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  • #16
    I better tell you all a story about "bad" welding.
    In BC our entry level weldors training is a 7 month/8 hr days, (very grueling) course.
    There was a Native Indian fellow taking it and he had a horrid time.
    He just couldn't get it figured. Never passed one weld in three months.
    The college was building a climbing wall and needed a bunch of rings welded up.
    The instructor gave a big stack of these to the Indian.
    He missed class the next day.
    The instructor called everyone over to a bench where he had all of this guys welded rings spread out.
    They looked awful...as usual.
    He asked us how strong we though they would be. We all laughed and started guessing how many psi the destructive testing machine would measure with the ones he picked.
    Guesses ranged from 20 psi to 2000 psi.
    Hmmm...where we ever wrong.
    The worst looking one broke at over 9500 psi.
    The instructor did this on purpose to show us just how strong a weld really is.
    He knew the guy was welding pretty hot with 5/32" 7018 and he knew the guy was just naturally shaky but he also knew the welds would be pretty darn strong.
    I'm thinking Evans grinder pedastal will be just fine!
    Russ
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

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    • #17
      Hi Evan,

      I am one of your greatest fans, although I did criticize you once on the bare chest and lack of safety glasses once. I often have to remind all my good friends and I’ll try to keep that up. I know you had your fill of that post.

      My question to you is about this issue of when "the perfect is the enemy of the good." You have reached a point where you can make what you envision. Do you ever find yourself "bogged down" by trying to conceive of, and engineer all possibilities?

      Personally, I find myself bogging down very often, yet I can produce nice work in spurts. As I get more tools and capabilities I can do more, and yet I still "bog down" and I find myself needing another tool. Sometimes I am almost in a paralysis as I think about a project. I've come up with some good stuff, and the thinking improves it. But before I finish something, I've redesigned it.

      Yet you don't push that way. You seem to push yourself to try to do more with the tools that you have. (You'll never collect as many tools that way. It's just a comment! Ok, again, I'm forgetting that the goal ISN'T in having the most tools.)

      Obviously you are among the most brilliant and experienced members. So how do you avoid letting the "perfect" keep from becoming the enemy of the good?

      Perhaps I should direct this question to a professional psychiatrist
      .

      It would be very nice to talk to you someday and get your thoughts about hydrogen generation among a long list of other subjects. If you are ever in Utah please look me up.

      Thanks in advance for any comments.

      Spence

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      • #18
        Do you ever find yourself "bogged down" by trying to conceive of, and engineer all possibilities?
        Not really. I do work slowly, partly because of health concerns. I also do spend a lot of time considering the relationships of all the parts to one another. Sometimes I make detailed drawings (rarely) or a computer model (my telescope) but most often the main plans are in my head with only a few sketches to clarify measurements. The mill project is this way with virtually no plans but there are numerous places where potential interferences must be considered and I have quite a few parts that have minimal clearance to other parts in order to maximize the features like the work envelope. There are very many parts where it is essential that they be adjustable, accessible, replaceable etc without having to take the entire thing apart or stand on your head.

        I have put a great deal of engineering into the mill project but I expect it to pay in a machine that works well. I have always had an ability to keep in my head the relationships of numerous parts in 3D space. I actually visualize these relationships in images that I can rotate in my head like a 3D model on a computer. I think my brain works differently than most which may be explained by the neurological differences that manifest in part as FibroMyalgia Syndrome. Part of FMS is very different sleep patterns than normal including, in my case, the ability to dream when not fully asleep including detailed visuals. I often go to sleep directly to a REM state instead of the usual sleep cycle. I frequently set up a problem just before sleeping and find I have the answer when I wake. This is handy put the price is high.

        I don't often feel bogged down on a project. If I am still unsure how to approach something then I work on some other part that is already well defined and still needs to be made. At some point the solution or design gels seemingly without me having done anything to produce it. It's like a background task that runs on a computer with no obvious indication that it is there. I like long projects and no longer grow impatient to see them completed.

