Machinerys Handbook, All you need to know in one book
Machinerys handbook, that where you will find what you need. Thats what I was i was told when I first started training as a draftsman and the same advice still holds true today for CAD drafters, engineers, machinists and anyone else who has to work with iron and steel.
The machinerys handbook is the primary source of information for just about anything related to practical mechanical design. Pipe sizes, manufacturing processes, mathematics , practical stress, strain and deflection tables, conversion factors, geometry and on and on and on.
If you have just one engineering reference book this should be the one you have. Most draftsmen I know keep their copies held together with a big elastic bands because the books are falling apart from constant use.
So popular is the Machinerys Handbook with machinists that toolbox manufacturers still make special drawers in toolboxes specially for storing the book. It's as much a tool to the machinist as a wrench or a reamer.
The handbook has been modernized constantly since its first publication in 1914. The book was typically revised every 4 years and now is available in CD as well as printed versions.
I am not a big fan of the CD version. There is no provision for adjusting font sizes when printing dimension charts and data from the CD. The fonts are as tiny as in the print version, and once you know where the charts are, you can look them up just as fast in the print version.
But of course, thats just my opinion, and my eyes are not what they once were. You may find the CD version works just fine for your purposes.
Many people collect the machinerys handbook because the older versions are a resource for trade skills that are still needed but hard to find. Collectors treasure the books for their information on forging, metalwork and processes like making babbitt bearings.
There is a thriving market for these books on EBay and new ones can often be bought for a good price. For a beginning engineer, machinist or drafter, its not necessary to have the very latest edition, buying a good used 4 or 5 year old book will serve the purpose and cost you a lot less.