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Lessons Learned Last Week

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  • Lessons Learned Last Week

    Thought I'd pass along some lessons I learned this past week. I was making small round aluminum parts for a project and had to make four of them. I completed all four and put them on the work bench and went to lunch. When I came back, there was only one part on the workbench.

    Since it is just my wife and I, and she was in the house and no one had come into the shop, I assumed they had rolled off the bench top. First lesson learned! I put a small lip of 1/16" thick and 1/2" wide aluminum on the entire width of benchtop edge to prevent small parts from rolling off.

    I looked on the floor and found two of the missing three. Since the parts were aluminum, I could not use a magnetic to sweep over the floor and into corners to find the parts. I moved everything from under the bench and still couldn't find the missing one. Just about the time I had decided to make another one, I would look another place. My trash basket is located under the bench, at the edge. Sure enough the missing part had rolled into the trash basket. Second lesson learned! Place trach basket completely under the workbench so that if things do drop, the will hit the floor and not go into the trash basket!

    Bill
    Bill

    Being ROAD KILL on the Information Super Highway and Electronically Challenged really SUCKS!!

    Every problem can be solved through the proper application of explosives, duct tape, teflon, WD-40, or any combo of the aforementioned items.

  • #2
    I like the idea of a lip to keep parts from falling. I often have drill bits rolling off and hitting the concrete floor. You've given me an idea- I'm going to take a piece of 1/2 inch mdf and mill a series of half round grooves in it, then put a simple handle on which will divide the board in half. I can keep drill bits and taps on it, the ones that I use all the time, and it can just sit on the bench. I might actually (finally) have a 'kit' made up, which would be a tap, a pilot drill for it, and a clearance drill for the bolt size, each kit laying in one groove. There are only a few tap sizes that I use all the time, and it's these and their associated drill bits which get left on the benchtop. Ha, there I go- I'll put a home for the tapping fluid containers I use right on this mdf board. That will finally give me a place to keep them so they don't contaminate everywhere else that I put them.

    Thanks for the idea.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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    • #3
      i keep old baking trays under my drillpress vice and lathe to collect chips (some of them actualy go in the trays too!!). any small "rollaway" parts and bits are put in the trays to keep them from walking away.

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      • #4
        I've got the same baker trays under my band saw and lathe bed, but not under the drill press since I don't think it would help me there...
        Russ
        Master Floor Sweeper

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        • #5
          Next time you have a floor search for really small stuff, lay a flashlight with good batteries on the floor and sweep it around like a radar beam. Amazing the shadows a small nut or screw will make on the floor. That's what they did at a restaurant I worked at when the cleaning people were finished. They were instructed to leave all found property in a bowl on the bar, including any $5.00 bills planted as bait.
          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
          Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

          It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Your Old Dog
            Next time you have a floor search for really small stuff, lay a flashlight with good batteries on the floor and sweep it around like a radar beam. Amazing the shadows a small nut or screw will make on the floor. .


            You can utilize every trick in the book and it wont help you with what im about to say ---- turn the entire shop upside down, try to imagine being the part and where you would go, go through every feasable posibility that you can imagine, pull on your hair, curse the parts --- curse the machines, curse everything, give up ---- go back and do it all over again, give up again and call it a day, turn to drinking, sit back on the couch --- take off your work boots and the answer is staring back at you caught in the tread of the heal of one of the soles --------- continue drinking...

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            • #7
              I don't like the lip idea. I find that the tools and parts rolling off helps to keep the bench clear.
              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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              • #8
                In the same vein as the flashlight/shadow idea, try lying down on the floor so your eye is at floor level, and look horizontally.
                ----------
                Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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                • #9
                  The Jet Propulsion Lab uses the digital equivalent of sweeping a flashlight around the floor. For Mars exploration using the rovers they use a technique of digitally stretching the images vertically. This allows minor vertical features to become exaggerated without affecting the lowest features. Small, difficult to see objects jump right out. For really expensive missing stuff you can use this to your advantage with your own digital camera

                  http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/gallery/p...20060505a.html

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                  • #10
                    When something does hit my shop floor, a future archaeological team may find it, because I almost never do!

                    I have always made my workbenches as level as possible, that makes stacking "project parts" more predicable (everything falls off at once).
                    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

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                    • #11
                      I find the smaller the part the further it flies just skinning the floor to it's final resting place.Infact I have proven that the LAST 8-32x1/2" allen cap screw in the shop can fly sideways an incredible 150' after a 30" vertical drop

                      Evan,combine the lip idea with a top covered with an endless conveyor belt and a hand crank on one end
                      I just need one more tool,just one!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TECHSHOP
                        When something does hit my shop floor, a future archaeological team may find it, because I almost never do!
                        Hehe, sounds like my shop. When I was going through my Rockwell lathe (what, 8 months or so ago?) the big ol' honkin' snap ring that holds the L00 nut in place, something like 3" diameter, was almost too big for my largest snap ring pliers. It sorta bumped on the way off the spindle nose and came of the pip on the pliers. "SPOING!"

