Top positive review
The subtitle is more accurate
Reviewed in the United States on December 5, 2008
Having used "Machinery's Handbook" for some years, in my capacity of interested amateur, and having developed some admiration for its huge 2692 pages of accurate and comprehensive information, I was curious how a small paperback could claim to be a guide. Indeed I was curious why a guide needed to be written at all. After all, Machinery's Handbook is well laid out and clear, if not exactly a bedside read.
This book is NOT a guide to Machinery's Handbook. To me a guide implies how and where to go, the strengths, weaknesses, traps, etc.
The subtitle of the book is "Guide to the Use of Tables & Formulas in Machinery's Handbook 28th Edition". And that is exactly what this book is. And as such, it IS very well written, very interesting, and worth buying.
The decription of logarithms for example was a revelation. My memory of high school mathematics has faded over the decades, but after reading the chapter on logarithms, I realise that I never did really understand logarithms, and suddenly the light bulb in my brain switched on, and it is now a mystery no longer.
Similarly, the description of tapers. So obvious. So clear. The confusion lifts.
The chapter on the advanced use of spreadsheets, will be appreciated as a basic refresher by those of us who use them, but "advanced" the techniques are not.
The exhortation to US readers become familiar with SI units will be thoroughly welcomed by those of us who inhabit the rest of the world. Unfortunately Machinery's Handbook remains predominantly in imperial English units.
Overall, I think that the "Guide" is very interesting, a book to read while the rest of the family are watching TV, and well worth the outlay. I look forward to reading the chapters which I have so far only skimmed through.
278 pages, plenty of line drawings, lots of formulae but they are very clearly explained, a comprehensive index, and many test questions and drill exercises for the really keen readers.