Top critical review
13 people found this helpful
Not that great
on 4 May 2011
I had the impression, prior to buying this book, that it was going to be pretty comprehensive for the kind of tables and lists you would want to look up without leafing through lots of other books. Not so.
It gets carried away with theory (tries to teach logarithms, which I have never used for engineering calculations in 30 years since leaving school), then goes on with pages of log, trig and area-of-circle tables - why, when we all have electronic calculators now. Don't bother looking for anything on common alloys other than a bit on steel (but without recommendations on what they are all for); you'll still have to have a book that outlines common gear calculations as this does not; an odd and antiquated electrical section; vain and dry attempts to teach steam engine theory and the gas laws - pointless - read proper texts about those topics should you ever need to; no foundry information such as melting and pouring temperatures; long-winded instructions on various topics without any diagrams; no ER collet data; no carbide insert data (used for modern cutting tools); 'boiler work' does not mention current compliance standards; the list goes on.
You will find some useful things - screw thread tables, standard tapers, other scattered data.
In general, a modern 'handbook' would have a layout with a lot of break-out boxes and page tabs that make it easy to find granular sets of data, rather than the long narrative discursion which is the dominant style in this book. Tubal Cain I think died before the appearance of those American cop shows that gave us the line "just the facts ma'am, just the facts". Pity, as that's the advice he needed.
Overall a let down - but hey, buy it, its cheap - however it won't be what you look up for the majority of your model engineering 'need a quick answer' questions.