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The Amateur's Lathe Paperback – 17 Jan 1998
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This is a course of instruction which embraces almost every process that can be accomplished with the small lathe, including information on tools, accessories and costs. The amateur's problems are tackled in a practical manner, showing how the model engineer or small industrial user can perform a variety of operations usually requiring a whole workshop of machinery.
About the Author
Lawrence Sparey was that somewhat rare combination - a professional engineer with what he himself called 'an amateur's outlook' which allowed him to maintain his appreciation of the difficulties of the average workshop owner with his small lathe. He was also a pioneer of model aeroplane internal combustion engines for home construction in Britain of the 1940s. This book represents the accumulated engineering wisdom of a previous generation.
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I found this book was rather like an old metal work teacher I had at school. If you asked him a question he would answer quickly without all the details with a tone that clearly implied I should know it anyway.
Taking for example the section on tools, a quick run through of the tool types and a discussion on sharpening. But the diagrams were just side on profiles with lots of talk about cutting angles, I need at least a 3d profile so I can see the shape of the cutting edge and its relationship to the tool.
The drills chapter is another case, there is a long description of how important grinding drill bit "back off" is...but no diagram to show what this actually is. Google didnt help me (and if I wanted to google everything I would not have bought a book). The only backoff I know of is when you drill a little then back off (and program a CNC machine to peck). This is something to do with grinding angles?
So I would say that this may be a great book for someone with the background knowledge...but without a full understanding of the terms involved perhaps I am missing this.
I'm giving it a 3 because I expect perhaps its of great use to some...but for me I would not use this as a step by step guide or reference book for the beginner.
Otherwise quite a "cozy" reference book.
The book is worth buying, if only to make the beginner aware of the questions he needs to be asking from other sources.
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