Old School problem solving – when the Internet is not enough.

I had questions recently about a couple of projects here at Winn Mfg. I needed to do the calculations to come up with the developed length for a bending job that I am sending out, because Winn Mfg. doesn’t have bending equipment and I needed the dimensions for the V groove on a “B” size pulley. I needed to identify it so that I could order the correct replacement. I started both of these “research” problems on Google. Very quickly I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to find the information I needed right away. The bending formulas were on the internet, but the format was not the way I remembered it from trade school and there is almost nothing on the internet to tell you how the measure a V-groove on a pulley.

It was about that time that I saw my 20th Edition of the Machinery’s Handbook (Copyright -1975, which I bought new) sitting in the corner of my desk. Within about 10 minutes I had the bending formulas that I vaguely remembered and the standard method of measurement for the pitch diameter of the V-Groove of a “B” size pulley groove. Both problems were solved within a few minutes of picking up this 42 year old reference book.

I also have the 23rd and 26th Editions of this very valuable reference book and I use all three of them. What happens though is, we all just use the internet for so many things now, that you simply forget how to do things any other way. I never would have used the internet as a source to research say the pitch diameter of a thread or for a keyway depth, because my handbook just about opens to these pages when I pick it up.

My 20th edition of the Machinery’s Handbook is 2482 pages (because it has the special metric thread section) and there aren’t many times that I haven’t found the information I need in it. Maybe I need to go back to this book as my first research tool, just like I did 42 years ago!