Plans, projects and how-to's for home machinists

I’ve created a new web site called that has the best videos we can find about machining, CNC, welding and metal fabrication (and model engineering and gunsmithing).  It was an impulsive act and I honestly don’t know how I found the time to do it because this has been one of the busiest summers I’ve ever experienced.  It’s pretty easy to create a web site with WordPress and that helped.  And adding new content to it is about as hard as watching TV.  I just have to look for good videos on YouTube and Vimeo and then write a short description when I find one.  It’s something I can do at the end of the day when I’m too tired to do almost anything else but go to bed (like I should).  JamesS, a contributor to MachinistBlog, has also been helping  me and my wife says she will too.  So I don’t think the new site will take too much of my time away from working on this web site or in my workshop.

Feedback & Links Please

The new site is not fancy looking because I’ve been concentrating on regularly posting new videos to it.  I would appreciate any suggestion you can give me to improve it aesthetics and especially its usability.  I’m not only trying to become a better machinist but also a better web designer.  I’ve found that I’m very good at critiquing other people’s web sites but I’m nearly blind when I look at my own.  So please don’t be afraid to speak up. is also almost completely invisible to the world because no one is linking to it yet.  So I would really appreciate a link from your web site if you think it’s worth one.

Download: Advanced Gunsmithing Book (PDF)

AdvancedGunsmithing70Here’s a book about gunsmithing that you can download as a 40MB PDF file.  It’s Advanced Gunsmithing by W. F. Vicery and it was published in 1940.

It’s an old book but I think you may still find it useful and interesting, even if you don’t own a gun, because it describes how to use many of the same machine shop tools and techniques that we’re still using today.  I’ve looked at even older books and have been amazed at how little things have changed in the last 100 years, aside from obvious things like the development of carbide cutting tools, EDM and automated (CNC) machines.

3 March 2017: I moved the download link to my Dropbox because the old location has been costing me about $2-3/month for the last seven years.  You don’t need a Dropbox account to download it.  Just click on the link that says “No Thanks Just Download” or something like that. — Rob

Forums and Discussion Groups for Machinists

The problem with being an amateur/home/hobbyist machinist is that you may be self-taught.  There are some good web sites, videos and books that you can learn from, but sooner or later you are probably going to have a question you would like to have answered by someone who (you hope) really knows what they are talking about.   And that is when it helps to belong to some good forums or email discussion groups.

I have learned a lot from the ones I belong to and I would like to recommend a few of them.  Obviously, there are some good groups that I don’t know about.  I would really appreciate it if you would tell me about them in the comments so I consider adding to this list the next time I update it.  I would also like to know what makes them good or unique.

Here we go, in alphabetical order:

Continue reading Forums and Discussion Groups for Machinists

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If your boss demands loyalty give him integrity, but if he demands integrity give him loyalty.

— Colonel John Boyd