The paper recapitulates the method of analyzing stability against chatter of machine tools as it has been practised by one of the authors for many years. Several new features of the method are presented and, mainly, comments are given on the use of shock excitation for determining both the receptances of the structure and its mode shapes. The method itself consists of comparing results of cutting tests and of excitation tests for various directional orientations of the cut in the structure and of identifying the contribution of the individual modes to the resulting degree of stability.

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