Useful Links - Machining

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Information

Books and Manuals - Free

See also:
    • applescotty : Large list of links to many free books.
    • Google Books offers access to millions of books, many of them available for free download.
    • Internet Archive : Huge collection of books, videos, and instructional materials.
    • Open Source Machine Tools : Plans, videos, books, articles, and more; all free.
    • Project Gutenberg "offers over 50,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online."
    • Project Gutenberg Australia : "Because of differences between Australian and United States (where Project Gutenberg is based) copyright law, Project Gutenberg Australia contains many works not available in Project Gutenberg . . .works of authors who died after 31 December 1954 will now not enter the public domain in Australia until at least 1 January 2026. However, all such works which were already public domain under Australian law as of the end of 2004 remain in the public domain, and thus continue to be hosted at Project Gutenberg of Australia."

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Books - Recommended (non-free)

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Calculators, spreadsheets, software (including CAD)

  • Bolt circle
  • CAD (see also Brief Overview of Free CAD Software)
    • CadStd : Lite version is free; Windows only.
    • DoubleCAD XT : Free; Windows only; registration required.
    • DraftSight : [Free] DraftSight lets professional CAD users, students and educators create, edit and view DWG files. DraftSight runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.
    • eMachineShop : [Windows only] "AutoCAD like Software Free Download . . . Design & Order Parts"
    • FreeCAD : [Free] 2D and 3D (parametric modeling); runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.
    • http://www.tracepartsonline.net : Free CAD file downloads.
    • LibreCAD : "LibreCAD is a free Open Source CAD application for Windows, Apple and Linux." Do not confuse LibreCAD with LibreOffice - these are two very different things.
    • LibreOffice (Draw) : LibreOffice Draw is part of the free LibreOffice software suite (runs on Windows, Mac and Linux) . While Draw is not CAD, it can be used as a sort of "CAD-lite" for basic drawings. See my page on CAD Using LibreOffice Draw.
    • NaroCAD : Free, Windows only. "NaroCAD is a fully fledged and extensible 3D parametric modeling CAD application. It is based on OpenCascade."
    • OpenSCAD : [Windows, Mac, Linux]  "OpenSCAD is a software for creating solid 3D CAD models. It is free software and available for Linux/UNIX, Windows and Mac OS X. Unlike most free software for creating 3D models (such as Blender) it does not focus on the artistic aspects of 3D modelling but instead on the CAD aspects."
    • QCAD : "QCAD is a free, open source application for computer aided drafting (CAD) in two dimensions (2D). With QCAD you can create technical drawings such as plans for buildings, interiors, mechanical parts or schematics and diagrams. QCAD works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux."
    • Solid Edge 2D Drafting : [Windows only] "...requires Vista or Windows 7 and now includes the Free Solid Edge Viewer...drawing layout, Goal Seeking, diagramming, and dimensioning. It is fully compliant with ISO, ANSI, BSI, DIN, JIS and UNI, and it's absolutely FREE to download and use."
  • Change gear calculators
    • gizmology : Also includes change gear table
    • Little Machine Shop : " . . .determines the correct change gears for any thread pitch. In some cases, the combination of gears given will produce an approximation of the pitch you need. In these cases the error from the desired pitch is shown."
    • Marv Klotz's Utilities : "a program to select change gears to obtain a desired thread pitch/carriage feed"
    • Spreadsheet : Excel spreadsheet (see also related printable chart).
  • Fonts
  • General
    • Charts and Spradsheets : [On this website] Various charts and spreadsheets I have created; whenever I create a chart or spreadsheet for my own use, I add a download link to this page.
    • Marv Klotz's Utilities : "A [huge] collection of home shop, mathematical and miscellaneous utility freeware."
    • ShopCalc : [Linux and Windows] Written by Richard Sanders. The program can be used in inch and metric. It can be set in different languages. . . make the following calculations: chord, arc and sector; triangles, dovetails, bolt hole circles,  screw threads, dividing head, tap drills, regular polygons, gears ,convert degrees, inch to metric, temperatures.
  • Springs (see also spring winding under Tips and Tricks)
  • Tapping
  • Thermal Expansion
    • Calculate thermal expansion (spreadsheet) : "enables the calculation of the amount of thermal expansion in a material with change in temperature. The spreadsheet enables the selection of material type (iron, aluminum, etc.), the initial length (in mm or inches) and the starting and ending temperature (°F or  °C)."

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Charts and Tables


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Videos and YouTube Channels


Videos :

YouTube Channels

There are many good YouTube channels (as well as other YouTube videos) on machining. Here are some of my favorite channels:

  • Abom79 : "Hello, my name is Adam. Welcome to my home machine shop. I like to take videos of my work and share them with others here. You may find some clips from some of the work I do at my other job as well mixed in. We are a family owned business that was started in 1972, and today I carry on the tradition as a third generation machinist."
  • ClickSpring : "I'm Chris from Clickspring, and I create home machine shop project videos with a focus on clock making. Join me as I make a clock from raw metal stock, as well as a wide selection of tools and jigs for use in the home machine shop."
  • Keith Fenner : "I'm Keith Fenner and this is my Job Shop. Join me as I perform old school repair jobs by drilling, milling, grinding, welding, plasma cutting, broaching and metalworking on a lathe. At Turn Wright Machine Works, we walk the talk and getter done!"
  • Keith Rucker : "This is my channel where I shoot video of some of my favorite things. I enjoy working on and restoring all kinds of vintage machinery - from woodworking machines, metal working machines, old farm equipment, steam engines, and steam locomotives. I spend a lot of my spare time volunteering at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture where I help to restore and keep their machinery up and running."
  • OxToolCo : "The Oxtoolco YouTube channel is an ongoing video journal of a life spent designing and building special tools, instruments, and mechanical devices for the scientific, medical, product development, and metal working industries It is also a place to share and expand skills and techniques among other practitioners."
  • Stefan Gotteswinter : "Manual and cnc machining, a lot of miniature machining, some minor fabrication work and a lot of shopmade tools. Working as a machinist in a prototyping shop I run a cnc router and do CAM work for a living. In my homeshop I can work as slow and inefficient as I want and give some honour back to the old manual machines like the shaper and the pantograph milling machine."