        In my experience with Xerox for 23 years I have seen just about every possible way to drive, move, rotate, translate, shift, adjust, detect, position etc parts and assemblies. I have seen every possible stupid mistake an engineer can make in not allowing for adjustment, replacement, alignment, wear etc of parts and assemblies. I have also dealt with and worked on just about every possible type of control system for machines from banks of relays and cycle control systems made with cams and switches to fully programmable computer controls running UNIX on networked machines using steppers, servos and any other type of motion control there is.

        Of course none of that came into play for the grinder stand. I just slapped it together from what I had laying around.

        I put the Xerox experience to good use when designing things like the mill. Hmm, kinda rambling on here, time for bed.
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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        • #19
          Quotes from Evan: ...I do work slowly, partly because of health concerns. I also do spend a lot of time considering the relationships of all the parts to one another. Sometimes I make detailed drawings (rarely) or a computer model (my telescope) but most often the main plans are in my head with only a few sketches to clarify measurements...I have always had an ability to keep in my head the relationships of numerous parts in 3D space. I actually visualize these relationships in images that I can rotate in my head like a 3D model on a computer...If I am still unsure how to approach something then I work on some other part that is already well defined and still needs to be made. At some point the solution or design gels seemingly without me having done anything to produce it. It's like a background task that runs on a computer with no obvious indication that it is there. I like long projects and no longer grow impatient to see them completed...unquote.

          Sounds like he was describing me except where Evan is afflicted with FMS, I was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr Virus, although the doctor considered FMS also. Different conditions, but very similar symptoms and effects on lifestyle and behavior. The question comes to mind: does the affliction cause the abilities listed above, or does a predisposition to suffer from certain types of diseases come along with the particular abilities?
          Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
          ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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          • #20
            The question comes to mind: does the affliction cause the abilities listed above, or does a predisposition to suffer from certain types of diseases come along with the particular abilities?
            Unlike Epstein Barr virus which is an infection, FMS has no known cause. What is known is that the way the brain perceives inputs is altered and that there are changes from what is considered normal in the levels of various neurotransmitters. It is thought that the pain is caused by the brain misinterpreting ordinary nerve signals as pain that would normally be considered as merely part of the normal touch and pressure background in the body. It is probably for that reason that pain killers are ineffective.

            I have had symptoms of this for as long as I can remember although it is now much worse than it used to be (and stable). As the condition directly involves brain operation, I think, and this is only my opinion based on personal experience, I think that it may also alter how the brain works in other matters. It seems logical and likely. It certainly has an effect on the way I sleep. FMS also has an association with Bipolar disorder, usually in a close relative but not the person with FMS. I have a brother with severe bipolar disorder.

            I also used to have a near photographic memory although that has faded somewhat with time. The term "photographic" is apt as that is often how I remember things, as images. I use no memory tricks whatever as they do not help.

            My family line is filled with people on both sides with exceptional capabilities as well as problems that are brain related. The two seem to go together.
            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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            • #21
              As a kid I knew a guy that could barely control any of his body movements while trying to remain still. He would also constantly slobber on himself and his speech was severly affected also.

              Just observing him was disturbing to some. At first glance the feeling of pity overcame a lot of people.

              But if you took the time to know him, he was one of the nicest people I have ever met. And actually was quite a good mechanic.

              He was also a chemical engineer for Boeing.

              The human brain can be wonderfully adaptive, and also quite mistifying.
              Gene

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              • #22
                Good Enough!

