Every gear engineer ends up with a shelf full of reference books. Depending upon your age and experience level these may be books you bought or books you were given by a mentor or predecessor. When I was an apprentice I had access to Falk’s Engineering Library and foolishly thought that all gear companies were as well equipped with reference material and knowledgeable people to explain things to a newcomer. It took only a day away from the mothership to realize just how wrong I was.
I have built up quite a library of my own over a forty-five year career, but still occasionally come across a book I was not familiar with. Gear Technology is considering a re-occurring feature where gear books, whether new or old, would be reviewed for the benefit of the overall community. This is a time of transition in our industry; many longtime experts are retiring or scaling back their involvement. New people are entering the trade and their supervisors may not understand the limited gear knowledge that comes with a BSME. If you do not have a mentor in your office you will need many books.
Thanks to reprints and on-line resellers, many classic books are once again available for purchase. The problem is deciding which books to buy and what priority to assign to them. Some respected volumes are rather expensive on-line so recommendations for alternative books are needed as well. At the insistence of my thirty-something children I made my own short book An Introduction to Gear Design available for free download at my consulting firm’s website (www.beytagear.com). The book has been helpful to its target audience of newcomers to gear engineering and purchasing for almost thirty years so it might qualify for “classic” status. It includes my recommendation for a gear library.
So what are your favorite gear books and why? Send your review to the e-mail contacts listed at www.geartechnology.com.