Carpenter's Calculations Manual



This illustrated, tip-filled guide gives you all the formulas and examples you need to solve a broad range of problems in carpentry — and much more! Coauthored by a master carpenter and a popular construction author and master builder, Carpenter's Calculations Manual can help you construct a gazebo or a complete housing project. From calculating cuts, figuring lumber needs, to producing full takeoffs and tight ...

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This illustrated, tip-filled guide gives you all the formulas and examples you need to solve a broad range of problems in carpentry — and much more! Coauthored by a master carpenter and a popular construction author and master builder, Carpenter's Calculations Manual can help you construct a gazebo or a complete housing project. From calculating cuts, figuring lumber needs, to producing full takeoffs and tight joints, this guide helps you avoid wasted wood, flawed construction, and do-overs.

Carpenter's Calculations Manual helps you estimate and do it right the first time with:

  • Solutions designed specifically for the building trades
  • Easy-access answers in illustrations, photos, and boxes
  • Dozens of quick-read charts and tables
  • Minimal text — just enough to explain the calculations
  • Fast help with framing requirements
  • Simple-to-use roofing calculations
  • Master-carpenter tips and tricks throughout
  • And much more


• Site Work • Footings • Foundations • Sills and Joists • Subflooring • Wall Framing • Stairs • Rafters • Trusses • Roof Sheathing • Wall Sheathing • Roof Coverings • Windows • Exterior Doors • Sidings • Exterior Trim •

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Editorial Reviews

Electric Review
Here, Tarbox and Woodson have created a guide that speaks to the way that carpenters and contractors learn: instead Carpenter's uses illustrations, photos and charted tables to convey its information - truly a change of pace in this era of over-explained "how-to" books.

The authors - both master carpenters - offer a manual that everyone who picks up a hammer (both professional and amateur) should own, for it provides in depth guidance on how to approach, plan and complete a building project.

The majority of the errors that carpenters make are a product of miscalculations being made and guess-work gone awry. Carpenter's offers an answer to this, for it takes the builder step-by-step through the process of putting up an edifice. From data on how to formulate the foundation to direction on joist calculations to instruction on figuring stair rise, Tarbox and Woodson strip away the confusion and present tables and charts augmented by artful illustrations - follow the directions as they are laid our here and carpenters will circumvent potential problems before they ever occur.

The result of this will be cleaner jobs that waste less resources and come in on budget. The result will be less waste in the building trade and more efficient workmanship. Given the boom in the housing market across the country in addition to the record number of folks applying for contractor’s licenses these days, and this text couldn’t be more timely.

Recommended as a general reference text in all libraries - both at the college level and in the public sector. Further recommended to high school instructors as a teaching text for wood shop classes at both the beginner and advanced phase.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071437998
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/3/2004
  • Edition description: 278
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 278
  • Sales rank: 806,224
  • Product dimensions: 0.61 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger Tarbox is a master carpenter with 30 years of experience. He is a native of Maine who has worked in Colorado, New Hampshire, and Maine. Mr. Tarbox has build countless homes, garages, additions, and similar structures. In addition to his work as a carpenter and contractor, he has intimate knowledge of running a sawmill and creating perfect wood products. Mr. Tarbox resides in mid-coast Maine with his wife, Lynn, and enjoys woodworking as a hobby.

R. Dodge Woodson has owned and operated his own building, remodeling, and plumbing companies since 1979. His licenses have included those of a Class A builder, a master plumber, and a master gasfitter. He has built as many as 60 homes per year and remodeled countless homes. The author of dozens of books, Mr. Woodson has a reputation for delivering technical data in a reader-friendly way. R. Dodge Woodson is the president of The Masters Group, Inc., a construction, remodeling, and plumbing firm in Maine.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors viii
Introduction ix
Chapter 1 Site Work 1
Soil Properties 1
Swelling 2
Capacity 2
Trench Specifications 2
Estimating Excavation Volume 5
Trees 5
Chapter 2 Footings 9
Footing Depth 10
Capacity and Area 11
Calculating Concrete 11
Concrete Mixes 13
Water 14
Reinforcement Bars 15
Chapter 3 Foundations 17
Estimating Concrete Needs 17
Concrete Mixtures 20
Reinforcing Concrete 20
Curing Concrete 24
Bricks and Blocks 27
Types of Blocks 39
Mortar 41
Stress Factors 42
Chapter 4 Sills and Joists 45
Framing Practices 48
Calculating Joist Spans 50
Wood Species 51
Don't Skimp 59
Chapter 5 Framing Walls and Floors 61
Joists and Beams 61
Subflooring 65
Fasteners 71
Fast Math 74
Rough Openings 82
Framing Exterior Walls 84
Partition Walls 89
Multi-Story Walls 91
Full Framing 91
Chapter 6 Stairs 95
Figuring Stair Rise 95
Calculating The Run 98
Stringers 102
Tread Thickness 103
Stairway Openings 108
Winders 108
Chapter 7 Rafters 111
Rafter Spans 111
Rafter Framing 123
Roof Pitch 125
How Do I Use A Rafter Square? 126
Chapter 8 Engineered Trusses 127
Speed 132
Top Three Trusses 132
Truss Spans 133
Chapter 9 Roof Sheathing and Coverings 139
Figuring Sheathing 139
Hip Roofs 142
Gambrel Roofs 143
Slope Multipliers 143
Asphalt Shingles 144
Other Types of Roofing 147
Chapter 10 Wall Sheathing and Siding 155
Sheathing 157
Types of Siding 158
Calculating Siding Needs 160
Nailing 162
Coverage 162
Chapter 11 Windows and Exterior Doors 169
Doors 169
Windows and Skylights 172
Chapter 12 Interior Doors and Trim 175
Types of Trim 175
Interior Doors 178
Chapter 13 Cabinets and Counters 175
Common Cabinet Facts 175
Chapter 14 Conversion Tables 221
Chapter 15 Math for the Trades 245
Index 277
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