Hitachi Seiki Made Some Brilliant Machines

Hitachi Seiki Made Some Brilliant Machines

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Hitachi Seiki made some amazing machines many of them are still around. Read about one that I recently trained on and the typos in the manual.

I have pondered for a while about writing this article because what triggered it was a miss print. Actually I don’t know what you call it. Maybe a translation error. If you read to the end you’ll see why.

This article is purely frivolous so if you are seeking CNC Programming knowledge there’s not much. (Except for the bit about the Hitachi Seiki machines)

Read one of my other articles which are crammed with useful programming tips and information.

CNC Programming

Are You a Self Taught at CNC Programming?

It is very common now a days to be self taught in CNC Programming. I don’t have a problem with this because really I fall into the same category.

The problem seems to be with some people is that once they get everything running enough to satisfy the boss they stop learning and look no further.

The thing with me is that while my contemporaries were reading the Daily Mail reinforcing their racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynistic views, I spent my time reading the boring shitty old manuals.

This in turn gave me knowledge that I could use in later life to charge people much inflated prices for CNC Training.

These manuals really were absolute dog shite in terms of the way they were written.

I mean they were full of mistakes and misspelt words and even the smallest thing took ages to understand. Fuck knows why I persevered and learnt, but I did.

Remember there was no YouTube no TicTok not even an Internet. Platform shoes were mandatory even the mullet hadn’t been invented yet.

I still do it to this day, read manuals that is.

Do what?

I just love Machine Manuals, my house is full of them. In the fridge, behind the cooker in the toilet, stuffed up the drainpipes.

My wife told me off for using my mobile phone whilst sat on the toilet. Anyway I have stopped that and now I take machine manuals into the toilet not a mobile phone.

Being made of very thin paper means you can wipe your arse on the health and safety bits at the front of the manual should you run out of lavatory paper. You certainly can’t do that with a mobile phone can you now?

As a young boy my grandmother taught me a valuable lesson when it comes to toilet hygiene and protocol.

“Grandma” I said “I don’t think you washed your hands after going to the toilet”

“David” she replied indignantly “your grandma does not get her hands dirty when she uses the toilet”

My grandmother forever the pragmatist.

Back to Manuals

I often say to my customers, as they are throwing me out “I just read the boring shit in the manuals that you can’t be arsed to read”

Obviously I’m not going to encourage you to read the manuals as I may never work again. No, no you carry on the way you are.

Rolls Royce 1971

I remember in the 1970’s I got my first motorcycle a Honda CB 160. I loved that bike but managed to crash it and write it off within a couple of months of buying it.

I think it was the only time in my life I ever saved money.

Sixty five pounds and eight shillings I saved. This represented months and months of mowing lawns, selling petrol and babysitting as well as looking after tropical fish whilst the owners were on holiday.

Oh and if I had time left I delivered green fruit with Rod the green fruit man. I also tried some male prostitution which I was no good at on account of me being an ugly bastard and I was way too shy ever approach anyone.

Anyway this money meant I could put a deposit down on the beast below.

Courtesy of Angus Dykman.

Honda CB 160 this very kind guy Angus Dykman allowed me to use his picture. Please visit his website (click picture above) he has loads of interesting motor cycles.

Couldn’t you just lick this picture? So nice. And feel free to lick your laptop.

Let me start by telling you I am one of those rare men who admits to being a shit driver.

At the time I was serving my apprenticeship at Rolls Royce and all my mates had British bikes like Triumph’s, BSA’s and Norton’s.

They took the piss out of me quite a lot for having a Japanese motor cycle,  calling it a “Sewing Machine” and “a piece of Japanese shite”.

Political correctness had not been invented so “sewing machine” was a common place word. None of us were very articulate and our vocabularies were minimalistic. We had all learnt to swear but were not too good at filling in the gaps in between the expletives.

Also bear in mind we hadn’t long beaten the Japanese in a world war so I think we were allowed to say nasty stuff about them. At least for a while anyway.

