Gingery Machine Shop---Opinions??

Pooh BearSeptember 27, 2004

What do ya'll think of the Gingery Machine Shop books.

They are about making your own lathe, shaper, mill, etc.

All out of scrap aluminum that you melt down.

Gingery Machine Shop Books

I have this whole set. Very interesting, fairly well written.

I have a lot of books from Lindsay Books.

Great source for ideas and old technology.

I would love to have a lathe, mill, and shaper.

But there is no way I can ever afford any of these.

Making my own would be a fun project.

Pooh Bear

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Can you buy (or rent) patterns for the major castings, or do you have to make all your own patterns? Also, don't you need the machines you plan to build to finish the castings?

I recall much more time being spent finishing the castings on lathes, mills, drill presses, etc., than was spent in the foundary in high school and college metal shop.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2004 at 12:21PM
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Pooh Bear

Yes, you have to build your own patterns.
No problem for me since I have a complete woodworking shop.

Each machine has to be built in order. The lathe is first.
The lathe is done with hand finishing.
Then the lathe is used to finish the next machine.
Then those two machines are used to finish the next machine.
And so on.......

Still seems like a lot of metal melting to do.
And I think it would be hard to find that much quality aluminum alloy.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   September 27, 2004 at 12:37PM
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Many folks online have done these. I'd say the shaper and mill are worth it, since those machines are hard to get, but I wouldn't do the lathe. After a great deal of effort and time, you end up with an odd lathe that has no resale value and can't do threading. A basic $350 import or larger used Atlas of similar cost can do a whole lot more.

Getting aluminum isn't that hard. Wheels and car parts are cheap and decent quality.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2004 at 8:43PM
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I built the Gingery lathe and made a few of the patterns for the shaper though did not complete it. Educational value aside, I'm not sure I would do it again. It was very time-consuming and the completed machine is prone to chatter and is suitable only for very light duty. Back gears and a heavier bed would help but would require some re-designing, and you still can't do threading with it. One of the later books in the series covers making a set of threading gears but you will need the mill to make them. As far as the drill press is concerned, they can be bought nowadays for about what one would cost to build.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2004 at 12:42AM
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Hi Bear
I would not try to make the lathe unless you want a lot of time consuming work. Take a piece of iron or steel and try filing on it. The problem with making a Gingery machine as I see it is the use of aluminum alloy in place of steel.

You can get a small lathe/mill from Grizzly Machine for about $900.00. Then you have something that has some resale value. With Christmas coming you could get a Christmas job and then buy something that is good.You could then try your hand at making a lathe and the rest of Gingery machines.

I worked at Sears over Christmas to get my BIG items for my shop. I also got to buy items from Sears at a discount.

Good Luck bill

    Bookmark   November 18, 2004 at 8:03PM
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