Woodworking for the math impaired

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Blog entry by LucyLaforest posted 08-14-2011 04:25 AM 1078 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this but, I am absolutely no good at math which is of course not a good thing in woodworking. So, I made an iPhone app for myself called “Shop Math.” The name says it all, it’s not fancy – in fact the first thing my 16 yr old nephew said when he saw it was “Can I redo the graphics?” What the heck, may as well let him have at it. Still, it was intended to be functional, pretty would just be a bonus. If any of you are iPhone, iPad, Ipod users please go try it out, it’s free just search for it by name.
If you have suggestions for improvement just post a comment.

-- Lucy,

9 comments so far

View joey bealis's profile

joey bealis

177 posts in 2535 days

#1 posted 08-14-2011 04:27 AM

I wish i could use a iphone where i live but im stuck with a Blackberry. AT&t just will not work here.


View MGW's profile


38 posts in 2525 days

#2 posted 08-14-2011 04:43 AM

Downloaded it last week on my iPad. Thanks for making this!

-- Michael, North Carolina -- Whittling away the time making fine lumber into perfect fire stove fuel.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18293 posts in 3705 days

#3 posted 08-14-2011 07:01 AM

AT&T doesn’t work most places. We have 3 cell towers within a mile with 2 of them with in 300 yards. Guess what, AT&T won’t work here either ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Gary Roberts's profile

Gary Roberts

140 posts in 3051 days

#4 posted 08-14-2011 08:03 AM

I too stink at math. Never finished HS algebra but somehow they graduated me way back then.

I cheat (for an American) and use metric. It’s a lot easier than figuring out fractions and percentages!

-- Gary Roberts,

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3127 days

#5 posted 08-14-2011 02:27 PM

I was marginal at math, until I learned AutoCad.
Best way to “cheat” and much faster than figuring calculations. Just draw the the lines you need and ask for the lengths, circles, tangency’s etc.

Learn basic sketchup and you’re good to go.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10548 posts in 3457 days

#6 posted 08-14-2011 02:53 PM

Somewhere out there in the woodworking world there must be measuring devices that read in tenths of inches.
I’ve seen machinist’s rules that do it, but is there a 6 or 12 foot tape?
Or, I guess changing to metric would work, too.
I really try hard to not “measure” anything with a rule or tape. Sticks and cut to fit seems to work for me.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View LucyLaforest's profile


2 posts in 2507 days

#7 posted 08-15-2011 12:14 AM

I had a friend visiting once who is a welder. I asked him about making an arched gate for my yard and he started calculating “Pi.” I just stared at him and decided to make a wooden gate because I could just stick a pencil on the end of a stick and draw the arch. If it requires “Pi,” it’s likely too good for me. The wood gate looks very nice and certainly does the job.

-- Lucy,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18293 posts in 3705 days

#8 posted 08-15-2011 02:20 AM

Cummon’ Fractions were invented to keep you mentally sharp ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2704 days

#9 posted 08-15-2011 05:19 AM

They do make tape measures that measure in tenths. One thing I have and will never have a second is a tape measure that has metric on one side and inches on the other. Never realized how much I used both sides of a tape. DUH?? I don’t want another of those. They also make calculators that work in common fractions. In my line of work before retirement we made all our drawings in decimal fractions. I learned to convert common fractions to decimal fractions. It came pretty easy for me. I do remember numbers better than I remember names though. LOL…. I used a measuring scale that measured in tenths. I think it had 50th’s on it. You get pretty good with those.

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