Updated March 01, 2015. 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 an updated version in 2015 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 -- 516KB 01 Mar 2015||Sherline Lathe Quirks or Tips -- 342KB 01 Dec 2014|
|Atlas Backing Plates for Chucks -- 138KB 01 May 2014||Sherline Mods General (Lathe and Mill) -- 437KB 01 Mar 2015|
|Atlas Belts and Pulleys -- 179KB 01 Feb 2015||Sherline to/from Taig Adapters -- 116KB 01 Feb 2015|
|Atlas Chucks General -- 189KB 01 Feb 2015||Taig Chucks -- 114KB 01 Mar 2014|
|Atlas Lathe Milling -- 162KB 01 Mar 2015||Taig Lathe Tips -- 446KB 01 Mar 2015|
|Atlas Motors and Switches -- 162KB 01 Feb 2015||Taig Modifications General -- 459KB 01 Jul 2014|
|Atlas Parts General -- 546KB 01 Mar 2015||Taper Methods -- 167KB 01 Mar 2015|
|Atlas Repair or Fitting -- 1345KB 01 Mar 2015||Thread Dial and Half-Nuts -- 143KB 01 Mar 2015|
|Ball Turning -- 84KB 01 Jan 2015||Threading (Lathe and Otherwise) -- 994KB 01 Feb 2015|
|Collets For Lathe or Mill -- 317KB 01 Feb 2015||Toolholders for the Lathe -- 382KB 01 Mar 2015|
|Knurling on the Lathe -- 118KB 01 Feb 2014||Toolholders for Sherline or Taig -- 95KB 01 Aug 2014|
|Lathe Comparisons -- 701KB 01 Mar 2015||Turning Brass -- 91KB 01 Apr 2013|
|Myford Lathe Gems -- 1518KB 01 Mar 2015||Turning Pens -- 172KB 01 Apr 2014|
|Myford Lathe Lubrication -- 358KB 01 Mar 2015||Turning Tips for Metal -- 731KB 01 Mar 2015|
|Parting Off -- 247KB 01 Feb 2015||Turning Wood on the Metal Lathe -- 150KB 01 Jun 2014|
|Sherline Chucks -- 218KB 01 Feb 2015||.|
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 -- 321KB 01 Mar 2015||Sherline Mill Quirks or Tips -- 526KB 01 Nov 2014|
|Milling Tips -- 361KB 01 Jan 2015||Taig Mill Tips -- 394KB 01 Sep 2014|
|Sherline Mill Backlash -- 328KB 01 Jan 2015||.|
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 -- 212KB 01 Mar 2015||Metal Shaper Modifications General -- 143KB 01 Jul 2014|
|Metal Shaper Bits and Toolholders -- 225KB 01 Feb 2015||Metal Shaper Repair General -- 351KB 01 Jan 2015|
|Metal Shaper Comparisons -- 125KB 01 Nov 2014||Metal Shaper Operating Tips -- 390KB 01 Mar 2015|
|* ACME Digital Photography Primer -- 101KB 01 Jan 2015||Indicating and Measuring -- 438KB 01 Feb 2015|
|Adhesives -- 191KB 01 Mar 2015||Lapping and Reaming -- 147KB 01 May 2014|
|Bearings and Bushings -- 260KB 01 Mar 2015||Layout Marking or Printing -- 152KB 01 Sep 2013|
|Boring -- 264KB 01 Jul 2014||Lubricants General -- 415KB 01 Nov 2014|
|Broaching -- 69KB 01 Mar 2015||Machine General -- 248KB 01 Nov 2014|
|Casting Metal -- 176KB 01 Feb 2013||Metal Publications -- 279KB 01 Mar 2015|
|Chucks General -- 370KB 01 Feb 2015||Metal Types and Tips -- 419KB 01 Sep 2014|
|Cleaning Tips -- 145KB 01 Dec 2014||Plastic Machining Tips -- 235KB 01 Mar 2015|
|CNC General Information -- 16KB 01 Jan 2014||Projects in Metal-- 495KB 01 Mar 2015|
|Cut or Saw Metal -- 191KB 01 May 2014||Rebuilding Machinery -- 159KB 01 Mar 2015|
|Cutters, Bits, and Arbors -- 553KB 01 Feb 2015||Rotary Tables and Indexers -- 186KB 01 Feb 2015|
|Drilling Tips -- 445KB 01 Mar 2015||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 -- 137KB 01 Feb 2015|
|Gears General -- 419KB 01 Mar 2015||Soldering -- 162KB 01 Sep 2014|
|Heat Treating -- 319KB 01 Apr 2014||Workholding General -- 368KB 01 Mar 2015|
|Home Shop Business -- 133KB 01 Nov 2014||Workshop Tips -- 508KB 01 Feb 2015|
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: "Never make predictions, especially about the future." -- Casey Stengel
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 2015 Ramblings: Yes my basement workshops over the years have been warm and okay from a utilitarian viewpoint, but I have always wanted an above ground workshop with a window. Now considering a move to a warmer part of Canada (and there are not a lot of those). Hopefully I'll get to have my ideal space for it there. But whatever I actually find, any workshop can be a place of joy. And remember to have fun, safely.
Copyright © 2003-2015 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 March 01, 2015 .... 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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