[hackerspaces] Learning Machining Skills

dosman dosman at packetsniffers.org
Sun Apr 5 16:55:41 CEST 2015

Wow, that is awesome. I put together a machining class for our hackerspace a couple of years ago and it’s still going strong. It is mainly focused on lathe work with a little bit of mill work. The main intent was to get people comfortable using our mill and lathes and to use them safely. None of our equipment has DRO, which for the mill makes things very slow. However some day at the very least we can add that.

At one point early on I took an 8 week machining class at a local technical school and I had a strong eye out for anything I could apply to our space. I ended up buying the machining book the instructor recommended (but we did not use in our class). While not 100% kosher, I scanned relevant chapters of that book and another older machining book and put them on our wiki for reading homework. I also scanned our lathe manual (1930’s model) which had a lot of practical info.

There are some videos linked from our wiki page but those are for reference. I don’t use those for the homework for our class, just the reading:
http://bloominglabs.org/index.php/Machining_Workshop_I <http://bloominglabs.org/index.php/Machining_Workshop_I>

So then I scouted out training videos. The trouble with videos on youtube is that they are all out of context and nearly every video assumes you have already been to a trade school before starting. I finally found https://smartflix.com which rents training DVD’s of all types (their web interface sucks and in places doesn’t have confirmations before adding things to an existing order so be careful). I don’t recommend their “Machinist University” series for training as it can send you stuff out of order even though they say it won’t do this. However for personal learning it is fine.

I highly recommend the Sherline training videos. While Sherline makes miniature lathes and mills, their videos assume you know nothing which is perfect for our audience. The guy teaching covers things well and all the skills on their small equipment translates fine to full size equipment. I recommend the "Sherline lathe basics” and “Sherline shop basics” to start with. That makes several hours of training material and covers safety, using indicating tools (measuring), and lots of basic techniques you need for starting out. From there your training needs will be shaped by the equipment you have and what you are looking to accomplish. I also recommend Rudy Kouhoupt’s videos.

https://smartflix.com/store/video/6264/Introduction-to-the-Sherline-Lathe <https://smartflix.com/store/video/6264/Introduction-to-the-Sherline-Lathe>

I can no longer find “Sherline shop secrets” on smartflix, but I highly recommend buying it as it covers lots of general measuring information and otner stuff you really need to know:

Good luck!!

> On Apr 4, 2015, at 9:38 AM, Bill Shaw <toppsoft at gmail.com> wrote:
> This week, Tampa Hackerspace received a very generous donation of a complete machine shop from a local inventor. We received a Tormach 770 CNC, Grizzly vertical mill, Grizzly lathe, and a bunch of other items that give us the ability to pretty much make whatever we want.
> I plan to reach out to Tormach about training but in the meantime, we need to get up to speed on usage and safety for these very capable tools. I have some ideas on where to start but I'd like to know what everyone else does to educate their members.
> Regards,
> Bill Shaw
> Tampa Hackerspace
> _______________________________________________
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> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

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