Sunday, March 1, 2009

free machine shop instructional videos

MIT TechTV has created a series of ten instructional videos for all the common tools and machines in a metal shop, including drill press, grinders, belt sanders, lathe, milling machine, and more. The videos include both basic and more advanced skills and "shop tips" including layout, hole location, how to tram the head or square the vise of a mill, safety techniques for how to hold work against a belt sander without losing flesh, and much more.

The shop shown is the prototyping shop for MITs Robotics Department.

You need not own machine tools to derive useful knowledge from these videos. There are basic concepts within which apply to metal working of all sorts, although obviously some methods will not be available to you unless you have access to a machine shop. (and by the way, you do - crap, I am out of time and late for work, but there is a public techie shop club opening locally - more on that later)

If you have ever stared at the mill in my shop and wondered what in hell all those knobs and levers do, one or two of these videos will tell you. The instructor assumes nearly zero knowledge of metal working. He seems to assume that a student will know how to turn a wrench and not much more. Each video is about 40 minutes long and emphasizes that MIT has more money than Gomez for their machine shop. Ahem.

The videos are Creative Commons licensed. You can download each one in the upper right corner of its page. Both FLV and WMV formats are provided. For some reason I haven't bothered to determine, the WMV labeled files will save as ______.avi when in fact they ARE .wmv files. So if you don't want to deal with FLV files (which are larger files anyway, unless you transcode them) then just rename the '.avi' files as '.wmv', or transcode the Windows Media Video format to whatever you like.

Once I have all of them downloaded, I will be combining all of them onto either CDs or a DVD - probably the latter - and if I get really ambitious, I might make up an HTML page with a description of each file. We'll see. The frame format is small, so these will be better suited for watching on a computer than a TV. I do not plan to make a DVD player compatible video disk.

1 comment:

Gordon Schumacher said...

Mm. Trying to decide whether the "ooh shiny, cool info" or the "aack, no space no tools must not tear out hair it wouldn't help!" would dominate in my head...