Finishing your airplane - The Commitment

Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by Little Scrapper, Jun 11, 2017.

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  1. Jun 12, 2017 #21

    akwrencher

    akwrencher

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    Personally, I admire what you are doing. I've always resisted schedules and such. Comercial fished for a while, then fixed cars for a while. Try scheduling that!
    Some of us just aren't naturally good at keeping schedules. Some people do really well shooting from the hip, and some don't. I'm trying to get better at planning things, but still being flexible. Too many things come up for me to be super ridgid. I'm my own plumber, electrician, carpenter, and mechanic, so keeping my half finished house going, the cars running, and what have you for the fam is a fluid thing. As each day goes by though, more and more I see the value of budgeting in time for important things. Family, building, wife time, etc.

    Thanks for posting your thoughts. I'm sure we all look forward to seeing progress on your project :)
     
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  2. Jun 12, 2017 #22

    TFF

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    Don't get caught up in how we are different; that is what is great. We are not the same. I require people to do different things. I definitely don't want to stand around with a bunch of me's. I am not competitive. It does not mean I don't understand it. If I don't enjoy the job I can't do it for long. So I had to pick a career I could show up on the worst day and for me it was being an A&P. Of the hundred or so I have worked with, only a handful like airplanes. To me how bad is it to show up and work on an airplane. I had some bad advice or I would have been a pro pilot. If I was competitive, I would have gone for the money. Instead I go for the enjoyment and get whatever it pays. Now if I had no love of aviation since being born, my luck and life would have been different. I did not have to find it as much as come to terms my survival was not going to be normal.
     
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  3. Jun 12, 2017 #23

    Turd Ferguson

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    Hyperfocus is a subset of ADD / ADHD.

    Yup, all indicators point to ADD / ADHD. No a defect or handicap by any means, brain just catalogs differently. I have a similar problem except I don't give up the previous activity. Now I'm at the age where I have a lot of hobbies, lol.
     
  4. Jun 12, 2017 #24

    Wayne

    Wayne

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    I see nothing wrong with the thread at all, and it does a great job of clearly illustrating how different we all are - which should be no surprise to any of us. I'm going to start a gentle schedule upgrade for my build by adding a Wednesday night after work for at least 2 hours. I'm also moving to a more spacious build hangar which is closer to home and the EAA Chapter. That's the extent of it though, for now, but I'm commiting Scrappy.

    Just to explain - here's how my life works right now:

    I live very much in the moment and am now old enough (53) to understand I'm on a journey and I am actually enjoying the journey tremenously. Just to give you a sense of how this impacts my life. So I work 5 days a week selling large software packages and usually travel 1 or 2 days a week by air. Last weekend I invested Saturday and Sunday running the EAA 461 booth at the Cavalcade of planes, working with the young ladies club we now have in the Chapter (up to 8 girls 12-19!!) as they rasied money for thier projects. We also had the EAA Trimotor going four days that week.

    Yesterday was supposed to be Young Eagles but we canceled due to strong winds so I worked on the Zenith Cruzer build we are trying to get up to Airventure 2017 and then today had a meeting from 9-10 about the new flying club I'm trying to get off the ground (pun intended) using the Zenith Cruzer we are building (I won't even be a member since I'm building one). After that meeting Dad and I loaded an old wood airplane the Chapter got donated and donated it to a guy at the airport. Then we went an picked up an RV 12 tail kit complete with Avery tools which is going to be the next build after we finish the Zenith. Started at 9am and finished at 7:00. I'm lucky the wife is out of town for goodness sake! And as thats not enough I'm now on the **** forum!!

    I realize I'm nuts, and I am way to invested in the Chapter and making things happen for the guys and young ladies. I don't care though because I get so much fullfillment from it that it's all good. I wont get my plane done in a predictable and efficient manner though and that's my Achilles heel.
     
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  5. Jun 12, 2017 #25

    Hephaestus

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    I'm in the set schedule causes stress camp. Too much life happens - the "schedule" doesn't work for me at the moment.

    Personally my limitation is being away for work, so I'll have another do the primary building.

    But if I had a normal home life - bailing to the garage every night to work on something - that's my stress relief. Just doesn't work on my schedule, home times usually family time.
     
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  6. Jun 12, 2017 #26

    BJC

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    Large projects at work, where completion on schedule and on budget were necessary and expected, needed detailed critical path schedules. I could not have been successful in my professional life without them. Now that I am retired, I appreciate the freedom to think about, and do, what I want to think about and do.


    BJC
     
  7. Jun 12, 2017 #27

    Kyle Boatright

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    I schedule blocks of time and make "to do" lists. Usually, things don't work out as planned. The MRS put a 3 hour BBQ at one of her co-workers on the list today. It turned into 5 hours and monkey wrenched my plans... But I did get 3 hours of sanding in on the RV-10's cabin top and am about to head back out to the shop to do some pickup/cleanup.
     