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Other Information

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Materials, Tools, Machines

Ball bearings, gears, chain, etc.

  • Berg : "WM Berg produces and distributes high quality precision gears, sprockets and pulleys, timing belts, roller chains, worm gear boxes, cam followers, breadboard kits, lead screws, hardware fasteners, linear slides, taper pins, spherical bearings, pin hubs, ground shafts, and many more quality precision mechanical components."
  • Boca Bearing : (See "sales" for 99cent bearings.) "Miniature bearings for Industry, Hobby, and Recreation."
  • KHK-USA : ". . . approximately 175 styles of gears in more than 15,000 configurations. . . . KHK USA offers convenient web based shopping, offers free 3D CAD models for download, offers both a free print catalog and the ability to download the catalog in PDF format."
  • MRO Supply : Bearings, bushings, chain, coupling and collars, gears, belts, pulleys, machine tools, and many other items.
  • RC Boyz : "We offer ebay's widest selection of Radio Control Car, Trucks, Airplanes, Boats, and Parts, as well as a wide selection of games & miniatures. We offer the lowest prices and low shipping costs. If you don't see it listed, we would be happy to find it for you."
  • Redhill Precision Specialty Balls : " . . .supplies precise balls made in different materials, including nonstandard diameters. Our assortment includes bearing chrome steel balls , tungsten carbide balls, stainless steel balls, ceramic balls, ruby and sapphire balls, brass and bronze balls, tool steel balls, balls made in special alloys, plastic and glass balls, polishing and grinding media, cylindrical rollers and needles, hybrid bearings and valve balls."
  • PIC Design :  Bearings, Clutches, Brakes, Couplings, Joints, Collars and Clamps,Educational Kits and Precision Tools, Gears, Lead Screws, Linear Motion System Components,Precision Balls,Threaded Rods,Timing Belts, etc.
  • Skatebearings.com : "Our on-line catalog of bearings shows the Miniature, R, 1600, 6000, 6200, 6300, and 5200 series which are imported from China, as well as our special 608ZZ-ABEC bearings designed especially for the rollerblade and skateboarding industries."
  • Surplus Shed : "Expect to find aerial cameras, telescopes, lenses, mirrors, prisms, boresights, borescopes, microscopes, electronic test equipment, beamsplitters, achromats, eyepieces, optical flats, mirror blanks, lens blanks, filters, and other optical and electronic stuff... and all available at a fraction of the original cost! We recently added Jaeger Objectives and thousands of gears."
  • VXB Ball Bearings : "With an efficient business operation and more than million bearing in our warehouse, NationSkander California Corporation has served the industry by supplying all kinds of Ball Bearings."

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Fasteners (screws, bolts, nuts, etc.) -

[See also Model Engineering and Hobbyist Supplies and Machines and tooling - hobbyist and industrial]

  • Albany County Fasteners : "Fasteners in Stainless Steel, Silicon Bronze and Brass. Fast order turnaround and shipping. All items individually packaged and labeled. No minimum order. Free or Low shipping costs by USPS Priority Mail"
  • American Model Engineering Supply : "We are suppliers of fittings, fasteners, supplies and unique tools for the live steam and model engine hobbies."
  • Boltdepot.com : "Nuts and Bolts by the piece, box, or bulk"
  • J.I. Morris Company : "J.I. Morris Company is one of the largest manufacturers of miniature screw, small screw threads in the USA. We make very small screws in both miniature number and UNM (metric) sizes, self-tapping screws, hex nuts, flat washers, turned parts and also tiny precision ground taps and thread gages from stock and to order."
  • Hexcrews : Micro Fasteners - Hobbyists Source - Locknuts - Washers - Machine ... - http://www.microfasteners.com/
  • Metric & Multistandard Components Corp. : "Metric & Multistandard is a wholesale distributor of Metric Fasteners and industrial components. . . Since many of our products are difficult to find locally, we do accept orders from individuals via credit card over the internet."
  • Micro Fasteners : "For many years hobbyists and engineers have relied on Micro Fasteners' inventory of affordably priced socket screws, machine screws, locknuts, washers, sheet metal or self tapping screws, wood screws, other fasteners and related items in U.S. and metric sizes."
  • Mutual Screw & Supply : "We stock Screws, Nuts, Bolts, Washers, Rivets, Threaded Rod, Anchors, Cable Ties, Drill Bits, Screw Driver Insert Bits, Electrical Tape, Duct Tape, Carton Sealing Tape, Foil Tape, Teflon Pipe Tape, Barricade Tape, and Detectable Tape. Fasteners are stocked in Steel, Stainless, Brass, Bronze and Nylon."
  • Palmer Bolt & Supply Co. : ". . . distributor of bolts, hex head cap screws, socket head cap screws, socket set screws, threaded rod, small scews, hex nuts, locknuts, washers, anchors, pins, rivets, drill bits, pipe fittings, tap & dies, and chemicals."
  • R.J. Leahy Co. : ". . .the company supplies a unique combination of copper, brass and nickel silver metals in sheet, wire, tube and rod as well as fasteners: nails, rivets, bolts, screws, washers and much more in stainless, brass, aluminum, silicon bronze, nylon and steel."
  • RTL Fasteners : "....specializing in small size fasteners for Radio Control Pilots, hobbyists, manufacturers, homeowners and more."
  • Spahr Metric, Inc. : "Spahr Metric, Inc. is a Swiss-owned company specializing in the import and distribution of both metric and US sized fasteners and metric steel. "
  • Special Shapes : ". . . specialized brass shapes needed for modeling craftsmen . . ." Also brass screws, washers, and nuts, and aluminum.
  • Toolholder-Fasteners : Screws and other components for indexable insert holders.
  • Wholesale Tools : "Serving the public and industry for 50 years."

