|Review by CueballRosendaul||posted 01-14-2013 06:04 PM||3186 views||2 times favorited||6 comments|
Seasoned old Lumberjocks who spend too much time in the shop can easily add and multiply feet and inches in their heads, but for those of us younglings with less experience, or the older ones with sawdust between the ears, the use of a construction calculator speeds things up and reduces the likelihood of making mistakes. Spend your time in the shop making noise and dust, not looking for common denominators by investing in a calculator from calculated industries.
The primary thing I use this for is blueprint takeoffs to enter into the computer for energy calculations. One of the challenges is getting the decimal equivalent of fractional dimensions. For example, 12’4” is not 12.4 to a computer, it’s 12.33. You could use the following chart of decimal equivalents or divide the inches by 12 every time, but the calculator sure makes it faster.
‘1”=.083 2”=.167 3”=.25 4”=.333 5”=.417 6”=.5 7”=.583 8”=.667 9”=.75 10”=.833 11”=.917 12”=1.00
This calculator also has the Pythagorean theorem built in for calculating the diagonal of a right triangle. That function is perfect in the shop for checking squareness. Circles are very simple too, and involve only entering the diameter and hitting the CIRC button to get the area and circumference.
There are a lot of other features that I don’t use, like the metric conversions, weights, stair calculations, rafter and stud spacing and counts.
I paid $40 for this one, but there is a simpler version for about $20. It comes with a rubber case, a dust cover, and a CD with a video tutorial. The lower price calculator works just fine BUT doesn’t have Memory function or a backspace button.
I created a YouTube video demonstrating some of the functions: http://youtu.be/o1TiNSgqM9k
Here’s a link to buy it on Amazon or read more details and reviews: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0008GO6A6/?&tag=g07de-20
Here’s a link to the stand I built for it: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/77247
-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.