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Newb Question: Machinery Handbook

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enderwiggen

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#1
So I've seen this book around quite a bit, and I'm looking to purchase a copy. I work in the field of artisanal high end musical instrument making. Most of our equipment is actually quite old in nature (watchmaking lathes, manual/hydraulic tracers, manual taper attachments etc). I took a year of machining courses, and my instructors recommended I find an older edition of this behemoth text since it might be more applicable to my specific field and familiar equipment.

My question now is: Should I look into older versions of this book? Or since I'm looking to eventually convert some of my processes to CNC (next 2-4 years for precision turning and milling operations), should I get the most current edition?

I apologize if this question has been asked before. If it has, please point me in the right direction, and I'll gladly educate myself.

For what it's worth: My materials and end products are very small. I typically work in tenths (0.0001") measurements, and often in metric. I rarely use a screw thread greater than a 2-56 or an M2x.4mm. 00-90 threads are common for me, and O-1 drill rod around .060-0.80" being standard for axles.
 

Wreck™Wreck

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#2
I have not looked in a new version of MH, mine is from 1991, the section on numerical control is very basic. Each manufacturer of controls does things differently so you will be better served by studying the documentation of the control that you will be using, Fanuc, Haas, Siemens, Mazatrol Etc. The general info on the subject in MH is easily found on the web as well, none of it is machine specific.

The Haas lathe controls have entirely to many buttons (-:
http://faculty.ivytech.edu/~bl-desn/mtt208/images/haas/KeypadMill.gif
 

T Bredehoft

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#3
The version I have was current in the mid 1970s, while I don't often refer to it in later life, I can't imagine there is anything in the modern versions that would apply to your work with the possible exception of metric screw sizes. I'm sure someone will offer more modern thoughts.
 

joshua43214

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#4
get a newer one.
There is nothing in it about cnc that you will really care about except some stuff on feeds/speeds.
There is nothing obsolete taken out that you will care about either.

The newer ones will have more info in international standards and metric threading, which you will care about, especially if you go cnc.
Just wait for a half off + free shipping deal. I got mine new for $60.00 to the door.

FWW, I almost never use mine anymore. I reference some stuff on oddball threads or gearing from time to time.
The vast majority of what I used to use it for got replaced with a Machinists Calc Pro.
If you have to chose between the calculator and the book, get the calculator - it is probably my best non-machine purchase.
 

Karl_T

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#5
My two cents, get the .pdf version for your computer.

much quicker to find what you need. Then print out the page and don't worry about greasy finger prints.

My handbook has not been opened in years. I cruise the .pdf weekly or more.
 

Silverbullet

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#6
From what you said in the beginning you work on old jewellers lathes . It still may be prudent to find an early copy , just to use to find out more on the smaller LATHES and tooling for them. I own a copy from forty years ago , and yes I used it often, it's always good to study and learn as much as you can for your job. There may be a small problem come up and you'll be the only one with the answer.
Look on eBay Ck craigslist even put a wanted add in cost nothing . I would bet under $25. Will get you a usable copy .
I can tell you knowledge helps , back in the mid 70s I introduced a carbide cutter in a Bridgeport at a company doing military contracts by doing that it made a job cutting hard stainless steel much quicker and cheaper. They had never used insert tooling . I ended up with a big raise and was made Forman .
 

BROCKWOOD

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#7
I'm very green at all this myself. Welcome aboard. I chose a used version off eBay for the price of $25 shipped. Because I am into late 60s early 70s MoPars, my version is from 1971 ;-)
If you can dial in a specific time frame for the equipment you use / gravitate toward, it would be nostalgic to get a used copy from that era. But I like old stuff. The modern *.pdf idea is also a good one. Since I attend the YouTube College of Machining, I mostly refer to my copy whenever one of our famed 'Professors' references their copy. It's fun to see just how far the page / info they point to has shifted forward or back on my copy. I also like to note just how much the info has shifted or changed or even added / omitted between various years. Not gonna be much on shaft driven equipment like used in the steam power days in my version. I am not sure, but I do believe that as approaches & applications become obsolete that they get phased out to make more & more room for more modern info that would be much more relevant to current practices.
Having said all that, it is very true that you really only need a good internet connection these days to find more info than any 1 book can convey.
 

schor

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#8
I am a hobby machinist, no real world experience. Everything I need to know is on the internet and easily searchable. That said I did buy a 10th edition for $5 just to fill out my Kennedy. I have browsed it but in the end everything I need is online or held by magnets on my garage door.
 

Joe P.

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#9
I mainly use my Engineers Blackbook, not as complete as MH but it covers everything I need 99% of the time. Easy to find stuff and it has nice quality pages and spiral binding that lets it lay flat.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

bfd

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#10
true, while I don't use my machinery handbook often when I need to know something about an oddball thread or something else machine related I know its there. used to tease the apprentices that even the 19 spices in kfc chicken is in there ha ha bill
 

brav65

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#11
I got the 2016 edition from Enco on sale for $48 and it is fun to thumb through, but I use the internet or ask a question on her more often than not. My $.02
 

whitmore

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#12
My old (Stark #3) lathe is a slightly oversize jeweler's lathe, and the ONLY info (other
than pictures) I could find on it, was in a 1943 (11th Edition) Machinery's Handbook.
If only for historical reference, it's a useful tome.

There's a nifty intro to the slide rule, sine tables and logarithms....
 

Groundhog

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#14
I like others have stated don't use it much at all. I have e-version #27 but hardly use it at all. Lots of internet searches, videos and this forum.
 

ebolton

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#15
I'm a mechanical engineer by profession, and hack around on a small manual mill and lathe at home. I use MHB sometimes at work, but practically never at home. My copy at work is a couple of rev's back. My copy at home is my dad's old copy from the 50's. Google has cut down my useage of MHB a lot in the last few years. I used to use it much more often design work to allow room for fastener heads and tools, translate the thicknesses of sheet metal, and the like. Now I more often just Google what I want to know, and look for consensus info among the hits.

-Ed
 

JimT-72

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#16
I have had 2 old versions from the 40's and one from the 90's and they were fine. The last 2 editions that were printed have had a lot of people complain about the paper they used in the books. The paper is very thin in those last 2 editions and the print on the back of the page you are reading shows through and can make it more difficult to read.
 

projectnut

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#18
I have over a dozen copies of the Machinery Handbook ranging in age from the 2nd edition to the 28th edition. Most of my work revolves around repairing and refurbishing obsolete machinery and manual machine tools. I find I use them regularly for obsolete threads and fasteners. I the early 20th century there were few standards on threads and fasteners. The majority of the tool and machine manufacturers used proprietary threads in an attempt to corner the replacement parts market. I'm not sure how well it worked, but it did result in dozens if not hundreds of now obsolete fasteners.

As for machine operating techniques each volume does contain some relevant to the time it was printed, but by in large it's not a "how to" book. Rather it's a reference book. The older editions don't have much on metric sizes or threads. If I remember the first edition to even address metric measurements to any detail is around the 22nd. After that there's been metric references in everyone I am aware of.

If you're using older American made iron I would think any metric cutting or threading capabilities would be a later add on. I have a 1970's Bridgeport mill that came from the factory with both SAE and metric table movement dials. I also have a 1960's Sheldon lathe that is capable of metric dimensional cutting and threading. This machine however requires the installation of a secondary gear set specific to the metric dimensions.

Most of my machines now have DRO's capable of metric or SAE dimensional readings. Cutting or turning in metric dimensions isn't a problem. Threading on the other hand is still a PITA since it requires a gear change.
 
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