                Yesterday at work was a hard day with tension filled meetings and problem solving under pressure throughout the day. An hour before quitting time my boss came to me needing a couple of parts machined for a rush job and the machinists had already gone home. The parts were simple enough, just small aluminum plugs, cylindrical in shape with a step in diameter on one end and a tapped hole in the other. I am not the Machinist here. I usually spend my days troubleshooting problems or engineering products or processes. Occasionally I get to make some of the parts I need for prototypes, but usually not under pressure. This was my first opportunity to use a *real* lathe, a Clausing 1301, rather than the Atlas 6â€‌ or Sherline that I was accustomed to.
                Roughed the parts out on the Clausing. Working from a metric print, on an inch machine, and not doing careful preplanning, it took me 3 tries to get the parts right.
                Only the bit in the toolpost was available, all the rest of the tooling for the Clausing was locked up in the machinist’s toolbox. Parted off with a hacksaw.
                Transferred to the Sherline to face to length and tap the 6-32 hole in the end. Surface finish wasn’t great but done on time and the boss said “Good Enoughâ€‌ and was happy.
                Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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                • #23
                  Good enough

                  Quote:

                  Personally, I find myself bogging down very often, yet I can produce nice work in spurts. As I get more tools and capabilities I can do more, and yet I still "bog down" and I find myself needing another tool. Sometimes I am almost in a paralysis as I think about a project. I've come up with some good stuff, and the thinking improves it. But before I finish something, I've redesigned it.

                  Spence, I feel your dilema!

                  I had an employee who was exactly as you describe. He had the ability and the mind to design very nice solutions to what we had to deal with. His biggest problem was that he got sidetracked on minute details and redesigning everything that, in effect, he got nothing done. We had hard deadlines to deal with and he was unyielding. I never could get it across to him that perfection is nice when time permits but, in the real world, there are things that we have to build that will work, even if they are not pretty. It caused many arguments and lasting hard feelings between us and even between us and the customers. It is so nice to be retired and be my own boss!!!

                  As for weld quality, I have seen many welds that looked like something out of the kitty litter box that held just fine. The situation that I find most deceptive in welding is the mig machine. You can lay a bead that looks fine but does not penetrate the base metal. I learned that you have to be sure you use enough heat to bond to the base metal but not enough to burn through.

                  Jim (KB4IVH)
                  Jim (KB4IVH)

                  Only fools abuse their tools.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    This has turned into the type of thread that I feared was getting "shut" out lately. I have always been fascinated when a truely creative person talks of the "how and why" of their "technique". The ones that really understand how they go about doing the task at hand, not just a learned procedure or memorized formula. That extra "spark" that just makes their solution "perfect"; usually some bit so obvious that it is overlooked. I see that in more than a few posters here.

                    I seem to have two "modes", one is where I acquire parts, machines, stock, books, plans, etc. Then the dam breaks or the scale tips, and I use everything in projects, then it starts all over, it may be days, weeks, or years from start to finish on some projects. That is possibly why I have never been "happy" doing this type of stuff for money, I see too much "waste" or solutions lacking refinement. I am not against the expedient "quick fix, get it done stuff", I just don't like it when the "halfassed" becomes "business as usual" and nothing better is ever expected.

                    Don't call me a perfectionist, that's not quite the right word.
                    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

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                    • #25
                      Evan-

                      What you mentioned earlier was very interesting - i have never heard of FMS although i think it would be reasonible, based on what i have heard here, to suggest that this is what ailed Nikola Tesla. He had a much more powerful mind than mind ever will be but shared some of the qualities that you previously mentioned like 3-d modeling and manipulation. I understand that he suffered from various pains but at one point he had a bout so severe that he said he could here the ticking of a clock three rooms away. Every little grain of light, every tiny sound, every texture no matter how smooth, caused him pain. Thats what i first thought of when i heard the symptoms of FMS.

                      Oh one more thing, for curisosities sake - what are your earliest memories?
                      Last edited by Fasttrack; 05-09-2006, 09:44 PM.

