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ron grimshaw16/01/2013 09:04:01
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40 forum posts

Is it worth getting both ME & MEW if not which one, I will be building static engines and I am vary new to Lathes and milling machines. I have a Myford S7 and a Warco turrit mill which I have just bought and need help in getting into using them.

Harold Hall 116/01/2013 09:29:38
418 forum posts
4 photos

Both would be helpful Ron but if it has to be one then I would say MEW. Unfortunately though, magazines only come every few weeks and it may be years before all the topics are covered so I would sugest you include books in your aims to learn the machining methods. I will leave others to suggest any suitable ones, should they agree of course

Harold.

David Clark 116/01/2013 09:47:20
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3357 forum posts
112 photos
10 articles

Hi Ron

I would buy MEW to learn machining.

ME does cover building static engines but you do need to know how to machine.

I would suggest a subscription to MEW and a digital subscription to ME.

regards David

Terryd16/01/2013 09:53:00
1926 forum posts
179 photos

Hi Ron,

Both magazines are complimentary rather than competitors. However if you are new to machining you could do worse than get Mr Hall's books on lathework ('A Complete Course' ) and Milling Machine (again 'A Complete Course' ) There are many other good books on the Lathe especially as it is the parent of all other machines, but Mr Halls books include projects and excellent instruction which will give a basis for future work (and you will get a lot of help here on the projects).  I would wait a while before investing a lot in magazine subscriptions, you can buy a lot of good books for the price which provide enjoyable and instructive reading.

For small engines and simple boilers I would recommend Stan Bray's book and the two books by Tubal Cain ( building Simple Steam Engines Books 1 and 2). It is a truly lovely experience when your first simple steam engine bursts into life, you can graduate to more complex work when your confidence improves. It is all too easy to try a complex engine and give up in frustration when you realise your experience is too limited to succeed, it is best to try a few engines using bar stock rather than expensive castings as mistakes are much less expensive.  Once you have mastered these there are some good projects making Elmer's Engines, but you need quite a bit of experience as the instructions are limited and expect you to understand sequencing of operations for example.

There are a couple of basic engineering courses running in MEW but I would recommend the books by Mr Hall as a good basis which encourages you to make good practical projects which are of use in the workshop - I have made several, the most useful being his tool and cutter grinding device. ME tends to be for more experienced modellers but there are occasionally projects for beginners.

After a few projects are completed you could try an intermediate project such as Bogstandard's excellent 'Paddleduck' which has pages and pages of excellent instructions by the man himself and is also built from barstock. In fact I would recommend reading his project (free download) as it contains much advice on basic machining techniques. John (Bogstandard) has been immenesly generous in providing this excellent and inetresting work.

To Quote:

"This is not just a set of free plans for a working model steam engine. It's a well-written, well-organized, profusely illustrated 113-page tutorial "

Most of all, enjoy the hobby, don't ruin your interest by being over ambitious initially.

Best regards,

Terry

Edited By Terryd on 16/01/2013 10:05:26

Jo16/01/2013 10:18:57
198 forum posts

Personally I find that the current crop of Model engineering magazines have a poor coverage of model stationary engines. If you are lucky there may be the odd one running in each magazine. However if you join one of the many on line forums dedicated to making model engines you will get much more information and help. A couple of excellent online forums dedicated to building, machining and their associated building technicques that you may wish to visit include:

Model Engine Maker: **LINK**

Home Model Engine Machinist: **LINK**

As Terry mentioned there are a lot of books that can give you excellent advice on your lathe and milling machine. I would take the opportunity of reviewing some of them when you next visit a show, you will get a lot of books for the price of a subscription. There are also forums that dedicate them selves to tools and their modifications like:

Madmodder: **LINK**

Jo

 

Edited By Jo on 16/01/2013 10:20:30

Edited By Jo on 16/01/2013 10:21:03

Terryd16/01/2013 12:30:24
1926 forum posts
179 photos

Hi Again Ron,

Here is a link to a 'Paddleduck' build on MadModder - a good forum to join as Jo has pointed out these forums are excellent sources of help and advice as well as a source of inspiration seeing how others overcome problems, (and the struggles and mistakes that they overcome). There are also some good individuals sites that are worth looking at - here is one, full of good advice.

Best regards

Terry

Peter G. Shaw16/01/2013 15:33:55
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997 forum posts
39 photos

I would second, (or is it third?) the recommendation for MEW. Quite a few years ago I used to take bothmagazines but gave up on ME as it didn't really cater for my interests which are mainly about learning to use the tools and to modify and/or build accessories.