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Lapping Compound

  • GessweinDiamond Compound Sets; "Gesswein is the premier brand of finishing stones worldwide.  Gesswein also makes other abrasives, cleaning supplies, power tools including the famous Power Carver for wildfowl carvers, and many other fine tools for jewelers, mold & diemakers, aerospace, medical parts manufacturing, restoration, and all precision industries."
  • richontools.com : See polishing pastes;  "Diamond coated ... TCT tools Resin bonded pads Polishing pastes Diamond thin wall core bits Glass tools Carbide burrs End ..."
  • RioGrande : Diamond Abrasive Compound Kit; "Your source for jewelry making supplies, silver sheet and silver wire, jewelry display and packaging, finished jewelry, great service and technical know-how. Precious metal solders, sterling silver sheet, silver wire and tubing, copper and brass for making jewelry."
  • Timesaver Lapping Compound :

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Machines and tooling - hobbyist and industrial


Note: Previous hobbyist and industrial were separate categories; these have now been combined. Business which are know to cater to hobbyists, or which have been mentioned favorably by hobbyists, are flagged with a *. However, this does not mean that companies which are not flagged are "unfriendly" to hobbyists (it typically just means that they cater to a much broader range of customers).
  • *  AM Tools : Tools for lathes, mills, and measurement.
  • Arthur R. Warner Co. : "Products we provide but are not limited to: annealed blanks, cut-off blades, finished cutting tools, ground flat stock, heat treated blanks, standard and specialty inserts, thin flats, tool bits and our own line of High Speed Steel inserted cutting tools." [HSS inserts, HSS indexable tooling] Note: HSS inserts are also sold by LittleMachineShop.
  • Busy Bee Tools : "We have been serving the Canadian Industry since 1976. With locations coast to coast and a large mail order division, we have all your workshop needs covered and more."
  • CDCO Machinery Corp. : [Free Catalog] Measuring Tools, Cutting Tools, Machine Tool Toolings, All Kinds of Die Maker's Tools, DRO Systems, Miscellaneous Tools, CNC Tooling
  • CME Tools : (Also on Ebay at http://stores.ebay.com/CME-TOOLS/ ) "For over 25 years, CME Tools has been committed to providing our customers with the highest level of customer service and easy access to the finest American-made and imported tooling equipment."
  • *  CTC Tools : [England and US] "We specialize in quality workshop tools & machines at competitive prices for professionals and demanding enthusiasts. Here you will find precision tool holding systems, cutters, setup & measurement tools as well as lathes, milling & drilling machines plus other equipment used in metal working."
  • Enco : [Free catalog], frequently offers free shipping specials. "Since 1940, Enco has been a leading source for quality machinery, cutting tools and industrial supplies at the guaranteed lowest prices anywhere."
  • Grizzly Industrial, Inc. : "We have the widest product selection under one brand in the world and we sell direct to the user, cutting out the dealer network, and resulting in lower prices to you"
  • Harbor Freight : "At Harbor Freight Tools you'll find one of the largest selections of brand-name discount tools, including hand tools, power tools...anything that fits into your tool box, and bigger equipment too!"
  • JTS Machinery and Supply Co. : "Products include everything from cutting tools, carbide tooling, power tools, measuring instruments, shop supplies, reference books, shop machinery, and much more."
  • KBC Tools and Machinery : [Free catalog]
  • KMS Tools and Equipment :
  • *  LatheMaster : "Mini Lathes  Hobby Mini Lathes  Bench top Mini Lathes  Mini Milling Machines  Rotary Tables 5C  Collet Chucks Mini Lathe Chucks  Mini Lathe Collets  Micrometers Dial Indicators  Mini Lathe Cutting Tools "
  • *  Little Machine Shop : "We stock every part for the mini lathes, mini mills, and micro mills from LittleMachineShop.com, ToolsNow (Cummins), Grizzly, Harbor Freight, Homier, and Micro-Mark. LittleMachineShop.com has brought together all the tools, accessories, and replacement parts a bench top machinist needs."
  • McMaster-Carr : "Over 490,000 products"
  • Mesa Tools : "Mesa Tool designs and manufactures machine tools for the machinist with durability and simplicity in mind. . . . Boring Bars, Boring Head Attachments, Carbide Inserts, Threading Tools and Turning Tools."
  • Metal Lathe Accessories : ". . . kits are available for those who like to machine their own tooling at a greatly reduced cost, and who at the same time like to work with quality materials." Kits include steady resy, ball turning toolpost, quick change toolpost, diesel engine, and many more.
  • MSC Industrial Supply Co. : "Since 1941, MSC has set the industry standard for quality, selection and customer service. More than half century later, our dedication to these standards has made us one of the nation's leading distributors of metalworking & MRO industrial supplies, with over 500,000 products."
  • MonsterJaws : "US manufacturer of high quality jaws for the metalworking industry." Steel and aluminum vise jaws, chuck jaws, jaw nuts and t-nuts.
  • *  Ramblin' Dan's Store : " . . .formerly The Hobbyist Machine Store, located in Frisco, Texas USA, was established in 2006 to supply the needs of any hobbyist or crafts-person needing small high quality machine tools to fulfill their skills and ambitions. Our emphasis is on small, as in model building and craft hobbies which are located in the typical home environment or home workshop."
  • Reid Supply Co. : [Free Catalog] ". . .knobs, handles, hand wheels, clamps, tooling components, fasteners, hardware and much more..." [Also: gears, bearings, belts, chains, motors.]
  • SDP/SI - Stock Drive Products/Sterling Instruments : "Mechanical components produced and distributed at SDP/SI are timing belts, pulleys, sprockets, couplings, universal joints, fasteners, gearmotors, sintered bearings, precision ball bearings, precision gears – ground spur gears, helical gears, miter gears, bevel gears, internal gears, rack and pinion and precision gearheads."
  • Shars Tool : "Abrasive, File, Deburring & Diamond Tooling · Cutting Tools · Hand & Power"
  • Surplus Center : "[Free catalog] Pneumatics, electrical, automotive, hydraulics, power transmission, water pumps, wheels, casters, winches, miscellaneous.
  • Surplus Shed : "Expect to find aerial cameras, telescopes, lenses, mirrors, prisms, boresights, borescopes, microscopes, electronic test equipment, beamsplitters, achromats, eyepieces, optical flats, mirror blanks, lens blanks, filters, and other optical and electronic stuff... and all available at a fraction of the original cost! We recently added Jaeger Objectives and thousands of gears."
  • Travers Tool Co. : "Our Mission is to be the preferred supplier to metalworking and industrial markets worldwide. We accomplish this by offering a comprehensive selection of products . . "
  • Tools4Cheap : "My name is Jeff Beck and I own Tools4cheap LLC... All products are hand selected or custom designed by me. In addition to common machine tooling Tools4cheap specializes in hard to find tooling for Bridgeport Mills and South Bend , Logan , Atlas Lathes. "
  • *  Victor Machinery : "Since 1918, Victor Machinery has supplied tools to enable you to get the most out of your Lathe, Milling Machine, Drill Press, Grinder, or Band Saw. . . We serve hobbyists, scientists, maintenance and repair workers, the military, as well as automotive workers, machine shops and manufacturers."
  • Wholesale Tools : "Serving the public and industry for 50 years."
  • Xcelite : "Screwdrivers, Nutdrivers, Pliers, Cutters & Tool Kits."
  • Zoro Tools : "[Free catalog] ". . .offering more than 400,000 great products at super low prices. . . Free UPS ground shipping on orders of $50 or more."

