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Machinist calculator for $1

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  • Machinist calculator for $1

    I misplaced my a solar powered scientific calculator. It still bothers me I can't find it, because it isn't something that leaves the shop, and I appreciate that it still works after 30 years. Know what I mean?

    Desperate for a calculator, I stopped by the dollar store where I splurged on two replacements. $2 for the pair! And they are great. The buttons and display are larger than my old one, and actually have a very good feel. I almost bought a pink one, thinking it would be easier to spot from across the shop. Maybe next time.

    I'm thrilled with them. Only downside is they don't do TRIG, etc. I asked the woman at the checkout if they had trig charts. She just stared. I don't think she got the joke.

  • #2
    no way you'd find trig charts at a dollar store -- the cost way more than that.


    • #3
      Every lathe, mill and drill in my shop has a £1 calculator taped to the machine with that double sided sticky draught foam tape.

      Saved me a few mistakes over the years just checking sizes i have done in my head.

      Which goes to prove a £1 calculator is better than experience [ at least in my case ]

      Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


      • #4
        I got one of those nice $1 calculators with the huge keys at Target when I the batteries on my hp 32S shop calculator died. I found it was cheaper to buy a new calculator than new batteries!

        Love my hp's but $$$'s are $$$'s!


        • #5
          Slight variation to John's double sided tape I have a 20yr old solar powered one stuck on the head of the mill with Velcro so I can take it off and lose it


          • #6
            A fun fact! I had a half dozen or so dead solar-powered calculators of various brands, yes I save almost everything. Out of curiosity I opened one up with the intent of seeing what made it tick and then pitching them. To my surprise I found that all but one of them had a button cell battery and a FAKE solar cell.
            Imagine that, being cheated by the Chinese!


            • #7
              I did manage to find a $1 or $2 trig calculator at Wal-Mart around Christmas time. It has all the normal functions, but is not programmable. I believe it is dual powered, battery and solar. Only problem is the buttons and display are a bit small. But it works just fine. I keep it in the shop. I should have gotten a half dozen.

              Christmas shopping season is a good time to look for bargains. August, before school opens is also good.
              Paul A.

              Make it fit.
              You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!


              • #8
                I have 4 or 5 of the Sharp 44 model metric converter calculators hanging around. That particular model is solar powered, but is also one of the few that has instant conversions for ft3 to m3 - essential to my work. All at $14 CDN. I bought one every time I saw them, so have 4 or 5 to cycle through the ost and found status.
                Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit


                • #9
                  I have a Derck's Dial Gauge in the shop somewhere and I can't find it, can't get a replacement for those anymore. Bummed out.
                  The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                  Bluewater Model Engineering Society at


                  • #10
                    If you do find it, check on the thread data. I have two, one with data for unf and one for the old SAE/ASME standards. That suddenly explained some of my threading problems. The SAE version is now in the antique tool box.


                    • #11
                      John, can't you do sines cosines or tangents in your head?