A Review of Machine Shop Know-How and Welding Know-How

Frank Marlow sent me copies of his latest two books, Machine Shop Know-How, The Tips and Techniques of Master Machinists and Welding Know-How, Tips & Techniques of Master Welders. The books serve both as a compendium of a variety of handy tips gleaned from professionals and as textbooks about the subject of machining and welding respectively. Machine Shop Know-How is 519 pages long and Welding Know-How 543 pages long.

Machine Shop Know-How, for instance, starts with a chapter on setting up a shop while going off into explorations about the variety of tools one will select and their uses, both usual and unusual. Each chapter continues in that vein, with the drilling chapter showing such tips as how to drill a hole in a thin stainless wall plate without marring the surface, or the subject of cutting internal o-ring grooves with a boring head in the chapter on the milling machine. Welding Know-How has all sorts of excellent tips such as how to straighten piano wire and the chapter on "Common Problems & Solutions" has many great tips such as how to build up a shaft. To a certain extent the books contain many of the same topics as his earlier books but they supercede the latter in utility and breadth. The drawings are clear and concise, there are more than enough illustrations of every concept to clearly convey exactly what Frank is talking about in each book. There is some overlap between the two books in so far as a machine shop does some welding and a welding shop does some machining but the both  books  tend to cover all subjects one would expect with the same level of detail and inventiveness.

Overall the books are a worthwhile addition to a shop library and will certainly aid the beginner at understanding both basic and advanced techniques especially as an adjunct to standard textbooks.. While I enjoyed the question and answer technique of the earlier books I think that for the level of detail in these it is a good thing that he now uses a more conventional style.

Table of contents for each book:
Machine Shop Know-How 
Title Page
Copyright Page
Chapter 1 — Setting Up Shop
Chapter 2 — Metals, Alloys, Oils & Hardness Testing
Chapter 3 — Tapers, Dowel Pins, Fasteners & Key Concepts
Chapter 4 — Filing & Grinding
Chapter 5 — Drilling, Reaming & Tapping
Chapter 6 — Bandsaws
Chapter 7 — Lathes
Chapter 8 — Milling Machines
Chapter 9 — Machine Shop Problem Solving

Welding Know-How
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Welding Overview
Chapter 2 Safety
Chapter 3 Terms, Joints & Edge Preparation
Chapter 4 Tools & Equipment
Chapter 5 Shielded Metal Arc Welding
Chapter 6 Wire Feed Welding
Chapter 7 Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
Chapter 8 Oxyacetylene
Chapter 9 Controlling Distortion
Chapter 10 Cutting Processes
Chapter 11 Brazing & Soldering
Chapter 12 Common Problems & Solutions
Chapter 13 Design Tips
Chapter 14 Fabrication & Repair Tips
Chapter 15 Tools & Tooling
Chapter 16 Pipe & Tubing
Chapter 17 Metallurgy
Chapter 18 Power Supplies & Electrical Safety
Chapter 19 Bending & Straightening

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