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Thread: Smart Grandfather-Old Book

  1. #1

    Smart Grandfather-Old Book

    My Grandfather was an old machinist, a railroad machinist at that and liked his books. One such book he managed to keep despite moving several times, have a house fire and all manner of stuff, was a old machinist manual from 1914.

    Now I know modern machinist books are "up to date", but somewhere along the way the authors had to decide what to keep and what to leave. Well in this modern world alot of the new books have a lot of old stuff left out.

    Lately I have been reading this book as I see fit. You know, just before bed, in the bathroom, just when and where I can to glean a little extra old style manual machining methods.

    One such chapter might be of interest to everyone with old machines. It tells you how to calculate the lacing, belt speeds, belt widths and pulley sizes needed for leather belting. It tells you the horsepower per given inch of width and all manner of stuff. Way too much to list here. I mean it even tells you how many horsepower you can gain by adding or subtracting belt lacing holes. It has everything!!

    One such section has a list of old machinery and related specs, like did you know a 42 inch diamter bandsaw can take a 3 inch saw blade, and requires a 15 hp motor. What about a 30 inch Jointer? 5 HP. Stuff like that and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

    My point here is this. My Grandfather is VERY smart to keep this book and pass it on to his Grandson. I have learned a lot even though he is long gone. My second point is this. If anyone on here every has some technical questions they need answered about old belting, shafting, gearing and flat leather belts LET ME KNOW. I can research your questions, check it out in this book and get back to you. My answers will be based on an OLD BOOK, but I truly believe this book has accurate information even though its 100 years old!

    Just remember I am not trying to be a know-it-all, a smart person KNOWS where to find the answers, the former thinks he already knows.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I want a copy!!

    Seriously that info would be very useful to OWWM guys too. Although not as critical as metal working that is some good information that is hard to find!
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    Great info and a great offer Travis. Thanks.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    That is the kind of thing that it would be great to copy and transfer to computer for moving on into the future. That kind of "misplaced" knowledge could easily be lost forever. If you can scan it without hurting the book it would be great to get on a site like OWWM where people might actually need and use it. Thanks to you and your grandfather for saving it.

  5. #5
    I am not sure I can scan it. Now don't get me wrong, I would if I could, but the pages are very fragile. As is, the first 75 pages or so are ripped off and the book has no cover whatsoever. They are yellowish and rip at the slightest touch. I certainly have to keep Alyson well away from it.

    The other reason though is that the book is small. Back in those days they were only 4 by 6 inches or so and that is what this one is. The font size is like 4 or 6, its very hard to read, but I am getting older too

    I might make a few webpages on it though. The list of machinery and the horsepower needs is pretty good, along with tables explaining the horsepower loss/gain of leather belting, and the friction loss at various speeds, horsepower ratings and diameters of pulleys. That table takes up 3-4 pages and goes up to diameters in the 70-80 inch range.The entire section of setting up a line shaft shop is also pretty cool. I never really thought about it, but with all those belts and pulleys acting as flywheels, you can reduce the overall horsepower requirements by 30-50%. It depends on a lot of factors though, and it explains all that like the proper distances between bearing and supports. Man what a cool book.

    Now what about finding the numbers needed to make broken knobs, handles and cranks. It gives you all those formulas too. I kind of thought back in the old days they were all made arbitrarily, but there was definitive height, to diameter, to leverage ratios and it explains all that. That might be of use to woodworkers if they have a broken hand crank and want to reproduce a part that is very close to the original, both for aesthetics and to work properly.

    As I said, this book has page after page of old, useful information. I doubt I will be working on steam locomotives anytime soon, so that kind of information is obsolete, but I tell you, if you have questions on old parts, belting, shafting and making old parts, let me know and I will look it up. I can almost guarantee this book has the info you need.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  6. #6
    Travis

    Have you checked on Google Books? A lot of stuff has been scanned, you never know!

    Jay

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    travis, instead of scanning just shoot pics...
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Google books has lots of digitalized out of print books.

    Check this one out.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=4Q8...ztizBg&rview=1

    Randy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    My Grandfather was an old machinist, a railroad machinist at that and liked his books. One such book he managed to keep despite moving several times, have a house fire and all manner of stuff, was a old machinist manual from 1914....
    Travis

    If you will pass along the title to me, I may either have it and can scan it, or have something similar. Although I tend to concentrate on hand tools, I do have a backlog of machinery stuff to get online at some point. Or if someone is looking for a particular something.

    Best
    Gary
    Gary Roberts
    Massachusetts
    Blog: Toolemera Blog
    Web Site: http://toolemera.com/

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