Thursday, June 29, 2017

Books For The Hobby Caster

Another day of rain and cool damp weather, stuck inside again. While organizing some of my book collections I pulled out a handful of casting books that some hobbyists might find interesting.

First I would be remiss if I didn't include Dave Gingery's 7 book series "Building Your Own Metal Shop From Scrap". His books contain all the information to get a novice started in this hobby. He then takes you through the construction of all the basic machines in a hobby machine shop. With the advent of cheap imports the small drill press and lathe are no longer really relevant but the shaper and mill design are rare and expensive when you do find them and are still a project I would like to tackle. The accessories book has nice plans for other wise expensive tooling. Of course if you are doing it to learn the processes and truly enjoy this hobby, then they are all relevant. One lathe builder claims this reason for building the lathe but every time he runs into a problem the solution  is to run out and buy an expensive industrial product, hard to learn anything that way and the lathe will be smaller, less accurate and twice the price of an import mini-lathe. Also unless you truly enjoy the hobby, the many hrs spent to scrape the many ways to acceptable accuracy produces no quick thrills.

Dave Gingery and his son Vince have written many other shop manuals, all are great information sumps, but the "Metal Shop From Scrap" series is what got Dave started and will forever be a classic for the home casting hobbyist.


C. W. Ammen is probably the most prolific modern writer of hobby casting information. He has published many books from the 70's to 2000 on this subject. He gets his knowledge from having done every job associated with casting and foundry work at sometime in his life in addition to running his own casting business for many years. His most recent book "Metalcasting" published in 2000 by McGraw-Hill covers much of the information in his previous books. It is a 434 page large format paperback, chock full of practical info.


I have a couple more shelves of volumes on this subject matter. Now one of my hobbies is collecting books so don't get scared off. The first Gingery book and Ammen's "Metalcasting" and his "Casting Aluminum" would provide good information to get started in this very satisfying hobby.



If you ever come across a copy of "Secrets Of Green-Sand Casting" snap it up, you will love it if only for the great wood print illustrations. It was reprinted for Lindsay Publication's "Lost Technology Series" from a 1906 ICS volume. Lindsay has retired and his business closed down but many were sold and it may come available on the used market.

Safe Happy Casting