The Amateur Lathe is a very good starting point. There are also a number of books in the Workshop Practice Series that are useful.

Youtube is another good source of general learning.


Martin Connelly05/06/2020 22:55:43
1757 forum posts
189 photos

Boxford did one called "Know Your Lathe - a screwcutting lathe manual"

Martin C

Ady105/06/2020 22:58:27
4444 forum posts
693 photos
Posted by Oldiron on 05/06/2020 22:49:31:

L H Sparey's The Amateur Lathe is a very good starting point. There are also a number of books in the Workshop Practice Series that are useful.

Youtube is another good source of general learning.


Spareys book is the one IMO

Only a few bucks too

Nigel Graham 205/06/2020 23:19:45
1526 forum posts
20 photos

Look on TEE Publishing's web-site - they also advertise in ME but of course can only list a few books there.

Jeff Dayman06/06/2020 00:04:39
2141 forum posts
45 photos

South Bend Corp's "How to run a lathe" book has been printed and reprinted many times starting I think in the 1930's but has a huge amount of useful info for anyone learning the metal lathe. +1 on the Sparey book being great also.

Gary Wooding06/06/2020 06:55:23
836 forum posts
213 photos

+1 for Sparey's book.

JasonB06/06/2020 07:13:24
20640 forum posts
2296 photos
1 articles

£1 for 3 month digital subscription to MEW will get you access to MEW back issues with Editor Neil's "lathework for Beginners"

Edited By JasonB on 06/06/2020 07:13:51

Nick Clarke 306/06/2020 08:34:03
1212 forum posts
49 photos

I have a lot of time for Sparey - in fact I have both of his books on the desk in front of me but as a first introduction they are a little bit dated in places, and do not mention modern features such as speed control, digital read outs and indexable carbide tools, so I think Jason's suggestion may be more appropriate as a first start, then add Sparey as an additional resource later.

If you should end up with a mini lathe then Neil Wyatt's 'The Mini Lathe' is good for that class of machine.

Steven Miles 106/06/2020 08:43:19
3 forum posts

Sparey's book ordered and I'll take up the subscription.

Thanks for the advice. 👍🏻

Mick B106/06/2020 20:58:59
1906 forum posts
96 photos

I liked Chapman's 'Workshop Technology'. It's 3 volumes, but everything's there, it's readable, and you'll keep coming back to it for years (actually decades in my case).

Mark Gould 107/06/2020 14:40:01
219 forum posts
130 photos

I learned a lot by watching youtube video’s. There are several excellent “creators” who have made videos on lathe basics. Easier to digest than text from a book but that might be my inherent laziness shining through


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