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madwilliamflint
12-10-2010, 02:58 PM
I was just reading through the Chess Set thread and something hit me, gr8life mentioned having 'looked up' his set to find what he'd made it on, when, and out of what material.

It gots me ta thinkin'...

So far I've got most of the rough notes for what I've been doing kicking around in more or less centralized locations. But they're not going to have any longevity the way they are.

One thing I do from baking is to have a Circa notebook (removable pages.) When I bake anything I first copy down the recipe/formula into a new set of pages, leaving space on the side. Then I keep meticulous track of what I really did (substitutions, weather conditions, tweaks, brands of ingredients, etc.) This way I can track how the reality differs from the formula (which helps to evolve recipes over time.)

I'm trying to decide how applicable that same approach is to machining, whether to use the working blotter as the persistent notebook, etc.

How do y'all like to keep project logs and notebooks and such?

lazlo
12-10-2010, 03:13 PM
One thing I do from baking is to have a Circa notebook (removable pages.) When I bake anything I first copy down the recipe/formula into a new set of pages, leaving space on the side. Then I keep meticulous track of what I really did (substitutions, weather conditions, tweaks, brands of ingredients, etc.)

I'm trying to decide how applicable that same approach is to machining, whether to use the working blotter as the persistent notebook, etc.

I just looked it up, and I think the Circa notebook is a fantastic idea for shop projects. Especially since there are project planning inserts.

Amazon carries the Circa notebooks, of course -- what brick & mortar stores carry them?

madwilliamflint
12-10-2010, 03:29 PM
I just looked it up, and I think the Circa notebook is a fantastic idea for shop projects. Especially since there are project planning inserts.

Amazon carries the Circa notebooks, of course -- what brick & mortar stores carry them?

None that I've ever seen. I imagine Levenger's brick & mortar places have them, since it's their product really.

Circa stuff is awesome. The paper quality is exceptional. The binding holds together far better than it looks like it would.

Be wary of the "Rollabind" brand sold by Staples and other such places. It uses the same principle but everything about it is sub-standard stuff, not worth trying.

I generally keep 1 general purpose notebook with a couple dividers. As pages fill up I pull them out and put them in their appropriate permanent storage, then just backfill.

Levenger sells a "starter kit (http://www.levenger.com/PAGETEMPLATES/PRODUCT/Product.asp?Params=Category=326-846|Level=2-3|pageid=5961)" with a bunch of stuff for pretty cheap, then they give you a gift certificate along with it, making it a remarkably cheap deal.

Dan Dubeau
12-10-2010, 03:44 PM
I've got a leather notebook, that I keep notes, and details about stuff in. And inside that is a sketch book for drawing ideas down. When I come up with an idea for a tool, and something to make when I get spare time, I sketch it. Then when I get some spare time, and feel like making something I go back through the book, and pick something to make that will fit the time I have. camera batteries are dead right now, or i'd have something to post up in the shop made tools thread that I recently made, but has been in my sketchbook for over a year :)

Cobbler
12-10-2010, 03:47 PM
On January 1, 2010, I started logging every session I spend in my workshop. I note the date, time spent, and project(s) worked on. Often times, I will include a rough sketch with dimensions of what I am making or repairing.

Really, I am a very disorganised person but the benfit of this log proved itself so useful early on that I have forced myself to continue what started as a simple new-year's resolution. I have found the simple notes can be very valuable later on even when they don't seem all that important at the time they are written.

Anyway, I use a diary type of notebook a co-worker picked up at a trade show. It is leather bound, about 4' x 6" and has an attached ribbon to keep my place. I think if I had one with removable pages, it would get them lost and/or mixed up.

madwilliamflint
12-10-2010, 04:06 PM
have found the simple notes can be very valuable later on even when they don't seem all that important at the time they are written.

Yeah, that's the stuff I'm mildly paranoid about keeping track of. Those weird little notes in the margin that end up making the difference between success and beating my head endlessly against the wall wondering what went wrong.

Now that I have a reasonably heavy workbench, I may build some kind of bolt-on attachment that will hold an open notebook off to the side so I don't skimp on keeping it there and available, but without letting it get in the way of work.

Magnum164
12-10-2010, 06:23 PM
I am took linked to the computer world and don't use paper anymore. Haven't owned a fax in years.

For my projects, I'll probably start using Microsofts OneNote or similar program. Can keep up with everything and don;t have to worry about spilling coffee on it:)



http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/ (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/)

Weston Bye
12-10-2010, 07:53 PM
Most of my projects end up on the pages of Digital Machinist, Home Shop Machinist or Machinist's Workshop. The magazines become my first reference source, but I also have CDs of the manuscripts, the photos and drawing files. My nonpublished drawings and writings are also filed on CDs.


