Jon, this sounds like the perfect complement to Machinery's Handbook. I wonder if they have an app for that, though. I tend to use my laptop to view drawings and access the internet while doing projects. One has to be careful. I probably should get a ruggedized one. This might also be a good app for a tablet, or phone with a larger screen.
I don't know if someone has created a Machinery's Handbook app. I love the paper version and refer to it often, The Machinist Calc Pro is quite a nice device. I'm still learning about many capabilities. The instruction manual includes many helpful examples. Happy Holidays.
I have a machine shop too, and also enjoy the cutting oil, machine, metal smells. But, I am starting to wonder if these smells are degrading my lung capacity over time. Those aren't natural scents
Even though my smartphone could run apps that does everything the calculator can, I don't like to take my cell into the shop. Oil and debris gets everywhere, and my phone is the last place I want to see it. This calculator, I would feel more comfortable having in the shop. I already have several small calcs out there covered in grim. However, at $70-80 dollars for the Calc Pro, I may have to pass for now. If it was more like $20, I'd consider it.
My giant, and free, drill chart on the wall has everything needed from tapping. Can't beat that price.
I have one of those wall charts, too, Cabe. A while ago a company called "Small Parts" printed the chart and either sold it or gave it away. Sadly, they no longer offer it but people can find others. I recomment having a local office-supply store or Kinkos/Fedex or the UPS Store nearby laminate such charts. That way they resist oil, dirt, and swarf.
The chart is that coveted when I should laminate it? It's about 3 feet by 2 feet or so. I actually have a few of them. I used to use the printed hand reference ones. I will have to see who made the bigger ones originally.
I rarely ever bother with feed calculations, except for threading. Even then my manual and CNC lathe both have automated options for doing the task. Out of curiosity, how often do you need to make speed calculations?
My chart is about 2 by 3 feet and laminating it at the local UPS Store cost about $3. I make feed calculations for most projects. I have a mini-lathe and a small Unimat. I suggested to the Calculates Industries people that a built-in tachometer might be useful in a new design. My lathe and mill don't have a digital control of RPMs.
If I have enough experience with the tools and materials I am cutting, I can usually guess close enough. However, it is easy to waste a lot of time cutting too slow, and/or burn up tools by missing the surface footage on the high side.
From my experience, people tend to use too low of feeds and speeds on carbide tools, and too high of speeds on high speed steel tools. People who are used to the feeds and speeds for HSS tend to be afraid to run the speeds and feeds that carbide wants to run at. After you run carbide for a while it is easy to accidentally push HSS tools too hard and burn them up.
Is this the end for standalone devices? The consensus I see in this thread says everyone prefers the smartphone/tablet app over the Machinist Calc pro. This reminds me of a pocket golf ball finder device that would let you look through a screen to find the ball hidden in the grass. It used a few filters to remove the green color, if I recall. That immediately went to the smartphone.
Having all references in one spot is the way to go, I am afraid.
Cabe, single-use devices will always rule when they are clearly superior. Take as an analogy a Swiss Army Knife or a Leatherman. Having fifteen different tools in a single device that fits in your pocket can be mighty handy, but one will always reach for a real Phillips head screwdriver for continuous use, or a much larger knife when it's time for serious cutting.
The thing about smart-phones is, they ARE superior in many cases to the single-use tool. My Galaxy Note phone makes a terrific GPS when driving, so I don't really need a single-function one. I'm quite satisfied with it as a music device, so I don't really need a stand-alone MP3 player.
I use it as a camera frequently, but DO have a single-function camera for really good quality pictures.
In the case of the Machinist Calc Pro, the smart phones offer most if not all of the functions, as well as doing all the rest of the things.
Where the Machinist Calc Pro MUST shine in order to become popular is ruggedness (other readers commented they would not risk a smart phone in their shop environment) and lower price. The cost of the Machinist Calc Pro is almost high enough to not be worth it.
This is great but I would prefer the UI of an app. I don't like grime on my phone either, but usually try to keep clean enough not to have it. It's so cool that machinery's handbook has an app!! As for feeds and speeds our engineers, who do the programs, ALWAYS calculate them. When you are programming $M machines with expensive tooling and making costly parts it is a must. Of course the guys on the machines often do their 'tweaks' that shorten tooling lives...I find that most of the time people run too low of chip loads. Usually if there is chatter the feed should be increased, not decreased. Once you start playing with both the spindle speed and the feed you had better get a calculator out.
I probably need to get into the 20th century (not to mention the 21st century.) I have a Machinist's Handbook as well as a host of single sheets with various feed rates, drill and tap combinations, conversions, etc etc. in my work shop now. The device you mention in your blog would greatly facilitate finding information. I have discovered my grandsons are "engineers in training" and often "co-op" my charts and books when working in the shop. Amazing how the kids take to things of this nature and we always have a project in the works. I'm like most guys in that everything has a place and everything in its place—except when they are working. Great information and thank you for the site.
My contact at Calculated Industries sent along the following information, which should help people interested in apps for their smart phones and computers:
"An Android app is available now, $19.95 at Android Market (or wherever you go nowadays – Google Play?) and an iOS version should be ready end of January and a downloadable PC version end of February."
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