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Metals [Now including sources for Australia, New Zealand, US, and UK.]

[For some metals cost comparisons, see this link.]
  • Australia
    • EziMetal : "...we provide a wide range of steel and related products, including: Aluminium: Tube, Bar, Sheet, Tread Plate, Propellor Plate
       Bar Products: Angle, Round Bar, Flat Bar, Square Bar & Deformed Bar; Duragal profile: Flat, Angle & Channel...[and more]."
    • Hobby and Engineering Supplies Online : "Hobby and Engineering Supplies is located in Capalaba West (Brisbane Southside) Australia. . .We stock a wide variety of parts for all types of applications including remote control, helicopters, planes, cars, rock crawlers, assortment kits, roller bearings, thrust bearings, ceramic and ceramic hybrid bearings, stainless steel bearings, shafting, pulleys, belts and adhesives used by hobbyists and engineers alike."
    • Hobby Mechanics : "We are a company based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, which has been supplying the needs of Model Engineers for over 25 years.
      Our major products are Machine Tools and Accessories . . . [including raw metals]."
    • offcuts.galore : "Based in Australia, offcuts.galore has been an eBay member since 02 Aug, 2004." Aluminum, steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, delrin, teflon, etc.
  • New Zealand
    • Atlas Steels : Acquired by Wakefield Metals - see below.
    • Trade Tools : Key, shim, and silver steels. "Providing Cutting and Hand Tool solutions . . ."
    • M.B.M Model Engineering Supplies : "B.A. Nuts & Bolts • Snap Head Rivets • Miniature Steam Fittings Complete Steam Casting Kits • Gas-fires Miniature Boiler Kits; Stainless Steel & Brass Rods • Phosphor Bronze cut to length"
    • Ulrich Aluminium : "Aluminium Castings, Extrusions, Decorative Metals, Extruded Aluminium Bends - Fabricated Aluminium - Fasteners - Machinery, Tekna - Marine Products - Sheet, Plate & Rollformed Aluminium - Welding Products " and more.
    • Wakefield Metals : Aluminium, brass, copper, stainless, zinc, engineering bar, precision tube, and fasteners.
  • United Kingdom
    • Arenastock : "We stock aluminium, stainless steel, brass, bronze, copper, and black & bright steel in all of the most popular sizes. All stock is held on site and cut to size, meaning in most cases we can deliver on the next working day."
    • College Engineering Supply : "We supply an extensive range of useful castings together with materials e.g. Cast Iron, Brass, Phosphor Bronze, Aluminium and other Non Ferrous Metals, Plastics, Easy Cutting Foam, Waxes, etc."
    • Mallard Metal Packs Ltd : "The company was formed in 2001 to service the requirements of classic car/motorcycle restorers, model engineers, and other small quantity users. Our services include: Worldwide shipping - Fast Delivery; No minimum order"
    • M-Machine Metals & Engineering : ". . .we offer a huge range of engineering materials from stock. Our experienced crafts-men and our fully equipped workshops can help with any engineered component and we have a massive stock of Imperial and Metric fasteners from which to choose.. .take a look around our new website - there are lots of things to find with pictures of current projects, machining movies and information on heat treatment with material grades and lots more."
    • Noggin End Metals : "Shop online - Aluminium, Brass, Bronze, Cast Iron, Copper, Engineering Plastics, Gilding Metal, Graphite, Nickel Silver, Stainless Steel,  Steel, Titanium"
    • RDG Tools : Cast iron, aluminium, silver steel.
  • United States

Note: Some of the companies listed under Machines and tooling - hobbyist and industrial also sell raw materials (metals, plastics, etc.). These include Enco, Mcmaster-Carr, and others.

