No announcement yet.

Good enough

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    I think your lathe/sander process fits my "how and why" thought process.

    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.


    In my former job there was way too much of that "BTW we needed that yesterday" crap. Once in a while we did get to take our time and build elegant solutions that were both functional and pretty. Those were always the most fun to do and gave me a lot of satisfaction. I usually just drew up a sketch, kind of an outline to keep my on track, and only reverted to drafting on the computer when I had dimensional issues to work out. My former boss, the old navy metalsmith, was amazing in that he could work it all out in his head and almost never had to do more than a simple sketch. He made some really beautiful things. I am looking forward to working for myself in that I only take on jobs that are reasonable and not set to unreasonable time constraints. First order of business is building up my tools and fixtures.

    Jim (KB4IVH)
    Jim (KB4IVH)

    Only fools abuse their tools.


    • #32
      Good enough?

      I have a good enough grinder stand as well. 4" square tube mounted on a brake drum from a big rig. Have a shelf halfway down for the water can and a swing-arm lamp mounted behind the grinder for better light.

      Sometimes good enough does not work for some people. Case in point. I was a plant manger for many years and we were involved in the manufacture of off-highway equipment. My tooling manager (who was German) had a machinist opening and wanted to hire this other German guy who had applied from outside the company. Based on the guys machinist background and German temperament I was concerned if he would fit in with our group. Reluctantly I let the manager go ahead and hire him.

      Off-highway equipment tolerances are not super tight in the production area, and the r&d / prototype area is even worse. This new guy was a super nice person, very concerned with making the parts perfect, did great work etc. But it didn't take 5 months before he became overly frustrated with making parts for prototypes in the R&D shop.

      It really bothered him to be making parts with such loose tolerances. He just could not fathom that there could be a part which had maybe 3 critical areas/tolerances and the rest of the part was wide open.

      We ended up helping him find a production machinist job at a high-tech medical device company which suited his demeanor better. He was awash in super critical tolerances and highly detailed drawings of parts that seldom changed.


      • #33
        Ok, let me try this, then I'll quit...not that important, really...

        I was having difficulty trying to type my "thinking" into the last two posts. So I went to "researching" my library, and until I found a "classic" on this subject:

        "The Nature and Art of Workmanship" by David Pye

        I'll try not to get too deep, because the book is easily found, and I think it is still in print.

        Davis Pye explains two ways of working. One is a process whose outcome is predetermined, which he calls the "workmanship" of certainty." That is, the worker uses machines or techniques that eliminate the risk of an unplanned outcome. With the other approach, the "workmanship of risk," there is no quaranteed. Pye describes this kind of craftsmanship as "using any kind of technique or apparatus in which the quality of the result is not predetermined, but depends on the judgment, dexterity and care which the maker exercises as he works. The essential idea is that the quality of the result is continually at risk during the process of making."

        The line between these two approaches is fuzzy, not solid, and both are usually found in the same shop. Most of our grinder stand "designs" are at one end, but many of our other "designs" are at the other end.

        I hope that helps to clarify my some what unclear thinking, without getting deep into that timeless engineer/machinist debate, because I "washed out" as both.
        Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."