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507 Mechanical Movements: Mechanisms and Devices (Dover Science Books) Paperback – August 15, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
The illustrations are simple and easy to understand. Often they show the isolated mechanism or mechanical movement independent of any other components. This is great because sometimes all the extra gobbledygook of a technical schmatic can make understanding things a real chore.
If you're an engineer looking for mathmatical equations and formulas, this book is not going to help. The text is made up of very simple generalizations, such as, "changes rotational motion into reciprocating motion."
Great as brain excercise, great bathroom reader, and economically priced to boot!
The left hand page of each spread shows 6 to 9 mechanisms (or "Contrivances" as they were called). The Right hand page gives a short description of the mechanisms.
Almost all of the mechanisms shown in this book are very practical and straightforward. I have no doubt that they represent tried-and-true solutions to real-world problems.
You get a lot for the price with this book!
This book is a joy to browse though. It is a little gold mine of ideas for the mechanical designer. Yet, anyone with mechanical aptitude should enjoy it. The many crisp line drawings are presented with a minimum of explanation and no dimensioning. You see, it was assumed back in those days that a person with natural mechanical aptitude could look at a diagram, or a machine, and figure it out. Not only that, but it was assumed that once you had the idea, then you could work out all the details for yourself without having to be told everything down to the last screw size. While there is a descriptive paragraph indexed to every drawing, most of the time you don't really need it.
This book comes from an age when engineers and designers had to have the talent and the knowledge to use the mechanical principles of levers, linkages, cams, gears, etc. to produce a given motion- and to link together many such elegant little mechanisms to get a bigger job done- reliably. This isn't done much anymore. Now most machines are huge, cobbled-up, Rube Goldberg devices of pneumatic or hydraulic cylinders, screw actuators, or servo motors- all interconnected by electronic controllers. The whole thing is controlled by software of even more dubious reliability.
Up to the "digital revolution", this book shows how it was always done- it's how I learned it. Of course, once upon a time, a mechanical designer actually had to understand machinery, and the basic principles of physics, and not just how to write code....
When I say the drawings are inconsistent, I'm alluding to the fact that they were pulled from different sources, and it REALLY shows.
This book is TINY. Wait... I shouldn't have made "tiny" so large. It might confuse you.
I'm sure that the author put time into this book. And in all fairness, it is inexpensive. The value just isn't there though.
This book is the antithesis of Macaulay's The Way Things Work. It is "Things: They Might Work, But Who Knows How?"
There are other editions of this book, and maybe they are better.... but really we all know they're not.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting drawings and descriptions of various mechanical systems. I'm not convinced there are 507 unique items--many are so similar that they could be combined into a single... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Otto Johansen
Pretty cool; much more interesting than the current election (but that doesn't say much.)Published 21 days ago by Jeff Brami
I thought this book would be a helpful reference for designing mechanical devices, but I was sorely disappointed. Read morePublished 23 days ago by MakerDave
Really great book for its purpose, which is to illustrate various mechanical movements. I am interested in this as I am an amateur blacksmith and have a fascination with... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Redneck