It’s that time of year for people to pack their bags and go back to school! But education isn’t limited to kids. Are you looking to teach a novice how to machine? Are you a novice who is looking to learn how to machine? Perhaps your kids are starting to reach the age where you want to introduce them to machining, and you want to build interest? If so, check out these resources and brush up on your skills!
Given that we are Online Metals, we’re focusing on online resources. If you’ve got the money and time, community colleges (we’re big fans of South Seattle College) or trade schools are the way to go. They provide the best quality of education. But we understand that not everybody has the money, time, or desire to go that deep. So, with all of these things in mind, let’s rock and roll.
We’ve gathered a list of resources here for you to use, and we hope they are useful!
YouTube is a bit of an odd place, a mixed bag of pure treasure and pure sewage. Fortunately for you, we’ve suffered through a lot of that garbage so that you don’t have to! Here is a list of some of our favorite machining channels.
Channels for technical information
This is one of my favorites. Seriously, I watch this even when I’m not at work.
This is because the host, Chris, is a very talented machinist and clockmaker. His videos are informative, easy to follow, and often break down complex steps into simple instructions.
Also, as a history nerd, I particularly enjoy this channel because he remakes a lot of old machines. Specifically, Chris has a multi part series where he shows, step-by-step, how he is building a reproduction Antikythera Mechanism. Which, in case you haven’t heard of it, was an amazingly complex mechanical computer built by the ancient Greeks over 2,000 years ago and used to model their understanding of the Cosmos.
As somebody who loves metalworking, complex machinery, and history, I can’t recommend this channel enough.
This channel is run by a machinist and toolmaker named Tom Lipton. He’s built all sorts of strange and highly specialized equipment over the years. In his channel, he shows how he makes thing, including mistakes, while providing advice and instruction.
Tony’s videos are kind of quirky and funny. But the man knows his stuff and shows you how to excel in machining.
Keith is a professional machinist with decades of experience. He is full of great information and experience. Also, Keith has worked on just about every kind of project you can imagine.
This channel is a bit different from the others in this section. Specifically, it revolves around how to use a CNC machine and become a master of that. John, the channel creator, is unflaggingly optimistic and positive. Also, he provides informative and easy to follow videos, which is always great!
The name basically says it all. Do you have questions about welding? If so, these guys have a lot of information.
Between Weld.com and Welding Tips and Tricks, you have a gold mine of information about welding at your fingertips!
Channels for fun and inspiration
Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame runs this thoroughly entertaining channel. While often lighter on the technical knowledge, Adam builds all sorts of fun and wacky things for your amusement and inspiration.
This definitely falls under the “do not try at home” category. Colin apparently wants to be a real-life comic book mad scientist and builds the gear to show it. In his channel he shows how he builds his outlandish and dangerous contraptions. My personal favorite is the hovercycle that he builds and flies around on. Purely for fun and inspiration rather than actual machining advice, this channel is a riot.
These folks are all about taking things and reusing them for unintended purposes. They have great projects, instructions, and a vocal and helpful community. I also think their Jolly Roger-esque skull and crosswrenches emblem is great.
We love Make Magazine. They have a seemingly endless list of projects and step by step instructions on how to make them. These range from the fun and whimsical to practical. Make is also big on promoting upcycling and reducing waste, which is always great! They also have some great articles about machining for people looking to learn more.
We hope that these resources provide great help in your machining education! If you have any resources that you find useful, let us know.