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Machine Shop Trade Secrets, 2nd Edition

A Guide to Manufacturing Machine Shop Practices

Machine Shop Trade Secrets, 2nd Edition
A Guide to Manufacturing Machine Shop Practices

James A. Harvey


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What readers are saying about this best-selling book:

"This is the first book I recommend for those who want to improve their machining skills."

—Paul Hudson, Senior Tooling Engineer, Hi-Tech Rubber, Anaheim, CA


"This manual is destined to be an essential aid to students seeking high-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector." 

—Mike Paul, Applications Engineer, Haas Automation, Inc.


"I needed to learn machining for projects at work, and this book has helped me improve the speed with which I make parts as well as the overall quality. It has paid for itself many times over by now. "

—Amazon reviewer



Written by an experienced machinist and plastic injection mold maker, Machine Shop Trade Secrets, 2nd Edition is a groundbreaking manual that helps users think and produce like experienced machinists. The popular book provides practical “how-to” information that can immediately be put to use to improve ones machining skills, craftsmanship, and productivity. It is sure to be used and referred to time and again.


Users will discover ways to ... Work faster. Select, make, and grind cutters. Surface grind blocks, pins and shapes. Cut threads, knurl parts and eliminate warp. Choose realistic feeds, speeds and depths of cut. Remove broken taps, drill bits and other hardware. Apply proven CNC techniques to maximize output. Improve surface finishes and hold tighter tolerances. Assist engineers with design and manufacturing issues. Improve indicating skills and develop a “feel” for machining.



  • Now includes 4-color photos throughout.
  • Features a reformatted layout which fully integrates the text and photos to make the book more accessible.
  • Chapter 15, "The Incredible CNC," has been greated expanded and completely updated to reflect advances since the previous edition.
  • Most chapters now have easy-to-use tables summarizing all of the tips, suggestions, and secrets from that chapter; enabling readers to see in a glance the detailed topics covered.

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.


  • Work Fast. Get it Right
  • Do it the Easy Way
  • Make ‘Em Look Good
  • Help for Novices
  • More Shop Talk
  • The Cutter Caper
  • Threads and Things
  • Help for Engineers
  • Rotary Table Magic
  • Taming Warp
  • Be Square
  • Mold Making Tips
  • Get Your Grinder Goin’
  • The Incredible CNC
  • Shop Math Wizardry
  • Odds and Ends
  • Tell Me Something I Don’t Know
  • Appendix 1: Project Drawings
  • Appendix 2: Chapter 16 Solutions
  • Appendix 3: More Trade Secrets
  • Index