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Thread: Work rules / practices

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    Registered User BJC's Avatar
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    Work rules / practices

    Help out some of us amateurs with work rules and practices that you follow to minimize mistakes and to work efficiently. I'm think of things like:

    Never leave something unfinished (screws not tightened, cotter pin not installed, not torqued, not safety wired), because you might forget to get back to it the next time you are working on your airplane.

    or

    Always return your tools to their storage place after using them.

    Thanks,


    BJC

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    Registered User Bill Clapp's Avatar
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    Re: Work rules / practices

    A couple tips...

    Organize your tools and keep them clean. When you are finished with a job make it easy to track them to be sure they didnt get left in an airplane. We have found some before....
    Make measurable tasks that can be accomplished in one sitting to reduce the impact of interuptions.
    Make a tag (red) to mark any unfinished or unairworthy component/work area in case of interuption.
    Have a second set of eyes on all flight control or critical systems. If not, take a measured break and then return to the job with "inspectors" eyes.

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    Registered User StarJar's Avatar
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    Re: Work rules / practices

    I picture in my mind the part/procedure comming out perfect. If I don't have a good feeling about it I ask myself 'why?' and wait. Usually something will come to me that I hadn't realized before.
    It also seems to create more synchronicity than always pushing it.

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    Re: Work rules / practices

    Set a goal to do something every day no matter how seemingly insignificant it might be to the overall project. As I once read, "Do something every day and one day all that will left to be done is fly".

    View the job at hand as "the job" to be completed. Each step is part of the larger project of course, but viewing each step as an accomplishment in itself gives satisfaction and maintains enthusiasm in the long run.

    I think the same principals can be applied to any aspect of our lives!

    Lynn

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    Moderator Topaz's Avatar
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    Re: Work rules / practices

    Quote Originally Posted by BJC View Post
    ... Always return your tools to their storage place after using them....
    I don't quite manage that, but they always are put away at the end of the work session. Everything in my toolbox has a specific place, as do all my power tools, so it's easy to see if something is missing and needs to be found.

    I suppose the latter is my tip - A place for everything and everything in its place. No "box full of loose tools". You can never leave a tool out, and there's no rummaging through a bunch of tools to find the one for which you're looking.
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau

    Design Project: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
    Discussion Thread for the Project: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

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    Registered User gtae07's Avatar
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    Re: Work rules / practices

    I'm horrible about stopping right in the middle of something and not cleaning up. I'm not a cleaned-up and orderly person at all. I tend to wait until a given project/step/stage is done, then clean it all up. But my mind works that way; cleaning up and organizing is a painful process.

    One rule I've implemented goes like this:
    0 beers = work as normal
    1 beer = no power tools, complex tasks, riveting, or major steps; deburring, un-clecoing, minor tasks, etc. only
    2+ beers = broom and vacuum only
    I reserve the right to be smarter tomorrow than I was yesterday.

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    Registered User Hot Wings's Avatar
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    Re: Work rules / practices

    Turn off the phone! Maybe even lock the door?

    Tune the radio to a pure music channel. (Pandora)

    Interruptions waste time and cause mistakes. "Did I actually put that oil pump seal in or is there a spare is this gasket kit?" Only one way to find out for sure...

    Help, when needed, should be rigorously trained - and properly rewarded when the job in complete.
    Conventional wisdom and practices yield conventional results. If that is good enough for you:
    Problem solved.

    "--and pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out."
    Richard P. Feynman

    “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
    Frank Zappa

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    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: Work rules / practices

    Have a list of small tasks to do for times you only have small windows of free time. Set aside large windows for larger jobs... often, it takes awhile to get setup, organized, and motivated, so have a large enough time window that you can continue to work once you are on a roll. At the end, when you are running low on energy and enthusiasm, shut it down with enough time to clean up, and hit it again later when you are refreshed.

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    Re: Work rules / practices

    Had 25 years or so of my own workshops.

    Put your tools away and clean up at the end of everyday, doesn't matter how messy or disorganised during the day, but reset every night even if the job is not finished.

    A peg board for your tools is the best thing, you instantly see what tools are still missing after cleaning up. Sample here but you need to run a big black permanent marker pen around the tools ..

    Click image for larger version. 

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    When doing the critical stuff such as control linkages, follow the lead of the Japanese, put a bright paint mark on every linkage as it's finished and checked. I used to do it with a small brush and tin on race cars, but even easier now with paint pens. It's amazing how later you can just glance at everything and if it's got a bright paint mark how much confidence you have in it.
    Quote Originally Posted by BoKu View Post
    The vast majority of engineering failures are the results of failure of imagination rather than failure of calculation.

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    Registered User D Hillberg's Avatar
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    Re: Work rules / practices

    Hire half a dozen trained monkeys and let them loose and sit back with a good stiff drink with out a care in the world watching them swinging tools tossing monkey poop at each other and raising all kinds of hell destroying the whole place, Just enjoy the commotion knowing the whole time it's your ex wifes boy toys pride and joy.

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    Re: Work rules / practices

    Quote Originally Posted by D Hillberg View Post
    Hire half a dozen trained monkeys and let them loose and sit back with a good stiff drink with out a care in the world watching them swinging tools tossing monkey poop at each other and raising all kinds of hell destroying the whole place, Just enjoy the commotion knowing the whole time it's your ex wifes boy toys pride and joy.
    Shop tip: Stay away from the beer before postin... er, working.
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau

    Design Project: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
    Discussion Thread for the Project: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

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    Re: Work rules / practices

    Stay on one part of the project until completed, unless it is dependent on other parts being done. Don't skip around because you got to a boring stage. It'll be just as boring when you get back on it.
    Clean and orderly work place, whether a table or the whole shop.
    That's my 2˘

    Good topic, BTW

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    Re: Work rules / practices

    Look ahead- order ahead... I take a little time and look ahead a number of tasks ahead and keep a running order list going. The current one has lots of the hardware for the next few months when it goes out. I also always pad my counts so that I try to keep some stuff in stock all the time. For example in this order, there are 5 or 6 washer sizes and thicknesses, and 3 different cotter key sizes. I'll buy several hundred of each of the washers and 2 or 3 hundred of each cotter key. In the case of specialty stuff, then I order what I need and a couple of extras. Drives me nuts when I run out of common hardware items and can't finish what I am working on, unless I run out to a buddy's hangar and bum some off him until my order comes in.

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    Registered User narfi's Avatar
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    Re: Work rules / practices

    A clipboard per project each with a list of what needs to be accomplished, when a specific task or line for that project is finished check it off, if you see something that needs to be done add it to the list (or if applicable to another project add it to that list)

    I have a magic pillow. Every time it touches my head, I start with a clean slate.

    Besides you never know when you will have time to pick up where you left off, will it be immediately after a cup of coffee? will it be after lunch? will it be tomorow afternoon? will it be next month sometime when you have the time?

    With a list it is easy to pick up right where you left off, and easy to mark any problems you need to address.

    Need to build a wing? Add it to the list.
    Bucked a bad rivet? add it to the list.

    Big or small, if on the list you wont forget it.

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    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: Work rules / practices

    Quote Originally Posted by D Hillberg View Post
    Hire half a dozen trained monkeys and let them loose and sit back with a good stiff drink with out a care in the world watching them swinging tools tossing monkey poop at each other and raising all kinds of hell destroying the whole place, Just enjoy the commotion knowing the whole time it's your ex wifes boy toys pride and joy.
    An infinite number of monkeys in an infinite number of workshops will eventually produce the perfect airplane that meets the goals of all possible missions.

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