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                      • #26
                        what are your earliest memories?
                        I am suprised to hear you ask that. My first clear memory is from before I was one year old. I was sitting on a lawn on a blanket and remember an image of white cape cod style lawn chairs nearby. There is no photo of this anywhere in the family but the scene did exist although I had never had it described to me. It was when I was in Denmark at the age of 10 to 11 months during the summer, having been born the previous August. I didn't mention this to my dear departed grandmother until much later in life and she confirmed that it was as I remember. I also have some clear memories from about the age of two and after that I have numerous memories from any age older than that. I even remember many of my very young childhood dreams. I was beginning to read at the age of three.
                        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                        • #27
                          Good enough

                          quote: I see too much "waste" or solutions lacking refinement. I am not against the expedient "quick fix, get it done stuff", I just don't like it when the "halfassed" becomes "business as usual" and nothing better is ever expected.

                          techshop,

                          When you are doing things on a schedule (opposed to the luxary of no time constraints) you have to make some concessions to speeding the process up. A good example is making an order of core sample tubes. We would get 2 1/2" lexan tubing and have to cut to length, bevel one end, and turn them out in runs of 100 at a time. This is pretty straight forward stuff. One operation on the lathe and sand the bevel on the belt sander. You don't need the help trying to design a lot of tooling to cut the bevel on the lathe. The customer would use them once and throw them away. There is a lot of ground between perfection and halfassed work. You have to be realistic about it.

                          Jim (KB4IVH)
                          Jim (KB4IVH)

                          Only fools abuse their tools.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            The pursuit of perfection in anything is a form of art. The art of machining may be carried to whatever level one is capable of and has the time and equipment to produce. This is entirely different from the demands of production and business as nearly all manufacturers and shops, regardless of size, are not foremost in the business of making art.

                            There is absolutely nothing wrong with producing something utilitarian that just fulfills the intended function. This was one of the tenets of Frank Lloyd Wright. He reinterpreted the phrase "Form follows function" as "Form and function are one".

                            In the case of what I do sometimes what I make is purely physically functional and I put no more work into it than it needs to accomplish the intended job. However, sometimes the function is not only to operate in the intended manner but to also please my eye. In that case I will spend more time on what many will consider irrelevant to the intended function of the device.

                            It isn't irrelevant if the function includes an esthetically pleasing appearance, to me. I build to satisfy myself first and rarely to satisfy others.

                            My late uncle was a top architect whom I admired and he worked in the style of Wright. He designed with all aspects of function considered and that always includes appearance in architecture. There is no reason for that not to be an element of machine design and I find that a well designed machine usually has a pleasing appearance.

                            This is exemplified by the appearance of finely made tools which have as a badge of quality fits and finish that go beyond anything needed for plain utility.
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                            • #29
                              Hello Evan,
                              I made one that similar except I welded a round plate with holes drilled in it on the bottom of the post and bolted it to an inverted truck brake drum. My 8" grinder looks just like yours. It works well.
                              Chuck

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                              • #30
                                Scishopguy:

                                This is the type of stuff that I have seen that I would consider "halfassed" but lasted for months or years in the last place I worked (closed and out of biz now):

                                300psi steam pipes "fixed" with cut up 5 gal buckets and hose clamps, or small diameter copper pipe used as a fuse in the high voltage electrical panels. All done in the name of "production", not a true emergency (ship on fire and sinking), WTF!

                                I'll stop before I remember more and get angry, and spoil my "happy place" today.

                                I think your lathe/sander process fits my "how and why" thought process.

                                I have made furniture for interior designers, whose only concern was how it would photograph in the "magazines" (and how much he could "mark up" the price), and "shop" stuff where only the function mattered(Evan's grinder stand), but most was/is somewhere in between. The same can be said for my metalwork (except my welding, that has never been less than fugly!).

                                Sometimes I make a "detailed blueprint", others just a "mental" plan like Evan describes. Wasn't trying for the "art is all" in my prior post.

                                I have been typing this while Bill G is pumping more crap into my computer, who knows what or who I have forgot in this reply.
                                Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

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