Completing the project

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BJC

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This is a thread to discuss tips or practices that you follow to complete a project. A project could be designing an airplane, workshop, house, camper, etc., or the building of any of them.

Some of you cheeseheads may be old enough to remember Bill Curry, an over-achieving football player from Georgia Tech. At a conference on leadership earlier this year, he cited the following characteristics of champions: showing up, singleness of purpose, unselfishness, acts of kindness, being prepared, and never quitting. That struck me as an apt description of the people that I have known who designed or scratch-built an airplane.

The most common tip that I hear is to do something on the project every day, and that seems to help some people get the project finished.

What works for you?


BJC
 

Wayne

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I have accomplished a few large what I would call "personal projects" in my life thus far (Put a V8 in a Triumph TR3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYk4eFVzY9I&t=182s ran a Marathon, got my Pilot's license and quit smoking), and the Cruzer build is also getting close to completion.

I think the biggest reason I have been able to do them is that I never give up. I absolutely fail to get things done over and over but I eventually prevail. For the TR3 and Cruzer my Dad has been a good task master - without him and Grumpy bugging me it would take a lot longer!
 

StarJar

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I think maybe doing a part everyday is over rated.
It's the passion of possesing what you want that drives your ambition. And sometimes you have to take time off to re stoke your vision or settle some issues.
I'm not best example of completing projects though, so your mileage may definitely vary.
The other list from the football player makes total.sense to me.
Also discarding any negativity that has entered your being.
 
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Topaz

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The "do a little bit every day" is not always practical, but "do a little bit as often as possible" really works. Unless my plate is absolutely filled to overflowing with other "critical" projects (work-related, etc.), I can almost always find a way to sneak time to work on the project 2-3-4 times a week.

Set up a schedule. It's much harder for me to weasel out of working on a project if it's actually on my calendar. Of course, I live and die by my calendar, down to the hour, so this one depends on how much you structure your time. Google Calendar has a neat new feature (mobile app only - I don't think it's worked its way onto the website version yet) that allows you to set up a "goal" activity ("Work on the airplane"), say how long it is each session ("2 hours"), how many times a week you want to work upon it, and generally what time of day you want to work upon it (morning, afternoon, evening). The app (their servers, actually) set up the schedule on your calendar flexibly, working the events around all the other items already there. If you add an event onto the time scheduled for one of your "goal" sessions, the goal-session is automatically re-scheduled around the new entry. You have to keep all your appointments and such on the calendar (which I do anyway), but it's a really neat system if you're the kind of person that does that.

Make a promise. If I can tie the project to a promise I made to someone else, I'm much less likely to slack on it, even if it goes over-schedule. I'll get it done just to keep my promise. My member-build-log of the DS54 conceptual design exists, in part, for that exact reason. I'm working very slowly on it right now, because my calendar is full of "critical" items, but I promised the group I'd do "X" work on that project, and I'll be danged if I'm going to break that promise, even if it takes me ten years (which, at the current pace, it might. :ermm:)

Get friends and family involved. If they can be helpful (not everyone can), bringing other people into it can make the time go faster. I'm already planning "build parties" for my first build, where a friend and his spouse come over near lunchtime. I know he's interested and enjoys this kind of work. He and I work on the airplane during the afternoon, the girls go shopping or just yak, and then we BBQ that night, to get some "all four of us" time. Doing that even once a month would be great for the build and our social life.

Keep the toolbox straight and neat. I find few things more frustrating than wasting time looking for "that" tool. Put everything away at the end of the day, so it's where it's supposed to be tomorrow.

Good thread.
 
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don january

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I think having the fund's and a little luck finding the materials needed has a lot to do with getting the project finished in a timely manner. I have went day's waiting for wood ect. then I hit the build hard until material is used up then here I go again scrounging and spending more cash for the next go around.:)
 

FritzW

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Great thread!

For me the biggest one would be:

Commit to one project completely, and forget about all the other cool airplanes you want to build. (that's my biggest problem in completing a project) Being on the HBA makes this very difficult ;)

...I need to take my own advice and renew my vows with the Neirrh :gig:
 

Kevin N

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Always be thinking about your next move. The do something every day idea is good for those that sleep in their own bed every night. For me as an international cargo jockey I would be gone 12 to 14 days a month. On my trips I always carried a few pages of plans with me to peruse in my hotel room and study them for details. There is a lot of mental that precipitates the doing it part. I would also make sure I had raw material on hand for when I got home. When calling home my wife would say "you got some Christmas presents" irregardless of the time of the year. I'm retired now, the captain paychecks are replaced with social security so all my projects are planned to be built on the government dole. I have lots of time to build now and a senior discount coffee at Dairy Queen is 63 cents. Not bad.
 
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choppergirl

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Have a dedicated space to store and work on your project and that project alone, so you can keep everything together and pick up right where you left off last time.

