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CNC Trade Secrets

A Guide to CNC Machine Shop Practices

CNC Trade Secrets
A Guide to CNC Machine Shop Practices

James Harvey


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CNC Trade Secrets is from the author of the bestselling and universally praised Machine Shop Trade Secrets. This new manual does for CNC machining what the first book did for conventional machining.


With this guide to proven CNC machine shop practices, you will be producing machine parts faster, with fewer errors, and with less labor. You’ll discover that you don’t have to know “everything there is to know” to make parts on CNC machines ─ just as, for example, you don’t have to know everything about Microsoft Word to write a letter. Whether you are a shop owner, machinist, designer, or hobbyist, you will find yourself referring to this manual again and again.   



  • Includes over 100 4-color photos throughout
  • Easy-to-read steps for going from print to part using CAD/CAM equipment
  • Useful techniques for holding and machining parts using CNC machines
  • Ways to unravel the mysteries of using G-code
  • Ways to avoid “Crashing”
  • 3D CNC milling basics
  • What CNC machines can and cannot do
  • Solidworks® challenges to improve your modeling skills
  • Ideas for how engineers and designers can help machinists get the job done
  • A potpourri of practical and proven machining tips and tricks  

    James Harvey is a full-time machinist and plastic mold maker. He has made his living working in shops across the U.S. for nearly 40 years. His no-nonsense approach to listing machining rules-of-thumb is an unprecedented, effective way to share this valuable knowledge.


    • Introduction
    • Proper Planning             
    • Get a Grip
    • Avoiding Crashes 
    • Chamfering and Edge Dressing
    • More Help for Engineers
    • Becoming Familiar with CAD
    • Becoming Familiar with CAM
    • Becoming Familiar with Code
    • Fire Up a Machine
    • Odds and Ends
    • Index