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View Full Version : Eat up with the dumb a$$



Ed Tipton
05-02-2008, 05:47 AM
Once again, I've proven that I am my own worst enemy. While making a simple tool, and while performing a simple milling operation, I noticed during my set-up on the mill that everything was not as it should have been...but...fear not...and blindly forge ahead anyway. Then several hours later, and after having to perform two additional milling operations by way of compensating for the mistake in the initial set-up, and after having exhausted lots of free time, and ALL of my entensive vocabulary, I have finally arrived at where I should have been after about 1 hour of work.
Looking at this project, nobody will ever know, but I will always know...and never forget how not correcting this simple condition caused me so much grief. Well, I say I'll never forget, and vow never to do anything so stupid again, but the reality is that I probably will do something similar again. I'd like to think that I'm smart enough to benefit from all of my mistakes, but as I get older, I seem to make similar mistakes over and over again. Maybe it's getting time to q..qu...qui.......I can't bear to say it!
This little exercise has given me a new understanding of the phrase:"You can pay me now, or you can pay me later".

IOWOLF
05-02-2008, 06:49 AM
So are you bragging or complaining?

Evan
05-02-2008, 07:10 AM
I like my drugs better.

smiller6912
05-02-2008, 07:25 AM
I like to think of these as learning experiences.....;)
Something like "Our knowledge is the the accumulation of our mistakes"
Believe me, we all do it and it is usually the learning experience the we remember the longest.
Don't beat yourself up, heck, add it to your resume as training.

Ed Tipton
05-02-2008, 07:48 AM
What's to brag about? I am just acknowledging that I sometimes make stupid, and costly mistakes. I know that I'm not the only one who does this, but that knowledge doesn't make it a less bitter experience. It's just another one of life's little lessons. I caught the error, but instead of acknowledging the significance of it, I opted to ignore it and forge ahead in spite of it...which in the end cost me much more time and frustration than simply taking a few additional minutes to correct the situation. I am sure that everyone who reads this forum has made similar mistakes...this is just my little story. Enjoy!

Evan
05-02-2008, 08:06 AM
OK. To be serious, how many times have "you" (everyone in the room) gone ahead and done something where you know full well that the setup is a bit shaky, you really should put the other vise on or change the tool or whatever? Then it doesn't turn out right and you end up doing what it was that you tried to avoid.

Yeah, me too.

hitnmiss
05-02-2008, 08:22 AM
Me three.

Last time a shaky setup was ignored by me, I was walking into harbor freight!

torker
05-02-2008, 08:25 AM
It's all part of the game. I have a lot of distractions here with this operation and find it's very easy to screw up from time to time.
As you know, I have an apprentice working with me. It's ambarrassing when you make a big screwup right in front of God and.. well the apprentice.
The ones that catch me the most often are distortion control on complicated weldments. I'm actually very good at that... normally. Get in a big hurry to get the job done.. customers running all over the yard...phone ringing off the hook, etc, etc... forget to put on a couple of temp braces... weldment curls up like a piece of bacon!!!!
I hate that! Had one.. the golfball escalator... took two days to get the warpage out of it. A very complicated structure that bit me in the butt.
Ya.. don't feel bad we all do it :D
Russ

Neil
05-02-2008, 08:51 AM
a hand up here...

Ken_Shea
05-02-2008, 08:52 AM
Ed,
I do the same thing, see a problem, rather then stop and re-think the entire process, I just "forge on" as you say, more often then not it just seems to go further down hill.

Lesson learned ? ...................... Probably not :D

Pete H
05-02-2008, 09:43 AM
Same here... "Lazy Man's Load Syndrome"... :eek:

lynnl
05-02-2008, 10:07 AM
Hey, everything in life is a gamble. :D
Our educational/vocational choices. Our choice of a mate. Sometimes it works out right, sometimes not.
Sometimes, as in Ed's case here, the shortcut turns out to be a "longcut", and over those we knash our teeth in anguish. It would help to take consolation in all those other times when the shortcut actually paid off. But of course at the moment they've paled into insignificance.

A.K. Boomer
05-02-2008, 10:58 AM
It would help to take consolation in all those other times when the shortcut actually paid off. But of course at the moment they've paled into insignificance.


There ya go, Damn Ed --- dont beat yourself up for getting the job done in a different way, maybe this way can be applied to something else down the road?
Keep in mind that any monkey who knows how to read can do just about anything If he has someone to tell him "how" -- but who wants to go through life as a drone?
I actually think a congrats is in order
Iv had labor rate books quote me 11 hours and gotten the job done in 1,
I dont take anybodys word on how to do something, except my own, track record has proven that for every time I get "caught" and have to pay the fiddler there's at least a dozen times that Iv been skating for free, But you have to get "caught" once in awhile to know what you can get away with, Its the perfect teacher -
Not to mention the invaluable lessons of confidence and free thinking that iv picked up along the way, Most times when I get caught now It will actually make me smile (unless im pressed for time:mad: )
As with cars - im to the point where I can see most of the engineering flaws and also pick out to where they seem to want to throw a wrench in the service end of it all --- sometimes drilling one little access hole in a piece of non-structural plastic and then installing a rubber plug can save you a couple of hours, Fuqe by the book, Keep in mind most books are only as smart as the people who wrote them, and my experience is most people who write books are like most others - there's generally a "drone" mentality... If its complex and something iv never done before I'll skim through a service book and start eliminating most of the procedures while adding a few of my own, I dont care what you do -- there's more than one way to skin any catfish.
As long as you follow good safety practice were not mice getting caught in a trap and getting our necks broke --- we get a second and third and fourth and on and on chance, You just took a good step in perfecting your game.