In respect of books, here again I would second Harold Hall's books and Tubal Cain's. I specifically like Tubal Cain's books because although I perhaps don't (can't?) retain the information therein, it always makes sense when I read or re-read them. That, to me, is the mark of a good writer.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same about Stan Bray's books: to my mind they are too basic. Now that may well be because I have got past them.

Another book I like is "Using the Small Lathe" by L.C.Mason. As a friend on mine said: "this book is written for amateurs from the point of view of amateurs". As an example, there is one chapter whose second paragraph starts: "Lots of engineers' reference books give tables of cutting speeds for various metals. You can turn over quickly - they don't apply to you and me." Essentially Mason is saying that what really matters is the finish and how you get there is relatively unimportant in the home workshop. Other authors make the same or similar point.

I would, though, make one strong recommendation. Go to your local library. Borrow or request any book you are interested in. That way you will soon discover which books, and writers, suit you. Another example: a lot of people swear by Geo Thomas' book "Model Engineers Workshop Manual". I don't like it as most of what's in it is directly applicable to the Myford Series of lathes, which my lathe is not. It cost me £5.00 to borrow the book, but it saved me something like £15-20 or more against buying the book.

Regards,

Peter G. Shaw

Terryd16/01/2013 16:53:52
1926 forum posts
179 photos
Posted by Peter G. Shaw on 16/01/2013 15:33:55:

I would second, (or is it third?) the recommendation for MEW. Quite a few years ago I used to take bothmagazines but gave up on ME as it didn't really cater for my interests which are mainly about learning to use the tools and to modify and/or build accessories.

In respect of books, here again I would second Harold Hall's books and Tubal Cain's. I specifically like Tubal Cain's books because although I perhaps don't (can't?) retain the information therein, it always makes sense when I read or re-read them. That, to me, is the mark of a good writer.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same about Stan Bray's books: to my mind they are too basic. Now that may well be because I have got past them.

.................................

Regards,

Peter G. Shaw

Hi Peter,

while Mr Bray's writing is aimed at the inexperienced I wouldn't say that his book is too basic, after all he extends the work of Tubal Cain by including information on the use (and making) of threaded glands and union nuts for steam pipes and cylinders, reversing and regulator mechanisms and a variety of safety valve types and more. Further his chapters on boilers goes well beyond that of T.C.s.

His final project is a rather nice 'De Winton' style locomotive with a twin, double acting cylinder engine with a compound crank for the driven wheels which would run on 0 gauge rails. I wouldn't call that more basic than Tubal Cain.

Regards

Terry

Lambton16/01/2013 17:39:11
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692 forum posts
2 photos

"Using the Small Lathe" by L. C. Mason (LCM) is a very good book for anyone starting to use a lathe.

In it LCM covers all the basic aspects of using a small simple lathe in a clear and logical manner. It has chapters on specific topics that are very easy to understand that encourage you to have a go.

It is not a “lathe specific” book so will not bother readers who do not like or own a Myford!

Most of the illustrations are of simple older type lathes or of the small homemade one that LCM devised which is the subject of his other book “ Building a Small Lathe”

If you want a book that deals with Myford lathes then get a copy of “The Amateurs Lathe” by L H Sparey.

Both these books were first printed many years ago but they contain the “wisdom of ages” and are well worth reading today.

Peter G. Shaw16/01/2013 18:07:39
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997 forum posts
39 photos

Terry,

I haven't looked at the book you recommend so can't comment on it specifically. What I can say, is that those books of Bray's that I have read are unsuitable for me for the reason all ready given. As a result, I am loth to spend any time looking at any other of his books.

As it happens I do have all Bray's books that have been published within the Workshop Practice Series and do admit that they are useful for ideas, but that is all.

I think the real answer to all of this is that people, and writers, are all different and that one style of writing will suit some people but not others. I personally like Tubal Cain's style as it makes immediate sense to me, as do both of Mason's books. Another example, outside of model engineering, are two books on electronics by T K Hemingway. There are other well-known self-teach electronic books available, but these two, and the style of writing immediately struck home with me so much so that I was then able to successfully design electronic circuits using transistors, something I have never been formally taught.

Lambton suggests Sparey's book "The Amateur's Lathe". This is a book which I keep getting from the library and re-reading. (I only took it back 2 weeks ago after yet another re-read.) It still doesn't do anything for me.

