Many forums would consider that "Thread Highjacking"
That was by NO means the intention!
When someone throws an idea in the fire and it flairs into something more
that can teach an old dog like me a new trick, I see it as a positive event.
I sincerely hope that you are not from the "Highjacked" school of thought.
Absolutely not... I was actually enjoying reading about the alternative ways of doing this. I am lucky enough over the years to have accumulated tooling. My daughters are both out of college now and both my wife and I work, so I do keep a little for tooling each year. I think it's great that alternative ways come up of doing things. Lots of folks don't have some of the equipment I have yet....so it's helpful to all of us to learn other whys to do the same task.)). It's all good Rick. Now...I better head back out to the tractor and finish plowing so I can get to work in the morning....we are getting pounded here.
I think one of the things that worries me about all this is the fact that if we offer beginners a way to get round a problem using computer software theres no chance for them to learn the old ways of doing things. learning to do a job the old way lets people learn what has to be done to complete the job in hand. If all we do is churn out numbers from a computer there is no need to understand what is being done. Come the day that a problem is found that a computer program has not been written for the chap is then stumped.
Rick asked how to cut an arc with out a rotary table and I answered him, dividers and a file. Marking out a bolt hole circle has been done for many years with out the need to understand cords and such. Simply scriving a circle and stepping off around it works and works perfectly. Once the job has been done a few times the math in most cases becomes visible and easy but in many cases not required.
I have watched plate layers marking out very complex shapes on huge steel plates with out a clue to the math used. They were simply taught how to do it and carried on from there. Showing some one how to mark out with dividers and a rule is a more permanent solution to the problem than asking them to use a computer for every problem encountered. In my honest oppinion its also a better way to help them taken alongside the computer programs.
I dont detract from computers in engineering and infact a lot of what I do would end if I didnt have the use of programs like solidworks. But i do say that we owe it to beginners to show them the non computer way as well as the computer way.