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Conscripted To The Back Row All Over Again
#1417805 Fri Jul 23 2021 12:39 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 987
T
'Bolter
In June I attended a timber framing school. Little did I know that the first three days were spent on Trigonometry. We assessed and laid out the pile of timber’s from the mill , determined our shortest timber lengths for the rafters, and then proceeded to find the opposite side of a right triangle, theta angle, corresponding angles, and the sine, cosine and tangent calculating the rise and the run or the nearest roof pitch using the length of the shortest rafter as our hypotenuse.

This all sounds well and good and perhaps makes me sound mathematically and technically competent… but I have to say this: OMG! I was blown away. I never took Trig and as in all classes there is the group of super smart that get it right away… then the middle group that gets it faster than eventually… and then there’s me… and about 8 of us in the back row, fumbling with our calculators, trying to figure out which button to push, while the rest of the class zoomed ahead and went on to the next problem.

This brought me back to my HS days, and well … in the end I figured out how to use the second function button on my calculator, but more than anything else - I was super humbled in that class. Glad I took it though…I now know how to layout, measure and calculate roof pitches; cut and chop the correct angles for tight joints; make mortises, tenons, shoulders, and haunches as we measured to three decimal places threw away our pencils and used our utility knives to measure, mark and scribe our lines.

It’s now on to my stickered pile of timber’s in the yard; calculator in one hand, layout squares in the other and the ego in check. Tom

Last edited by tom moore; Fri Jul 23 2021 04:41 PM.
Re: The Back Row All Over Again
tom moore #1417810 Fri Jul 23 2021 01:11 AM
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 5,143
J
Unrepentant VW Lover
Were either of the Griggs involved?


John

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."
— C. S. Lewis


'49 Chevrolet 3804

Re: The Back Row All Over Again
tom moore #1417839 Fri Jul 23 2021 10:06 AM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 7,000
W
'Bolter
In middle school, I was told to not ever, ever take anything beyond general math. And I have stuck to that all my life, The only time I strayed was in the Army and I had no choice.


Ron, The Computer Greek
I love therefore I am.

1960 MGA Roadster Sold 7/18/2017
1954 3100 Chevy truck in the Gallery
2017 Buick Encore
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Re: The Back Row All Over Again
tom moore #1417850 Fri Jul 23 2021 12:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,769
2
'Bolter
Had a lot of trig and geometry in tech high school and later during my machine shop apprenticeship.
Really enjoyed it and used it countless times over the years in the trade.

Don I

Last edited by 2-Ton; Fri Jul 23 2021 12:45 PM.

Of all the things I've lost in my life, I miss my mind the most!

1967 GMC 9500 Fire Ladder Truck
"The Flag Pole"
In the Stovebolt Gallery [stovebolt.com]
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'46 2-Ton grain truck
'48 3/4-ton grain truck
'50 2-ton flatbed
'54 Pontiac Straight Eight
'70 American LaFrance pumper fire truck.
Re: The Back Row All Over Again
tom moore #1417858 Fri Jul 23 2021 01:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 4,953
Leo Online
'Bolter
For many years I had to figure out the length of steel roofing for a given project. I had the roof pitch and overhang length. I learned all this stuff in highschool too but I didn't pay attention. Now I have a sheet of tables to use, supplied by the roof truss manufacturer, way easier than using the formula or my old slide rule. My backup method was to simply contact the truss plant.

Re: The Back Row All Over Again
tom moore #1417862 Fri Jul 23 2021 02:16 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 987
T
'Bolter
They have applications on the web and I can use my phone - and do these calculations in miliseconds. UGGH!. But, as a teacher he did it right - teaching us the logic and the how and why. Just wish someday I could for once be in the front row - but then again, I'm not complaining...always grateful for what little I have..even if my capacity is limited. smile

tom

Last edited by tom moore; Fri Jul 23 2021 02:22 PM.
Re: The Back Row All Over Again
tom moore #1417871 Fri Jul 23 2021 03:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,526
'Bolter
....my math teaching daughter will do tutoring in statistics, Algebra, pre cal and calculus if needed.
Don't know where she gets it. I did good to do business math.

Proud of you Tom, I could have used the school lesson myself but I stopped building 5 years ago. No more hammers for me!!!!


1937 Chevy Pickup [stovebolt.com]

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Re: The Back Row All Over Again
tom moore #1417875 Fri Jul 23 2021 04:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,981
H
'Bolter
This thread gives me good reason to appreciate the guys a couple of generations before me who were able to do all those calculations using nothing but a piece of butcher paper, a framing square, and a #2 pencil! They were able to build homes, barns, and staircases that have lasted for decades, and some of them could barely read and write. They did it all with hand tools, also! I've never seen a framing square with a dead battery, either!
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: The Back Row All Over Again
tom moore #1417877 Fri Jul 23 2021 04:19 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 987
T
'Bolter
WOW! good point, Jerry. You are correct! and the skill to do this, and communicate in Trig (its own language) was passed on from one generation to the next. Hundreds of years ago - those "secrets" were only passed on to a lowly apprentice after many years just cutting wood, keeping the woodstove lit, carrying and fetching the wood, and hand sawing the lumber, sharpening the tools, and sleeping in the hay loft after doing the chores for the master carpenter or his family.

And yet, before that - the Greeks developed this 'study of proportions 'and this knowledge was considered magic and only the top of the elite would be able to learn this and keep it as a guarded secret...to retain their place in society as a way to maintain authority and control and having the best job building and constructing their cities and communities. It was considered high status to know this magic.

As for me, being in the back row? I probably would have been offered up to the God Zuess as a means to expedite natural selection. No magic there - "throw him on the pyre or send him to the back of the island to make clay pots!", and "lets hope for a smarter one in the future." LOL

Last edited by tom moore; Fri Jul 23 2021 06:33 PM.
Re: The Back Row All Over Again
tom moore #1417879 Fri Jul 23 2021 04:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,981
H
'Bolter
When I laid out the forms for the concrete for the addition to the dairy barn that made it the 3 bedroom house where my kids grew up, I used some pretty sophisticated tools- - - - -a 50 foot garden hose filled with water as a level for the forms, a plumb bob, and a rifle scope taped to a carpenter's level on a camera tripod, sighting at a piece of steel tape measure tacked to a 2 X 4 as a backup device. That concrete slab has been there since 1983, still level and true!

I've upgraded to a real surveyor's level and a spinning laser on that same tripod for a lot of projects since then, but the geometry is still the same!
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
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