    • Aluminum plate, cast: http://www.sandsmachine.com/alumweb.htm ; remnants at low prices
    • Aluminum 6061 : [6061dude on Ebay] Mostly 6061 aluminum, some tooling.
    • Amazon Supply (Small Parts Inc.) : Look under "Materials"
    • Cut2SizeMetals.com : "From our midwest supply & metals depot in southern Indiana, we offer speedy metals shipments to all 50 states. You can specify your metal by the inch, or order full sheets and lengths."
    • DiscountSteel.com : "Discount Steel is known for having the largest in-stock product selection locally and online.  We specialize in both small and large quantity orders, with no minimums . . ."
    • Dura-Bar : Cast iron bar stock; good source of information on types of cast iron. Does not sell direct but has a list of re-sellers.
    • Exact Metals : Steel, brass, aluminum, delrin.
    • Farmer’s Copper Ltd. : ". . .copper, brass, bronze and other metal alloys."
    • Hobby Metal Kits : Aluminum, brass, carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron, tool steel.
    • Industrial Metal Sales : Free shipping on all orders over $150. No minimum order. Alloys, Aluminum, Brass, Bronze, Carbon Steel, Copper, Stainless Steel, Titanium, Nickel, Invar 36.
    • Metalliferous : "Metalliferous is a full-service, fully-stocked supplier of metal, tools, and supplies to jewelers, beaders, crafters, hobbyists, metalworkers, sculptors, and everyone else interested in metalworking and jewelry."
    • MetalsDepot : "MetalsDepot, the retail division of Ledford Steel Company was established in 1999 to fill the ever-growing need of a reliable "Small Quantity Metals" supplier throughout the United States. Our concentration is to provide a wide selection of metal, in smaller quantities, with no minimum orders, and fast shipping."
    • Metal Supermarkets : "Metal Supermarkets is the World's largest supplier of small quantity metals. . . Over 8,000 Metal Products, Shapes and Grades"
    • Online Metals : "The Web's superstore for small quantity metal orders welcomes you to explore exceptional metals sales and service from metal buyer's guides, to metal project ideas. At OnlineMetals.com, no order is too small for our high standards."
    • R.J. Leahy Co. : ". . .the company supplies a unique combination of copper, brass and nickel silver metals in sheet, wire, tube and rod as well as fasteners: nails, rivets, bolts, screws, washers and much more in stainless, brass, aluminum, silicon bronze, nylon and steel."
    • Sands Machine : "We sell only Cast Aluminum Tool and Jig Plate. . . This is a remnant (a piece left over from a 21" diameter ball bearing that we manufacture). . .mostly Mic-6 . . ."
    • Schupan : I include this supplier because they are located near me. If you live near one of their warehouses (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Northern Kentucky), shopping in the "boneyard" (remnants and cut-offs) can provide big savings. Online shopping is also available via a "quote" process. Available: Aluminum, brass, copper, bronze, plastics, stainless steel.
    • Speedy Metals : "Over 5,000 Grades, Shapes and Sizes . . . Absolutely, Positively, no minimum orders !!!"

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Metal finishing (blueing, anodizing, powder painting, plating, etc.)

  • Birchwood Casey : Blueing and metal finishing "Since 1948, serious shooters, avid collectors and professional gunsmiths have relied on Birchwood Casey for shooting and gun care products that have stood the test of time. From legendary Tru-Oil® Gun Stock Finish and Perma Blue® Liquid Gun Blue to revolutionary Shoot•N•C® Targets, Birchwood Casey has pioneered innovative products with an unwavering dedication for quality."
  • Brownells.com : Blueing and metal finishing  "Factory parts from fifteen of the industry’s leading firearms manufacturers. Rifle, shotgun, and handgun parts, tools & accessories. Bluing & refinishing materials. Books, videos, & references. Sights, scopes, & mounts And much more."
  • Caswell Inc. : "Caswell Inc. supplies a complete range of plating kits including chrome, gold, nickel, copper, brass and many more. Caswell Inc. also sells aluminum anodizing kits, powder coating systems, metal polishing and buffing supplies and accessories."

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Model engineering and hobbyist supplies (including engine kits, castings, etc.)

  • American Model Engineering Supply  : "Our purpose is to provide a line of goods for those building live steam locomotives, stationary engines, both steam and internal combustion as well as other miniature machinery."
  • Coles' Power Models : "Plans, Nuts, Bolts, Piston Rings, Small Tools, Spark Plugs, Whistles, Lubricators, Pressure Gauges, and Much Much More!!!"
  • Metalliferous : "Metalliferous is a full-service, fully-stocked supplier of metal, tools, and supplies to jewelers, beaders, crafters, hobbyists, metalworkers, sculptors, and everyone else interested in metalworking and jewelry."
  • Myers Engine Works : "We produce several scale model casting kits of antique Steam and Stirling cycle engines of the past. "
  • Reeves Model Engineering 2000 : [Note: located in England] "The World's Largest Stockists of Model Engineering Supplies"
  • Small Parts, Inc. : (Now part of Amazon Supply) Huge variety of parts, materials, fasteners, lab stuff. etc.
  • Scale Hardware : "Since 2008 we have been providing hobbyists and engineers worldwide with the highest quality miniature fasteners and accessories."
  • Special Shapes : ". . . specialized brass shapes needed for modeling craftsmen . . ." Also brass screws, washers, and nuts, and aluminum.
  • S/S Machine & Engineering : IC Model engine ignitions system and related parts.
  • Think & Tinker (PreciseBits.com) : "Think & Tinker designs, develops, and manufactures application-specific solid carbide micro-tools for working hardwoods, plastics, metals, and reconstituted minerals: Drill Bits, End Mills, PCB Router Bits, 3D Carving Tools ,PCB Mechanical Etching Bits"

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O-rings, Piston Rings, Split rings

[See also "O-rings" under Other Information above for related information on using o-rings.]
  • DeBolt Machine : "We manufacture limited edition working models and engines. Our goal is to produce unusual and unique models that replicate the originals on a miniature scale and still remain fully functional." Also sells cast iron piston rings and some other engine components.
  • O-ring Warehouse : "We sell standard size O-rings made from the seven most widely used compounds. A Material Selection Guide is available for download." Also sells teflon split backups (split rings).

