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 So in my last project, I discovered an odd match. I downloaded Kreg's bookshelf plans to my iPad so I could review their approach to assembling it.

And then I realized, it was a great shop device for following PDF plans. Don't know about Google 3D yet because I haven't checked to see if there's an app.

But... It's flat, easy to read, easy to handle. And, the screen adjust to scan and zoom so fast that moving around the plans was pretty slick.

Just kind of surprised by this. I assume other people are bringing their laptops or ipads into the shop for plans?

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Not for me mate, a painful lesson learnt was having bearers on my bench and dropping a sheet of MDF onto them and using my TS55 to rip the board. I had forgotten that my Nokia Communicator(this was a few years ago) was on the bench and sawed straight through it! Dust and glue dont mix too well with touch screens. fair play if it works for you but printouts and full scale rods will do for me
The glass (not plastic) screen of the iPad should actually protect it pretty well from a lot of things in the shop. As with any electronics, just keep it away from the dust/glue/etc. I think this would be a great way to view plans in the shop. Wish I had one.
As a full time "Geek" System Administrator, I'm often looking for ways to geek out my shop, I had looked at the IPad, not a bad idea, but I found that by simply taking an older PC, doesn't have to be very powerful and a 17" CRT monitor (most companies can't give them away fast enough!) I came up with a fairly decent system for the shop. It's an older P4 2.4ghz with a gig of RAM, 80 GIG HD, it tends to hold all of my plans, magazine stuff etc.. The key is just keeping it fairly clean and away from the heavier dust area and definitely the chemicals. All in all, I manage to put it together for about $50.00 and if it happens to die.. oh well. I also wired CAT5e in the shop so it's hooked up to the internet in the event I need to find something in a hurry!
At this rate, I could crap out about 5 of them for the cost of a low end IPad...
i use my laptop and make sure that it is not anywhere near the exact area where i am working
Interesting thoughts, all. No question that protecting it from accidents is a first priority...

Was thinking more about my experience... In part, the downloaded plans were probably tabloid size or bigger. The iPad was a great solution because printing them would have created that odd pile of paper. But on the pad, I could easily move and zoom to see exactly what i needed.

I am particularly impressed, by the way, with the mounted flat screen. Great idea to drive it from a laptop ...when not watching football or racing.

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