For day-to-day notes I keep a grid-ruled Moleskine notebook in my shirt pocket.
http://www.moleskineus.com/cahier-large-graph.html
I have used these for a number of years and fill them up and then keep them for future reference. Whenever I start a new one, I draw a calendar with 6 months or more with space adjacent for notes and appointments. I also keep a page for phone numbers. Other pages are used for wife's work schedule.
Even with all that stuff, there is plenty of room for other notes, sketching electronic and detail drawings, literary quotes, maps, part numbers and ideas. some of the pages are perforated for removal, if necessary.

I happened upon this book (fiction) about a kid who had this sort of behavior down to a science:

The Selected Works of T.S.Spivet
http://www.tsspivet.com/

Highly recommended. Available in paperback, but worth the price of a hardcover.

moldmonkey
12-11-2010, 01:08 PM
In a bid to get myself more organized, I just recently started carrying a Moleskine pocket calender. It has a week calender on one page and a ruled page opposite, very good for notes, reminders and fits in a shirt pocket so it is always with me. My Dad (a rancher) has done this for years. He will record weather, cattle & grain markets, social & work events, business deals, etc.. It will make for interesting reading someday but hopefully not too soon.

I have tried project notebooks before but am not good at logging things. I make sketches but should add notes.

On a side note, I have made my own constantly evolving shirt pocket reference book out of a Moleskinne hardback notebook. I gather all the charts, info, tips,tricks & formulas that I use and am able to lay them out like I want. For example, one section includes decimal equivalents for all the inch & metric drills up to 1 inch WITH notes as to tap drill or clearance drill which is not something I've seen in one chart/table. Or dimensions & bolt patterns for Bimba EFT cylinders which I used to use a lot but no longer. Tedious to do but worthwhile.

The Circa stuff looks nice. I didn't see a shirt pocket size other than the reporter pads. It would be nice to be able to have a durable shirt pocket book that was re organizable.

gr8life
12-12-2010, 11:15 AM
Here is a simple way to make notes. I use a piece of paper or a sheet of alum to write on and take a picture.
http://i461.photobucket.com/albums/qq336/gr8lifeLV/100_0367.jpg
thanks
ed

Lew Hartswick
12-12-2010, 01:07 PM
Nearly oll my "projects" are "one offs" so the design is tablet paper
and when the job is done it is hardly readable. So it goes in the waste
paper bin. A few times I get ask to duplicate something so I just say
bring me the original and I'll measure it. :-)
...lew...

datsun280zxt
12-12-2010, 06:36 PM
I've tried several different methods. I've done the "log everything I do in the shop" method. And I really liked it, but I somehow managed to stop doing it. As for project notebooks, I have several. 2-3 notebooks for random use, and then one notebook that has carefully done drawings and notes for different projects I've done. If I build it more than once (or plan on building it more than once, it gets re-drawn in my good notebook and I leave plenty of room for missed/future notes. The good notebook is simply a spiral bound pad (bound at the top) and I have a peg it hangs on mounted to my DRO on the mill. Quick notes and numbers usually get written on a piece of tape and stuck on my vise till the project is done. I'm sure there are better ways, but it works for me.

darryl
12-12-2010, 10:56 PM
About a year ago I started using a notebook with a spring type binder. The pages are lined on one side and bare on the other, with the lines parallel to the binder. I mounted a rod behind the lathe, parallel to the lathe, and the notebook hangs on the rod. When I open it, the top part leans against the wall. What shows is the lined side of one page and the blank side of the next page. I can put notes on the lined page, and make my drawings on the other.

Normally for me, a project will be a one-off, so it's somewhat pointless for me to keep information available on it. Sometimes there's pertinent information that it would be good to be able to refer to, in which case I'll write something up and put it in the book. For projects where I can forsee wanting to make duplicates in future, I'll write it up, make drawings, etc, then once those are proof read I'll transfer them into the book.

My shop doesn't have a lot of room, so there's really nowhere to set up a drafting area. I should have that though, so what I'm thinking to do is dedicate about 30 inches of bench top width somewhere to a planning and drawing station. A couple of drawers there will be useful, plus decent lighting, drafting squares, etc, and probably a plexiglass hinge-down cover to keep dust and chips off the drawings. I'm thinking to have a stool there, not a chair, so I can rest my butt while drawing, but I'm not really sitting down. I could slide off the stool, and I'm still on my feet basically. I wouldn't have to 'get up'. I think this will be less disruptive to the 'working routine' in the shop, and should leave me more willing to actually do the drawings, etc, instead of having it all in my head as I'm used to doing. The stool will tuck under the bench easier than a chair.

goose
12-12-2010, 11:20 PM
With parts and components I make more than one of I store all necessary info on a MS Excel sheet. Diameters, lengths, tolerances; as well as tooling needed, and material(s) used. If I want to get fancy; pictures can be embedded, and hyperlinks added. (example; link tooling specified to online catalog where ordered.)

Just click "print" and notes are ready to bring to the shop.

The Excel sheet can be readily converted to a PDF if need be.


Gary