Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts

Monday, November 26, 2018

"Ingenious Mechanisms" or "Mechanisms In Modern Engineering Design"?

I recently had an inquiry asking about good starting books for woodworking and metalworking, The "Sears/Craftsman" manuals and "Ingenious Mechanisms For Designers And Inventors" were referenced.

The Sears/Craftsman manuals are very good instruction on the operation of woodworking machines and power tools, but their is so much more to woodworking. "Ingenious Mechanisms" is a must for the bookshelves or digital files of inventors, designers, and machine builders, but it has nothing to do with metalworking methods. Possibly self serving (ha, ha), but I recommended reviewing the posts and downloads available on my blog, there is a wealth of information here for someone starting out.

In a reply I discovered that the greatest interest seemed to lie with machine mechanisms and design. I aim to please, so here is a write up on two sets of the best books on mechanisms out there.

"Ingenious Mechanisms For Designers And Inventors" is a classic in this field. It was first published in 1930, over the years multiple authors and volumes have been added. My set, pictured below, is a 4 volume set, published in 1967, and is the newest edition. They have always been printed by The Industrial Press Inc.

If you want to download this set here is the link to download from the Open Source Machine Tools site. I have not downloaded these so I can't vouch for quality. This link is for the first volume. Change the volume number in your address bar to download the rest.

Here is a typical page from this set.

The Russians, always competitive when it comes to the Americans, published there own classic on mechanisms. "Mechanisms In Modern Engineering Design" was published in 1970 by MIR Publishing, a Moscow publisher. It was translated into English in 1975. It would be difficult if I had to choose between the two. Ingenious Mechanisms has very complete write ups on the workings and development of the mechanisms illustrated. The Russian set has much less of a write-up on the mechanisms illustrated, but the shear number is overwhelming, close to 5000 entries.

What the heck, download both. Here is the link to the Internet Archive page, to download this set. Again I have not downloaded these (if I can get away with it, I prefer paper ha, ha) so I can't vouch for quality.

Most pages have two entries. Here is a page with a single entry.

Here is a little article I found the other day. miChelle the proprietor of this art studio got an order for a small cupola (looks like 10-12" bore). It was a rush order and they cut, shaped, welded-up and I assume lined the cupola in two days. Man this lady's got balls, and I aways thought I had balls (long time ago maybe LOL).

Friday, November 16, 2018

"A Book Of Country Things" Part 2

So light snow all day today. Boy those Canada Geese that spent a couple of days on my property, on their early flight south, are smarter than we give them credit for. They were three weeks early and winter is at least three weeks early this year. We skipped fall all together, lol.

So it looks like a few people enjoyed the short trip to a simpler time that I posted yesterday. I will post one more chapter of this great little book. Reading Walter Needham's recounting of his relationship with his Grandpa you can't help but feel the warm an respectful relationship they had with each other.

In chapter 7 we visit Grandpa's workshop. His shop was overflowing with tools, and not a single power tool to be found, ha, ha. He had a tool for everything, and they were all hand made by him. The blades and other steel parts came from the local blacksmith. There isn't much we do now with power tools that he couldn't do then, just slower and more labor intensive.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

"A Book Of Country Things"

So I have been catching up on some of my reading. Browsing my shelves the other day I came across a small book that had interested me a long time ago, in a used book store, my interest was revived and I had to read it.

"A Book Of Country Things" is an entertaining recounting of a grandson's experiences with his Grandpa, L. L. Bond. Grandpa was born in 1833 in Vermont, grew up in a log cabin, served in the Civil War, and over the course of a rural lifetime, learned many of the skills we all consider "lost arts" nowadays. The grandson's (Walter Needham) recounting of growing up with his Grandpa is a detailed and entertaining explanation of many of the practiced arts necessary  to maintain a homestead in rural Vermont in the late 1800's.

When I think of heroes, I think of people like Willie in the "Working Knowledge" post or "Grandpa". They are not afraid of work, they are a wealth of knowledge, acquired over a lifetime of getting their hands dirty, doing the actual work, They usually have a good sense of humor that is genuine and not a cover-up for meanness or cruelty. And they don't constantly feed you BS because they don't want to share what they have learned, (they are generous).

I am sure this view point doesn't jive with many nowadays, many of todays heroes are fictitious creations that have little bearing on real life.

So if you want to take 5 minutes to read an interesting chapter about another time, I am posting chapter 6 below. The chapter discusses the harvesting and use of different wood to produce the necessities of life in pioneer America, from pine for making pipes to cherry for making clocks.

I will post chapter 7 tomorrow or the next day. It deals with "Grandpa's" tools and shop. 

The book was printed by the Stephen Greene Press in 1965 and went through 10 printings by 1986, it is a timeless reminiscence of a less complicated time.

Expand to read comfortably. If you would like to print it off, choose landscape on your print options. If you are viewing on your mobile, I am sorry, this is probably not the best format.

