Why Use Easy Offset

When I started in the trade, one of the first journeymen I worked with didn't own a calculator.  He was an older guy who had his own way of doing things.  Most of the time one of us would hold the elbows in place and the other one would measure the cut joint.  The set was always a little off.  A lot of times I would have to go back and rework it to make it look better.  It was pretty awkward with two people, let alone trying to do it by yourself.

Later, I started using a calculator to figure out offsets.  It was so much easier.  No one had to hold up the fittings and the offsets were always perfect.  No trial and error and no rework.  The only drawbacks were that you had to memorize multipliers for the different angles and either measure the centerlines from the elbows or memorize the centerline lengths.    

A couple years ago, I was working on a job that used a lot of unusual angles.  Everything needed to be laid out ahead of time.  A problem that came up was that in order to lay out the duct, I had to know the lengths of the offsets.  This is pretty easy to do if you are using 45° angles, but with 30°, 60°, and other angles it took even more time than normal.  Laying out one offset could take 5 minutes or more.  So this ended up being a lot of button punching and a lot of chances to make a mistake.    Most of the time I would do everything twice just to be sure the answer was right. 

I tried building a spreadsheet on my iPod, but it was awkward, slow, and unreliable.  I knew there had to be a better way, so I started working on an app. 

So that's what Easy Offset does.  I can enter four numbers and I'm done.  Over the last five years I've spent  a lot of my time at work on layout and detailing.  This program has saved me a lot of time and a lot of worrying.  I really don't even worry about mistakes anymore.  Most offsets can be done in 10-15 seconds with no chance of a mistake. 

Offset Length

One of the things Easy Offset calculates is the length of the offset.  For a long time I never needed to know the length of an offset, but there are times when it can be useful.

Sometimes there is a limited amount of space available.  It's better to know before you start so you don't spend time on something that isn't going to work.

     When I'm laying out a run, I try to use accurate measurements.  That way the person who is cutting and putting the duct together doesn't need to figure out which measurements are accurate and which are approximations.  

It can also be important to know the overall length of the offset when ordering material.  Material is expensive, so minimizing the amount of waste is important.  This is a lot easier to do when you know the actual length of the offset. 

Saving time on the job

What I like about the program is that it is basically a simple idea, but it can be useful in a lot of different ways.  It can be used to save time if you are installing, but it also saves time in laying out the job and ordering materials.  It gives you the information you need to make better decisions, and it makes the job easier.

  © Easy Offset 2011