Although what I describe on my pages has worked for me do not take that for an endorsement. Just because it worked for me doesn't mean that it is the only way to do something, or even that it is the correct way. Metal melting, metal casting, gas burners, power equipment, grinders, and other workshop equipment are all potentially DANGEROUS.

I strongly urge anyone interested in these hobbies to familiarize themselves with all the associated dangers and take the proper safety precautions.

The shop pages describe some of my equipment as well as some of the projects I've built. The useful formulas below may come in handy.


Here I plan to make available for download free software that I find useful around the shop.
BeamBoy v2.2 (1.90 MB)
BeamBoy is a utility for calculating engineering stress and deflection in structural beams and shafts. A great freeware program. If you have the Visual Basic runtime files you can download the executable (628 KB) file only. You may also download this directly from the authors website. The author's website seems to be done so if anyone knows where it is now located please let me know.
Convert v4.10 (156 KB)
Convert is an easy to use unit conversion program that will convert the most popular units of distance, temperature, volume, time, speed, mass, power, density, pressure, energy and many others, including the ability to create custom conversions! May also be downloaded from the authors website.
ME Consultant v2.0 (500 KB)
A freeware collection of powerful, interactive machining calculators and data tables packaged inside a graphical interface. Calculators include detailed machining (mill, drill, turn), drill depth, volume, weight, and surface finish. Data tables include screw thread (extensive), drill chart, center drill, and hardness conversion. Inch and metric data are supported. Detailed User Guide.
ME Threads v1.0 (212 KB)
A database which provides instant access to detailed dimensional information for 192 screw threads from the following widely-used types - UNC, UNF, UNEF, UNJ, ACME, NPT, and ISO (metric). Large library of tap drill sizes combined with percent-of-engagement values is far superior to conventional drill/tap chart. Inch/metric toggle.

Useful Formula

Find tap drill sizes (NC/NF inch and ISO metric sizes)

major diameter - thread pitch = tap drill size
where thread pitch = 1 / threads per inch (tpi)

example A - 1 1/6" - 8 tpi
1 1/16 - (1/8) =1.062 - 0.125 = 0.937 tap drill

example B - M38.5-1.5
38.5 - 1.5 = M37 tap drill

Find tap drill sizes (with different thread engagement)

The above examples are for 75% thread, for thread engagement other than this
substitute the desired percentage for the 75% in the formulas below

major diameter - ((1.299 x 0.75) / tpi) = tap drill (inch)
major diameter - (1.082 x pitch x .75) = tap drill (metric)

Find Screw Diameter

Screw Diameter (inch)= (Screw Number * 13+60)/1000
example #8 screw diameter = (8*13+60)/1000=0.164"

Find Finger Ring ID

Ring ID(inch) = 0.032 * Ring Size + 0.458
example #10 ring ID = 0.032*10+0.458=0.778"

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