Regards,

Peter G. Shaw

Gone Away16/01/2013 18:12:18
829 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Terryd on 16/01/2013 09:53:00:

Both magazines are complimentary

..... it would be nice. smiley

thomas oliver 216/01/2013 18:22:28
104 forum posts

Why do you need books these days? Youtube is chockablock with videos on all machining processes. TomOl

NJH16/01/2013 19:09:19
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2314 forum posts
139 photos

Hi Ron

I think MEW will be of more use to you than ME. I subscribe to the former and flick through the latter at my newsagent then buy it if there is a series that interests me.

Books.

Yes Harold's series are good as are the other authors on lathes mentioned. I disagree with Peter on George Thomas. Ok some of his articles are slanted towards the Myford but that WAS the ME's machine at the time. The writing is very good and much is applicable to other machines. Many years ago I built his small rotary table and the concept of cutting a dovetailed grove around its periphery and then making curved and dovetailed nuts to fit was intimidating to say the least! Followed George's instructions - simple and satisfactory! Even when articles are Myford specific they will give good information which will be applicable to other machines.

A lot of reading on ME is not so much how to manufacture a particular attachment etc. but how to approach a construction task - learning this is the essence of the hobby in my opinion.Reading how the experts work is always useful.

George is, sadly, no longer with us but his books are still very relevant. Without wishing to embarrass him ,I would put Graham (Gray) Meek's book(s) in this category. I will never achieve his standards but I can try and , in the meantime, marvel at the quality of his work.

Regards

Norman

Stub Mandrel16/01/2013 19:14:44
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4306 forum posts
291 photos
1 articles

I have to speak up for ME, i think the two magazines complement each other, with ME wandering far and wide to cover a broad range of intrests and engineering topics that stretch beyond just modelling.

MEW is more about techniques and tools. Both can help beginners in different ways - following detail construction series in ME can help a great deal, whilst MEW is more of a random journey through things, but perhaps more often with beginner oriented content.

Neil

Terryd17/01/2013 07:38:49
1926 forum posts
179 photos
Posted by thomas oliver 2 on 16/01/2013 18:22:28:

Why do you need books these days? Youtube is chockablock with videos on all machining processes. TomOl

But the books we discussed also provide free plans and specific construction details to help encourage the inexperienced rather than generic machining tips of the videos you mention which are of more use to these with some basic experience. It's also easier to scan or copy a page of instructions and drawings to take into the workshop than rig up suitable viewing equipment and then scan back and forth in a video to try to find the bit you need. Books are relatively inexpensive, pleasing to browse at leisure, are long lasting and still have a place and a role to play,

Regards

Terry

Ian S C17/01/2013 10:05:47
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7455 forum posts
230 photos

Will your Ipad or tablet still be round in a hundred years? Who knows. A book stands a good chance, I,v lost a couple of computors, managed to salvage most of my info, but books don't die like that, also Old engineering books don't I imagine get republished electronicly, and quite a bit of oldinformation is quite up to date enough for model engineering work. Ian S C

jason udall17/01/2013 10:23:15
2017 forum posts
41 photos
Posted by Ian S C on 17/01/2013 10:05:47:

Will your Ipad or tablet still be round in a hundred years? Who knows....

100 years?....doubt the file format will last 100 months and maybe 100 weeks for the hardware.wink

but seriously you can read paper mag almost anywhere and you get the electronic archive too.

Back to OP ...try both or either off news stand if you can't bear to put down the copy there then by for a couple of months and then consider ( I would suggest urgently ie the sooner the better) taking out a subscription to either or both.

My taste .. MEW.

regards Jason

Geoff Theasby17/01/2013 16:37:52
595 forum posts
15 photos

Buy M.E. of course! It has a great Club News column, replete with topical comment, basic information and humour...

John Alexander Stewart17/01/2013 23:00:05
757 forum posts
51 photos
Posted by Geoff Theasby on 17/01/2013 16:37:52:

Buy M.E. of course! It has a great Club News column, replete with topical comment, basic information and humour...

Hate to say it, as it'll go the authors' head, but, it IS the first column I read in Model Engineer.

Have to get our club newsletter forwarded along to that anonymous person...

Another JohnS - http://cnc-for-model-engineers.blogspot.com

Edited By John Alexander Stewart on 17/01/2013 23:01:12

Geoff Theasby18/01/2013 15:15:36
595 forum posts
15 photos

A fan! Thank you, kind sir.

If anyone has any comments about how to improve Club News, I should be interested to hear them. I write it the style I have always used, from my first amateur radio club newsletter written way back in 1968. It seems to be popular. Nevertheless, it isn't written for my benefit, but for the readers.

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