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How often do you find things you made and have no idea?

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  • How often do you find things you made and have no idea?

    Spent a lazy part of the afternoon cleaning up the bench and putting "stuff" away. Found this neat little piloted counter bore.
    • It's not hardened so it's only good for wood or aluminium. But it is made from O1 drill rod so it COULD be heat treated.
    • It's not a size that fits any inch size cap screws. Metric seems to be a non fit too.
    • The pilot shaft is retained by a set screw on the other side you can't see. It's a piece of 4mm shaft at 0.157"
    .... I have no idea other than I clearly felt the need to put some added effort into it...…

    Anyone else find that after decades of making special one time or seldom used items like this finds that they have a collection and just go "I dunno… but they're too nice to throw out....."?


    Click image for larger version  Name:	P1030546.JPG Views:	0 Size:	100.9 KB ID:	1846538
    Chilliwack BC, Canada

  • #2
    I was thinking about this very thing a couple days ago.

    With me it's not so much not recognizing a thing I made and or remember what it is for. It's control systems or electrical designs that I made and then can't remember doing it. But sure enough my name is in the title block or somewhere on the usually hand drawn schematic or electrical drawing. Not too long ago I got a call from a machine shop not far from me. They were having problems with their rotary phase so the owner says remember when you put that in maybe 20 years ago or so. I promptly said I didn't put that in for you it must have been someone else. No it was you he says. I say I absolutely did not install the rotary phase and controls. Then he goes to the file cabinet and pulls out a drawing that has my name all over it and a date 23 years ago. I hate it when that happens.

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    • #3
      A good lesson for "never say never", eh?
      Chilliwack BC, Canada

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      • #4
        Ya. I have some "things" For me worst thing is, after bumping into something repeatedly and not knowing, and then throwing it away. Of course, at a later time I need something special, a jig, fixture, bushing, mandrel, etc. and realize what I make looks just like what I threw away...…..
        I cut it off twice; it's still too short
        Oregon, USA

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        • #5
          yeah, I found a modified rifle barrel sight mount, that I cant remember how I made it.

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          • #6
            It's happened occasionally to me also. I wish I had kept better notes and taken pictures. I do now!
            i run across a few notes, sketches and diagrams that just aren't detailed enough for me to remember what they were for.
            Now I even keep track of my steel inventory, where and when I bought it and what I used it for.

            JL....
            Last edited by JoeLee; 01-03-2020, 01:04 AM.

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            • #7
              Yes I'm guilty of this too. I try to keep tooling or parts I've made organized by keeping them where it will make sense. Special purpose tools or parts I've made related to a certain type of transmission for example, I'll keep in a box of gaskets and seals for that transmission, same with gun parts, M/C tooling,etc.
              However if it gets left on the bench long enough to collect dust it may get relegated to the orphaned and unexplained drawer. LOL

              A few months ago I found some material behind the lathe and a very detailed drawing with all critical dimensions for something important enough at the time for me to have taken the time to at least jot down some pertinent info for.
              To this day I can't for the life of me remember what I needed so badly at the time.
              None of this happens too often but still too often to ignore.
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

              Location: British Columbia

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              • #8
                How about a call that begins "This is Emily you remember back in 76 when you were going with Annie, and you made a box for my husband who's deaf to flash the table lamp when somebody pushes the door bell? It quitand Annie & I spent all morning finding your number. Can you fix it?

                I'm thinking I sure do, and thanks for reminding me of Annie, I liked Earl, which is why I made it FREE. 40 years use life and you want me to come over and fix it, I think NOT.

                How about the guy who dumps his "MIG Welder" on your shop floor, says make what you can out of it, and then hauls you into Small Claims Court cause you made something actually useful from the china made scrap. He's entitled cause he cut you many orders 20 years back.

                They're buried in the wodwork and they network to hunt you down.

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                • #9
                  Happens all too often. And that is not a recent phenomenon. It has been happening almost all my life.
                  Paul A.
                  SE Texas

                  And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                  You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                  • #10
                    Im starting to feel better about myself. A forum full of oldtimer sufferers.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                      ... I wish I had kept better notes and taken pictures. I do now!....
                      That's great if you remember that you kept notes and pictures & where they are.

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                      • #12
                        When I started machining I sometimes kept cool looking failures and hung them on the wall in my shop. As time went on and wall space started to come at a premium those things got moved around. Worse, I made my own tools BEFORE I started "machining." There are a lot of home made tools and parts in my shop. Not all of them are actually good for anything.
                        *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bob Engelhardt View Post

                          That's great if you remember that you kept notes and pictures & where they are.
                          That also has been a problem. Now I have a folder for each project where I keep notes, diagrams and any pictures that I printed. Some times I find it useful to take a couple pictures and mark the dimensions or other notes on the picture.
                          Now, my notes include the date, material used and in some cases the cutters that I used, machining process, steps etc.

                          JL.................

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                          • #14
                            Not a problem I have. I remember what I have made, and what for, in general.

                            My problem is that I know I made the thing I need, but cannot recall where it is.
                            CNC machines only go through the motions.

                            Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                            Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                            Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                            I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                            Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

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                            • #15
                              I wish I had the talent and skill to make something like that. Still working on basic skills, so your post gives me hope. Thanks!!
                              S E Michigan

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