Lew Hartswick
05-02-2008, 11:01 AM
I don't do that very often BUT on the other hand I spend 10 x the
work time on "thinking" about how to do it so I'm VERY inefficient. :-)
Thank goodness I'm retired and dont depend on the machining to
suport me. :-)
...lew...

IOWOLF
05-02-2008, 12:06 PM
Hell I make mistakes, But I sure don't post them.

Nor do I walk around with a sign on my back that says Kick me.

snowman
05-02-2008, 01:21 PM
To add to Evan's comment...

How many times have you looked at the fixture, said, that isn't right...spent four hours fixing that problem, which leads to another one, on down the road, ten years later you find the original problem you were working on, still unfinished.

BobWarfield
05-02-2008, 01:40 PM
There are a lot of ways one creeps into this sort of thing:

"Awe, this isn't a critical measurement, I'll just "eyeball" it approximately and it'll be close enough." 45 minutes later: "Doh, that's off badly!"

Not having stock be truly square before you try to do anything serious with it. I used to do this all the time. At some point, I got to where I do a quick turn and face on the lathe, and on the mill, I prefer to work from blocks that are squared. Things just work out a lot better.

I'm participating in a Team Build at the moment. This is where you divide up the parts for some project, in this case a Verburg steam engine, and assign them out. Each person then makes enough of their parts so that everyone has one to assemble the completed project.

I notice this kind of "production" work is a lot different than my shopmade one-offs. With a one-off, it is tremendously tempting to adapt subsequent parts to fit any errors in parts already made. With the Team Build, you're sending your parts off to someone else to be fit with parts you've never seen. They have to be inspected and be close enough to plans and specs so they'll fit. You can't fudge the later parts to make it work out.

If you've never tried to make a bunch of parts come out all the same, it's a lot of fun. Sign up for a Team Build and try it! If nothing else you'll learn something, you'll get good at making a particular part, and you'll build whatever the project is for a lot less effort than doing all the work yourself.

Best,

BW

IOWOLF
05-02-2008, 02:03 PM
Team Build, now your talking, Who is up for a gatling gun?

Evan
05-02-2008, 02:47 PM
I rarely adapt dimensions to fit an off size part I have made. I would only do that if I didn't have any other option. If I screw up I make it again. I always try to machine to predetermined dimensions and I take a lot of care when designing my projects to account for tolerance stackup and variations due to temperature. Items like my telescope and the equatorial mount and drive must operate correctly from -20f to 70f.

That doesn't stop me some days from shooting by eye for 1.25" and finding out I'm .007 undersize...

darryl
05-03-2008, 10:23 PM
I have a tendency to lose patience when coming to a fine fit of something. As the finiish cut proceeds, I'm thinking 'I'm probably overcutting this'- then I find that I did. Why do I do that? The final cut doesn't take long, it's the one that matters most, but there it is. Maybe my guardian angel is a bit of a jokester.

I did pretty good though with a recent batch of ball race fits- only one was a tad loose, and none were too tight.

38_Cal
05-03-2008, 11:13 PM
Remember that ten to twenty "ATABOY!"s are erased by one OH SHI*...doesn't matter if it's at work or on your own stuff.

David
Montezuma, IA

JRouche
05-03-2008, 11:54 PM
I'd like to think that I'm smart enough to benefit from all of my mistakes, but as I get older, I seem to make similar mistakes over and over again. Maybe it's getting time to q..qu...qui.......I can't bear to say it!

No!!! You dont stop!!! You are just hitting yerself, and for no good reason... Its good to examine yourself and your work. Unfortunately you can be yer worst critic... Just the fact that you can write about it and bounce it off of us shows you are conscious of the possible error.. And, just by writing about it you WONT do the same thing again.. Keep on keepin on!!!!!! JR

JRouche
05-04-2008, 12:06 AM
I don't do that very often BUT on the other hand I spend 10 x the
work time on "thinking" about how to do it so I'm VERY inefficient. :-)lew...

I soooo much admire folks who can sit back and think the problem out. I have friends who are this way, and actually see alot of that personality here!!!

I see alot of stable thinking, work it through the mind folks here.. I so want to join that group. I am very type A and it really gets in the way for machining.

I wonder if its a maturity issue sometimes, Cause I will watch my dad and he has patients (sp?) for anything!! I want that.. Maybe less coffee.. JR

JRouche
05-04-2008, 12:15 AM
I notice this kind of "production" work is a lot different than my shopmade one-offs. With a one-off, it is tremendously tempting to adapt subsequent parts to fit any errors in parts already made.

Im with you here Bob.. In a home shop you are making custom parts that will mate correctly cause you will make them fit. Thats what is great about metal work. We can form it to our needs, always. Even when we screw up we can adapt...

Now this group (project) effort kinda makes you want to produce the item to "exact" tolerances cause its mating up with someone else's piece.. I like the project!!! No different than a real production line really.. Maybe even more exacting cause you want to show a good piece.... JR