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  8. Jun 12, 2017 #28

    lakeracer69

    lakeracer69

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    I find it is easy for me to just say "I will try to make one part or set of like parts per evening". I pick something and just work at it until it's done. If you just take say 15 minutes here and there to get things ready, mark and cut pieces out, get ready for the next task with the parts, machine set up, gather up tooling needed, etc. For flat thin stuff I have found that the 8" Grizzly shear is great for accurately dicing up stock after I saw it out of a sheet. It also saves me time and material in the long run if I try not to get to frugal with cutting stuff out and saving material ( I thought). Only to have three good pieces and one piece be just a little too small in one area to finish correctly. Just did that an hour ago. I think that many small amounts of time and effort can add up quick to finished parts. Lathe and a mill with DRO helps too.

    Maybe write down a list of things you can do with 30 minutes and keep it around and just try to complete something. Study plans, make a material list, order material, clean up for the next thing, on and on.
     
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  9. Jun 12, 2017 #29

    Little Scrapper

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    Just got back from the movie theatre with the family, unscheduled spontaneous fun on a Sunday.

    Where were we.....

    It always seems retired people I know are busier after they retire, never could figure that out. Haha.

    Somehow this turned in to a scheduling thread but my intentions were to find ways to commit to finishing. Probably my fault because yeah, I live and die by my schedule. In fact, all my friends do here locally.

    My larger point here was to just make a change, any change, so I (we) can accomplish my goal. Scheduling is just a great way to do it.

    I learned scheduling from the weirdest source, my friend Dave. He's a West point graduate, veteran, and holds a master's degree from Booth School of Business in Chicago. He's not a pilot and we are complete opposites, but one of my best friends. I learned by observing him years ago. Dave always seems to accomplish anything he wants. Always. Still does. Currently on his 5th company I think? He makes apps for businesses etc, or something like that. Anyhow, he runs his life so effortlessly and has zero stress because of it.

    One day I decided to do something similar. I learned from observations. My entire business was grown because of my scheduling. Things just get done when they are written down. 100's of calls and texts per week.

    Right now, as an example, I put the Cassutt on my official schedule. That's a big deal for Me! What this represents is nothing small, when customers call me tomorrow morning I now have time slots on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday that hard non negotiable. No exception. Those times are not available, no different than a dental appointment. Tuesday morning at 5:00 am I will be working on my Cassutt and not plumbing. Right now I have a few slots open on Thursday after my Cassutt time, that is what they can pick from.

    What I've learned from scheduling is this, unmanaged time will rob you of your life. If you do not schedule "me" time, people and customers will take it from you!

    I am unapologetic when it comes to scheduling because my time is darn valuable and it's in limited supply.

    So that's that.

    You all know how much I love fabricating metal, that's no secret. I'm about to do more of it starting Tuesday June 13th at 5:00 and hopefull finish my Cassutt before my health falls apart. I'm pretty excited, I love the freedom in knowing by Sunday of next week there's a high probability I'll post a photo of two Cassutt sides being tacked together. Dam, that is a sweet thought. I wonder what the week after that will bring? Exciting.

    Looking forward to a great week.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  10. Jun 12, 2017 #30

    Pops

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    My buddy Dallas worked at the same place for 35 years, drove the same route, parked in the same parking lot, worked with the same people and did the same thing. I told him before I could do that, just put me in jail and throw the key away because that would be jail for me. I hate structure. I always like something different and like a new challenge every day. On every job I ever had I was always ready to leave for something else. Not that I didn't like what I was doing, I just like a new challenge of a new job. My daughter and youngest son is like me and my oldest likes structure and doesn't like change.
    I couldn't live like that, just put me in prison and throw the key away.
     
  11. Jun 12, 2017 #31

    Highplains

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    The hardest part of getting quality shop time is the first 5 to 10 minutes. Once I get past that it becomes easier to spend a few hours and enjoy the trip. I also found it much better when I hired a kid to work with me to stay motivated. They show up to do a job that is not food service, and so you can easily build a fuselage or a set of wings over the summer if you have some vacation time to burn.
     
  12. Jun 12, 2017 #32

    TFF

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    I think its great you can make it part of your routine. My friend built his RV7 in 3 years because of the scheduling. He is one of the Dr buddies. If you can use it, it will serve you well.
     
  13. Jun 12, 2017 #33

    tspear

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    Not building yet, but I will schedule time for the build. In my crazy, hectic life it is the only way to keep track of stuff and maximize productivity.

    Tim
     
  14. Jun 12, 2017 #34

    Hot Wings

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    Kind of depends on what you mean by 'finish'. I never intend to finish ANY of my personal projects. There is always something that could be done better.

