Best calculator for woodworking

Page 2 of 2  
mp wrote:

Only the cardboard versions from Burger King.
Barry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My personal experience is that I make a lot fewer errors with the metric system. If a measuring device cannot do metric - I won't buy it now. (taste isn't disputable.)
I bought a calculator that does fractions - that eases it a bit -- but it is too easy to have a momentary lapse and mess up when converting everything into a common base. I really got the calculator because it does simultaneous equations - but I really don't need that too often for woodworking...
Now having said that... The simplest way with fractions is to convert everything into the same base - 16th's 32'nds 64th's as appropriate and do the arithmetic that way. That way you can do it quickly in your head or with paper scraps.
Much of this calculation though is due to the fact that most plans are badly laid out -- not to drafting or engineering standards. (This is understandable since most of use are "hobbyists" lovers of the art - not drafting technicians or engineers.) So the easiest thing to do is review all the plans - establish a single common reference baseline and related points for measurements and pencil in all the variations and measurements before starting. Anytime I don't do this it's good for a few laughs or a minor wood cutting tragedy.
A related note: Beware of plans that were "drawn" by an artist. I did a couple of "simple" projects before Christmas. Only to discover that an "artist" had "drawn" the plans -- they were what he thought he saw. Unfortunately the pieces I traced all depended on meeting along a common line of reference... When I reviewed the accompanying photos and compared them to the Plans -- I mean "drawings disguised as plans" actually -- there was clearly only a cursory relationship. I was in a hurry - had never used any of his "plans" before and since the items were "so simple" - I just dived in. Several hours of corrections later I looked back... I won't even mention the name of the guy who authors all those bandsaw books - but he knows who he is. Since that accident I have been a lot more critical of the plans in my woodworking library and discovered many errors - and corrected them in case I use the idea in the future. Since I change dimensions and techniques in almost every project I had not caught many of these errors before. But when I reviewed everything I had built, sources of confusion quickly became obvious since I was now looking for them.
One other note. Not everyone realizes that calculators may be precise - but not always accurate. If you do a lot of "small angle" taper cuts - say less than 10 degrees, the calculator may or may not switch to a better algorithm for working out the sin, cos tan and inverses. Some of the formulae used may be quite inaccurate at very low degree offsets - so if you work out the Cosine or Sine from rise, run and Hypotenuse or the tangent from rise and run lengths - and then convert to degrees so you can set a saw or a taper gauge - you may get a surprise at fitting time. The better calculators now have very accurate tables embedded and interpolate to get "in between values" -- all thanks to shrinking chip sizes.
Ok Cyrille - you got your plug - I got my rant - Good Deal! And HP does make great stuff - use lots.
Leon wrote:

--
Will
Occasional Techno-geek
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Feh. Taste is extemely disputable. But are you cool enough to coolly support your arguments? That interests me.

I want to work with fractions because I want to appeal to the "old school Americans" that relate to their fathers (read "WW2 vets") that have now borrowed their way into financial security. Plus, get to work with w00d. crazeeworld.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon wrote:

I would love to switch to metric, but since every bit and scale that I own (including on large machines) is imperial, it would be a tough switch. It addition, I can visualize the length of an imperial measurement MUCH better than a metric length. I know how much 5" is, but to look at a piece of wood and say "12 cm", I can't do it without looking at it in inches and mutiplying it by 2.54. At that point, I'm better off with imperial.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tue, Feb 1, 2005, 3:45pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@hp.com (cyrilledebrbisson) burbled: Hello, I found the best calculator for woodworking <snip>
Amazing. Me too. I call it paper, pencil, brain.
JOAT The first method of estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him. - Niccolo Machiavelli
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote in

Ditto that. Nothing wrong with a pencil on a scrap of wood.
A pencil makes you slow down and think about what you're trying to do.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wed, Feb 2, 2005, 6:00am (EST+5) n snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (NatePerkins) says: Ditto that. Nothing wrong with a pencil on a scrap of wood. A pencil makes you slow down and think about what you're trying to do.
Yup. I use those inexpensive plastic Pentel type mechanical pencils. Get 5 or 6 for just $1-2. Great, no sharpening, line always the same size.
I've heard they wear out real fast, but I found out they carry spare leads, and when they stop working, just put in one of the spares, and it works again.
JOAT The first method of estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him. - Niccolo Machiavelli
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote in

I use the Cadillac version. I think they cost $2 apiece.

Yep.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 01 Feb 2005 15:45:40 GMT, "cyrille de brbisson"

I used the Calculated Industries Construction Master series of handhelds for years and found them to be very good.
I currently use their Pro Desktop Printer model, which has nice fat keys and letters, which are easier on my challenged peepers.
One of its best features is the ability to work in mixed units of measurement transparently.
We often buy vinyl film, sold in linear meters, which has a useful net width that we measure in inches, and we need the final number in square feet.
15 LM x 53.2 INCHES = 20.2692 SQUARE METERS / CONVERT TO FEET / 218.1759 SQUARE FEET.
It is also the case that I will need to know the weight of this much vinyl, for shipping cost estimation purposes.
The unit will allow me to set and maintain constants, so that I don't need to remember or look up conversion factors.
It is also handy for the conversion of decimal units to fractions.
Our CAD people work in decimals, because it is more accurate than working in fractions but it is often useful to communicate these measurements to others in fractions.
I believe the fractions can be set down to 1/64 increments on this model.
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 (webpage)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Tom Watson" wrote in message

<snip>
Mine is the Construction Master IV ... I misuse it frequently.
You may have to interpolate on some fraction calculations, but it does the job well.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A pencil does it for me, but when I have enough calculations to warrant it:
Excel will do fractions.
Format | cells | Select the number tab | Fraction | As sixteenths (or your favorite denominator)
-Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.