Synopses & Reviews
A hundred years ago American Machinist Magazine was written for the professional who used machine tools very much like those we use, usually just a bit larger in size. And the machinists would often send the magazine some trick or set up they had created to solve some problem they encountered. They would argue over the best ways to true up a worn chuck, case-harden some component, or use a dividing head. True, most of the articles are of little value to us, but scattered throughout the same pages in which Osborne wrote his wild tales of the Oil Country are some great articles that entertain, educate, and stimulate ideas. You get those articles here.
Check out details of the newer small lathes on the market like the small lathe created to machine taps with 200 to 300 threads per inch. Or the small lathe to create arbors for time pieces. A couple of experienced machinists debate the best way to true up worn spring chucks (we call them collets these days.) You get tips on making drills and taps, cutting square threads, making a square and more.
One lengthy debate centers around using an indexing head to cut a prime number teeth on a gear such as 37, 43, or 71 which at first sight seems to be impossible to do. Not so!
Another interesting article tells of the development of interferometry to measure straight edges and threads to accuracies of millionths of an inch with light beams.
These days you and I would use a dial mike to precise center a piece of drill rod in a chuck. But in the old days you used a test indicator, a simple device that magnified round out so it could be eliminated. I've often thought an interesting little project might be to create a variety of such indicators because there almost as many different designs as there expert machinists. They are small, precise instruments, some of which are very ingenious in their designs. Here, you get two.
Some of this is fun, like the filthy dirty inaccurate machine shop one writer describes, and others quite educational like hobbing worm wheels in a lathe. It's just the very best from the pages of American Machinist Magazine. And, of course, it's heavily illustrated.