Every night after finishing work all the apprentices would descend on the car-park where our prize machines were situated. Most of theirs would have a pool of oil big enough to threaten local wildlife. Oh and did I mention the kick start.

The kick start for my younger readers was a lever you pushed down with your foot. This turned over the engine and hopefully it burst into life.

Should your engine backfire the lever would kick back and could catapult the rider through the nearest plate glass window. The lucky ones got away with a broken ankle which once plastered up could be fully functional again in six months.

Now my bike had electric start this was a button, no kicking involved. Oh and the crank case was cut horizontally making oil leaks a thing of the past.

From where our motorcycles were parked to the end of the car park drive was about half a mile.

We usually raced one another to the end of this drive. This was a race I did not need to win because most of them couldn’t stop when they got to the end. This was due to their ancient braking systems not being able to cope in a drag race.


For my younger readers a drag race has nothing to do with men dressing in women’s clothes and donning makeup and wigs.

As much as I like men dressed in women’s clothes and wearing makeup and wigs, in those days it was a race between cars on a flat track competing to run a quarter of a mile in the fastest time.

My Honda CB 160 hosted what was known as “twin leading shoe front brakes” which meant it could stop quickly. I mean not by todays standards but it certainly didn’t mean I would end up in a blithering heap of crap on the main road in front of the Rolls Royce car park.

The truth was this was the beginning of the end of the golden age of British Motorcycles. Years of underinvestment meant they were easy to catch up and overtake.

The Japanese perfected the many British innovations that never really took off.

  • Overhead camshaft.
  • Shaft drive.
  • Engine integral with the frame.
  • Electric start.
  • Platform shoes and flared trousers.
  • Sushi

It’s ironic to think that in later years Triumph motorcycle were reborn and probably copied the Japanese motorcycles and improved on them.

Anyway the only reason why I mentioned my Honda CB160 was that it had some hilarious misspelt words in the workshop manual.

Always eat healthy kids

Sorry my mind is a bit random today.

Hitachi Seiki CNC Programming

Hitachi Seiki

I’ll get to the point in a minute, but anyway I got to train my victims on one of these very recently.

What a pleasure it was these machines were awesome when they came out, I’m guessing early 90’s. I had the pleasure of training on them then and now years later they come around again.

The tool changer is amazing. You have a turret as usual but round the back there are loads more tools (12 I think). What a pleasant surprise!

It is a bit complicated to do a tool change. All tools are numbered so you have a table that tells you where each one is.

The tool change command is a six digit number. The first two are what turret station you want it in. The second two are the number of the tool you want. The last two are the offset.


This would get tool 23 and put it in station one in the turret.

These Hitachi Seiki machines were bloody expensive in the nineties but anyone with the bollocks and the cash to buy one would have made some serious parts.

This control was I think Hitach Seiki’s own called “Secos”. It was and still is a pleasure to use.

  • Easy program copy
  • Very easy cut copy and paste.
  • Poor graphics but better than most.
  • Decent size memory, in it’s day.
  • Ability to create programme templates and use them when creating new code.
  • Ability to use both sides of a grooving tool (width stored in offsets) no double offsets needed here. Just an H storing the width.

The Manual The Manual What about the Manual

I have been called childish by a lot of my readers and I’m afraid it’s true, I’m also about to confirm it so off you go if you don’t like it.

Now if you have got this far reading this article, you’re either having a really boring day or just as childish as me.

For any young person reading, your mum was wrong when she said “It’s not clever to swear”

It actually is clever to swear and also can be really very funny.

Anyway this is what I fell upon whilst reading the Hitachi Seiki manuals.

Hitachi Seiki

Read on it gets better.

Nothing prepared me for this. My mouth fell open at this next one.

This Is Not a Joke, Contains foul Language and Tigers


Warning if you don’t want to know what the “C” word is STOP HERE.


Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hah.

This really was and is in the Hitachi Seiki manual. It is also proof that no one ever reads the manuals. One of these manuals probably contains the third secret of Fátima and there’s only me reading them. (Thick readers may have to google that one), go on no one is checking your search history.

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