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Plastics

  • Amazon Supply (Small Parts Inc.) : Look under "Materials"
  • Boedeker Plastics, Inc. : Plastic sheet, rod, tube, and machined parts. Lots of technical information on this site, as well as tips for machining plastics.
  • Online Metals : Don't let the company name fool you - they also carry plastics.
  • TAP Plastics : "We cut acrylic sheets to the size and shape you need. We carry many hard to find industrial plastics. Our fabrication shops can turn your ideas into reality."
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Soldering, brazing, etc.

  • Harris Products - "The Harris Products Group is a world leader in metal working products used in the brazing, soldering, welding, cutting and gas distribution industries."
  • Rio Grande : Jewelry making supplier with a large variety of silver soldering supplies as well as related information.
  • SRA Soldering Products - silver solder and more.

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  • Springs
    • Lee Spring : "22,000+ products available, plus custom products made to your specifications. In Stock springs ready to ship. FREE Grinding on all Standard Stock Springs. FREE CAD downloads. And Much More..." Note: Minimum order quantity of 10, and kind of pricey for small quantities.
  • Wire
    • Wire, cloth covered: Sundial Wire : "We currently have cotton-covered wire in seven colors and rayon-covered wire in seven colors, and we are constantly adding new colors in both cotton and rayon. We carry gauges from 22-gauge up to 12-gauge."
    • Wire, magnet: Paramount Wire Co. : (got to the link and choose Magnet Wire from the menu) " . . choose from 12 through 32 gauge. Please note that the wire you receive will be either red, green, or natural colored magnet wire in either single or heavy build."

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Websites


Websites - forums, bbs, aggregation, etc.

  • 7x10minimathe - Home Machinist's Roundtable : "Owners of the small metal minilathes marketed by Harbor Freight, Grizzly, etc. can trade tips here along with general discussion of other home workshop machining tools and techniques. There is a fair amount of off topic banter on subjects of interest to the hobbyists that gather here."
  • 7x12minilathe [ON-TOPIC POSTS ONLY!] : "Topics Include: Homier, Grizzly, Harbor Freight, Einhell, Micromark brands of 7x10, 7x12, 7x14, 7x16, 8x12 mini lathes, metal turning, machinists, CNC, lathe and tooling modification, projects, tips, hints, and tricks for the mini lathes. Beginners and experts welcome! If you want to learn about machining metal on a lathe, this is the group you've been looking for."
  • Florida Association of Model Engineers : " . . . topics related to model engine building of all types."
  • Home Machine Shop : An eclectic collection.
  • HomeMadeTools.net : "HomemadeTools.net is an encyclopedia of 23,674 homemade tools. We find homemade tools across numerous forums, and organize them in one place, always with full credit to the original builder and site. HomemadeTools.net is updated multiple times daily with new homemade tools."
  • Home Metal Shop Club : "The Home Metal Shop Club has brought together metal workers from all over the Southeast Texas area since its founding by John Korman in 1996.
    Our members' interests include Model Engineering, Casting, Blacksmithing, Gunsmithing, Sheet Metal Fabrication, Robotics, CNC, Welding, Metal Art, and others."
  • Home Shop Machinist and Machinist's Workshop : "This forum reserved for your comments and discussion about anything pertaining to our magazines or machining and metalworking in general. It's a place for feedback, idea exchange, criticism, kudos, sharing your expertise, your hobby or virtually anything else that other home shop machinists would be interested in."
  • Home Shop Tech : Nice collection of how-to articles for the home shop, shop tips and tricks, and tutorials for lathe and mill.
  • Home Metal Shop Club : "Since its founding by John Korman in 1996, the Home Metal Shop Club has brought together metal workers from all over the Southeast Texas area."
  • http://www.machinistblog.com/ : Plans, projects and how-to's for home machinists
  • Metal Web News : "These pages are written and posted entirely by volunteers. You are invited and encouraged to send information covering projects you have completed or are working on. We need how to articles, describing in detail and accompanied by photographs and/or drawings if at all possible."
  • Micro-Machine-Shop : "This site has over 85 web pages containing 2658 different annotated photographs, 70 animations, plus 325 reference documents on metal machining tools, tooling, modifications, methods, & projects."
  • Model Engine Maker : "A Global Community of Model Engine Machinists"
  • Model Engineer Support Page : "This site aims to provide the model engineer with information on Workshop and Modelling Topics." Include Projects, Tips, Techniques, Drawings, Experimental
  • Model Engineer's Workshop : "Model Engineers' Workshop is a relative newcomer, first published in 1990. It is much more concerned with machines, both manual and CNC, tools, methods and processes. Historically, it does not include articles on the construction of models. It usually contains drawings for the construction of a machine, a tool or a machine accessory."
  • www.metalillness.com : Machine Shop Talk, Projects, and Pictures; CNC/Robotics/Computer/CAD/Automation; Machine and Tool Manuals, Books, and Videos; Lathes, Milling Machines, Shapers, and Sheet Metal tools; MIG/TIG/Stick/Oxy-Acetylene Welding and cutting; Machine and tool Reviews

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Websites - link sites

  • CNCCookbook: Software and Information for CNC Machinists : "CNC Resources, Groups & Organizations, Reference Data, Suppliers, Individuals, Books, Tool Brands, Free CNC Software, Machinist's Dictionary"
  • Free Web Plans : Downloadable palns in PDF format for lathe and mill tools, lathe building, furnace making, tubing bender, bending brake, and more.
  • Machinist-Materials : Links to businesses.
  • MadModder : "This is a place for those who like to build, craft or modify anything (and everything!) can gather and discuss. I want this to be a place that fosters ideas and learning... plus a good place to show off your talents and skills."
  • Metal Working Resources : "Here is a hodge-podge collection of helpful metal working links, organized by resources, related associations, and companies that in some way contribute to the well being of the industry."
  • Pat's Big List Of Metalwork Links : Huge list of links.
  • ScrapMetalJunkie.com : Collecting and identifying scrap metal.

