Saturday, September 03, 2011

New edition of Basic Machines and How They Work

cover of the book called Basic Machines and How They Work

Basic Machines and How They Work

It is about time I shared a review of the book Basic Machines and How They Work. This is a new edition published in 2011.

Another oldie...or is it?

This little gem was produced by the Navy in 1965. The line art and vintage black and white photographs make it seem like something written in the 1940s or 50s. The graphics lack a little in style. Let's just call it "retro", because they are still clear and helpful.

The Contents

The book covers the following topics:
  • Levers
  • Block and tackle
  • The wheel and axle
  • The inclined plane and wedge
  • The screw
  • Gears
  • Work
  • Power
  • Force and pressure
  • Hydrostatic and hydraulic machines
  • Machine elements and basic mechanisms
  • Complex machines
  • Internal combustion engine
  • Power trains
  • Basic computer mechanisms

Basic Machines, Yes.

This book is an excellent introduction to basic machines. The Big Five -- levers, block and tackle, the wheel and axle, the incline plane, and the screw -- each gets its own chapter. The chapters include the mathematical formula associated with each machine and work out at least one example problem for each one.

Gears are the subject of chapter 6. The chapter is short, but a good overall introduction to gears types, speed ratios, and mechanical advantage.

Some Simple Physics

The book proceeds into three chapters of basic physics, covering work, power, force, and pressure. These chapters are good...and short. I doubt any automata maker will ever need to work out the math behind a mechanism, but it doesn't hurt to understand such concepts.

Later Chapters: machines

The later chapters deal with topics such as hydraulics and the internal combustion engine. If you want an introduction to these topics, this book does it well.

The Bottom Line: I liked it!

For someone who is curious about the principles behind basic machines, but knows very little, this book is essential. It's very direct, clear, and it covers a great deal in very few pages. A great place to begin your mechanical engineering reading. I learned a lot from it.

There is no doubt that this book -- like one of my other favorites 507 Mechanical Movements -- is a great value for the price.

Here's a link to Amazon's page for Basic Machines and How They Work.

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February 5, 2015 at 3:05 PM  

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