Seems self evident, but lack of a dedicated workshop area just to that project and that project alone is probably one of the main things that keeps me from proceeding further. Not the only reason, but one of the more irksome ones. I'll eventually get around to cleaning up my dad's cabinet shop from how he left it in a mess, when he gets done with it soon and lets me use it (probably next summer).

Planes are, unfortunately, rather large, unwieldy, money and time consuming critters. I can't think of anything more impractical to attempt to build, than maybe a zeppelin, hot air balloon, or an ocean liner.

Build the hanger space workshop to house it wide enough for the assembled plane and wingspan, before you build the airplane.
 
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Little Scrapper

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It's 3:45 am and I'm working on my Cassutt. I suppose being obsessed helps in the completion..

On a serious note, I think a large component to this answer starts at the beginning with an individuals financials. People who complete tend to be able to afford it from start to finish. People who start a project broke have to deal with being broke AND building at the same time. Pretty stressful I'd imagine.

People who can afford airplanes tend to manage time well which may lead to higher success. The snowball effect.of being a responsible person is a big help.
 
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TFF

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As the son and grandson of GT grads, Curry's pretty much point to doing something every day. Even if just one revit. Everyone has their own life they have to deal with, so if working in a condo garage or apartment or work on the road your every day will not be as conventional. The guy next door finishes projects. He falls off wagons and has other interests , but when working with an interest he is 100%. The days he works his 12 hr shifts nothing gets done. Lots of time off means he spends 8 hrs a day on a project. If asked about general honey dos he will say I work hard enough to make money so it's the wife's problem to call the plumber. By that he does not mean he will not fix plumbing but he will not mix projects. Airplane on means call the fixit man.
 
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Chris In Marshfield

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Get friends and family involved. If they can be helpful (not everyone can), bringing other people into it can make the time go faster. I'm already planning "build parties" for my first build, where a friend and his spouse come over near lunchtime. I know he's interested and enjoys this kind of work. He and I work on the airplane during the afternoon, the girls go shopping or just yak, and then we BBQ that night, to get some "all four of us" time. Doing that even once a month would be great for the build and our social life.
I have a build night every week at my house for my project. Anyone is welcome to join in. At first, it was very exciting and I had many helpers. Here I am, a year in to what will be a many year project, and I only have one guy who will stop by. You can definitely tell who is cut out to build a plane.
 

cheapracer

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I have a build night every week at my house for my project. Anyone is welcome to join in. At first, it was very exciting and I had many helpers. Here I am, a year in to what will be a many year project, and I only have one guy who will stop by.
This image came to mind when I read your post :gig:

slaves.jpg
 

Pops

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Old good friend of mine for about 45 years has a hanger 2 doors away and lives 1.5 hours south, drives up for 2 days each week and we work on building airplanes/hangers, etc, together, been doing this since about 1999. He has a camper inside his hanger where he stays in the 2 days. We used to get a lot done, but at our ages we both have slowed down in the last 3 or 4 years. I'm 76 and he is 74 years old.
 

choppergirl

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Probably nobody else does it, but I find working in a Paint program, layering on top of actual photos, is a lot cheaper way of figuring out problems and planning before you start on something *really* big, where a big error could be costly or time consuming to correct or make the whole thing... unusable. Make several mock ups in paint, chose the one you like best, discard those that were dead end ideas.

Pixels are free, and rather than a symbolic sketch on paper with just exact measurements and angles (useful too, but I do that later with line diagrams on blank paper), you're actually seeing the final destination you want to get to. If you get bored of it and want to change it, or come up with brilliant ideas or additions before you actually do the work, so much the better. It's okay to be sloppy at this stage, and for it to look a bit ugly, the key is you have something you can look at and visualize the final product you want to arrive at.
 
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TFF

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Another friend at the airport is there pretty much every day. Retired of course, but when his wife said he needed to spend weekends at home, he built two Piets in the garage.
 

Little Scrapper

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Just an idea but, what if we had a thread that was a 30 day challenge. Start signing up who wants to join the challenge on a thread ahead of time. Pick a start date and everyone post each day, even if it's 10 minutes.

See who makes it 30 days? Who knows, maybe this could be a cool thing.

January 1st - February 1st? A guy can get a lot done in 30 days if pushed.
 

Pops

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Just an idea but, what if we had a thread that was a 30 day challenge. Start signing up who wants to join the challenge on a thread ahead of time. Pick a start date and everyone post each day, even if it's 10 minutes.

See who makes it 30 days? Who knows, maybe this could be a cool thing.

January 1st - February 1st? A guy can get a lot done in 30 days if pushed.
What do we post every day for 30 days ?
 

Little Scrapper

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What you accomplished or work performed and minutes worked. Everyone motivates everyone and possibly get more work done that way?
 
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