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Websites - people

  • Dean's Home Shop Machining Projects : Making tools for lathe and mill, shop built engines, how-tos.
  • GadgetBuilder's 7X12 MiniLathe and Little Workshop : Huge site of tools, mods, and much more.
  • Harold Hall : Tools, methods, engines, and much more.  ". . . a major portion of it is devoted to metal working activities carried out predominantly in a home metalworking workshop. The reason being that it is mainly for the interest of readers of the Model Engineers' Workshop magazine, of which I was editor . . . and have since written in all but a few issues up to issue 178 (July 2011), now retired. Non readers of the magazine who have a metalworking interest will also find much of this content of interest."
  • Frank Ford - HOME SHOP TECH Articles : Huge number of articles on lathes, milling, tools, tips. etc.
  • mikesworkshop : "This website charts my journey from being a newbie through to the present time."
  • mini-lathe.com : "Your source for information on the 7x10, 7x12, 7x14 and 7x16 mini-lathes"
  • Mini-Lathe Workshop : This site contains useful tools for Mini/Small-Lathe and Small-Milling Machines.
  • Model Engineer's Support Page : Very good site, but no longer maintained. The link is to an archive location.
  • Projects in Metal : "Free Project Plans, Tips, and Tricks for the Amateur Machinist"
  • Rick Sparber's Web Site : [Includes plans in PDF foramt] Mill Attachments, Projects that Illustrate Technique, Measurement Instruments and Technique, Mill Technique, Horizontal/Vertical Band Saw, Lathe Attachments, Lathe Technique, Bench Work, Software Tools, Shaper, Welding, Alibre Computer Aided Design Software
  • Richards' Machine Shop : Site no longer maintained; the link is to an archive location.
  • ShopSwarf : Lots of useful information on gears, gages, mills, procedures, and much more.
  • Start Model Engineering : "A friendly place full of model engineering help & advice for beginners"
  • Steve Bedair's 9 x 20 Lathe Site : "As with most  imported machines the 9 x 20 is not out of the create ready but with some cleaning, adjusting , and a few
     modifications the 9 x 20 can be a welcome addition to any workshop."
  • Steve's Toolworks : "Wherever possible I re-use old 'scrap' for projects."
  • Tool and Die Guy : Chart, tools, and how-tos from a guy with 35 years of experience.
  • Tools and Mods : Ralph Patterson plans and much more.
  • Ty's HF 7x10 Mini Lathe Page : Links, hints, repairs, articles, drawings, projects, reference.
  • wrathall.com : Various 7x12 minilathe improvements, CNC stuff, and more.


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Home machining

Boilers (for model steam engines)

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Engines: plans, kits, etc.

  • J.E. Howell Model Engine Plans : "We are the world's largest catalog of quality plans for model stirling engines, atmospheric engines, gas engines, and other model engineering projects."
  • Boyd's Tin Can Stirlings: "Tin can stirling engines, walking beam stirling engines, hot air engines, stirling  plans, hot air engine plans, Stirling engine plans,
    external combustion engine, Stirling plans, hot air engine plans, Stirling Walking Beam Engine. . ."
  • Downriver Tools : " . . . home to the fine line of steam engine plans and kits manufactured by Historic Models and Reproductions."  Also, ". . . we specialize in producing plan sets and kits to convert Bench-Top and Tool Room lathes into production turret lathes. . . to assist machinists needing quantities of duplicate parts but who cannot justify the large financial commitment to CNC or automatic screw machine platforms. . . Whether you are a specialty manufacturer, inventor, or hobbyist, we have a tool design to suit your needs."
  • Ford's First Engine : Henry Ford built a simple gasoline engine in 1893; plans for a replica of this engine are on sale here.
  • Graham Industries : Kits: "My name is Robert Graham and I started Graham Industries in 1991. Graham Industries is a home based business that I operate as well as work at my full time job. I work as a CNC machinist and programmer for an electronics manufacturing firm, and have done so for the past 18 years. We are introducing new kits all the time so check back with us from time to time."
  • Hit and Miss Engine - free plans (David Kerzel)
  • Jan Ridders - Stirling, Vacuum, and Combustion Engines [plans provided via email request]
  • John-Tom : "The largest collection of free Steam Engine Plans on the web - Build a Steam Engine at Home or make a small steam generator"
  • JRBentleycom : Model engines - some great pictures, but no plans
  • Liney Machine : "We design and build quality air and steam powered engines for the sake of their beauty as a machine. . . Liney Machines offers complete technical drawings for all our engines, as well as kits containing all the metal stock and hardware you will need to machine your own."
  • Martin Model and Pattern : "Martin Model & Pattern (MM&P) exists to provide Industry and Hobby alike with the best quality patterns and castings." Engine kits, machine tool kits, flywheels.
  • McCabe : "Free plans for small piston-type heat engines. . . Excellent for engineering and physics students. Also suitable for hobby or research purposes. Several of the models are designed to be built only with hand tools."
  • Otto Gas Engine Works : Good source for piston rings.
  • PM Research Inc. : "Working Model Steam Engine & Machine Tool Kits, Model Supplies and Finished Model Hot Air & Stirling Cycle Engines. With 28 Different Working Model Kits In Stock At All Times"
  • Popular Mechanics steam engine (Part 1) : Good beginner engine (Part 2 is a boiler for the engine)
  • Popular Mechanics Pollywog :  (1933) model outboard racer, twin cylinder oscillating steam engine with boiler
  • Popular Mechanics : (1938) "A Candle Runs this Engine"
  • stirlingbuilder.com/: "This site is full of resources for students, hobbyists, and small engine enthusiasts who wish to make their own Stirling Engines from simple materials and without expensive machine tools."
  • Upshur Engine Works - [archived link] Gasoline engine plans, $10 per set of plans [2012]
  • Weber Precision : V8 and turbine engines : "This site has been developed to promote the hobby of model engineering, I would just like more people to know what can be built with a lathe and milling machine."