                        I thought to myself, "Man, I'm glad it's not one of those small ones. At least this one is big enough to find..." I even saw the general direction after the first ricochet, and it didn't leave that energetically to start with, so how bad can it be? After about 15 minutes of looking, I called in the cavalry. Wife, son AND daughter comb the shop with me for the next 15-20 minutes. I looked in, under, and behind EVERYTHING. Found stuff I didn't even know was missing, but NO snap ring. Never did find it, finally had to special order a new super sized snap ring. Of course that took several days with a minimum quantity of 3, anyone need a super sized snap ring? Or two???

                        So, the general direction that it took when departing was toward my fab table. Under the fab table are all my material "shorts" along with a few related fab tools on 2 shelves under the table. On the floor are several heavy walled cardboard boxes of "scrap" where I toss random tubing ends, plasma drops from brackets, stuff not really worth calling "stock", but often coming in handy for tacking up temp fixtures and what not. We GUTTED that area the night it disappeared, figured that was the most likely place for it. *4* of us looked through that stuff, and more than once...

                        Saturday I was going through one of the boxes of scrap. A box that I've been into countless times since the loss of the clip. But SATURDAY, the clip was just setting there in the box.
                        Russ
                        Master Floor Sweeper

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SGW
                          In the same vein as the flashlight/shadow idea, try lying down on the floor so your eye is at floor level, and look horizontally.
                          Sorry SWG but that's crap advise.
                          If you have enough room to lie down on the floor you have enough room for 2 mills and a new lathe

                          Remind me again, what's a floor ?

                          .
                          .

                          Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BadDog
                            Hehe, sounds like my shop. When I was going through my Rockwell lathe (what, 8 months or so ago?) the big ol' honkin' snap ring that holds the L00 nut in place, something like 3" diameter, was almost too big for my largest snap ring pliers. It sorta bumped on the way off the spindle nose and came of the pip on the pliers. "SPOING!"

                            I thought to myself, "Man, I'm glad it's not one of those small ones. At least this one is big enough to find..." I even saw the general direction after the first ricochet, and it didn't leave that energetically to start with, so how bad can it be? After about 15 minutes of looking, I called in the cavalry. Wife, son AND daughter comb the shop with me for the next 15-20 minutes. I looked in, under, and behind EVERYTHING. Found stuff I didn't even know was missing, but NO snap ring. Never did find it, finally had to special order a new super sized snap ring. Of course that took several days with a minimum quantity of 3, anyone need a super sized snap ring? Or two???

                            So, the general direction that it took when departing was toward my fab table. Under the fab table are all my material "shorts" along with a few related fab tools on 2 shelves under the table. On the floor are several heavy walled cardboard boxes of "scrap" where I toss random tubing ends, plasma drops from brackets, stuff not really worth calling "stock", but often coming in handy for tacking up temp fixtures and what not. We GUTTED that area the night it disappeared, figured that was the most likely place for it. *4* of us looked through that stuff, and more than once...

                            Saturday I was going through one of the boxes of scrap. A box that I've been into countless times since the loss of the clip. But SATURDAY, the clip was just setting there in the box.
                            I have a theory on this.
                            I think although it can't be proved, that in workshops there exists another time / space frame, although in my case I think it's just a time frame, no room for the space.

                            This time / space frame is operated by a ratchet.

                            How it works is, you use a tool or a part and place it on the bench. The operation of doing this works the ratchet and the part sits on the bench but in another S / T frame so although it's there it can't be seen.

                            You then spend hours looking for this tool, give up and get another ones. You then place this one on the bench, which again operates the ratchet and Bingo, there the first tool sitting there that you couldn't find.

                            I think someone should do a paper on this.

                            .
                            .

                            Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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                            • #15
                              What about gravity funnels and sinks?

                              When I was stationed on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. America, I did aircraft maintenance on the flight deck. They always parked our planes on the aircraft elevators between launches. The elevators, as well as the flight deck had tiedown points about every 6' or so, the ones on the elevators being open on the bottom to the sea below.

                              If I dropped a screw, socket, screwdriver, or anything that could possibly fit through the tiedown hole, that's where it went, never to be retrieved - even if the dropped object originated at a point equidistant between the tiedowns.

                              A variant of this involves dropped objects in the vicinity of automobiles, large machines and benches. The dropped object will invariably move to the remotest, most inaccessable point - usually equidistant from all sides.

                              I think that the phenomonon could be researched and modified for reverse purposes... think levitation, space travel, golf.
                              Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                              ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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