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Originally posted by AHI

Are the JLC field guides to best practices worth the expense? Should I get some? Anybody have an extra set they want to sell? So far the lowest price I found was on Amazon at about $45 each.

Yes, they are good to have. Keep in mind that they are "Best Practice" and not code based like Code Check books. I have found in most instances that the JLC Field Guide "Best Practice", will exceed the code.

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I recommend the JLC Archive DVD. My most recent one is 1986-2006. You can download into your computer and pull up any information that has appeared in the magazine within the 21 year period. You can also buy a subscription to their Online service where you can look up info as needed. The DVD advantage is that you don't need internet service to look up your information. Either way is a great idea if you want to clear out shelf space of back issues.

As Scott said, what you'll find from JLC often goes far beyond code requirements or the understanding of many contractors and Billie Bobs.

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Backyard Ballistics... now there's some interesting reading material.

I have the JLC Field Guides. They are worth the money spent. Even though they go "beyond code", which is the bare minimum standard allowable by law, there are times when it is helpful to know the "best practices", which I think of as "the industry standard practice for doing the job in a professional and workmanlike manner". After pointing out something that is all balled up, I usually say something like "this is how you do it if you want to do it right", and I can use the Field Guide as my backup reference.

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Originally posted by Brandon Chew

Backyard Ballistics... now there's some interesting reading material.

I have the JLC Field Guides. They are worth the money spent. Even though they go "beyond code", which is the bare minimum standard allowable by law, there are times when it is helpful to know the "best practices", which I think of as "the industry standard practice for doing the job in a professional and workmanlike manner". After pointing out something that is all balled up, I usually say something like "this is how you do it if you want to do it right", and I can use the Field Guide as my backup reference.

Do the Field Guides contain anything other than articles published in past issues of JLC?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Do the Field Guides contain anything other than articles published in past issues of JLC?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

I'm probably not the best person to answer that question. A long-time reader of JLC should have better insight into it.

The Acknowledgments and Introduction sections of the Field Guide do not provide a lot of detail that explains where the subject matter came from or how it was put together. The editor says that they have taken 20 years of knowledge gained from publishing The Journal of Light Construction and have distilled it into a single, two volume reference.

The Field Guides are written as stand-alone volumes rather than as anthologies of selected articles from JLC. It's a "reader's digest" type of book with lots of diagrams and it is organized in a way that you can quickly find what you are seeking. Sprinkled throughout the FG are references to articles from JLC where more details on specific subjects can be found.

I also have the JLC archive on DVD. I use this primarily to research particular subjects in more detail.

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I love JLC ( I used to love it a lot more before they Tauntonized it.) but it's not a Bible. The field guides are very nice and are written and produced in a fashion that makes one think of a team of fact checkers checking and double checking the information.

JLC on the other hand is more like a series of articles by individuals and their personal opinions about how something is best accomplished. Hindsight has proven more than one of these "personal best practices" to be flawed.

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