    If you mean 'finish' as in being safe and usable then you kind of have to define that set of parameters somewhere near the end of the project. When I get near the end I start making little lists of things that need to be finalized - and exactly what that means for each of the items to reach my initial goal. When the last item is checked off on the 'before taxi test' or 'before test drive' list then it's finished. If I've done a proper job of creating the last to do lists, and have completed them, there should be no difference between the 'before taxi/test drive' and the 'before first flight/drive it to work' lists.

    Those little lists are my way of winding down each project during the rather tedious and uninteresting, at least for me, detail stage. Some people don't like the systems stage. I do. For me what comes before is just the shell. If you are one of the 'don't like system' people then maybe setting up to do lists for each system and robotically checking them off might help keep the project moving toward completion?

    Live with the project for a while and I'm always going to find something I'd like to change......
     
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  15. Jun 12, 2017 #35

    Little Scrapper

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    You're getting quite technical here. Dude, I just want to fly the Cassutt, I want to.build it, then fly it. I suppose I could treat it like my lawn and landscaping and call it a work in progress but that's not how I look at building my a airplane. That's for the other guys.

    So besides the all to common "work in progress" saying, I guess my goal is completion. Eventually I'd likebto build a buttercup.

    Jim Clement built like 17 airplanes, that's what I'm talking about, not spending 40 years not finishing it. That's not for me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  16. Jun 12, 2017 #36

    skyscooter

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    The biggest mistake I made while building my airplane was moving it from my garage to the airport too early. Even though the hangar is only about 10 minutes from my house, out of sight was out of mind. When I did go out to work on it, invariably I found that I had forgotten to bring something I needed. In the winter time, forget it. I wouldn't see my project for months because I didn't want to go out to a dark airport and work in the cold. It is much easier to walk out into your garage to build.

    What did help me was making a detailed list of things left to do, and I would scratch the items off as completed. Sometimes the list grew as I would think of other items to complete, but there was satisfaction in scratching off the items. Eventually I was out of excuses and it was time to fly!

    There were other "non building" items that I had to take care of like getting current again, arranging insurance, getting the FAA out for the inspection etc. I started working on those as I was getting close, so they didn't hold me up. I was very fortunate to be able to get about an hour of dual with a guy who had a Jabaru powered Thorp Skyscooter. Even though mine is a "stock" version with an 0-200, the little bit of dual made making the first flight less stressful.
     
  17. Jun 12, 2017 #37

    autoreply

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    I did the opposite. When I worked at ACLA on the Sirocco, the workshop was about 10 minutes by bike and I lived in an apartment. Even going there in the evening felt like a commitment, quickly putting off a 1-2 hr session. I decided that the next house HAD to have a big enough shop and ended up buying one with a decent shop.

    Now I occasionally find myself in a bathrobe looking over something during Sundays.

    With two jobs, the only way I can do this is by having a digital to-do-list where everything that's not dayjob ends up on, whether it's cleaning the bathroom or answering a customer. If it's urgent it gets moved up. With the to-do-list on my phone, I regularly put in small things that I'd otherwise forget or postpone too much.

    It's pretty rewarding on days that feel like I've done nothing but have nevertheless crossed off many hours of small jobs. It also helps tremendously to just not to anything that's not productive. I don't watch any TV, use FB once a day to check upon the things that actually matter to me and don't do any social stuff I don't like.

    Being a project manager/lead engineer for a living helps in managing a thousand things at the same time ;)
     
  18. Jun 12, 2017 #38

    Hot Wings

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    We just have different ideas about what defines completion. My daily driver car only gets wear items and fluids changed when appropriate. It's a tool and I HATE it when I have to do other than routine maintenance. Toys on the other hand get played with. Clement he is good enough at building T'winds, and apparently has enough time, that he just builds a whole better one. I sometimes will start from scratch if the next improvement warrants but my limited extra time tends to dictate minor improvements and modifications to the current toy.

    Once my Quickie is flying I'll transition to the next project, but the Quickie will also have to understand that it's not to get too comfortable with it's current configuration.:gig:
     
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  19. Jun 12, 2017 #39

    TFF

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    I think Clement made a pretty penny on each one of his once he was a known entity. From what i have read, when he got close to finishing a plane, he would close up the business and finish the airplane. He has a niche that he can work with. Plane done, open back business. Hobby definition is more what the action is about. Shop time, away from problem time, ponder time, airplane time, tool time; everyone likes the hobby for different reasons. Building the plane and flying the plane are only some of why people do it; although top two.
     
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  20. Jun 12, 2017 #40

    Raceair

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    My most productive homebuilding was pre-internet....Course', I was a lot younger. I have dialed back my internet usage considerably in the past 6 months.....
     
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