Updated December 01, 2014. This site is provided primarily as a reference for those persons interested in home shop machining and metalworking. Many files deal with metal lathes, milling machines, and metal shapers. There are also more general subjects dealing with drilling, metal cutting, threading, metal types, rust removal, finishes, lubricants, etc. that will be of practical interest to every metalworker (or woodworker) and machine owner. Some general files will be useful to nearly everyone out there. Also be sure to read the safety warning on this page.
In the General section here is a heavily updated version in 2013 of the ACME Digital Photography Primer, which has lots of helpful tips on camera equipment and software selection, and their use -- for those trying to get better results for their pictures, either to put on the web or as a hobby. This file was entirely written by yours truly, who loves digital photography. If you find the ACME file information is useful, please drop me a quick email to say so. I'd like to know my time spent on improving this file is doing you some good.
Amateur and professional machinists have taken advantage of the Internet to share tips and advice through newsgroups (aka user groups), many of which are machine specific. The message data has piled up in each news/user group's archives, with literally thousands of earlier messages.
It is extremely difficult for a newcomer to wade through all prior questions and answers and tips. A general electronic search of the archives on a subject will likely return too many messages. A very narrow search may not find the needed information, perhaps because the answer needed was buried in a message with a totally different title or discussion subject.
To make refinding interesting data easier for me, I saved some discussions on my computer in simple text files broken down by subject. (Note the "some discussions" -- chosen items were the ones I found most interesting or useful, and I have pruned out much repetitious quoting and redundant messages.) Eighty subject files are made available here, providing some user members' answers to many common and uncommon metalworking questions. I salute all those who have helped others by participating in the metal groups, whether or not their messages were incorporated into these particular files.
|Tips for File Use||General Metalworking and Other Useful Files|
|Metal Lathe Files||News/User Groups|
|Milling Machine Files||Major Metal Links|
|Metal Shaper Files||Safety Warning|
Particular emphasis on the brands Atlas (aka Craftsman, or Acorn in the U.K.), Sherline, and Taig (Peatol in the U.K.) along with new files on the Myford metal lathe. In the files here you will also find lathe operational, repair, and modification information that will be useful to any lathe owner.
|Atlas 618 Gems -- 504KB 01 Dec 2014||Sherline Lathe Quirks or Tips -- 342KB 01 Dec 2014|
|Atlas Backing Plates for Chucks -- 138KB 01 May 2014||Sherline Mods General (Lathe and Mill) -- 427KB 01 May 2014|
|Atlas Belts and Pulleys -- 177KB 01 Aug 2014||Sherline to/from Taig Adapters -- 115KB 01 Apr 2014|
|Atlas Chucks General -- 187KB 01 Dec 2014||Taig Chucks -- 114KB 01 Mar 2014|
|Atlas Lathe Milling -- 149KB 01 Jul 2013||Taig Lathe Tips -- 438KB 01 Dec 2014|
|Atlas Motors and Switches -- 159KB 01 Dec 2014||Taig Modifications General -- 459KB 01 Jul 2014|
|Atlas Parts General -- 513KB 01 Dec 2014||Taper Methods -- 160KB 01 Jun 2014|
|Atlas Repair or Fitting -- 1343KB 01 Dec 2014||Thread Dial and Half-Nuts -- 138KB 01 Aug 2014|
|Ball Turning -- 78KB 01 Sep 2014||Threading (Lathe and Otherwise) -- 982KB 01 Sep 2014|
|Collets For Lathe or Mill -- 296KB 01 Nov 2014||Toolholders for the Lathe -- 355KB 01 Nov 2014|
|Knurling on the Lathe -- 118KB 01 Feb 2014||Toolholders for Sherline or Taig -- 95KB 01 Aug 2014|
|Lathe Comparisons -- 683KB 01 Sep 2014||Turning Brass -- 91KB 01 Apr 2013|
|Myford Lathe Gems -- 1448KB 01 Dec 2014||Turning Pens -- 172KB 01 Apr 2014|
|Myford Lathe Lubrication -- 331KB 01 Dec 2014||Turning Tips for Metal -- 684KB 01 Dec 2014|
|Parting Off -- 227KB 01 Dec 2014||Turning Wood on the Metal Lathe -- 150KB 01 Jun 2014|
|Sherline Chucks -- 208KB 01 Sep 2014||.|
Particular emphasis on Sherline and Taig models, but much general milling information is also presented that will be useful to owners of similar size or larger mills. Sherline and Taig mill users should also read the entries about both brands in the Metal Lathe Files section above.
Click the Sherline mill's image here to show the X, Y, and Z axes for any milling machine.
|Milling Machine Comparisons -- 285KB 01 May 2014||Sherline Mill Quirks or Tips -- 526KB 01 Nov 2014|
|Milling Tips -- 346KB 01 Aug 2014||Taig Mill Tips -- 394KB 01 Sep 2014|
|Sherline Mill Backlash -- 322KB 01 Mar 2014||.|
Much information here is useful for any brand of small (or even large) metal shaper. The AMMCO and Delta produced versions have the same basic design. The Atlas (aka Craftsman or Acorn) shaper also has a file here.
