Author:
• Monday, May 28th, 2012

With over a half million apps available for the iPhone, surely there must be plenty of value to woodworkers. So I had┬áhoped, but my search, while not exhaustive, has been generally disappointing. There are lots of apps for DIYers and contractors, but few of real value to small shop furniture makers. Some of the woodworking apps aren’t worth even their small cost, some are mostly designed to market in-app purchases, some directed at novice woodworkers give little truly useful information, and some just do not work well.

Here are some notable exceptions that I recommend.

The Woodshop Widget lists movement and hardness values for 288 wood species using data mostly from the US Forest Products Laboratory. You can easily calculate the change in width of flatsawn, rift, and quartered boards over a range of humidity that you specify. Also included are a board-feet calculator and several other handy functions. Its $3.99 price is about the most I can bring myself to spend on an app but this one is worth it.

Board Feet Easy Calculator does one job, does it well, and is free.

WoodworkerCalc, $0.99, is primarily a very handy fractional calculator designed for the fractions woodworkers use. I find it is faster, easier, and less mistake-prone in use than my old dedicated fractional calculator. It allows you to set the precision of fractions (e.g., to 1/32 or 1/64) and decimals. It contains a few other functions including, of course, a board-feet calculator.

Woodworking with the Wood Whisperer is a free companion app to Marc Spagnuolo’s website. The app gives you access to hundreds of videos, audio podcasts, the WoodTalk online forum, articles, and much more. The well-produced videos are not only informative, but also enjoyable because Marc is a gifted communicator with an engaging, likeable style.

Readers, if you’ve found other worthwhile apps to add to this list, please feel free to comment.

Category: Resources
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses

  1. 1
    John McVagh 

    I found iSpacing by SkupTech to be really useful when spacing slats in the head and foot board for A & C or Mission style bed – good value for 99 cents

  2. 2
    matthew hills 

    Although it doesn’t have “wood” in the title, I’d like to recommend: My Measures and Dimensions

    This is an easy way to take photos and add dimensions.

  3. I like Fractionation. It the best program I’ve found for dealing with fractions.

    http://itunes.apple.com/app/fractionation/id370903520?mt=8

    …but I’ll have to try out WoodworkerCalc (BTW there’s no space in the name, it’s much harder to find it you add the space.)

  4. 4
    Rob 

    John,

    iSpacing looks handy for those very annoying type of calculations.

    Matthew,

    My Measures &/and Dimensions looks like it could be handy for repro work, proposals, built-ins, and even recording pieces that you’ve made. I note there is a $2.99 version and a “pro” $5.99 version.

    Ben,

    Fractionation looks more featured than WoodworkerCalc, though the latter has the advantage of simplicity. I corrected the name to leave out the space. Thanks!

    Thanks to all for the tips.

    Rob