To those who found this article early, I have corrected the double page with the correct page.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Book Review: "Working Knowledge"

Here is a fine book that may find appeal among some of the visitors to this site. " Working Knowledge, Skill and Community in a Small Shop" by Douglas Harper was published in 1987, it went through 10 printings by 1996. I got my copy a couple of years ago, from a discount retailer as a publishers remainder.

You will not find measured plans here, but if you like the story of an old timer bursting with the knowledge and experience of a lifetime of work, in his small repair shop, you will like this. "Willie" the character of the subject matter here, runs a small repair shop, in a depressed rural area of northern New York. In this look into the working knowledge of a hard working, devoted, old timer with a passion for what he does, Douglas Harper gives you a unique look into the social, and economic life, of a depressed rural area on the edge of the rust belt. Fortunately there are many Willies around the American rust belt, unfortunately the name "rust belt" is synonymous with economic depression.

I could go deep and angry as to why rust belts exist in the States (Canada is no stranger to them as well). Why the huge corporations prefer, close to slave labor, in countries with questionable human rights, to produce their (now designed to be disposable) products, to boost there bank accounts and the bank accounts of the top 1%, who own the controlling shares in their companies. But I won't go their, too much politics and I might get accused of being anti-capitalist. Ayn Rand had a severe bias towards 95% of us, but as has become popular with the power structures that be, she would tell you the opposite is true, that giving the top of the pile, economic leaders, unrestrained power, will lift everyone. "A rising tide floats all boats", unfortunately the 1% has most of our boats anchored with concrete, and they have convinced most of us, they had nothing to do with it, lol.

So that took you down a fork in the road, lol. Got 5 minutes for an interesting read? Here is the dust jacket content for "Working Knowledge", and part of the introduction to this interesting book. If you liked the "Foxfire" series, you will like this. I have all 10 volumes, I'll visit them at a later date.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Basics Of Tinsmithing And Blacksmithing-Part 2

So here is the second part of the "Back To Basics" article on tinsmithing and blacksmithing for the self-sufficient crafts person. In this section are a few practical blacksmith projects that will teach the basics and inspire the blacksmithing novice to expand on his skills.

So the forecast for the next 3 or 4 days is well below normal as far as temperature goes, but the sun is finally going to break out, so I'm going to spent some time soaking up some vitamin D. Check back Sunday for a few woodworking projects.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Basics Of Tinsmithing And Blacksmithing-Part 1

I have uploaded some books on tinsmithing and many on blacksmithing, Here is an article on the basics of both crafts.

"Back To Basics" published by Readers Digest in 1981, was very popular subject matter, back in the early 80's. It went through nine printings by 1989. It is a large sized hardcover of almost 500 pages. For the person seeking a slower, quieter, rural lifestyle it is an indispensable resource. Many aspects of a rural, self-sufficient life style, are covered. Acquiring and building on your own land, energy-wood,water, wind, and sun, growing your own veggies and raising livestock, preserving and storage, required skills and crafts, and even recreation are covered. With the large numbers printed,  this great read is quite common in the used market, for someone desiring a hard copy.

Among the crafts covered are woodworking and smithing. The tinsmithing and blacksmithing section are of the greatest interest to me. It is a good basic starting point for anyone who would like to learn these skills. After a clear explanation of the processes, the article takes you through a handful of practical projects that will get you started in the blacksmithing craft.

The article is too many pages for one post, so here is the first part. I'll try to get the second part up a little later.

So for fuel, short sessions on light work can be done with convenient lump charcoal. If your going to do long sessions, on heavy work, coal is a better way to go. Unfortunately coal can be hard to source today, depending on your location. A cleaner and much more convenient way to go is propane, but the investment will be higher. I am hoping to include a propane forge build, in the coming year. You might want to watch someone build one, before you try one out.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

"Capotosto's Woodworking Wisdom"

So in the previous post I featured a tenoning jig by Rosario Capotosto, this jig was also included in one of my favorite books by Mr. Capotosto. Throughout the last 30 years of the last century Mr. Capotosto was a huge asset for many of the woodworking related magazines. Possibly 100's of his articles and plans were published in many magazines, Popular Science and Popular Mechanics being the big standouts. In addition Mr. Capotosto published many good books on the subject.

"Capotosto's Woodworking Wisdom" is probably my favorite of his books. It was published in 1983 by Popular Science Books and Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. This book is full of useful tips and jigs for the workshop, lots of plans to make your shop safer and more productive. In addition there is a nice collection of projects for around the house and yard.

So in addition to the tenoning jig in the previous post here are a couple of more jigs, you will find in this book. I purchased mine new when it went into publication, nowadays the used market is your most likely source, I have never come across it online but people with better online skills than I have, may find a source.

Edit: Want to make a nice jig even better? Here is my suggestion, rout a recess in the base to fit a hard drive magnate and epoxy in place. Everyone has at least one dead hard drive kicking around, ha ha. The magnate will give a solid attachment to the table saw top for consistently accurate adjustments from a small lite jig like this.

Boy it's a good thing I live on a highly porous sand moraine,otherwise I would be sitting in the middle of a swamp right now, lol. It has been heavy, steady rain for two days now and it's not supposed to stop till tomorrow.