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Bridge City Tool Works For the past twenty-five years we have been producing innovative and impeccably crafted heirloom tools for serious woodworkers and collectors worldwide. Made in America, all of our tools are produced in limited numbers and with minimal care should continue to inspire your children's children. I believe the look, feel and accuracy of each Bridge City tool will always influence you to do your best work. Quality is contagious. Regards, John Economaki President & Founder

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Old 03-22-2011, 10:10 PM
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Default The AMP app for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

The AMP app

The short version:

Buy this app. It will be the best $5 you ever spent.

The long version:
The original Angle Master Pro (AMP) from Bridge City Tool Works came with a book. The book contained tables for converting from a linear measurement on the AMP calipers to an angle. It also contained tables for calculating rise and run from an angle, the angle to cut if you’re making a closed vessel with a given number of segments, and compound miter angles for closed vessels.

A book. Now I’ll admit to not being the neatest woodworker (okay – or anything else), but books in my shop are generally covered in sawdust and have footprints on them.

But you need something to convert from the caliper output to something useable, right? In a very impressive marriage of woodworking tool and modern technology, John Economaki came up with the AMP app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. You can check out the details on John’s blog: http://www.bridgecitytools.com/blog/...on-by-section/ (and other posts).

Even if you don’t buy an AMPv2, you’ll find this app useful. I’ve seen long discussions on woodworking forums about how to calculate compound miters – probably the most difficult cut to make accurately. And also one of the most obvious if done inaccurately. Want to make a column that has a 2.5 degree taper and 5 sides? Go to the “360 degree bowl form,” input the number of segments (5) and the angle 87.5), and voilá! The app tells you exactly the miter angle and the bevel angle to make your cuts.



Simple.

Making a frame with mitered corners using 3.5” wide horizontals and 2.75” wide verticals? The AMP app will give you the correct angle to make your miters so that the two pieces of dissimilar width mate perfectly.



The app is easy and intuitive to use. While I was calculating the angles for a compound miter, I realized that the taper angle was calculated relative to the horizontal, not the vertical. There is a help section on the app – I was just too lazy to use it. But a few test cases to build your intuition will quickly help you figure things out. Try putting in a 0 degree taper, or a 90 degree taper. It’ll be pretty obvious which angle is which.

My one gripe with the AMP app is that it doesn’t have pictures. John tells me that this is a function of its engine – the powerOne Financial Edition. I’m no programmer, so I don’t know how difficult it would be to make a set of animations indicating the angles and their relationship to vertical and horizontal. But it would be nice to see in a future edition.

So now my iPad (actually, my wife’s iPad) is a companion in my shop. Getting covered in sawdust.

But not stepped on.
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Last edited by Poto; 03-22-2011 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: The AMP app for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Is this the new application, Peter? I thought the first one was built on some mathematics platform. Could be mistaken. Bummer about the images.

I should work out the compound angle calculations to refresh my now math-challenged mind and make an app with graphics (my day job is iPhone development :sdrool
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: The AMP app for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

As far as I know this is the first one, Paul-Marcel. It's built on the powerOne Financial edition as the math engine (hence the lack of animations or graphics). If there's anything you'd like to see closer-up, I'd be happy to take a better picture for you. John E. has nicer pictures on his web site, too.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: The AMP app for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMarcel View Post
Is this the new application, Peter? I thought the first one was built on some mathematics platform. Could be mistaken. Bummer about the images.

I should work out the compound angle calculations to refresh my now math-challenged mind and make an app with graphics (my day job is iPhone development :sdrool
Please do. My poor old brain needs pictures.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: The AMP app for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Peter,
After using the AMP, do you feel images would help that much?
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: The AMP app for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

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Originally Posted by Poto View Post
As far as I know this is the first one, Paul-Marcel. It's built on the powerOne Financial edition as the math engine (hence the lack of animations or graphics). If there's anything you'd like to see closer-up, I'd be happy to take a better picture for you. John E. has nicer pictures on his web site, too.
When I thought up how I'd write the app (which was before someone else made the second version), I thought of making the graphic articulate like the AMPv2. I'm thinking that when you said certain angles were from the horizontal and that it caught you off guard, the graphic showing the final resting position of the AMPv2 would have been pretty useful. I even worked out putting the caliper value on the caliper in the image

Out of curiosity, too, (and Mike likely knows this better), are there people who aren't buying this because the app is only on iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch? It would be easier to port the above app to .NET (so, Windows and Windows Mobile) and make a Cocoa build (so, for Mac OSX) than to follow Peter through that Calculus I've long forgotten
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: The AMP app for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Mike, I think that graphics could be pretty helpful. I'm pretty handy when it comes to geometry and angles, as I use them all the time in my work. But I could imagine that someone who was rusty would have some problems, as the jargon is not consistent for the naming of angles and lengths. If the AMPv2 had graphics on it (like the old AMP) it would help things out. But an animated graphic on the app could definitely be better. Something that you could click on the angle or length, and it would highlight it on the graphic. This could be especially important when the angles are near 45 degrees, and it would be hard to decide which one's which.

My tests of 0 degrees and 90 degrees really helped, but not everyone might figure that one out...

But I'd say that this app is 95% of what most people would need, and 100% of what a lot of people would need.

Maybe hiring Paul-Marcel to make an animated app would be just the ticket...
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