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patriot 05-06-2018 11:00 PM

I would like to have your suggestions ...
Over the years I have received a ton of help from my fellow woodworkers. So to give back to the woodworking community, I would like to build an iPhone app that would help woodworkers solve their everyday shop problems. It is my intention to make the app a free download providing it does not get overly complicated.

That said, I would like to know what you would like to see in a woodworking app.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.


PaulG 05-07-2018 12:02 PM

Re: I would like to have your suggestions ...
Your question made me first think of what I use apps for in general. As much as I hear of apps I rarely download them, and of those I do I regularly use but a handful. Calendar, clocks, notes, maps, camera and photos, weather, calculator, are common for me, less so are things like rewards programs like Starbucks and other restaurants offer. Also devices that require an app like Joule or Rachio. But my most used app other than phone is safari, I tend to seek out my info online vs in apps. I get frustrated when forced into an app the way Yelp does when it would work just fine on a website. Same goes for news, hate using apps for that.

Then my thoughts went to how I typically do projects. Pen and paper to start and will use a drawing program on the laptop if my scribbles and sketches need refining. There's times it might be helpful for a bit of material layout voodoo to maximize the material use but not very often for me and might not be worth the hassle of entering in all the pieces in the first place. Such features may better live in an integrated project design and production tool that takes a design to the cut list. There's probably a dozen things like that already. That reminds me I do have some span calculator apps but they're limited to 2x lumber material or the product a vendor is selling so I rarely use those either.

Common challenges I'll face with projects is adjusting designs around what materials I can find or their costs locally. I'm not seeing how an app helps that though. Back to the span calculators, I'm currently planning a patio cover and I'd like to know about using wider rafters like 4x or sistered 2x materials vs standard 2x materials, also 6x beams. An app could do that with more data options in it and I'm sure the data is out there already just not in my current apps so they are useless to me. Could also include other things like steel or engineered lumber but that will involve data from individual manufacturers. May still need an engineers stamp of approval on a plan but at least the tool helps give more design options. That may not be the kind of woodworking you're thinking of though, a span calculator doesn't help much with making a dresser.

Leakyroof 05-07-2018 02:53 PM

Re: I would like to have your suggestions ...
A Database of info maybe. Finishes Alone could be an App to themselves since there is SO MUCH BS out there on what a particular Chemical can actually for wood or a wood surface in either an Interior or Exterior Finish.
You could keep it brief and easy to use like a wheel of info or Advent Calender style where someone inputs the Finish, and the proven pros and cons come up, dos and don'ts reminders, in a matching table.
Wood ID - I have a great, small book, I believe the Title is Real Wood, that gives a brief amount of info on a great many species, some that are domestic and many that are imported, or even not available here in the US. Easy to read and understand, contains just enough info on tips with each wood species like the basics of Cutting, Storing, Hazards related to working with it, Durability or lack thereof for a given usage[ Like Don't use Poplar outside or in an Exterior Application unless you want to be sorry....:laughing1:
Anyway, it's a good starting point

patriot 05-07-2018 04:08 PM

Re: I would like to have your suggestions ...

I knew it would be a tough challenge to come up with an app that would benefit woodworker's in general because, as unique human beings, we all do things differently. That said, I hear each and every comment/suggestion that you gentlemen made.

Speaking only for myself, I spend too much time trying to remember where I "placed" something. Luckily, I only have two spaces that I would have "placed" a tool or whatever. Most of the time I can find what I'm looking for, but other times I just give up.

I have often thought of coding up an app that I could use to keep "track" of certain seldom used tools. While an app for this purpose seems to be the logical solution, in reality, again speaking only for myself, one of the little voices in my head would surely quip, "You don't need to make a note about this because you have an ironclad memory." Right! So I would skip using the app and then later would be scratching my head wondering where I parked that seldom used tool.

Another "old fashioned trick" that humans used before all of this technology came into being, would be to use a plain old piece of paper tacked somewhere on the shop wall. What a concept. Currently I do just that for listing what I need from Home Depot the next time I head to town.

Calculating board-feet for a project might be a good app. I say "might" because I would double-check the app results on paper before being certain of what I needed. That behavior was instilled in me by the best engineering professor I ever had. Dr. Lucky's quip was, "Never trust any equation in a book until you've proved it for yourself." Those words are now burned into my DNA, so I double-check every thing.

Hopefully, we can pool our thoughts and come up with a useful app that would benefit us.

Thanks for the feedback.

patriot 05-07-2018 04:10 PM

Re: I would like to have your suggestions ...
Off topic: I am still not getting an email notifications???

PaulG 05-07-2018 04:13 PM

Re: I would like to have your suggestions ...

Originally Posted by patriot (Post 94011)
Off topic: I am still not getting an email notifications???

It's going to be a few days till I can look into that, burried with work right now

patriot 05-07-2018 09:00 PM

Re: I would like to have your suggestions ...

Originally Posted by PaulG (Post 94012)
It's going to be a few days till I can look into that, burried with work right now

No Problem. Thanks.

jessecloud 05-08-2018 05:51 PM

Re: I would like to have your suggestions ...
Hey Philip! What a great idea! Thanks for stepping up.

Here are some off-the-wall ideas, probably not feasible, but maybe...

A database of fixes to common mistakes in woodworking - you could crowd source a lot of the data.

Calculator for complex compound angles. e.g. rear chair legs splay out to side, are so many degrees off plumb and intersect with the side apron at x degrees.

Design help - take a photo of your drawing, the app offers suggestions, e.g., more pleasing proportions, smoother curve, fewer decorative features, etc. Maybe redraws the original drawing to show parts in golden ratio, fibonacci series, etc.

Database of hardware choices, e.g. hinges, fasteners, etc. with suggested uses, installation tips, etc.

Hope some of these help.


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