|AMMCO Metal Shaper -- 368KB 01 Aug 2013||Metal Shaper General -- 378KB 01 Jul 2014|
|AMMCO Metal Shaper Disassembly -- 45KB 01 Oct 2012||Metal Shaper History and Stories -- 266KB 01 Feb 2013|
|Atlas Metal Shaper -- 201KB 01 Dec 2014||Metal Shaper Modifications General -- 143KB 01 Jul 2014|
|Metal Shaper Bits and Toolholders -- 201KB 01 Jan 2014||Metal Shaper Repair General -- 341KB 01 Dec 2014|
|Metal Shaper Comparisons -- 125KB 01 Nov 2014||Metal Shaper Operating Tips -- 379KB 01 Dec 2014|
|* ACME Digital Photography Primer -- 101KB 01 Jul 2013||Indicating and Measuring -- 426KB 01 Sep 2014|
|Adhesives -- 189KB 01 Aug 2014||Lapping and Reaming -- 147KB 01 May 2014|
|Bearings and Bushings -- 250KB 01 Sep 2014||Layout Marking or Printing -- 152KB 01 Sep 2013|
|Boring -- 264KB 01 Jul 2014||Lubricants General -- 415KB 01 Nov 2014|
|Broaching -- 61KB 01 Apr 2014||Machine General -- 248KB 01 Nov 2014|
|Casting Metal -- 176KB 01 Feb 2013||Metal Publications -- 265KB 01 Oct 2014|
|Chucks General -- 359KB 01 Dec 2014||Metal Types and Tips -- 419KB 01 Sep 2014|
|Cleaning Tips -- 145KB 01 Dec 2014||Plastic Machining Tips -- 218KB 01 Dec 2014|
|CNC General Information -- 16KB 01 Jan 2014||Projects in Metal-- 486KB 01 Sep 2014|
|Cut or Saw Metal -- 191KB 01 May 2014||Rebuilding Machinery -- 130KB 01 Jan 2012|
|Cutters, Bits, and Arbors -- 515KB 01 Dec 2014||Rotary Tables and Indexers -- 185KB 01 Sep 2014|
|Drilling Tips -- 444KB 01 May 2014||Rust Removal -- 182KB 01 Nov 2014|
|Finish for Tools -- 206KB 01 Dec 2014||Safety - Some Issues -- 96KB 01 Feb 2014|
|Finishing and Polishing -- 178KB 01 Nov 2014||Simple Metal Forming -- 134KB 01 Jul 2014|
|Gears General -- 417KB 01 Nov 2014||Soldering -- 162KB 01 Sep 2014|
|Heat Treating -- 319KB 01 Apr 2014||Workholding General -- 352KB 01 Jul 2014|
|Home Shop Business -- 133KB 01 Nov 2014||Workshop Tips -- 491KB 01 Oct 2014|
BEWARE: DO NOT ASSUME that any subject matter or procedure or process is safe or correct or appropriate just because it was mentioned in a news/user group or was included in these files or on this site or on any other web site or was published in a magazine or book or video.
Working with metals and machinery and chemicals and electrical equipment is inherently dangerous. Wear safety devices and clothing as appropriate. Remove watches, rings, and jewellery -- and secure or remove loose clothing -- before operating any machine.
Read, understand and follow the latest operating procedures and safety instructions provided by the manufacturer of your machine or tool or product. If you do not have those most recent official instructions, acquire a copy through the manufacturer before operating or using their product. Where the company no longer exists, use the appropriate news or user group to locate an official copy. Be careful -- original instructions may not meet current safety standards. Updated safety information and operating instructions may also be available through a local club, a local professional in the trade, a local business, or an appropriate government agency. In every case, use your common sense before beginning or taking the next step; and do not proceed if you have any questions or doubts about any procedure, or the safety of any procedure. Follow all laws and codes, and employ certified or licenced professionals as required by those laws or codes. Hazardous tasks beyond your competence or expertise should also be contracted to professionals. Let's be really careful out there.
Machinist Musing: "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is."
Site Creation. This private site was created using a highly featured text editor NoteTab Light (freeware and actually very simple to use) from Fookes Software that allows simultaneous search and replace across multiple text files. Help in polishing the site to XHTML standards came from reading an excellent book by Elizabeth Castro called HTML FOR THE WORLD WIDE WEB. And you didn't have to watch flashing ads and dancing penguins.
As mentioned above in Tips for File Use, if you have more questions about particular messages or subjects provided in these files, first make a responsible effort by searching appropriate user groups' archives and FAQs. Still no luck? Then post your question to the appropriate News/User Groups for the benefit of everyone. (I cannot answer them here.)
Site Updating. Metalworking text files here are updated monthly if they contain new information. As of 2009 (when I stopped keeping track), just over 2000 hours had been expended. Updated files will not necessarily change much as many discussion topics have been thoroughly covered before. You have the option to save the files of interest to you, and then to update them to suit yourself with information you receive from the user groups' e-mail, or any other source. That way you will always have customized, current information -- keeping only the info that you really need for your personal reference use.
Machinist Winter 2014 Ramblings: For most of us in North America, winter started in November this year. My particular regards and best wishes for those in Buffalo who seem to have fared the worst so far. Let us be thankful for warm shops, and wish health and happiness for family and friends and neighbours, and do our best to help those in need. And remember to have fun, safely.
Copyright © 2003-2014 Steve Bachanek. This site is copyrighted and no content may be reproduced by any means, including electronic, without written permission except for strictly personal use.
Last updated December 01, 2014 .... original website was created on March 2, 2003 .... and relocated to this new permanent web address in early 2006 where it has been updated monthly with new information.back to Table Of Contents on this page
back to Janelle Studio's main page
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