I am an information junkie. When it comes to anything I’m interested in, I want to know everything about it. I’m constantly on the search for new information, new ways to learn things, the history behind how this became that and why it works that way. So I’m always on the search for cheap or free ways to get my hands on that info, which is one of the reasons I spend so much time scouring and searching the web. For an information junkie, it is the promised land.
Recently, I’ve come across a huge stash of old books in PDF format, that I believe provide a huge amount of insight and knowledge to the backyard, do it yourself bike builder. These books cover things like Oxy Acetylene welding, metal casting, the use of specific handtools and much more. The books are old - from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, which you might think makes them outdated - I think it makes them even cooler. While time, and technology may have evolved new techniques, possibly even better techniques - it does not make the methods that were done in the past any less effective. Having recently returned from Europe and being surrounded by homes and buildings that have been standing for 400+ years reinforced that belief in me. Just because methods and practices may have evolved, doesn’t mean the old way of doing things was wrong - it also doesn’t always mean the new way of doing things is better. But that discussion is for another day (or the comments section of this post…)
Part of the fun of learning something is being able to share it with someone who has the same passion for it as you do. So over the course of the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting these books to the site so that you can download them yourself. Hopefully you’ll learn something from them, maybe it will even help you solve a problem or figure out a better way to do something with your current build - if nothing less, I think you’d find it an interesting read from a historic prospective.
So the first book up is an old ditty from 1918 - Oxy-Acetylene Welding Practice by Robert Kehl. As the title pages says its “A practical presentation of the modern processes of welding, cutting and lead burning, with special attention to welding technique for steel, cast iron, aluminum, copper, and brass.” Bitchin.
And it’s all yours for free - just click the thumbnail below to download the PDF.
Be on the look out for more books to be posted in the coming weeks.