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Lathe mods

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Lathe tools and Accessories (building)

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Mill mods (Mini-mill modifications)

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Milling tools and accessories (building)


  • Bandsaw, portable
  • Broaches (see also "Keyway cutting" under Lathe tools)
  • Cams
  • Piston Rings
  • Toys (stuff to make just for fun)
    • Bolt Puzzles
      • Captive nut : This is also sometimes called the "impossible bolt" (and probably other names as well.
      • Captive nut : A build log by Frank Ford showing how to make this classic.
      • Hollow Spy Bolt : A bolt with a secret hidden compartment. These instructions can be much improved, but the article will give you the general idea.
      • Homemade Puzzles : Three bolt puzzles (including one similar to the "sneaky Puzzle" below.
      • Mechanical Puzzles : Various bolt puzzles, some fairly elaborate.
      • Sneaky Puzzle for a Machinist : "If it is made right, and you hold the hex head, the nut will only screw on! If you hold the thread end it, will only unscrew!"
    • Burr Puzzles
      • Aluminum Burr Puzzle : "Burr puzzles can be learned about on their Wikipedia page. I printed a copy of the #305 image off that page to use a drawing, no dimensions necessary due the modular nature of these puzzles."
    • Captive ring : Picture only for this one, along with some interesting discussion.
    • Dodecahedron : Make a dodecahedron on a lathe.
    • Dominos, Mill-Spec : Dominos made from aluminum (anodized black).
    • Finger Engine : NAMES finger engine plans (see it in action). Other names for this: thumb engine, thumb fun engine, treadle engine, treadle finger engine
    • Fire Piston
      • Fire piston : "A fire piston, sometimes called a fire syringe or a slam rod fire starter, is a device of ancient origin which is used to kindle fire. [Wikipedia]"
      • Fire piston plans : Plans from "Clickspring" in both inch and metric.
    • Gyroscope
    • Hollow coin : Discussion on how to make a hollow coin.
    • Impossible Dovetail : [Video] "In this video I machine my version of the "Impossible" Dovetail. This is a popular woodworking project, that I learned about from watching Jack Houweling on his YouTube channel." Plans for this project are for sale here ($3 as of 12/31/2015).
    • Interlocking rings : This video shows how to mill interlocking rings.
    • Kentucky Do-Nothing : A three-slider version of the Do-Nothing Maching" - now you can do nothing even faster!
    • Newton's Cradle : ". . .a simple and well-known device with what the law of "conservation of momentum" can be demonstrated which is based on Newton's third law: action = reaction . . "
    • Two headed coin : Discussion on how to do this; also includes method for making a "trick nickel."
    • Two-Slider : Sometimes called "the do nothing machine."

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Tips and Tricks

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Why these links?

With Google and other search engines available, what is the point of this page of links? While searching the Internet is certainly worthwhile, sometimes a search returns too much information; for example, if you get a list of hundreds of metals suppliers, how do you know which ones cater to hobbyists, and which ones require you to buy by the ton? The links on these pages are based on discussions and recommendations from various machinist groups and forums on the Internet. Of course this does not mean that in all cases the information or vendors in these links are reliable, but it does mean that the links have passed a basic test of usefulness. As always, take all the information you find here with a grain of salt, and always use your best judgment in evaluating and using this information.

In short, I have done my best to act as a good editor - to sift through the many links to a topic in order to select those which are most useful and most informative. This page will always be a work in progress, so if you see something missing on this visit, you may find it on your next visit. And by all means, please use the comments to suggest links.

Notes:

  • I am not affiliated with any of the vendors listed here. I do not vouch for or guarantee any of the information listed here.
  • Where a link is followed by information is quotes, that information is taken from the relevant web page and represent the web owners opinion of themselves.
  • Some links on this page may apply to multiple categories. In such cases, the link is put under one "primary" category. It is recommend that you use the page search function of your browser to search this page for relevant terms.

Why one big page?

You may be asking yourself, why is all this stuff on one big web page, instead of multiple web pages - one for each category. The reason I did it this way is so that you can use the search function of your web browser to search for specific terms in all of the categories at once.

About dead links

In some cases I have found useful links which point to web pages that no longer exist. In such cases, it is sometimes still possible to find the (still useful) information on various archive sites. When a link on this page is known to be dead, the original link is flagged as a dead link, and an archive link is also shown. For more information of finding archived links, look here:

1. Google cache

Google stores cache copies of many web pages, You can access these pages by prefacing the link with http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:

For example, to view the cache copy of http://example.com/ use http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://example.com/

2. Internet Archive: Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine store multiple snapshots of web pages from 1996 to a few month ago.

A quick and easy way to use these capabilities is to install the CacheIt! extension for the Firefox web browser (there may be similar extensions for other browsers, but I have not researched this).

3. There are other options available, but I have found the 1. and 2.  above most useful.
[Keywords: links, repairs, mods, books, reference, fastener, nut, bolt, screw, metric, chemical, bearing, lapping, adhesive, glue, tools, tooling, cnc, wire, bending, minilathe, mill, gears]

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