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Mechanical Details for Product Design by Douglas C. Greenwood is a simple book of different, well, mechanical details that you could find useful if you’re designing a tool or other mechanism. The book contains lovely two-page spreads of mechanical detail ideas from the pages of Product Engineering magazine, about 340 pages’ worth. The first chapter is typical charts and graphs as relate to spur gear design, bending, geometry, etc. Then we move on to the meat — each two-page spread typically starts with a header such as “Clamping Devices for Accurately Aligning Adjustable Parts,” “6 Ingenious Jobs for Roller Chain,” “Dimensions for Hand Grips,” “8 Stops for Panel Doors,” “Assemble Sheetmetal with 8 Interlocking Fasteners,” “Getting the Most from Screws,” “4 More Ways to Prevent Backlash” — you get the idea.

Hydraulics, Mechanical Drives, Electronics design, and all sorts of different solutions to various (1960’s era) design problems are discussed in clear text with great illustrations. If you’re the sort of person who designs or invents just about anything mechanical there’s something in here that will help you out of a jam. It’s very different from the encyclopedias of mechanical designs that are out there, more specific and real world related.

The book is out of print, but used copies are quite affordable, in the $7-$12 range on Amazon [What’s This?] and the Usual Book Dealers. It’s well worth picking up a copy if it’s the sort of thing you enjoy.


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